Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Soggy Bottoms and February Goal.

It is February tomorrow. January has flown by and seems gone with a slight sneeze and a whimper. I know that feeling!
Time to set myself a goal I believe for this month. I started thinking about it as I was driving to work and thought about all the other blogs I follow.

I am pretty jealous of most who write about thrift as they seem to be stay at home moms or retired. I am far from either. I get up at 6.30am to get to work at 8.30am, I finish at 6pm and get home at 7pm. It is an awfully long day. I find it dificult to keep motivated on thrift and economy, especially as it is dark so early.

One of the reasons I am so envious is the time they have to save money, by baking bread and ensuring them and their families eat healthily. Up until recently once a week I would swing by for a double cheese burger on the way home with fries, as I was quite frankly shattered.

So, it started me thinking about how they always cooked from scratch.I love cooking and baking. So perhaps it is time to review what goes into this frugal miss.

As soon as I got home, out came the cookery books and I made short crust pastry by hand - so proud.

Here is the book I got the recipe from

I defy anyone not to have been hooked on the Great British Bake Off.

So I used the vegetable filling I made at the weekend to make this
Ok, it did have a soggy bottom, but next time it will not as I will use my baking beads for longer.

It should do for 4 meals. But making it is so time consuming. I started at 7pm with the pastry and by the time that had been chilled, the base baked and then it all cooked. I ate at 9.30PM.

Going into the freezer, made me look at how much food I have here at W Towers. Look at all of this.
The Goal for February now seemed pretty apparent. Stop spending money on food, I am just storing.

This coming month, I am giving myself a budget of £40 only to cover milk, bread, veg etc.

If I need anymore than that, well it is a bit poor isn't it?

I need to start making use of all these ingredients. I will take another picture at the end of February and keep you all updated on how I do.

Nice to have a goal. What are yours for this month?

No heating on again this evening. Gosh, it is cold.

Frugally (Shivering) 
yours
Abigail
x

Monday, 30 January 2012

Rebecca, January Book Review

Evening All

Remember about 2 weeks ago when I was so excited because I got Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier from Freecycle?

The reason I got this particular book was because it January's choice for my book club. Actually, I chose the book this month.

I set up the book club about 2 years ago and we have, including me, 4 regular members plus others who have drifted in and out over the years. And, I love book club! We only meet once a month and take it in turns to choose a book for everyone to read and then discuss.

In all honesty, we spend half the time discussing the book and the rest catching up with each others lives. I love the range too in people. The youngest is in their 20s and the oldest in their 60s. All women and we just sit and talk and talk and talk.

It is a pretty frugal activity too, as I only buy a soft drink for about £1.50 and get so much entertainment for one evening.

It has also taught me to be pretty inventive too about getting the books. I do own a Kindle and love it, but sometimes the books on their can be pretty expensive for example we are reading next month a book about the Titanic and that is coming in on Kindle for about £10. Way too much!

So time for a rethink. Last month I got Rebecca for free. But for the next club as it is a recently published book, I will go to the Library. For 25p I can order any book I like and have it delivered to my local library. They send you a text when it arrives and... well..."Bobs your Uncle" A virtually free book! You have got to love some government services haven't you!?

I loved Rebecca, such a classic novel. I had seen the old Hitchcock movie which was great,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_(1940_film)

but nothing beats reading the words. This book for me, had everything I wanted - a hero reminiscent of "Rochester" who loves passionately and deeply but is not overt in his actions. A heroine who develops from child to woman during the course of the novel and a countryside that evokes a longing for the Cornish coast.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again" is the quintessential opening line and immediately the prose grabs you and the characters are well rounded coming alive in your head from the verbal pictures painted.

It contains all you could want, a love story,thriller, with a mystery and even elements of a ghost story. Some books really stand the test of time and this is one of them. I would put it up there with "A Town Like Alice" By Neville Shute which we read about 6 months ago. Ok, sometimes it is a bit dated in narrative and expression. But, that is ok with me, as it is "of it's time".

Thank you Daphne! We loved you at book Club.

On a more frugal note, I am currently sitting with my coat on. Brrrr it is cold and I am refusing to put the heating on this evening. Shortly, I will change into PJS and my thickest dressing gown. As, I still want to reduce my utilities next quarter to under a £300.

Reading any good books lately?
Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Jimmy Choo and Other Improvements.

Well Sunday has come around again and I am ready for a long soak at W Towers Spa. The lights and candles are lit and I just have to write this and then I am ready to go.
Save for petrol in the car (£25) I have had a no spend weekend, spent Friday and Saturday night with The Chap so I turned my heating right down and he bought us a chinese last night which was delicious.

Back home today and tried to get started on my To Do List. Unfortunately, not been too successful.

  • Sort out photos from holiday in 2010!
  • Sew buttons on trousers and coat
  • Clear another kitchen cupboard
It doesn't look great, but I forgot to take a before shot and trust  me this is a huge improvement.

·Empty clutter from the hall.
My hall ends up being a such a dumping ground when I get and paperwork etc cn spend weeks just lying on the floor and stairs waiting to actioned, but which not good when I am aiming for a simple life.
Here are the before shots
 
Now, doesn't this look better?
It took about 10 minsutes and feels much more clean down there now.
· Bake bread
· Bake a lemon cake
· Make another sausage casserole in the slow cooker

These three are my big fails of today.
I rally wanted to do a lot of baking, and even made a filing for 2 vegetable pies, but when I went to the cupboard - no plain flour. I had strong, self raising etc but no plain which I needed for the cake and pie crust.
COuld not believe, had everthing else and could have baked bread. BUt, the whole pint was using the oven all in one go. ANd, since it was too late to go and buy some. I had to give in.
The vegetable filling is now in the firday, hopefully waiting for one night this week. Or else into the freezer it goes.

Menu Plan
I have bread and tomatoes for lunch this week and cereal to cover all breakfasts for 1 week.
Sunday - poached eggs
Monday - faggots with cabbage and peas
Tuesday - faggots with cabbage and peas
Wednesday - final piece of the cottage pie I froze from 2 weeks ago with cabbage and carrots
Thursday - Egg type dish again to use up the left over eggs
Friday - eating with the chap so TBC
Saturday - Got a chicken dish to bake with veg.

I am trying yo use up the freezer as realistically if had done all that baking then I would have struggled with freezer space.

Look what arrived this week....
The Jimmy Choo brochure, some really pretty things in here, even a pair of sandals in leopard print called.......GAIL!!
I should buy them.

If only I could! Nope will just we window shopping now.
Well until next time Visitor!
Frugally Yours
Abigail
x

Thursday, 26 January 2012

January Reviewed

As end of the month approaches, I am on the countdown to payday - 2nd Feb with a budget of £43.11 for 6 days. I can do this!
So time to review where I am financially.

Credit card 1 has increased slightly after I did the balance transfer. I have to pay a balance transfer fee of £20.36, which is a percentage of the total balance. I paid £31.01 off it this month, but the rest got eaten up in interest. But for 16 months the card is interest free so everything I pay from now on comes off the balance without interest charged.

MY DEBT


Car Loan            £334.00     It will be paid off by April
Overdraft           £300.00     Need to look into cost of the overdraft per month
Credit Card 1      £514.12     £3.18 in interest
Credit Card 2      £710.36
TOTAL DEBT       £1858.48

Previous total      £1990.80
Reduced debt by £132.32

A reduction of 6.65% in January 2012.

I will be paying off a larger proportion of my debt in February. In January I had bigger overheads - utilities and a double month on the service charge for W Towers.

Do not forget February and March are council tax free if you pay monthly. I pay circa £75 per month so currently I am deciding whether to save this money or pay it off my debt.

Conclusion – I need to pay off more each month to reach my target of being debt free (not inc the mortgage) by the end of 2012. Paying off £161 a month means it will take me 11.5 months – not acceptable. I need to find a way of being able to eek a little more into paying off the debt when the commission is not happening at work.

Thinking cap on.

You probably have noticed I love a list. Here was my “To Do List” for this week.
·         Put DVD on Freecycle-Both were picked up tonight.
·         Clean out kitchen cupboard
·         Prepare mushroom kit
·         Finish washing and ironing
·         Sew buttons on – Damn it, this weekend…. I promise

Here is my list “To Do List” for the weekend

·         Sort out photos from holiday in 2010!
·         Sew buttons on trousers and coat
·         Bake bread
·         Bake a lemon cake
·         Make another sausage casserole in the slow cooker
·         Clear another kitchen cupboard
·         Empty clutter from the hall.

Made do today with the coke and crisps from my jaunt to Poundland earlier this week, but will have to grab a drink tomorrow. But I did have to stop at the shop on the way home and grab some mushrooms and a garlic bulb for the  paghetti bolognaise I cooked for The Chap and I. So the  £7.50 got blown. I spent £5.11. But I did pick up some posh lamb and chilli sausages reduced from nearly £6 to £1.75. Straight into the freezer for a casserole another day.

When I did arrive home the door had been fixed, Great! Here is the before picture. Like my tarpaulin handiwork? No after picture I am afriad.

Not a bad day world!

Frugally yours

Abigail

x


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Lunchtime Shopping Anyone?

I am happy again today.

I had another no spend Wednesday, hurray for me.. I think I might try and do this every week.

The problem, I think when you are trying to change is altering previous habits. For example lunchtime spending comes easily to me. I work long hours from 8.30am to 6pm and it takes about an hour to commute to and from work. So, since I began I have insisted that at lunchtime I always go out for between 10-45mins.

Partly to see the sun on the long winter evenings as I leave W Towers in the dark and arrive home in the dark, and partly because otherwise the "hour" I am supposed to have free in constantly interrupted by clients calling.

So my lunchtime meandering around the town centre gives me some down time to recharge my batteries.

Today there was nothing I needed e.g. coke, crisps etc so I ate at my desk and then walked round the block, not exciting no shops. It appears that I need to look at something to take my mind off work. I might try the art gallery tomorrow. I have worked in the same town centre on and off for 14 years and never been to the art gallery, dreadful isn't it?

Alternatives need to be found, what do you do in your lunchtime?

So, it is Wednesday and that means my Frugal Five:-
  1. Find an alternative to spending during your lunchtime, perhaps visit an art gallery?? (well I had to didn't I?)
  2. Remember to plan in the mornings for what you are going to eat when you ge home, perhaps it needs to be left out to defrost during the day.
  3. Remember most people are on calling plans that mean free up to 1 hour calls in the evening. I always make sure to note what time I am calling a good friend and have many a time put the phone down and called back when approaching an hour so I do not have to pay.
  4. Regualarly review store cupboard and fridge ingredients to ensure no food is thrown away as this is just throwing away money
  5. Factor in treats to a budget, as this means you are less likely to break it. I.e. a take away once a month can be budgeted for
On a final note it looks like the bin door which blew off on Sunday will be repaired at the Housing Association's cost as it is considered a communal area which pleased me no end today. So savings will remain intact for the time being.

And very finally, I got my first comment today and wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU as it is so nice to know that others are reading this not just my family and friends. You really made my day.

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

MInd Your Own Damn Business Nosey!

I have been upset most of today, and thought I would share with you the reason why.

Someone gave me a dressing down.

I was talking about my situation, and another overheard and then gave me a bit of a lecture on debt, on how good their financial situation was and on how bad mine was.

I am not sure whether I am genuinely upset, or cross or irritated. But, the fact of the matter is another person’s opinion has been depressing me all day. I wanted to say to everyone out there. If you are doing what I am doing, if you are paying money back, if you are trying to save. Then “do as I say and not as I do” and tell others to mind their own business and take pleasure from the fact you are facing your debt. Be strong, and continue. If you fail one day and spend too much. Well tomorrow is another day, try again. The only opinion that matters is yours. I say “Well Done You!”.

After posting last night, I decided to get started on my to do list.

Here is one kitchen cupboard pre clear out and clean,
And here it is after post - much more organised and now the pyrex should not lurch towards me as I open the door.
I also dug out the mushroom kit. Here it is

And got that set up. Apparently I should see something start to happen by the end of the weekend. I am not convinced it will work as according to the kindly donator from Freecycle they have had it for 12months. I believe the mushroom spores have a shelf life, but we will soon see. 

I also started on the washing. So the list is getting cracked off, which is great.

I also took these back to M&S today, and got my £29.00 back.  
I am disappointed, I have wanted a denim skirt, but the truth it that money will pay for about 4 to 5 days petrol, without me raiding my savings. So it has to go. Sob sob.

Whilst in the kitchen yesterday cleaning out a cupboard and preparing the mushroom kit I took the opportunity to pull out all three of my freezer drawers and review the contents. It is quite interesting to go through every now and again and review current food levels. I found some burgers, sausages and 4 Mr Brains faggotts I had forgotten about. So that means most the weekend and next weeks food is sorted with a little imagination and some vegetables.  

I could do with reviewing my store cupboard too, maybe next week now.

To update you on my weekly cash budget challenge, I started Monday with £7.50 in cash. Yesterday I spent £1.39 (coke and crisps) and today I spent £3.00 in Poundland on a multi bag of crisps, 3 cans of coke and some headache tablets so £4.39 spent which leave me with £3.11. It is going to be tight guys! 

I think living frugally is all about the little things to be begin with looking after your cash daily and keeping abreast of bank accounts. If you do that then the big savings follow naturally.

I thought I would share with you what I carry around daily in my purse. Here it is, nice isn’t? My sister bought it for me.
Inside is
-          Car insurance certificate
-          Driving license
-          Business cards
-          Tesco clubcard
-          Subway loyalty card
-          Boots loyalty card
-          2x debit cards (current and bills)
-          2xcredit cards
-          AA membership card
-          Blockbuster card
-          Library card
-          Online banking card
-          Local bank manager’s business card
-          Tesco clubcard coupons
-          Various shopping receipts
-         £3.11 in coins and £15 in notes to pay for my evening class in February.

It has made me wonder, if it is not a little too well filled. Perhaps I could take some stuff out?

What is in your purse?
Frugally yours
Abigail

x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Falling Off The Wagon...

Sorry about not writing for a few days, I got home late on Friday after work. Which meant I had 45 minutes to have a bath and start cooking before The Chap turned up. Then on Saturday we went off to have a mooch round a local retail park and went straight back to his where I stayed until Sunday. The upshot is, I just had no time alone until yesterday afternoon to write a post.
I had a lovely weekend with The Chap as I always do, but I spent most of Sunday feeling guilty for my lack of frugal actions on Saturday. That stopped me posting yesterday, as I decided what to say. After sleeping on it I have decided that if writing on here I have to be honest and document fails as well as successes. More on that later.

I did well last working week, and made the £7.50 cash budget last until Friday, spending £1.70 on the last week day on a drink, crisps and a small chocolate bar, which left me with 41p left over. I am rich! Straight into the rainy day jar.

One of the reasons I was late home on Friday was I did the food shop, I spent more than I needed to as The Chap was eating with me so here it is ..
The total came in at £17.36, but this was mainly due to buying the fresh chicken at £3.30 and philapdelphia etc needed to make a pasta dish. All in all more than I hoped to spend, but I can live with it after all The Chap is definitely worth it. The food I got will last me until the weekend again, so I should not have to buy any extra. Plus work lunches are covered with the tomatoes and loaf of bread.

I did buy that pie dish on Friday lunchtime using some money I had left over from Christmas, I had wanted it for so long and if you have gone away from a potential purchase and still keep thinking about it, then I decided I was justified in buying it. Plus it was only £4.25

 Beautiful isn’t it? I love the colour and the fluted edge. Soon, I think I will have a go at a vegetable pie. Nom nom nom.

Which brings me nicely on to a menu plan for the week.

Breakfast is cereal and work lunches are toast and tomatoes.

Sunday
Lunch – final bit of left over chicken casserole over noodles.
Dinner – I was not hungry, but I did make a bread and butter pudding, here it is should do for a couple of days pudding. The photo looks a bit gross, but it was delicious and made literally by making 3 bread butter and jam sandwiches dipping milk and then chucking in a tin of strawberries and covering with packet custard and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30mins on 160. Am sure Jamie Oliver will tell you differently, but hey it works for me and provides a treat for a couple of days for about £1.50 per bowl (4 / 5 servings).

Monday Dinner – Left over frozen chicken pie, with cabbage
Tuesday Dinner – Some kind of egg dish, poached  / boiled etc as home late
Wednesday Dinner – Probably eating with The Chap tbc (either wed or thurs)
Thursday Dinner – Bumped crispy pancakes from last week to finish the box.
Friday Dinner  - Cooking for the chap so a tuna bake probably.

I went through the fridge and the store cupboards this week, and nothing to throw away, so some good news.

Right now that is done, I have to report a massive fail.

Saturday, The Chap and I had decided to have a day out and went to a local retail park, you know the kind of thing 2 supermarkets and lots of supersized stores – M&S, Next, TK Max etc

I fell of the wagon spectacularly, but did not put anything onto a credit card.
Jumper £20
Skirt and tights £29.50
Scarf £20

I know, just horrendous I blew ten days budget in 3 hours. However, I can claw some of it back and am going to return the skirt and tights this week to get my money back as that is one weeks petrol money.

After doing that, I got home on Sunday morning was happily tootling around when an almighty bang was heard. Thinking  “Alien Invasion!” I rushed outside armed with a slightly rusty wok and my fiercest “bugger off” ET face I discovered that a bin cupboard door had blown off in the wind. So I had to organise a repair this morning. Maybe I can claim on the insurance, but not sure as yet. There is still the excess to pay. Though not as much as my neighbour has to pay and as luckily her car cushioned the aforementioned door’s fall. OK Perhaps not so lucky for her…

I washed my car on Sunday and noticed that a small patch of paint has flaked off the bonnet, and so is in need of a repair. Bodywork is always so expensive and I think this will cost up to £200. I need to get a couple of quotes.

The door and car goes to demonstrate how important savings are and also make me feel all the more cross at myself for buying the clothes at the weekend. I really did not need them. Grrrr!

So going forward, I am setting myself a budget of £7.50 again for this week. This will not include petrol or the £15 I need to pay for another 5 weeks of my evening courses.

Pay Day is 11 days away, and then I am going to review all my expenditure for January and the current state of my debts.

A couple of things on my To Do List. I have set myself a deadline of Friday for these .
Sew button on trousers and Coat
Clean one kitchen cupboard
Finish washing and ironing.
Prepare mushroom growing kit.
Put old but working DVD on Freecycle.         

So I do need to hang my head in shame, £40 unnecessary pounds spent, that could have been either saved or £40 off a credit card.

Have you bought anything unnecessary recently that you are cross about? Comment box is now available and I would love to hear from you. Just click on the link below that say “0 comments” it is now enabled.

Must Do Better.
Perhaps Not so Frugally Yours
Abigail
x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

To Pie or Not To Pie

I quite like Thursdays, well I like each day of the working week on a sliding scale as we get closer to Friday. My favourite time of the week is when you first get home on Friday evening. If I could just bottle that feeling of the weekend stretching out in front of me then I suspect, I really would not have to worry about my debts or financial future at all.
To begin with, a quick update, after the new credit card arrived the other day, I rang them up and checked the balance transfer had gone through. It had, £690.00 on it.

I also thought to check the payment date and it was set to something like the 29th of each month. Well as I pay the credit card off sometime between the 3rd and 5th depending on payday this would have meant I would have incurred charges for late payment as I would not have paid the card between the date the statement was raised circa 10th and the date the payment became due circa 29th. Can you imagine my horror if this had happened?

So I urge you, if undertaking a balance transfer, just check the payment date with customer services on the phone. I really am pleased about doing this, but I will have to remember that the company will add a £20 BT fee on shortly. This is the only charge that is going on that card for the next 12 months, believe me!

I also rang up the old credit card, and checked they had got a zero balance on it. I had not accounted for interest from the old account when transferring the balance over, therefore had £6.01 outstanding. I paid immediately, so the credit card should close automatically. But, I will be keeping an eye on these pests.

A good job done!

Another good job is the £5 challenge I set myself this week, (well in actual fact £7.50) I went out today and grabbed a packet of crisps 50p (well this is a frugal blog not a diet blog!) and also popped into my local 99p store. It is like Poundland….only cheaper….by a penny….get the idea? And bought a new car washing sponge. 

Huge isn’t it? Think I am going to cut it in half.

Anyhoo, this means £2.31 left for tomorrow. That is loads! I think I might be able to do this kids!

 I also like the fact that by using cash as I have, it has meant I am able to track my current account online a lot easier. When you see a balance on the screen I know it is accurate, as I have not been waving the debit card around purchasing overpriced knick knacks.

I did earlier this evening, dig out my rainy day jar (i.e. an old mah-ooo-sive pub whiskey bottle and emptied it. £45.70 in shrapnel. Cannot decide what to do with it whether to bag it up and knock it off the debt or wait until it gets a little higher say £50 / £100. Nice dilemma to have though isn’t it?

The Chap is coming over tomorrow night after work for dinner. We are planning a day out (venue to be decided) on Saturday to get away from all the DIY. I will not feed him my frugal fare, so I will tomorrow have to pop and grab a couple of things after work to make dinner, I am going to take this out of my weekend budget as officially the working week will be over. Cheating! I hear you cry…. Well my blog, my rules…:o)

I do have a bit of a dilemma, there is this absolutely beautiful pie dish at my local House of Fraser, I like it so much I have been in three times this week to keep looking at it. Reduced in the sale to £4.25, so not a fortune, yet a really useful size for one. I have stopped myself from buying it so far, but I know that if I do not buy it in the next few days then I will miss out.


What does everyone think I should do?

I did pop over to pick up that book I got from freecycle this week after work - Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier
I am loving it! Such a great story, read 50 pages in the bath this evening. Perfect... and Free!

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

NSD, and Another Frugal Five

Today, I achieved an NSD. What is an NSD you might ask? Well it is a No Spend Day. Which means no money got handed over to anyone during the course of the day. That is a SUCCESS! Yay me!

So halfway through the week and I still have £3.80 in cash in my purse. Hope I can make it until Friday without getting more cash.

I am really trying to get more financially organised and as part of that, my new credit card arrived, so officially I have only one credit card and the overdraft costing me any money in interest.

Had a quiet evening last night, I was supposed to go to my evening class, but as I felt so ill as I am still nursing this cold. I decided to go home. Grabbed a bath, then turned off the heating (remember target of £250 for next quarters utilities) and started cooking. Bumped the eggs dish for the fish fingers, and ate it with boiled cabbage and some frozen home made cauliflower cheese, very tasty and just what i faniced as a bit of "soul food" when feeling under par.

I have started thinking about upcoming expenditure and gave myself a shock about April. It suddenly came to me in April I will need to pay the Utilities again, pay my car tax, buy a present for The Chap's milestone birthday and the service charge on W Towers will be going up. So I need to start planning now.

I also came to the conclusion yesterday after putting £30 of petrol in the car that the money left in my current account will not last until the beginning of February when I get paid next. I was being a little optimistic, I think, as at the beginning of Jan (if you remember) I put £300 away into savings to pay for the gas and electricity. When that bill arrived I actually did not go into savings to pay it. So if I do end up taking some cash say £50 or £100 from my savings to help me through the next 2 week, then I really think that it will still be a win for January, some money put aside in savings and over 8% off my debt.

ANOTHER FRUGAL FIVE FOR YOU
  1. Did you know your freezer is most energy efficient when full, as it takes less energy to keep the drawers at the required temperature. Lesson: keep it full. When cooking make too much and freeze the rest into portion sizes. The same is true of your oven. When baking, fill up the spare space with baking trays and tins. More energy efficient, better for the environment and lowering your utilities bill.
  2. Always look for alternatives, a case in point. I belong to a book club and need to read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. My local library did not have it, so I posted a Wanted on Freecycle, Within 12 hours I had received an email offering a 1970s copy of the book. From a lady half a mile from my home. All free. Great!
  3. Mend it! Always, look at the option of mending an item, even in todays throw away society, big money can be saved. A man 10 miles from me mends Dysons for £35, and The Chap recently got his xbox mended for £25. But this month’s award goes to my sister. My nephew dropped her iphone about a week ago smashing the glass back. Apple wanted £200 to repair it. She googled her problem and found a “You Tube” clip on repairing her phone. She then had to buy the special screwdriver and a new back, which came in at £25. It took her 5 minutes to do it herself. Now that is a great saving!
  4. Shopping, do not get tempted with "buy one, get one half price" deals in the supermarkets. Ask yourself, "Do I need another?" As when you buy these deals then you are SPENDING more money, not saving yourself money. This is a good lesson also in any sale. You are NEVER saving money at a sale but spending less.
  5. If you live in the UK, join Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert website and sign up for his weekly emails. I have had free pizzas, cheap shoes and countless deals because of this man. Well worth the 2minutes it takes. Plus you only get 1 email per week and no spam.
Off to see The Chap tonight as been a week since I saw him last. Really looking forward to it!

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

It Is Good To Talk or You Are Not Alone

You are not alone.

It is January 2012 and you sit down to look at what you want to do this year, perhaps a nice holiday or a new car?

And slowly you realize that the debt that you were in in 2011 has grown and the £8000 is now £12,000.

It seems like all around you your peers, friends and family are enjoying the good life, holidays, expensive technical toys and fancy cars. They do not appear to be in debt so why are you?

Well, what I want to say is it is good to talk.

About 12 months ago when I really got the money saving bug, I started talking to my friends and family. I explained I was in debt and trying to pay it back, that my credit card took priority over a dinner out or an expensive weekend away. 

Honesty breeds honesty and it is an important tool in changing your financial habits. I am not saying ask you next door neighbour or friend how much debt they are in. But often if you tell someone they will tell you. Then, you realize you are not alone.

You  will discover that probably a lot of those around you are in debt too, you may even find that yours is minimal compared to those you envy.  Someone might be scathing, (well they have been with me) but I do not care, this is my business and I am taking care of it. Some might even say they have not got any debt. Take into account they could be lying.

Often that Wii, Ipad, new car, or even the deposit on a house has been paid on a credit card. Did you know the average UK credit card debt per household for 2012 is £7,982. Well if that is the average, there are many people out there without debt and many with a significantly higher figure. Ask yourself as you look at those you compare yourself with, which out of these two categories do you think they will be in? 

However, it has made me realize that I AM alone when it comes to paying everything back. Not many others are.

Paying back the money, makes me feel good

I will in 12 months be debt free, will they? I will be able to fall asleep and only worry about the mortgage, which I know I can afford.

In talking about finance with others, we stop pretending to be richer than we are, and therefore we stop feeling we are owed the new car, the ipad and the ensuite bathroom.

Talking is a good thing, and one I intend to continue to keep doing.

As a slight aside, I went out at lunchtime today and spent £2, nearly 27% of my weekly cash budget from Sunday, but I did get 3 tins of diet coke and a multi pack of crisps which should last me the rest of the week at lunchtime. You have got to love Poundland!. 

Total left: £3.80.

Frugally yours

Abigail

x