Now that we are in September, I can look back at August and see what went right and what could have gone better!
We are now in the last third of the year, and possibly the most expensive for a lot of people. We have to start [if we haven't already, of course] making preparations for a family and religious time of celebration in late December - Christmas. I'm going to start thinking about that once the children are back at school later this week.
Anyway, looking back first to what happened in August:
- We sold the box trailer for £1100 and I put £700 into the ISA very quickly! The remaining balance is being kept handy for the costs involved in putting a towbar onto the Fiesta and sourcing a cheap and probably secondhand small trailer, just big enough to pick up a few pallets occasionally, or some straw bales for the chook runs.
- We kept the petrol/diesel budget well in check because we were at home a lot during the holidays.
- The food budget for the month got blown [again!] because I did some restocking from last month AND I got two deliveries from Approved Foods, so the cupboards are full again. I feel better when I have food in the house for everyone!! If we were to average £40 a week for the rest of the year, we'd come in on target for the year. Somehow, I don't think that is going to happen, but it is something to shoot towards.
- In addition to the £700 in the ISA, I also managed to put £250 into savings.
- My car was serviced and MOT'd, and I had a serious bill of nearly £300 to deal with for that.
- The EFG finally made her concrete decision to attend the local college and I could order her bus pass - it arrived this month and my cheque for £450 was cashed. That felt a little painful, even though it had been planned for and saved! I have left the Travel Fund account open, so it is there to start stashing the next £450 away by next July - £45 a month would do it.
And looking forward to September and beyond:
- I have had a letter about house insurance from a company I haven't heard of - PolicyExpert - offering house and contents insurance for only about £185 - considerably cheaper than the £250 I paid last year. Has anyone heard of this company or used them? I have until the end of October to sort out the house insurance, but I like to shop around a little, so I do start in September.
- I am having a 40th birthday party at the end of the month, so I am going to make some savings across the board in order to fund that, in addition to the sealed pot, which hasn't had as much in it since we went on holiday as I would have liked! This is not going to be a particularly expensive party, as it won't involve alcohol - we are holding it in the chapel, so alcohol is not allowed, and it is going to be an afternoon tea anyway. I am going to get the invitations out early this week so that I know by the middle of the month how many I am catering for. This will also be a fundraiser, the proceeds of which will be shared between the chapel and Macmillan cancer care.
- The day before the party is the Macmillan Coffee morning so that will also involve some baking - pennies will be spent on extra flour and margerine, etc in preparation for that, and I just have to keep my fingers crossed that the hens keep laying eggs for me!
- I read daily on MSE how people are becoming worried about changes to benefits and price rises in all sorts of areas, but especially food, due to the strange weather we have had this year - too much rain here and too little in other areas of the world, so everything from flour, bread and wheat will be going up, alongside potatoes and dairy, it seems. I try not to worry too much, but I am keeping my stocks at a reasonable level. I am not hoarding hundreds of bags of flour, tea or tins of beans, though!
- I will be spending time at the library in town on a weekly basis as the YFG's ballet lesson has been put back by half an hour on a Saturday afternoon so I have more time to kill. We come out of gym at 1pm, and now we have to wait until 2.15pm for ballet to even begin - I am not that happy about this change - and it runs for an hour, so I will be taking up residence in the library for some of this time. I can use the time on my coursework, and reading, as well as looking for some new recipes and household or gardening tips. The journey home may only take 10 minutes, but I am thinking of the diesel I would be wasting going back and forth.
How is your September looking? I am trying to anticipate the expenses and be prepared!