(image from en.wikipedia.org)
I still have to find £699.84 for the savings challenge I set myself this year, and now I have just one month to do it. I am fairly confident that I can do this, knowing roughly what money I have coming in, and what expenses I have to cover this month. It is still do-able....at least I am thinking positively. I have done some of the things on the plan to achieve that figure, and some of them are being more successful than others.
The spending in November went a little haywire. It wasn't helped by odd things like the optician's appointment I made because I am convinced that my eyesight has deteriorated. The optician agreed with me, charging me £27.50 to tell me that although he agrees, he thinks that because I have had a cold, the likelihood is that a virus has affected the muscles in my eyes, and he would rather re-test after Christmas than have new glasses now. Mmmm - that sounds like risking another £27.50 to be told that I am OK, perhaps. I'll see how they go over the holidays and into January before I rush into another appointment.
The house insurance, although a lot cheaper than last year, also had to be paid in November, and I have bought some things in for Christmas. It is likely that I have actually done the bulk of the spending in November and that December won't be that bad. I have had an AF delivery, I have stocked up on shower gels from Boots, and now also on shampoo and bubble bath since Tesco had offers on both today, and the house is pretty well stocked up again.
The Winter Fuel Payment came in for the FH this week, so we are likely to order some oil soon. The tank is half full, so I am keeping my eye on the prices. We need oil, but we are far from desperate, so no need to pay ridiculous prices for express deliveries. We also have heaps of wood in the workshop, so the house is pretty cosy - not hot - but with the fire, hot water bottles, cosy rugs and hot drinks, we are all staying warm in these cold evenings.
I am also "banking" rewards which I may not use until after Christmas - I have £24 in yougov which will not pay out until it reaches £50, so still some way to go with that one. Shop-and-Scan has so far paid me £19 which I can convert into vouchers when it gets to £20, and I already have a £10 Amazon voucher sitting here, waiting to be used. The Shop-and-Scan will probably become Amazon vouchers as well, and then I will have £30 to spend. I am hoping to get some more books for the Faith & Worship course which would be useful as I already have my eye on a little prayer book that I have seen a copy of and have been hoping to get one of my own.
I am reading the electricity meter weekly and submitting the reading to Scottish Power online each time, which is helping me to keep track more accurately of how much power we are using. I know that we are "high users" but they have us on a DD which amounts to £19 a week, whereas we are currently [sorry!] using about £14 a week. I will track it for a little longer and then I might try to ask for the DD to be reconsidered.
I am waiting for some parcels to arrive from BzzAgent. We did the Dove shampoo and conditioner campaign and now we have been asked to review some other products - a Knorr gravy or stock pot, and J20 fridge packs of juice. The girls are looking forward to the juice, and the FH to the gravy. I doubt I will personally be able to use either.....