(image from keepers.info)
This has been an expensive month, which isn't unexpected, given that it has been Christmas, but the expenses have reflected other things beyond the festive celebrations.
- The chicken food bill was nearly doubled as I had to order enough to see them through to the middle of January.
- The grocery figure is quite high as we have had guests for the holidays on quite a few days and have had some different foods which we have enjoyed over the season, but which we don't have all the time.
- My particular/special food budget has been stretched whilst I made the most of a special offer on some seed bars, which were on offer for a limited time.
- The household pot has been stretched by buying a four year supply of washing machine cleaner in an attempt to minimise damage to the machinery by our hard water in this area.
- The "other" bit of my budget has also had a dent in it, due to me finally getting round to acquiring some photo frames for some photos of the YFG at her recent gym competitions [she is now up on the wall and looking splendid, so money well spent], posting parcels to friends and relatives at Christmas, paying for the ROSSPA delivery, and having a bulb replaced in my car by Halfords.
- We invested in the logs from my friend's son...
On a more positive note, though:
- I used less than one third of the fuel [diesel/petrol] budget.
- The "activities" pot was hardly dented as there were no payments to make, and piano finished early.
- We are doing well health-wise and little has been spent on medications.
- I have discovered that Tesco's ink is OK in the printer, and so I can buy their cartridges at £9 instead of full-price HP versions.
- Most significantly, I have been entering our electricity meter readings every Monday for a couple of months, and when I went to the website today to enter today's reading, I was delighted to find a message from Scottish Power, saying that our DD will be reduced to £56 a month, leaving an extra £20 a month in our pockets. Given that at the beginning of the year, we were paying £114 a month to Utility Warehouse, I am thrilled to have halved our electricity bill this year! We don't seem to be using significantly less, but I think Scottish Power have more reasonable rates.
My 2013 household management folder is all ready for the year to begin tomorrow, and I am hoping to do as well as I have done this year, and maybe even better! I know that there are areas of spending on which I could improve, but there are things we all do which are peculiar to us and make life worth living. We each need to decide on our own priorities.