Monday, 17 December 2012

Halfway through the month financials

(image from

Monday is that day again, when I get the calculator out, read the meters, see how we are getting along.

It was going OK, until the postwoman came with the letters, and then it went a lot better!

I claimed a small amount of PPI back from a credit card company.  I hadn't heard anything for a while, but this morning there was a letter to say that I am entitled to £238 back - what a result.

I only paid small amounts of PPI on a card for about 18 months, a long time ago, before I was as financially aware as I am now.  I was doing a lot of bookselling, and using the card to buy the books [because it is connected to a major supermarket and it was getting me points if I used it] but I paid it off each month.  Well, the months I bought a lot of books, I could be paying £8 or £9 in PPI, and I didn't realise to start with that this wasn't compulsory.  As soon as I did, I cancelled it.  When I was having a clear out a few months ago, I found all the old statements with the PPI amounts on them, and thought that it would be worth trying to get it back.  I totted it up and it came to just over £100.  They are paying me back with interest, though.

And I did this all on my own, with no help from any PPI claims company.  It was very easy!

The last invoice has been submitted for the gymnastics after-school club, and I am waiting for that cheque to arrive, and I am fairly confident that I will make the target for the year now.  If the PPI money comes in before the end of the year, that will be a bonus.

As to the electricity meter, we are settling at about £12 a week, give or take pence.  I would like to get it down a little further, but I have to be realistic.  I am running a sewage treatment plant in the garden, 3 freezers, 2 fridges, the FH's CPAP machine overnight, one desktop PC most of the day, as well as all the other stuff, so that perhaps isn't too high a rate.

Spending wise, we are up in some categories, like groceries and chicken food, because I hope to spend less over the Christmas period because I don't intend to go out much!   The activities budget is down because the YFG has only had two piano lessons this month, and is done now until January.  I hadn't spent anything on cat food for ages because we had stocked up using the Tesco double up vouchers last time they had cat food on it, but this month I have bought some dry cat food from Lidl's, which is still the cheapest I can find which the cat likes.

Christmas preparations are going well.  The cards are written, and when I unearth the book of stamps, I will be posting them off at 2010 prices!  I bought 2 books of 100 stamps back then, and I still have half a book left, so I am pleased to be able to be posting my cards off at a reduced rate to me.  Shame I'll have to buy more soon though.  [Edit - I have had to buy some as I ran out!  Not as many left as I had hoped.] I don't do First Class any more for anything - it just isn't worth it, and we find that in many cases, things posted second class still get there the next day.  I have three wee parcels ready to send out, and there will be one more to go when the final component for the present arrives soon [hoping for it to be here tomorrow] and then all the posting will be done.

This morning I have ordered the replacement part for my glasses at the optician, and I hope it will be there tomorrow - I am managing with the contacts, but I am finding it hard to do "close" work like reading and writing and knitting - I am managing on the computer now because I have shifted the monitor back a little, but I still have to squint at the keyboard sometimes!

This afternoon, I am going to do some meal planning and shopping lists.  I have the delivery coming from Rosspa on Friday, and I know what is in the parcel, but there are a few speciality items [like my FreeFrom pitta breads] that I have just got to go to the shops for.  We will be diving in and out on Saturday afternoon, so at least then if there is anything missing from the delivery, I can get it then.  I will be going well armed with patience and stamina.

I took in two chickens yesterday from a friend who says he hasn't time to look after them any longer.  They are basic brown hens, and I hope that they are settling in with my flock OK today; I keep going out there to make sure that they are all right and eating and drinking.  I would worry if they were being hassled or standing alone, but they have been happy each time I have been out.  Hoping that they are in lay, as we could do with a few more eggs each day.

Hope you all have a great week x

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