(image from dhs.state.mn.us)
Middle of the month and time to round up the money again and see where we are with the targets!
The first positive point is that I have already added £305 to the savings pot, so that is about 40% of the total for the month achieved. More will be heading in that direction as it becomes available.
Going through my spreadsheet, I can see the following:
- I have only spent less than half of the allocated money on the chook food - the supplier I get it from is on holiday and I had to get slightly more in December, so I have another order to go in at the end of the month when she comes home, but I still have a good stock and should keep this within budget.
- No spending on cat food necessary this month as we have a good supply of dry food from Lidl's which will keep us going for at least another 6-8 weeks.
- Spending on food, as already reported, has been above what I aimed for it to be specifically in January, but still well within the annual monthly budget. This will be fine, and I will try to make significant savings in this area for the rest of the month.
- Activities - only one piano lesson so far this month, but a theory exam to be paid for this month that will happen next month. I didn't know that that was coming as the piano teacher just told me last Thursday, so that is about £20-£25 to pay out [will find out exact amount tomorrow] but there is enough in that "pot" to cover it.
- Only 19p spent on medications this month so far - for one pack of supermarket paracetamol.
- The OH's lunch club has yet to meet this month because of the extended Christmas break that they took and this week's meeting being cancelled because of the weather, but he is going to take the chaps out to a local cafe today for lunch so I am anticipating a spend there of about £6 or so, but sometimes the other chaps pay for this lunch because he is taking them out in the car and they contribute to the petrol expenses in that way, so there isn't always a cost when he goes out to lunch.
- The household/cleaning budget is slightly overspent already this month but the loo roll mountain accounts for that, and the lack of need to spend in that area for some months will consequently bring that back into line.
- There has been some "miscellaneous" spending, including school trousers for the YFG, the second load of logs, a couple of packets of seeds, and a cast iron casserole. None of these have broken the bank, and they were all necessary! The cast iron casserole replaced a Le Creuset £50-in-2000 pot I was given as a housewarming gift back then, and I had been constantly looking for a new one since that was was burned to death last year. I have stock pots, and I have casserole dishes for putting in the oven, but I was lacking the ability to start something off on the hob and then bung it in the oven, and I really missed that, since I have a couple of favourite recipes which do that, and I was fed up of mucking up a saute pan and a casserole dish! So I found a non-branded £19.50 reduced from quite a lot more pot in Tesco, and I bought it. It is in a fetching shade of grey which matches nothing, but it is what I needed to make those recipes, and I am so pleased to have got it. It also means I can have a go at a bread recipe I have seen on Pinterest which makes a free form loaf baked in one in the oven. A new Le Creuset version was going to be over £80, so I have made a satisfactory choice.
That was the good news. Now the less positive:
- The grill has completely died. The OH is muttering about a new cooker, I am shooting for a new element in the grill. He has a point because the main oven has a tendency to run very hot and burn things on one side, and it may be a false economy to replace the grill and then have to replace the rest later in the year.....we have been talking about a new cooker for a year or so. I may encourage him to talk for a while longer and manage without the grill...
- My laptop is at the computer man's house up the road. I am waiting to hear whether it is repairable or terminal........this is the laptop which the YFG uses for homework and to watch DVDs, which may seem low-priority but in a multi-generational household, it has a significant impact on peace-keeping! I am keeping everything crossed that it can be repaired.
- I still have to pay the tax (£100) and insurance on the Skoda this month.
- I had a letter yesterday to say that my online ISA interest rate is dropping from 2.75% to 1% because the extra was an introductory bonus. I have looked and can find a new ISA with the same provider which comes in at 2.20%, which whilst not great, is the best I can do without locking the money away for 2 years, which would still only garner 2.30%, and is hardly worth losing the comfort of having access to the money. I have to organise getting to the branch and managing the transfer before the end of the month when the rate changes.
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