Friday, 28 June 2013

Spending like crazy!

It feels like the money is flowing from the household uncontrollably this month, which is quite scary.  Lots of things have conspired to come together to make June a spend, spend, spend month, and I can't say that I like it much!

I have yet to finalise the month's spending and saving totals completely, but I will do that at the weekend.  Looking ahead to July, I can see that the spending will continue a little.

So what are we spending on?  Apart from stocking up the cupboards, which I will post on at the end of the month when I have rounded up all the figures, it is things like travel and trips in particular.

The YFG has had two school trips which I have paid for this month - one to Kew Gardens this week [£16] and one as a reward for her hard work and achievements this year, which is a bowling/cinema trip with the school [£17.50], and then there is her trip to France this week coming - I have paid for the trip itself but now she needs wellies for walking about the battlefields and trenches apparently, as well as euros [blagged from Grandad!] and some cash for a meal on the way home.

York Minster
(image from

Within June, I took the EFG to Lincoln [£30+ trainfare] and then to Norwich to UEA [diesel costs] but on 3rd July we need to go to York for the day.  Given that we have not booked the train tickets months in advance, and we have no railcards that we can use on the day [because the YFG isn't coming] it is going to cost me £192 for two of us to go for a day return.  £192!  You read that right.  Yes, I could drive, but it would be about 3.5 hours there, and the same back, as well as a full day on my feet walking about the university, and we need to be there by 9.30am.....and I can't do that to myself - I would be exhausted for days afterwards.  Staying the night beforehand would be tricky and inconvenient, and we certainly can't stay the night afterwards to spread the driving because the next morning, Thursday, is when the YFG is off to France and I need to be here to wave her off!  We will be catching a train at about 6am though, so it will still be a very long and tiring day, but I can hope for a snooze on the train between Peterborough and York.

I have thought about getting the EFG a Young Person's Railcard, but at £30, funnily enough, it will save just £31 off the cost of this journey.  We are not great train-travellers, so it doesn't seem worth it at the moment. Once she is at university in the Autumn of 2014, depending on where she goes, it will be a worthwhile investment, I do agree. I am just hoping we are able to go to Aberystwyth on a Saturday Open day so that we can drive over there on the Friday afternoon and then have the Sunday to recover!

This trip will see the third university, and with the Welsh trip coming up in the autumn, and UEA now off the list for sure, we may have two more trips to make - on the other hand, she may have to do as I did and apply to some that she hasn't visited!  I only visited two of the five that I applied to back in the day, and I was very lucky to get a place at one of those I had seen and loved.

St Mary's College, St Andrews where I studied
(image from

I am spending the money for my own sake, and because the EFG thinks that York might be a serious contender in her list of places to apply for Biochemistry.  I am counting my blessings indeed that I have the funds available, and that the only thing going short will be the savings account again.  This is the kind of spending that I save towards, if you see what I mean - I know that my saving has a purpose in that I will be able to do those things which the family needs to do, without bunging it on a credit card and skimping for months to pay it back.

Don't get me started on the clothes/shoes we are worrying about for the cruise - we are going to be scouring the charity shops for some evening clothes on a fairly regular basis between now and the end of August!


Meanqueen said...

Have you broken your journey to York into segments? Sometimes buying more than one ticket for parts of the journey is cheaper than buying one ticket for the whole journey.

Frugal in Bucks said...

I can't believe the train fare-£192! Wow.
I drive to my parents which is about 2 hours and always feel tired afterwards, it's all the concentration. I do hope your money sieve stops soon, I feel like that too sometimes, usually cars.

Good luck

SarahElisabeth Jones said...

We've been spending on uni open days too-the travel adds up. Feeling mean here as our daughter has been on her own or with friends from school.

Hoping for a relatively close uni for the trips at the beginning and end of term.

Morgan said...

@SarahEllisabeth - yes, I am also hoping for a uni that is not too far from home for all those trips once she has a place somewhere. I wish that the EFG had been able to go to some of these events with her friends, but sadly not many of them are that interested, and those who are seem to be putting it off until the autumn. I am lucky to be able to go with her, but it is from a selfish point of view as well in that I want to see these places and know where she might be come 2014!

mallowlark said...

I second the idea to try splitting the journey into two segments and pricing them separately. It's a little bit of a faff to check the various possibilities, but sometimes it can knock £10 or £20 off the fare. There might also still be advance tickets available for one leg.

Also, when she goes to uni, if she gets a student bank account, at least a few years ago a number of them offered a five year young person's railcard as a sweetener when you opened the account.