Since the FH died, our income has changed quite drastically, and we have to sort out new streams of income - which are still in the process. As a result, I know that I have to modify our budget to work alongside our new level of income. Since there will only be the YFG and I here after the end of this month, I am really setting up a new budget just for the two of us, so it is quite a change. The EFG will be almost financially independent with her student finance package, and I won't need to budget for her needs most of the year. When I know about the amounts we will have available to us, we will be able to fine tune the budget, but this month I thought that I had better make a start. I have kept all the receipts as I usually do, even though I had been lax about organising and recording the spending in specific categories on my charts. I spent some time this afternoon sorting them out, and was a little alarmed at the size of the heap, but relieved to find that whilst the number of receipts seemed a lot, the actual spending wasn't that big - our food spend was well within the old budget, and only about £30 over the new one that I set today.
Some of the costs of living here don't change however many of us there are, whereas other things should be quite different. We have lost some of the perks of old age that the FH used to be entitled to, like the free television license, and the Winter Fuel Payment. We will need to buy a tv license in October, so we have a couple of month's grace on that. It isn't likely that I will reduce my diesel fuel costs much, for example, because the FH didn't use a lot of fuel, apart from when he was in hospital and our daily visits did bump it up - but he was worth it! Neither did he cost much in clothing as he pottered around the house and garden in his comfy old clothes and rarely wanted anything new, so we used to buy him new clothes for his birthday and Christmas. We obviously won't have the costs associated with the FH's little Fiesta any longer but one of my jobs for this month is to find it a new home!
Our food budget has been lowered, I have cancelled a magazine subscription and suspended, with great regret, my Compassion child's support for six months whilst we see how this new system works and indeed, whilst I look for a job. I really hope to re-instate that as soon as I can. Other areas of spending are also being reduced, and I think that the two of us will manage on the new amounts. I will probably cut back on life insurance now as well, since I have two policies and I think that one would suffice and would save us £15 a month. I have applied for the single-adult Council Tax reduction and hope that that will come through by the time that the September payment is due. I am pretty sure that I can get the monthly electricity payment reduced in the next few months when the regular meter readings begin to show a reduction in usage.
I am continuing with the side avenues that I have had for some time for earning a little extra now and again - surveys on YouGov and the Shop&Scan habit - that has just scored me £60 of Amazon vouchers, which are coming in handy towards gifts at this time of year.
Job hunting continues, and my sister has linked me in to a job at a local garden centre for which I shall send in my CV this week, even though I have little experience in that area! It would be interesting....and a neighbour with whom I was chatting at the BBQ last night also thinks that there might be some vacancies at her daughter's place of work which would be suitable for me to consider, so I shall wait to hear from her this week about those. I continue to look through the listings for local jobs on websites in the area, but in reality, I am aware that I really want a part time job of about 20-25 hours a week, in order to balance the need to earn some money with the desire to continue with the voluntary work and the F&W course for the church. It'll happen when the right job comes along.
Unconventional money saving
30 minutes ago