hard cheese

I’m going to need to steel my resolve, to find my Blitz spirit and polish up my cliches to get through this month. It’s truly wonderful that Dearly Beloved is 100% eye candy as he’s going to be all I’ll see this coming month! I have had to work out a very tough budget for May and we will have to grit our teeth to get through it!

Every month we sit down (well, we do now that we’ve come to our senses……….if only we’de done this yaars ago!) and write out our budget for the month. We leave nothing to chance and make sure we’re putting money aside for car tax, water rates (now that we’re metered), clothes, birthdays and Christmas, car tyres, and eventualities. We then know what we have to spend on food. This month we have a big food budget of £64.82; we don’t need that much and will be able to direct more money towards debt payments. It’s going to be a very very tough month though as we have to renew the house/contents insurance and the car insurance. We hoped we would have a few days camping in August, but it is not looking likely. We should see a reduction in our utilities now that we have cheaper tariffs and we’re being very stingy with gas and electricity.
Here on my spreadsheet I can see every penny coming in and out, what we have to put by for bills we don’t pay monthly and what we have left to go shopping with. There is nothing for going out and there are two bank holiday weekend, so I hope the weather will be kind to us and allow us time on the moors with a picnic.


14 thoughts on “hard cheese

  1. wow i really respect that you openly put such personal facts out there.

    was there a particular turning point/event that caused you to change your outlook so much? you allude to the fact that your approach has not always been thus.


  2. just had a look at your spreadsheet, are your payments to n-power for the month?
    we pay £8 wk gas/£7 wk electric since we moved to british gas last year and we are on monthly bills, our gas bill last month was £33 and electric was £29
    Josie x


  3. yep, our gas and electric is that a month. it will adjust and come down, until recently there were five adult living under this roof and we used to have a tumble dryer – it will be half that after the next meter reading


  4. Hi there – I reinsured our house with Swinton and got a really good deal on paying by monthly installments – normally I avoid this like the plague, but they took the 30% interest off so it was just the same as paying all at once. Have you just decided to be so frugal? I thought you must have been at it for years you are so practised at it.


  5. Hi – I've been reasonably frugal for years. Had camping holidays, not bought household items on credit. We're lost out financially due to house prices being so high in comparison to our wages. Houses here cost 15 X the average wage and for years we were both on minimum wage so most of our debts are historic. Credit cards to buy the kids clothes, pay for bills…now we're only just catching up. Also last year I decided to down size and needed to sell my house quickly (which I did) and renovated the whole place on a credit card; only to discover that we couldn't get another mortgage; due to our borrowing ratio to earnings. We were then stuck in a house we can't afford. We also incurred debts with our kids education as both were at college at one stage.


  6. I might come across as a bit nosey but am just interested because the wanting to downsize is just like me. do you mean you had an offer on your house but decided not to move because you could not get a mortgage for your next move?

    If so and your house is still fairly sizable, lodgers can significantly boost income.


  7. Hi Greenflag nose away! we sold the house last year and the best we could get was 245000, (we have a 217000 mortgage)for the house, after orginally paying 295000 – so we took a bit hit, was almost bought at 130000 and would have an affordable repayment mortgage. Santander would not give us a mortgage, we went to the under writers and they wouldn't budge. We could have got mortages else where but could not afford to pay a 9K redemption fee! so we're stuck! we will move in 2012 when we are out of this fixed mortgage, by then we hope to have eradicated all my personal debt. We have a lodger, who is problematic as he hasn't paid us yet. The only way out of this is to overpay on every debt we have and leave ourselves with just enough to live on. So no holidays, no replacing anything that breaks, no eating out, no days out – it's tough but we have no way out but to did shovel by shovel to get out of this!


  8. oh i see.

    it is a pity about the lodger. i am sure you are on to it about getting money out of them or them out of the house.

    have you thought about moving out altogether and renting your whole house out? you live in a lovely part of the world i should think you could get good rent for it to cover your mortgage. then you could rent something cheaper yourself.

    just think though that when the olympic opening ceremony begins how good you will feel. you will have run your marathon before they even start.

    also explore houseswaps. i am sure among your followers you could achieve one.

    we did one 2 years ago and it was absolutley brillient. I will post about it on blog soon. it is one my list of possible future posts.



  9. we investigated renting our house out and found we coudl get 750 per month for it, which doesn't pay our mortgage as we'de still have to pay the insurance in case the tenants didn't and we would be fraudulent in our mortgage if we didn't live here. I work with my lodger and he lodges 3 nights a week, i'll press him for money and if he doesn't cough up, we'll ask him to leave and advertise locally for a lodger, the only problem with that is that my daughter flits in and out and is actually home with us for a while as she needs caring for at the moment


  10. It's good you are so possitive with such a clear goal – I couldn't downsize much more than I have allready, and still I can't cover the cost of day to day living – food is a huge cost to say there are just the two of us, and even though I have swapped and swapped again with gas and electric, we seam to be getting through over £100 a month in just the electric, I think it must be leaking down the drain!

    The more I keep up with your blog, the more inspired I feel to make really big cut backs, though there is very little I can cut back more on! it can feel quite claustrophobic at times.



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