Living on a budget! Not always fun but necessary for everyone! I used budget brain and updated it to show alterations of standing orders and overpayments. Please excuse the big gaps between pictures today but I have screen copies from the budgetbrain website and the format isn’t easy to port over. Double click to see the budget below.
You can see these pictures by double clicking them. It makes you put everything on the sheets, from boiler insurance to life insurance. Our clothing allowance is £30 a month and that includes shoes for both of us although that’s mainly limited to a new pair of work shoes once a year. As you may already know I buy my clothes from car boot sales, charity shops and posh things from ebay.
Living off a immovable budget is difficult. It means you have to forgo spontaneity and plan for activities. You can never just ‘go shopping’ unless you have set aside a specific set amount to take and you take that in cash and nothing else. You can not afford meals out and birthday and Christmas presents are always handmade. You start to live very very differently and start to put money aside for trips to relatives as you know you need some spare money for the fuel to get there.
What ever we have left at the end of the month goes onto credit card bills. Every so often, we’ll log onto our accounts and see what the ‘odds’ are. If I have £243.26 in my account, I will often transfer £3.26 over to a credit card account and what ever I have left at the end of the month goes onto my 0% credit card to over pay it even more and pay off what I can. It leaves so very little for anything else that a day out, or something for the house has to be very carefully thought through. If I need a new coat, then I have to make some extra money to do this. If we need anything at all we try and sell something to pay for it, or we wait until payday to spend what’s left if there is anything left.
We also try to have a treat, usually on pay day it’s about ten quid which we spend on wine, some chocolate and a big bag of crisps. We always factor in a couple of days out a month where we spend a few pounds on some diesel and get out for a day here and there. I also buy a few craft items to make presents from. This month I bought coconut oil, cocoa butter and Shea butter to make some ‘posh’ soap for presents for family and friends. I will spend money on ingredients for mince meat, Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings, which are also for presents this month too. So a bigger than average spend for the end of September.
I know there are people who read my blog who are: careful with money and are living OK, some are in debt and are already doing something about it, some are on low fixed incomes such as a pension and are using their frugal skills to live as comfortably as possible and some people who need to embark on the journey and lifestyle I am on, but haven’t jumped in with both feet just yet.
Where ever you are and who ever you are, make a budget. Know what you have. Know where it’s going. You may see, like we did, that there is a little bit of slack and we can pay a little bit more to our debts each month or not worry when the dogs need grooming. We have as Foster Mummy says ‘nuff pence’ and we’re getting by in style. I don’t mean to boast but I’m blogging on my lap top whilst wrapped up in bed with the leccy blanket on and I’m deliciously toasty. DB is next to me and reading and our pets are at our feet. All is well!