Hello Dear Reader,
Sorry, if you’re seeing my blog in capital letters. I didn’t type it like that. There’s some sort of glitch in WordPress that I can’t fix right now. My apologies.
I had a bit of a chat with folks on Facebook about this. I was inspired when you contacted me Dear Reader, no more details than that but I thought I’d open the debate on this one. If you don’t budget for everything then those little bits and pieces can and will just pop up and catch you out and the next thing you know is that you’ll be spending money.
So, do you really budget for everything?
Here’s what I’ve got to budget for over the next twelve months.
Dog’s booster injections
Four trips to the vet in France before we come home each time – 32 euros each time for all three.
Two dental check ups and any subsequent treatment.
Eye test and any subsequent change of prescriptions and need for new glasses
Four ferry trips to France about £1200!
Four Christmas presents and four birthday presents
Car/home/French home insurance
Replacing my hair straighteners (feel free to send me yours if you don’t use them 😉
New work clothes/shoes next August for September for both of us.
Wood for the fire here and France.
Taxe Fonciere and Habitation in France, one payable by October and the other by December.£780
Materials for stud walls and two doors – for France
Materials to build a new shed here.
Paint for our utility room and down stairs loo floor and walls.
£500 a month to go into a long term savings account.
£250 a month to go into an immediate savings account, mainly to pay for the French water/electricity/tax/garden maintenance/renovations.
I think sometimes, we don’t take the time to think ahead at the year and budget for everything. We’re mostly on top of the bills, the housing costs, our food cost, the expense of transport, whether that’s rail season tickets or the running cost of a car. We also know, we do don’t we? how much we have spare each month after the immediate bills are paid.
If you have children at home then I remember well, in the days when I was less financially astute than I am now that costs can and will creep up if you’re not ready. If you’re a parent can you all join in and leave comments about the ‘fund raising’ over the year. You’ll know about World book day, Children in Need, CLIC sargent, Christmas parties and schools can often have information on their web page. I remember those dreaded letters in the bag! (Seriously, they used to make me seethe, I barely had money in those days to feed and clothe them, let alone give money away!) So, let’s help each other out of this one.
Then there’s family issues such as weddings, but remember, you can always say no. We turned down every invitation for years as we couldn’t afford to go. Now, I can admit, I don’t like weddings at all and still don’t go but not many people are like me. There’s Christmas, again, we don’t like it and don’t bother with either but most people do and it’s 91 days until Christmas so if you haven’t made financial arrangements, you have three salary payments to put what you can aside.
If it happens every year, then it needs to be in the budget every month or you’ll have to have the front to just say no and having done that, I know it’s tough. We stopped going to ‘works do’s’ in all the years we couldn’t afford to go and now we still don’t go. We budget differently and it is tough saying no but it can be done. If you want to go then it needs to go into the budget. £25 Christmas work do? You better get saving £2.08 a month.
If you’ve been reading my blog a while, you’ll know I’ve given up having my hair dyed and it was partly an economic decision as the white roots came through every three weeks. It cost £750 a year to get my roots done professionally. Now I just factor £25 a month for a hair cut and have saved £450 a year. As you can see from the list above, that money will be subsumed into the budget very easily. I intend to spend some of that money having more fun instead of coloured hair. Today, we went to see the new Brigit Jones film. It was the first time we’d been to the cinema in seventeen years. I wish I could have pressed pause when I went to the loo! Next month, we’ll do something else as well, I’m eyeing up the Cornish Pirates rugby home fixtures and we’ll go and see them.
So, if any of us are going to get on top of finances and on top of our budgets then we have to budget for everything that we’re going to spend money on any way. You can of course decide to not spend money which is more or less what we’ve done for years or you can be realistic and set aside money every month so you’re not squeezed by: new glasses, a costume for World book day, the office whip round for the retiree, new tyres for the car.
Over to you Dear Reader, if you’re a parent or work in a school, what can families financially prepare for? Also, leave a comment about anything any of us can be financially prepared for?
Love Froogs xxx