For the last few months, we’ve all been pootling along merrily, more or less, with varying degrees of merry depending on how close to Monday it is. By Sunday afternoon all can tell by my ghastly expression that work beckons… but that’s for another time.
We did our usual thing in January, allowing ourselves a spending budget for the sales. This time, however, we decided to go a bit further with loosening the belt. We’ve got the house now, and we need to spend money on it, but there are also other things we need to buy for ourselves… and I don’t mean new toothbrushes, I mean nice things that we could possibly live without, but that would greatly enhance our happiness.
I’m not saying that shopping leads to happiness, but that acquiring a long-awaited, much valued and useful item can bring a lot of satisfaction.
|My new Fiorelli handbag – I’ve been waiting for a new handbag for sooo long!|
What we did in January was to give ourselves allowances. I’ll tell you what they are but you’ll have to brace yourself because depending on your own spending habits, this’ll seem either horribly miserly or horribly frivolous. At the beginning of the year we each received £100 for personal spending. This was the January limit, but each month thereafter we would receive £30. Whatever was left would carry over to the next month, so no pressure to spend it all. We did the same for the home improvements budget, but that got £200 in January and £100 a month thereafter. We set £40 a month for family fun – general days out and the assorted attendant bits and pieces.
Well, some of that budget worked and some of it tanked. I went nuts with freedom and spent most of my money quite quickly. Then, when I saw a great deal on handbags online, I worked out that I’d end up going over my budget, so I had to just gnash my teeth in despair instead… Until Lord Balders came to my aid and generously bought me one as a present from his budget. Sweet, eh? Despite my initial spendthriftery, it’s actually worked out well; we’ve both been doing more saving than spending and have hardly spent anything this month.
|My spending since January, thanks to BudgetBakers’ Wallet app.|
The house budget is too low, in my opinion, but it stops me from running riot so I’m not protesting too much. It’ll be suspended whilst we re-fit the bathroom anyway, sothat will keep me happy. The family fun budget was a farce – way too low, and we never came anywhere close to meeting that. Ah, we did try!
Still, we’ve managed to transition towards a less tight-fisted approach whilst still saving and renovating the house. I get impatient (understatement alert) but we’re making progress. I guess writing it all down helps me to remember all that progress… need to do it more often!