Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Spending 2017 and Budget 2018

Carrying on from yesterday..........

I've sorted the the 2017 double entry accounts (no idea what that means - but things are written twice and it sounds efficient!) written things in columns and added them up. It's quite frightening. Don't move house I think is the main advice I can give for saving money.
For right or wrong we moved twice in a year, in hindsight we should have rented in Ipswich while we found out how poorly Colin was, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and we'd planned to travel and rent out the bungalow if he'd been well enough.
Anyway we are here and will hang on as long as possible. The value of a 4 bedroom home with an acre of land in a quiet location is unlikely to go down so we still have the chance of downsizing again but please, not yet!
The Black Book of Doom and Gloom!
 Where can I save after looking at last years frightening totals?
  • The Garden - definitely.........at the moment apart from multi-purpose compost and seed potatoes I can't think of anything else we need. No trees needing cutting down next year either, that was a big expense although we now have all the wood of course.
  • The Grandchildren - after we moved here, with space to store things  I got a bit carried away at car boot sales, I kept seeing bargain toys and games  that would be useful for them in years to come and of course still have things for 3 and 4 year olds waiting  in the cupboard. Also some items only need buying once - like a cot, high chair, stair gates and fireguard...... But on the other hand there is a new grandchild due in April so...................
  • Cars - Surely, surely there won't be so many repairs needed this year? Having decided it would be difficult to be here with only one car with all the hospital stuff going on, we swapped the big Hyundai for another Fiesta that won't cost much if it's not used but cheap to run when needed.
  • Water and Sewer - Going down from £34 a month Mrs F was paying, to less than £20 a month after we had the meter fitted and the septic tank won't need emptying next year.
  • Clothes - Got myself new lightweight jacket and shoes for summer last year and Colin had to have extra PJ trousers for hospital and braces when he lost so much weight. Won't need that spend again, I think my baggy shorts will survive another summer, they're only about 12+ years old after all! What I do need are t-shirts for summer but luckily they are one of the easiest things to find at charity shops.
  • Books - obviously. As my dear succinct brother-in-law said "if you didn't buy another book you still wouldn't have time to read all you've got before you peg out!" - He's wrong of course.
  • House stuff - simple - don't buy anything for the house. Well, it ought to be simple until something breaks down or wears out.
  • Electric, oil and LPG gas - As mentioned yesterday we are careful with what we use and have plenty of wood for the wood burner. I have no intention of feeling cold, eating raw food or getting rid of the TV. 
  •  Phone/broadband. A lifeline for us that is due to increase when our contract runs out in March. We shall have to look for something cheaper. Col's mobile is £7.50 a month and mine is pay as you go.
  • The Beach hut -  Bought to aid Colin's recovery and to help us adjust to town living. Now we are back in the country. I'm going to pay ground rent this year and see how much we use it. If not often then it will have to be sold.
  • Food Shopping - When we were first married this was an area that I could save in, when we had 3 children and a low income I still saved here and when we budgeted to pay off the mortgage so many years earlier than the original date I saved here again. I'm not sure I want to cut back on food spending yet again, but......
As I said yesterday, should be doable. We'll see.

Spoke too soon saying we only had one trip to Addenbrookes hospital this week. Col had  headaches and high temperatures so they said "better come in". After a whole day of tests and scans they decide to keep him in so I came back alone. Good thing we had taken  his hospital bag and meds just in case.
Ho Hum............. the joys of serious illness but thank heavens for the NHS.

Back Tomorrow
Sue

  


44 comments:

  1. I think seeing things written down is the easiest way to decide where savings can be made. I've kept a monthly budget in a notebook for years and it's helped us cut back. I need to reduce our food bill. I'm on a no buying unnecessary stuff mission this year and have vowed to only use cash - not debit cards.

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  2. I record all my spending too. Nothing clever like double entry (whatever that means, must look it up) but just on a table in Word, using a calculator and starting a new one each month. Whatever is left at the end of the month goes straight into savings. It helps so much to know exactly where it's all going.

    Really sorry to read Col is in hospital again. Sending hopes for a quick recovery.
    J x

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    1. Double entry sounds extra efficient doesn't it - if you find out how it works let me know!

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  3. I'm all for saving money but how can you do cash only? Maybe because I'm a retired banker, but I never use cash. Too hard to keep track of my spending. I love online banking and use my credit card for everything else, which I pay in full each month, never pay fees or interest and receive some much loved airline miles in exchange. Happy New Year! Pat

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    1. Same here. Never use cash. Online banking and credit card for everything and pay it off every 2 weeks. No interest or fees. This is the surest way I know to keep track of spending. I'm never tempted to buy bits and pieces as I have no cash in my wallet.

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    2. I didn't actually say I only used cash did I?
      You wouldn't get far with a card at a car boot sale!
      each to his own is what I say.

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  4. Happy New Year! I need to look at our finances like this - we really need to make some savings this year. I too, am on the 'no buying unnecessary stuff this year' but with a half renovated house and teenage kids who do lots of sport, there seem to be all sorts of costs that suddenly appear. A thought on the beach hut - could you rent it out or find a local family to share costs with? So sorry Col is in hospital again, wishing him a speedy return home. I've just been listening to the news and the NHS are getting a bashing again, but I think they're great... x

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    1. If we rent the hut out then the insurance goes wild!
      Writing down all expenses has helped to see exactly where the money goes

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  5. Fingers crossed for Col's quick return home.

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  6. The money saved on the grocery budget goes to both of us as pocket money so it keeps me motivated!
    Arilx

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  7. I think you have done wonders in the past year, Sue. I’ve never heard you complaining and you are so creative with your resources. I agree about car boot/charity shops-it’s easy to overspend but your Christmas dsh was a real find. Take care driving and best wishes to Col. Catriona

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    1. Jacob is ever so pleased with his Brio railway and all from boot sales with lots more still here to give him as he grows.
      I don't think I shall regret buying any of the toys and games for grandchildren but mustn't go mad

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  8. Oh Sue...well done for being a realistic economiser...I have read where people think they're doing wonders by going to someone else's for Christmas without contributing a thing...just horrible. I hope Col is soon put back to right again...There have been so many bugs going around over the festive season...I myself had a horrendous headache for a couple of days...meditation didn't touch it but the pressure point about 3 fingers up from inside left ankle did provide some relief. Weather has been horrendous...we've already lost a few tiles and are destined for a new front roof this Spring...fancy totting up our expenses! xx

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    1. The headaches are a worry as there are not many painkillers to offer him.
      Wild weather here too, electric off for several hours

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  9. I have always used a spreadsheet, yet my dear MIL still uses a hand written account book. She beats the pants off me when it comes to ultra saving and budgeting however. Maybe I should try handwritten....

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    1. I work best with pen and paper and it uses no electricity!

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  10. telephone/broadband....not sure who your provider is but we save a bundle by having a Vonnage line instead of a BT landline for £12.50 a month we get free UK calls and most international as well. Our Broadband provider doesn’t need a BT landline. Our Boradband and phone is about £32 a month.

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    1. The coverage here is dreadful for many networks. The lady here before us found only BT Fibre would work

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    2. We are in an area where BT coverage is awful, cannot get any decent broadband speed with BT, let alone fibre. This is why we went with County Broadband.

      I did not read to the end of your post, so sorry to hear about Colin. Fingers crossed he is home soon.

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  11. I love the NHS and i’m In America! Sorry Col is back in the hospital but better safe than sorry.
    I’ve just started using pen and paper for our accounts, too. My son tried to show me how to do a spreadsheet on gooooogle but I prefer paper. Just for comparison, our internet is 64.99 a month. This doesn’t include anything else. We both have pay-as-you-go phones, too.
    Debbie

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    1. Pen and paper works for me
      NHS is wonderful but seriously under-funded because there are more older people who are retired so no longer funding it - like us!

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  12. I have retired early at 62 not being able to cope with my job I only use cash if I have to spend any money so think twice before I spend any I love your blog and find it interesting and helpful. so sorry your husband needed to stay in hospital it must be so hard for you both please god he gets better this year, I also admire the fact that you never complain.

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    1. No point moaning - just have to get on with things - it's the only way we know

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  13. Rooting for Col as always Sue.
    I hope he is able to come home soon.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thank you hopefully he'll be home before the weekend

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  14. Have you investigated GiffGaff for mobile phone provision? Google it and see whether it would be cheaper for you.My entire family (husband, children, siblings etc) are all on GiffGaff which means we get free calls and texts to each other all the time plus for £5 a month I get 500 texts, 150 mins and 100 MB(which I don't use) to any other network. There are lots of options but since we changed to GiffGaff we have never regretted it. Best wishes to you both for a healthier and happier 2018.

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  15. Replies
    1. Hopefully they'll get him sorted and find out why he's had nasty headaches

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  16. Best wishes to Col. Hopefully a temporary blip.x

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    1. T hey told us he would be up and down and he certainly was when he had his own stem cells back in so we were expecting it really.

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  17. So sorry to hear Col is in hospital again. I’m hoping this will be a short stay and they can sort it. You are very organised with your budgeting. It is good to prioritise what is important. I have to have BT broadband as we are in a place where nothing else works well. There is nothing more frustrating so I think it is worth extra pennies. I hope your electric stays on.

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  18. My Dad had an accounts book like yours! With 4 children and only him working I expect him and Mum needed to account for every penny. Sorry to hear Col is unexpectedly in hospital again. xx

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  19. I have always kept accounts since we married over 40 years ago and they were in proper account books. i have still got them and they are fun to look back on. Now I have a computer software program where you just enter the shop ,the amount and a category and at the end of the week/month/year it produces wonderful spreadsheets. I can even customise it into which shops I spend most money in (now that is frightening!). I wouldn't be without it now but I used to enjoy sitting on a Friday evening and writing it all down by hand.
    Good luck with the budgeting - I await some useful tips and ideas.

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  20. Sorry you had another day at the hospital. They seems so long when waiting for the docs to decide what to do, I know. I hope this is a tiny hiccup for Col and he will soon be home again. I've always been frugal but except for one year never kept an account book.

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  21. I hope Col is soon home again. Although health systems like the NHS and our Canadian system have their downsides, I'm so thankful that I don't have to worry about how to pay for healthcare.

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  22. Sorry to hear that Col is back in hospital; I hope he will be back home with you soon.

    Your accounts book reminded me of a book on my shelves, it was an account book which my father started upon his engagement to my mother, back in 1946. It lists all their major expenditure on their home and another section shows what they spent on my older brother. It is fascinating to read, even though it is just items and expenditure, I count it as a real gem and I am so glad that he kept it all those years.

    Best wishes to both of you.

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  23. Hi sue, i was wondering if you could explain how your accounts book system works? (obviously not personal info), as i over complicated ours and i would love to simplify as i categorize everything.

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