Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Wolf Moon + Living within our means.......

The Folklore bit...........
Last night or rather very early this morning there was a full moon.The first after Christmas - known as the Wolf Moon. This was the first of two full moons in January  and there will also be two full moons in March, twice in a year is something that happens only about 4 times a century. The second Full Moon in one month was known as a Blue Moon, thought to come from the old English word for betray because two full moons in one month caused confusion over the timing of Easter.
That's where the saying "once in a blue moon" originates
( Information from my Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary)

 And The Main Bit................

Living within our means is something we have done for all of our married life until last year. The budget went pear-shaped due to illness and moving.....twice, and for the last year the savings have been disappearing at a great rate. We have no debts and still have savings- just less than we had before we moved here!

 A New Year and a new start.

 Take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, is what they say.
Re-reading these books will keep me on the straight and narrow

Our income will remain the same through the year, made up from Col's County Council pension, whatever they decide to let us have from Employment Support Allowance and a bit of interest on savings, the total is around £1000 a month, we may still need those savings I think, but £1000 a month is still more than many people have so it ought to be doable, it will be a good challenge.

Starting now..............
January is always a good month to spend less, as the freezer and cupboards are well stocked. Our Eldest and family will visit from Surrey sometime this month so I need to plan for a family get together meal. I shall  also have to buy cat food, diesel for all the Addenbrookes trips of course, milk and fresh produce and replace anything used from the cupboards. Standing Orders for Charity, phone and broadband as usual.

No utility bills due in January and we won't need to top up the oil tank  either as it seems to be lasting well. We've not had oil central heating before so had no idea of how it would last. Through the summer it was on hot water only for two hours twice a day, backed up by the solar thermal panels on the roof, then 2 hours twice a day for heating too as the weather got cooler. Since December the  boiler has been on for 2 hours x 3 times a day and with the wood burner lit before dusk each day we have found we've been warm enough so far. (We always take  hot water bottles to bed in case of feeling cold  during the night when the heating is off).
 Neither car needs insurance, tax or MOT this month and there are no birthdays and no car boot sales.
It should be a low spend month.

 I'll be back tomorrow, with a closer look at the rest of the year of budgeting

PS Jigsaw finished, all present and correct and looked brilliant when done. I shall put a sticker on saying "checked December 2017" and hope I can sell it at a car boot sale for more than the £1  paid for it.


  1. It's a lovely puzzle, well done!
    Good luck with low-spend January!
    J x

  2. Since I started to watch every penny my spending has plummeted.I do know all about fuel costs regarding hospital visiting though, it can gobble up the money at an alarming rate. The puzzle looks great, I haven't worked on one for many years, my Mum was a fanatic and there was always one on the go.

  3. My mom went into the hospital in mid-December and then into a care center. My driving and being out of the house has increased exponentially. I now go every evening and stay till visiting hours are over. During the day with her PT and OT and staff in/out it's just too hectic. I just have to budget a bit more for gas every other week. Wednesdays are for grocery shopping and I hope to stay under $120 for that. Now that my daughter is going back to Chicago, snacks and things I would not normally have in the house will decrease as well. She's leaving 12C here for -22 there.
    Stay warm!

  4. Good luck with the budget for this year, I shall be doing the same.

  5. Well hopefully, car fuel will reduce with less hospital visits. Its amazing isn’t it, what you can do when determined.

  6. Good luck with your budgeting plans. We'll be doing the same. Shamefully we had a lot of wasted food over Christmas (I cooked for 12). Shan't bother with cooking a ham next year - most of it was uneaten. We live and learn (from my mistakes in my case!).

  7. Saw the moon last night, it was amazingly bright. Interesting facts about the full moons. I love finding out where sayings come from, now I know where 'once in a blue moon' means, thank you!

  8. Jigsaw look great. The flu hit our house 4.5 days ago and nothing has been eaten since. I have a fridge that needs clearing and decorations to take down and not one ounce of energy to do it. 🤒🤧

  9. Thanks for sharing the information about blue moons. I read it out to DH who loves to learn something new. I am making very heavy weather with my Christmas jigsaw-it’s probably only a third done. I have also mislaid the hooks for the hall door curtain but at least cupboards are being cleaned as I search. Catriona

  10. Love the jigsaw, must be worth more than a pound. By the way is Col not entitled to PIP, and then you carers allowance as well. You can have PIP and ESA, I only found this out just recently as I have pulmonary fibrosis and have only been claiming PIP. Good luck with your budgeting Kath x

  11. Lovely puzzle and I am sure you can get more for it.

    I will be watching your January challenge with great interest as I am trying something similar and really need the inspiration.

    God bless.

  12. Lovely puzzle - so detailed! I'm not sure I'd have the patience. We helped our daughter move last year so it took quite a big chunk of our savings. I'm determined to replenish this year and have started myself on a strict budget. The freezer is quite full here too - it's just a matter of planning the meals and I'm not always good at that so quite a challenge!

  13. Happy New Year Sue and Col. It is that time of year when we all sit down and work out the money. Best of luck to all of us. x

  14. I want to do better in saving money this year. I need to stop buying clothes as I really don't need any more. I'm always getting emails from a couple places at outlet mall where I'm a member. When I do go, I scout out what's lowest cost and only buy it if I really like it, and is about $20 or less. We are saving money to our house siding replaced, or a portion of it. Groceries on sale, no magazine subscriptions, find cookbooks at library. I got a new one for Christmas which is nice. Need to find recipes for Instapot I got for Christmas and a spot to put it in the kitchen. Two crockpots need to go away, plus a few other items I don't use any more. Take care! Happy weekend coming up!

  15. Kitchen in the Hills ... one of my favourite books. I'll have to have another read of mine too.

    Fascinating about the 'once in a blue moon' info, thanks. Another thing to retain in my cluttered mind of interesting facts ... one day they'll come in useful.

  16. Interesting info about the moons.
    I have that jigsaw but have yet to complete it. I have been looking out for one of those jigsaw boards at the car boots.
    Can't wait for them to start again, but like you say it's a lower spend each month they aren't on!
    Lisa x