..............................the ins, outs and frugal bits
In some ways March was an ordinary sort of month cost wise, saving in some places to have more for spending elsewhere. But a huge spend was paying the Council Tax bill. My monthly income for the next 2 years is less than outgoings, that means I'm living partly on savings, which earn hardly any interest, so I've paid Council Tax all at once to get it done and out of the way.
In our early years of marriage, when we hardly had "two halfpennies to rub together", I always made sure all the bills that meant getting a fine or losing the house were paid first and then had to budget carefully with what was left and even though I now have more money my mind works the same. Paying the Council Tax all at once feels like securing a home for the year!
Then there were the normal usual expenses........... Food for me and the cat, diesel for the car, phones and broadband direct debit, charity direct debits and the quarterly electric bill
Other outgoings -
- Gift for son-in-law's birthday
- Present ready for Jacobs birthday
- I actually went and got a haircut..........this is my first paid-for hair cut for about 6 years.
- Cinema visit - the cost for everyone for screenings before 6pm is £5.95 which doesn't seem too extreme. I have no idea what cinemas cost elsewhere.
- Stocked up on postage stamps, enough for the year, before prices went up... saving several pence.
- Polly Cat's annual cat flu etc injection
- Printed out photos of the grandchildren to give to the family(then forgot to give one to my sister with her birthday card!)
- Car boot and jumble sale things for grandchildren
- Got 3 bags of multi purpose compost as I was passing the garden centre
- Window cleaner
A few frugal bits, added to the list through the month
- 5 small pizzas - yellow sticker at Co-op for 29p each.(I use home made pizza topping on them to cheer up their meagre topping)
- The gift of onion sets from my sister, enough for a row.
- 3 lots of rhubarb from the garden and new growth on the chives
- Eating home grown peppers, mange tout and courgettes from the freezer
- Present ready for Willow's birthday from charity shop
- 3 pairs of new socks for me from the charity shop for £1.20
- Gifted a big bag of purple sprouting broccoli
- Toys, clothes and books for grandchildren from car boot sale and a jumble sale.
- First pesto made using wild garlic (ramsons) that we planted two years ago
Still clearing and sorting, OUT went...........
Another box of books and OS maps to Ziffit = just under £19
Several books to the charity shop
Another suit of Colin's to charity shop
Suit cover to Youngest daughter's OH.
OS Maps to the charity shop
Few odd bits from workshop into dustbin.
Collection of peel-off stickers into cupboard for car-boot sale
A very old sun lounger to the Household Recycling Centre
Plus an old picnic stove ditto
Some bits of junk from a drawer in the dresser into dustbin
Few other things from the same drawer into the car-boot box.
Two swing seats (that were here when we moved in) to Son and DiL who have got Willow a swing for her birthday.
Lots of old letters and diaries into the recycling bin
Thoughts on the month
Electric bill higher for me on my own is a worry, due to having the TV on for company and having the boiler on more as I hate being cold in my own home, which happened a lot at the smallholding.
Must take my stuff to a boot sale...... as soon as the small local one starts next month and the weather forecast is good.
As it's Saturday, here's my weekly round-up too.
The last week of March and the weather here hasn't been as good as some parts of the country, chilly with cloud cover most days, but the week has sped by.......................
Swimming - I'm going earlier to a Swim for All session rather than the over 50's session and it's quieter, won't be able to do that in the Easter hols as the pool is used for other things before the over 50's session.
Charity shop morning was a bit different as our manager was away so we had a lady from the Eye shop to help but we were all a bit surprised to find that the overall shop manager, with her family to help, had been in over the weekend and moved things all around and thrown out masses of books for recycling. The ladies upstairs unpacking and sorting found everything they had organised the week before had all been changed around! Very frustrating.
I'd been planning to go to the cinema again but didn't feel to good so thought I'd better stay at home, I've made a note to order Aftermath on DVD from the library once it's released in July.
Quizzing with Small WI in the Suffolk East Federation spring quiz on Friday evening. It'll be late when I get home so as this post is scheduled I'll have to let you know how we got on next week.
This week I am grateful for
- One sunny and warmer day on Friday to get beetroot sown and hoeing done.
- Having the finances available to be able to help youngest daughter onto the housing ladder.
- Bumping into two people I knew from school between 1966/71, one last seen in 1988 at the school reunion and we recognised each other, so can't have changed too much!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend and I'll be back Monday