Friday, 31 January 2020

January -The Ins,Outs and Frugal bits

January spending was low.............. until the trees were cut down and I had to pay their bill! Although it's like paying for winter heat 2 or 3 years in advance so I don't mind and then I peered in the top of the heating oil tank and thought it would be best to get 500 litres in before it got any lower and a day later noticed the dial on the cooker LPG switch-over thingy was red so an empty cylinder to replace. 

So spending was low but not for long!

Pound, Coins, Currency, Bank Note, Money

There were no utility bills due this month so other expenditure was just the regular direct debits for broadband/phones and charity plus food for me and the cat, diesel for the car (prices have gone up again I notice). I bought a second-hand car seat so I can take youngest and nearest granddaughter out to toddler groups or whatever after new baby arrives; had a much needed hair cut and another chunk went on vegetable seeds and the moth traps for the apple and plum trees. The vet visit wasn't too bad as we decided on no steroid injection and I'll keep Polly in at night  and  try the calming pheromone stuff which was £30 at the vets but I bought online for £16. With any luck it will work so I won't need to go back to the vets again for the same thing. Then the window cleaner turned up yesterday, another thing for the OUTS column.

A few frugal things?
Took walking shoes back to the shop for free repair
Eating leeks from the garden, still a few peppers and mange tout peas in the freezer.
Re-stocked the Christmas card stock with a pack half-price from the Cancer Research shop
Access to free physio advice in Suffolk
Free NHS health check
8 Birthday cards made, using up  more card-making stash.
Took advantage of cheap pensioners fish and chips when I picked up my prescription - both in the same village a few miles away.
Reading library books for free
Always catching the cold water to use elsewhere before the hot comes through when washing up.

Still a little clearing out...............
Books to charity shop
Top that I'd not worn for years ditto
Tea-cosy ditto (Had two and rarely use a tea-pot!)
Few more crafting bits ditto
Few very old paper-craft mags to recycling - the more recent ones will go to charity shop

Bills arriving in February  will be the half-year water bill and house insurance. I've used Saga for insurances for a while, and usually talk them down so it stays the same as last year but might try a local brokers after a letter came offering a £50 shopping voucher for new insurances.

Back Tomorrow


  1. It always amazes me that more people don’t use the libraries. All those books to read for free (well I suppose e have paid with our taxes) such a great resource. I did the same and bought a few boxes of Christmas cards in the sale.
    One of the few things I miss from the last house is the wood burning stove. A cheap source of heat if you have access to free wood.
    Have a good day Sue

  2. We have used far more oil than usual, think it’s the wet and windy weather.

  3. There's always something to pay for isn't there. We got our water bill through yesterday for the year and the monthly DD's have gone down by over £2. I was planning on going to the library this year, but I got so many books at Christmas and I read so slowly these days that I think it will have to be a 2021 resolution. Have a lovely weekend. xx

  4. We've had an expensive month with the car, insurance, MOT and new tyres. A necessessity, as we live out 'in the sticks'.

  5. I do admire your planning ability, Sue, at this time of year the bills can be quite hefty can't they. At least we are on mains gas now so we don't have to worry about the lpg running out. Good luck with your insurance search. That's something I need to do soon too x

  6. With our new boiler we got £200 credit against our gas bills, but we won't be turning the heat up, it should last for ages. Even with Jan being a long month it was quiet a low spend.

  7. I've got to drop off my charity shop stuff. The car is getting full! I know exactly what you mean about the spending. You think you're being really good -- and you are -- and then come trees (or equally expensive things.) That's my story too!

  8. I hope the cat calmer works and you have a nice calm relaxed kitty soon.

  9. I do admire the way you budget so carefully Sue. I also agree that we think we've done well one month and then suddenly unexpected bills roll in.

  10. You do such a good job at budgeting and managing everything. It's those unexpected expenses that get us isn't it. We had a large car repair plus unexpected medical bills this month so I'm hoping for better next month.

  11. As the old saying goes... "We win some and we lose some." As long as you keep track, you are "ahead of the game."


  12. Not as much oil used thus far but we still have Feb/Mar to go which are a little unpredictable.

  13. Last February a tree fell on my car and destroyed it. The insurance paid off the loan with a bit left over but not enough for a new car. I bought a nice but used car of the same model, and am still very annoyed every time I drive by the street where it happened, although I realize it is silly to be angry with a tree!

  14. Still, you managed many frugal things this month.

    God bless.

  15. I hadn’t thought of collecting the cold water before the hot water comes through - good idea. I always find your month-end financial stock take interesting.