Wednesday, 30 September 2020

The End of September Finances - Ins, Outs and Frugal Bits

What a gloomy day yesterday was here in Suffolk. I think the rest of the country had decent weather but Norfolk and Suffolk got drizzle and then really heavy rain and back to drizzle again. I went and got a proper hair cut, picked up my tablets from the surgery and had a stroke of luck..... no queue, which meant I avoided getting too wet but what on earth are they going to do when the weather gets really bad. Making very elderly people queue outside to collect their prescription medications will end up killing them off! I know they do some deliveries but lots of older people like the little bit of independence .

 Anyway it's the end of September so..................

The  usual monthly income - County Council Spouses Pensions, interest from savings plus £50 for the sale of the Fruit Cage and all of a £1.50 Tesco voucher!.

The usual outgoings....Direct Debits for Council Tax, Car Breakdown, Phones and Charity - all the same each month. Plus........The electric bill finally  arrived, three weeks later than last year so it was a bit more and I bought a new gas cylinder for the cooker = £37 - they've stayed the same price since I had the LPG cooker installed 3 years ago
More diesel used this month now that I'm driving more to swimming, boot sales and across to the coast to visit or look after Eldest Granddaughter,  diesel spending not quite back to pre-lockdown but nearly.
 Decided to "allow" myself one new book a month if there was no sign of the library getting a copy, this month it was a second-hand copy of one of the British Library Crime Classics.
Food for me and stocked up on more cat food than usual as some was on offer. Few bits for the first aid drawer and the bathroom cupboard. I spent £20 on compost, Heathers and some allium bulbs for the garden and I bought the local paper a couple of times and a new puzzle book.

And finally after 6 months I had a proper hair cut which I really REALLY needed.




Frugal Bits

The only fruit bought  all month were the 3 mangoes for the Mango Chutney. I ate pears and apples from the garden
Only money spent on vegetables was a few pence for carrots and £1 for a bag of stir-fry bits including bean-sprouts to make a change from my usual pepper/carrot/onion combo (the bag did 3 meals)
Home made bread all month
Cold water caught before the hot appears - to use elsewhere
Milk mixed half and half with water
Boiler not used for 2 weeks when it went wrong! (luckily the water got heated by the solar thermal panel and the weather was still good.)
Reading library books for free
2 DVDs borrowed from library for free (they go back to charging for them and overdue books in October)
One Pensioners Fish and Chips meal when picking up prescription meds from next village.
A pensioners discount on haircut too because of going on a Tuesday
No clothes, shoes, make-up, perfume etc etc etc
A bundle of Puzzle pages out of the local paper from my sister.
Cheap swimming using my prepayment discount card - which from Oct 1st the company have now withdrawn - and, because of now having to book and pay online,  they've not worked out a way to refund the unused portion which means they have £15 of my money! Everyone Active run over 180 leisure centres around the country so there must be quite a lot of people owed money and with so little money coming in because of the limitations on numbers, I wonder if I'll get my money back

Plans for October
The bill will arrive for the boiler repair/service and I'd better organise the chimney to be swept. 
There shouldn't be too many big expenses - hopefully, and after all the recent rain there might not be any small at-the-car-boot spending either as the site could well be water-logged.
Back Tomorrow


  1. Sounds a very good balanced month. Ours was a bit more out than in.

  2. Sounds like a good month, it's a shame about your swimming money being held onto though. They should issue free codes to use on-line until they are straight with you ... you'd think someone somewhere would be able to think of this.

    It was a relatively cheap month for me too, with the Ration Challenge being in the middle it meant a whole week of no food shopping, no visits to the shops that week meant no temptation to buy anything. I did however order a small slow cooker from Amazon :-)

  3. Yes a fairly good month for me until yesterday when I went to see my S, BinL. and D we met halfway to a garden centre and had coffee,(twice) lunch it was lovely and had 4 hours there, so much to talk about. I paid for my D she does so much for me so it's nice to treat her. I must admit I was so tired last night. It is such a shame (Frosts Garden Centre) they were starting to put out Christmas things and they had a lovely display as well with plants.
    We were lucky with the weather it was sunny all day.
    Hazel c uk 🌈🌈😕

  4. Getting prescriptions is a real pain. Just after lockdown started, I had to queue for *an hour* in the freezing cold. People kept asking me if I was all right, which was embarrassing. Then they started blanket delivery of prescriptions to everyone over seventy but that didn't last long. Last month, I had no car, so asked for a delivery. They charge £5.00 (for my free prescription)! I'm not looking forward to this winter.

  5. Now that I have moved from the farm into Leyburn I order my prescriptions from the surgery on line but have to collect them at a pharmacy in the town rather than from the surgery. This suits me well as a near neighbour goes to work past the pharmacy every day and kindly collects them for me. In retun, when the weather is icy in winter she parks on my drive to save trying to get up a nasty little hill in her cul de sac.

  6. We are very lucky here, our surgery seems to be managing things very well and there's rarely a queue. When we went for our flu jabs on Saturday, we were the only patients! (Although a couple more turned up as we were leaving).

  7. We went for flu jabs on Saturday. One in at a time but not allowed to sit down to have it. Some people were finding it hard standing outside in the queue.

  8. Stay away from doctors and then you don't get prescribed pills you don't need. Looking back to my grandparents generation nobody took daily pills and they lived contentedly until they dropped dead. None of this drawn out being kept alive for the sake of not dying. Good genes lead to long, good lives. Pills will never replace them.

    1. Statins weaken the immune system.

    2. I don't do statins so that's OK

    3. I know you don't. I was not referring to you in any of the comment. I don't believe people are always aware of what these pills can do that doctors hand out because they think doctors are God.

    4. By the way, I emailed you about coffee.

  9. You manage your money so well.
    I got a haircut this week too. Finally found a hairdresser after attending a socially distant women's group meeting last Thursday. Tow women there recommended the same person so I went to her and was very impressed.

  10. I enjoy your end of month posts. Somehow it seems helpful to see how other people handle those monthly chores we all have. I always admire how well organized you are with everything!

  11. You amaze me with your clever budgeting. All I can offer (pathetically) is that I'm letting the colour grow out of my hair, and that's a saving of around £50 every six weeks - I was high maintenance, and decided during our Lockdown I would try to see how it looked without colour. I'm undecided, but it's not too bad and the saving is worth it. My other costly expense is perfume - White Linen, which I've worn for 40 years and is the only perfume that stays on, and suits my skin, and I got my DH to give that to me for my birthday. It will last a year, but it's nearly £90 over here - the disadvantage of being a small isolated island at the bottom of the world! I bought some when we visited Europe a year ago, but there's no chance we'll be doing that again any time soon.

    I'm pretty good on the no food waste thing. For me it's a matter of keeping an up to date list of what we have in the fridge and pantry. I also work hard to buy whatever I can from the bulk bin foods without the need for layers of plastic wrap, and shop where we can use our own bags, or their paper ones occasionally. And we eat less meat, but always organic, free range. I'm getting picky about where fish comes from and how it has been caught, but I need to learn more about our fishing practices. We recently bought an EV car, which also takes some 'getting your head around'. I guess I'd say that if we do what we can, that's better than nothing.

  12. Well, it is Tesco that says 'Every little helps', isn't it?
    You are so good at money managing - I love reading these posts.