I don't like January - it goes on too long - I tried to embrace it this year but by the 22nd was quite fed up with it!
I could have stayed in, kept warm and read more books but then I would have missed swimming, exercise/wellbeing group, shopping, W.I Knit and Stitch meet-up as well as finding things to blog about. So I was out and about in the cold - and it was my own fault!
Income this month was the usual two pensions, small amounts of interest from savings plus the £66 from the government 'Help with Heating' handout.
I spent rather a lot on myself in January with the Radio Times Subscription, The British Library Crime Classic Book Subscription, swimming every week, dumbbell weights from Aldi, a hair cut and two exciting second-hand books (more on those later!) Plus coffee and cheese scone out a few times for my new "treat myself a bit more often" thing.
Other expenditure included two lots of diesel, postage stamps, the regular phone/broadband payments, the monthly electric bill, vegetable seeds, food and all the normal smaller things needed for a house and home.
Anything Thrifty in January? (These are the places I economise so I can afford to spend in other areas)
- Eating up all leftover Christmas food.
- Negotiated reduced price for Radio Times Subscription rather than just paying the new price.
- When I went to buy toothpaste recently I found it's double what it was not so long ago. But I discovered it half price on Amazon and even less with a regular order - yes I'm guilty of aiding exploitation of workers.
- Still mixing milk half and half with water
- Home made bread
- Choosing the right days to do the washing so it can half dry outside before I put it on the radiators, only used tumble dryer when I did the new towels before using them.
- Using things from my cupboard (from car-boot sales) for half of Middle Grandson's birthday present.
- Having the cheapest type of haircut
- Eggs still £1 for half dozen at roadside farm stall on way to swimming
- Reading library books for free
- Exercise group is free
- Dumb-bell weights at Aldi were £4.99 instead of around £10 on Amazon
- Found bags of Wonky Pears at Morrisons 5 for 79p - wish they had their wonky fruit more often.
News came of how heating oil users are to receive the £200 government "Help with heating costs" handout. It is to be credited to our electric bill in February, worked out by knowing which postcodes don't have a gas supply. With two more months of the £66 from the government, for me that means I probably wont have to pay anything for electric for the next 5 months but will still have to fork-out about £600 to fill up the oil tank next month.
Out of the house this month have gone - books, old towels, storage jars and some Christmas craft things. All to charity shops.
Looking ahead to February and the extra expenditure will be on having new trellis and posts in the garden and filling up the oil tank.
I didn’t know about the oil money, do you think each household will be notified. There is no gas in our village but some people have air source heat pumps. I do hope this is true as just paid out £500 for oil and getting through more logs than any previous year but the 66 does cover my electric easily. Dorset is soggy and very muddy, most sheep have been moved to high ground now. Sandra.ReplyDelete
I had an email from the oil company I usually use which explained it so I hope the system works. Usually get a text message from Scottish power telling me they've credited the £66 so hopefully the same for the £200Delete
No gas here either, electric and gas but a few have heat source pumps. Hope we get it.ReplyDelete
Yes, I hope it works as it shouldDelete
We've joined "Boilerjuice" which has helped spread the cost of the oil. My brother in a new build at the other end of the village, has a heatsource pump. Apparently if you do NOT get your payment by June, then you lose it - so keep an eye on your electricity account, to check it goes in promptly.ReplyDelete
Hopefully the electric company will text me as they do when they credit the £66Delete
I agree Sue, January is by far the longest month in the year.ReplyDelete
Just glad to get to the end of it!Delete
I'm going to have to disagree with you Sue (nicely, of course!). January here has gone by so fast that I feel I must have blinked and somehow missed it. Perhaps because it is summer here, that might make a difference :)ReplyDelete
Summer feels a long time away here!Delete
For me, January has flown by so fast I'm finding it frightening for how quickly the rest of the year will disappear. My friend and I discovered by going to a more upmarket hair salon will we get a far better cut and only need to go once every four months now instead of once every four weeks. Yes, it costs more, but in the long run, over four months, we're saving about £80. It takes a strong person not to buy from Amazon. I have a neighbour who will not buy from them on principle, but is quite happy to let me buy things for her on her behalf.ReplyDelete
I have my hair so short that it's done with clippers and I only pay £10.50 every 6 or 7 weeks!Delete
It would be difficult to find many of the things that Amazon have in stock it would mean visiting a bigger town and even then possibly not finding what I wanted. I just wish Amazon were better employers.
I had to isolate because of Covid so I cut my long hair myself. I wear it in a plait so it doesn’t show if it is a bit crooked. It has been a very frugal and tidy hair style.Delete
We are doing the WW2 rations challenge again this year with Carolyn. Our meat ration is £2.50 a week each plus 4oz of bacon or ham.
We are making use of yellow stickered meat, fruit and vegetables, freezing portions to make them last.
We buy basic range ingredients and cook healthy meals from scratch.
I get my pensioners’ free bus pass in February and plan to use it for local journeys and days out with a picnic and flask of tea.
We use Amazon too, but we offer the delivery drivers, who have been such a lifeline during lockdown, some fresh eggs from our hens.Delete
I use Amazon as a search tool. quite a few small companies also sell there, and I buy directly from them. I only buy the very occasional Kindle book from Amazon, which doesn't entail warehouse work, just an electronic process. I like to avoid them. Likewise Wal-Mart and Starbucks, similar reasons.ReplyDelete
Difficult to avoid them when shops are miles awayDelete
I shop directly online, not in person, with small businesses. I'm not near shops, either!Delete
Your January was more interesting than mine!ReplyDelete
I cancelled my Amazon account a couple of years ago as I was becoming disillusioned with them. Our courier deliveries can also be quite hit and miss so I now try to buy things from local shops whenever possible, although John Leeis online has been useful ..if more expensive! For some reason their courier service seems more reliable too.
Never had a problem with Amazon deliveries. They built a new warehouse in Ipswich and their vans all come out from there so I guess they do employ local peopleDelete
January has felt far too long for me too, but that is good news on the help with heat handout, especially as today we are due to receive 1500 litres of oil. We belong to a local oil syndicate and pay a monthly direct debit which spreads the cost. I remember I filled up on the last day of January 2022, which turned out to be one of my better decisions. Our oil tank is 1800 litres and I fill up twice a year. I like your idea of treating yourself and this month we have been to the theatre and had two delicious lunches out. Must get back to swimming, my excuse has been having surgery in November, but I am fully healed now. Before moving to Sussex I used to cycle to the swimming pool, often after a sweaty session at the allotment, but the pool I go to now is 6 miles away on a busy road. Luckily I don’t need to buy books, but a library reservation is now 60p per book. I go to a weekly yoga class (and have done so since my 20s - it is as much for my mental as my physical health). Feeling my age in the shoulders this morning after turning and spreading the contents of my oldest compost heap in yesterday’s afternoon sunshine. The delicious dark brown crumbly mix has gone onto the veg plot where potatoes and broad beans will be the first crops to be planted/sown this year. My longish layered bob has a wet cut every 10 weeks and costs £35. I have never dyed my hair and at 62 it is still a myriad of colour with only a little grey. I wash it once a week with a shampoo bar and have done for decades which has probably saved me a small fortune! Sarah in SussexReplyDelete
I had a new oil tank this year and was told 1,400 size was the maximum allowed now for homes, my 750 litres in Feb should last me quite a while. Last year I had 500L in Feb and 750 in Nov. Depends on how cold the evenings are I guess.Delete
I'm very glad library reservations are free here as I reserve everything I read so it would cost me several £s every month!
January was an expensive month for us as we had to get another car and I bought a new rollator.ReplyDelete
The only month I used to have issues with was December as I used to think it was a month of frenzy making sure everything was ready and done for Christmas Day. Inwardly I would heave a sigh of relief late Christmas Eve as I knew that everything was in place and it was too late for anything else to be considered.
I don't mind December it's more colourful than a grey JanuaryDelete
Lovely idea the ' have a treat more often' , I think I'm ready to adopt that myself!ReplyDelete
I also have a very short haircut every 6/7 weeks, I'm pretty sure it's better value that way.
Mum in law just topped up her oil tank and reports that it's £200 cheaper than 6 months ago.
Alison in Wales x
I never spent much on myself for lot's of years so with the pension it feels more like my money to enjoyDelete
You do a great job of keeping track so you deserve to treat yourself from time to time.ReplyDelete
I cut my own hair so I save a lot of money there. I have electric clippers with attachments for the length I want and so I just buzz away!
I thought January flew by but then I think the years have been zooming past lately! Wishing you a happy February, Sue!
Thank you. February always speeds by - it seems much shorterDelete
I'm making bread right now. I saw you make homemade and it's not only economical but it tastes better. Our electric company gives us a check in December as we are on a cooperative, I suppose similar to your Help with Heating.ReplyDelete
How I'd love to attend a knit group and have some socialization and learn more. I am currently trying to learn more about crochet but it's throuogh online videos.
Some of the ladies are so clever and can knit anything and do all sorts of crafts - I just stick to the simple but it's still a nice morning out with coffee, cake and chatDelete
January is not a very nice month although we have had sunshine for most of today which is lovely. We've had a walk around the local park this afternoon but the wind was biting. Roll on March, I say 😊ReplyDelete
You've had a good month financially, fin gers crossed you get the government allowance without any hassle 🤞
Yes I'm hopeful for a text message to say that the money has been credited to me as actually getting through to them on the phone is difficultDelete
Goodbye to January. With a mix of cold and warm days combined with more snow than we've had all Winter, I'm also glad to see January end. You've had a busy productive January. Your focus on health and wellness with swimming and weight bearing exercise is terrific. My focus is to keep the property clear of fallen tree limbs and brush as well as get 2 bonfires completely burned. Both piles of brush are under huge tarps to keep them dry. I look forward to both bonfires and my neighbors will help with the burn because they added their brush to the pile. It will be good fun with food and drink to keep the spirits high.ReplyDelete
Your bonfires sound like a fun get togetherDelete
January has been a long, long month for sure. I bet February whizzes by in comparison. I do like the idea of your "treat myself a bit more often" thing. With all your other money saving activities you really do deserve it.ReplyDelete
So many years were spent aiming for a smallholding and with 3 children there was never much spare money- now it feels like my pension is the first time I have money of my ownDelete
While January is not my favorite month it has gone by fast for me. sounds like you did well being frugal and to treating yourself is a good thing now and then. I am cleaning out when the spirit moves me which is not as often as it should.ReplyDelete
Happy end of January
Having no one at home to make me a cuppa makes having one out a real treat - and I love cheese scones!Delete
January is a trickier month for many. Although I stay pretty local I have a list of things I can do weather permitting and a few indoor alternatives. Have been making use of the library too. ArilxReplyDelete
Really looking forward to receiving the £200 for not being on mains gas (or any gas for that matter). Me and January have really fallen out this year as you know!ReplyDelete
Gosh, January does seem endless doesn't it?ReplyDelete
Our January started out nicely, pretty warm for a Canadian prairie winter, but it is leaving with us in a deep freeze. I hope to see nicer weather very soon.ReplyDelete
You've had an incredibly busy January! I feel rather like a slacker! I'm just glad it's over -- one month closer to warmer weather!ReplyDelete