Meagre May ... watching our bank balances go up instead of down

(329 Posts)
roguepixie Tue 01-May-12 06:43:49

New thread for all of us grin.

ettiketti Tue 01-May-12 07:02:10

I need to do this! Somebody force me to.

I already shop at Aldi. I make packed lunch most days for work. I'm not buying clothes as we have plenty and I'm between sizes.

So far this month I've bought my skin oil, but saved £15 (so £28), paid for short family break (£185) and DS needs new school shoes (£30ish).

Inset day on Friday so we've planned a BOGOF trip to Alton Towers, weather permitting.

I've managed to arrange to meet friend for lunch this week (£8ish) and my close group of friends for dinner next week (£25ish).

I'm crap at this, aren't I??!!!

Could do with bolstering the savings ready for the nightmare that is summer holiday childcare shock and so we can do some fun stuff if the weather ever improves!

roguepixie Tue 01-May-12 07:23:25

I'll get us started!!!! Bloody sodding (or should that be 'sodden' April is finally over...thank the Lord!!!!!

Welcome to Meagre (and Murky) May - the month when we shall overcome grin.

Sadly, I will be spending £80 sad. Why? Because my bloody sodding back has gone 'wonky' and I can't walk, sit or stand properly and need someone to help get it back to normal.

Still, I have another 30 more days to make HUGE savings hmmconfused.

roguepixie Tue 01-May-12 07:28:55

Hi etti, sadly, although we all try our best, life has a nasty habit of sneaking up on us and biting us on our bums with lots of spendy-ness grin.

I think you are doing well - as much as we can make changes we also need to maintain a life for ourselves and our families. Anyway, welcome, welcome.

HarrietJ0nes Tue 01-May-12 07:51:54

Can I join? Just been paid & it's all gone(to the bills account anyway).we aren't doing v well on our £100 a week (food etc) confused and we are on holiday in June so could do with some spare.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-May-12 09:18:17

I'm a big fan of Quidco at the moment, literally anything I need to buy online is on there.

They also do vouchers for free day passes to gyms or free glasses of wine in pubs.

It's my new obsession, along with marked down food.

duchesse Tue 01-May-12 09:19:40

Hello all, must go and tot up April and report back.

We seem to have ended the month with 900 pounds still in the bank but that might just be a blip. Shall have to investigate.

Leilandri Tue 01-May-12 09:20:58

Thanks for the new post rogue smile

April wasn't too bad for us, have finished the month in the black (just) which is a HUGE achievement. Have MOT this month tho, so dreading that.
Managed 5 NSD's in a row over the weekend as DS1 had chickenpox and it has been lashing it down, so we have been housebound sad
He's back at nursery today tho, so I am enjoying MN a brew before housework and shopping. Need a few groceries as he has eaten me out of everything over the weekend.
Got someone coming to buy some baby clothes off me tho for £12, so not a bad start to the day smile

duchesse Tue 01-May-12 09:33:33

I've totted up April now but seem to have spent only 487.07 pounds despite having DS home for Easter as well. Not sure that can be right as it's half what I've spent in previous months. On the other hand the whole month has been taken up with building works, decorating, being ill and tending the sick so very few days out of the house.

jaquelinehyde Tue 01-May-12 09:38:35

Oooh can I join, we are currently looking at moving and in total we will need about £6000 removal costs which is money we just don't have. We will have to try and borrow off family and friends (no credit available to us) and the arrange to pay it back, so budgeting as much as possible and learning not to waste £20 on a needless trip to the shop is a must.

In the next 2 weeks I know I need to make about £150 of payments on outstanding debt, pay £200 to my brother for money owed and then £22 to the nursery for snack money (which covers us until Summer).

We have meal planned for the next week and have all the goods we need apart from a few perishables etc so don't need to do a big shop. We will probably need to put £40 on the electric key and I am desperate for some make up, I'm scraping it out at the moment and not wearing any on days I don't leave the house.

My daughters birthday is next Saturday and we have bought nothing yet so need to pay out about £50 for that I expect.

Wow that doesn't look good! But hopefully that will leave the rest of the month pretty clear apart from day to day perishables, petrol and electric etc.

How do you all do it, do you just aim to have money left at the end of the month or do you transfer money to a savings account like it was a bill to be paid?

jaquelinehyde Tue 01-May-12 09:39:31

Should I write down everything I spend everyday?

duchesse Tue 01-May-12 09:41:35

Yep, jacqueline- we find it works quite well to be brutally honest about spending. We can't kid ourselves and it's like weightwatchers- you feel embarrassed about having to report pointless spending so you think twice about it at the time. Welcome!

duchesse Tue 01-May-12 09:42:32

PS: We like to accumulate NSDs (No Spend Days) and limit trivial spending. A lot of making do and mending and sourcing cheaper alternatives going on as well.

duchesse Tue 01-May-12 09:43:14

And welcome Harriet!

Can I join? DH is off work atm due to an injury and he's only getting statutory sick pay. confused Any tips on ways to save on food spending in particular would be great as I try to keep the food budget below £40 but it always seems to be more. It doesn't help that I'm on a dairy free and soya free diet atm as there's possibility that DS is sensitive to cow's milk protein in my breastmilk.

duchesse Tue 01-May-12 09:53:10

Puddlejumper, welcome. You need BoffinMum's budget meal planner. I shall see if I can find it.

jaquelinehyde Tue 01-May-12 09:58:03

Oooh a budget meal planner you say, sounds good!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-May-12 10:01:05

Puddlejumper, by the marked down food and freeze it. I'm buying bread at 20p a loaf and sausages at 50p a pack.

I've found 8-9pm good for sains, asda and aldi and 3.45 at the local small supermarket.

I'm eating more fruit and veg because the mark it down so much eg 9 sharon fruit for 30p. It makes aldi look overpriced.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-May-12 10:01:22

Buy the marked down food even.

Xenia Tue 01-May-12 11:03:59

I'm not particularly short of money but I did find this interesting

"So far this month I've bought my skin oil, but saved £15 (so £28)"
Never bought that kind of thing in my life.

" paid for short family break (£185)" - we don't do short breaks. I think a lot of people go away a lot more than people ever used to and see it as somehow necessary.

" DS needs new school shoes (£30ish)." Certainly most of us have that.

"Inset day on Friday so we've planned a BOGOF trip to Alton Towers, weather permitting." Thankfully I have never had to endure that kind of place. A walk in the park would cost nothing.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-May-12 11:11:04

It's all relative though isnt it? one mans extravagance (Sp fail) is another mans normal.

CremeEggThief Tue 01-May-12 11:41:29

Thanks for starting the new thread, roguepixie and sorry to hear that your back is still playing up. Back pain is one of the worst things ever.
Welcome to all the newbies smile.

Xenia did you intend to sound as though you consider yourself superior to the poster in question or was it accidental?

Fluffy I agree with you. Thanks for the suggestions about cheap fruit and veg, that's what I struggle with tbh. The supermarkets here are mostly 24h so I hadn't considered that they might have cheaper stuff in the evening. <facepalm>

ettiketti Tue 01-May-12 12:17:55

Xenia we are not short of funds, have banged over £500 in our savings this month already, but would like to cut back a bit more if we can.

To justify myself a little tho:
Skin oil - I have done 2 months without it and its my only beautiy extravagance, so I waited to find it cheaper and got it. It lasts me a good 6 months, so I have no qualms, was just stating "extra" expense iyswim.

Short break - this is our main family holiday this year, a long weekend in s static caravan grin this plus the odd BOGOF Theme Park now the children are old enough to enjoy them (hence AT on Friday weather permitting) are our treats to ourselves this year. We don't endure them though, we enjoy them smile We walk in the park and on the beach and in the woods every weekend so bit of a busman's holiday to do that on a "special" day when we are all off together(including daddy!)

School shoes - bit peeved about these even though they are an inevitable - I only got this pair in January and they were worn by Easter! His feet won't even have grown and we always have very little choice as his feet are like cubes!

I have to shift a Playmobil Hospital and Ambulance tho! that will fund some of this smile

Kaloobear Tue 01-May-12 12:48:34

Can I join in and ask a stupid question? I'm on maternity leave and have budgeted for various baby costs (e.g. her swimming lessons) plus groceries, bills etc. That's all fine. What gets me EVERY month is the amount of money I spend on just wandering around town. I have to leave the house every day or I feel like I'm going mad so if we don't have an activity to do we just end up pootling around town. When it's sunny we can play in the garden which is great but mostly it's not (boo) so I spend an inordinate amount of money on things like coffee, just so I have somewhere to sit and feed DD, and magazines to keep me occupied when she's napping in the pram so I don't (ironically) shop.

I've been trying to spend more time at home but it's a small flat and I just don't think it's good for us to be cooped up all day. Plus I go mad if I don't have some kind of interaction with other adults.

Am I missing some kind of obvious solution that other SAHMs know about?! Part of me is looking forward to going back to work just so I have something productive to do that legitimately gets me out of the house every day!

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