Judicious January Jangling & Juggling *blows budgeteering bugle*

(1000 Posts)
claretandamberforever Mon 30-Dec-13 18:22:02

Sorry, couldn't resist going overboard on the J's

Happy new year y'all. Welcome to expert budgeteerers, newbies, lurkers and de-lurkers. We're a very friendly, non-judgmental bunch so please use this thread as you choose whether it's as a spending diary, to confess your money sins, ask for help or have a general whinge at the cost of living.....

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Dec-13 18:27:43

.

MonsterMunchMe Mon 30-Dec-13 18:28:28

Newbie signing in

JugofAle Mon 30-Dec-13 18:29:18

I'm in! This year we have a whopping 8.5K worth of debt to repay, so all tips very welcome! This time last year it was more like 20K, so it's do-able, but tiresome... It's "good" debt (house deposit loan, SLC, business loan --for failed business--) and all on a 0% card, but need it gone, as the plan is to start overpaying the mortgage in 2015.

Today was a NSD - so a good start. And we have £15 after bills and food shop to last til Friday, with nothing essential to buy...

claretandamberforever Mon 30-Dec-13 18:34:25

Budget for this month....

Kids activities: £187.15
Groceries: £350 (£300 for anywhere, £50 Asda gift card)
Petrol: £255
Everything else: £503.58 - bit extra this month due to my bonus, and doing quite well at not spending that much last month

Savings
Xmas 2014: £8.87 savings / 1 present purchased
Bonus money remaining: £623.03

January birthdays...
none

Big events or items that I need to buy in January..
DS2 has asked to go to an away game (Wolves) which is on 1st Feb for his birthday on 4th Feb, so I will need to buy the tickets and fund petrol (say £100).
DH's road tax is due on 31st Jan £125(ish) .

Have done a freezer audit, and there are 11 evening main meals, so just need to buy drinks, packed lunches, accompaniments etc.. Really going to start making the effort with groceries because anything that I manage to save will be going towards next Christmas...

mumtosome61 Mon 30-Dec-13 18:47:00

I'm in. I just checked my CC bill for last month and I'm horrified - I'm reckless with money at times and I know I had to resort to the card as my bank card was blocked for incorrect PIN over a week. I tried to apply for a 0% balance transfer card but as my circumstances have changed (employment to student/homemaker) I don't know why I was surprised when it came back as a no, even though my score and income is OK.

Thankfully it's the only real debt (£1400) but we've got home renovations on the go which are almost certainly going over budget as they always do. I'm annoyed that I've done so well with money this year and blown it in the last month hmm.

This month is going to be a tight one; it's my birthday and I know OH has booked tickets for a show in London and we both have a week off. I've told him not to worry about presents (I was spoilt for Xmas) and that I just want a kitchen in time for the summer which would happen anyway.

whattoWHO Mon 30-Dec-13 18:51:28

I'm determined to save for next Christmas, make sure that none of the expense for our April wedding go on credit, to clear my overdraft and to generally stop frittering.

I'm thinking of using the budget tools on MSE - any good, do you think?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Dec-13 18:56:03

I really like mse because it makes you really think about where your money goes.

Then you go a bit overboard like me and cancel the tv licence & just watch catch up services.

grin

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 30-Dec-13 19:07:38

Jugofale, you HAVE done well. Long may it continue! I'm in. This time last year I was waaaaay overdrawn after third maternity leave in 5yrs. This refers only to my own personal spending account; mortgage, bills, groceries etc all very well managed by me. I have almost managed to clear it (about 4k). I only have about 800 left of that - if I didnt spend at all I could do it by March then be saving 400 per month. I just lack discipline. For example probably 20 to 30 a week at softplay - entry coffee x 2 lunch. Popping out at lunch for a sandwich = £15 a week. I HAVE to stop! January here I come.

MonsterMunchMe Mon 30-Dec-13 19:16:27

I started off so well. Then got carried away with the sales shopping. sad I have gone from an 8 to a ten and did need new clothes! Won't have to buy anything else till the summer.

BUT all my bills are paid expcept my ccard which I have money set aside for, and I've made £60 on eBay, with still 4 things to sell ending Sunday, and £10 selling DS's old Moses basket smile

I'm eating down my freezer so that should save some money until next payday (22nd January as get paid very 4 weeks) when I get paid I need to renew car and contents insurance so will start shopping around now. Have loads of tescos vouchers (£5 off £40 spend etc) that got sent through from club card that are valid until 3rd week of feb so will defenetly use them

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Dec-13 19:19:47

Register with topcashback, I got £150 cashback for my car and home insurance combined because I went through them to buy house and car insurance.

Sometimes you have to apply on a laptop/pc not a tablet so it can track your purchase.

FreelanceMama Mon 30-Dec-13 19:34:10

Found one of DS's birthday presents and nephew's birthday present half price at garden centre today so felt good about spending money. Overspent on petrol travelling to see family over Christmas. Not so good.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 30-Dec-13 20:00:31

Think I posted this in December thread but, after kitchen audit (dh is buying me a clipboard he reckons wink !) I have planned 32 meals, eaten two tonight between 5 of us. 32 meals!!! I hope to be invited to dps and dmil at least once or twice so that makes say 35, then there will be the odd late night for whatever reason whic h usually results in cheese & crackers, so thay makes 37. Basically I am covered until. mid February I reckon, with a couple of Jacket potato & topping meals scraped together. Will still spend as have cat food, milk, yogs, squash, bread etc etc etc to buy. Hoping to get to Aldi in January. The trouble is I have to drive past a Lidl and Sainsbury's to get to Aldi so it seems pointless. Lidl has been a good find for me. To all newbies, Lidl nappies are great, not quite as soft and thin as pampers but less than half their price. Reliable, comfortable, cheap, never leak. It took me 2 and a half babies to learn this. Pampers had me hook line & sinker for seven years!!!!! Imagine the unnecessary overspend.

pancakesfortea Mon 30-Dec-13 20:18:46

Hello. Lurker de-lurking here and marking my place. For various reasons my disposable income has dropped to practically nothing over the last few months. We're not on the breadline - the basics are all covered - but every day is a challenge to avoid the little spends. So count me in for another frugal month.

AbbyLou Mon 30-Dec-13 21:58:35

Hi I would like to join this if I may. I would like to try and shave a little off our monthly shopping bill and am determined to meal plan and shop frugally. I know I can do it but I am terrible at being tempted by things when I shop. I'm going back to Aldi and I will buy only what is on the list!

Cocolepew Mon 30-Dec-13 22:14:31

I'm joining this time. I want to have £1000 saved by April so I can pay my rates, which are usually £670. Then carry on saving. My 5 year plan is to pay of my credit cards and have money to pay for insurances etc when they come in so we don't have so many direct debits. DDs are good in that all bills are always paid but if something crops up we never have any spare money, eg we needed a new radiator and had to borrow the money from my mum until payday.

DH probably has to have a major op this year. Recuperation is 12 weeks he gets 1 weeks sick pay hmm.
Today Asda had their Christmas hams reduced. I got a massive pig joint for £11 down from £20. I was able to cut it into four good sized pieces.

Leilandri Mon 30-Dec-13 22:14:34

I'm in!
I was a dedicated frugaleer through 2012 and most of 2013, then I dropped off the threads. We've managed to finish this year debt free, paying off 9.6k in 2013 (7k from some lucky PPI payouts).
I now have to be very careful not to just fritter money away because I can. We are by no means rich, but for the first time in 18months we actually have some disposable income smile I want to put this towards a family holiday as DS1 will be 5 this year and we've never had a holiday with him sad

My top tips are:
Meal plan and write shopping lists
Shop at Aldi where possible
Use your leftovers
Utilise Poundland etc for groceries/toiletries/stationery etc

thatgirloverthere Mon 30-Dec-13 22:15:33

I joined the December thread a few days ago and got the tail end of it, I spend way too much money for silly reasons and when I think about how hard I or husband has worked just to fritter it away it makes me both sad and cross with myself.

My plans for the new year usually include saving money and losing weight, this year is no different, although I will be working longer hours which means I'll have less time to spend plus I'll be earning more too, I'm hoping the eating less just slots in.

It's my daughters 6th birthday in just under two weeks time, obviously we have just had Christmas and she did very well with all the gifts she was given, I've held back some Walkie talkies and got her some notebooks and crayons - her favourite things. I feel that I need to buy her something else too, she won't have a party but has asked to go to a play centre that her sister visited for a friends birthday, and a friend is making her a cake with a barbie doll in the middle, I'd still like her to feel that her day is special, what can I do fairly cheaply? Any suggestions? My two eldest (both boys) have February birthdays and both are teenagers so that's a costly month too, I'm just so fed up with wasting money.

I have just finished a stock take of the freezer and also a mini store cupboard check, I have a chest freezer and things do seem to get lost at the bottom, so I've based all meals on ingredients from the freezer for now, wrote a plan and stuck it on the kitchen wall so I know what to defrost zinc order to follow the plan, not so difficult now but once the children are back at school and I'm at work it'll be critical to remember, or beans on toast will be on the menu. I made lasagne this evening and husband ate a little then binned it, he does this often and tries to be sneaky but he's not quick enough, and I catch him, it annoys me because it's such a waste, and a few hours later he will be looking through the fridge or cupboards for something to eat.
I can't believe tomorrow is New Year's Eve, we won't be going anywhere but I'm not bothered as we don't drink alcohol anyway, so the only thing we will be missing is watching other people getting drunk.

Cocolepew Mon 30-Dec-13 22:16:08

Oh and I post this everywhere but I recently joined Pinterest and haven't felt the need to buy a magazine since. I just flick through it instead

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 30-Dec-13 22:34:22

I recognise you Leilandri. You helped out with loads of advice when I was a newbie. Yy to leftovers. I save brocolli stems, the woody bits of asparagus and the ends of parmesan for soups. I save going stale bread in the freezer for bread & butter pudding and make a Jewish style soup from chicken carcases. It makes me feel virtuous. (smug) but every little helps. Waste less = buy less = save more. I used to throw loads away. I don't now.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Dec-13 22:34:50

thatgirl

I've sorted that problem, there is sod all snacky in our cupboards, most meals are based on frozen stuff so if you didn't eat dinner you are going hungry later.

I'm going to do the freezer thing too, I could do a chilli for myself in the slow cooker and serve it with potato wedges made from the potatoes that are going a bit sprouty.

AbbyLou Mon 30-Dec-13 22:41:28

Tomorrow we have planned a sort out of the kids rooms to try and find somewhere to put all their new Christmas stuff. I may find some stuff to Ebay too!
It has also spurred me on to do an inventory of the freezer and store cupboards. Some of the stuff at the back must be out of date and I'm sure there is more than one of some items I have just bought and bought because I can't find them!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 30-Dec-13 22:42:12

Thatgirl, to make her day special, buy loads of cheap bunting (card factory about 1.49 each) and thread it everywhere. Any old village hall is transformed with a bit of bunting, it works like magic. i. your house it will be very special. Ditto outside the front door. Have a cake with candle at breakfast, even if you dont cut it. Tell her it's her "choice day" where she gets to pick activity, food etc. (she sounds young so should be reasonable). Tell her its a "yes" day - so if she wants to do painting when you would normally be getting dressed, just for that day, say yes rather than in a minute or not til we're dressed. All little things but will make her feel special.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Dec-13 22:53:59

Tesco are offering free eye tests, I've booked one on a Sunday after my aldi shop.

They are have to give you a copy of your prescription so I can get glasses cheaply from specs direct etc.

Just need a contact lenses check now.

NK5BM3 Mon 30-Dec-13 23:00:42

I'm in and back. Will Check in properly in Jan but wanted to say hi. Cc1 came today and it was high but only because of the car repair. Which means that all the other presents etc got somehow 'absorbed' into the usual spend which is great because this year we had to buy quite a few more presents as we went to the inlaws!

Today I did my shop. I didn't think I was going to but then I did. This means though that I don't need a big shop this weekend other than bread and fruit. Hopefully. hmm

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