Spend Less September is now over and although I fared reasonably well in the early part of the month, as it got towards the end the lapses began. It started with a £40 spend on some new gym gear, which to be honest was long long overdue. I got 4 tops and some harems for this and paid cash for these.
Next was a 40% off voucher to use at the Body Shop, which I decided to take advantage of to buy a few Christmas presents. This expenditure went on the credit card as they were bought online. It was also a chance to try out my new Quidco account which I hadn't yet used and 18% cash back was offered, although I'm not sure if this went through properly.
Anyway, regardless, a bit more Christmas shopping was done early and items were bought at a good price and delivered very quickly so overall I was quite happy. I also remembered this month to send off a box of confectionery to my sister and her family in Australia, before the last recommended surface mail posting day before Christmas, which is good for me as I often miss it and end up paying a lot more to send it airmail later. The last recommended day is TODAY by the way, if it applies to anyone out there.
The final and major lapse was an order I placed for a winter coat for me, boots and shoes for Little Bird, a swimming costume and sandals for next summer for me, and a gift for a relative when I received a good offer in my mailbox. It was a really good offer of £50 off a £100 spend, sale items included. I did spend a bit more than this, but the items came in at really good prices and have now been delivered. I'm posting an update later in the week about how I got on with them when they arrived. Anyway, I spent £95 including the postage and again this went on the credit card and I intend to pay both of these items off when I get my statement in a week or so. This will, of course, mean that my other credit card might take a little longer to pay off, but I'm still intending that it will be taken care of by the end of the year.
Talking of the credit card, I did manage to pay well over £200 off it this month, which was almost half the balance, so I was quite relieved to get the balance down by so much. I didn't spend any money on this particular credit card either, so I won't be paying any more in the way of interest charges as a consequence.
The Beauty Challenge went quite well this month and I managed to curb panic spending, but I'm hoping to do better in Stoptober where I'm hoping to stop any extra curricular spending altogether yet again. The Household challenge didn't fare quite so well, but it's early days and I need to relax into it a bit more and not try to grab any offer that comes along and over stock due to panic spending.
I didn't have too much that I needed to spend money on this month, apart from food and a few last bits of school uniform for Little Bird so from a spending point of view it wasn't too challenging, except in terms of applying restraint. I was helped in my food spending by devising a monthly meal plan and I more or less stuck to it and used up most of what was in the fridge, freezer and cupboards this month. Until today, there wasn't a great deal left in them and I'd been getting lots of complaints from Little Bird that there was nothing nice to eat in the house, but I am today awaiting delivery of my monthly Approved Food order which should solve that problem, and I have also shopped for food today so the cupboards and fridge have now been replenished. I am sticking to a menu plan again this month and have already worked it out, (I may create a post regarding meal planning this month for anyone interested) so I just need to tailor my food shopping to the plan each week, which shouldn't be too difficult. Also included in my AF order this month are a couple of small Christmas items and presents, so I am slowly gathering the bits and pieces I need for the forthcoming festive season.
No spend days currently stand at 65 for the year and I am aiming for 75 currently, but may extend this to 100 if I manage to surpass this figure this coming month. I've also been saving a few pounds by rounding up my spending at ASDA and putting it on a savings card. It's not been huge amounts, but it all goes towards Christmas spending money. This idea was suggested by Frugal Mummy on her blog My Beautiful Life and I've adopted it as I think it is a great idea. I might not be spending so often at ASDA this month, however, as I've got a couple of vouchers to use for Tesco so will be heading there if I remember and topping up my club card points into the bargain. This will enable me to use them to re-subscribe to some magazines next year.
So October, and as I've mentioned I'm joining in with other bloggers who are having a Stoptober and stopping any unnecessary spending. I'm not sure quite how I will fare on the back of Spend (not so) Less September, but I will give it a go and hopefully as a result will get as much paid off my last credit card debt as possible.
I will still be buying my normal Food Bank donation and I may buy a few small treats to keep me motivated when I visit the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in a couple of weeks. I may also buy a few bits and pieces in my weekly shop towards Christmas, if I see anything we will need at a good price, as this will spread the cost and I may do a little more Christmas gift shopping if I can afford to. Finally, as my birthday is coming up this month, if I'm a good girl I might get a few nice gifts, so this should also go someway to help me curb any extra spending. We'll see.
Apologies for this long winded post but I'm trying to combine the previous month's summary with my intentions for the coming month in one post. Have you had a good September and are you aiming for anything out of the ordinary this October? Does getting ready for Christmas start in earnest for you now? I'd love to hear of any plans you might have for the month.