Whilst not wanting to wish my life away, I must say that I'm super happy that we're now in the month of February. January for me is always one of my least favourite months of the year. I love the build up to Christmas and January never quite supplies as much excitement as the preceding month, so I struggle my way through it generally.
In addition, it's a month that incurs quite a bit of expense in our household, particularly as it's LB's birthday halfway through the month, the sales are always a big temptation and tax returns are due at the end of the month (although I don't usually owe any tax!).
Today, I've just had my last dental treatment (two fillings), which has exacerbated my current financial situation and is by far my biggest expense this month. I have to say that I'm very happy not to have to see the dentist for another six months now. I'm sure the feeling is mutual. I don't regret having had to pay for the treatment, because I feel so much better just knowing that I am up to date on my dental care, but it did come at an already expensive time of year.
When I get through to February, things do usually start to ease up a little and there starts to be a bit of room in the budget for a few treats or to start saving some money. I'm not sure that this is going to be the case this February, but probably by March I'll be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As a consequence, I'm keeping a bit of a lid on spending this month, especially on anything other than essentials. Luckily, there's very little that I find myself pining for. I'm going to keep on getting stuck into some more patchwork, reading, gardening (weather allowing), spring cleaning and decluttering and keep right out of the shops, for as much of the month as I possibly can. Another month of these activities and I should get the house a lot more ship shape. It does help that it is a short(ish) month too, although it is a leap year this year, so February is slightly longer than usual.
Aside from the dental treatment, I have one birthday present (which has already been bought) to post off to the recipient, then possibly a small gift to buy for LB and OH for Valentine's Day and these are the only essential expenses this month. I do also need to re-heel LB's school shoes and possibly get her a haircut, but everything else can and may well have to wait until March.
I did a pretty huge shop yesterday, and placed an order with Ethical Superstore, who had another 20% off offer. I was able to stock up on dental floss, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, bicarbonate of soda, citric acid and also splashed out on a 5 litre bottle of laundry liquid to keep me going for the next few months. All of these items were bought for less than I would normally have to pay for them, so I was very happy about this. I have now bulk bought laundry liquid, washing up liquid and toilet cleaner, so I should be good for cleaning products for the immediate future and beyond.
The menu plan is written and after overspending on food by about £70 last month, I'm determined to stay within budget this month. I am already (on day 2!) overspent on household/toiletry and petcare, but with bulk buying this is to be expected. I just need to minimise any spending from here on in.
Is anyone else minimising spending in February, and if so, how are you going about it?