February has been a slightly easier month financially. After the expense of January, I decided to make it a no spend month on non-essentials and largely stuck to it for the month, save for the odd bargain deal that couldn't be ignored.
Having said this, I was over again on the Food budget by £90 (sometimes I think I overcompensate in this department when I'm on a no spend month). In addition, the Household budget was also double the £50 I allowed, largely due to the £25 Organic Surge purchase.
I'm beginning to think that I may have to extend this budget as pet food, household cleaning and toiletries (especially natural ones) is a real challenge to keep within £50 per month. I don't seem to have been within budget almost since I started with it. I'll continue for a couple more months and see if it settles down.
With regard to spending, I seem to be able to see light at the end of the tunnel. At the beginning of the year, I had a wishlist of various things that I needed to spend money on, i.e. LB's wardrobe renewal, various household items and a few things for myself. I've now crossed most of the things off this list. I know there are always things that crop up that you need to buy and I'm sure they still will, but if I stick to the list and focus on it, it prevents me buying any unnecessary items when I'm out and about.
In other news, I've been utilising my points at the supermarket most weeks this month and have saved over £21 on groceries as a consequence. I'm hoping that I can continue in this vein in March, dependent upon the issue of points vouchers by the supermarket concerned of course.
The planner that I've made from a small notebook bought very cheaply, has been working a treat and has really been helping me to get and keep on top of the housework. I'm optimistic that I will be able to get into a good routine before long, but want to deep clean everywhere before I really get started on maintaining it on a regular basis.
I'm already finding that I am cleaning the hallways, stairs and landings and sweeping the front path much more regularly, especially as in the winter a lot of mud gets walked in by dog walking. I find that doing just this makes a difference as you're walking into a clean space, largely giving the impression of a clean house.
I haven't progressed on the bedroom deep clean yet, but have virtually completed the kitchen, which now feels a lot more organised and less cluttered. As always, decluttering in any room is ongoing, and I'm sure there is more that I can remove to improve it still further, but for the time being, I'm happy with how things are in this room.
In March, I'm hoping to try and keep within the food budget (can't promise). I've already purchased a few more items for LB's wardrobe renewal, which is almost complete, or as complete as I'm going to make it for now.
I've also placed a small Ethical Superstore order too, making use of a £2.50 voucher to cover most of the postage, as I needed a fruit and veg wash, some dishwasher tablets, plus a few other food items. I've also purchased a couple of birthday presents due this month and still have part of one other to purchase, along with some Easter eggs towards the end of the month. However, as we are spending Easter in Tenerife, I won't be spending too much on this.
Other things I need to spend money on this month include haircuts for LB and myself, plus a couple of small items I have promised myself I will purchase this month. So apart from these expenses I am back to not spending money and avoiding the shops, save for food shopping. I've not been finding this too much of a hardship lately.
On the craft front, I am progressing well with the mini hexi quilted table runner and am hoping to finish this in March and put it into use. I have also found templates for my next quilt project, which I may start once the current one is finished, although I should try to finish the large double quilt first.
I'm looking forward to a productive month deep cleaning the bedroom in time for the arrival of our new bed in two weeks time and have already started tweaking storage arrangements all over the house, which I think has made improvements here and there.
I'll let you know how I get on.