Sunday, 30 April 2017

Monthly Round Up - April

This month was the first month that I had a proper budget worked out that incorporated all the things I needed to spend money on.  It was a new departure for me to budget this way and in addition I also gave myself reduced budgets in many of my spending categories, so I was unsure if I'd be able to stick to it for the whole month.

Thankfully, however, I just about did, and had the best month I've had in a long while without feeling particularly deprived of anything.

My Food budget was set at £300 this month, as we spent a week in Crete. I managed to stay within this budget, coming under by just £2.07, even with a bit of help from the M&S voucher that I used a couple of times.

The Household budget was halved to £50 and although I went over by £10.56, I did stock up on dishwasher tablets and bought some new to me cleaning products for the Flylady baby steps, plus some stationery to make up my Flylady control journal.  (I could and probably should have made do with what I already had, but I got impulsive in Tiger, whilst waiting for my daughter to get a hair cut.)

My personal budget was set at just £25 this month and I went over by £3.77, which was good for me I can tell you.  If you've been reading past round up posts, you'll know I always overspend by a lot more than this, even when I have a budget twice the size.

LB's budget was the same as mine and I came under in that I spent only £9.20 on a few bits for our holiday.

The Home budget was set at £20 this month and I went over by £2.09.  This was mainly due to buying some new Hi-ball drinking glasses that I didn't plan to buy this month. My planned expenditure was on some new photo albums and a couple of new spice jars which I did buy too.

My Easter budget was set at £30 this month, to cover gifts for family members, OH and LB.  I went over by £5.14, but this overspend didn't actually come out of the budget, as I used the M&S voucher to cover this.

Finally, the Misc. budget was set at £50 and came in at £1.71 over, which also wasn't too bad.

So, I wasn't quite on budget, but not far behind, so things have dramatically improved this month which is positive.

In addition to the above, my usual £100 went into savings, I took spending money to Crete and I finished paying for my new varifocal spectacles.

All the above budgets (save for Food, which will return to £400) will remain the same for the next five months, until I'm in a better financial position and then they will be reviewed.  Month one was a success though, so lets hope it continues.

Next month, however, is an expensive one, as it is OH's birthday and I still owe him part of his Xmas present, so I've allocated a £200 budget for this, as he needs some new cycling gear.  Other than this and an additional £15 for a school trip everything else stays the same.

Budgeted expenditure next month will be focused on timber for the raised bed covers and growbags for planting tomato plants in the greenhouse, some new perfume for me, as I've almost completely run out and getting a couple of necessary things for the dog. I may also buy some items towards LB's school uniform for next year in advance, to spread the cost, if there is any room in the budget. (You can tell I'm starting to think ahead budget wise now.)

All in all, I feel I did pretty well and managed to claw back £102.50 to pay down the overdraft I had unfortunately built up since before Christmas. This is, however, £27.50 less than I hoped, but I'm happy enough for my first month on the new budget. Fortunately, I don't pay any interest on my overdraft, but I just want it paid off, so that I can start to live completely within my means. At least £122.50 of it has now gone.

Next month, as explained above, the budget is a lot tighter and I am only aiming to pay off just another £30, but I'll keep you updated about progress there in next month's round up.

I hope your budget, if you have one, is going well.


  1. You did very well this month. Be proud of yourself.

    I am a bit worried about the next two months. May is usually our plant, and seed buying month along with major work on the yard.

    June we have my vehicle plates/insurance and our city property taxes. We got our tax assessment and according to them our house has gone up $40k in value, plus the city has raised taxes by 8%. Could be a very rough couple of months ahead.

    God bless.

    1. Good luck getting through the next couple of months with your budget intact Jackie. Good news about your property value, not so good news about the taxes though.

  2. I find having a strict budget in the food and home section difficult, as we do like to bulk buy items on offer, this type of spending is unpredictable. I keep a stash list showing everything I spend on my craft and garden, I have found this has helped over the years, when it is down on paper it there for you to look back at.

    1. I tend to include garden spending within either the household or miscellaneous budget, depending on which budget allows enough room for manoeuvre, but I do keep a separate tally of money spent on the garden, as I am interested to know when the raised beds have paid for themselves in produce.

  3. You have done brilliantly this month - setting targets keeps your eye on the ball and even if you go over budget at least you are aware of what the cash went on - just like Fly Lady - baby steps!

    1. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised with my progress, I'm not so sure I'll do as well this month though, but we'll see.