Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Back Home Again and a Kitchen Preview

We've been back in the UK for a few days now and are settling back into normal life.  We had a lovely holiday, very relaxing. A little too relaxing if I'm honest, but I think I needed it.  I feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Yesterday, was my first day back, and it wasn't too bad.  The Manager and volunteers had kept stock levels under control, so it wasn't too overwhelming. I haven't yet officially met the new Deputy, who is sharing the post with me. I should meet him on Wednesday, which will be interesting. I was a bit tired after my first day back, but that's to be expected really.  I'm sure I'll build up my stamina for it again pretty quickly.

Today, I'm at home and trying to catch up with my month end finances. The whole house needs a good clean, but I'll get around to it eventually, there's no hurry. I did tackle most of the holiday washing and my ironing mountain after we returned, which has helped. I thought it best to get it out of the way whilst the weather was cooler.

I didn't really spend much money on holiday.  I don't really go in for souvenirs of any kind, but I did buy a Portuguese tile coaster on this holiday, to remind me of the beautiful tiles we saw decorating some of the buildings.  It nicely matches our renovated kitchen colour scheme too and is so pretty that I couldn't resist it. 

Talking of the kitchen, I haven't actually shown you any pictures of our progress. It's not finished yet, as we still need new cupboard doors, a new co-ordinating glass splash back behind the hob and a new fridge freezer and microwave, but I love the colour change and I am enjoying the simplicity it offers, with only everyday essentials out on the worktops. It's been a bit like a Minimalist packing party, I don't want to put some of the things I took out back, as I want to keep it as simple as possible. I'll post more pictures when it is fully completed.

I digress, anyway, I also indulged in buying two large bottles of Aloe Vera gel whilst on holiday, which I always use as an after sun lotion and for other things too at times. I just about had spare weight in my luggage for these.  The only other thing I bought was a new sun visor.  I've bought these on past holidays and never worn them again, as I didn't like them once I got them home, but this one is very similar in style to an old and much worn favourite, so I think I will use this one.  I decluttered two previous holiday purchases as soon as I got home. It's useless hanging onto them when every time I put them on I don't like how I look in them. Hopefully, it will be a case of third time lucky.

Since we've been back, it's been wonderful to have some rain.  I really didn't mind taking one for the garden/allotment, when I got drenched on a dog walk on Sunday morning and I positively relished waking up to thunder and rain this morning.  Thankfully, the allotment and garden survived not being watered in our absence, but I need to get out and do a bit of harvesting today at some point.

Friday, 27 July 2018

A Day Out in Porto

On Tuesday, during our week in Northern Portugal, we woke up to a very overcast sky.  Thinking that it may hang around for most of the day, we decided to head out and do a bit of sightseeing in the nearest large city, which was Porto.

Porto is Portugal's second largest city after Lisbon, the capital and it's airport was where we flew into the country.  It was only an hour away and as we approached the city we were pleased to see that the sky was blue and the sun was shining.  It had been a good decision.

We started off our visit by stopping off at the Casa de Musica, a wonderful concert hall designed by Dutch architects Rem Koolhaaus/OMA. We didn't go on the tour of the building, but did have a little look around what we could and stopped for a drink and a snack in the lovely cafĂ©. (I had a wholemeal croissant, the first I've ever had and it was surprisingly good.  If they had these in the UK, I would definitely buy them, despite the calorific value.) 

This very contemporary building was a stark contrast to some of the more historic sights of Porto.  I particularly liked the buildings embellished with tiles.

There were also some interested artworks embellishing some of the buildings.

Cat lovers will love this particular one and bunny lovers might like the one below, which interestingly, was three dimensional and made from all kinds of junk.

I also liked this art work made entirely of old tyres. A great idea for recycling them.

Aside from being famous for the production of Port, the city is also know for it's six bridges, three of which you could see from the one we were standing on in this photo.

The above is the fourth bridge we saw, which we walked across twice, one way on the higher level and back along the lower level. We took the cable car from the top of the bridge down to the riverside, where there were lots of restaurants and market stalls.

Either side of the river the town climbs up and this results in lots of small, cobbled streets to climb.

Not for the feint hearted or those with mobility problems, but there are trams and tut tuts to hire to get around too.

It's a beautiful and very interesting city to visit. I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

A Lovely Restful Holiday

As I write this post, we are happily ensconced in our rented Portuguese country house (not a villa) and are enjoying the very beautiful surroundings. Nestled into a hillside, on the edge of a village, and on the outskirts of a small town, we have a lovely secluded mature garden, with clementine and lemon trees and a gorgeous swimming pool to dip in and out of and apart from Tuesday, when we woke up to a very overcast sky, we have had lovely sunshine throughout.

Here's a picture of the view from the kitchen window. Bliss.

Do people really own homes like this?  The answer is yes. Lucky them. Check out the pantry - love it. I don't want to post too many pictures, as it isn't our house, but hopefully you'll get an idea.

After arriving early afternoon on Saturday, picking up the car and finding our accommodation and being given a tour of it by the agent, we later headed out to the nearest local town for food supplies, followed by a BBQ supper.

Our first full day here on Sunday was spent basking by the pool, getting used to our surroundings and then in the evening we headed out to dinner in the historic coastal town of Vigo, over the border in Spain. It was an interesting place to visit, but slightly further to travel than we expected, so we vowed to stay closer to home in Northern Portugal for the remainder of the holiday.

In spite of having a good WiFi connection here, I had a complete break from the internet for the first two or three days.  I didn't miss it at all.  I threw myself into reading, relaxing and doing a jigsaw, which never fails to help clear my mind of all thoughts of work. Here's the one I brought with me this holiday and completed within 24-48 hours of arriving.  I may do it again, but then again I may not.

The house we are staying in is beautiful. It's quite large and the three of us are rattling around in it a little. It feels like a priviledge to stay here, although we are paying for it. All of our needs are more than met and it is a very comfortable and enjoyable space to live for the week. It feels like our own small private holiday resort. We couldn't ask for more.

The only slight problems we've faced have been how to use the washing machine, the gardeners turning up on Tuesday morning at 8am to mow the grass and the fact that the pool turned green on us  the same day, whilst we were spending a lovely day in Porto, Portugal's second largest city after the capital Lisbon. (More in another post).

However, the agent came straight over and assured us that one of the chemicals had got low and that now that it has been replaced all should be well.  A pool technician then also came to check out what the problem was and we couldn't use the pool for five hours, on account of the chemicals they put into it.

We didn't get too stressed over it, however, as it's just one of those things.  Worse things happen. We've made up for it since and it has made us appreciate the pool even more, to have had the restriction of not using it. What is there to fret about really?

Anyway, tomorrow is our last day here, sadly, and we'll be heading home very early on Saturday morning.  We've had a very restful time, just what we needed and I have loved the peace and quiet. A perfect contrast to our normal, noisy and busy life in London. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to go back to it just yet, but there you go.

I hope you've had a good week, although I know it's been very hot in the UK whilst we've been here.  I have to admit that I'm not looking forward to coming back to such high temperatures.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Last Minute Pre-Holiday Preparation

Yesterday, was the last day I had available to prepare for our forthcoming holiday. I worked Monday and Tuesday this week, and had Wednesday and Thursday as my days off.  I worked today, and we're travelling early on Saturday morning, so I had to make sure that everything was virtually packed and ready to go by the time I left for work this morning.  This included packing the things that the dog would need at the dog sitters, as unfortunately, she can't come with us on this holiday.

On Wednesday, I did some last minute holiday shopping. OH needed some shorts and I needed to pick up a few holiday toiletries. I had already done a little bit of packing at the weekend, but I needed to sort out which things, in the mountainous pile that makes up my ironing basket, actually needed ironing, so that we could take them with us. No one wants to iron in this heat, but some things did need it.

We are taking one large suitcase to be checked in and two small carry on suitcases, mainly due to the fact that we are flying with EasyJet and they don't allow more than one piece of hand luggage.  As a consequence I'm just taking a rucksack on the plane and the rest of my stuff is going in the hold.

This does, of course, mean that it's too easy to take too much, and in spite of having been through my suitcase twice, I haven't removed very much from it. I bought some packing cubes from Lidl a few weeks ago and I've rearranged the contents using them.  They do seem to take up less space, I have to admit.

I've chosen a few books to take with us and we've got a few DVD's to take too and watch whilst we're away. I've even packed a jigsaw to do.  Whoa there!! It's just getting too exciting for words.  I may leave it behind when we've done it, as I rarely do one twice. I just needed to pick up some currency today, pack the rest of my toiletries tomorrow morning and I think I'm set.

We'll be staying in a private villa with a pool this holiday.  It will be our main holiday and we just wanted the accommodation to be good quality and have private facilities, unlike last year, when we discovered the owners were living on site too. As a consequence, we have paid a premium, but I'm hoping it will be worth it to get the holiday we want - i.e. away from it all and relaxing. I can't wait to get the inflatables out and just chill in and around the pool.

I have been feeling quite excited with just two days to go and found it quite hard to knuckle down to finish off the last minute tasks that I needed to do. OH always seems able to just throw a few things in a suitcase and go, but for me I end up having to close down the house, clear out the fridge and think about the dog, the allotment, etc. and the food we've got to come back to. It seems never ending. I need a holiday by the time I've finished.

LB finished school for the summer today. I'm looking forward to having her around at home when I'm not at work, although I know she'll be out with her friends much of the time. I hope we'll get to spend some time together.

I may do a couple of posts while I'm away, as at least I will have the time, and I will be reading all my favourite blogs, so expect comments and views from the poolside!! Have a good week.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

A Lazy Weekend and a Catch Up

This weekend was a pretty lazy one.  I finished work on Thursday night and wasn't working again until Monday, so I had the weekend completely free. I did my grocery shopping on Friday which meant that I didn't need to go anywhere over the weekend.

We did go out on Saturday night, into Central London, as OH's brother and some of his children were staying in a hotel in London for a couple of nights, so that his daughter could do a 10K run from Trafalgar Square.  We met up in their hotel for drinks and then we all went for a meal on Butler's Wharf near Tower Bridge, had a walk along the Thames and drinks in a pub on London Bridge, before heading home.  LB didn't actually join us, as she had a friend's party to attend.

On Sunday evening, however, we all met up again, this time over towards Canary Wharf and had drinks, so she did get to see her cousins on this occasion, which was good. A sociable weekend for us, which isn't the usual, but I think we all had a good time.

The rest of the weekend, I did very little apart from attending a class at the gym on Sunday morning.  The heat just gets to me and makes me very tired and lethargic, so I've spent most of the weekend indoors. I did cut up lots of old t-shirts to make dishcloths which was about the only productive thing I did, and I did start packing for our holiday.  It was truly wonderful to have a bit of thunder and rain on Friday night, I must admit, everywhere really needed it. We could do with a bit more though, especially whilst we're away, so our plants get watered.

By way of a catch up, work wasn't too bad last week. I was, however, very shocked to hear that the new Deputy resigned after just one day. They didn't actually have any experience of working in this particular kind of retail environment, and it's not for everyone, so my difficulties there have kind of resolved themselves for the moment.  I'm not sure what's going to happen with regard to the job now. 

The Manager and I had a good sort out of numerous cluttered areas of the sorting room on Wednesday, where excess stock gets put away in boxes and then doesn't see the light of day, as it gets forgotten.  We condensed lots of it, labelling all of the boxes for easy access, put lots of it in the shop and managed to make the sorting room a lot more organised and a lot less overwhelming.

On Thursday, I continued in a similar vein, organising winter stock that we've been putting aside for later in the year.  The irony is that people tend to donate a lot of autumn/winter stock in summer and summer stock in autumn/winter when they change over their wardrobes, so we have to store it out of season, to make sure we have enough seasonal stock to put in the shop when the weather changes in the autumn.

I've been busy vacuum packing lots of the coats and jumpers for the past few months, so they take up less storage space and it's quite physical work. I think we've now reached peak stuff when it comes to winter stock, but it is all packed away in appropriate out of the way spaces. It's an ongoing cycle, I'm sure it's familiar to some of you guys who work and volunteer in charity shops.

I've got one more day to work now before we go on holiday. I'm looking forward to the break, getting out of the country and away from the heat for a week. (We're going to Northern Portugal which is forecast to be cooler than here). I'm looking forward to lazing by a pool reading lots of books.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Earn/Save An Extra 2018 in 2018 - June

I forgot to publish this post at the beginning of the month, so here goes. Another slow month in terms of earning/saving more money. I managed the following:

1)  I saved £8 at Tesco by using an £8 off a £40 shop voucher when doing the weekly shop.  Not to be sniffed at.

Total Saved at Tesco - £8

2) I earned £17.79 from more sales on eBay.

Total Earned on eBay - £17.79.

3) I saved 99p with a multi buy offer on salad seeds on eBay. I got some great varieties for both summer and winter in quite large amounts, so was really pleased with these purchases.  The proof will be in the growing though.  I have, however, bought seeds from one of the companies before and have had no problems with them germinating, so I don't anticipate any.

Total saved on eBay purchases - 99p 

(I also saved £1.21 on some purchases for work, but can't really include these)

4) I saved  £28.83 on a grocery shops at Waitrose, using some vouchers they'd sent me.

Total saved at Waitrose - £28.83

Total saved/earned this month was £55.61.  When added to the ongoing total at the end of May of £740.56, this gives a new total so far for the year of £796.17.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

A Stay at Home Day Getting Stuff Done

Today, I woke up to much cooler weather, and I can't say I'm sorry. I've been struggling to sleep a couple of nights in the last week and have found myself waking up ridiculously early a sweaty mess and then felt really tired for the rest of the day. A bit of cooler weather was very welcome, as far as I was concerned, as I was able to take the dog for a lovely long walk without her or I getting exhausted and overheated and then get on with other jobs that needed doing.

I decided today to do some cleaning for a change. I find it hard to do such jobs when its so hot outside. I started with the kitchen. I vacuumed through and then mopped and continued into the hallway and downstairs toilet. I try to do this every week, but haven't managed it for a couple of weeks for one reason or another. It always makes the house feel a lot cleaner just doing this.

I also decided to wipe down all of the kitchen cabinet fronts.  Having white coloured cabinets, means that fingerprints show up and I can only stand them up to a point.  It was time to go over them all and it made a really big difference once it was done.

At this point I should probably mention how the kitchen is coming along. The answer is slowly. The painting is finished on the walls and floor.  The worktops and window sills have been re-sanded and oiled. OH has ordered a new glass splash back for the hob and some samples for the kitchen cupboard doors.  He's managed to source some in the UK, that aren't prohibitively expensive, so we're just hoping the quality is good enough, as we've both decided that re-painting our existing ones is not a feasible option.

Most of the kitchen is now back functioning normally.  The new dishwasher is plumbed in and we're using it and we've taken the old one to the tip. We've agreed to buy a new fridge freezer and know the one we want, but are just hanging back until after the summer holidays until we buy it. The only other thing I want to get is a new microwave, but I'll buy that myself at some point.  Just a small one, as we don't use it much and I don't want it to take up much space. Still a work in progress, but we're almost there.

Anyway, I digress. I feel like I've neglected the house for a while now, pouring all my energy and spare time into work or the allotment. The way I feel about work at the moment, makes me feel like I've been wasting my time, so it was good to get back to looking after our home.  After all, it is the place I come back to, to recuperate from the physical and emotional stresses at work, so I need it to be a reasonably clean and relaxing place to unwind.

After lunch, I continued and ventured upstairs to vacuum the top floors of the house. I started in LB's room which is always a mess, on account of her being a teenager with more important things to do (i.e. usually on her phone). I put some clean bedding on, straightened it up a bit and wiped some surfaces, but I didn't do a deep clean on this occasion.

The bathroom was beckoning me and had needed some attention for a while, but I just haven't been in the right mind set lately. Today, I made cleaning it a priority. It took a couple of hours, despite being very small, because I did a thorough blitz, changed all the towels and filled up all the cleaning products. It felt very satisfying to see it sparkling clean for once. Let's just say it's been a while.

I didn't get around to cleaning our bedroom I'm afraid, as I just didn't have the energy or motivation, but I'll try to tackle it on Friday or over the weekend when I'm next off.

Tonight, I just have some ironing to do and laundry to put away and I will then feel like I've caught up and am ready to go back to work tomorrow.  Who knows what challenges this week is going to throw up. Sometimes, you just need to feel things are in order at home, to help you face challenging situations at work.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Another Give or Take Day and a Weekly Catchup

It's been a mixed week this week, ending on more of a down than an up, so I'm currently trying to recover my composure at home today, before I'm back at work tomorrow. 

I popped across to the allotment this morning on a mercy mission, as one of the plot holders had forgotten his key and had messaged for someone to let him into the site, if anyone was on their way there.  As we live 2 minutes away, I walked around to let him in and harvested a few things whilst I was there, namely radish, beetroot and spring onions.

There was another Give or Take event in a local park today too, so we loaded up the car and headed off to it to offload another bunch of stuff.  I'd given up counting the number of items donated, as it just got too overwhelming, I may start again now the pile of stuff has gone.

I've taken pictures of the event before.  Here's a picture from last year, as I didn't even think to take any photographs this year.  I was just so keen to get rid of the stuff that's been cluttering up the spare room.

This time around it included a large IKEA book shelf that LB didn't want in her room any longer and I just don't have space for in any other room in the house. It has sat on our landing for over a month, so it was time to go. I'm sure someone will make good use of it.

To be honest, much of the stuff I took this time wasn't the best.  It was a real mish mash of things both myself and LB have dug out over the last few months. I do, however, feel a sense of satisfaction to have purged the house of more stuff.

There's a couple of boxes left, of things to go to the charity shop.  I'd like to take them this week and be rid of them.

After dropping everything off we headed to a local bakery for a brunch of boiled eggs on toast.  Very tasty.  Followed by a stop off at Lidl on the way home, to stock up on a few essentials for the weekend.

Once back home, we're not planning on doing anything this afternoon. I might have a nap and we need to water the plot, but otherwise I'm just chilling, as I had an upsetting day at work yesterday.

Basically, the new Deputy Manager has now been appointed and the Shop Manager broached with me the subject of what his duties will be, both suggestions he put forward were things I've been doing for the past year and have worked hard on. I feel like I'm now being relieved of some duties and will be acquiring others that basically no-one else wants to do. 

I know I'm there to work and do what is necessary, and trust me I do and I will, but it very much feels like some people are allowed to cream off the jobs they want and I'm left doing the rest, whether I like it or not.  I feel a bit used and discarded, bearing in mind how much effort I've put into work in the last year to keep things running smoothly and help meet shop targets, hence why I'm feeling a bit low this weekend. I don't really know how I managed to keep it together all day at work.  I felt like I could have cried.

As a consequence, I'm currently considering my options once again. We're supposed to all be meeting up this week to discuss things, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it goes, but I'm not feeling all that optimistic.  I'll keep you posted. 

Ironically, the above happened less than an hour after I'd signed and sent off my new contract extension letter. I felt like crawling into the post box and retrieving it. Why is it that work would be easy,  if it wasn't for other people making it difficult.

I'm trying hard not to feel resentful. Please forgive me for offloading onto my blog.  I'm sure I'll feel better about it in a few days and will just knuckle down for more of the same roller coaster ride that has been the last year at work.  OH would be very happy for me to just throw in the towel and stay home, but that isn't the answer either.


Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Summer Treat to Myself

Last week, I got the idea in my head to buy some kind of sun lounger to use in the garden.  I have to admit that I noticed that next doors had one and it reminded me of how I used to have one many years ago when we lived in a very small flat in London.  I used to take it up to the roof terrace and sun bathe on it way above the hustle and bustle of the city.

I don't actually know what happened to it, but we parted company at some point and I haven't had anything comfortable to lie on in the garden for many years.

I don't actually spend much time sitting in the garden, so I'm hoping that the sun lounger will encourage me to get out there more during this beautiful weather.  I find myself often napping indoors, but I could do this outside under a sun umbrella in the fresh air and enjoy feeling the sun on my skin. I could also lie out on the sunbed and read on my days off too.

Anyway, after scouring B&Q's website, eBay and Amazon, I finally found something to suit. I wanted something that could fold up and be put away in the shed during the winter, as our garden is just too small to accommodate a large piece of static furniture, and I also wanted something that I could lie completely flat on, that also seemed quite substantial (I'm quite a bit heavier than I was twenty years ago sadly!)

This is what I finally plumped for. It wasn't super cheap at £40 from Amazon, but hopefully it will last the course and allow me to enjoy some down time from work in the garden this summer. I've been lying on it today and I have to say it is very comfortable indeed.

I'm also thinking of buying some new camping chairs or deck chairs in the near future.  OH dragged our old camping chairs out of the shed on Saturday, so that I could take them to the beach with friends, but they were so shabby and are starting to rust, so I think I'm going to donate them to the Give and Take next week and invest in some new ones.

I'd like chairs that also fold up and can be stored easily in the shed over the winter or carried easily from the car when we're holidaying in the UK. I'm thinking either black camping chairs or plain black traditional deck chairs, which I think I favour. Nothing expensive, because we don't sit out in the garden all that much or go camping or to the beach very often, but just something practical and comfortable for when we do need them.  I'll let you know what I finally decide to buy.

One final little shopping trip that I should mention, happened on Monday this week.  I headed over to Home Bargains for the first time in weeks to stock up on some regularly used toiletries and pick up a couple of things for our holiday in a few weeks time.

Aside from the essential sun cream, I bought this sunbed organiser, it's made of lightweight towelling and jersey in a lovely hot pink, which matches my current beach towel very nicely (it is zebra print with a hot pink trim). It sits across your sun bed and should be good for keeping my phone, book, sunglasses safe and handy when we're hanging out around the pool.

There are two large waterproof pockets on one side and three smaller towelling pockets on the other. At £3.99 I thought I'd give it a go and see if it is useful. I'd seen one in a Home Bargains Haul on YouTube and thought what a good idea they were.  I was going to make one, but succumbed to the easy option of buying one.  It's lovely and light anyway, so it shouldn't take up too much weight or room in our luggage.

The second thing I bought was this inflatable ring for use in the pool at the villa. We always end up buying one, so I thought I'd get one and take it with us.  This cost just £3.99 which is a steal when you consider the hours of fun you can have with these. It's so relaxing to just lie on one and float around the pool. We always end up fighting over things like this, like big kids.  I'm hoping it's strong enough to take my weight, but we'll see. I now just need a lilo, but I may just get one in Portugal, as they can be pretty heavy to carry in luggage. There may in any case be one in the villa already.

I'm starting to feel very excited for our holiday. I  just need to decide on a few really good books to take with me. I might even start packing soon in the hope that it will make it come around a bit sooner!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Mini Charity Shop Haul

After visiting the gym last Thursday, I decided to have a little browse in my favourite local charity shop. It's probably been a month or more since I've been in to take a look, so I figured a visit was overdue.

I didn't buy very much really, as the things I tried on didn't fit and there was nothing I desperately needed, but I did buy this small grey studded cross body bag from Primark for £1.50. I've had a similar one before in black and without the studs and I liked using it, so hopefully this one will get some use from time to time.  It's in immaculate condition and doesn't look like it's been used at all.

Other than this, I bought a very cheap grey top from Zara for 50p.  It has a smallish hole in it near the hem, which I will repair before I wear it for work. At 50p it was hard to resist and it's always good to have another top to choose from when getting ready for work in a morning.

The main items I bought were books.  I bought these three.  The travel book I bought for the language guide at the back, as we're visiting Portugal this year and Portuguese is not the same as Spanish, so this should be very useful.  At 50p it was definitely worth it, even though we are not going anywhere near the Algarve.  I can always re-donate it once I've photocopied the language guide.

The other two books are small books, both of which are of the self development genre, which I always enjoy reading.  All three books came to £2 in total. Complete steal.

I spent £4.20 altogether, which didn't exactly break the bank. Have you bought anything from a charity shop lately?

Monday, 2 July 2018

Monthly Round Up - June 2018

It's that time again to be accountable for my monthly spending and I have to admit, it's been a bit of a spendy month again one way or another. So, here goes with the breakdown.

The Food budget of £400 went over by £74.39 this month.  Not sure why, but I just seem to have spent a lot on food this month.  There is still quite a lot in the freezer and cupboards though, so I've probably just over bought and failed to use up what we already have this month.

The Household budget of £50 also went over by £24.15. I did stock up on lots of the dog's favourite dry food and dishwasher tablets whilst they were on offer though, so this accounts for some of this.

The Miscellaneous budget of £50 also went over by £32.06. This was mainly due to buying gifts for Father's day and for others, plus I spent £20 on a meal out with friends this month.

The Home budget of £20 went over by £22.91, as I bought a few things from the CS for the house and finally found some inexpensive kitchen canisters for tea and coffee that I like for our newly decorated kitchen.  I also bought a plant for the garden from this budget.

My Personal budget of £25 went way over by £41.93 this month as I spent £50 or so on clothes for work as some of my existing clothes were getting too scruffy to wear. I also bought a couple of items from the CS for me.

LB's budget went over by £1.

The Travel budget for work went over by £5, mainly because I had to travel to two meetings this month and needed to use the tube/train, which is more expensive than using the bus.  I also did one personal trip on the bus, when I went out with friends one evening.

In summary then, every budget was exceeded this month, which isn't great but I did still have cash left in the bank at the end of the month, so it wasn't all bad news. This will, however, go towards paying my credit card bills when they come in.

Next month will also be a bit spendy, as we'll be going on holiday. I don't usually take a lot of spending money.  Just money for food and a few treats, so it won't be crazy expensive, but I still need to put money aside for it.  We'll be hanging out at the villa most days I expect and possibly doing a couple of day trips out and about, so we won't be spending heaps of money on eating out and other entertainments.

Other than holidays, I don't have a lot else to pay out next month, so hopefully keeping to budget should be easier.  I hope you had a good month fiscally.