Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 November 2013

November news

It seems like these bi-monthly blogs are becoming a bit of a habit due to life getting in the way. However, I have kept up with the reading of my favourite blogs on a daily basis, so conscious spending is never too far from my mind. 

Maisie approx 7 weeks. x
Firstly, the little kitty has taken up lots of time- from trips to the vets (v.expensive- have now set up accident insurance £3.60 per month can't quibble, much cheaper than vets fees) to chasing her around the flat making sure she doesn't get into mischief. These are the photos from our first little photo shoot.

Second of all work has been manic! And in between all of that I decided I had had enough, updated my LinkedIn profile and CV and uploaded it to a job board. I had about five interviews within the space of a few days, followed by second interviews. 

Work spotted I looked all done up on my half days and offered me a decent pay rise to stay which was nice as was quite unexpected. However, a few weeks later I had a new job offer on the table, 4.5k more than I have been on which will come in extremely handy and might even start paying into my pension again (I am just that crazy!) haha. 

Consequently, this month I haven't tracked my spending in the usual way but have put some money away into my savings and am having a very frugal week this week (hence the blog post). Lunches will be bought from home, I'll be raiding the cupboards for dinner ideas and I will be resisting those extra cute, extra yummy Christmas coffee shop cups. 

From Monday (payday) I will be tracking my spending so as to avoid any Christmas financial hangovers. I will also be hitting the shops this weekend for a tree (on offer saving of £30, paid for with vouchers) and some decorations to take advantage of the lower price and in an attempt to beat the rush. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas shopping

On Sunday I made sure I was up and out on the great British high street before 11am ready to meet one of my best friends for a spot of belated birthday lunch and Christmas shopping. I seemed to do my shopping in almost one swoop, and only have to buy little top up presents closer to Christmas. What's more there were some great bargains to be had when you search hard enough.

This year see's Christmas presents stripped right back; here's what I have bought and wrapped up so far;

Mum- a decorative candle holder which holds three glass votives, found in a department sale for the bargainous price of £4.00.

Dad- Best of REM CD £6.00 from Amazon with free delivery.

Sister- Calvin Klien make up set £15.00 and knitted hairband £2.00 from TK Maxx and Primark respectively.

Sister's BF- Bench boxers and sock gift set £8.00.

Nan- Decorate black sequin embellished scarf £4.00 Primark and black box frame in which I'm planning to put some of my photography work (perhaps from the wedding) £6.00 from Tiger.

Granddad- Aftershave and deodorant set from Next £10.00 (they do some really nice smellies for men which smell like 'the real deal').

Secret Santa at work- A miniature snooker table for his desk, a minuscule £3.00!

BF- A superman onesie from Primark £15.00.

BF's sister- A vintage style burnished gold long necklace with camera pendant- £5.00.

I was pretty pleased with these as they all come in at the same price I spent on one person's present last year! Not forgetting the £1.00 gift wrap from Primark and left over box of cards from about three years ago that were £1.00 for a huge box from Wilkinsons.

This week is my work Christmas party. I was planning on buying a new dress as a little treat, but since my having to pay for a £40 cab the other week and doing myself out of my interest I'm just going to recycle the classic LBD and stand up on the train home so as not to FALL ASLEEP! lol.

Happy festive season!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

January blues

I think I, like most people am experiencing the post-Christmas January blues. You know the feeling when payday seems sooo far away, and there's less going into your savings at the end of the month because of the festive period.

Rather than getting on with it like I have been doing for the last year and enjoying the little things I keep getting preoccupied with buying stuff, stuff I don't really need and that I know won't make me happy. Stuff like Kindles and touch screen e-readers, iPads and getting my hair cut and coloured even though I only had it cut in late December. It's not that I'm feeling particularly unhappy as such, it just seems that because of buying the computer which ate up £440.00 and having to pay out for some of my annual season ticket (just over a couple of hundred) and the BF still owes me £200 it kind of seems at the back of my mind its like to hell with it this month, in for a dollar in for a pound.

Then Miss Sensible comes along and explains that its silly to think like that, and once the £200 is repaid to me, I get my season ticket loan from work and my sister gives me cash for my vouchers things will probably be ok and I can stash away a couple of hundred into the ISA at the end of the month- eeking me nearer to a total of £7,000. Not a huge sum of money but I'm kind of pleased that its making progress, slowly but surely.

Whats making me feel a bit better is that most people seem to be in the same boat with many of my co-workers discussing plans for the weekend involving nothing too exciting, complaining that they're broke. Last night one of my best friends came over and I cooked home made nachos with cheese and salsa to start and then home made, from scratch chicken and sweetcorn pizza. We chatted on the sofa eating away, and even though my dough didn't rise for some reason, making the pizza extra thin and crispy we ended up feeling sleepy, stuffed and happy.

Today I had plans to get up bright and early to go to a Zumba class at my gym, but yesterday I forgot to book and it was full at 8am this morning. Instead, I started a lethally addictive game of Simms 3 (borrowed) which I sat glued to for the whole morning. I forced myself to switch it off as the bedroom needed sorting out, and other house bits needed doing.

When everything was done I made another big batch of soup, which made five portions. Considering the whole bag of carrots cost 75p I think that's pretty good going.  All I needed extra was a couple of sweet potatoes, a stock cube, half an onion and one roasted pepper (from the jars). So that's lunch sorted for the next week. I also picked up some pretty good bargains (I think anyways) in the Sainsburys local opposite my work. The big Christmas boxes of Jacobs crackers were reduced to £1.20 so I bought two, the carrots, four or five apples which were pretty nice for £1 and a six pack of McCoys crisps a snip at 94p.

At the moment I feel a bit like that fish from the Disney film Finding Nemo who is told 'just keep swimming... just keep swimming..just keep swimming...'

If anyone else feels the same feel free to let me know.....xx

Friday, 30 December 2011

My finances are a little up the wall at the moment....

Hello to the people who read this blog and I hope you all had a very enjoyable Christmas- with a not too bad financial aftermath to deal with in the coming weeks. This year Christmas seemed to pass by in a blur and I can't believe it is almost New Years Eve already.

I last posted before my work Christmas party just over a week ago, which was a very enjoyable night and surprisingly I actually tried to alternate my alcoholic drinks with soda water and lime and even drank a bottle of water in the cab home and took some painkillers too- I was very proud of myself as usually I never know my limits and end up in a bit of a pickle :S. The next day I was one of the first in the office at 8.30am and was feeling pretty good- just really hungry as I hadn't had much for dinner the previous evening, only some canapes. 

The past week I seem to have fallen a little off the frugal bandwagon, and whereas before I would have carefully thought about what I was buying there hasn't been much of that going on. Nothing too reckless, but there has been food bought which has gone mouldy and unused which has ended up in the bin which I usually try to avoid at all costs, clothes and make up bought that I wanted and didn't exactly need and meals out in close succession with the reasoning that hey-ho its Christmas. 

Also, what has really thrown me into the red is the all-in-one computer I bought outright with built in freeview television. It was a planned purchase, but as the BF gets paid weekly he still owes me £200.00 which I'll probably get in four £50.00 installments. It has a nice big screen, which is such a luxury compared to the crappy cracked screen laptop I've been using the past few months, and is perfect for photoshopping my photos and watching TV in our room. 

And on top of that my annual season ticket loan money still isn't in my account, despite the finance department saying it would be there the week before Christmas. Therefore, I have had to transfer money from my ISA into my current account to pay for all £1,880.00 of it. Eek! I tried to buy my season ticket today to start in the first of January so I pay for this years train fares and consequently avoid the ridiculous 5.8% increases but the ticket office was closed at 1pm. I'm hoping I can buy it easily tomorrow instead without too much hassle, but my sister said they make the process so over-complicated it took her three attempts to try and buy hers. Fingers crossed. 

All being well I will be able to buy the season ticket tomorrow and that will be my travel costs paid for the next year. Once that's all paid for I will have around £165.00 in my account plus £55.00 cash which I need to pay in  tomorrow whilst carrying out my mystery shop at Santander (£10.00 payment for asking a few silly questions and filling out a form-more on that later!) totaling £220.00, I'm hoping to get around £60.00 next Friday for the bar work I've done this week taking that up to £280.00, plus the £200.00 I'm owed from the BF £480.00 and I should be selling my Wii for £100.00 making that a grand total of £580.00 to last another 25 days. Most of this will go on bills; £220.00 rent, £150.00 into the joint account, £42.00 gym membership and then £33.00 phone bill= £445.00, leaving £135.00 to spare. 

It feels good to finally work all this out as for the last week or so its been a bit of a head in the sand situation. I think my head cold has knocked the stuffing out of me a bit and I'm almost (I said almost!) looking forward to getting back into the usual routine- hoping to shake the cold before returning to work. 

I hope you all have a great evening tomorrow, whatever you have planned and hope next year is a happy and successful one for all!

PS. Does anyone have any resolutions yet? I haven't given too much thought to it yet I must say.  

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Just a quick post, it was payday yesterday finally so I've updated my ISA and ticker. It's the work Christmas party tonight, lots of free alcohol which is super scary with festivities going on right up until the big day. Hope everyone's having a Merry Christmas and will be posting a more lengthy post in a few days time.