Showing posts with label banking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label banking. Show all posts

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!

Monday, 24 September 2012

We've (almost!) done it... I think

This month was quite a good one for myself, as I managed to earn about £400 approx extra for leaving my last job with holiday to spare. I spend a couple of hundred on new clothes and shoes as my wardrobe was looking quite empty and scruffy. However I did sell half of the vouchers I got from my last job to my sister so that covered the cost of one pair of shoes (a padded canvas shoe-ideal for walking/cycling as I had to throw my old trainers out).

Other than that though it was a good saving month, I managed to squeeze away an additional £200 into the savings account. And yesterday while browsing yet more property websites I popped onto a well known bank's mortgage advisor. I entered how much deposit we currently have (10%) and the monthly fee came out at £750, under a 5 year fixed term first time buyer exclusive. If we carry on saving we should have a little more, I entered this amount in and the monthly fee came out at £730- not too much difference but am aware that over 30 years this adds roughly £7,000.

So I think (and hope!) we won't have to stay any longer than necessary in the house share (eight months to go!) as long as we get the mortgage approved (credit score hopefully improving- need to check soon) and find somewhere we want to buy. I think the plan is to carry on saving, then we can make a more informed decision nearer the time- we may use the extra saved money to buy the sofa, re-decorate etc instead.

The temptation now would be to think the hard work is done, but I guess no amount of savings will be too much. I do know I want to book a sunshine holiday (a bargain type one) in the new year and put my car back on the road too so I have a bit more independence. I can't wait for the new year.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Living on a financial edge

Inspired by this post by Frugal Queen, who has become one of my favourite go to inspirational blogs over the last few months, I whipped up a rather unconventional culinary treat last night.

Out came the big box of fishcakes which were £2 for about 12 I think, I popped five into the oven so as to have some for my lunch at work (today). Realising I had no potato-type foods I scavenged in the back of the cupboard for half a packet of couscous I'd pegged down, and rummaged in the freezer for some peas. I was feeling quite hungry so also used up a naan bread that I had frozen before it had gone off. The combination was fairly strange to see and a few people commented on my random assemblement of food but it filled a hole (twice) for almost nothing. I kind of wish I had taken a photo- but I'm sure you can imagine it.

I cooked my dinner and placed the remaining food into a washed out plastic Tupperware container (recycled from a housemates recent take away) to take to work. I think one of the key aspects to saving as much as possible is being organised- from doing a weekly food shop for foods which will a- last the week and b- make enough filling, healthy meals, to making sure the washing is kept on top of so as not to buy any impulse clothing buys, to keeping a constant eye on bank accounts etc, and finally always looking for the best deals from car insurance to washing powder.

Just one week away from payday I feel quite like Astra from who looks forward to her monthly bank statements as its the reward for a months worth of hard work saving. I feel the same and can't wait to have a new budget, plus to see my figures increasing on the spreadsheet knowing we are getting closer to our goal.

I have roughly £4 at the moment once all my bills etc are paid, and I'm off out for a few drinks tomorrow night. However, I figure the money I'll get from Saturday's bar shift should be enough to cover this cost. Otherwise I'm just ploughing on with the no-spend days.

And I've also updated the ticker so that the figures are all proper.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Getting organised

This weekend was really good on the frugality front; I spend under a tenner on some drinks in a bar having a catch up with a friend on Friday night. Saturday I worked and had a huge free early dinner, myself and the BF was really tired, and combined with the terrible weather we declined the offer to go to the pub with our two housemates. We cosied up on the sofa together and watched Britain's Got Talent as well as catching up on some of our favourite TV shows we'd missed in the week. I kept dropping off to sleep, I have no idea why I was so tired.

Today has gone by quite quickly, I got up when the BF left for work and sorted our entire room out, sorted the washing for the week, hoovered the flat and washed the kitchen floor. After all that I obviously needed another nap lol, as I fell asleep again. This afternoon I decided it was time to get my finances in order, the savings tracker just wasn't cutting it as I've got too many different accounts, as well as the money owed to keep track of. I managed to download an excel sheet from the internet and noted everything down. At the top of the columns were titles including; ISA 1, ISA 2, 5% saver, joint saver, money owed for BF's credit card, pension with a total at the end. I've tried to screen grab my uber-organised excel sheet but it doesn't seem to want to let me.

The good news is that my previous calculations in regards to the total was correct, I've reached £10,039.02 in tota, excluding my pension and joint savings. However, this month £250 will be going into our joint account due to the way payday fell and will fall at the end of May. I can stretch £50 pretty far, so to be without it makes things fairly tight, especially I had £30 worth of extra bills to find the money for too.

I've also got a couple of nights out to pay for this week, as well as a team lunch (the venue was picked by my manager and friend from uni who hasn't a clue on how to save money). He's picked a fairly expensive place, and when I said my RSCP was a maybe he said he would pay.

When friends offer to pay for things it always makes me uncomfortable, I would rather go quietly without, whether its an expensive lunch or some shots at the pub- I always try to politely decline and enjoy what I have budgeted for, but a lot of the time they don't like taking no as an answer. Does anyone else experience this whilst trying to save?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The 2012 budget changes,,, what it means for me

If what I can make of the reports is true I think due to the increase in the amount you can earn before tax I should be approximately £12 better off per month as of next month, I think. That's a whole £144 per year each and £288 between me and the BF which isn't too bad.

Although the price of cigarettes is going up by 37p hitting BF in the pocket. I want him to give up, but he doesn't want to even though on some days he forgets to smoke lol.

In other news our council tax has also dropped from £164 per month to £135 so we should be slightly better off there too. It all adds up, and as everyone here and at Tesco knows 'every little helps'. I'm hoping the BF doesn't notice the decrease in the council tax so I can squirrel away the excess into the holiday fund without hurting our pockets too much.

The weather is getting much nicer so this morning I caught the early train and walked from Waterloo to Tottenham Court Road. I'm considering refunding my tube train and bus travel card and getting an overground only rail pass as its almost £400 cheaper a year, money I could use for a holiday or car insurance. I also know my walking routes to and from work now so it doesn't seem as daunting as when I first started working in the city last October.

I think I may inquire at the train station at the weekend to see if its worth getting it changed over and I'll have to check with HR too to see if my monthly re- payments can be altered, as I know that they can be difficult in accommodating admin changes outside of the 'allocated window'.

Anyways, its been a fairly good month money wise, I think I've put almost £800 into various saving pots thanks to my interest payment. So here's to limping through to payday, eating carrot soup lunches (only the one jar remains of the batch I made the other week) I think I'm going to have a lovely golden glow come the end of the year from all the carrots I've eaten hehe- who needs a pricy spray tan?! 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Just checked my ISA's, this years interest has come through of £150.00 would have been more if hadn't loaned BF money for CC and my Annual Season Ticket loan from work had come through, but the money saved for BF on interest payments is worth it. I now need to look into what to do with these accounts for the next year. Any advice? x