Showing posts with label budgeting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budgeting. Show all posts

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Thursday wants... damn the clever advertising!

I was sitting at work this morning and a H&M marketing email popped into my inbox. I usually have a quick look and file in the miscellaneous folder. This morning, as I have accepted the job offer, knowing I'll have a little extra to play with next month I find myself itching to reach for my credit card even though for this month I have about £3.00 of my own personal income left as its been a few busy-ish weeks so far. The total comes to £35, but I've already spent £50 of my pay rise money/ the 2.5 days extra holiday I'll get paid for part of the BF's birthday present. Do I freeze my cards in the freezer as mean queen suggested, keeping only my joint account card for emergencies? What do you guys think?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My 100th blog post

This week has been a pretty hectic week compared to my normal week; firstly on Tuesday, the first of the beautiful weather I was lucky enough to have been given free cinema tickets to see the 'What to expect when you're expecting' film which started at six. I worked from home in the afternoon which was lovley, before cycling to the cinema.

Instead of buying expensive drinks and snacks in the cinema, bumping up the price of our trip, we dipped into Sainsbury's en route to pick up some food. I kept my eyes peeled for deals which included a huge bag of sweet Butterkist popcorn for £1, a huge bag of kettle chips £1 and a meal deal which we split for £3. The film was lighthearted, funny and definitely my cup of tea so I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the rom-com genre- however it wasn't overly girly and the BF enjoyed it just as much. Once we were home we worked together to re-work the BF's CV ready for his job interview/meeting on Thursday.

Wednesday was another scorcher of a day- and consequently the tubes and trains were all messed up. I finally made it to Putney to meet a friend for dinner at Pizza Express which was nice as we sat outside. She had 2-4-1 Orange deal, but her phone battery died so we had to resort to 25% off using a downloadable voucher on my phone. Even so it came in at just under a tenner which I thought was pretty good- we went for one drink afterwards which was nice. I had budgeted for the evening,which took me up to just under my monthly budget.

Thursday was D-day. The BF was extremely nervous about meeting with his friends boss, and whilst he was in the interview I literally felt sick. The good news is that he got the job!! I was soo happy as it will completely -change our lifestyle and mean we can live like a normal couple pretty much- if there is such a thing as normal? What I mean is that we'll have evenings, weekends, bank holidays, Christmas's, New Years and so on together, which we haven't had in the last four and a half years. It means we won't have to plan literally everything around his work rota, which often gets changed at the last minute without much notice. Finally, besides the extra money it means that when we (hopefully) move into our own home I won't be left on my own.

To celebrate he came to meet me from work, as I was meeting my mum in town too. We all went for lunch then walked over to the South Bank for a drink, then when BF went home me and my mum went over to Green Park to meet my sister as later in the evening we were going to see 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' in Kensington Gardens.  I picked up three tickets for £40 from Last which is pretty much the normal price of one theatre ticket.

Dancing with the birthday girl

Friday was payday at last; I hit my monthly budget target and now my personal savings total has hit £10,638, while we have £500 in our joint savings. The BF has almost £900 but he needs to use some of this to learn to drive as he'll be driving a company van in the future due to his new job. So all in all things are heading in the right direction. I spent most of the day at a Google event (hello free breakfast, snacks and lunch) and got to spend time in their gorgeous offices.

Then finally, yesterday I spent the morning doing the weekly housework and in the afternoon me and the BF set off with a little picnic to the local park, armed with my SLR camera. And one of my favourite shots is the one at the top of the page. In  the evening we went to a friends 21st birthday party-m I didn't feel too good because of the sunshine so stuck to the diet coke.

Today I think I'll spend the day relaxing before the working week begins again. Hopefully this one will be a little calmer.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Scrubbed, polished and ready to go....

Happy as a pig in mud :) Before...
Tonight with the BF at work I took inspiration once again from Froogs aka Frugal Queen and turned my bathroom into a DIY spa experience.

First of all I rummaged around in the dressing table unit (picked up from Freecycle last year) for a bottle of lavender oil I bought a few years ago. I splashed some onto a flannel, ran the shower so it was all steamy and covered the plug hole with the flannel so the oil would evaporate with the steam- turning my turning the humble shower cubicle into my very own sauna. 

Next I cleansed my face as normal with a Boots own cleanser, then followed up by smearing a layer of their cold cream onto my face, massaged for a few minutes then removed with a warm muslin cloth which came with a hot cloth cleanser I bought in the Boots Boxing day sale. I followed this with an exfoliating face scrub, before applying a Sanctury mud face mask, which was also part of the Sancutry set I bought after Christmas. 

Whilst this was drying I exfoliated using a body scrub which was a birthday present, then toweled my skin and applied some body mud which I was given six bottles of as part of a magazine give away about a month or so ago. 

Once the mud had started to set I jumped back into the shower and rinsed it all off. Once I was dry I applied lots of  facial moisturiser, Boots own part of  a 3-for-2 deal then slapped on the Soap and Glory  body lotion (Christmas presents for the last few years- I've built up quite a collection!). 

Once this was all done I turned my attention to my poor neglected feet. I think there isn't anything worse than seeing a woman wearing flip flops or sandals with awful cracked heals. So I attacked mine with a vengeance using the Ped Egg, which was a present a few years ago. Once my tootsies were free from the hard, dry skin I smothered them in an intensive foot cream which was part of The Sanctury bath set which was a birthday present, popping cotton socks on to seal in the moisture. 

Once my Clinique wide awake toner stuff runs out, which, although I love, I don't love enough to splash my cash on at the moment I'm going to have to downgrade to an old toner from Tesco that I bought over a year ago, resorting to an old green tea tea bag to give me 'firm' skin- supposedly!  

Here I am sans make up after my scrubbing and polishing session; not too bad though I wish my under eye bags/circles would go away (please excuse the vacant-eyed-stare!). Does anyone have any tips on getting rid of them? Is it really a case of eating more iron based foods, or do I have to rely on the magic touch of concealer forever? 

If you have any DIY beauty secrets please share.....go on I won't tell, my lips are sealed! ;-) 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Just a quick update; I checked all my usual accounts etc this morning, including my new credit score and its gone up 37 points since I last logged in and is now sitting at 935 I think inching its way to excellent. I'm really pleased, its because I've had my credit card three months now (I think- I can't find the post where I wrote about it). However, I'm not really too worried about my score, its my BF's. But he has been using his credit card responsibly, and has a direct debit to pay it off in full now so hopefully this will be enough to improve it. He's kind of in denial about his score, and won't check his report- grr!

Also, I've been paid from my first lot of Quidco cash back £13 (was meant to be £18 but they take £5 for membership type fee) so I have approximately £4 to my name which isn't tied up. However, I have picked up another bar shift Saturday at Twickenham which should be an extra £30 or so, so I can squeeze by to payday in 10 days time.

Besides that, things are ticking along as usual; there's been less food waste- just a couple of bits of the end of a loaf of bread which had gone mouldy. I also choppped up some vegetables and put them in the freezer to stop them ending up in the bin.And my BF has sort of got approval for his pay rise; his work are weird they work backwards it seems. He still has to fill out half a workbook, quickly apply and then have a kind of mock interview but I'm hoping he'll have it sorted by the end of the month. I need to stop nagging though, because he's still a bit of a child and he digs his heels in even though he knows it needs doing. Are all men like this?? 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Another week, another update....

I've got a bit of an obsession with cat paint atm lol!
I think this has been the longest amount of time I haven't blogged for to date. The reason? hmmm... no real reason really, things seem to be ticking along fairly smoothly, no disasters to report etc. I did end up picking up another four hour, last minute bar shift on Tuesday evening, so come Wednesday eve I was feeling pretty sleepy.

Then on Thursday I went out after work for a colleagues leaving do in town; I made sure I stuck to the happy hour glasses of wine which were £2.70 with 50% off, topped up with soda to make them last longer, as well as to dilute them down. Because we had reserved a couple of tables the bar gave us a couple of platters of free finger food, bottles of champagne and about 20 shots. Luckily I was well positioned when the freebies arrived, so enjoyed a couple of glasses of Prosecco for free as everyone else seemed to turn their noses up at it, some food and three free shots (I'm pretty sure they were mini glasses of bitter lemon lol!) before heading home.

Friday lunchtime we went out for lunch to a new American restaurant called 'Meat Liquor' which is located behind Oxford Street. The food was delicious, and I could see why the burgers have been getting rave reviews all over the internet. The bill set me back £16 which meant  it took up the majority of my weekend budget, but I was paid for the Saturday bar shift so squeezed it in without going over budget. I also put all three meals on my credit card and the others are transferring me the money to get more use out of my credit card to try to push up my credit score. Friday evening I was so sleepy from my huge lunch and kind of late night the night before me and the BF just dozed on the sofa in front of the TV.

Saturday I had to buy my Dad a present for his birthday; I couldn't find anything and decided to give him the vouchers I won through work instead which can be used at Halfords, Homebase and HMV amongst others. My Dad's quite practical (think that's where I get it from) and was very pleased when he opened his card and found these nestled inside. Saturday night, after watching Britain's got talent I cycled to the pub for a few drinks, spent about a fiver sipping slowly lol, and this also included the price of my cab fare home too.

Sunday we decided to rearrange and sort out our room, all junk was thrown out, stuff we won't need has been put away in the loft and all our paper work has been filed neatly into labelled plastic wallets.

Then yesterday we visited my family and went out for dinner for my Dad's birthday. We went to the harvester, and managed to wrangle a free round of drinks for six- and four of them were re-fillable too! The bar man completely messed up the change he gave my dad, and ended up giving him all his money back in a different form. Mum & Dad covered the bill, so will probably have them up and cook something nice as a thanks in the next few weeks or so.

I've got £16 of disposable income to last the week, then I should get paid about £25.00 for my bar shift last week. I'm out for a few drinks Saturday, so this should easily cover this leaving me with about £40. I'm also expecting one of my Quidco payments of £13, so should be able to scrape through the next two weekends and make it to payday.

I think there's another happiness revolution due, but I'm a bit stumped for ideas as to what to include.... 

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?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Payday update

That time of the month came again, payday. This time it meant I have just about exceeded my 10k mini target which feels pretty good, even though there's still a way to go. I'll wait for the £250 to go out of my account at the beginning of the month (into my 5% fixed payment saving account) and for this month's credit card payment to come out (£70, only £45 if my own personal spending) before transferring the £350 into my general ISA.

Our refund also came through from British Gas, £245! I've shifted the money almost straight away into our joint account every day saver, which is almost at £500 so as not to spend it. I'm not sure what this will be used for, either to book a holiday late in the year, flights in the summer to the BF's beachy home town, or as part of our stamp duty payment. Either way, its nice to know its there as last year our joint account was running on empty due to more expensive accommodation costs and we had to buy all our new furniture.

I also took out the Experian 30 day free trial to check my credit score to see if it had been affected by my lack of student loan repayments, and its in the good category with a score of 898 our of 1000. It seems that because I have very recently applied for credit I have been marked down, and because I'm not really using much of the credit it seems to be going against me a little- crazy right? Anyways, I'm aiming to improve my score by only using my credit card where ever possible rather than the money in my own personal account, or in our joint account. We need to improve the BF's credit score, I'm guessing that due to his lack of organisational skills and late credit card payments etc it wont be as high as mine so I think he may even start using the dreaded credit card for small amounts, now that he has set up a direct debit for the full amount to be paid off every month.

Finally, this month financially looks OK (all being well with the job- we've gone very quiet which is never good!). I've got a five hour bar shift on Saturday, which I'll get paid for seven hours. This covers money to renew our rental contract (£80 for them to file the contract- ridiculous!) as well as the last what I owe my housemate for last years TV licence with a little to spare. I also have those vouchers to pay for my dad's birthday present.

My clothes need a bit of a lift (again?!) so this lunch time I hot footed it down Oxford street to H&M as I had a £5 off voucher that expires on Sunday. I picked up a replacement pair of skinny blue jeans (two pairs of mine will be going in the bin) and a white t-shirt top as all my white tops have been relegated to 'house clothes' ie. a hop, skip and a jump from becoming pyjamas. I thought the jeans were £20, but scanned through the till at £9.99 so in total I spent £13. I've allowed myself around £30ish for new clothes this month, and I kind of need some new ballet pumps as the sole in mine is starting to go.

I think that's all the news on the financial front; the wintry weather is making it easier to resist the temptation to spend, you can't step foot outside the door without being drenched!

Onwards and upwards.... until next time x

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The beauty of the humble voucher

These were taken Sunday morning waiting for the parentals to arrive x

So the music quiz came and went, I enjoyed a good night with good food, drink and company and as a bonus our team won so we took home a bottle of champagne to share, a vintage radio and £25.00's worth of 'Love to shop' vouchers each. Not bad for an evenings work, and Radio Works (the media hosting) are thinking of holding a quiz ever month too. I'm thinking of using £20 of vouchers to pay for a present for my Dad's birthday which is at the beginning of May, and save £5 to put towards something for my sister's birthday present which is in June.

Thursday I was off work so enjoyed a bit of a lazy day as it was raining for most of the day. In the evening I went to see a free screening of the teen thriller 'Elfie Hopkins' which was pretty scary, and some parts I was hiding behind my coat. The film was ok watching, but I wouldn't have bothered paying the £10.00 for a ticket to watch it.
Literally, sunshine through the window...

Then afterwards myself and my housemate did a food shop at Asda; I allowed myself one basket only and managed to squeeze a weekly shop in, which came to £30- it's definatley the way forward. I've had a quick meal pre-plan and I reckon it will be enough food to see us through until next Thursday evening.

Then Friday evening, I was meant to be going out for dinner with a friend but she ended up in A&E so after a fleeting visit to make sure she was ok while she was waiting I went to the pub for something to eat and a few drinks. I had set aside £20.00 for the eve, but only spent £16.00 including my food so had £4.00 left over.

Then saturday I went to have my hair cut, I had allowed myself £35.00 from  the money I picked up the week before working at the pub and it came in at £32.00, so I have a whole £7.00 to last until payday in two days time, then I'll have hit my £10k mini target.

Today my family came up as my sister had one of those photo shoot make over things in Richmond so I went with her while my Mum and Dad visited Ham House. The shoot was pretty cringy and I was glad it wasn't me the photographer was prodding about and telling me to look sexy. I was also dreading the viewing, which the M&D came in for as I have experienced the aggressive selling techniques these places employ before as they to try and get you to buy their photos.

Needless to say it came, the photographer was really trying to sell his images, saying how lovley the shots were etc, then the prices came and my Dad nearly fainted- £85.00 for one A4 image or £400+ for about five- what a rip off!

They declined the images you had to pay for, selected their one favourite which was free and we were hurried out the studio as the photographer slammed the keyboard on the 'don't save' icon after they wouldn't part with their cash, and I for one don't blame them! Above is a few pics I took of the shoot behind the scenes.

Has anyone else had one of these shoots and been completely taken aback by the ridiculous prices??!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Batch cooking

Our fridge is looking kind of barren, just some cheese, butter and eggs with some veggies in the draw. So last night it was time to put my 2kg bag of smart price carrots (78p) to good use. After quickly eating some left over fresh pasta from the night before I got peeling and chopping, using up half a red onion and stock cube from the cupboard.

The carrots and other bits made six portions of soup which was poured into washed out old food jars. Two were placed in the fridge for lunch today and Friday (I'm off tomorrow) and four in the freezer for quick, cheap standby lunches which should see me through to payday.

This week I don't think any food has gone to waste which is good, and even the BF seems to be on board with cutting down on the food shopping. Tomorrow eve would have been one week on a £47.00 shop (approximately- we may have bought a few bits at work out of our own money).

Tonight is a media music quiz night which should be good fun, its free and there'll be free food and drink so I plan to make the most of it!

Happy hump day!  

Monday, 16 April 2012

Weekend update

This weekend went pretty well on the financial front; we payed a visit to the local funfair with discounted premium tickets which were given to the BF at work. It was something cheap (a total of £4 was spent), fun and a bit different for us to do together- we had a giggle. Then we had a takeaway, eep, but this was from our joint account so doesn't affect my own saving. This came to about a tenner anyways for both of us so relatively inexpensive again.

Saturday, my parents came up and we went cycling around a local country park in the afternoon, then out for a meal with BF too in the evening. As we were chatting away about saving, my mum was a little bit critical and said that I can't put my life on hold because of the saving. But I said that its for relativley a short period of time, my life's not on hold its just a little bit restricted and normal spending will probably resume once our goals have been achieved.

However, what I think I'll take from the super saving game is that it is possible to cut back, I think I'll always be a little bit cautious when it comes to money, I've always been the same, and I will always set a small amount of money away for a rainy day. I said I've always preferred to use my money for one really good thing I want then use it to buy lots of rubbish, such as I saved my part time shop wages at school for a trip to New York, and I squirreled £2,000 away for university- I can't help it I'm a bit of a worrier and a planner, which I think explains quite a lot of my attitude towards my finances, opposed to my sister who is quite spontaneous. Its strange to think that the two of us were bought up the same yet have such different behaviours.

However, what I have picked up from other bloggers is that I just don't need all this stuff; I don't need ten bottles of perfume, ten eyeshadows in my make up bag, or ten pairs of jeans. This is why I'm trying to run all my stuff down, perfumes won't be replaced until I have none left, jeans are being worn until the seams split and then cut into shorts, bed covers are being used even though they don't always match (but are otherwise perfectly fine) and make up is being used up, foundations and body lotions having the tops cut off to get every last bit out, and then only replaced if nesseccery.

I also think its because I wan't to buy new homey stuff once we (hopefully) have our own space, and I also don't want to have to move stuff which I've accumulated that I don't really need or even have space for. To me its just makes sense, but my mum doesn't seem to quite understand.

On Saturday I payed for the dinners (three for £23.00 approx using staff 20% discount- BF decided he didn't want to eat), so my bit was done for the evening. This was within my weekend budget of £25.00.

Sunday we had a lazy lie in, I got up hoovered and cleaned the floors of the house, some dusty grubby shelves in the bathroom that were gathering dust, done some washing and generally sorted our room out.

Then I had a phone call from the BF asking if I could help out at the pub as they were short staffed as someones nan had died. My evening was going to be a fairly quiet one anyways, so I figured I may as well make some extra money. I cycled the mile to the pub and did a 6-11.30 shift, which was extremely quiet and was paid until 1am for helping out. The BF also paid for my dinner too as a little thank you.

The extra cash will pay for my hair to be cut hopefully on Saturday. Just one last weekend until payday with a £25.00 budget which should pay for a cheap dinner and some drinks on Friday night, and I'm planning on keeping the rest relatively low key as I'm out Wednesday and Thursday too.

Last night I didn't have time to pre-pack my lunch as I was at work in the evening, however this morning I threw some instant couscous and vegetables from the fridge to make a healthy, filling salad come lunchtime. I just ate it and it was pretty yummy, much better than a soggy pre-packed sandwich from the supermarket. What's more, it made two portions and my lunch for tomorrow is sitting pretty in the fridge at work- and I still have loads of veg left over too.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Food glorious foooddd.....

Over the last few days we have been using up whatever food has been lurking in the fridge, freezer and my desk draws before going shopping tonight.

Last night I didn't bother making a packed lunch as I still had half a portion of the pasta I made the other week still at work, some olives, some water biscuits, hot cross buns and some apples at work.  Slowly over the day I intend to eat most of this list, despite the randomness of different tastes.

This week I have had to throw out a little less food wastage, I think only a carton of left over chocolate milk bought on impulse from the Co-Op downstairs. And I think from now on I'll start using my credit card to pay for the food shop and transfer the money from the joint account to pay for it as this benefits us in three ways; it shows that I am able of borrowing more money and repaying it, it will show how much we spend on food over the course of a month and I don't have to use my credit card for things that aren't really essential.

As the 10k target gets closer I'm itching for payday to come which is in two weeks so I can say I have achieved it (even though we still have a way to go on the saving front, the majority is probably done :)).

I'm finding that I'm getting a bit bored in the evenings at the moment, where I'm cutting back on my spending whereas before I never got bored and always felt like I had lots to do, so I think that's why I'm getting more impatient. But I keep reminding myself, in a few weeks we are already four months through the year and there's only eight more to go.

Does anyone else have a relatively short saving target they are itching to reach? and the more impatient I'm getting the more I want to cut back to reach it quicker, but there's only so much you can cut back on. Patience is a virtue after all, and the good things in life are worth waiting for.

Luckily over the next few weeks I can make use of free tickets I've accumulated; two free VIP tickets for the funfair (we plan to go Friday night should the weather hold up), two free cinema tickets courtesy of a work colleague who got them from Sky and a free pub quiz, with free food and drink which is being held by a media company next Wednesday which I plan to take full advantage of- I've even booked the next day off of work!

Here's to the next two weeks xx

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

DIY photoshoot

Some family said they wanted some up to date photos of us, so we made a DIY soft light box using an Ikea lamp in our bedroom, some tissue and a hairband. I was pretty pleased with these. We printed the middle one onto canvas using a kit I was given for Christmas. 

On the spending front the rainy weather ruined our plans of making use of the free fun fair tickets we had so we headed to the shops. The BF bought me some new clothes as his money burns a bit of a hole in his pocket, so I thought it was best he spend a bit on me so I can carry on with the hardcore saving. I managed to get through the weekend on what I had budgeted, and was even given a fiver by my Nan for Easter. So for the next few weeks I'll be plodding on with the daily savings, so if anyone fancies helping me out please have a wee click on some of my ads.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring has arrived in London!

I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

Anyways, payday came around on Friday and with that the ticker gets updated. So if my calculations are correct this is how much I've saved so far (including the BF's credit card repayments which will end next January)

Things on the money front are coming along fairly well I think, besides having to throw some food out earlier on in the week; a new tub of Heinz 'fridge' beans that I forgot were ours which were growing mould, some out of date eggs which were put on someone elses shelf and forgotten about after doing a big shop, a carton of gone off pomegranete juice, blood orange juice and chocolate milkshake.

Things I'll take from this is to keep control of the shopping by not buying such big shops as we don't get round to eating it, not buying items to try which may end up being wasted and keeping all our items on the bottom shelves so I can actually see what we have.

Friday was our two housemates birthday drinks, I managed to dodge the offers of shots with the urges to 'live a little'...hmmphh! and only had two bottle of cider (I don't know how it lasted for the few hours we were there-I guess you get quite a lot in each bottle). I had budgeted £30 for the night, but only spent a fiver- result!

Today I have put this dress on Gumtree to try and sell for £50, like the other dress it came from New York's Greenwich Village and unlike eBay Gumtree doesn't charge you to advertise. I also took advantage of this websites offer of 50 free prints when you sign up, I've signed up with a new email address about four times now.

 I plan on making a border of photos around our room seeing as we're going to be here for another year. Other than that I've sorted out our room for the week, done two loads of washing and may head to the park to start reading 'The time travellers wife' in the sun before cycling up to meet the BF from work. Hope you're all enjoying the sunny weather, Happy Sunday! x

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Love this

It can be applied to almost anything in life, for me at the moment its my saving journey. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Marching into March....Google Adsense

I just want to say a big thanks to anyone who has taken the time to click on my ads, slowly slowly the click fees are beginning to add up I'm pleased to say :). If anyone wants me to click away at their ads I'm happy to trade off hehe.

Just wondering though, does anyone know how the money becomes real life £££'s in a bank account rather than sitting in the Ad Sense account?

Happy Friday all xx

Friday, 24 February 2012

Payday update

Should be able to squeeze in £800 this month into the saving pot, leaving me with £100 in my disposable Barclays account, and my credit card around £52 (I think). I've got a couple of Saturday bar shifts coming up, as well as another mystery shop so should be alright. This month the gym membership has come to an end, as I've chosen to put the money into my pension instead and the car comes off the road too, which will be another worry virtually eliminated.

Weekend plans consists of drinks tonight (thinking of stretching my £20 budget by alternating alchol with soda water and lime), working at Twickenham tomorrow daytime, out for dinner with the BF tomorrow evening, and gyming/sleeping/housework etc sunday.

Happy Friday to all xx

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lunch time post

I would like to welcome the latest follower to my blog, Jack McCallum! Although this blog is to track my saving journey it's always nice to see people are interested in what I have to say.

I'm also treating myself (a little) this lunchtime due to the unexpected tax rebate- Thai food for lunch, £4.00 but will probably be my dinner too, and a six pack of diet cokes to keep under my desk on offer for £2.50.

I've taken out £20 for the weekend, which should cover a bottle of something for tomorrow evenings gathering, and a half price trip to the cinema seeing this week come to a total spend of approximately £30 from my disposable bank account. Hope you all have a great weekend, Happy Friday! x

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Just a quick lunchtime post from me- hot office topic of debate: do you ever use tea bags twice?

Are you a double tea bag dunker?! 
Pros- one packet of tea bags last twice as long
Cons- two s**t tasting cups of tea

Decide for yourself which side of the fence you sit on- I think I fall somewhere in the middle of the two. If I'm coming to the end of a pack I'll make do until I next pass a shop which stocks them at a decent price. £1.50 for a packet of green tea in Budgens or 77p in Sainsburys?

Secondly, I've just given the Sainsburys basics chocolate digestives a go and they are no different from any other biscuit, bar the packaging. I've kept them tucked away in my bag though out of sight of judgmental eyes lol.

Often my housemate (currently around 5k in debt) makes comments about the 'cheap' food I buy, in reference to Adsa or Sainsburys own brands, not even the 'smart' price value ranges. I think I will definitely give the value brands more chance, even if I have to smuggle them into the cupboards. Also the BF can be a bit snobby about some food items, so wouldn't dare switching his beloved peanut butter down a range. I may buy one for him and a cheapo jar for myself in the future. Ooh the excitement of my life at the moment.....

In other news my dress has a bid of £27.00 on eBay, another £13 and I'll have recouped the money I spent seven years ago and freed up some space in my wardrobe. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Waiting for Spring...

Yesterday my old pub manager rang and offered me a shift Saturday daytime working at Twickenham with a couple of the nice girls from the pub. The rugby is on, so the clientele isn't too bad, some even tip so should make around £36 (not accounting for tips) for a six hour shift, plus a free meal. Not amazing, but as one famous supermarket chain says, 'every little helps'. I didn't account for this at the beginning of the month so its extra to throw at the fund.

Its also been arranged that we are dropping the Wii off tonight so that's another extra £100. In total this month (if I hadn't paid off the BF's credit card) I would have put away 500 (CC) + 60 (TMP wage)  +37 (Spoons holiday pay) + 100 (Wii money) + 36 (Twickers) = £733  + whatever the ebay bits gather (there's 31 people watching the dress!). A pretty good month on that front, well I think it's that my accounting skills still aren't quite up to scratch!

The BF told me the other day that he also has £2,000 worth of shares at work, which sounds nice but until they materialise into actual cash I won't account for. Plus, once he gets his payrise, which should be in March all being well he thinks he can save around £300 per month, plus pay off what he owes me for the credit card. Though I have to keep reminding myself to not count my eggs before they hatch and all that.

Last night I did a swift shop at Iceland to top up the supplies in the cupboard, I gave myself a budget of about £20 quid and it came in at £19 for the lot, including a dinner fajita kit at just £1.75, and a huge bottle of Lenor fabric softener for £2.00. I think the trick is that I had to physically carry the shopping so that stopped me trying to buy too much. I might even bear this in mind in the future, and Iceland is on the train route home from work so don't even need to use my car.

In other news I'm still trying to get my housemates to turn the heating down just a smidge, but they can't seem to comprehend that the bill will go up if they keep heating the entire house when the temperature really isn't that bad. We have flats either side of us and live on top of a cafe! I got up this morning with no heating on and it was fine...oh to have my own space to do what I please. I think it's that which is keeping me out of Sainsbury's this lunch tine. I've swapped the cans of coke for filtered water for the second day running, wahhoo progress and have also run out of tea bags.

For the rest of the week plans are as follows; dropping round the BF's family tonight after dinner (I pre-made potato wedges out of potatoes that were beginning to sprout, I used the oil which comes with sun dried tomatoes which I bought a few weeks ago and had kept in the fridge since- think I'm really getting the hang of this frugal living stuff!) they've been marinating in the fridge today, along with some garlic and onion. All BF needs to do is to pop them in the oven, along with the frozen chicken pieces which will be marinated in one of those shaky bag things. Frozen peas complete the meal. Tomorrow eve I'm going to a friends for dinner, with said cheap fajita kit in tow. Thursday eve is body attack, Fri eve some drinks in the local, Sat working, Sun hitting the cinema with some vouchers. Done! :)

Did anyone else catch Superscrimpers on Channel 4? As always it was packed with thrifty tips, my favourite was using an old sock, filling it with rice and sewing it up and microwaving it to make a snuggly heat pack. Might make the housemate said sock gift lol to stop him whining about the heating!

Hope you're all having a cheap and cheerful week so far! x

Oh and one more thing, if you want to save money on entertainment Netflix is well worth checking out we started the free trial and within a week have watched lots of films. We also got a years worth of antivirus software which we were going to buy for signing up :) 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Weekly spending round up

Last week was a fairly thrifty week, I think I'm the opposite to most people whereby I save as much as I can the first few weeks then as pay day looms closer I allow myself some little treats. This week my spending went as follows;

Monday- No spend day

Tuesday- Bought Diet Coke pack of six on offer for £2.50. One can is 65p saving £1.40 (Joint account)

Wednesday- Had to buy petrol in advance or  I would never go to the gym. I saved my Sainsburys voucher which gave me double points on fuel for the occasion & popped into see my BF at work and he made me a frothy hot chocolate (freebie :D) =£20. 

Thursday- Had to re-order my contact lenses as I had run out (Glasses are definitely not for me) from Day Soft Lenses One months supply costs just £10, whereas before I bought my contact lenses from the opticians at £32 per month- what a shocker! this saves £220 per year.

Friday- Free night out with the grads from work thanks to company funds. Fast food dinner £3.50 (wish I had waited for my mums stew instead!)

Saturday- Coffee with friend £2, her amazing company, free. Exchanged Xmas present £7.50.

Sunday- No spend day thanks to annual season ticket taking me all round London and Kent/Surrey borders. 

Though it looks more red than green (or blue) it came in within my weekly budget.

Total £52.70. Next week will be easier too as the lenses will last two months and the petrol around one month.

I'm planning on going to the cinema on Sunday to see 'The woman in black' as I have buy one get one free vouchers, maybe coffee with a friend Saturday afternoon and a date night with the BF Fri, as well as popping round his sisters to (hopefully) drop off the Wii and pocket the cassh Tuesday evening! In the week I might (try?) and squeeze in a few gym trips if it doesn't snow again.