Friday, 1 August 2008
Another month has flown by and unfortunately, I broke my budget by, for me, ridiculously huge amounts. Having house guests cost me far more than I imagined, for one reason meaning that this month I’m going to have to pull the reins in even further than usual.
Reasons for blowing my budget:
Petrol - Ferrying guests around is expensive these days. Cars don’t run on air (if only) and the cost was left down to me to cough up. £160 in petrol in a month is a lot!
Food - Although I’d budgeted for more groceries than usual, frequent trips to the shop for ‘top ups’ cost a lot more than I’d imagined. My £100 budget for two weeks turned into £155.
Personal Loans - As LM has been unable to take money from her bank account due to lack of both a bank card and identification, I’ve had to become her personal cash-point. I know she’ll give me the money back just as soon as her new PIN arrives but it’s still left me short and bills unpaid. Lise also ran out of money so I had to dip into my savings in order to help. Then, to top it all, they missed their flight yesterday so I had to dip in even further so that they could pay for a new flight that leaves on Saturday. Part of this money should be returned next week, part in September.
Impulse Buying - Frequent visits to Asda, Tesco, and the local petrol garage have, I’m ashamed to say, managed to part me with money I didn’t intend to spend. I didn’t buy much on impulse but it was still too much.
Lack of Account Updates - I feel as though I’ve been running around myself most of the time so whenever I do get the chance to have some time for myself, I’m usually so shattered that I just haven’t been keeping my accounts properly updated. When I lose control of my budget, things go haywire.
Stress - Due to my health, I've found having house guests pretty stressful and, looking back, I realise that when I'm stressed I spend more. I buy 'comfort' through bars of chocolate (even though I normally eat very little of the stuff) and 'stuff' that I wouldn't normally even want, let alone actually buy. This hasn't amounted to a lot of money but when you're on a tight budget, these things really do make a difference. What's worse though is that I smoke more and that's not only bad for my budget but it's not doing my health any good at all. Quite the opposite.
To help find another notch on the ever tightening belt this month, I’ve taken inspiration from Frugal Trenches and will be aiming to have 16 no-spend days during August. That won’t include bill payments that are taken from my bank account as my direct debits go out on all sorts of dates and would just make it near on impossible to stick to my 16 days, but I shall do my best to not spend as much as 1p on anything other than bills during those days. Of course, I’ll also try to keep spending during the remaining days to a minimum too.
I've earmarked unnecessary telephone calls other than the free inland calls that are part of my TV/Internet/phone bundle as 'spending' but not sending texts as they're bundled into my mobile bill anyway.
Originally I thought of aiming for 20 but decided it would be better to stick with half of the month rather than aim to high and end up feeling miserable if I couldn't keep to it. I may not be able to stick to 16 either but at least those extra 4 days give me a better chance, especially as I do need to call my mum's mobile regularly (and often for several hours at a time through 18185.co.uk) and top-up grocery shopping still has to be done.
I’m determined, though. I won’t let this blip set me back too far.
Labels: Money Matters