Budget roundup: November and December

We have been in our new home for over 2 months now and feel very settled and cosy. We haven’t quite felt the same about our budget though. Thankfully, we anticipated it would be too difficult to start our budget and saving plan straight away due to moving costs, setting up direct debits and organising services so had already decided to start our budget properly this January, meaning it hasn’t been too much of a worry.

Moving costs

As we have both come from shared houses we had several things to buy for our new home. All the furniture was bought second hand and we chose items that suited our requirements at the lowest price we could find than skimping and not being happy with the look of our home. 

Moving costs

As long as we don’t damage any part of the property we will get the bond of £420 back at the end of our tenancy. So it doesn’t really feel like we have spent it, it feels like we are just saving that money for a later date. With that in mind we technically only spent £698.95 on moving and making our home cosy which isn’t bad. The bond holding fee is to pay for the tenancy deposit protection run by the government. It’s annoying having to pay out for this but after experiences with previous student letting agents in the past I am willing to pay it! 

Changes to the budget

After evaluating our spending over the last couple of months and due to some changes in bill payments, our budget has slightly changed, and gone up. You my original budget post here. Our aim is to live comfortably, still enjoying good food and socialising, but saving at the same time. We don’t want to skimp to the point we go without things we enjoy, but we are budget conscious and make thrifty spending choices.  

Old budget                                               New budget

Rent will always be the same each month for the duration of our contract, which is 6 months. Potentially it could go up after 6 months. 
Council tax
It is a little more than we originally calculated due to the amount being pro rata from the day we moved in
We haven’t actually had our Internet installed yet (that’s another story) but Talk Talk give the option to pay for the landline rental upfront which reduces the overall annual cost by over £50, and means that only the Internet needs to be paid for each month at a cost of £2.50
We have put the food budget up by £100 as a precaution as we spent more than we thought we would over the last couple of months. The reason our food costs have been higher than we thought has been due to stocking up kitchen ware and sundries such as spices and flour.
Household products
We decided to keep this the same we spent quite a bit on household products over the last couple of months and we still keep buying odd bits for the kitchen so rather over budget than under-budget.
From moving in on 26th October to the end of November we spent £92 and in December we spent £54. We were away for a week in December which probably accounted for the electric coming in under budget. We think keeping the budget at £80 is fine but it may get put up when the real winter hits!
Petrol and social
As we have only just opened our joint bank account, we just paid for our individual costs over the last couple of months. We didn’t bother tracking how much we spent on petrol so not entirely sure how accurate our allowance for petrol is. We could check our bank statements but haven’t got round to it yet.

As mentioned in my previous post, any money that we each have left after paying for the shared budget and our savings is our own money to spend how we like but must cover our own mobile contracts, car insurance and car cost such as MOT and tax discs. For now at least. We are considering sharing the cost of the cars completely since we both use each others cars just as much. However, we feel that having a shared budget is already a big step for the both. We will see how it goes like this for a while and then revaluate what we pay for jointly.

Throughout the month we will track our progress by looking at what we have spent in each are and at the end of the month we evaluate how we have done and I will post about it. So I will either be an embarrassing post if we have gone wild or a triumphant post if we have done well. Fingers crossed for the former!

PS. If you have a living budget I would love to hear how you manage 
it and how much your budget for food per person

By Jenni Tulip

I'm a bright-haired, hill walking, magpie whispering, skull collecting, tree hugging, money saving, bird watching, happy campervanning, ferret fanatic, woodland dweller sharing my stories and passion for the outdoors to inspire you to immerse yourself in nature.

  • Hello, you are doing great and it helps to have it all set out like that so you can see where it all goes. Don't forget things like unexpected dentist trips or vets bills. I have been to the vets twice with my dog over the last two weeks and need to go for a follow up this week. We also had routine check ups at the dentist but that was expected. Maybe you could start an emergency pot for your two pets.

  • Hi
    Thanks for the kind comment. We have savings set aside for emergencies like you suggest. Hope your god is better- What was wrong with him/her. It's very stressful and sadwhen I pet gets ill 🙁 Luckily I'm on NHS for the dentist so costs £17.50 or so for a check up and around £55 if I need a filling.

    Jenni x

  • We get caught out by food every month! It doesn't matter how careful we are we never seem to be able to stick to our budget – that said we budget around £350 for 4 of us including nappies so perhaps we're just being unrealistic 😉

  • I bet nappies cost a lot. It doesn't sound so much to me as you are feeding 4 people. Maybe pop it up a bit so when you do come under budget you feel like you have done well. Makes me more motivated when I see us coming in under budget x