Budget round up: January

January is often a hard month for many due to the long time span between paydays. However, transferring the same amount of money to the joint budget as soon as we were paid in December meant we didn’t have to worry about making money last. The pressure of money felt instantly relieved from both of us this month thanks to our joint account for our bills. I truly recommend this system for any individual or couple.

Here’s how we did:

Internet

Ok, *big deep breath*, the Internet is a bit of a sore point because basically we haven’t it installed yet due to problems with the line and the fact that Talk Talk and BT Openreach don’t talk- yeah, go figure! ARGHHHHH! To cut that long story short, for now (I’m saving the rant for a future post), we have not spent any money on the Internet this month.

Food

For the first week of January we purely ate dinners from the freezer we had stashed away in December. A great idea, by the way, as it made the first miserable week of January that bit more present as evenings were spent slumped on the sofa rather than cooking. This, I’m sure, accounted for some of the under spend. We have both been very good at making packed lunches during the week. Actually, D made the lunches while I tamed my hair on a morning, so I best give him credit for that. Interestingly, we upped the budget from £200 to £300 last month due to how much we paid for food in November and December but maybe £200 is achievable if we try a little harder.

Household products

We have decided to combine with the food budget as it’s too time consuming recording each product we buy. I know we bought some washing up liquid for about 80p from Aldi and toothpaste and mouthwash from Tesco for about £6 so I’m sure we would have come under budget if we did bother to record them all.

Electric

Band on! Considering I left the electric blanket on for 17 hours one day (oops!) and have started to put the heating on low in the bedroom at night, I don’t think we have done so badly. However, reviewing how this month has gone we expect to spend around £20 more per moth when/if winter really hits.

Petrol

Gone over a bit here but when we  broke down the ‘filling ups’ we worked out that Dave filled his tank full, costing approx. £60, at the beginning of the final week of January of which £30s-worth will have been consumed in the final week and the other £30 will last the first week of February. So, technically we did spend pretty much £260 on petrol which is comforting.
D is renovating an old vehicle with my Step Dad at his house so we travelled there 3 times this month which costs about £20 a time. £60, to some, may sound a lot to spend on playing around when we are on a tight budget. However, renovating the vehicle is a ‘project’ D has decided to commit to for the year rather than spending the summer at festivals which work out way more expensive.

Social

Not bad, not bad. Under half the budget spent.  There were three main costly social outings this month yet we still managed to come in way under budget.

Overall, we are happy with how the month has gone spending wise. The money left over will stay in the account and cover costs if we go over the budget in another month. We don’t see it as extra spending money, just a safety net. I love the joint account and the way our budget is working so far. Not having to worry about bills is such a good feeling.

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PS. How did you do with your spending last month?

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.