Monday, 30 November 2015

We made it to the end of the month

I must start by saying a big Welcome to Jane, who has a  new blog called The love of Nostalgia, it looks as if it will be a good blog to read.

The last day of November and what a month......

We accepted an offer on the house and changed our minds about where to move to - for the time being at least ( i.e the hospital side of Ipswich rather than of our old home town 12 miles the other side of the County town ........will we ever get to our hovel in the hills?).

Cols acute allergic reaction to the stuff  he had to take to prepare for the camera thing meant they were only able to do part of the investigation so he is still lacking in energy and anemic and waiting for more tests next month to find out why.

It was our first month living entirely on savings.
How glad we are that we paid off the mortgage many years ago and so grateful we were sensible with the money inherited from my mum and dad - we could have gone on crazy spending sprees, cruises, foreign holidays etc. Instead what we invested in extending the house will be repaid when we sell and what we invested into savings accounts is still there for us to live on.

 My low/no spend challenge went quite well I think judging by the number of times I avoided buying a magazine! I have nothing to compare our spending with as no one else I know has ever shared what a low spending month in their home would be.
This is how it went :-
Direct Debits for Council Tax, water, phone/broadband and charities plus a birthday gift for our youngest came to £250. Diesel, the cats, the smallholding total about £140, The chemist, hospital car park, post office, a watch battery, clothes, kitchen and laundry was roughly £30. Food just over £100. And a really good amount of the 18 ( will need to re-think next year) Christmas presents that we are giving this year:- just over £300 making a grand total of money spent this month of  around £830.

 Is that good, bad or indifferent? I'd love to know.

In December we have car insurance, an electric bill, a big food shop and the rest of the Christmas presents to buy but again I will be avoiding all magazines and unnecessary spending. 

The very final tip of the 30 ways to save £1 list first published in 2013 was- Drive wisely, accelerate and brake slowly and don't carry more weight than you have to and take off the roof rack.

Out of all 30 tips I think the most useful one if you are serious about living on less is to STOP before you rush out to buy something and think if there is a way to use something you already have. Is the thing you are going to buy a need or a want? Are you buying something in order to save money - really? Is there something more useful you could do with that money? Will you regret what you have bought later?

And finally to cheer up a wet, grey end of November day here are a few busy bird feeder pictures

Back Tomorrow


  1. You are like us lucky to have savings to fall back on, its not ideal to live of them but knowing its there gives piece of mind. Lovely photos x

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  3. I think you did very well. I smiled at the bird feeders. We seem spend more on bird food than people food!

  4. You have done well, considering that you have bought pressies. Once your Christmas shopping is over you will be able to cut your spend more.
    Your tips make good sense. Pennies soon turn into pounds.

  5. That sounds like a very good amount for a month. Our direct debits alone are about £700! The birds are so lovely to see :)

  6. That sounds like a good amount to me, I am happy if our monthly spend comes to under £1000.00!

  7. The savings tips have been great Sue, sounds like you've made some good savings for the month too. Lovely photos of the birds, I bet they appreciate your feeders with this windy wet weather! x

  8. Have any of you heard of Little Free Libraries? (Google it for more info). They are basically little houses mounted on a pole where anyone may take a book or leave a book. I am a member of a group that maintains one.

    My family spends a lot of time in a tiny town (pop. 199) where no one sells magazines. A friend and I are organizing a magazine swap along the same lines as the LFL. It will be located inside the coin laundry that my friend owns. She and I swap magazines with each other all the time--now we would like to extend it to the entire town. Be interesting to see what others are reading!

    This town has a small library right on the main street, but not many magazines for circulation. They will get any book you want to read, though.

    1. Hi. I like the idea of a magazine swap. It would work well in our village, but I don't think the local newsagents would be too happy. We have a book swap in the Village Hall, and a few magazines are creeping in there.

  9. Not a bad month at all, even with the hospital add on costs and the gifts. I do hope that you are all sorted soon.

  10. sounds not bad at all to me. We had such massive water bill at the end of Oct - and took a few weeks to sort out checking for leaks and whatnot before facing the fact that it was right - that I'm not even going to tot up our monthly outgoings this month. I've come to the conclusion that we don't use water in this house, oh no, at the price Anglian Water charged we must be using liquid gold!

  11. Great news about the house. At least you're heading in the right direction now. Hope Col's appointment comes through soon.

    Your no/low spend month sounds good to me. I'm happy to share a few figures. On top of the usual DD's we still pay a mortgage, our food bill is a lot more than yours (room for improvement I think), and comes in at about £250-£300 per month and we spend £110 on diesel/petrol. Then there are always unexpected expenses cropping up, 2 pairs of new school shoes this month for example, so we rarely have low spend let alone a no spend month at Number 38. xx

  12. I have been so out of touch and I feel guilty. I do not know how to convert pounds to dollars but I am sure you have done well. Health problems are the worst. Prayers sent you way. Kim

  13. A rough break down of ours, Council tax £100, water £11, phone internet £36, Food £52, Dog food £46 (6-7 weeks of food) Electric £150 Diesel £86 other expenses for the month approx £140 animal feed £30-£40 rough total £661 I woud like to get it a lot lower than this, next year I plan to keep a record through the year of expenses and see were we can cut back.

  14. Although we no longer have a mortgage, we have all the other ongoing expenses like every other householder and they mount up! We don't really feel any financial gain by being mortgage free as the money is swallowed up elsewhere but we have peace of mind, even if we do live frugally.

  15. Your outgoings for the month sound pretty good. We spend more on fuel, as we live in the sticks, and have to travel to go to auctions, do Fleamarkets and Fairs etc. Our food bill higher too but then we have no water rates as we have our own spring water. The council tax is about 10 times what we ever paid on our mortgage . . .

    "Are you spending money to save money?" Well, I was hoping to with this Instant Pot - I will let you know how much it saves, but golly-gosh, our main oven makes the dial whirl on the electricity meter and I always use the top oven, but it's too small for a roast . . .

  16. Hi. An interesting post, and interesting comments. There are things that jump out at me and I want to shout, noooooo, don't waste money on that, but you know me, tight as a ducks behind.

    I have to remember that everyone is different and keep my mouth shut. If your spending works for you, Sue, then that's fine, but your savings won't last forever, so if I was in your position, and I'm not, I would cut my spending to the bone, now. I would spread what money I did have over a longer period of time, get five years out of it instead of three.

    I'm sure you have thought of everything, I hope your house sale goes through with no problems, an exciting new life for you and Col. I hope he gets the treatment he needs.

  17. It's virtually impossible to compare any of our expenses with other folks isn't it, there are always things that are more important to one and totally irrelevant to another. I think the only thing most of us have in common is Council Tax, some utilities and food. Even that is different for me as most of our bills are paid through our company as this is our main business address and therefore we can claim a percentage of all our house expenses through the company.

    Once LH is 'retired' and we are just running a smallholding none of this will be the case and we will have to sit down and work out a 'proper' budget that will suit us for the future.

    You do seem to have managed to get your spending down to the bare minimum though at what is traditionally a very expensive time of the year, cold weather, Christmas etc. Thank goodness you were sensible enough to have paid off your mortgage and that you spent lots of this year down-scaling all your chickens, home things and selling of all the now unused items to boost those savings. Now you are reapoing the reward from this. Fingers crossed that the house sale goes through and that Col's health can be sorted soon.

  18. I think that you are right, the best way to save money is not to spend it in the first place! xx