Oh Bugger (Budgeting Fail)

I made a terrible, terrible mistake in June.

I ignored my budget, forgot to check my online banking statements regularly, and made a big ‘luxury’ purchase (last minute half week “glamping” break) in the same month as a big necessary purchase (car tax). What with that, bills, childcare, mortgage, new shoes for Isabel etc my bank balance was officially lower yesterday than the day before pay day. I am in my overdraft at the beginning of the month for the first time ever.

I’m telling you this because a) it proves that even the most frugal of us make stupid, stupid mistakes sometimes, and b) because I need the accountability and the kick up the arse to motivate myself to go back into mega-frugal mode… the kind of frugal I rocked when I was on maternity leave. Meal plans, packed lunches, budgets, spreadsheets: you name it, I’m on it.

It’s too late to cancel the glamping break and get my money back but I’ve (sadly) dropped 2 ongoing payments to WAHMs for work on WAHMweb, put a crapload of maternity clothes and shoes up for sale, and resolved to cancel a bunch more domains. It’s not going to make me any money — that’s another topic altogether — but it’s a start. August WILL start better than this.

Project £20k: Holy F***!

I recently mentioned on twitter that I had successfully secured my domain with a .uk TLD, taking my total up to some 43 domains. Domains are cheap — little more than a bottle of wine — why worry about owning a healthy collection, right? Except that therein lies a problem that I’ve clearly been ignoring… read full entry »

Starting Project £20k

After having a good moan about my financial / housing situation post-split from Karl, which ended on a jokey note about a project £15k, I thought well… actually, why don’t I start a new project? And why aim for £15,000 — that would mean I’d still need £5k from the bank — why not aim… read full entry »

For Sale: One Kidney

My housing status is basically an unstable mess. I have no idea where I will be living in 6 months time, and part of that is because Karl and I own an equal share of this house and one of us will have to buy the other out at some point (or sell up and… read full entry »

New Job, New Budget

One of the first things I did this month after starting my new job was to set up a new bank account. It’s not that new work necessitates a change of banking details, I’m just slightly paranoid that my old details are splashed all over every invoice etc from self-employment. Plus, a better rate of… read full entry »

Slow Cooker Pork & Meal Plans 11/08-17/08

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I bought a bigger slow cooker to try and frugalise (is that a word?) some of the meals I’m used to making by reducing the fuel cost to cook them. Having made a few ‘easy’ meals with success I spotted some bargain pork this weekend in the Co-op… read full entry »

Meal Plan 04/08-10/08

Bit uninspired this week :P Sun 4th: Roast chicken, mash, veg Mon 5th: Creamy salmon pasta inspired by Jack (adjusted to make it dairy free/suitable for my fusspots) Tue 6th: Chicken soup from carcass Wed 7th: Mince & tatties Thu 8th: Beany mince / salad filled pittas Fri 9th: Pizza night Sat 10th: Curry? probably… read full entry »

Meal Plan 21/07 – 27/07

Bit more veg this week, except tonight’s “meal” (don’t ask) Sun 14th: Meatballs & mash Mon 15th: Spaghetti hoops on toast (‘oops’ disorganised night) Tue 16th: Slow ‘roast’ veg & crusty homemade bread Wed 17th: Macaroni Peas (adapted from River Cottage Veg Everyday) Thu 18th: Sausage & chips Fri 19th: Pizza night Sat 20th: Wrinkly… read full entry »

Meal Plan 14/07 – 20/07

Making the most of leftovers and the freezer this week, with short-dated prawns and pork frozen from previous supermarket shops & Tuesday’s pie made from tonights pot roast. Sun 14th: BBQ leftovers & sandwiches/salad Mon 15th: Beef brisket pot roast Tue 16th: Beef & mushroom pie Wed 17th: Prawny pasta bake Thu 18th: Egg, chips… read full entry »

Cat run & the all weather drying solution

Last year we built a cat run. The original plan was to have one built for us by a guy who specialises in bespoke wooden runs but after 2 visits he went quiet and despite numerous calls and emails we’ve never heard anything back. Anyway, we did some searching and found some metal run panels… read full entry »

Meal Plan 30/06 – 06/07

I’ve been up and down with my meal plans lately, trying to find a system that works for me. The most productive way I have found seems to be to plan from Sunday through to the following Saturday. That allows me to buy a piece of meat / chicken / whatever for Sunday and incorporate… read full entry »

The costs of budgeting

In my moan about selling on eBay I touched upon something important I’ve discovered about budgeting: the time spent planning and plotting a budget is not always outweighed by money saved. Things have been pretty hectic here lately. You know, the usual stuff: a 1 year old, 3 year old, household chores and trying to… read full entry »