Budgeting archive

In May 2012 I had my baby son and started maternity leave for the second time, knocking my family income down by over £800 per month. Surviving on Statutory Maternity Pay taught me to budget, and how to feed a family of four on only £20 a week. Nowadays I'm back to working, but still juggling the demands of two school-aged children against the reality of self-employed income.

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 complete enough work to comfortably fill full time work hours squished into 3 productive hours a day without having a mental breakdown. As such, I’ve actively started measuring cost in terms of hours and minutes instead of pounds and pence and it’s a scary route to travel down. I don’t want to sit playing with my kids while my brain tots up how much I could be earning if I were doing something “productive” – that defeats the point of deciding to work from home.

I’ve never really understood the term “time poor” before now. I guess it’s ironic that one of the reasons most parents opt to work from home is to increase their downtime to spend it with their kids, and here’s me doing the opposite.

Time to reasses my approach, I think.

Selling on eBay: worth it? (No.)

One of the ways I was hoping that we would pay off our mortgage (let’s pretend I’ve updated that page recently) was to sell the mounds of crap I have sitting around the house on ebay. Of course by crap I mean treasure … kids clothes, old PC parts, DVDs, books, that sort of thing…. read full entry »

Meal Plan 30th April – 6th May

There’s been a big gap between meal plan posts because discovering Oliver has issues with dairy left me feeling a bit lost and “what do I cook now?!”. I don’t know why, most of the foods I cook are either dairy-free or have ingredients that can be substituted with ‘fake’ milks like oat or almond…. read full entry »

50 ways we save money

I was thinking the other morning (in the shower, again) about how we save money in so many ways every day… stuff that Karl & I have been doing for that long that we don’t think about it; thus it never makes a budgeting blog entry. So, I’m challenging myself to put together a list… read full entry »

Financial review: February

Before I even look at the figures, I’m feeling a little more confident about this month. There were a few ‘cheats’ but I’ve mostly stuck to a £100 cash budget for everything. Let’s see what that tallies up to… Joint account expenditure Non-negotiable outgoings Mortgage: £412.97 Childcare: £222.00 Energy: £99.00 Internet: £11.49 Phone: £60.61

Meal Plans Feb 23rd-28th

Apologies for another boring meal plan entry. Drowning in work and house chores and kids and general ARGH at the moment. As expected, I’m finding that breaking my meal plans down in to stages and basing what I serve off the veg box instead of the other way around is not only helping me stick… read full entry »

DIY & meal plans 15th-22nd

We had some sunshine here in jemjabella-land today, so despite the chill in the air, everyone was wrapped up warm and shoved into the garden (and as such both kids were asleep for 6:30pm despite Oliver having late nap!) I’ve re-potted my strawberry babies from the runners last year into their allotted tyre and did… read full entry »

Financial review: January

I figured that if we’re going to be serious about this mortgage free in 5 years thing, I should be looking at where our money is going before we look at how much we can start moving over in overpayments. This is made slightly more time-consuming by the fact I have the joint account AND… read full entry »

February meal plans (1st-14th)

Sorry about the cheaty back-dating of this one ;) I’ve got several posts in the works re: my new goal to pay off the mortgage etc but am poorly so not getting time / energy to finish them :( 01st: (Homemade) Pizza night 02nd: Frugal cake-fest 2013 03rd: Bangers & mash 04th: Poached pollock &… read full entry »

False Economies

One of the things I see other people fall into the trap of too often with this budgeting lark (no, not me, far too smart.. cough cough) is buying into false economies. In other words, investing in something that appears to be a bargain but doesn’t really benefit or save money in the long run…. read full entry »

January Meal Plan 27th-31st

Last meal plan post of January, huzzah (and only slightly late). Not as tight on the veg this week because I wanted to use up leftovers and bought a cheap chicken to get February meals in for as little as possible (more on that at a later date). 27th: Chilli & rice 28th: Wraps with… read full entry »

Mortgage Free in 5 Years?

This week I was reading through Jax’s post on her new blog – The challenge – and my mortgage statement which, quite by coincidence arrived on the same day. Through Jax I also found Mortgage Free in Three. To say I was inspired is an understatement. I’ve decided that we should be aiming to pay… read full entry »