Freebie Friday: A Positive Surprise

We're going to be okay! Oh, I can not tell you the relief that was felt when we opened our bank statement to see Lee's new salary pay cheque. Not only was it enough to pay the bills, but it's actually enough to save money for the holidays that we had booked in faith earlier this year. There is no need to scrimp and save and try to reduce everything to the last penny any more because we're GOING TO BE OKAY.

Except we're still going to.

This first month of 'no spend' has completely changed our thinking of how we budget our money. We've come to realise that we don't need to buy those extras that were such a normality to us before, and that instead we can be more inventive and work out how to do things for free. We can pack a lunch when we go out as a family. I can fill a coffee flask instead of doing Costa. We can go to bed instead of ordering an extra MEAL (I mean, this is probably why I've put so much weight on, eh?) after our dinner time. There are things we don't need, there are places we don't need to go, and ultimately there are better things to save our money for!

So whilst the pressure of HAVING to do 'no spend' for fear of falling into debt has gone, the excitement to continue is still the same. We have an opportunity here to save a good amount of money and I don't want to miss that for the sake of enjoying how we did life before.

With all that being said....

We spent a little bit of money this week. I think the excitement of payday got to us and we forgot ourselves for a little bit. No more than £20.00 over a few days on little pieces of random stuff that wasn't needed, but we quickly realised what we were doing and nipped it in the bud. Back to no spend!

The second thing we spent money on this week was a library fine. A couple of quid, I hear you say? You'd be shocked. £14.62 EACH. Almost £30.00! Yikes. Turns out we both had books out that we hadn't realised for months. Whoopsie. We cleared the debt (it's a good habit to get into), and are in the process of creating an area in our house where library books are stored so that we don't 'lose' them again. Everything is a learning curve, eh?

We're doing the CAP Money course at the moment, so over the next few weeks we're going to be looking at our budget and seeing where we can shave a few extra pennies off. I'm definitely paying far too much for my phone, and our gas and electric bill is sky high at the moment. Something needs to change. It'll be interesting to see just how little we can get our 'bills' budget down in order to save money for nicer things and plan a bit more for the future. Is it weird that this kind of frugality excites me?

One big area that I'm going to start focusing more documented attention on is my weekly food shop. I spend, on average, £50 a week. Cleaning supplies, toiletries and nappies/wipes included. I keep getting asked how I do it, so I thought I would start documenting what I buy and how much it costs each week. There will be a few blog posts of standard meals that we eat and what we do about snacks etc, because every time someone asks me how we do it I tend to be replying with, "I'm not really sure!". I'm probably not going to try to reduce it by much because, let's be honest, £50 is pretty good going, but it'll be good to finally get my structure down so that when people ask I can just say, "It's all on the blog".

We'll probably be frequenting this free farm a lot!

As we head into summer I'm going to start looking for free activities to do as a family. There's plenty out there and with the summer holidays coming up it'll be pretty important to find as much stuff as possible! I've been shocked so far by how much enjoyment there is to be had when spending money is taken out of the equation. Of course, there are moments when I just really want a decaf soy cinnamon latte, but once I've resolved myself to not spending the money on it, then I find an alternative that is free - and quenches my thirst just as well.

1 month down and 5 to go. Bring it on!

Until next time....


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