Budgeting

Budgeting

I moved into my own flat (rented) in January of this year, it’s a huge mile stone for me, I was worried that I wouldn’t like it and that I’d start to get lonely but you know what…I love it!

I’ve started to reconnect to myself and I forgot how much I like my own company (is that bad!?). I’ve started to work out more, study more (although I am still struggling with that one a bit), meditate more and start to do yoga more. My diet has got better because now I make a solid effort to cook each day or I make food in batch like fish pie, butternut squash curry, three bean chilli etc so all I have to do I defrost it and warm it up – YUMMY!

Granted I’ve only been living a lone for a small while and haven’t even had a full month of bills etc yet. However, this month will be the full month of bills and living alone so I’ve put in place a little system to try and ensure I don’t over spend or spend any money on crap and that I am also able to save a healthy amount whilst paying my bills to.

I love a bit of YouTube, to be honest I can get lost in it, but it has been a great resource for me to help me budget and I’ve been really enjoying Jordan Page’s videos from Fun Cheap or Free. One tip that I think will be very helpful to me is cash envelopes, why? Because then I am not constantly tapping my card and loosing track of my spending, its very easy to tap for a coffee and then for a book but after a while you (I) can seriously loose track of where my dollar has gone.

So it’s the fourth week in of my cash envelope and its worked wonders for me so far, each weekend I get cash out for the following week which I can spend on petrol, food and myself (pocket money). Luckily for me my food shop lasts me two weeks, well I make it anyway, I do a food shop on the first week and the third week of every month on the second and fourth week I only give myself a small amount of money to use to ‘top up’ my shop so that might be milk, yogurt, bread, veggies etc.

The budget I have set myself for petrol seems to be working nicely at the moment this could however change if I need to drive to see family etc. The rest of my money is pocket money for me to spend on yourself, lets be honest if you don’t budget yourself money then this is how you’ll end up not sticking to your budget. I’ve found £20 works for me however I don’t also spend that and if that’s the case I will roll it over to the following week, say for example if I need to get the train into London or I will put it in my money box. And yes, I have a money box and no, I am not a child. I find money boxes very helpful for me to ‘hide’ money in and away from myself.

I currently have spending money for Copenhagen building up in mine, penny saving can do wonders when you find a pound in your car stick it straight into the money box for a rainy day or even better a holiday! But if I’ve not spent two weeks’ worth of pocket money I might then pay it into my savings or ISA account, I do have a direct debit which goes into my savings and ISA each month and I treat it as a bill which needs to be paid changing my mind set like this means I’ve been able to still save even if the amount is lower each month than it use to be.

I didn’t do my next budgeting point that much last month but I want to do it more this month. I’ve only found this really works in Tesco but during the week around half 5/6pm ish they start to mark down lots of fruit and veg. Now it depends where you stand on the packaging front with this however at this point in my life if I can get a broccoli for 10p I’m going to get it, they will only throw it away otherwise! So I get loads of these bits, stuff I know I will eat though, I don’t just get it for the sake of it and then I take it home, chop them up, bag them and freeze them. This is how I make frozen veg, I also always freeze my bread I can never eat it quick enough otherwise. It’s literally the best thing you can do! I usually do my main shop at Lidl so there isn’t ever anything discounted as its already cheap but I can get two weeks of food for between £30 and £40 at Lidl.

So what are my top tips?

< Cash envelop: So far so good with this – Stop tapping that card!! You’ll full into the trap and budgeting will go straight out of the window…

< Reduced food: Cheap about to go out of the date food! Yes, this is one of my favourite points I love a bargain so why can’t it be food?

< Shop cheaply: For your main shop go to cheaper supermarkets Aldi and Lidl stay away from Waitrose and Sainsburys all those brand names will tempt you!

< Stick to your budget: Get out of the habit of buying, buying, buying as soon as you see it. Sticking to your budget means you can still save whilst budgeting.

Much love x

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