Step 2- So, I looked through my personal spends in November and then our joint account spends. It got a bit confusing as we often pay ourselves back from the joint account, but it isn’t always clear what we have spent it on. Such as, we pay for dog appointments and medication, then the house (joint) account pays us back. We both put a lot of our earnings into the house account, so this is why it pays for things like this. We also use it, if we decide to buy house based things, it is where the holiday money sits until it is used etc. So I am not 100% sure what I have been paid back for, as I will often pay for a few things before taking back and the online account isn’t as detailed as I would like! Last month personal spends has included a trip out with my friends for afternoon tea for a friends birthday, where I did go shopping as well as Christmas Presents, which I don’t always have to buy. I have spent over £200 on clothes, I am expecting about £75 back in returned items. Still a lot of money, I did need a waterproof coat- I don’t have one that fits and haven’t for many years, choosing to just get wet! But the other items were desire items!
Fixed Mandatory Expenses- This is non moveable costs
- Mortgage- £717 (£50 overpayment, rising to £250 overpayment Jan 2020)
- Gas- £106 every 2-3 weeks in the Winter, less in the Summer
- Council Tax- £159 (think its for 10/11months)
- Energy- £25.51
- Water- £35.50
- Life Insurance- £60 (I am sure I can get this cheaper if I actually looked, we got it through the mortgage broker)
- House insurance- £paid in full, approx £114 a year
- Credit Card- £110 minimum payment (often pay some more)
- Car Insurance- £26.64
- NSPCC and Dogs Trust- £13.67 (I want these to continue)
- Vodafone- £14.39 (I own my phone outright)
- Account fee- £5 (we used to earn more back than this, but at the moment we are barely earning to cover it)
- Zoo- £13.75 (we can discuss if we wish to keep the membership going or not)
- RCN- £23.70 (This is my insurance for nursing as well as a magazine- could stop the magazine though)
- TV licence- £154.50 a year
- Groceries- £90 per week :0 (Between £75-90 on average)
- Fuel- £80 a month-ish
- Takeaways- £15 a week on average
- Hair for me- £10 haircuts once every 4-6months, hair dye £5.50 every 3 weeks
- Current monthly saver- £250, 5% account, ends soon
- Clothes and miscellaneous c- unsure what these costs are!
- The dogs are both on medication-Meloxaid, Desmopressin (we buy from a human pharmacy) and supplements- youmove cheap version, I am unsure of costs as all paid seperately and adhoc! Recently needed x-rays for younger dog so big cost. No insurance as both dogs are rescue with issues so would either be uninsurable, or a ridiculous cost. We have always paid for everything they need outright
- Dog food- they are now raw fed and we are still trying to get the feeds correct so unsure of costs
- We eat out but not that often- we went away this month to Glasgow, so spent a lot more there than usual when at home
- I will sometimes buy lunches for work, these can cost around £5 and I work three days a week
- I rarely go to McDonalds , Costa or other but can find some months my use increases- last month for example
- Hubby pays for Amazon Prime and Netflix
- Internet- something like £18- hubby pays for this from his account
- MOT and Service- £170ish depending where we go!
- Adhoc Chicken costs, they don’t need a lot and we buy food as needed,we paid the big costs outright- their home!
What can we get rid of? Well, its tough. I guess that is the point. The Zoo could be dropped, I will work out if we have made use of the membership or not this year and base it on that. Will require a discussion with Hubby, who is working away the next few nights. We do need to work out the costs for the dogs, medications, food, appointments three monthly for reviews etc. Our dogs are our children, they need medication as they both have ongoing conditions that without medication would be life affecting. We get Red’s Desmopressin from the Human Pharmacy, we have to pay for his prescription then pay for the meds, this is still cheaper than it used to be getting them all from the vets! We don’t eat out often, but have a weekly takeaway, we both dislike cooking so it is nice to know that once a week we get something lovely to eat with no effort! Perhaps this can be something to reduce in the future, please?! I am unsure if we can stop the TV Licence, I mean, I could easily not watch the BBC channels, but am unsure how it all works these days! That could be a nice saving!
We could look at the Life Insurance, I am fat, therefore I make it more expensive. But I think that our mortgage broker went for the best deal for her, rather than us, thats fine, she is great with mortgages and I am happy to help her get extra commission, but really we should be investigating this ourselves now! I could look at my mobile phone plan and see if I can get it cheaper. Internet is a new deal and I am sure it was the best we could get- our connection is shocking! I feel haircut costs and hair dye costs are perfectly acceptable, I am 32 with many greys that I am not ready to embrace yet! I will look at moving our joint account, we used to earn good interest when we had more cash in there, but now its in a 5%saver so not helping the current account. Fuel is what it is, I don’t use my car ridiculous amounts, we have a very efficient joint car, and Hubby has his truck. I have no issues with his truck! Could do with being more prepared with work lunches and helping myself as I do 12hour shifts, this would benefit two fold. Clothes are a non budgeted buy whenever thing, I really need to address this with need not desire! We are not ready to stop netflix or amazon yet- sorry UFM!!
Step 5- Substitution
I will be honest, can’t really think of substitutions at this time. I mean, I buy Options hot choc which I love and is cost effective. I love wine and other alcoholic beverages- perhaps I should look into trying to brew my own stuff? I could definately make a version of creme de cassis with blackberries from the garden, missed that this year though. I have started to try and grow veg, my rocket is still doing well and it is almost Winter, but I struggle to grow other things! Another must try! We have chickens, they are ex batteries so laying is hit and miss, that is fine, we just wanted to save them so they didn’t go to slaughter! Will ask my stepmum to help me with foraging I think. I am not conviced about barter and trade at this time!
Reduction of Discetionary Spending- accidently covered this earlier! Except grocery shopping is something we really need to work on! We are upping the mortgage cost, this is because we are on a great deal and want to pay it down more, ultimately helping us!
Step 7- Insourcing
I mean, we don’t outsource often. We paid professionals to do our driveway, much more time effective and a fantastic job comparative to what we can do. Same with the car, we will use a mechanic and ask around for quotes to get a good deal. We paid a gas man to check the boiler when it was playing up. I want to pay a cleaner but Hubby says no! Recently we made shelves ourselves, this was a great example of insourcing. We need to paint and redecorate some rooms, I would like to outsource these jobs but will probs end up doing them with Hubby. Some things are worth trying yourself, but others we need to think about the skill level required and the time constraints we both face.
I am exhausted, this has made my brain hurt to be honest! Will continue on the next steps after my next shift at work!haha.