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January Round Up

We totally busted the grocery budget for January, we were doing really well until the topic of Dan's birthday came up and lots of small expenses have really added up. I'm not blaming him at all, in fact it's been really good for me to have to cough up for stuff we would usually pay for from the general budget.

I treated Dan to a bag of coffee beans after he tasted some at Atkinsons. It was ten pounds. TEN POUNDS!!! I have rationalised this expense by thinking we'd spend £10 on four cups of coffee without thinking about it too much so if this replaces that then it is great value, and it is a kind of birthday present, I hope my poker face is good because my brain was screaming "HOW MUCH?" as the owner told us about his bean selecting trip to Columbia.

We needed quite a few bits in order to make enough cake to go round the office. That spend plus the coffee has taken us over the £120 budget to £136, £10 of which we paid for using Nectar points, so just £6 in cash. I did have the cash so it's not that I'm using an overdraft just for the purpose of cake, and it was still cheaper than buying ready made treats. Next time I will be better prepared.

I am a bit overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family. This week two belated birthday gifts in the form of Festival of Britain posters turned up in the post, plus another Google Play voucher from Dan's mum and a tenner in cash. So even though I have spent a whopping £84.86 of Christmas and birthday money on clothing and accessories (I treated myself to a couple of Wolf And Moon necklaces as well as the charity shop purchases) I still have a bit of money left to spend on the garden.  

We've spent less in virtually all budget categories this month than the previous three months, so we are moving in the right direction, that should continue throughout the year now, we shouldn't need to spend anything on the car until June and we have a gap between birthdays for a little while. I think that's about it for now. 

Comments

  1. Your garden purchases will remind you again and again about your lovely family and friends. Goodvidea-I think some birthday and Christmas money I still have not spent will go to more hostas this spring.

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    1. That's what I thought, always nice to keep the love going!

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  2. This budgeting can certainly be tricky, something always seems to crop up. My food budget is getting really tight, I shall report on that in a few days.

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    1. I think we'll do a fair bit of wiggling this year as my grocery/household budget will be expected to do more so we can free up the general money for other things.

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  3. It's so nice when you get a gap between birthdays. I've got another expensive month in February, and then things should get easier. I'm not wanting to wish my life away or anything, but I will be relieved when all the necessary expenditure decreases and I get back to a normal monthly expenditure, hopefully with a little money to spare.

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    1. I know what you mean, we have two clumps of birthday then a couple of quieter months where we plan other large expenses like the car so we never have a quiet month, but we do manage the bigger spends.

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  4. Ha, I hear you on the coffee. I also rationalize mine by thinking about how much I'd spend at cafes if I didn't buy it! I will be on-budget for groceries this month. I had to absorb $22 since I felt compelled to buy coffee and snacks for a work meeting I was hosting. I only made one discretionary purchase, a book that I "had to" own!

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    1. There's always budget for books though isn't there!

      I tried the coffee yesterday, it is delicious.

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  5. I think you're doing a great job of balancing 'financial carefulness' with 'enjoying real life'. Jx

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    1. Thank you, the "enjoying life" part is really important. We had years of bare bones budgeting so we're enjoying a bit of luxury while we can afford it.

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  6. Regarding the coffee, I visited a couple of coffee farms in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, and was amazed how many steps, how much work and care go into the final product. Honestly, I'm surprised it doesn't cost 20 times more than it does. My son asked why a farmer's son had no shoes. After that we made an effort to buy fair trade, shade grown.

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    1. Absolutely. I don't begrudge paying the amount at all considering all the work that goes into getting it into Dan's cup. I've seen the tea selection and production process, it's a skilled job and people should be paid accordingly.

      My shock was more that I was paying that amount for it because I don't usually buy our coffee so I didn't know how much it costs.

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  7. Coffee is expensive - I can vouch for that as my hubby drinks only the ground esspresso type which even from the supermarket is expensive - I try to buy it on offer. Luckily it is not £10 though - sounds like you are funding his trip to Costa Rica LOL! Hope you enjoy every drop. Birthdays seem to figure high on everyones list at the moment - not an easy category to budget for sometimes. I have just bought my last present for January tonight - February is lighter thank goodness.

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    1. I think I'm lucky that Dan's birthday is right at the start of February so it is pretty much paid for in January which frees up February cash a little.

      The coffee is delicious, and it was interesting to hear about the origins, maybe I'll try to persuade Dan to select something a bit less exclusive next time though!

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  8. I have the same with birthday clumps- June/July are particularly manic!!! You seem to be doing v well with the budget! Dan will savour those cups of coffee!!

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    1. Thanks Kezzie, I think we've walked the savings/luxury line fairly well this month.

      It's amazing how birthdays seem to come in clumps, Father and my brother are a day apart, my mum and youngest niece are the same day, they come thick and fast, but I do like cake!

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  9. Thanks for the introduction to Wolf and Moon. Their stuff is lovely!

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    1. Isn't it! I bought myself a necklace from Mostyn in Llanudno when I was 40 and now I just love their stuff!

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