November 2018 – blimey, I was doing a lot of thinking in 2016, wasn’t I? 😉 I’m going to publish this one, because I want to realise how much money we used to get through. So. Much. Money. We have the least amount of money in our bank right now, that we’ve ever had. But we’re doing life very differently and although it’s harder in lots of ways, it’s also been very freeing. Maybe I’ll write about that. For now, I’m just going to leave this with you to read and laugh at… Feel free to judge me. I am on reading this!!!
Part of me – no – the majority of me – is cringing as I start to write this. It’s embarrassing. But I’m cracking on with it anyway. It’s total navel gazing but there’s some stuff I need to publicly put out there. I also know that many people will be judging me right now – “you spend how much??? on what????” I know that other families do things very differently and prioritise differently. I’m just writing it as I’m seeing it right now.
Swapping on spending
We are on a money spending / swapping mission. We want to buy a new or at least ‘new to us’ car this year. Despite testing lots of different cars from Ford we’re still not sure about what we want to go for. Well, we know what we’d like, but we can’t afford a brand new car with all the bells and whistles, so we’re going to have to make some compromises. The amount I had in mind, from our savings, is around half of what we need to get to the car that feels like a compromise for us, so we’ve got some big decisions to make.
- We’ve decided to stop having coffee and cake in between Kung Fu and Swimming lessons on a Saturday morning. That will save us between £15 and £20 each week.
- We’re stopping having Sunday lunch at our favourite pub every Sunday. This will save us £40 each week.
- We’re not having take away curry once a week. This will save us between £25 and £30 each week.
- Lovely Bloke is moving onto either a packed lunch, or taking one of my home made, batch cooked lasagne / chilli combo’s into work each day for lunch. This will save money and because it’s all made from scratch, he’ll be eating better than he would be normally.
- I’m going to be stopping the Cambridge Weight Plan and moving to calorie counting. Eating food from scratch – the meals I’m making. Why? Because it’s costing 50.00 each week and I don’t follow it to the letter enough for it to have the chance to work that it should. Also, because I feel more confident about making food decisions. Whilst away I had a steak, salad and jacket potato. I made the lady behind the bar remove the chips, deep fried onion rings and fried mushrooms. She huffed and puffed over it, but it felt good.
- We’re making changes in our shopping as well. We’re working to get to £100 a week for all food and household cleaning kit. This is a big change for us – we do delivery from Waitrose and despite having their essentials range on a lot of our food, we’ve got more changes to make to get under £100. This week was £129 – I tell myself it’s the washing liquid on offer, the pizza’s bought on offer and more, but actually, if we don’t have the money, we don’t have the money – even if it saves us longer term, to buy as I did this week.
Yes, I’ve noticed that these changes are all revolving around food – I’m hyper aware that we seem to chill out, bond and connect when we sit down and eat together – away from the house, or when I or Lovely Bloke haven’t had to put any effort into making it happen. I need to change that. I don’t want the development of our family relationships to revolve around food. That feels quite literally like we are feeding the boys messages that aren’t as balanced as I want them to be.
I am working on other changes as well, which will mean that we are working towards saving a sizeable amount – several thousand pounds – by the time we get to the end of June.
This brings me to something else – what to do about our family holiday this year. We got caught, burned and bitten with our family holiday last year – we booked it late, so it cost double what it would be right at this moment if we booked it now. Lovely Bloke insisted that we got the Ferry – again at last minute – wasting our money on the Tunnel, because of all that was happening in and around France. And we didn’t know what we were doing on our first self catering holiday in France, so we spent so much more on food than we’d have wanted to normally. All in all, not our finest hour. And it wasn’t a patch on the Mark Warner experiences we’ve had previously – Lovely Bloke reminded me of this every time something went wrong whilst we were away, which was nice.
So, knowing me, I’ll make sure we hit our target and that means we’ll have July and August money savings on the same level, to pay for a holiday. Shall I commit us to it now? Saving the money in the long run? Or live in the moment, not assuming that best laid plans come to fruition as I work for them to? I’m eyeing up James Villas at the moment – I see them on instagram and think “hellloooooo”. But they aren’t cheap either. Hmmmmm.
I know, this post it a total cliche of a post. I’m a walking cliche – today’s proud moment has come from finding ways to make more storage work for us in the boy’s lounge – I’m Marie Kondo’ing like a bird on a mission. Not her mission – I struggle to follow her instructions really, but I’m on it, and it feels great.
Of course, as usual, I should declare that this mission and change in approach is inspired by Denise Duffield Thomas and her Lucky Bitch programme. If like me a year ago, you think it’s too woo woo and wind chimes, that’s fine. Why not download some free resources from Denise and see if they give you any food for thought instead? You’ve nothing to lose and so much to gain, by being open to what might be around the corner in 2016 :)))