Around the home

Hello! I think it’s safe to say the whole house moving thing caught up with me this weekend and I had to take a little time out. Boy did I feel whacked! Anyway I feel normal again this morning and eager to get on with everything that needs doing around here………mainly house updates and money-saving :)

First up the laundry room cupboard!

One of the first things we did last week was remove the broken washer dryer and replace it with a new one. We’d asked the seller to remove the appliance, but of course he didn’t!

I wasn’t sure about getting a washer dryer, but purchased one just in case we need it during the winter months. I don’t want to use the dryer function if I can help it, so we’ll see how it goes.

laundry room

Before and after (so far)

Over the coming weeks we plan to add shelving above the machine for laundry items (of course) and a mini stockpile – loo rolls, toothpaste etc.

Window handles.

We had two handles to repair. The one pictured below, that fell off when I closed it last week, and another that wasn’t locking correctly. We wanted to fix them pretty quickly as ventilation is so important in such a small place.

window handles
I had no idea you could replace these yourself, but after a little research I realised how easy it was. I bought a two pack of Yale standard handles from Homebase for £13.99 (they may be cheaper elsewhere but it’s the only one store I could walk to) and hey presto, working, locking windows!

Water & Electricity

This apartment comes with a water meter and a pay as you go electricity meter. I’m pleased about the water meter as this should save us money in the long run (they’ve estimated our bill at £23 a month, half the price of our old house), but the electricity will be getting changed as soon as possible as it’s more expensive to pay this way. We can’t get it changed just yet though as they have to see how we run the account first. This is despite us being with this company for about five years (with no problems) previously. One good thing about it is seeing how much electricity (in pounds) you use everyday – it’s slightly obsessive though!

I think that may be it for this slightly random post. I’m off to do a freezer inventory and make a meal plan for the rest of the month as I’ve been slightly slacking in this area!

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How We Manage Our Budget (Updated)

I first talked about getting our accounts in order back in May. We had a system, a seemingly organised system, but it wasn’t working out too well. I think by simplifying our accounts, and closing a couple of sinking fund/savings accounts, I’d made things a little more complicated. I’m all about simplifying things, but not if it causes you a problem, so I tweaked things a little.

We now have three saving accounts attached to our checking account (travel, gifts and everything else) and I will be using cash for grocery and miscellaneous spending. Hopefully this new system (+ budget) will work perfectly for us in our new home.

OUR MONTHLY BUDGET:

MONTHLY BUDGET

The spreadsheet shows our planned monthly expenditure + how we save on a month by month basis for annual expenses and travel.

ACCOUNT SET UP:

CHECKING ACCOUNT
TRAVEL FUND
GIFT FUND
EVERYTHING ELSE FUND
EMERGENCY FUND (TAX FREE SAVINGS ACCOUNT)

NOTES:

  • The gift, travel and everything else fund are attached to the joint checking (to provide easy access)
  • Our long-term Emergency Fund’s are kept in tax-free ISA’s
  • From the checking account we pay the bills and fund our online savings accounts.
  • All our automatic bill payments (Direct Debits) are set to be paid between the 25th and 1st of every month and are, where possible, the paper free kind.
  • Grocery is paid for in cash.

I think that’s it. Now I’m just hoping the system works.:)

Budget Round-Up: June 2014

Starting this month I’m changing how I report our monthly spending……even I get bored with spreadsheets occasionally lol.

MONTHLY BUDGETMortgage: £550.00
- Regular payment + a small overpayment

Council Tax + Water Bill: £173.97
- Regular monthly payments

Gas & Electricity: £86.00
- Our new regular payment. We’re £198 in credit on this account and so when we close it down in a couple of weeks, we should be due a refund.

Digital TV + DVD Rental: £74.36
- No change here. Films watched: Girl Most Likely, Dallas Buyers Club (Fave of the month), Playing For Keeps, Robocop, Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

Mobile: £15.00
- Woo no extra charges!

Prescription: £10.40
- Regular monthly payment for regular medication

Life Insurance: £21.08
- Regular monthly payment

Stationery: £19.60
- Notebooks, Stamps and Cards

Blog: £27.70
- New blog template (a total treat!)

Home: £64.93
- Kilner Jars, One Litre of Castille Soap (which in theory should be in the grocery budget but I don’t want to make that total any higher!! ;)), a Samsonite Travel Money Belt and 10 Light Bulbs

Eating Out: £14.93
- A couple of lunches and fish and chips – not too bad!

Make Up & Beauty: £10.43
- Face wipes (for when I’m away from home), and hand cream

Grocery: £260.60
- Totally blew it!!

Gifts: £55.00
- Birthday and Fathers Day gifts, flowers for my Mum and something for my Dad (I can’t for the life of me remember what though!)

Total Spend: £1,384 

I made just over £300 selling stuff this month – that money will be put towards items needed for the apartment…..which I can’t wait to get started on. It’s going to be lovely to have a new house project to work on, even though it’s on a much smaller scale than our current home.

As a side note I’m not posting a budget for July as our usual expenses will be all over the place with our move and it’s hard to set budget limits. I’ll  post a round-up after the dust settles though (even if it’s scary!)

How well did you stick to budget in June? 

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