Saturday 28 January 2023

Frugal-ish February, anyone?

 I confess I was gearing up for a full-on Frugal February again - remember those? They’ve got their own tag on here so if you’re interested to know more, or you’re a long time reader who wants to remind yourself what we did before, why not head off and have a read? (After you’ve read this post, obviously!) 

MrEH and I are currently plotting a new adventure - no, not the Hebrides move before anyone asks, yes we still want to do it but the time isn’t quite right for it at the moment. We’re not quite ready to tell all as yet, but it’s exciting, and means we need to fine tune our budgets and tighten our belts a bit where possible, so suddenly the idea of revisiting an old game to see how cheaply we could live for a month seems quite interesting. 

I think we’re all starting to feel the pinch a bit now aren’t we? In between energy prices, (we saw an 8% rise in January, and are gearing up for a further 20% on top of that in April, too) food prices - it still feels like every time you set foot in a shop prices have escalated a little further - and now many of us are facing an upcoming hike of around 14% in our mobile and broadband costs in a few months time, too. All in all, if ever there was a time to really stop and think about what we are spending, this is probably it! 

February is often a fairly decent month to try to do frugally - I mean for a start, we like a bit of alliteration round here! V Then there is the fact that for anyone who pays their Council Tax and Water Rates over 10 months, February and March are the two “free” months - so an easy way of bolstering any savings pots you might be trying to fill. Then of course there is the advantage of it being a remarkably short month - which always helps to make the pennies stretch that little bit further! The winter weather might also mean that you’re less inclined to venture out and about much, and being early in the year, any money-saving motivation is still on a high too! 

I’m planning on doing things pretty much as I used to - normal Direct Debits don’t form part of any declared spending, and I’ll be having my usual personal spends money which will need to pay for anything I need to buy for myself, plus any trips out, etc. We also have commitments to spend on travel - diesel for the cars, and MrEH will need to top up his Oyster card probably a couple of times too. We’re likely to have some essential family-related long distance travel, too, which is unavoidable. I’m planning to meal plan for the month, and shop with a list - then stick to that list! 

This time round it is more about kickstarting ourselves back into a more frugal mindset, than “trying to spend as little as possible” - but I would like to see a decent amount stashed into our new “Exciting things ahead” savings pot by the end of the month, too!  My plan is that spending generally will be considered, thought through,,and made if needed, but only after it’s been established that it IS needed, and we’re getting value for our money. Where we are in our lives right now, that seems like the right way forwards.

Let’s do this!