Friday 3 February 2023

Frugal February underway…

Well, I know we’re only a few days in so there shouldn’t be much to say - truth is though that I decided I may as well think about starting pretty much right away after last week’s post - after all, the sooner you can start with money-saving exploits the better, right?

It started remarkably well - I was due to renew my gym membership - it had expired a week ago but I had  decided to give it a short break before making the renewal to give myself a few weeks grace before making the payment. I’d had a phone call in the week offering me a discount off the full joining fee, and had arranged to go in in early February to sign up, however, I then received another call offering me an additional £20 off if I was able to get in that day to sort it out… that £20 more than covered the difference on re-joining earlier than I’d planned, so obviously I went for it! I’ll be doing the same again this year as I did last - keeping a tally of how many visits I make in the year and then working out the cost per visit - it helps keep motivation high, and also means I can be sure I’m getting value for money. 

Payday has happened for both of us - and the associated money shuffling alongside that has happened. Most of our regular transfers to savings happen automatically, as this avoids the risk of forgetting anything, but there are still odds and ends to do to make sure everything is where it should be. This month this included transferring out the money which would usually go to pay Council Tax and Water rates as op for us February and March are our two months “off” as we pay both over 10 months. It might be useful for some people to be aware that while 10 months has always been the standard for Council tax payment schedules, in England at least everyone is entitled to ask to be changed to making payments over 12 months instead. This can help make budgeting easier and reduce your average monthly bills a little. 

We’ve had to make one financial decision this week too. For a fair while now we’ve been having a fortnightly veg box. It’s been great - means we’ve really increased the range of veggies we’ve been eating, and we’ve got to try some stuff we wouldn’t normally buy too which has been good. It also really meets what we want from a box scheme - we’re not in the least fussed about organic, but this one helps stop food waste, and that we approve of. While it’s been a bit more costly than buying from the supermarket, we like the ethos so have been prepared to pay. Unfortunately now they have informed us of a price increase, plus the addition of a delivery charge - entirely understandable, but from our perspective we’ve had to make the decision that for the time being we’re going to cancel. The increased price just means that right now, for various reasons, it doesn’t fit into our budget. The alternative will likely be a return to shopping at the farm shop once a month or so - something we’ve been considering for a while anyway. At least that way we get to continue to support a business we like - and it will be a relatively local one too.

The other bit of news this week has of course been another increase to the Bank of England rate - up another 0.5%. At the moment for us this mostly means we’ll be hoping for some savings rate increases - but equally we won be holding our breath on that, nice as it would be! 

Right then - until next week, stay frugal! 


(Photo above from a lovely walk at Lea Valley Park with Mum last weekend)

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