Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been getting some thoughts & feelings, exasperations and the odd happy moment down on the blog which helps my sanity and, I hope, provides a little entertaining read for you for a couple of minutes!

Right now I am mostly concentrating on getting through a rocky financial patch which I really hope will be cleared (all being well) by the end of Summer 2013. In the meantime I need to concentrate on continuing to do well in my "new" job (actually got it in Sept 2011 but it still feels new!) and living my life as frugally as possible.

Thanks for stopping by and if you leave me an encouraging comment, it'll make my day. :-)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Not Sure A Leopard Can Change It's Spots Completely...

Well hello there readers, once again a huge gap between posts!  I am hoping you are all keeping well though and thanks for stopping by today.

So, the last time I posted I was battling my way through snow and sub zero temperatures and watching my money burn away as the heating stayed on (and on and on...) which was rather depressing.  Apparently we have more snow due this weekend/Monday, oh hurrah.  Let's hope it doesn't hang around for long as we used around £75 worth of gas in three weeks! 

Well I am not doing so well on the spending front.  Actually no, I am doing brilliantly well on the spending front if you want to look at it from a different point of view!  I did have a brief spell of being very very good but then it all went out of the window but, meh. 

I am not sure I will ever change to be honest.  I can see that how I spend my money has changed though which is at least a big step in the right direction and I am really pleased with that progress.  I now refuse to buy something if I don't know 100% that it will be used or worn regularly.  I refuse to buy anything without researching it first to see if I can get it cheaper elsewhere or if I can get it through QuidCo.  I refuse to buy something unless it's absolutely perfect for me or the house.  I refuse to buy anything in any of the leading supermarkets if I can get it for less in Aldi.  Where I have to pay or can pay by credit card, I do so and get Avios points.  In about a year's time I will have two free airline tickets to Berlin (on my bucket list) or Eurostar tickets to France or Belgium (either fine by me).   The credit card is paid off in full every month and in over two years I haven't paid a penny in interest.

So, so far this year I have seen some of my friends socially and also been out for the day/seen a film with hubby for his birthday.  All occasions have meant I spent money.  Rooting around the bargain section of the M&S Outlet with one of my best friends for four great tops for £20.  Coffee & lunch and a well needed catch up with her as she's going through a bit of a crisis.  Petrol over to where we met up. 

Yesterday, more petrol then to see another friend 65 miles away who is going through a dreadful separation and also needs support.  What do you do, say no?  Not in my book.  I don't like the thought of my friends gathering at my funeral talking about how great I was at saving a few bob, rather I hope they remember me as a loyal & supportive friend who was there if needed (as they are for me).

Anyway we had a cheap Greggs lunch out and a trawl around 4 charity shops where we both picked up absolute bargains.  For me, a much needed second winter coat for £4 (just need to get it dry cleaned) and an immaculate trench coat for £6 which I have machine washed already.  Assorted other tops for work and weekends plus a fabulous practical but stylish tote bag.  I guess total spend yesterday including petrol, about £40.  Result:  bargains achieved, money saved in the long run and one very much cheered up friend which is priceless.

In other spends, I've flirted again with Ebay and purchased some winter woolies for around the house and also found some of the few personal items I insist on, for significantly less than in shops (sorry High Street) so I got them.  Tried cheaper; bought twice.  No more of that, it's a false economy.  I may as well fork out a bit more for what actually works for me.

Off to see another old school friend in a couple of weeks time but we're staying in and she's cooking Thai food.  I am taking a bottle of Aldi wine and it'll probably cost about £7 in petrol for the return journey.  We'll talk for hours and I am also taking her some clothes which no longer are for me but which I think will really suit her. 

As well as being careful about where the money goes, I also try and get maximum use out of whatever is bought so, old clothes are passed on to friends or family (or charity shop if they don't want them), no food is ever wasted, I do weekly cupboard/freezer inventories and make menus accordingly, all household/cleaning things are used up to the last drop before something else is bought or opened....you get the picture.

I know I could make the decision to stop spending money full stop but the truth is, I don't want to and it's not really achievable unless I never leave the house again.  Truth is I am massively unhappy not seeing my friends (especially when they need help or support) and staring at the same four walls, I am unhappy wearing clothes or shoes that have seen better days or just look crap on me, I feel sh*t using cheap products and make up that don't do anything for my crazy hair or temperamental skin.  Watching life pass me by drives me insane.

For now, I shall continue to make good & more sensible choices where my cash goes and my debts will continue to be paid down at a manageable rate.  I want to see more people and places in 2013 than I have done in the last couple of years.  If I can squirrel away some savings as well I will (one of my days out mentioned above was paid for by some savings I had saved especially by the way) I won't squander it all but I think I am done with self imposed austerity measures for the sake of another few quid saved in the month.  Life's too short frankly, I want to grab some happiness again while I can. 

Cheerio for now!  x


  1. I think you're doing brilliantly - I also think you have the right mindset - being sensible with your choices, but lifes also for living and it would be so boring to always be having to consider the cost of everything we do or have - plus you cannot put a price on good supportive friends and I always say what goes around, comes around - you're doing great and best of all being honest with it xxx

  2. Well said, I think you are doing really well too.You have your priorities right and friends and happiness have to come first. Completely agree with Trudie and everything she says.

  3. Nice to see you back again. I agree with you. I am also trying to spend less and be more sensible, but there are certain things I won't give up......a decent hair cut and clinique skin care. I love reading other frugal blogs but I must admit at times I just think they can be a little too evangelical! :-) xx

  4. Deborah is right - as much as I am trying to reduce my debt and be more careful with my money I don't want to compromise on things like food quality. I like to eat out - not very often it's true - and go see a film every so often. I also pay quite a bit for my bi-monthly hair appointment because it makes me feel good about myself in a way that putting a £5 dye on myself at home won't. And I would go further than 'evangelical'....some blogs are downright strident!!!

    K xx

  5. I completely agree with you - some things can be false economies and time spent with friends is always priceless. It sounds like you're making all the right decisions in a balanced way. All the best, Jx