Managing Money Monthly

 We have been careful budgetters since we got together 23 years ago.

I learned my budgeting ways before I met Man Wonderful, as a divorced single mum on one wage, and it's been ingrained habits since then.  

Growing up, I didn't realise we were living on a tight budget because my parents did the best they could - and they didn't tell us kids! 

Man Wonderful and I always set our budget for the essentials - including long term and short term savings - and work within those parameters: although we learned a real lesson earlier this year with a sudden and unexpected vet bill of thousands.  This has led us to increasing our emergency fund - which we are working on now - to reach 12-18 months finances.

Like many folks, the day money comes in it goes to the different funds straight away.  Unlike some folks, we don't have lots of different pots or envelopes.  We use a notebook and pencil to write where the money is/is going to.  When it's gone there, it's gone.  It doesn't matter if we fancy a meal out or something new, or 'a treat': the cash has technically been 'spent'.

The first month ever I didn't spend any money after I'd paid my bills was a real eye-opener.  I had no idea how much cash was dribbling out - an ice cream here, new coat there, coffee out with friends, a takeaway shared with family...

And my BIGGEST spend in my weeks and months?

Charity shops.

It can easily be a false thought that it is only the charity shop - it won't cost much..OK, £7 here, £4.50 there but it soon adds up.

One really good tip is to keep all your receipts, no matter where you spend your money - fuel, corner shop, Charity Shop, DIY store. Write in everything you spend and track your money.



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