More of What Matters spending review, month 5

08 20 Beautiful bouquet

Month 5 contained our first summer staycation of the year, and was our first month without having to make a loan repayment, so we let the budget slide in the name of fun. All of the extra holiday spend was on food or entry tickets, so although we spent more we didn’t acquire much actual stuff, and we didn’t produce much waste.

Since paying the loan off, we have been trying to buy more ethically again. We are spending a bit more in order to purchase produce that is fair trade, organic or unpackaged.

We still saved 29% of our income.

Our non-food/drink spend was:
Garden: petrol for lawn mower
Travel: 2 fills of petrol, 2 bus rides
Domestic: Dishcloths, kitchen towel, cling film*, washing up liquid, stamps
Health: Medicines / natural toothpaste
Toiletries: Soap, hair conditioner, deodorant – all natural, from wholefood store
Luxuries: Tickets for Open Gardens, tickets for a play featuring a family member, CDs borrowed from library, couple of second-hand books, printing seasonal mix-CD covers, and one newspaper

* We try to be very frugal with the cling film and most bits get re-used. We use it to help us avoid food waste, of items too big to put into airtight boxes like loaves of bread and runner beans.

Energy use
We used 264 kWh of electricity (we don’t have gas). We’re tracking this by doing weekly meter readings on a Saturday night. Excitingly, our online account suggests we are using a lot less this year than at the same time last year.

Now we have our second staycation week approaching. We’re aiming to spend less than we did on the first one, while still having the same amount of fun. Just 4 weeks later, the season feels very different for our second holiday. The air feels autumnal and the quality of sunlight has changed in the mornings. Lucy’s knitting came out for the first time since March this week, we put the last track on our Summer 2014 mix CD, and we had our first fire last night, made with wood from trees that we have felled, sawed, chopped, transported, stacked and seasoned ourselves. Here comes Autumn, the cosy, craft-y, comfy season!



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