More of What Matters Spending Review: month 7

10 05 Autumnal warmth

We’re now into the second half of our financial year, and the colder half of the year! Most nights we have a fire or put the oil radiator on, and have bought 7 bags of coal which should last us to Christmas.

Other seasonal spends this month included:

  • New bicycle lights and a warm merino top for winter commuting
  • Some vest tops. Vests are great if you want to keep warm without having your clothes take up lots of space, as they are small but good insulation! Wearing a vest often means you don’t need a great big fleece or woolly jumper. And then in the summer, you can just wear the vest on it’s own!
  • Our Christmas cards! We bought them early as there was a good selection, and they came in very minimal cardboard packaging, so there will be no waste. The bits of packaging will go on the fire. They also raise money for charities. In past years we have sometimes made our own cards, and although this feels like the right thing to do, in actual fact it was always more costly, more wasteful, never as fun as expected, and very time consuming. We have more than enough other things we should be getting on with other than making cards when we don’t really enjoy it and it isn’t saving us any money!

We saved 35% of our income this month.

Here’s where it went other than food and drink:
Travel: Two fills of petrol, several bus journeys including to the seaside. Bicycle spend: brake and gear cables, lights, merino top for winter commutes
Home / domestic: Baking paper, sandpaper, shoelaces
Dental / health: The usual supplies, plus one dental appointment and some cold remedies
Clothing and accessories: Underwear stock up: socks and vests, a second hand necklace chain for £1 to replace one which broke
Soap and haircare. Update: Lucy’s hair didn’t cope with only being washed with conditioner, so some very gentle sulphate-free shampoo was purchased!
Gifts: Some birthday gifts and food
Christmas: Christmas cards
Luxuries: Library DVD borrowing
Energy use:  We used 363kWh, and bought 7 coal bags. We were also told our electricity bill is being reduced by half, but we suspect its because they’re basing it on summer use only.

Now it’s time for our last week off before Christmas, a chance to rest and relax after some very busy and tiring months, get some useful tasks done, and remind ourselves of the important things that get forgotten when life is hectic.

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