As the end of our first year of money mindfulness gets closer, we are starting to see how far we’ve come. In the past we’ve made new resolutions about spending and saving, and this enabled Brian to reduce his working week from 5 days to 4 days, back in 2011. But, since we’ve been keeping a record of everything and blogging the results, good habits are sticking in a way they never have done before.
Amazingly though, it has taken us this long to visit comparison sites and start to tackle our bills. We found we could get home insurance over two thirds cheaper than what we were paying! (Our meerkat toy is now on the way).
A few other things that stood out this month are:
- Our water bill has come down as expected (amount of hair-washing was halved since June)
- Lucy has learned to make a curry (this one, adapted a bit) increasing the enjoyment of home dining even more
- Brian did not buy any coffee for a month
- Lucy bought her first pair of shoes in recent memory, a pair to wear at work which have been needed and procrastinated over for 3 years
- We de-cluttered our temperamental electric toothbrush. We all now use manual brushes. Lucy is trying the 100% bamboo ones from www.savesomegreen.co.uk
We’ll be writing a more detailed post next month to celebrate the end of Year 1, but in the meantime, here’s how we did in Month 11:
We saved 30% of our income. The reason it was lower than in recent months was due to paying our new home insurance upfront for the year.
Food and drink: Averaging at £17.10 per day, this included one takeaway and one meal out. We also almost developed a breakfast cereal habit (eating it in the evenings) but are trying to stamp it out quickly as it can get expensive.
Transport: A new bus season ticket, and new bike oil and reflectors. 2 fills of petrol
Home: Kitchen foil, greaseproof paper, cling film, rubber gloves, DIY tape, a microfibre cloth, and a dish washing brush with replaceable heads. 4 bags of coal.
Garden: A replacement part for secateurs, and this year’s new seeds
Luxuries: Second hand book about astronomy from a charity shop via Amazon, 4 x mp3 downloads and printing of cardboard covers to complete this year’s Winter mix CD
Clothes: The work shoes. Leggings and tights for warm winter cycling legs! Lucy now has a good supply. Also a £1.99 new-looking top from a charity shop.
Toiletries: Aloe Vera lotion – we now only use this one moisturiser at home for everything. It was on offer this month.
Health: Prescriptions and supplies
Gifts: One Christmas present (we made a voucher for a meal out, which was redeemed this month!)
It’s getting sunnier and feels like Spring now even on a cold day like today. We’ll be excited to report on the end of our first mindful money year – one month to go!