Financial round-up: 12th March


The budgets for food and general spending have gone out of the window somewhat. This is mainly due to the fact that we haven’t been able to use the kitchen and have had to go out and pick up things to eat one meal at a time. It’s only for one week (and has meant we can get a lot of work done on the house in one go) so this is fine by me as it isn’t the way we usually do things!

The contingency fund has also been used up. As predicated I needed more petrol and have also used some of it towards the extra food expenses (eating out, picking up take-out and not being able to cook from scratch really does add up very quickly!). With the remainder of the fund I bought gifts to go in my gift boxes as I saw two very ‘perfect’ things. I’m rubbish at saving up for birthdays/Christmas but I’m quite good at picking things up as I see them – you’ve to play to your strengths!


Some of the costs of doing the living room this week have been a bit higher than we anticipated. We’ve just had to go with it and do what we needed to do to get the job done while all of the furniture is out of the way (we have no intention of moving any of it again until we move, it has been such a nightmare). Thus the house fund is a bit more depleted than we would have liked and will need extra funds sooner rather than later. However, due to the tax code problems I’ve been having I can’t make many plans for this as I don’t know what I’m going to be getting paid – grrrr.

Making financial plans is still very difficult. I have been given a new tax code for the remainder of the year (so just one pay day!) and then another to be used in the new tax year. This will also only affect one pay day as the month after I will only be paid a portion of my monthly salary (how much exactly I won’t know until I am paid it) due to the start of my maternity leave. As I am a ‘new’ employee and not entitled to maternity pay I have to claim an allowance. Again, I’m not being given a very clear idea of when I will start getting paid this as I can’t submit the final form until I am actually on maternity leave. Add this to the fact that I don’t know how much (or rather how little) I will be paid for my final pay cheque and you can probably see why trying to make any kind of a plan is particularly frustrating at the moment! I’m just going to have to see what I get when I get it and then try and take it one month at a time from there.

Rather than the emergency fund, my financial priorities for the next month or so will be getting as much finished on the house as possible and also getting everything for the baby. We live in a very small, rural town where we can’t easily pop out and pick things up. The only place locally that sells anything baby related is a small Boots which only stocks a very limited range of things. There are no NCT sales anything like nearby (I have made phone calls to check) and no shops that sell new or second hand equipment without a minimum of a 40 mile round trip – usually more like 60. This is fine, it just means we have to plan for the things that we feel are essential for us as there is no option to just nip out if we realise we haven’t got something! We don’t actually need to get that many more things – most of the funds currently required are for finishing the house.

I managed to get my emergency fund to just over £1000 after my last pay day which will have to do for now. I’ll save whatever I can when I see what I am paid at the end of next week and that will probably go straight into boosting the house fund…

Categories: home improvements | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Financial round-up: 12th March

  1. thisthriftedlife

    Oh man–a 40 mile trip for anything secondhand or more than a basic? That’s rough.

    Good luck getting everything together!

    • shoestringalley

      Thanks – we’ll get there evenutally! I should say that we can plenty of other things closer to home but not really much in the way of baby equipment (like moses baskets, car seats etc). There are a couple of localish shops that sell general furniture but they mainly specialise in antiques or pricey stuff that is far too expensive. In neighbouring towns there are one or two shops with small lines in baby clothes but they are really special occasion clothes – good for a christening, not so good for basic sleepsuits!

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