I had a plan today. I thought I would make scones, freeze them and then take them out one by one to supplement Husband’s packed lunch. My daughter loves any kind of baking session – particularly anything involving kneading and cutting shapes so scones seemed like a win all round.
What actually happened was that we made scones and then ate scones. Nearly all of them. Oops. I don’t think I’ve actually made scones before. I’m not sure they were quite right. The mixture was very sticky as though it had too much moisture in it and they didn’t seem to rise. That said, they tasted wonderful so I’ll definitely be making them again!
So, that’s what’s going on in the kitchen. What about our finances? My main financial goal this year is to establish some joint savings. Now we’ve moved house our monthly expenses are much higher and I’m still only earning a part time wage. Husband and I each pay a set amount into our joint account on each of our pay days. Savings are built into this figure. We save £50 a month for ‘Gifts’ (birthdays, Christmas, cards, wrapping paper, postage and all that jazz), £50 a month towards car tax and maintenance and then we have some left over which we then get to decide how to use.
Last month we had to pay for several rounds of emergency dental treatment and medication for Husband. Sometimes we use our ‘savings’ to pay for a one-off bill or for something we need for the house. It also gets dipped into when I haven’t been able to stay within the food budget (which happens all the time now – I need to either get to grips with this or accept that my budget needs to be increased!). It will also the source of funds for continuing our renovations once the ‘profit’ from the sale of our flat runs out. Before that happens I would like to get us to the point where we have £1000 in a savings account and a further £500 in an easy access account for all of the smaller expenses that crop up – like the dentist appontments or the previous month when we paid an engineer £40 to mend our washing machine (much cheaper than buying a new one!).
It is hard to put a set amount back each month because I don’t know how much extra I will need for food and I can’t predict if something will break or need replacing or an expert calling in. My current method is to put all of it into an easy access account and then take back out whatever I need. Rather than seeing how much I can put in through the month I now have to see how little I can take out! I already I know we’ll need to take out £17.50 for Husband’s last visit for emergency dental treatment. We are also planning to use £11.99 as we have been collecting the Pyrex vouchers from Tesco. I’ve got enough stickers/vouchers for the large, 3 litre casserole dish. My cast iron casserole dish from IKEA has started getting the odd spot of rust which I’ve been scrubbing off before I use it each time. However, the Pyrex one can also be used on the hob (and can be washed ‘normally’ so easier to look after). I’ve rejected any thoughts about replacing it over the last few years as I already have one but since I have the vouchers now it seems like a good chance to go for it. It is also larger than my current one so I’ll be able to make even bigger batches! Other than that I’ll be trying to keep our expenses to a minimum. I’ll be back soon once I’ve worked out the ‘starting’ figure…