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Financial Hits & Winter Planning

It's almost the end of August and the time when I check our spending over the month and ensure that we have enough in the current account for next month's payments.

Before lockdown, I allowed £50 per week for food, cleaning products and toiletries.  With careful spending we ate healthily and frugally (as well as feeding the family at the weekend) and managed to put aside a little money out of the £50 towards Christmas.  This year, the focus changed dramatically at the end of March from frugal and healthy to buying whatever food we could get, at whatever price, with the result that the cost rocketed by 50% to an average of £75 (paid for on the debit card) with nothing left to save.  There is, therefore, NO Christmas fund.  Shall I cancel Christmas?  Of course not....I love it too much.  It's more that the planning will have to change.  I'm stocking up again now anyway just in case there are more problems with the virus during the cold weather to come.  I simply can't face the initial panic of  lockdown yet again; the battle to buy loo rolls or flour etc so I'm making sure we have enough to last a couple of months in storage.  If we get snowed in this Winter it won't matter !😊 The cost has been balanced out by not eating out for months anyway.....

Gift buying has been gradually reduced over the last few years.  Now I usually pop some money in the children's cards, nothing for the adults, with the exception of my brother and his wife, and DD and her family.   In previous years I've given gift vouchers but feel it's a bit risky to do that this time because a) the store might close or b) the recipient might be avoiding shops.  My list this year will be minimal :) AND...there is no way I will be spending a whole day with DD at the out of town shopping centre this November like we normally do.  We make a day of it with lunch out and come back broke but loaded with just the right gifts for the family.  Not this time.  More planning required, I think.

Other bloggers are so talented; making jams & chutneys for hampers, knitting socks, sewing lovely things and baking for giving.  I'm not talented in any of those things so I need to get my thinking cap on.....

Are your plans changing this year?

It was bright and sunny this morning after a whole day of rain yesterday so I popped into the village to pick up my prescription.  En route was the Acorns Children's Hospice CS.  It was open so I put on my mask, used the hand sanitizer, and popped in to check out the books.  I got these for £1 each....

When I got home I wiped the covers with anti-bac surface wipes and left them to dry.  They will be put aside for 3 days before I touch them again.  I really wanted to stop for a coffee at my favourite coffee shop but it was busy so I walked away.  I'm too nervous of crowded places.

The sun is out so I'm off to peg out the bed linen.  I love the smell of washing after it's been outside in the sunshine.

Have a great weekend everyone, wherever you are in the world x

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