Tuesday 19 April 2016

*New Blog*

Hey! As of tomorrow I am going to (attempt!) to move my blog over to another website and I'm changing the name to 'From Pennies to Pounds" - fingers crossed it works and hope to see you over there!! xx

Update: frompenniestopounds.com

Here it is! xx

2016 Goals

My goals for this year are:

New bed for my daughter - done and under budget!
Buy a car - done!
Trip to Ireland to visit family - done!
Summer weekend break in this country - paid for this, just need to save money for lunch for 3 days
Holiday in October - saving not going too well for this - have £25 so far...
More days out with my daughter - not done
Do more exercising - not done
Pay off debts - not done (paying slowly but surely)

My goals are going ok so far this year I think. I've managed to get a new bed for my daughter, get a car, trip to Ireland to visit family, paid for weekend away in June.

We are determined to go on holiday in October to stay with my husbands best friend, so accommodation will be paid for but flights, food etc are very expensive there. My husband will get his tax rebate in June hopefully and he will be saving about £500 of it towards the holiday which will be a big help (the rest on his credit card debt).

I have borrowed the iPod off my mum and the cable has arrived today, so when I have put some music on it I hope this will help with my motivation to go running. My daughter made me do some sit ups today (she's only 4!), she can be my personal trainer, haha.

I really need to get some more money coming in to pay off my debts and go towards the holiday. I really want to go because we've never gone abroad together as a family, it will be lovely to visit our friends and I know my daughter will love it - she loves the beach, swimming, exploring new places, the sun! xx

**I'm going to change from Blogger to Wordpress after doing a lot of research as I want to control my blog, I'm just thinking of a new name, keep an eye out!**

Monday 18 April 2016

Saving for birthdays & Christmas

Every year we have birthdays and Christmas. They are the same date every year but a lot of us still seem to get taken by surprise and end up panicking and putting lots of money onto the credit cards!

I am including myself in this because I do try my best but being self employed I have no idea what my income will be each month but I do know that winter is a bad time for me as work is very very slow. My husbands birthday is November and my daughters is September - these are the 'big' birthdays for me that I need to save for. The last few years all of my spare money has gone towards the house deposit and our wedding, so I've struggled for their birthdays and Christmas. This year, hopefully this will all change!

I keep a list in my phone in the notes section called 'Presents' which is where I write down all the ideas throughout the year that I think of to get them.

My plan is:

To look out for sales on items that my daughter or husband would like
Go to car boot sales and see if there are any good toys
Earn some extra cash to buy some little presents
Make some homemade gifts
Make a budget and stick to it
Look on eBay for presents
Save nectar points and clubcard points for Christmas food

I hope that saving and buying presents here and there throughout the year will make it much easier for me and a lot less stressful. xx

Saturday 16 April 2016

Going out but trying to be smart about saving money

Today was my hockey team's end of season do. The plan was to go for lunch and give out the awards there, I was undecided whether to go or not til last week, but I decided to go after all.
The only reason for me not wanting to go was obviously money as always, but as I've mentioned before I'm trying to be more sociable and do more things for myself this year. I haven't been to any of the other meals/drinks/social events they've arranged since I've joined and I hardly ever play due to paying match fees (only £3 so I may try and play a bit more next season). So I felt I would go this time and it was lovely!

I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu - spaghetti carbonara - which was lovely, and I ordered a tap water. One of the ladies I sat next to ended up paying £15 more than me because of her drinks and food! I'm really glad I went, I love them all and spent the whole time laughing.

I knew I wouldn't get any awards because I've only played a few games in the season and I rarely make it to training due to not having a car. They had proper trophies for the main awards then did some cookie medals for little categories, and I won one! I was actually quite chuffed because they voted me 'best dressed' on the team! I know it's only a silly little thing but all of my clothes are either really old or bought on ebay for a few quid so it was really nice to have people think I am 'best dressed' on the team in my frugal wardrobe!

So it just goes to show, even with having a frugal wardrobe people can still think your clothes are nice xx

Friday 15 April 2016

Family round for a roast

This evening my mum and her partner came round for food as a thank you for doing my daughters bed. We had roast chicken which was £2.29 from Lidl, roast potatoes and frozen mixed vegetables.
They brought round dessert - a chocolate brownie pudding and rice pudding which I haven't had for ages.
Haven't had anything as posh as this in my house in a while!

My mum brought round some fake tan she had got in the sale for me, and I'm borrowing their iPod nano as I want to start going running. They have lost the cable so they haven't been using it so I've just bought a cable for it on ebay for 99p with free postage. 
I'm determined to get fit but not to go to the gym. I have quite a good level of fitness any way but I want to get better for next hockey season and to improve my body.
My plan is to go running for cardio, then come back and do floor exercises such as press ups, tricep dips using my body weight. My husband has some weights so I can use them too.

I really want to do the half marathon too. It's in September so 5 months away - if I'm not as ready as I want to be by then I will definitely do it next year. 

I've been keeping a strict eye on my brothers finances as well and he's so close to getting rid of a couple of debts, then we can snowball onto the rest of them and get them all gone, hopefully for good. I'm trying to educate him to not spend spend spend whenever he has money, to allow for 'treats' as this is what he struggles on not spending money on so I said we can fit treats into the budget and when his debt is all gone and he's living on his own he can buy all the treats he likes as long as he can afford it course! xx

Thursday 14 April 2016

Spaghetti Bolognese

We've had a very chilled today just at home as it's been so busy lately and it's nice to take a rest.
I've spent today playing with my daughter, doing a lot of cleaning and looking into some money making ideas.

For tea I made a frugal favourite of mine - spaghetti bolognese.
Cook the mince (500g, from Lidl) til browned
Drain any fat/water. Chop up a carrot (it was huge)! and cook for a few minutes
Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, 4 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce, sprinkling of oats.

This is the way we like it, the good thing about bolognese is that you can adapt it to your own tastes.

My husband has been using the car this week as the windscreen wiper on his van is broken and he's been driving in the rain so it's not safe. Hopefully going to get it fixed this weekend by a friend of a friend for a decent price.
I got my first 'freebie' through the post! I've started applying for some freebies as I love getting things for free and it's like little presents arriving in the post. I hope to get some really good things and the most ideal would be things to use as presents for other people. xx

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Food shopping and a moan (sorry!)

Food shopping for 2 weeks done for £51.88 today in Lidl which I'm pretty happy with! Had some meat in the freezer so just bought enough for our meals and should have some extra left over too.
I did it on my own which meant no 'treats' were snuck into the trolley so that helped keeping the cost down.

The beef burgers above I got for my husband as he asked for them, but I think I will make my own next time.

Quiet day today, I have been very strict with writing down everything that is coming up to budget for. It's annoyed me that there seems to be quite a bit of things to pay for but I suppose that comes with trying to be more sociable than I have been in the past.

On Monday my sister in law asked if my daughter and I would go to a bridal shop with her to try on wedding dresses. I've been to a few with her before but my understanding was that we were just going to one and not for long. In the end we were out from about 10am - 4pm. I wouldn't have agreed if I knew this (that sounds awful!) but my daughter was tired from our weekend away, although she was really well behaved in the end to be fair. The problem I had was lunch. I hope I don't sound really stingy but I hadn't budgeted for eating out. If I knew we were going to take that long I would have at the very least taken a little picnic lunch for my daughter. In the end her lunch was £3.95 and my mother in law made me feel awful about not buying myself a lunch there (would have been £6 minimum where we were) so I just got the cheapest sandwich in Greggs which was next door. I know that may sound ridiculous to some and not a problem but my money is so tight - which they know - and lunch would usually cost around £1 or less when at home. My mother in law was so cross about it and do you know what? She didn't buy herself any lunch at all?! She was very cross as well that I wouldn't buy a drink and said I will get ill if I don't drink. I said there is no way I am buying a bottle of water for £1.
I think it just upsets me when people don't realise I don't have the free cash - or the inclination - to go out, buy a cup of tea, buy us all lunch, etc. xx