Week five: the day of reckoning

The only way to Essex: LoveRichCashPoor on the open road in a convertible

The only way to Essex: LoveRichCashPoor on the open road in a convertible

Friday

Wake up with: £80

Go to bed with: £74.53

It’s the husband’s birthday and we’ve both booked the day off work, so I pop off the the bakery to buy him a birthday bun for breakfast.

The husband announces that he’s spent his birthday money on car tax (more exciting than it sounds when said car is a convertible Mazda), so we fold the top down for a sun-drenched journey to Essex. Yes, LoveRichCashPoor’s hair does resemble a bird’s nest when she arrives. No, she does not notice until she has already spent several hours with friends, played with her (other) beautiful goddaughter and greeted the out-laws. But the husband’s one partially sunburnt arm—where he has been resting it on the window sill—is funnier.

Saturday

Wake up with: £74.53

Go to bed with: £59.24

We drive back from Essex with a chocolate cake, two courgette plants, two tomato plants and a margarite cutting taken from our wedding centerpieces. Bless my mother-in-law. We stop by the supermarket to pick up essential supplies for lunch and treat ourselves to an afternoon nap before the big birthday do tonight.

It’s such a glorious day, that we decide to revert to Plan B and hold the festivities in our garden, instead of the pub. Friends pile round, pizza is eaten, much beer is drunk and we go to bed in the wee small hours, still chuckling.

The margarite cutting was taken from the centrepieces at our wedding

The margarite cutting was taken from the centrepieces at our wedding

Sunday

Wake up with: £59.24

Go to bed with: £49.03

Hangover partially dispatched by a long lie-in and some eggs on toast, we set off to a friend’s house for lunch, stopping off to buy wine and flowers on the way. It’s a magnificent feast of butternut squash risotto, burritos and a choice of chocolate and passionfruit tarts (I have both, of course). We get home in the evening sated and happy and polish of a slice of chocolate cake for tea.

Monday

Wake up with: £49.03

Go to bed with: £5.05

There’s no food in the house, even the olive oil has run out and I have four people to cook for tonight so it’s time to succumb to a big shop: I buy the fresh ingredients for kisir and borek, spaghetti al ragu and a chorizo stew at the grocer and head to the supermarket for the dry goods and meat—mince is reduced: woo!

We’re down to our last loo roll and I still haven’t replaced the ironing water (we live in a hardwater area so this is a necessity; the limescale stains our clothes) but I hold off in case these two items push me over budget: the temptation to just use my card rather than undergo the humiliation of handing items back to the cashier would be too great.

On the plus side, I discover I have over £30 of loyalty points stored up. I decide to save them for a future emergency, or Christmas, whichever comes first. Although, if I was a betting girl, I wouldn’t put any money on those points lasting until Christmas.

Tuesday

Wake up with: £5.05

Go to bed with: £5.05

LoveRichCashPoor is a month old today! Thank you ever so much for reading everyone—please, please feel free to comment, update me on your own budgeting challenge or just stop by anytime. I’m still very much feeling my way with this blogging lark, all suggestions welcome.

How did I celebrate? Well I ate leftovers for lunch, worked late, cooked a ragu (does anyone actually want a recipe for ragu or do you all know how to cook it already?), hung out some laundry, watered the garden and watched the first three episodes of NBC’s Community. I know, I’m spoiling myself.

There is one very exciting development when I open my inbox to discover I am being featured on Rightmove! I am famous. Okay, I’m not even remotely famous, and a sum total of one person visits the blog as a result (probably my mum), but hey, it’s not every Tuesday that you get featured on the Rightmove blog! For a property-addict like me, it’s equivalent to a fashionista getting a mention in Vogue.

Wednesday

Wake up with: £5.05

Go to bed with: £5.05

It’s payday! Woo hoo! And that means I have officially survived my first month of budgeting. Truth be told May has been a be-atch of a month in budgeting terms with three best friends’ birthdays, one christening, one anniversary, the husband’s birthday, one goddaughter’s first birthday and an unexpected holiday—not that I’m complaining!

I log in to my bank account and discover my statement is unusually short: with just the one transaction each week, I can tot up how much has gone in and how much has gone out in a single glance.

It’s been a five-week month, so at £80 a week, I should have spent £400. In total I have spent £555.56. The overspend is a combination of Amsterdam and my husband’s birthday treat night. On the plus side, I’ve paid in my birthday money (£150) and finally put in a very backdated expenses claim at work. This means my savings account now holds a healthy £813.19. That’s three-quarters of a month whittled off my target.

But I’m not going to give myself a pat on the back yet, after all, I did go over budget and I won’t be able to rescue the situation with expenses and birthday money next month.

Thursday

Wake up with: £5.05

Go to bed with: £0.41

Today is a day of yearning. It’s almost as if it’s finally sinking in that it will be a long old time before I can go on a shopping spree. I haven’t exactly got a history of profligacy, but it’d be nice to splash out once in a while.

Here are the things I’m lusting after this week:

  • Compost so I can pot out my new plants
  • Some beautiful platters, I fell in love with CookinginSensbrocante finds
  • A novel or two (I have officially run out of reading material)
  • Some verbena for my borders and plants to fill the gap left by the tetes-a-tetes from my hanging baskets
  • A blow torch (our friends used one to caramalise the top of their passionfruit tart—me likey)
  • A kitchen storage solution from Ella’s Kitchen Company

Instead I buy loo roll and some ironing water with the rest of this week’s money.

Hey ho, roll on June—and new budget week. Until next time… Thanks for reading.

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5 comments
  1. bethjohnston said:

    You probably know this already, but if you want novels to read, then join your local library before it disappears (if it hasn’t already!), see if any of your local charity shops are having a sale on books or swap books with friends. Or if you want to splash out then there is always poundland!

    • Gotta love the poundland! I am off to my second hand book shop this weekend with a stack of books I’m hoping to trade for a couple of novels — I’m a member of the local library but I know myself too well to actually borrow books: the entire budget would be blown on library fines!

  2. bethjohnston said:

    For compost you could try putting an add on freegle or some other community recycling messsage board – I’ve met a few people who dilligently make home made compost but then never use it! Only problem is transport – you would have to take a shovel and bags round and then cart it all home without making too much of a mess! Or try poundland???

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