The first step is the hardest

I’ve had a week of true frugal living. And I must admit, it’s had its ups and downs.

I think January will be my hardest month out of the sixth because there is a lot to pay for. Both of my parents celebrate their birthdays in January, so funds are needed for presents. I needed to put coins in the kitty for our New Year’s Eve celebrations, which was definitely worth it. I had a wonderful time seeing in 2014. New books had to be bought for the new semester, but I did get to use an Amazon voucher towards that cost, which helped a lot. I also needed to build up my food stocks after running them down before Christmas.

I’ve noticed the cutbacks on my shopping list the most, only buying essentials. I make a meal plan and only buy what I need for each week. This stops me wasting anything. I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed my meals more, because I’m really looking forward to them. There’s no money for extra snacks! I’m cooking up some of my favourites, including Sweet Potato and Lentil curry. I wish I had a picture to share, but my camera has packed up just at the wrong time! I’m going to ask amongst my friends and family to see if anyone has a spare one knocking around in a drawer. I don’t care how old it is, as long as it can take a picture without the batteries falling out!

Both myself and the chap have been busy with University preparation, so very little has been spent on outside entertainment. I’ve been keeping myself occupied in the evenings with various craft projects and DVD box sets that I received at Christmas. Free of charge fun! I don’t think much money will go towards social events this year. Everyone is knuckling down and concentrating on their own work; there just won’t be time for trips to the pub. This suits me down to the ground, and I can always have a friend over for a cup of tea during term time.

I start two weeks of work experience on Monday. I am so excited for this opportunity, but I know I will have to be very organised to make sure I stay within budget. I’m not sure if I will last on my £100 for this month, I might have to steal from February. But as long as I stay within the total of £600, I don’t think that’s the worst thing to do.

I’m enjoying reading all about other frugal adventures and challenges. Best of luck with all of your New Year goals!


4 thoughts on “The first step is the hardest

  1. The first step is definitely the hardest. We have been used to more snacks than usual, and it is a little hard getting out of the habit. At present I am not using the car for work and therefore cannot just pop into the supermarket on the way home (or at lunchtime) which means I have to stick more to my meal plan or at least use what we have in stock, I had not realised how bad I was at this, but I have hardly spent anything from the food budget so far. Like you our new year was great but certainly not frugal, and we have some substantial spending to do on the motorhome this month, so I will need to keep on track with as many budgets as I can. On the upside, I have plenty of wool to be making up into various things, so at least my hands will be kept busy, and as I am walking more to and from the train stations I must be getting a little fitter (although I do walk past all the lovely shops in Chichester which is proving to be a real temptation). When times are a bit tough like this we really need to support each other to get through it. Good luck with the work experience.

    • I don’t regret my New Year celebration one bit, we all had a jolly time, as I’m sure you did too! But now I’m prepared to stretch the budget for the rest of January to accommodate it 🙂 I’m very envious of your knitting skills. I’ve tried many times, but it’s just too fiddly! I’ll be sticking to my cross stitching for now 🙂 Best wishes to you.

  2. My new year resolution (for at least this semester) has primarily been cutting back on frivolous expenditure at the grocery store. I have been planning meals, trying to cook at home but its been extremely erratic this first week, especially because it was my mom and boyfriend’s birthday, one after the other. I really want to know more about how to stick to your money saving plans. Mine? They just keep collapsing before they begin! Nevertheless it’s nice to know that there are others with the same frugal living resolutions and they actually succeed! I hope you have a great time at the work experience. (it’s uncanny how my semester is coinciding with your semester plans).

    • Hi Tua, thank you so much for leaving a comment. I’m on a real learning curve at the moment, so I don’t know whether my efforts can be termed successful just yet! I just have an allocated amount of money that I don’t spend over. I think I have a real drive not to go over because I know it will effect my future. That’s great that you’re cooking more at home, it’s the best thing to do to save money. Thank you for your kind words about work experience, best of luck with yours! If there’s any specific questions about money/food/anything I can help with, just let me know 🙂

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