Money maths

For my final day at work experience, I was able to attend BETT 2014 in London. This is a national show held at the ExCel centre, which showcases technology in education. As the company I was working for publish e-books, we visited to suss out what is up and coming in this particular sector. I’m afraid I have no picture to share from the event. There wasn’t much time to spare! And also, my camera is still broken, so a bit of an embarrassment in public. I did snap a pic of my badge, which proves my attendance. I tell you, wearing this all day made me feel very much like a proper adult. The show was a wonderful opportunity to see the entire realm of educational publishing. I’m so grateful I had the chance to go.


But alas, train travel to London Waterloo and back was not cheap. I flinched when the ticket man told me the total price. It was a worthy investment, no doubt about that. But February’s budget was in dire need of fixing.

I had already taken £20 out to cope with January, meaning before London, I had £80 set for February. But then came my £28 train ticket, along with a coffee out on the day itself, costing £2. So that left me with £50 in total. Or so I thought. I had forgotten the shopping spree I had on Thursday. I spent £10 on some washing up supplies, reduced gluten-free bread (wasn’t going to let that pass me by!) and other such foodstuffs. So, in fact, I had £40 left for the month of February. This was going to take some seriously planning.

I have a decent amount of stock in my cupboards at the moment though, so I knew my shopping budget wasn’t going to be large. After calculating the rest of my outgoings, I had £4 left for food for the month. I know how to be frugal, but I can’t work miracles! So I’ve moved £10 from March’s budget, giving me £14 for the month. I’m very aware that I’m spending March’s funds in what is still technically January, but needs must. It will all balance out in the end.

To give myself a decent £10 food shop mid-Feb, I took the £4 and the change in my purse off to Sainsbury’s this morning. This is what I came back with:



Only the essentials for this shopping trip. The biggest treat was spending an extra 20p on proper syrup instead of jam. I much prefer golden syrup on my morning porridge.

Things are tight this month, but I think they will be for all of the months left ahead. The best I can do is to keep trying and keep focusing on my ultimate goal. When I have that in mind, there is no hardship to be found anywhere.


7 thoughts on “Money maths

  1. seeing as you have got syrup in stock I can now offer a tip I gleaned off Womans Hour years ago. When cake mixture comes up a bit dry like your cup cakes did, next time you make the mixture transpose one spoon of syrup for some of the sugar. Works like a charm.

  2. Oh, I’m not sure if this is still the case, but I’ve previously noticed the plastic squeezy bottles of golden syrup are better value. You might want to check it out if you run out before the challenge is over.

  3. Ouch, this is getting really tight for you; there are some things that are totally out of your control, like the train fare to London. Strangely enough, I have been using the train more recently, as the company I have been working for moved to Chichester, and it is cheaper and easier for me to get the train from Portsmouth rather than drive! I wish you the very best of luck balancing your books over the next few months, we will keep watching your progress.

    • I thought I would be able to stick with it, but I think I’m going to need to dip into my savings just this once. I’m always up for a challenge, but I don’t know if I can survive this one!
      I don’t drive so trains are my only option for long distance travel. I’ve got my student railcard though, which helps a lot 🙂

  4. The main thing is you have got your eyes on the figures and are making an effort to keep spending low. It’s when you get that ‘oh sod it all’ moment that things really go to pot.

    Remember we’re all here rooting for you to have a good year financially :-).

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