Last week we started a new routine. Inspired by the fact that we will be losing our entitlement to Child Benefit in January – more about that here – I have really cracked down on our household budget and spending.
I have written down all our income and outgoings, and divided them into categories. All of our bills are paid by direct debit, so after these come out, we have money left that is to be divided into savings, food shopping, petrol, clothes, after school activities and miscellaneous spending.
I didn’t want to cut down on what we were setting aside in savings and I also wanted to make sure that we had some left over to pay off our credit card debt so I decided to cut down on food shopping and petrol as these are expenses which we allow to go unchecked.
This means putting all the budgeted money for all the different categories into different envelopes. When the money in that envelope runs out, it runs out. Therefore if there is no money in the food envelope, there will be no more food shopping, and the same for petrol. This will stop unnecessary spending and encourage me to walk more.
In order to cut down spending, I have been making a weekly food plan and changed my supermarket shop to Aldi and Asda. Fruit and vegetables are remarkably cheaper in Aldi as is chocolate, tinned goods and meat. Anything that isn’t cheaper in there, or that they don’t have I have bought in Asda. I have managed to reduce our weekly food shop from £100 to £60 – a 40% saving.
I plan on making other drastic changes. I think that the £400 a month it costs us to run our car is unnecessary and when we move closer to Bean’s school I am seriously considering getting rid of it. Also we pay £60 a month to Virgin for phone, tv and internet, and I am sure this can be cut down, I am going to give them a call and get haggling.
I found these cute printable meal and shopping list planners, which helps me to keep budgeting looking pretty!!