Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Finding my inner Scrooge...

As part of my general New Year, new me overhaul that you can read about here I've been spending some time looking at my finances.

As an accountant I am shocking at keeping track of my own money. Ask me to find a missing 20p on a bank reconciliation or find the mistake on a balance sheet and I'm on it like a bloodhound. Ask me how much money I have in my own account and I wouldn't have a clue, although it would be safe to say that I would always over estimate my spare cash rather than under estimate.

I am getting better at planning for the future though. I am paying into a work based pension scheme, I have a life insurance policy and I have a savings account which we have used to pay for most of our incredible holidays and restaurant trips.

The fact remains however, that despite my outgoings only needing 60-70% of my monthly take home pay, each and every month without fail I spend the last 10 days stretching every last penny to stop going overdrawn.

I am completely aware that we are both in so much more of a fortunate position than many other families all over the UK, but I can't help feeling that I should have more to show than photos of holidays and a half decent car.

To better understand where my money is going I decided to properly look at my bank statements for the last two months and this is what I found;

Despite having a separate "food fund" I spent an average of £200 per month in supermarkets and food shops, generally on alcohol, meal deals and impulse buys.

I spent an average of £150 per month eating out and drinking coffees.

I paid £125 each month for gym membership, beauty treatments & clothes

I withdrew £100 each month - I have no idea what I used this money on...mostly the sandwich van if I'm honest.

I know November & December are not the most realistic months to choose, but I wanted to see the worst "devil-may-care" spending habits and I must admit I'm shocked. Mostly by the extra food (wine) and eating out. Perhaps this explains why I am the lightest in my pocket and the heaviest on the scales right now?  

So fresh year, fresh start.

Each week I will allow £50 for car fuel and "pocket money". If at the end of the week I have spare money that will go in my baby fund money pot.

Instead of driving to the shopping centre at lunchtimes I will go for a walk instead, saving £s, losing lbs.

My gym membership will be changed from the most expensive level to the level I actually need.

Eating out will be seen as a treat, rather than the weekend norm.

I'm not expecting to stop spending money. I don't want to mark down every penny that I spend. What I do want to do is spend more consciously, more sensibly, wisely.

If you challenged yourself to review your spending what would you like to save on?

Linking to:

Super Busy Mum

Brilliant blog posts on


  1. I really need to do this too this year. I was horrible with finances last year and so much was unneeded and wasted. We eat out way too much and I am trying to learn to cook healthier meals too. So win win (hopefully). Thanks for the motivation here. Hope you have a great fulfilled 2015! Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  2. Its so easy to fall into a rut with your finances isn't it! Good luck for a more successful year!

  3. I've noticed that our weekly food shop bill is creeping up and up, and I'm not entirely sure where, so I need to figure that out and bring it back down again. And then it's the random purchases of things we don't actually need but just want. They're unnecessary, and just after Christmas, we can't really want that much more!

  4. Yep I really need to get to grips this year too. I spend way to much on food shopping and eating out it's actually ridiculous if I add it up. I wish I could be more careful and think I need to draw cash out! X

  5. Same here, need to save on crazy big supermarket spends with a waste on food, this is the year. Thanks for the motivation. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts