Monthly Archives: January 2017

Thanks, But No Thanks January.

Great. Thanks, January, but I’m going to be glad to be seeing the back of you next week. You have been a write off as far as saving money is concerned, and thanks to your general iciness, I have been stricken down with a plague of fever and snot and therefore am unable to go running (shame). I have broken both my New Year’s Resolutions, through no fault of my own, and am thoroughly fed up with you.

I was in bed for three days straight. No responsibilities, no housework, no cooking, no children…….utter bliss! I wish. I have felt utterly rubbish with a nasty fluey cold, given to me by the toddler, thanks son. We both took over the big bed and were languishing there all last weekend. Thankfully Mr. B is a bit of a hero (or ‘legend’ – his word) and has been amazing. Turns out he can wash up, who knew! Although after three days of it he announced that we need a dishwasher. Yes dear, that would be nice. Anyway, I’m better now, but the result of the toddlers bout of flu last week was that our routine was completely thrown off. As it was so frosty, and the poor boy was feeling so low, I couldn’t face taking him food shopping. Luckily Granny came to the rescue with some emergency supplies and saved us from a supper of spaghetti and carrot (singular). Then I fell victim to the ravages of fever and was declared a quarantine zone. With daddy in charge that of course meant Dominoes for supper.

Pre-plague Jan was fun; snow!

It just goes to show how much we depend on routine and habit to save us money. As soon as things go a bit tits up, the whole system falls apart. Our main way of saving money is by not spending it – obvious and simple. But as Tuesday this week showed, there is a bit more work involved than might first appear. I wasn’t very with it on Tuesday, after the weekend lurg, but we had finally got around to leaving the car at the garage. Super Granny turned up so I could collect the preschooler at lunch time, then gallantly entertained us all day while I waited for The Call. Obviously I had forgotten to think about what to feed the kids in the evening, or to bring pjs so I could be lazy flexible. That Call from the garage came at half five, by which time the kids were climbing the walls from tiredness and general hanger. We still had to get the car, pay (bleugh), transfer both car seats, drive home without anyone falling asleep, eat something then actually fall asleep. As we pulled away from the garage I was dwelling miserably on the evening ahead, (and giving my full attention to the road obvs…), when the three year old pipes up, ‘Mummy! We can go to McDonalds!’. Genius. So that is what we did.

Lessons I learnt this week:

  1. Proper prior planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance. Obviously.
  2. Sometimes three-year-olds have genius ideas.
  3. Apparently the plastic window in McDonalds showcasing the Happy Meal toys is not built to withstand a determined toddler with hanger issues…..er, oops

This really does show that even something as simple as not spending money needs actual planning and preparation. I had to ring Mr B that night to confess and tell him to feed himself as there was no food waiting at home. The knock on effect is that there was no lunch for him the next day either. Money spent and money spent.

On that note here’s a new thing that we now do:

Introducing ‘Z days’. These are days where we will spend zero money. Obviously we already have lots of days like this (just not many in 2017 so far…) but now they have a name and Mr B has decided to count them. Because, apparently, it’s not fun unless it’s a competition…..*rolls eyes* honestly. I’m totally going to win anyway.

Lets hope February fares better than January or the Z day tally will be pretty poor. This is the Birthday Month though, so remembering PPPPPPPP* will be key! I took a cake order from the soon-to-be-four-year-old-and-doesn’t-she-know-it. It went like this, ‘Chocolate with pink on top and Rapunzel, and sprinkles and sparkles. And a tiara. And birds.’ Right. Wish me luck!

*catchy isn’t it? See lesson 1 above.

New year, newish me!

Well here we are, in wet, cold, windy January. Christmas is remembered only but my expanded waistline and the three-year-old who keeps asking whether Father Christmas is going to come again tomorrow. This first blog post of the year has been a real struggle to write. Firstly I couldn’t think what to write apart from the obvious ‘Christmas, well wasn’t that expensive! Let’s make New Year Resolutions to not spend a thing in all of 2017’. Secondly, THE TODDLER DOES NOT NAP ANYMORE. Arrrggghhh!

Snow!

So what is this post about? Umm well, Christmas was a bit pricey don’t you think? Had a lovely time though, lots of family fun and the kids loved it. 2016 was a sock year. I have the world’s cosiest toes and I’m loving it (currently in pjs on the sofa, with a new pair of extra soft socks on. Comfy doesn’t begin to describe it). We had a lovely New Years Eve too. We went to a really posh party and got dressed up and everyth….Oh wait, sorry just remembered who I am…We spent the day travelling home and consequently when we got back at 10pm none of the small creatures were remotely tired. Watched the fireworks on TV and only went to bed after midnight because we were determined to out last the toddler, who finally succumbed at about 11.50pm. As for New Years Resolutions, we are definitely clawing our way back onto the frugal wagon. It is surprising how easy it is to revert to old habits of not watching where the money goes or spending without thinking about it. It will take us a month or so to be fully back to where we were in November. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, and about 30 seconds to break it. Whoever ‘they’ are ‘they’ seem to be right.

It’s going to be a tricky month for saving though, as both the car tax and MOT are due. To complete the trio, the car has been making a horrible, expensive sounding, grinding noise every time I drive it. Not good. I really should ring the garage.

Another very ordinary and a bit half-hearted resolution of mine is to run more. I like running, and I like cake. For the past month or so there has been more cake than running so I feel like I should really put on my trainers again and heave myself out of the door. Things like snow (too cold), rain (too cold) and January (too cold) are getting in the way though. Ah well. Might as well eat the cake then! Mr. B, on the other hand, has signed up to the local half marathon in March. This means that I can nag him to go instead and make it look like I’m being generous, ‘You go for a run dear, don’t worry, I’ll eat the cake and look after the kids’.

On that note, I’ll leave you with a picture of my lunch today. Happy New Year to you all! I know it’s mid-Jan but whatever. A not-napping-toddler means that I now only have evenings in which to write stuff. As my brain tends to close down at around 6pm, earlier if the night has been bad, it will be a miracle if any of this has made sense!

Healthy isn’t it? and fascinating…