The Budget

I tend not to stick at such things, so this might be yet another whim that will fizzle out just as surely as many of my other bright ideas have done in the past…. but since I’m in something of a pickle financially, I’ve decided to write down all my weekly outgoings to make a visible record of what I’m spending my money on and also to deter me from overspending what I haven’t got and can’t afford to spend.

The household bills are almost all paid for using the marvel of Direct Debit (the bills/invoices/utilities etc are all paid out of my bank account automatically each month) but I really don’t have a disposable income to speak of and what I do have, has to stretch an awfully long way.

With my daughter’s prom fast approaching, and the fact that she was desperately in need of a new pair of specs and I had to buy her some last week (thankfully Vision Express have a brilliant offer on at the moment)…well, the purse strings are getting ever tighter. In fact they couldn’t get much more restictive. My debts won’t be cleared for another couple of years to come and I have absolutely no job prospects or even the hope of being employed for the hours I need in order to give some much needed stability to my situation and although I thought I’d already cut back loads, I decided that it was time to take a closer look at my poor financial situation and see if there was any more that could be done to improve it.

Frankly if the rug beneath me gets pulled at any time in the reasonably near future, bankruptcy will be the only option. However, since I need access to an overdraft/credit as there is no ready cash available, that’s a prospect I don’t even want to contemplate. With all the other worries and responsibilities I have right now, I am trying my best just to keep myself from wallowing in self pity and not to become despondent.

Last week I discovered another hiccup in the finances…my old E-Card site hosts have been unscrupulously continuing to take money out of my bank acount despite my contacting them and my wanting to terminate my agreement with them….and I have now had to have my debit account frozen (hence, I can’t use my bank account for a week!!) so as to set up a new account for which my old e card hosts will not have my banking details to take more money from me. It was only a pound a week to have my old ecard site hosted, but I found somewhere that could provide a btter service for only 40p a week and I chose to go with them instead.

So anyway, from a couple of Saturday’s ago I have been writing down what I have been spending each day…and do you know something? It can be quite a shock to see your purchases written down! Especially when you ask yourself,

‘Did I really need to buy that?’.

I mean, i don’t buy extravant things, I don’t have the money for them, I’m talking about basic things, cutting back on stuff that costs only a pound or two can make a difference though, when things are tight. It all counts when you are as financially challenged as my family is.

I would highly recommend those on a tight budget having a go at this if they don’t already do so, because I tell you something else, till receipts are easy to lose and if you are anything like me, I am always forgetting what shops I’ve been in and how much money I have spent. BUT just as importantly, the more financially affluent probably SHOULD do this too as to be honest with you, I’ve been appalled recently at the financial waste and uneccessary spending I’ve witnessed in the lives of some of the people I know personally, some of whom claim to be as financially challenged as I am, yet all the while knowing they have triple the amount incoming each week and certainy more financial security and savings than I do(I can’t actually recall the last time I had any savings!)!

I originally got in to debt through necessity, but wil also admit that I may have made a few financial mistakes along the way and perhaps I haven’t always been a good steward of my finances, but I have paid the price over and over, and will be paying it for at least the next 3 years…. having said that, those who have more make just as many (if not more) mistakes and can be just as poor stewards of their finances.

Anyway, as for the budgetting I am finding it beneficial and hope to continue with it.

Why not try it, you might be surprised at just how much you are spending unecessarily.

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17 Responses to The Budget

  1. Renee says:

    I need to do this, to. I feel so flippin’ tight, but there is a money leak somewhere, and I need to track it down. Might be the thrift stores I like to frequent. The truth may hurt!

  2. Suzanne says:

    It is always the little things that add up. THAT is my problem and occasionally being a flippin day late on a bill and getting that horrid late charge that could have bought me an new outfit or a steak dinner!
    Yes, it is the little things though, more than anything
    and they add up so fast.

  3. ukok says:

    But thrift stores ( ‘charity stores’) do save money in the long run…we can buy clothes, books, kitchen equipment more cheaply….it’s no bad thing unless we buy stuff we are never going to use or benefit from 🙂

    Hope you track down the money leak though!


    I have lost count of how many late payment charges I have incurred over the years…but now I have regular payments taken automatically taken out of my bank account….late payments charges of £25 every month in addition to my minumum payments were a nightmare!

    I hate to think of how much more I would have payed off my actual debt had I just been a bit more savvy 😦

  4. Melanie says:

    Ugh! I know how difficult this is and wish you luck. It can be even harder to see it in black & white, but it can also help you find new places to minimize/change. Have you read this blog: She keeps track of her spending on a daily basis and it’s quite interesting sometimes. She doesn’t need to live frugally, but it’s interesting to read her expenses (in that crazy, voyeuristic way of people who love to read blogs. LOL)

    I used to be quite good at tracking our expenses, but got overwhelmed a few years ago and never got back into it. I really need to start again, as it did help us cut back on things that weren’t necessary.

  5. ukok says:

    Melanie, thanks for sharing that link, I just checked out the blog and it pretty interesting. i read her ‘about me’ page and that her hubbie has cancer, now i have someone else to pray for. You were meant to pass this way and share that with me 🙂

  6. Mimi says:

    Ugh. Budgeting.

  7. ukok says:

    I know! Part of me wishes i didn’t have to budget and the other part of me would hope that no matter how much money i had, i would hopefully always seek to exercise some restraint in my spending!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Funny you posted this…I just did a income vs spending list. No wonder I have no money.
    I’m going to track all my spending for a couple of months to get a better picture.

    I need to save but it’s hard. I basically live paycheque to paycheque so I have no advice to give…only understanding.

  9. Rita says:

    You are far from alone. Our car fuel bill is averaging £75 per week. Just spending on the necessities and the direct debits for the bills and loans means that the shortfall each month between incomings and outgoings in the hundreds of pounds. My husband’s work is seasonal which doesn’t help.

    What makes me really mad is that the bank can charge about £20 a day when you are over your agreed overdraft. Like this really helps the situation!

    Inflation is running much higher for the majority of the population than the statistics would suggest. I’m not having sleepless nights yet, but so many people are with their money worries.

    It is all so very sad.

  10. ukok says:

    i know exactly what you mean about the paycheque to paycheque part! I wish i didn’t, but i do!

    I keep reminding myself, we have a roof over our heads, food in the cupboards, clean running water, heating, we even have a car….these are luxuries to the worlds truly poverty stricken…but no, it is no fun number crunching and wondering how to get the money for things that need doing or buying.


    You are absolutely spot on, many are indeed suffering at the moment. I went shopping the other day and some items had almost doubled in price in the supermarket!

    About your fuel bill, wow, that is a lot of money. Fortunately I only travel locally most of the time, I can’t imagine having to find that kind of money just for petrol! Is that for just one car or two, if you don’t mind my asking?

    It’s a sad fact of life nowadays that ‘robbing peter to pay paul’ is the way of things for many of us.

  11. Cathy Keller says:

    Need! Want! Need! Want! and the Need always wins! DRAT I know just how you feel…Have a good day! You want and need both of those as do I…

  12. ukok says:

    Cathy, the good thing is that at least we’re in the same boat together eh? It’s much more fun than being alone!

  13. Owen says:

    I always promise myself I will not say these words, “I understand” but I do. ((X))

  14. Tom says:

    When you have a visible method of reviewing your expenses, you have a better idea where your finances are going. Yes, I need to put this to use so I know where and how much I’m hemorrhaging.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you come out of your debts sooner than you anticipate.

  15. ukok says:


    *I understand* that you *understand!



    you are right about it helping to have a visible method of reviewing finances. I hope that I do come out of my debt sooner than I anticipate or my forties are going to be considerably bleaker than I had hoped they would be!


  16. Adrienne says:

    The best way I know of to save money is not to “shop.” I don’t mean price comparisons for things we really need. I’m referring to that aimless wandering around stores. I figured out if I don’t want to spend money – don’t go in the store.

    I got so good at this approach that now, after many, many years, I can actually wander around a store and not buy anything. Best of both worlds!

  17. ukok says:


    I absolutely agree with you. Yesterday I didn’t (if you will excuse the phrase) ‘spend a penny’ and nor have I today!

    I could never window shop though. I don’t like shopping at the best of times, but if I go out shopping i can’t just look at things i can’t have/afford.

    Maybe that’s why i’m a bit of a hermit!

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