Thursday, April 26, 2012

Financial Update

So, the month is not quite over but the results are in...

... and my spending was £260 greater than my income!

NOT GOOD!

By the time you factor in hideous expenses like car insurance that means we have less than a year before I have to work again.

I have to get better at this!

To analyse the problem in more depth - where did this over expenditure occur?

Household - £38.97 on blackout blinds for the bedrooms. Essential for BB's sleeping (and therefore mine) so a good investment, perhaps. Or at least I like to think so. Also £36 on a table bought on ebay. Our dining table is old, very old- it was my Great Grandfather's. I love it for the fact that my son can eat at the same table as his great great grandfather, but it needs covering so that it doesn't get ruined and so doesn't work with BB's Stokke high chair and tray. Therefore table has gone into storage and a new (second hand) wipeable, stickable table, is in our kitchen.

Total Household overspend is therefore £75.92. It is one thing to think that I wont have to buy things like this next month, but at the same time I am aware that there are always things that need replacing when you have a house...

Gifts - £60 over budget! Perhaps it was just a busy month... perhaps I should think twice before sponsoring friends for various activities - all for very worthwhile causes I must add. That seems a shame, but maybe it's the brutal reality. Maybe only sponsor one person a month, and if I am over budget when the request comes through I might just have to learn to say no.

Clothing -  I've allowed myself £40 a month but I bought a coat for £54.99. I don't buy clothes every month though, so hopefully some months I will be under budget

Groceries - £53 over budget. And I had quite good stocks in already! I think my grocery budget was unrealistic so I have increased it by £40. Which means I need to save £40 elsewhere, and get smarter with my shopping!

Fuel - £64 over budget. So, fuel is expensive... I think this was an expensive month as I did a long drive for my sister's birthday, and filled up the car ready to go and visit DD this weekend (postponed, so a saving for now, but expense still to come). I think perhaps I have been a little unrealistic with my fuel budget too, so I will increase it a little - but I'll also try to use the car even less.

I saved a little in some areas too, such as on baby, cosmetics and eating out, so maybe they are areas to look at for cuts.

I have been googling and found some interesting blogs... including http://www.athriftymum.com/ and http://www.frugalfamily.co.uk/

I have to get better at this. I really want to be a stay at home mum for more than a year!

Perhaps it's time to put some junk on ebay...

Other financial initiatives - I monetised my blog (did you notice?), and a couple of others http://some-blissful-bites.blogspot.co.uk/ where I have been posting recipes and http://babyledmealideas.blogspot.co.uk/ where I have been posting ideas for BLW (deserves a post of it's own soon!) so far I made £1.57!!!! I don't think it's going to feed us for too long!

I also thought of selling eggs - in fact, I even made a sign and put in the window, but then I took it down after a week - it seemed pointless as I had carried on giving them away. I don't know, maybe I am mad, but, I think if you give you always get it back in some way, and eggs are really a currency in thier own right - I've 'paid' for many things with eggs!

So the challenge is to do better next month...

All other ideas welcome!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Nine Months

Tomorrow, BB will be 9 months old.

This seems incredible to me in so many ways. I have been a mum for 9 months! It seems to have gone so fast, yet I can't remember life before BB, so in a way it's like he has been with me forever. It's amazing how much he has grown and changed in that time. He is no longer a baby, more a little boy. I am so loving watching his character unfold. He is a happy chappy, a determined little soul, remarkably strong, somewhat fearless, and he loves making people laugh. He has 4 teeth, says mum mum mum and dad dad dad (though I don't believe he really knows that's what he's saying), is crawling everywhere, can climb stairs, and likes to practice walking with the help of furniture.




What strikes me as even more remarkable than this, is the fact that today, he has existed in the outside world for exactly the same amount of time that he existed inside me. I am being extremely precise here. It is 550 days since his conception, 275 days since his birth!


This whole thought makes pregnancy seem incredibly long!

It's this thought that made me realise that I should soon start thinking about trying to conceive BB2.

At birth (or at the mid point of his life so far). At this point I hadn't even seen him myself yet!



And today
Waving for the camera

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

FAT

You may remember that I started seeing a personal health trainer through the NHS to try and help me shift some LARD! Well, the news there is I have GAINED 2 kg. Yes that's right, gained! I lost a kilo or so at first, but when I went to see the the health trainer on Monday I was nearly 2 kg over my starting point. Gutted!

How can this be?

Well, a combination of things I suppose. Getting out and walking less due to the recent rain. BB is eating more solids and breastfeeding less, so I guess I am burning less calories on milk production. Perhaps the fact that I bake (and eat) a banana cake every week! Or perhaps that I have developed a shandy habit, breaking open a can of 0.5% bitter shandy most nights thinking the alcohol is negligible but forgetting the sugar. I also stopped using the Wii since BB started crawling. I used to strap him in his bouncer and let him watch. The combination of me making a fool of myself and the characters on the screen were enough to keep him entertained. Now it is impossible to do it when he is awake as he would be climbing my leg! By the time he is in bed at night and I have cleaned up the kitchen, washed the floors, sorted the washing, tidied the toys, etc. etc.  I'm shattered.

So, I have been forced to address this issue this week. I have to say part of me just wanted to give up. I thought of a lot of reasons to do nothing. I am hoping to get pregnant with baby 2 soon(ish), so what's the point, I'll only get fat again. I'm tired. Lots of other people I know didn't lose their baby weight yet. The scales must be wrong! It's healthy to retain some extra weight if you are breastfeeding. It will fall off when I stop. I need to weigh more to be fertile (excuse generated by the fact that when the Chinese Doctor gave me herbs and acupuncture to give me 'good eggs' I put on 4 kg)... I could think of a thousand more excuses if I tried.

BUT, instead I managed to pull myself together, have a word in my own ear and give myself a kick up the rear. I did a lot to make my body healthy before conceiving BB. BB2 deserves the same. Also, If I retain an extra 6 kg after this pregnancy, and the same next time, I will be real fattie.

On Monday I walked for 90 minutes. Yesterday was pretty much all taken up with a play date so not a great deal happened exercise wise, unless chasing a crawling boy around counts! Today, despite the fatigue, I dragged the Wii out. If I just do 5 mins that's better than nothing, right? Good old Wii tells me that it's 47 days since my last work out, that I have really gained weight and it's not that the health centre scales are faulty, and that my Wii fit age has gone from being in the 30's to 44! Hmmph!

I started gently, with balance exercises, but then moved on to some aerobics. 1 hour later, I am feeling quite pleased with my (not so) little self.

I have also started using the weight watchers tracker again, and adjusted the points total for the fact that I have started weaning. It's going OK so far. The goal is to be the weight I was before conceiving by the time BB is 1. That's 6 kg to go.

I hope I have better news when I post on this next!