Well, I bit the bullet and signed for a more expensive room. It's going to be great though!
I think I have been doing pretty well with my spending at the minute. Pretty much everything is coming in well under budget, and I'm getting a good set of realistic figures for what I actually spend that I can use to make next year's budget more accurate.
At the minute I am having a massive "store cupboard challenge" to try and clear out all my packets & tins before I go home! Am having some slightly odd meals I have to admit.
Well, I bit the bullet and signed for a more expensive room. It's going to be great though!
Hmm.. I am in the process of deciding where to live next year...and I have finally decided to pay the extra ~£400/year and live in the expensive rooms... it was either that or live miles away or share a super-grotty room with a whole group of strangers. so I have decided that this is important to me and I will pay the extra costs. I guess, in the end, this is why I bother trying to save in the first place - to give me the freedom to make decisions like this.
Just a quick note to say - guess what, I've got another job!
It's helping out the librarian for an hour a week spread over two lunchtimes.
Obviously that doesn't equate to big bucks but I have the days I wanted - it's perfect really - I come back and usually just microwave some pre-prepared (by me!!) dinner in my lunch hour and then faff around - I have time to get back, do 1/2 hour in the library, have my lunch, & then get off again.
Plus, as with everything, it's almost more about the experience. Being able to talk about working in a library etc opens more doors for other jobs, and all experience (pretty much!) is good experience.
I would much rather have a couple of small jobs that just slot in around my life, but add up to a nice amount, than I would have one big job. It gets more tedious that way, for one thing.
I reckon between these three little jobs I should get another £440 odd between now and the end of the year (12 weeks of term). Well worth having!
Well, I've been pretty busy with work recently to come & do an update. Things have been going OK except for going out for dinner 3 times last week, ahem, a combination of a friend's special occasion and my boyfriend visiting.. Had a good time though :-)
Tried to book an eye test today, but I was told that because it's less than 2 years since I had my last test, I would only get it free if they found my prescription had changed, if not I would have to pay (about £25) - I should be getting things free still as I'm not 19 till May & I'm in fulltime education. Seems loopy to me!! In the past I have always been able to get an eye test when I've been having problems with my glasses (I'm having problems seeing the slides in lectures, even fro near the front )
Anyway, I managed to find another optician who will do me a free test as part of a special offer, so it's ok, but what a batty system!!
so far, so good.. been trying to cut down on food spending more.
this week so far all I've bought is
Bagels £0.09 (Had a £1 off coupon)
Tomatoes £0.34 (for my cupboard )
Diet coke £1.08 (for boyfriend..)
Tip £0.80 (mystery shop in Pizza Hut)
and that was for boyfriend staying for 2 days as well
The bagels are good. I complained about some that weren't cooked properly and they sent me some vouchers. The only problem is I have to use the other voucher by Monday. And I am getting sick of bagels!! It's so annoying that when you live on your own, if you buy something you have to eat it over and over and over again until you finish it!
However, it will be bagels and soup again next week :-) It would be nicer if I could get the cinnamon & raisin ones (not with soup though!) but the shop only has plain
Well, that's the first week survived!
I got my parents to take me shopping and got lots of "store cupboard" stuff to start me off with (it would have been helpful if they hadn't accidentally taken half of it home, though..!)
I stayed under budget with food, although I did eat quite a bit of the stuff they bought me, but I also bought other things that were for the store cupboard.
I shouldn't need to spend much this week, though. Mystery shopping Pizza Hut tonight with boyfriend - also scored some Mullerice on try me free today, and got some almost-free bagels with my coupons from complaining!
What made last week expensive was presents - I bought two bottles of wine as "thank yous" for people who helped me fix my computer, and I got some stuff in advance for birthday presents too.
Paid for b/f to come and visit - I used all my accumulated reward points so it was only £6.
The EFAs are a supplement I'm trying. I'm not sure I'll buy them again though. I got the tubigrip (for my HMS ) and the mirror with a gift voucher, same for the paper and envelopes
Anyway, here's the diary
Malt loaf £1.00
Well, it's the start of a new term.. lectures began again yesterday.
I have got myself two jobs for this term:
1) Fire warden for my corridor
I actually applied for this back in October, and another girl got it, but she's moved into another corridor now so I'm the new one. I have to check all the fire extinguishers and so on in my corridor in return for a 10% rent discount - so £6.20 a week.
2) Telephonist in development office
I just got this job yesterday - I don't start till Feb. I'm just doing 4 hours a week on a Monday evening, calling alumni and asking for donations to the university's fund. Pays quite well - starts from £6.35/hr - and fits in my terms. £24 a week.
Not fortunes, but they won't interfere with my work much, and that will cover all my weekly food/entertainment costs
I'll be back in a couple of days with spending diaries..
I've had complaints on another forum about my failure to keep my journal updated :-) so I'm back!
So, what's happened since I got back home? Not that much.. been pretty busy with Xmas and holiday work from uni. It's been great to have some time to just do nothing and see my boyfriend though - I miss him a lot when I'm away at college.
In the end this is what I gave as presents:
Mum & Dad - my year group photo from college
Grandma, boyfriend's parents - I bought them each a kind of "gift voucher" in a card, except the actual gift goes to a needy person in another country. I got them both seeds & saplings for a Bangladeshi family as grandma & bf's mum are both keen gardeners. I thought it was nice to be able to give people a "good feeling", not give them cluttery junk they won't use, and also help someone else out
Other grandparents - home made certificate enrolling them in the Letter a Month club, where they get a letter from me every month..lol, i know, it's not very good.. I have been working on a lovely sampler for them all year but I didn't get it done in time!
Brother - book from Amazon.co.uk bought with gift voucher from surveys bought at same time as my canopener to get free postage, hehe
Sister - (brand new) T shirt found in a charity shop ages ago and saved for her -it's really unusual, never seen one like it! & Boots gift voucher from surveys
Boyfriend - ended up giving him cash to get some new computer games, it's what he wanted! - plus a load of different soft drinks from Home Bargains (a random shop that sells all kinds of overstock, going out of date etc things), some posh men's skincare freebies, and some choccy etc
Bf's brother - gift voucher to a CD shop I know he'll use.
So, all in all, it didn't come out TOO expensive. Bf & I took his parents out for a meal for their birthdays (both in Jan) - there's a scheme where you can swap your loyalty card reward vouchers from a supermarket for 4X their value to spend on things like certain restaurants, so we took them there with several years of my saved up loyalty points.. hehe. Was very nice!
I also sent a donation to the tsunami appeal.. it wasn't huge.. but it was something, and I used Gift Aid so that the government kindly increased my donation by about 30% (it comes out of your income tax... I don't pay tax, so I always make donations in my mum's name!) - I have also given several pounds more by signing up for lots of free donation sites.
Tried to get back into selling some stuff online to declutter and make some cash. I "upgraded" one of my textbooks to the newest edition as I got a v.good price from an older friend, and sold my old copy.. put lots of other books on Amazon, sold 1 so far, and picked out a load that weren't worth selling (good condition, but were being sold for 1p by hundreds of other people) for the charity shop.
Also been putting some clothes and stuff on eBay. Sold one skirt so far, two other things finish today and both have bids.. I have another pair of jeans on, which have one bid, and some stuff for my sister (none of hers have bids yet though).
All this is going towards my stinky college bill - £1129.82 . This covers next term's rent, canteen subsidy (a stupid mandatory charge you have to pay even if you never go there) and tuition fees.. plus charges for last term for electricity, canteen, bar, etc. Gotta pay that on Friday - left my money in my account for a couple of weeks rather than paying it straight away to earn a few more £ interest. It's all set up to pay online though.
Okay, I think I will stop waffling on now. I should be back a bit more often once I go back to college - determined to track all my expenses for a term rather than just a couple of weeks so I get a better picture of things.
Well, I'm home
Had a nice pile of vouchers and suchlike waiting for me that had come in the post!!
Not enjoying all the shouting and chaos in this house though.. makes me appreciate my own space with only myself to account to... which isn't helped by the fact that we are having building work done which means I can't use my room at all and I'm in the spare room.. which doesn't have any of my stuff in it and is crammed full of everyone else's junk. Oh well.
Tried to ring my work today to get some work over Xmas but the number wasn't working.. will try them again tomorrow. I also found my Railcard which I had lost, so that was good picked up a couple of Try Me Frees at the supermarket too. .. just going to fill them in, then bed!
Well, last week wasn't too bad. Went to two plays, but enjoyed them
A couple of things I could have lived without on the food front.. (and I was not happy, i had to throw 1 1/2 cucumbers and 1 tomato out the NEXT DAY because they were already bad )
but i still didn't go that high. I only have 3 more full days to go here, so I'm into "eat the cupboards" mode!
This week's diary..
Bran flakes 1.33
Lemon tart 1.12
Custard apple 0.50
Xmas present 3.99
well.. today didn't go too well.
haircut.. didn't happen. I had to wait so long they said there was no way I'd be finished for 5 (my appointment was at 2.30..) which was when I had to do my brain research thing. So I had to give up on that. They were so unbelievably rude and nasty that I'm pretty glad they weren't cutting my hair though! Never going back there! - They had a real attitude that because I wasn't paying as much I didn't deserve the same treatment as the other customers.
and I guess I saved myself maybe 10% of my fine...which I still haven't heard anything about yet. I can live with my hair being a bit longer, lol.
Umm what else have I done.. I went to Sainsbury's.. just picked up some cereal, carrots, quorn sausages (using my coupons Quorn kindly sent me), and some reduced to clear lemon tarts (they were soooo nice).
The spicy products still haven't shown up. All I had today was a credit card statement for the card I got back in...July?...and have never used. Surprisingly enough the statement had nothing on it...!
Did some more research today, about the psychology of religion.. another £6 for me plus I now have enough points for another CD from CDwow.. so im looking for one for my boyfriend's brother for xmas..
been invited to do a doubly-long research project next week, with a bonus for having to recall traumatic memories.. sounds good to me!! also next week I should be doing another research project that's slightly different - the university is developing new entrance tests - and they are testing to see whether the tests cause students with disabilities to be disadvantaged at all and how they could be improved. So they invited me to do the mock test and questionnaire because I am classed as a student with a disability because of my HMS..
anyway I guess that's enough waffling from me for one night! xx
This has made me feel marginally better..
I worked out that if it's a £70 fine (tho it may be more).. I have still saved at least £70 from not eating in the canteen...
it's still not good but at least I know I was still better off to cook for myself!