The Cost of Living: May 2017

Last month was a "no buy" month.  This month was not.  And I'm back in the red...

First, here are this month's numbers:

Rent: £350
Utilities: £297.59
  Mobile: £49.70
  Broadband: £19.50
  Council Tax: £82.00
  Google drive: £7.99
  Water: £98.40
  Electricity: £40
Food and drink: £76.88
Home: £53.05
Canadian money: £179.96
Garden: £34.75
Drinks: £32.58
Pets: £28.31
Clothing: £17
Non-work travel: £16.37
Entertainment: £23.45
Postage: £11.94
Coffee: £8.05
Groceries: £4.63
Laundry: £4.00

TOTAL: £1138.56

INCOME: £960.78
  Work: £932.44
  Amazon selling: £28.34

Hours worked: 87 (or 21.25 per week on average).


My "balance" for the month is -£177.78, which isn't good, but this is almost exactly the amount of money I spent in Canada (£179.96) which is...interesting.  For one thing, I was only there for two days!  Clearly I have a lot to learn about frugality while travelling.  OK, it was for a wedding, and going to a wedding is quite an extravagant thing to do, but the feeling of money not being "real" when you're abroad is a very strong one.  Of course, you have to "eat out" too, which is bound to be expensive, and that should really have come under my "food and drink" expenses, but it didn't because I forgot to take note of the cost of everything I bought (see previous sentence).

My "clothing" expenses were for a shirt that I could actually do up the top button of, and so wear with a tie, and the cost of getting my suit cleaned.  Both wedding related one-offs.  I haven't bought any actual everyday clothes in I don't know how long.  I'm down to a "minimalist" wardrobe now, and it's perfectly adequate.

I didn't stick to my target of a £50 food budget, but I probably could have with a little bit of extra effort.  Buying fresh vegetables from the few "zero waste" options available to me probably ups the cost here, and might be something I need to take a closer look at.  Bulk buying zero waste options, anyone?

As in April, I topped up £40 on my electricity meter, but was pleased to discover on Thursday at the turn of the month, I still had just over £5 in credit.  So this month I've only topped up £35.  Wonder if I can get electricity costs down to £30 in June.  Might be worth a shot.

The "home" expenses were getting a key cut, shoe paint and glue for repairing my shoes (see this post), a multi-function pen knife/pliers tool, and perhaps my one silly indulgence of the month: a bluetooth lightbulb with speakers in it (which cost £25).  They quite good though, and allowed me to give away a pair of speakers I was hardly using.  Listening to music through a light bulb is satisfactory, and also adds to the overall minimalist "vibe" (sic)

Overall, I worked fewer hours this month than I did last month, so may have to do a bit more in June to keep afloat.  This is the whole point of everything really.  How little paid employment can I do and still get by?

That's it.  Any questions?