Monthly Savings: $1459.27
Total savings to date: $22,001.50
If we had not saved a single thing this month I would not have been surprised at all. The number of bills that materialised this month was quite depressing plus a week of school holiday care stretched the budget to the limit. Our grocery bills are going all the way to the top end of our food budget and we don’t seem to be buying any more than normal. I can completely understand how people are becoming dispirited over the cost of living. Miraculously…we still managed to tuck some money in the savings account.
I have a confession – I bought something new.
I felt bad at first, but I exhausted every secondhand option before purchasing a new item, so I am OK with it.
September was Oscar’s birthday. For his birthday he had asked for Skylander characters (the latest video game craze). There are 32 characters in all and Oscar has been working very hard to save his money and purchase the characters himself, however, there were a few that he was having trouble locating. I managed to find two of the remaining eight offenders secondhand, but after an exhaustive search online and in classifieds in the paper for pre-loved toys I had no joy. I resorted to the local retailer for two more characters. Luckily, they were on sale so I still saved some money, but they are still new. Oscar informs me that he is planning on asking Santa for the rest. Good luck Santa!
For the birthday celebrations we went to a local indoor play centre. In a first for us instead of buying a decorated cake Jim and I put our heads together and made one.
Last year we paid over $100 for a child’s birthday cake. This year Google and a visit to the supermarket made the cake a whole lot more colourful and cheaper. We were pretty pleased with the results.
We have had four birthdays to find gifts for this month. A couple of them we already had sorted out, but we still needed to find a gift for my four-year-old nephew. I rummaged through local op shops and online and finally settled on a very large, plush Kermit The Frog. He loved it! It’s nearly as big as him and he can drag it around the house. Who doesn’t love Kermit?
We have started to give Christmas some thought. More specifically the question of Santa. I can’t remember the last time Santa dropped anything secondhand into the Santa sack so that was always going to be an issue.
After much discussion we decided that we will probably be purchasing some new items at Christmas, however, we will be placing a much tighter budget on what we spend. Normally Christmas signifies a time for crazy excess in our house. Mountains of shiny new toys, great gadgets and useless doohickeys. It was exactly this ‘greed’ that led us to this resolution this year so we don’t want to go straight back to where we started. Really – how much do we need?
I already have a number of Christmas gifts purchased and put away for this year and, proudly, many of them are secondhand or handmade. I have managed to track down several items (Lego and Trash Packs – for parents in the know) that are secondhand, but new in the box which Santa will undoubtedly be dropping off. I have a feeling that this year’s gifts will be much more gratefully received than last year’s.
I have been going through the cupboards once more to see if I had any clothing I don’t wear and for children’s clothes that are no longer useful. I found a few things so these will be getting ready for sale, but there really isn’t that much more to sell.
On a more exciting note – our visit to a local travel agent last month resulted in us booking a fantastic three-week family holiday around the US in 2013. The fact that we paid the deposit this month and still managed to save money gives us a real sense of pride.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the fact that October is National Buy Nothing New Month. Why not try giving it a go yourself? For all the details go to www.buynothingnew.com.au
Until next month.