I bought the drawers second-hand from the Camberwell market ages ago and started painting it red. I wasn't feeling that so I used found papers to decorate the drawers instead. The top left and right are layers of vintage pattern paper. The diamond blue pattern was part of the packaging for something I bought. The blue is from the cover of a vintage book we were going to give away, and the bottom drawer is covered with pages from another vintage book.
It's going to be a totally new thing for me to actually have desk storage. Not sure how I'll best use it yet.
I've just realised how much I've bought online in the past couple of months. Books and stationery and tape and things.
mouse pad from My Favorite Mirror
tape from Nothing Elegant
lacy bird bowl by Prince Design UK
And that's only a portion of my purchases. I thought I was doing well because I carefully considered each purchase, and nothing I bought was a waste, but that's not good enough for me. In the interest of saving money and reducing environmental impact, I want to do better. I've been reading a book called Budget Wise, Dollar Rich, borrowed from the libary like a good little saver.
Looks a bit spammy, doesn't it? Despite that, it's really helpful. Now that Tim isn't working (for money, anyway) I'm paying the large bills, so I've made a budget for Heidi & Seek and for home. It's all well and good to make a spreadsheet with the best of intentions, but although I've done that in the past, I haven't enforced what I've written down or monitored how I was doing. I've never been in much debt, and I always pay off my credit card during the interest-free period, but I've never consistently put money aside for savings either. Except when I was saving for a holiday, but that was different. Single life living at home with your parents is so different.
Anyway, my plan of attack now is this:
- I withdraw in cash a certain amount at the start of every week, and must only use this to pay for things. Just before I withdraw the next week's allowance, I put the leftovers of the previous week in a jar. Any additional money I get, like gifts or random cash goes in this jar too. My motivation for keeping my spending within my allowance is seeing this jar's contents grow. It'll pay for extra more expensive things, or is there if I feel I deserve a treat. I might allocate 20% of the jar to 'treats' and the rest to savings, and then deposit it at my bank when it gets big.
- I've made my allowance quite low because I want to try to make do. Since we're vegetarian our meals don't have to cost much. Our pantry is full of things we keep accumulating but don't seem to use, so I want to see how far I can take what we already have and only buy the basics week to week. They will easily fit within my allowance.
- I'm doing a similar thing with Heidi & Seek, because sometimes I can get carried away with buying supplies or whatnot. Some months my expenses are sky-high and some months it's very little. I'm setting a monthly allowance for Heidi & Seek, except at the end of the month, the money left will be topped up instead of taken out, saved and completely replaced.
- For Heidi & Seek purchases that I don't need immediately, like certain books and equipment, I'm putting aside some money each month into a linked online account, and I can only buy them when I have enough in that account.
- Then of course I've made the standard annual tables of bills and other required expenses, but there's not much I can do about most of those. I cut my mobile phone plan from $50 to $20, and I'll see if there are cheaper options for the rest, too.
Do you budget or have system that works for you?