Monday, 24 November 2014

The first step to leading a simpler life

You may be wondering what the first step would be once you decide to lead a simpler life. I believe the key has to be reduce the amount you spend. Your life will never be truly simple when you have any form of debt, so if there are still outstanding amounts to be met, then your initial target would be to reduce and eliminate the debts.
We are now in the fortunate situation of being totally debt free, having worked hard to pay off our mortgage and having no credit cards, so the next step is to reduce our monthly outgoings. In order to know where we could make savings, I tracked our outgoings to the penny for a whole month. Oh my! I could hardly believe how much we spent on stuff! It seemed that we were in the supermarket almost on a daily basis, picking up a forgotten item from the previous days shopping, only to add another three to the basket , before you know it, another £17 has disappeared from the account!
In the following month I set a cash budget for food and 'sundries'. My husband has a small amount of cash each week and was charged with trying to stop the gauge at £40 for any fuel fill-up. He gets so cross when it nudges over to £40.01!! I then dug out two ziplock bags and labelled them up with our cash amount for the month £400 for food and £100 for sundries. We also have a savings tin for any small change or anything left over at the end of the month.

You may feel that it's overly restrictive having such a tight budget, but I have found it liberating to spend less, to make do with what I have in the cupboards and be inventive with menus to make the most of any stocks we have. It fills me with pride to be able to provide healthy home-cooked meals for my family without overspending. The kids have occasionally complained at the lack of food, by which they mean lack of anything that can go straight from packet to mouth without any further preparation!! I do budget for treats, but they are rationed rather than free flowing as they were before. Perhaps they'll appreciate them more? Simon and I certainly appreciate our once a week bottle of wine!
In case you are wondering the flowers were a gift from our guests on Friday evening.


  1. Finally grabbed a quiet half hour to check out your new blog. It's just great, really inspiring. Fills me with longing, although I couldn't do the hands-on crafty-cooky stuff anywhere near the standard needed! Maybe it's the point in our lives we have reached - feeling the need for change? I am very excited for you starting this new chapter of your life. I'll certainly keep reading! x

  2. Thanks that's really kind of you. I'm hoping to build up some more feedback from readers to help me develop my writing. I am loving the creative stuff! I haven't had the freedom to do this much before and I'm really enjoying trying out new skills. I think the real point is that it doesn't need to be perfect because people like the hand-made look. You could certainly try the limoncello or Arancello!!