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NST: February: Back to Basics.



  • crazy_cat_lady
    Thanks Apple for a fantastic February challenge.
    I am grateful to have made it through the month without serious financial trouble. It's been tough but fabulous with the support on here.
    Reached my nsd target, and although I still went over on food, it's moving downwards. I'm more disappointed with my personal goals of exercise and not stressing, which I've failed miserably. Ah well.
    Today I am grateful for
    Payday! :j
    DS being better behaved :j
    Surviving a tough day at work :j
    Catching up with a good friend I haven't seen for ages :j
  • stewby
    stewby Posts: 1,206 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post Debt-free and Proud!
    Happy leap day everyone!!

    Thanks applemuncher for running the thread.
    Looking forward to seeing how mothernerd gets on. She is always so inspiring and running the thread from the library is just another reason to be in awe of her.

    I apologise again for my absence this month. Hopefully, my situation has improved and I can be a bit more active and more "involved" with everyone else on here.
    Hugs to you all.
    Mortgage: £0/£80,329.91
    Savings: £0/£6400
  • apple_muncher
    apple_muncher Posts: 14,840 Forumite
    First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee! First Post Name Dropper
    Hugs for you, fmess.

    Thank you all for the company in Feb. :D
    NST March lion #8; NSD ; MFW9/3/23 Whoop Whoop!!!
  • Eager_Elephant
    Eager_Elephant Posts: 4,714 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Thanks apple for running the thread - sorry to post after month end but time has got away with me.

    What is important to you? That is what you will naturally focus on and that is what will take up most of your energy, so choose wisely. Keep your eyes on that goal this month. What will you fill your head with this month? Remove excuses, unsatisfying filler activities (tv, FB, PC time) and dedicate time to your chosen focus. My allotment is very important to me but I can only get up there at weekends as I work full time. I never get the time to watch TV and always have loads to watch on the planner and then panic when it gets full. I will cut down on my computer time and watch some TV with DH and on alternate nights I will go to bed early and read – I so miss reading!!

    I have managed to watch more TV than I usually do but not done much reading. Definitely cut back on computer time and had loads of days when I did not make it on to the thread.

    Cut back to the basics. Be austere. Definitely back to the basics this month.
    When is your Debt Free Date? How much do you need to pay each month to achieve this? Can you bring this date forward? What are the consequences of not meeting this date? My DFD is far, far away!!! All my debt is on 0%, one ends in about 19mths and the other is a defaulted debt so will always be 0%. I am saving in various pots including a Help2Buy ISA so all spare money will go in here and I will pay off my credit card when the 0% expires. The only consequence of not paying off my 0% is that I will be charged interest which I don’t want so it won’t happen!!

    I thought we would be quite austere but had to buy new carpets and paint for the lounge, these were planned for this year but were brought forward as we had flooring replaced due to dry rot.

    Have still saved money into Help 2 Buy.

    Food: If your cupboards are stuffed, then you are to hone and tone them. Be creative in your concoctions. Downshift brands. Set your budget and stick to it. Can you reduce it by 10% We had managed to eat the cupboards down quite well and I did a monthly shop on 31/1 so we are well stocked again. My budget for 4 weeks is £350 for 4 people. I only have £8.50 to last until 14th Feb.

    I spent over my budget on 14th Feb but needed to stock up for packed lunch things but the pot was refilled on 15th Feb so I just decreased my budget for the next 4 weekly period.

    Every penny has a purpose and a job. Allocate a role to them all. Pay to your debt/savings first. Do not give your money to coffee shops, canteens, vending machines, corner shops, takeaway outlets. Budget before the month starts and ensure you compensate for food, vehicle malfunctions, birthdays, travel, outings. And cut it back to the bone.
    I have done my YNAB budget and every penny has a job – I just need to update with the DD’s which came out yesterday and move my money into savings.

    Every penny had its job and did very well for the month. All the essentials including debt and savings was paid first.

    Buy a homeless person a tea/coffee; donate to a foodbank or the trussell trust; volunteer.
    I am already on 2 committees so volunteer my time but will donate to a food bank. I don’t buy drinks for homeless people as it encourages them to beg on the streets when we have drop in centres for them to go to and to engage with to get off the streets. (Sorry if this offends but I work with a lot of vulnerable people and I know that the majority of the people on the streets in my town actually have somewhere to live but they beg to fund drug and alcohol habits)

    Didn’t get a chance to donate to a food bank but have done all my volunteering. I did however refer some people to the Food Bank!!!

    Recharge your batteries. The lighter days are coming. Do what you need to do to lift your mood (that involves no spending…!) Do it 5 times per week. So, clear stuff out and recycle it/give it away/donate it; sort out the paperwork that bothers you; exercise; listen to music; dance.
    Reading and watching TV will lift my mood as I rarely do it.

    No reading done but did watch some TV which I enjoyed.

    Use what you have before replenishing eg toiletries, cleaning products. Use up your freezer and cupboard stocks. Plan your meals. Take your lunch to work every single day you are there.
    For some reason I have never had excess food, toiletries etc so I only buy what I need for the month and the monthly shop is in so we might look excessive but will all be used by end of Feb.
    I have to take my lunch to work every day otherwise I lose a NSD!!

    I kind of failed on the taking work to lunch every day – one day I had run out of GF bread and did not realise until the morning so too late to make a vegetable dish so had to buy lunch but instead of buying ready made sandwiches I purchased bread, butter and sandwich filling which lasted me all week!!

    Avoid the virus that puts the over-riding feeling of ‘want’ beyond what you actually ‘need’, that makes us spend, waste food, accumulate debts. Weigh up every spend and if you decide to buy it, keep a note of it in your notebook.
    I rarely buy anything but may have to get DH an anniversary present!

    Well we agreed our anniversary present would be some fruit trees for our allotment – I had looked online and could get 3 for £40 but then popped into Poundstretcher and they had them for £2.99 each so got pear, plum and cherry which are in the greenhouse in pots and will be moved outside to harden this week with planting in a few weeks.

    At least they will be useful for years to come.

    Reduce your outings. You cannot afford to go out every weekend! Arrange them before the month starts and cut by 1. Can you do it cheaper?
    I rarely go out – long gone are the nightclubs every weekend!! Hopefully I will meet my friend for a meal again and also it is my anniversary so I think we might go for a meal or maybe get a takeaway.

    Met my friend but we don’t spend much, had takeaway for anniversary.

    Yellow stickers are your friend. If you need to use these or can get to a supermarket at the right time, then set yourself no NSD target (but keep within your budget). For those who prefer rules, you have to get 16 NSDs (not lost if you need medication, fuel, regular activities that need paying weekly or only buy reduced items)
    I need to stay away from supermarkets to keep my NSD’s so I will be aiming for 16 NSD’s.

    Only managed 14 NSD’s – must do better!!
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