So I have tallied up all our spending for 2017 and was wondering whether we had hit our goal of living on eighteen thousand a year and in actual fact we have smashed it, with the final tally for all spending, including utilities etc. coming in at £17.073. This is a lot lower than we spent in 2016 and with prices rising was definitely a challenge !
There were several months where we have gone over our target spending but this evened up over the year with some months where the spending was very low. I think that this shows the value of making an annual budget as well as a weekly or monthly one. It also shows the value of tracking all your spending.
By looking at our annual spend over all the categories in the budget I was able to see areas where we can cut down next year and also areas where we will have to increase. Something else that was really interesting was that a budget in such detail also showed me where earning/saving money also involved some costs. So I have now decided to claim some petrol expenses for the work I do, as on average this has been costing me £40 a month, quite a little sum !
With the amount we have left over from last year's budget I'm going to pay the accommodation costs for 2018's holiday. We always wait and see whether we can afford a holiday and do not any longer have it on the basic budget. We know, depending on income, we can always have a great time with a 'staycation' ! However, with so much left over we are going to try and go to Scandinavia, traditionally a very expensive holiday destination, but we think that our frugal ways can bring this destination within reach, so I'm pretty excited !
Our 'buy no new to us clothes' challenge has worked very well this year, with only MasterShoestring getting new clothes, as he grew and grew ! I got a few things from jumble sales at the start of the year but otherwise, nothing and MrShoestring and I still have plenty, so I think that challenge will continue in to 2018 ! I've got some ideas for other new challenges which I'll tell you about once January arrives, but in the meantime, I hope you have had a similarly successful, frugal 2017 !