I knew that May was going to be an expensive month as we were starting to pay the Community Charge again and it had gone up to £247 a month and this first month was a little more at £250.40 to even out the monthly instalments. I also knew that right at the end of the month we would have the service and MOT for the car. It turned out that a bit of the suspension on the car was broken so the whole thing cost £249.95. This was alright as we had saved up for it but it did make decide to avoid the really pot-holed part of the track we live on as it was clear that all those potholes were what had caused the suspension link to break in the first place ! The other big expense this month was putting all that diesel in the car after I had made mistake and put some petrol in it. This cost will eventually even itself out so I'm not too worried about that.
Transport also cost a bit more than we were expecting as MrShoestring had a specialist appointment down on the South coast. However, we used to pay to see this neuro-otologist and now MrShoestring is seen on the NHS, so it is still a big saving. The best news of all is that he is so much better that he doesn't need to go again if he stays well and will be slowly cutting down on his medication as well ! We were 81p over the food budget this month as MissShoestring really wanted some strawberries on her birthday cake and we only had 2 in the garden, so I had to go and buy some yesterday.
I managed to find a good energy deal to replace the one that will come to an end in June. I had hoped to save some money but the best deal I found was 18p more a month than we are currently paying. This was much better than the 25% rise we had been offered by our current supplier, so I was glad to take it. We will also swap our telephone and internet supplier on 8th June to try and keep the bill at its current level. The good news was that the water bill has fallen by £5 a month and that will save us £60 over the course of the year.
So far I don't think that the Smart meter is saving us any money on the gas and electricity but it is showing us that we use quite a bit more electricity than we do gas. This is probably because we sue electricity to cook and we do all our cooking at home. Next month I am going to investigate how we might cut down on this, especially as the Summer months mean that the solar power is producing a lot of kilowatts on sunny days ! So all told we spent £1351.42 this month which is still well under our £1500 goal and I was able to out £148.58 into savings, just under 10%, so not bad for such an expensive month !