The siren call of the New Year is always too hard for me to resist – the urge to start anew, afresh, get organized. Pretty Nostalgic is my new favourite magazine had a pledge in the back of each issue:
- Spend Wisely
- Waste Less
- Appreciate More
Each heading has more ideas underneath – the full version is here: http://prettynostalgic.co.uk/blog/take-the-pledge/ and it feels particularly pertinent to me this year, as within a few short months I will be on maternity pay rather than my salary, so living well on less is going to be a key theme for me.
To get into some good habits, I have opened a new bank account into which I will deposit my ‘spending’ money for the month, to cover all my personal expenses for the necessities, and a little left over for tea, cake and other niceties. I have also bought a little paper cash book from Wilkinsons, which I will cover with pretty paper, and will live in my handbag – I will use this to keep track of what I am spending.
The other area I want to focus on is my household budget. Our bills are about as low as we can manage them to be, so our main area of discretionary spending is our food and housekeeping budget. So I was browsing a few blogs getting some ideas, when lo and behold, I came across a link to my own blog, and a post I wrote back in 2011, at a time when I had been made redundant from one of my jobs, and so needed to economise. You can find the post here: https://littlesipsoftea.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/on-getting-my-house-in-order/ but it struck me, when reading, that sometimes we already know what to do. So I shall be taking my own advice, and I can’t wait to get started!
To help with the menu planning, I spent some time yesterday ripping out recipes from cookery magazines I had saved, and filing them away in a ring binder. Then I made a spreadsheet to catalogue them – so I can look for recipes for lunch, or recipes using chicken, and so on. It took quite a while, but it is something I have been meaning to do for ages, and it feels really good to have it all ready for next time I do a week’s worth of planning.
There is something really satisfying about getting my domestic affairs in order. the more I come to think about it, the more I think that there isn’t any one perfect way to run a home, but instead your routines and schemes need to evolve to suit your changing circumstances.
What are your favourite housekeeping hints?