I cannot believe that April is over! I knew that this month would go quickly, as it’s the last four weeks I had off with the Frugal Baby, but it has gone by so fast, it’s passed in a blink of an eye. I have truly loved and appreciated my time at home and April has been no exception. The weather hasn’t been great, plus the Frugal Baby has been quite poorly the last two weeks, so we’ve had a quiet month. He still isn’t 100% himself, but he’s getting there slowly.

 

I still feel a bit deflated about our finances and that I’m not doing enough and that what I am doing isn’t good enough. I know it’s daft to feel like this because I’m trying my best, like everyone else, but it feels like we’re so far away from our goals at the moment. As you’ll see in a minute, April has not been a good month for our finances, but that’s because our income is so reduced. I’m hoping to begin pulling it back once I’m back at work!

 

My Financial aims for April were:

– Have 18 NSpend Days (NSDs)

– Overpay our mortgage by something

– Put £400 into savings

 

My faithful system of acquiring NSDs during the month so that our budget stays in line has been slightly hit and miss in April. I started the month really well but then with the Frugal Baby being ill and surviving on about 4 hours sleep a night, everything else went out of the window. In the end, I have managed 16 NSDs in March.

 

As our household income continues to decrease whilst I’m on maternity leave, overpaying our mortgage by vast amounts has taken a back seat, purely due to lack of funds more than anything. So, the challenge to overpay our mortgage by something is purposefully vague, as I wanted to overpay something, so that it continues to chip away in the right direction, but didn’t want to put a number on it. So, I’ve managed to overpay £11.86 this month, which is better than nothing.

 

Lastly, and I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, was the savings aim. It was always going to be a stretch and with side income being so low this month means I had nothing extra to add to, apart from our household income which is so low at the moment. Disappointingly, this means that I have managed to save £125.72 which is not great, at all.

 

My Personal Aims For April were:

– lose 4lbs

– continue to declutter things from our home

– finish decorating the hall and staircase.

 

As part of my #30beforethirty challenge, I need to be losing just under 4lbs a month all year. This is a combination of left over pregnancy weight and just generally wanting to be a bit healthier and fitter. Going to the gym and generally eating healthier has fallen by the wayside a bit this month, but I have somehow managed to stay the same weight, which, given how I’ve been eating, is good thing!

 

I’ve been decluttering, albeit slowly, all month. I have had a big sort out of my clothes and wardrobe, which is something I had been meaning to do before ages. I have thrown away quite a few items, things that were worn and not really fit for purpose. I have given a lot of items to a charity shop, so hopefully someone else can enjoy them and I now have a much more streamlined wardrobe which is great.

 

We started off the decorating really successfully, until we discovered that the people who owned our house before us have done something strange with the walls. Firstly, there is more than one layer of wallpaper on the walls, plus we can’t work out how they’ve stuck the paper on the walls, but it’s extremely difficult to get off. It is taking a lot longer than we thought it was going to, as getting just a small section of the wallpaper off the wall is taking hours and hours. We want to do this ourselves rather than pay someone else to do it, so it’ll be an ongoing thing. It’ll look so good once it’s all done though!

 

One final note, the top three posts on The Frugal Cottage during April were:

  1. 11 Reasons To Own Less
  2. Portfolio Progress – First Quarter 2016
  3. 2016 Goals – The First Quarter Update

 

So, April is over, and what a month it has turned out to be. I’m looking forward to seeing what May brings!

 

How was your April? Have you hit your aims? I’d love to hear about it!

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