I cannot believe that March is over already! I only have one more month on maternity leave, and it doesn’t seem long enough. However, March has been another lovely month for us. We have been on another family holiday, this time to the Lake District with my parents. We stayed in a little cottage and took the Frugal Baby to a safari park and on a boat trip. More experiences for him and more memories for us to treasure. It was lovely to see him so captivated by the animals; I think he’ll be an animal person when he’s older.
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. March has been better than February, but I still feel like I’m so far behind where I’m supposed to be at this stage. I guess I keep plodding along, and continue to play catch up.
My Financial aims for March were:
– Have 19 No Spend 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 better in March than it did in February. Going on holiday and spending time with our family was always going to be a test at the end of the month, and I am just short of my target. However, it has been money well spent and I do not regret it at all. In the end, I have managed 17 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 a tiny £5.79 this month, which is better than nothing.
Lastly, and I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, was the savings aim. I am pleased to say that I have finally met this aim, after months of falling short! I transferred quite a bit at the start of the month so that I was over half way to my target from the 1st, which did help I think. That, along with account tidies and some strategic planning means that I have managed to save £417.19 in March. Woohoo! 🙂
My Personal Aims For March were:
– lose 4lbs
– continue to declutter things from our home
– don’t eat chocolate, crisps, cakes, biscuits or sweets for the month.
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. In March, I have lost 4 lbs which means I’ve hit my target! Eating a paleo diet has definitely helped me in this area, as I’ve had less food cravings since starting it.
I’ve been decluttering, albeit slowly, all month. I’ve got some things listed on eBay that finish later today, plus I have thrown out some things that were no longer needed but not in a condition to sell. I think that this will be an ongoing thing all year as I try and simplify our lives. Selling things on eBay is strangely addictive too; I like checking to see how many people have viewed the items and what the bids are! I have made £17.98 this month by selling some unwanted things.
I was doing really well with this last aim; right until we went away I hadn’t eaten any of these items all month and was feeling all the better for it. Then, we went away and I fell off the wagon, big time. It was nice, but I feel all bloated and horrible now, so I’m going to go back to this for April. By giving up these things I was eating more fruit which is better for me and my body, plus it’ll help with my weight loss challenge! But yes, a total fail for this one in the end.
One final note, the top three posts on The Frugal Cottage during March were:
- Why You Need To Use Your ISA Allowance
- 5 Easy Ways To Save Money
- The One Simple Trick To Successful Budgeting
So, March is over, and what a month it has turned out to be. I’m looking forward to seeing what April brings!
How was your March? Have you hit your aims? I’d love to hear about it!