Parking Wedding Venues

So after my lengthly long Instagram post yesterday about viewing wedding venues, we have decided to cancel them.

For a number of reasons really…

I feel very overwhelmed and stressed out by the whole thing if i’m honest and that shouldn’t be the case at all. Planning a wedding should be a fun and exciting process but I feel like we are trying to do too much too soon. Part of me thinks yeah, Caine and I have been together a very long time and have been saving money for a large chunk of that time so we should bloody well have a wedding. But then there’s a feeling in my gut that is telling me to wait. If I have learnt anything over the last few years its that I should listen to my gut.

Money is the biggest issue here. We are trying to save £30k by May (which I have no doubts we will do) but we have no idea of the type of house we will buy. It could need a alot of work, even cosmetic work which will require money. And probably alot of it. With a wedding booked it will be hard to be able to plan and save for that whilst also trying to do up a house. The money pot isn’t unlimited. I would much rather get my house to how I like it so its nice to live in and then concentrate on planning a wedding.

I want to be able to devote all my time to it so I can fully enjoy the whole process and not feel rushed in any way. I don’t want to book it and then feel totally bogged down with trying to finance and organise decorating a house and a wedding. We are still thinking of having it the same time, just not booking it so far in advance.

I’m still undecided about having a wedding in the UK or abroad. Our ideal wedding would be abroad however for fear of upsetting people, we decided to look at venues in the UK. I wouldn’t be totally adverse to a wedding in this country, I love England and being in the countryside but the kind of wedding I would want here would cost a lot of money. A lot. which leads me onto my next point…

Upsetting people.

I am very much of the view that it is our day, we are paying for it and if someone doesn’t like it or has something bad to say then they shouldn’t come. I actually think getting married abroad will whittle down a lot of people that would probably only be coming for the sake of it (as harsh as that sounds). And if I was to imagine my wedding day, it would be in the sun, understated dress, amazing sea view back drop with a very intimate ceremony. A wedding abroad would unfortunately mean a lot of people couldn’t make it, maybe even Grandparents which would absolutely break my heart. That is something we would need to look into a little more before absolutely deciding a wedding abroad was for us and weigh up the options.

I would be totally happy to go to a registry office and do it now to be honest but I think in 20 years I might regret that decision.

For some though, people will always have an opinion on what you choose for your wedding day. If there’s one bit of advice that people have given me through all of this is it do whatever makes you happy. Some people want to spend £40k on a wedding which is totally fine. Its their money, they can do as they please with it. Some people don’t want all the fuss and just want to get married in a registry office, just the two of them. Again, totally fine if that’s what you want. I think people are so quick to put in their opinions where its really not wanted. A wedding day should be about 2 people marrying each other and committing the rest of their lives to each other. As long as they have everything they want on the day with the people around them they love that is all that matters. Also, it might sound harsh but people that won’t support your decisions whatever they may be, don’t deserve to share your day anyway.

That does sound very harsh written down but its the truth. The harsh truth.

You need people around you that are going to help, give you support and not judge any decision you make in the full knowledge that it is completely what you want. I’m not saying honesty isn’t a good policy. If I wanted to wear a dress that looked totally hideous I would expect my friends to say something. But there’s levels of honesty that you need.

For all of these options, I spoke to Caine last night and we agreed postponing booking a wedding would be the best thing to do for now. Even though all we want in the world is to get married and get our house, for now we do have to choose between one or the other. It also gives us more time to decide on things we want on the day and the things that are genuinely important to us.

As I said earlier, this whole thing is stressing me out a little and I realise I am an anxious and stressed person anyway. I am such an over thinker and really need to try and help myself with this. I am going on a total stress cleanse and am removing all stresses from my life. I’ve said this before but I really need to learn to just roll with life and let the chips land where they may. I think it all goes back to my most recent blog post, I feel like time is slipping away in front of my eyes and I just feel so rushed with everything.

I think I might continue with my mindfulness tapes which have really helped in the past. And continue with my book ‘the life changing magic of not giving a fuck’ which I have no idea why I stopped reading because I really was enjoying it.

See, de-stressing.

For now I am going to get my head down and put all of my attention into work.

Caine has been collecting Disney DVD’s for quite a few years now and we have 5 piles in our room stacked full of them. As a ‘money saver’ we have decided to watch one every night that one of us isn’t busy. That should keep us busy for a while! And after cancelling our viewings this weekend it has left our diaries pretty open…

B

xx

 

 

 

 

Time is what we want most, but use the worst.

So, Saturday afternoon. I’ve cleaned the whole one room, vacuumed, polished, put washing on and walked the dogs. There’s something about fresh hoover tracks in the carpet isn’t there🙋🏼? Now i’m relaxing on the mattress with my baby powder Yankee Candle burning and a cup of tea🕯☕️. Both dogs are conked OUT. My good friend Emilie took Deef for a long walk this morning with his new friend Otis which he LOVED. She sent me pics of him out enjoying his walk and he honestly looked the happiest i’ve ever seen him🐶. Whilst he was out I walked his brother Dexter who is very nervous and anxious so walking him isn’t an easy task. Really stressful actually. I had to pop out earlier and was gone for about 2 hours to find that he had completely destroyed a pile of washing that was left on the sofa🤦🏼‍♀️.

The last few weeks i’ve really been giving alot of thought to how much I seem to be wishing my life away at the moment. I’ve easily just fallen into the savings lull and trapped myself.

I’m constantly looking forward to things that I seem to not be enjoying the present…⏱

Not only not enjoying the present, but I seem to be trying to rush everything i’m doing because I seem to be looking forward so much, and i’ve noticed its starting to make me anxious. I’ve definitely noticed this has now extended to everything in my life. I seem to be in a rush all the time and anxious because of it.

I’m literally just trying to get through each day right now and constantly looking forward that I don’t even remember whats happened in each day and take time to enjoy the little moments. Every morning I look forward to finishing work and getting in bed, then every day I look forward to the weekend, then i’m always looking forward to my next holiday, then i’m looking forward to getting a house. Its so hard at the moment whilst living in one room to enjoy life butttt time is just passing me by.⏰

I’ve noticed too I seem to leave everything till the last minute lately and then everything does become a rush which just increases my level of anxiety and stress. Why? Why am I doing this? I need to chill man🐢. I need to start taking my time. What’s the rush?!

I need to stop putting things off and just DO THEM. I am the Queen of procrastinating right now🤦🏼‍♀️. I honestly don’t understand myself. If something is stressing me out, why don’t I just do it? For instance, my car needs cleaning right now and every time I get in it it stresses me out. Why don’t I just clean it?! I also need a new parcel shelf for it because its so broken and gets caught up when I open the boot lid. Why don’t I just take some money out of savings to buy a new one and alleviate that stress?! Rubbish examples but it is the little things like this isn’t it? The annoying little things.

I also worry alot about things I cant control. Why? Why does anyone do this? Someone read me a quote the other day ‘Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything, all it does is steal your joy and keep you busy doing nothing’

How true is this?! I definitely need to live by this quote. I tend to put a huge amount of time to worrying and what does it achieve? Sod all. Imagine if i put that energy to good use?! I just need to start learning to let the chips land where they may and enjoying life a little more. I am a strong believer in fate so I need to start trusting more that everything is meant to be and will happen just as it’s meant to.🔮

I’ve decided i’m going to be more pro-active and allow myself more time to things so I don’t get stressed and overwhelmed. Then I feel as though the time I do spend on things will be more enjoyable and I will be able to give my full attention too.🎐

From now on every time I feel myself worrying about something I am going distract myself and get up and do something from my to do list and see how fast that comes down!📝⬇️

I am also going to dedicate more time to the things that alleviate stress and make me feel good. Such as writing my blog on a Saturday afternoon drinking a cup of tea with the dog in my lap. I love walking Deef and so I feel like I should branch out and walk him in woods i’ve never been to before. I’m going to sit down with my diary this evening and plan some weekends in some National Trust Parks 🏞🌱🌿. Walking gives me such a sense of freedom and ‘zen’💆🏼. I’ve already planned one, me and Emilie are going to walk up Mt. Snowdon which i’m so excited for as climbing a mountain is on my bucket list!🏔. Not exactly a huge mountain but you have to start somewhere. I’m sure we will be half dead by the time we get to the top. Amateurs.

I’ve decided to give myself more money each month to my monthly discretionary treats budget and so I feel like this will definitely help me too. This will kick in on the 4th when I get paid.💷

I guess this month i’ve just gone through a patch where i’ve been abit down. This is the second one ive had in my saving journey and i’m sure it wont be the last but every time they get shorter and easier to get through. For me its all about recognising whats making me down and then getting excited about steps to help me change that

ANOTHER moany post but i’m really enjoying writing things down and getting everything out. It really helps me feel more organised and motivated💪🏼.

Having said all this, I am looking forward to August 😂. It’s my birthday month 💁🏼♍️ and I’m going to enjoy every single day. I’m going to see if I can plan something for my birthday that I’ve never done before so if anyone has any ideas, Holla.

Now I’m going to shower and take my homemade pizza to my friends house and enjoy a Saturday in front the TV😊.

Lastly I would just like to say, the support i’ve had from my blog and my Instagram has been absolutely incredible and something I never expected from doing this so thank you everyone. Most of these people i’ve never even met but everyone has been so nice. Its something I definitely didn’t think I would end up making friends through! I love you all❤️.

Discretionary ‘treats’ budget

WOOHOOO Payday has arrived! (not that we see that money but…) WOOHOOO pay day all the same.💁🏼💰

Ching chang getting paid over herr.

When we first started saving I was COMPLETELY in the zone. I only gave myself £40 a month to spend on what I wanted and it worked. I saved quite a lot of money in that time but I was also miserable. I could only probably afford one social outing a month (I know, I know. Poor me) but it also meant that if I needed anything like new socks or shampoo or any basic essentials, I just didn’t have enough to cover it.

Saving that extra bit more just didn’t warrant how miserable I was. Saving isn’t supposed to be fun but its not supposed to make you completely depressed either whilst living in clothes with holes in. Of course my toiletry budget took priority over any kind of clothes, its one thing to go around in shit clothes but quite another to go around smelling like shit😩

The final straw was probably when me and Caine were in town and we saw a homeless person in a doorway. Caine actually said ‘oh look at that Bry, that homeless person has better bedding than us’

It was actually true, he did. Our pillows were as flat as a pancake. So much so that I stuffed one pillow case with 3 pillows just to feel like I did actually have a pillow. It doesn’t help that I like to sleep with my head at a 90 degree angle. We also might as well have just covered ourselves with paper from a public toilet our quilt was that thin.

That leads me on to the mattress. I was constantly waking up with a bad upper and lower back. It got to the point where I would struggle to sit up out of bed and when I did, every bone in my back and chest weirdly enough, clicked. Definitely not normal. It started to continue through the day too where it would just get worse and worse.

I took the decision for both of us to banish the mattress, burn it! And get a lovely new one. This was bought on the credit card as we had absolutely no dolla to pay for it. We went to Bensons for Beds and chose a mattress that we both loved and was in the sale for just under £500 which is quite a bargain considering the prices in there! We also bought lovely pillows from there too, I have a side sleeper one and Caine has a duck and down feather one. We then just got their normal climate control pillows as second ones.

This is how my blog/Instagram got its name. The mattress is currently the only thing we own and all we pretty much live on whilst being in one room. We will go from mattress to maison🏡😊.

I want to say ‘started from the bottom now we here’ but my 13 year old sister told me to never say that again because I’m waaaaaay to old.

It was completely worth the money and we both feel so much better for it. It was also all paid off within 2 months.

This situation showed me that I really needed to give myself a bit extra each month. I worked out that to afford one social outing a month (maybe 2), have money for a toiletry budget and treat myself to 1 thing around £30, I would need to give myself £100 a month to myself so that is what i’m doing now. To some it might seem like too much but I feel like I have learned a valuable lesson from this mattress business. Its totally not worth making yourself miserable and ‘uncomfortable’ over. We have to have a life besides saving and we have to be able to afford to just live in general. I don’t want to look back once we have a house and say ‘yeah great, we did it. BUT look at everything we also missed out on to do it’. We are still in our early 20’s so that’s highly likely. It is all about having  discipline though and learning what you need and should spend the money on versus what you just want and would like to spend money on. We have had to learn to say no to things that we would love to do/have.

I’m even starting to think I should give myself £150 a month? If me and Caine had this extra each month for the next 10 months this works out at £1000 out of our savings in total. Which makes me think we shouldn’t?

I have been so miserable this month though and today has topped it off. I have had to say no to going out with a really good friend who I hardly ever see, had to cancel plans to go to the harbour side festival with my work friends, had to turn down seeing all of my friends at the end of the month for food and had to cancel Deef’s agility classes. I have also had to make plans to stay in Saturday evening with our couple friends but we have ZERO pennies for a takeaway. I’m not shitting you when I say I have 17p to my name right now.

I think the final straw has just came. I cant even believe i’m going to write this on my blog as i’m so embarrassed.

Got home and my mum said go to McDonald’s for tea, I have 3 vouchers for a burger and chips and you can buy the drinks separate. Me, my mum and my sister were eating so off I went. Ordered 3 sets of burger and chips with drinks and got to the window only to be told I couldn’t get my order because it wasn’t 3 vouchers, it was one. How sad is that? Its like the adult equivalent of a kid dropping their ice cream.

You’d think he would have taken pity on me. You know something like ‘things must be bad if shes arguing with me over a voucher so i’ll just give her the meal’

So off I drove home with NOTHING.

Now i’m sat writing this on the verge of crying (but I wont because it’s silly) eating a fucking Alpen Bar for tea. Oh my life. After the cat food soup I ate for lunch, I could have done without it

I know it is all for the greater good but I guess this is just a really low point in my life and our ‘house saving journey’ right now. It will get better, of course it will but for now it just feels like i’m actually killing myself for nothing.

Did I mention I have less than half a tank of fuel left in my car until the 4th? 2 work outfits left and hair that’s snapping off because its not been cut in so long?! Only so many hair masks a girl can do.

I even feel bad for complaining because the below is what I have spent my money on. #firstworldproblems

It still doesn’t stop me from feeling like shit though. I’m thinking I may give myself £150 next month. It is my Birthday month after all so I would like to go out with friends. We do have a few things planned next month too so I would like to not have to worry SO much! I can also look forward to my expenses being paid back in my salary on the 4th. That should give me the bit extra that I need.

I need to go to bed now and not think about this terrible day anymore. Maybe ill watch You’ve been framed to cheer myself up. Peace out.

What I have spent this month

So, below is pictures of what I have spent my £100 on this month

image1
New phone case! Mine was absolutely battered and was missing half of it. I figure, better spend a fiver on a new phone case than have to get a new phone. I have finally got out of my EXPENSIVE phone contract and now have a SIM only contract which is waaaaaay cheaper. Which by the way, was £24 for unlimited everything and 4gb data. I went into the shop on Monday and questioned this because this seems abit more expensive for what I get than anywhere else and they have dropped it down to £21 a month with 20g data. How does that work? Not sure. Don’t care.
I had my holiday gel nails soaked off and re-applied. This was £22 but I love having fresh nails. It’s not something I usually would spend any of my treats budget on but I just really fancied it🤗. I always go plain. Bryony ‘plain Jane’ Hill. Does a girl need an excuse for this? Hell no.

I also got my Eyebrows done too at Superdrug for £8. For me this is kind of an essential thing as naturally they are lopsided which I CANNOT correct. They also are so bushy that they do need taming.

I had the dentist a few times this month. I could go the long way around but that would take 45 mins and then I wouldn’t make their awkward appointment times. I think I’ve spent around £4 in Bridge toll crossings. Not a huge amount but I do love this photo so thought I’d include it. Haven’t been charged for the dentist, result ✌🏼
Spent £30 from our joint account on getting the woofer groomed. He really needed it as he’s been struggling in the heat. The little shit won’t let me do it so I have to pay someone🙄. He does get a full health check, ears cleaned and nails clipped with the groom so it’s not too bad. ➕he does only need this twice a year
This all cost £18. These are essentials as far as I’m concerned. I’ve had really bad hay fever lately and my eyes have been struggling. But then it was buy one and get another for £1 so I bought the sparkling eyes one👀. Never tried it before but I’m hoping it will make my peepers pop! The toothbrush heads were the most expensive here, even at £9 they were on sale😩. I have had my existing head since Christmas which is so embarrassing 🙈 so it’s high time I had a new one! I need braces fitted and am having them in the coming weeks so the interdental brushes were also a must! I really had to reign myself in too because I NEARLY bought a £13 bottle of Bondi Sands self tan. I’ve wanted to try it forever but I couldn’t justify it right now😭 I talked myself out of it. I will settle for a £5 bottle of cocoa butter natural bronze from home bargains when the time is right.
These are the things I bought which I totes forgot to photograph. Yes yes, I went to McDonald’s! Okay… I also spent quite a lot on moonpig buttttt it was my best friends 25th Birthday and so I made her a special EXTRA LARGE card with pictures of us from when we were very young up until now. As I can’t really afford presents for everyone right now I love creating nice cards for people. It’s something that’s really personal and a good alternative to a gift. Or am I just convincing myself that because I’m so poor? and I do pride myself on being a good card buyer 🙋🏼. I also spent nearly £10 at service stations. In my quest to St Albans delivering the contract from my boss I had to get lunch however I will get this back on expenses which is totally fine. It just means I’m slightly out of pocket for now as I won’t get it back until I get paid again🙇🏼‍♀️. This also goes for my fuel for which I have £20 to last me until the end of the month now as I used half a tank driving there and back😬

Off the wagon

Sooo…

I’ve been avoiding writing this post because, I’ve fell off the wagon with saving. I am deeply ashamed.

I’ve spent abit on my credit card. All paid off now but I cant help but think how much that money would have helped me with other stuff. MEGA buyers remorse setting in.

I spent money on the credit card for holiday bits and bobs. Our toiletry shop for holiday was a MUST! Can’t be going around smelling now can we and of course, me and Caine are two of the palest/freckliest people around so we need a good suncream.

But then I did buy some new holiday clothes and some new havainas. The Havainas were not needed but I did it anyway (they are pretty beautiful though). The only saving grace is that I did get student discount on them sooo. not all bad. right?

The holiday clothes were ‘ish’ needed. I had a few bits so I think I bought around 4 more outfits. We are going for 2 weeks so I would need more. I did well on the outfits though, I think they all came to around £50 which is good going for 4 outfits. Doesn’t excuse it though. I also bought an outfit for the airport because everyone needs an airport outfit!

As we only have hand luggage at 10kg and are saving the £50 on putting a suitcase in the hold luggage, we are only allowed to take liquids under 100ml on the plane. I have found something amazing…. you can place a boots order to pick up at the store in the departure lounge. Wonderful. I don’t know how I missed this for all these years?! So I’ve ordered all our toiletries and will pick these up at the airport. I would say its a total money saver as I find most of the weight in my suitcase is made up from toiletries anyway + it saves us needing to spend the £50 on the hold suitcase BUT…. you have to buy it from boots and I find them to be quite expensive. Our total toiletry shop came to £35 including sun cream and I only bought the essentials, nothing special. I think we may have to buy some more sun cream though, for Caine of course. Ginger un.

But all in all, doing it this way has saved us money.

 

This month we also went to Manchester for Caine’s birthday tour around Old Trafford. I looked at trains and these were £167 return each. EACH!!!!! Everyone tells you, get public transport, save the planet. I would love to but I cant bloody afford to!

We struck lucky on a deal on a megabus which cost £40 return for both of us which I can live with. Very uncomfortable though so it wasn’t the most relaxing drive I’ve ever been on but it was definitely the most sweaty. UUUGDHHDFHGHHH!

We didn’t spend a lot whilst there, just £26 on a Nandos after our tour. Caine loves a Nandos and it was his birthday treat.

 

We have also recently merged our money into one. We have opened up a joint account and set our salary to be paid into this. We have organised it so… my salary on the 5th of every month will pay our bills, housekeep, phone etc and cover a £200 payment into one of our help to buy ISA’s. It will also cover our ‘treat’ money 🙂

Caine’s salary on the 15th of every month will then be solely saved into our other help to buy ISA and our TSB classic plus account that we use as a savings account.

We figured it would have to work kind of like this way anyway when we move out. As in we would totally need a joint account so we thought, why not get used to this way now instead of it being a total shock to us when we move out. It will already be a total shock to have our own space and lots of it at that after living in one room. So lets keep the shocks to a minimum. I also feel like with a mortgage going through and a new house, trying to organise everything will really stress me out so the less I can worry about silly things the better. I am quite a stresshead and a panicker.

Which leads me on to what i’m panicking about right now. I took my engagement ring to be cleaned and inspected 2 weeks ago (as I should every 6 months for the lifetime warranty to be valid) and it came back with a stone missing :(:(:(:(:(:( I took it straight back and they were very apologetic and said they would take it back and get it repaired for me. They assured me it would be a maximum of 2 weeks. Fine.

Caine got a phone call a week later advising their ‘ring fixer’ (that sounds odd but I don’t know what to call these people) couldn’t fix it because of the type of band and because it has 4 diamonds. So it needs to be sent away half way around the world and will take 12 weeks. I was absolutely gutted, especially because we are going on holiday. I am so nervous and scared about it travelling that far. I only have jewellery that is sentimental to me and so if anything happened to it, I would be absolutely heartbroken.

The lady kept saying, ‘it is fully insured whilst its with us’ THATS NOT THE POINT! I explained to her I really don’t care of the value (sorry Caine) because I don’t want another one, I only want that one that was given to me on the day. I still don’t think she understood what I was trying to say.

Anyway, I asked for a replacement which they gave me and which is shit. Honestly, shit. Nothing like mine and I hate it.

They have since called me and said that the ‘ring fixer’ hahahahahaha has agreed they will fix it and it should be back by the end of July. I friggin hope so. I’ve ended up with so many spots and a coldsore from the stress.

It sounds like I’m being totally ungrateful which I’m not really, I am grateful they have given me a replacement but it’s just not the same.

 

I am all packed apart from some last min bits and bobs. I also need to pack Deefs bag as he is visiting his great auntie on the weekend. My mum is looking after him but then she goes to Glastonbury. He’s having a mini break.

I hate leaving him, I wish I could take him with me gosh I love him so much arghharhgahgrhg.

I am tomorrow also going to get my nails done etc so I am all ready for 2 weeks in the sun! I never treat myself to this, it is literally a holiday treat and I think this is why I get so excited about going, because it is a time to treat yourself and feel good. Everyone needs a break every now and again and I am learning not to feel bad about booking a holiday. I don’t use my ‘treat’ money on stupid amounts of clothes or going out. I do feel guilty and I do still get buyers remorse about it even now but I couldn’t possibly function, staying in one room all the time and only coming out to go to work. It would drive me insane.

I am just getting the last few bits done in work today as I am now off for 2 and a half weeks to spend it all in the sun. COME AT ME. Get my FACE, in that sun.

Αντίο

 

 

 

 

Week 15 – £45.75

This week started off with my lovely brand new hire car. Unfortunately mine was damaged a few weeks back as some lovely fellow decided to drive straight into the back of my car and then proceed to tell me he didn’t cause the damage. I actually was abit lost for words! He was abit of a sketchy guy so I had a mild panic attack when I ran his reg through an Experian site which told me he was un-insured. Panic over when my insurance told me he was and that he had admitted liability.

My car went in to the garage to be fixed and so I had a brand new, 66 plate, shiny car. Its been so lovely to drive, really smooth and comfortable. Also made my life just so much easier! If someone calls me, I can answer it through the car! What is this magic?! It has air con, has an adjustable seat and an auxiliary input so I can listen to Beyoncé from my phone whilst driving to work.

These things seem like the typical things that are on a standard car nowadays but not mine :(. I cant adjust my seat any higher on my car so that means I cant really see over the steering wheel, being vertically challenged this is quite a problem. A few times Caine has shouted at me for driving over things I shouldn’t but I honestly cannot see! I’ve tried sitting on a pillow but its just so uncomfortable.

The music was a huge change for me too, the radio in the hire car was a DAB radio and I had so many radio stations to listen to plus my own music from my phone (my one Beyoncé album and that’s it). I was loving this! My car I can only pick up 3 stations on a good day! It also had buttons on the steering wheel so I don’t have to strain myself to change the station or turn up the volume.

The seat is also so uncomfortable in my car. When getting out from a journey over an hour my back starts to really ache and so does my neck. The hire car was so comfortable to sit in too.

The air con was a big change. On drives back from Woolacoombe me and Caine have had sweat dripping from us and down our backs because there’s no air con and we cant really open a window on the motorway. On the way back this week with the new car I was lovely and cool with a nice cool breeze on my face.

I usually hate driving and I did wonder whether I actually do or its just my car? I actually enjoyed driving the hire car. It made me think about everything I’ve been missing out on since saving and how much I’m doing without. I can totally afford a new car like that now if I wasn’t saving. Its not even a really high spec which made me even more sad because I was just glad to have what is the standard these days.

I’ve never had a car on finance and always resisted this because I know how much of a financial burden it can be. Especially when you really don’t know what’s around the corner. I am a commitment-phobe with things like that. I hate getting stuck into contracts. I’ve always managed to save the money needed to buy and maybe borrow a little bit to go towards a new one.

I’ve been abit down and lacking in motivation since I’ve had to give the beautiful baby back 😦

Monday

I made it to the gym this morning, wahoo! I’m so proud of myself! Got up at 6 and went before work. I need to get a plan together though as I’m like a lost sheep in there. I just don’t know what to do and where to start. Where I do start, I cant really do a lot before i’m totally dead and red faced. I also need to invest and buy some workout gear. I have some trainers and leggings but I really need a top and sports bra. I don’t have a proper top at the moment so no wonder i’m sweating like a pig. My sports bra is totally on its last legs. The clasp at the back should have 3 but is now holding on by one. One of the straps has broken and so my mum has sewn it back together for me. It now means I have only one (tight) way of getting into it. I’ve put it off as sports bras in my size tend to be so expensive! When I say expensive, my budget now is usually a tenner for one item lol!

Caine has been paid today and put £900 into his savings accounts which I’m so proud of him for. He has found saving money harder than me and since his payrise where his salary doubled, he has consistently been saving £900 a month.

Tuesday

I had a John West tuna salad meal in a tin for lunch which was rank. Absolutely horrid. I’m not a fussy eater but I really couldn’t eat it. I was so hungry so I went to Sainsbury’s and spent £3 on a meal deal :(. I hate doing this but I didn’t really have a huge amount of choice. Its either that or starve.

There’s a van that has just started coming around to my work at lunchtimes and they sell things like hog roast baps and salads that look amazing! Even sell cottage pies. Not that I would buy that. Ugh. But all reasonably priced.

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I haven’t bought anything yet from there and I’m so proud of myself because I am such a sucker for good food. I watched it drive past my window in work today and sadly waved goodbye. I deliberately don’t carry cash around with me anymore for the simple fact that it makes money easier to spend. I’ve done this for a while and this method is proven. It has stopped me spending a few times.

I got my eyebrows done today too. This is something I actually do feel guilty about doing but can’t stop myself. I would say that I get them done around every 1-2 months at £30 a time. I do feel bad about spending this on eyebrows but at the same time, it is my one and only treat. I don’t get anything else done and only ever get my hair done maybe once a year? Always do my own nails, tan etc. My eyebrows do need taming too so if I didn’t, they would be horrendous. The lady who does them is absolutely amazing too and I would never go anywhere else now. I call her ‘the magician’ because she works magic.

Wednesday

Today is the day. The dreaded. The day I’ve had to return my beautiful hire car. I’ve loved having it and feel quite down today. Its just made me realise how much I actually do struggle whilst saving and how easy things could be if I wasn’t. How much easier things could be with money so I was able to have nice things. I do without a lot of stuff and this has really hit home for me because I have never had a decent car so I didn’t know what I was missing. I have decided that when we move out, I am going to treat myself to a new car.

For lunch today I had a roll, with ham and salad. The rolls from Aldi were 7p each! cheap and cheerful.

On the evening I scrolled through Fearlesss clothing website looking at all their lovely holiday clothes. I imagined how lovely it would look on my holiday walking around the town and going out for a meal, I put some stuff in my basket, released I couldn’t afford it, buyers remorse set in and then I closed down the page.

Thursday

I actually got up AGAIN and went to the gym. I am so proud of myself. Although as I said before, if I am to continue I will need to invest in some proper stuff and get a plan together. At least its something though, even if mostly all I do is sit there with a red face and think of how tired I am.

My friend text me today saying that the Kardashians were on their 2nd workout of the day. What is this all about?! I can barely do half an hour!

This is good though, I haven’t spent any money on takeaway food! Only £3 in Sazzburys! I am about to spend another £3 because I prepared my lunch last night, had big plans of having a ham and salad roll again but someone ate it. FML. I was in a rush this morning to leave to make it to the gym so i’m going to have to buy lunch today. £3 budget again!

I have agility with Deef this evening too so another £4.50 will be spent. I do count this as one of my ‘treats’. Its really good for him and to be honest so that’s why I’ve carried it on, I don’t really have a hobby either. Caine has football which is £5 a week which is the only thing he really does too. I don’t feel bad about this spend because I can really see the difference in him. Also means I get to sit and talk to people about dogs for a solid hour. Amazing.

Friday

So proud. Got up and did a 6:30 spin class as part of my gym membership (so no extra fee) and I feel so much better for it. Tired, but better. I feel like this is the way to go forward as I really worked to my limit in there. An un-natural amount of sweat was dripping from me.

For lunch I had some prawns I found in the freezer, a bread roll and some mayo. Cheap lunch. But good.

This evening is a cheap one. I am going to see some friends at a friends house for some food. She is always a really good cook so this should be a good one. She also is now a homeowner so seeing her new place will be exciting! I will then come home and get everything ready for my first 5k tomorrow! Its a muddy dog run obstacle course with my dog so ill let you know how that goes down.

I signed up for this also as a way to save money. I knew that if I had a target, I would go to the gym therefore spending less money on going out and spending less on takeaway food. I would also get myself fitter so its good all round.

Weekend

So this weekend I completed my first ever 5k on a muddy dog obstacle run. It was amazing and I would definitely do it again. I had to swim through open water lakes with Deef and go through muddy pits. I was absolutely covered in mud. Most of the time I slid down on my bum so my pants looked like I’d done something unholy in them! and still do, I cannot get these mud stains out! I think they could be destined for the bin.

I nearly lost my shoes (a few people actually did loose their shoes) and it started absolutely hammering down as we were half way through. Hollie fell on her bum a few times which was sooooooo funny. I haven’t actually laughed like that in a long time.

Credit to all the volunteers too who spurred us on by cheering at us when we started walking. One lady gave me her sandwich bag to pick up Deefs poo and gave us her water!

The dogs absolutely loved it too! They just thought it was a fun day out. Deef was pulling me along a lot of the time and dragging me through the mud pits whilst I was on my hands and knees.

All good fun though, (more pics on my insta of me, my friend Hollie and our dogs Deef and Lily. Yes, my trainers are supposed to be pink. I was lucky to still be wearing them come the end) and together we raised over £200 for Battersea dogs home. I have already registered interest for next year!

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I would definitely recommend signing up to something like this whilst saving money. It sounds boring but it gives you a target and something to aim for whilst saving. Saving can be so boring at times so its nice to have something to do outside of that that doesn’t cost much. Also it benefits you and the charity of your choosing so its an amazing thing to spend your time doing. Its all about finding new hobbies.

My friends boss kindly offered to pay for the expenses on the day. My fuel to Windsor is paid for Caine spent £5 on a sandwich, sausage roll and a coffee for me 🙂

On Sunday, as you can imagine, I was so tired! I put a hair mask on my hair using my £1 tub of coconut oil which is an amazing replacement for some of the more expensive brands. It is solid but melts when you scoop it out. If you are going to do this though I would recommend putting a tiny bit of washing up liquid in with your shampoo when you wash it out to make sure you get all of the grease out! Otherwise you will be looking like a greasy frying pan after.

I finished it off with some Moroccan oil. I know this is quite expensive however you only need a tiny bit so it does last a long time. It is much better quality than the other brands and all natural. I received 20% off when I bought it too, otherwise I might have thought twice about buying it. Because it lasts a long time, I only bought the smaller bottle.

My hair feels amazing! Also I put a pore strip on. £2 from Home Bargains for 5 and I have found they are much better than the £10 Biore ones.

Also used my St Ives scrub which is usually between £4-£5 however its £1.99 also in Home Bargains. Pamper session on a budget!

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Week 14

This week me and Caine were actually both quite busy…

Quite good as all in all we didn’t spend that much! I think I’ve definitely needed to be busy this week and its been good for me. I’ve been getting a little fed up recently as we have been saving for a total of 2 and a half years now. Its just getting quite tedious and depressing seeing my friends all either settled down and having children or travelling the world and having nice things and/or experiences. I would say I probably feel like this every 3 months and it definitely gets harder to pick yourself back up again and motivate yourself. Just think of the end goal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of holidays and so I shouldn’t really be complaining but in order to have these and save, I used to live off the bare minimum and I mean literally, on the balls of my ass bare minimum. Its not been fun however I choose to travel and have holidays rather than save my ‘treat’ money for other things such as clothes etc. We have really shopped around for our holiday deals too which meant they have been cheaper. Our flights to Venice over new year were £60! You can travel for quite cheap these days but a lot of research is needed. For example, people told us Venice was unbelievably expensive once you’re there so we were really nervous about how much money we would end up spending. Turns out, not a huge amount. We ate outside of the main square which is where the restaurants seem to be more expensive. €40 for a spag bol? I don’t think so…

Anyway, the point is… do your research kids.

This week I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a few things planned so this year will fly by I’m sure. Time seems to be flying by since I’ve started my new job too.

It feels awful to have to wish my life away but at the same time, I just want my own space.

This is how much we spent this week…

 

Monday – spent £0

For lunch I found a tin of Tuna in the cupboard and mixed this with some pasta and mayo. Actually was better than it sounds…

We went to Three Brothers Burger for Caine’s sister Ellie’s 18th Birthday which was lush. The burger was amazing and I don’t even like burgers. I was eying up the student deal of a burger and chips for £5 (cheaper than most fast food places) but turns out Caine’s auntie paid for ours which was so nice of her. Otherwise they do a lunch menu before 5pm where its also £5 for a burger and chips. I will definitely go back there when me and Caine feel like we need a date night. (date nights are rare and on a tight budget these days)

Tuesday – spent £0

Tuesday I went to Oxford with work all day where lunch was provided. FREE! I had some really nice brie and chilli jam sandwiches which were amazing and I definitely made the most of the freebie. It did mean though I had to turn the bedroom light on at 6am to get ready which Caine was less than impressed with. We live in one room, what am I supposed to do?!

On the evening we did have chip shop for tea. My mum bought this so its fine right? Also, I’m sure if someone else buys it for you it doesn’t have any calories?

Me and Caine also decided we would watch all of the X-Men films over the next few weeks and all of the Jason Bourne films so that should keep us occupied for a while. We then spent a considerable amount of time arguing about what a continent was and if the British Isles are in the continent of Europe… about half way through this argument I thought ‘is this what its come to now?’

We also took the free trial of Amazon prime because we thought it looked amazing! Turns out it wasn’t actually that great, a lot of stuff isn’t included so we cancelled that straight away.

We then used his mums Netflix account to watch the documentary on Jaycee Lee Dugard which was really interesting. We love a crime documentary.

Wednesday – spent £0

Wednesday I ate a ready meal for lunch which my mum bought me. A green Thai curry from Asda which was actually really nice! I felt guilty all day because I should have got up and walked Deef in the morning but I’ve been so tired recently that I hit the snooze button.

Caine got my gym bag out from the loft today so tomorrow, tomorrow is my day for the gym. If I don’t do that I will 100% be walking Deef tomorrow morning i’m not even lying.

I went to my friends house this evening so didn’t spend anything, just had a cuppa and a pizza which was lovely.

Thursday – £40

Ok so I didn’t walk deef or go to the gym. No excuse either, I just didn’t. I hit the snooze button and had the extra hour.

For lunch today I had leftover tea from last night as I had pizza at my friends instead which was cauliflower cheese with chicken and veggies. Pretty much a summer time roast dinner?

We went to The Albion in the evening for Caine’s sisters birthday. I was bracing myself for my bank account to take an absolute battering at this place but it was quite reasonable. I was trying to keep the costs down by having tap water however Caine had quite a few drinks with his meal which brings it up abit! I actually now prefer tap water with my meals to be honest, I feel like I can fit more food in!

I had muscles in white wine sauce and I cant remember what Caine had, anyway, it was £40! quite steep all in all! However it was his sisters 18th so not like it happens often.

Friday

We headed down to Woolacoombe for the weekend again with family and since my car has been battered, I have a hire car in the meantime which seems to drink the fuel. I put in an extra £20 more than I usually would have done! Luckily this just came out of my petrol allowance anyway so kind of an extra expense, but not too much.

Weekend – £30

Over the weekend I didn’t spend anything but Caine spent around £30 for the both of us on food and a few ice creams which isn’t too bad? We had a lovely weekend, walked the dogs along the beach again which they loved! Had fish and chips and played game of thrones monopoly which lasted about 4 hours! We have discovered Caine’s mum is the queen of monopoly. I was doing quite well and got a lucky break but as you probably know with Monopoly, it all came crashing down very quickly. I had to give up my cards and go to bed defeated even though id been so smug early on buying villages :(.

 

Time to get back to it this week, also going to go to the gym in the mornings when I can. Also I think I might try Hatha Yoga which is included in my membership. I need to get up and do something, like I said before, if I do then its likely I wont eat so much rubbish and in turn won’t spend the money on it so win win.

I try to organise my week on a Sunday evening and put stuff in my calendar so it feels like its booked in and I have to attend or do it. I feel like this works for me so we’ll see how this week goes!

 

Doing without…stuff

This post is about everything we have had to do without or make do with since we have been saving.

Which is, A LOT.

I don’t even know where to begin with this because we have had to make so many cut backs on stuff that we used to have/do.

I suppose I will have to start with the main one for me which is clothes.

I love shopping and would do it every weekend if I could. When I look back it was River Island this and that and I have no idea how I afforded it on less money than I am on now. I would probably spend around £200 after every pay day just buying clothes that I would probably get fed up with by the following month. I used to absolutely love shopping and didn’t realise how much confidence it all gave me until I had to cut back on my clothing allowance.

I then had to look for other interests instead. I now love walking my dog a lot through different woods and have started agility training with him. He’s quite a shy dog so it brings him out of his shell and is something for me to do instead, WIN WIN.

Now when going shopping I look for things that will last and mostly just plain stuff that I know won’t go out of fashion. Just call me Bryony ‘plain jane’ Hill. The last 2 years I’ve also saved a lot of this stuff too by putting it up in my mums loft labelled summer or winter stuff. Then I just bring it back out again every year and it’s like a treasure hunt. ‘OOOOO I forgot about that!’

Because we can’t go out now as much as we used to, that also limits the money I used to spend on clothes to go out in. I know most girls will agree, you could EASILY spend £100 on a total outfit and that’s not even counting the money you spend on a night out. Before you know it you’ve spent £200 on one evening, can’t remember most of it and the clothes you looked sassy in the night before have now been ruined with dirt and sick stains.

When seeing friends now I mostly just go round one of their houses for a brew which is completely free :). Believe it or not I actually prefer this now because we get to catch up properly and not try and chat whilst were drunk in a noisy club.

I probably sound like such a bore here, but this is what I tell myself to keep myself from feeling so down about the fact that in 24 and my partying days are over.

It’s probably for the best… I could never handle it anyways.

Now I mostly just shop in Primark and find anything over £10 way too steep for my budget haha. This is why Caine hates coming shopping with me because I always pick stuff up, walk around with it through the whole shop and then by the time I’ve finished, the buyer’s remorse sets in and I’ve put it back.

Now, me and Caine stay in and get excited about the takeaway we’ve waited all week to order as our ‘special treat’. As I said in my prev blog post, this has led both of us to gain weight so this is something we are working on cutting back. I’ve joined the gym and I know that if I go, I won’t want to ruin all my hard work by having a takeaway. I’m planning to go in the mornings before work but that means I have to get up earlier. I am going to need some serious motivation for this

I’ve also unfollowed some pages and clothing accounts on my Instagram as they just make me feel depressed about not having any money to buy all of the beautiful things they are advertising. Also all these people advertising it are stick thin so either don’t eat, or have the money for a proper diet and a personal trainer. These days I live off whatever is cheap whether I like it or not or healthy or not! Sounds like I am bitter… I am.

I went through abit of a depressed stage a few weeks back and just felt totally drained by it all. Me and Caine work so hard and it just felt like we have nothing to show for it. We just stay in all of the time. I listened to some old school Beyonce and picked myself back up after around a week.

‘Im a survivor

Im not gone give up

Im not gone stop

Im gone work harder’

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest now planning my dream home inspo. Most of these pics on here are totally un-realistic too but hey ho, I’ll get Caine to make a cheaper DIY version of whatever is in that photo. Most nights are also spent just scrolling through Facebook laughing at memes and tagging friends mehehehe. I love a meme.

 

Beauty

Before saving my nails were always done and my hair was bleached to within an inch of its life so this is something that’s had to go. I grew my hair out and it was all natural for about a year (as it took me so long to grow it). That was so difficult as any girl would know, looking in the mirror and seeing massive roots was something that made me feel physically sick.

Only a few weeks ago I got my hair dyed again an ombre look so it’s not too much upkeep as it grows out. I just felt that id been saving so long and done so well with finding a new job etc that I needed to treat myself after not having it cut or anything for around 2 years. My photo on this post is one I dug out from around 5/6 years ago when I had more money, better hair and was a stone lighter.

I also now buy Sally Hansen nail polish as I find this lasts quite a long time with a top coat. I do find £6 abit steep for a nail varnish but…the ones I have have been in my drawer for around a year and haven’t gone gloopy or turned into a fossil which is great.

A lot of beauty products I’ve had to find cheaper actually, one being my £15 moisturiser that I used to buy (I know, stupidly excessive at the best of times) has now been replaced with a £1 tub of coconut oil from home bargains which I would highly recommend for beauty products. It’s so much cheaper than superdrug or boots! If I buy anything from there now it’s always something that’s on offer. I always use my superdrug and boots cards too to get money off when I shop there.

All of my usual products like deo etc I always put on my Christmas list too. Everyone buys you smellys etc so why not make a list and get the right products you want?! Honestly, my drawer is stacked with things I haven’t used yet but it means I don’t need to buy anything for a good while, probably until Christmas comes around again!

I am such a fan of expensive make up too, I am a makeup snob to be honest. But I haven’t actually bought anything since last May when I went abit OTT in the MAC shop in Florida. Instead of applying my best £40 a bottle Clinique make up every day, I save it for special occasions and have substituted it with Garnier BB cream which is really good for an everyday look. I have had to stop myself from buying the Kylie Jenner lip kits too because I looooove these. A lot of this stuff I will also put on my Christmas list too if I need it.

It sounds quite cheeky to have a Christmas list but I always get my family asking what I actually want. At least I can just say straight away and get something that’s actually going to benefit me and benefit me in the long run too so it means I can get these nice products and not have to take money out of my savings for them. I look at it as its all helping me on my way to my home.

Even down to socks and pants, these things should be a basic human right but we struggle to afford these. Caine’s been dangling around for a while (if you know what I mean) with holes in his boxers! That’s when you know its time, when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

 

Wedding

The biggest thing we have had to do without is a wedding. After getting engaged there should be excitement for planning a wedding but not us. Nada. We have had to put this on hold and have a long engagement in order to get our house. Both things are ridiculously expensive and we just cannot afford to do both which upsets me 😦 This is the hardest thing I think we have to live with at the moment.

 

Going forward…

I have found it so hard going without the above things but there are ways around it. I just keep telling myself, it’s only temporary!

Caine has a share save scheme with his work and so the money we’ve saved isn’t released until the end of March. (That’s the countdown on my page, 10 months to go) We are aiming to be looking for a house by January.

At the moment I write down everything I have spent through the week in my ‘save money and money will save you book’ and have decided to post this on my blog every week.

For the reason being that it will motivate me to not spend on shite. If I have to post it on my blog, I don’t want people seeing how I spent £10 in Mcdonalds, £5 on a meal deal in the co-op every day of the flipping week etc.

 

Plans

We had a nice weekend in Woolacoombe last weekend and only spent £20 between us which isn’t bad. £5 a day for each of us. That isn’t counting the £40 we put in fuel in our truck before it blew up. Mugged us right off.

We spent our 1 year engagement anniversary on the beach and invented some new games with Deef. Played search and rescue in the rocks by hiding and then seeing how long it would take him to find us. I found this way much more fun than I should have. Seeing his little confused face haha! Then we were throwing the ball into the rocks and seeing how long it would take him to find it. Again, I had way much more fun than I should have doing this!

So this week already hasn’t started out great for us to be fair with regards to money. Our truck blew up on the motorway and it’s going to cost £1100 to repair. We are probably looking at scrapping the thing to be honest but it’s just been a money pit the whole way through. Caine says it’s a blessing in disguise which it probably is to be honest! We’ll see. We might sell it for parts as we could get more money back this way. Anyone know?

I wish life would just give us a break at the moment

Also, its Caine’s sisters 18th Birthday and so we have 2 meals planned this week. We are going to Three Brothers Burger and to The Albion. As I’m -£50 it’s going to have to be a credit card job.

I am also seeing a friend this week, just having a cuppa so that’s free. Wahoo!

 

 

 

 

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