Wow – is August nearly over?

I really don’t know where this month has gone, it seems to have rocketed by without me noticing.

I have just been updating my accounts and like plenty of other FI blogs – been watching my investments drop in value 😦

I am not too disheartened as I am watching some specific stocks with a view to invest some of the sales funds from July (I sold some of my old employer shares, from share saves, I hold too many and need to diversify). The prices are not right for me yet to invest, I do wonder if it will be a good thing to buy individual shares outside an ISA wrapper – but I am continuing to invest monthly sums into my current ISA funds up to the annual limits thereby diversifying my investments.

I have had my house insurance to renew this month so that’s one lump sum expense to account for but even with this in my expenses column, I have managed to reduce my expenses this month so I a really chuffed!

I normally budget groceries at around £100 per month which is probably quite a lot for a single gal but this includes any food/drink bought when my boyfriend/friends/family visits and it also includes household cleaning ‘stuff’. I haven’t bought much this month, I have been using up freezer and store cupboard supplies and looking back on my accounts this month, I have only spend £36 on groceries so far!

I have been looking up recipes and modifying some where necessary to fit the ingredients I have to hand and its been working out really well. It seems to have really made a difference to my grocery bill plus I have enjoyed making my own food, knowing there are no nasty unhealthy surprises – excessive sugar/salt, etc… I took a trip along the canal the other day to collect blackberries and have a bumper amount split into bags and stored in the freezer for use later.

One perk I still have is going to the hairdressers to get my hair cut and coloured – yes, for plenty of frugals out there this is a luxury – it is one that I am currently happy to maintain until finances suggest I need to give it up. When I was a child, the family lived very frugally and my mum use to cut my hair – I never visited a hairdressers until I was in my late teens. Even then it was to a hairdresser training school so the haircuts were cheap (£5-£7) and not very good so past experience has put me off going to a trainee school to get a cheaper haircut.

So while at the hairdressers the other day, I was reading the usual gossip mags (like you do – they’re free) and found some great recipes for using blackberries – a quick phone pic later of the details and I now have some more ideas for using up the blackberries I have in my freezer.

The weather forecast isn’t looking too good for this week but when there is a gap I will go back to the canal and pick some more blackberries and freeze. My brother has a cooking apple tree in his garden, he doesn’t want the fruit so he is going to give me the apples so I can use these with the blackberries. Time to try out some dessert recipes and possibly even some jam making (I have never tried to make jam before). There’s nothing like learning new things when you have the time 🙂

Back to the rat-race?

I am not too sure on that one. I have had 3 interviews for the job I applied for. It would be joining the rat-race doing work I am qualified/experienced at doing and right on the doorstep – the nearest job I would have ever had!

The “BUT” appears to be that they cannot decide whether to offer or not. Now this is all second-hand via the agent so I cannot really get much of a steer on the real reason. I don’t think quitting my last job went down too well – what would you have done if you had been interviewed for one job then give another on arrival and when you ‘challenged’ it, get told ‘tough’ this is the job we want you to do. Talk about being mislead! Their response was “do as you are told or leave” – so I left.

Anyhow, the agent has told me to wait another week and see if they come back with an offer – I wonder if I am second choice? A stand-by should their first-choice refuse their offer? I am not sure if the agent is bargaining for commission either?

I am not too worried, I will continue with my FI life and look at other ways of providing some supplementary income to bolster my FI honey pot funds.


6 thoughts on “Wow – is August nearly over?

  1. Really great update. We also collected a lot of blackberries this week, as well as elderberries for the third time – the latter are a such a fab way to add a vitamin c boost to your diet every day, you only need a spoon put into a smoothie or porridge etc.

    Was just wondering if you’ve considered p2p lending as another income stream?


    • Hi TV,
      I am waiting for the weather to improve so I can pick some more blackberries. It looks like a bumper harvest in my location. I just need to get my hands on some free apples 🙂 so I can make some crumbles and jam. I have also seen a recipe for blackberry whisky! Now there is a teaser!
      I am not too sure what to do with elderberries. There were plenty of them along the canal – at least I think they were elderberries (I need to read up on identification and use).
      A few years ago I collected sloes and made sloe gin (using cheap gin from Lidl), there were small amounts of sloes along the tow path, so may consider picking those and looking at what I can use them for.
      Cheers, Sparkle

      • You can make elderberry wine, cordial, or just add a spoonful to other fruity pies and smoothies for a vitamin c boost! I hope the weather improves so we can both go out and very more foraging and harvesting done!


  2. £100 a month is my budget (or rather £25 a week) and I live on my own. Perhaps it is too much but since I used to average £40 a week, I think it’s a good level for me to stick to right now!

    Ah, I’m with you re hair cut and colour – I think it’s a small luxury to pay for. My hairdresser is one that I’ve used for many years and has kept the price the same for the past 6 years, so I can’t complain!

    Hope all gets sorted with that job soon!

    • I used to spend £40 per week before I stopped working, its one of those expenses that you know you can cut down on if you want to/need to.

      On the job front – I will not be joining the rat-race soon. I have heard that I didn’t get the job, I get the feeling I was being used as a bench-mark to judge another candidate. Ah well, I will continue to look and it may mean that I will have to become an IT contractor and work periodically.

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