April so soon but at least winter is well behind us now and even though it may swing from warm to cold we will be working our way towards summer.
Mum went home last Sunday after a few hectic days shopping and visiting. I managed not to buy anything but we did spend a lot on eating out and parking – but then I do not see her very often. On Sunday we drove her home and called at my younger daughters on the way back. Did I mention she is expecting and I will be a granny soon – in July the same date as my birthday! What a birthday gift!!
For my focus this month I am concentrating on following up on the 3 past challenges for January, February and March. There are still outstanding tasks to be completed and this seems like an appropriate time before moving on to any new goals.
Firstly my Finances – these are almost complete after a major over haul in January. I have to set up the Council Tax standing order in April but that is all that is left of the bills until later in the year when I will look around at house insurance.
My Housekeeping budget for March was so far off track this month I am not very happy with myself for allowing the spending to get a little out of control again. I will be doing an update post of this soon so you will be able to see the error of my ways!
I have been quite good at keeping track of my day-to-day spending ( I mean writing it down not spending less – though I am trying). I do need to get my lunches sorted out but that will be another months focus. Introducing too many changes at once leads to failure in this house. My system for dealing with the financial paperwork is working well – over the last 3 months I have kept on top of the filing and balanced the accounts and statements each month. I have also built up enough of a float so that I do not break into my new wage, paid on the 20th, until the end of the month.
A couple of weekends ago I cleared out the files and produced a rather large pile of shredding – it took me 2 hours one Sunday morning but the files are much lighter now and I managed to get rid of any duplicate and outdated information.
I have a separate file for each of our bank accounts and keep the latest bank leaflets that they send about the charges and changes. I could probably get the latest bank charges off the internet as well as the terms and conditions. As we are never overdrawn we would be highly unlikely to incur charges. I suspect I am keeping far too much just in case and that I could find the same information online.
February I concentrated on the decluttering. This is still ongoing but I am being extremely thorough with the areas I have looked at. My dressing table is wonderful (one magazine I read called it a beauty station and I quite like that term). It is so easy to find all I need and put it away again – having a truly minimalist approach and reaping the rewards of this is the encouragement I need to get rid of things I might otherwise have found hard to part with. The shower room cupboard also had a thorough clear out – everything in there is used – only the body brush and guest toiletries are occasional use items and I have trimmed these down.
Anything that I wouldn’t buy again but needs using up is assigned to the ‘use up box’ and I choose one at once to use until empty. Any stocks of toiletries I need are bought when on offer.
My next area will be to tackle the household cleaners. These are stored in a few places – under the sink, in the garage cupboard, in the laundry room and in my caddy as well as the duplicates in the shower room cupboard. I know I will need to have a use up box for these.
As we will be searching out the spring and summer clothes soon and packing away the warmer autumn / winter ones I will use this time to look at creating a capsule summer wardrobe. I need to be ruthless which will require a certain mindset. I don’t find it easy to get rid of clothes as they represent pound notes and hard-earned money. However I think we all know when we have to face the fact that a garment was not a good buy, doesn’t suit us any longer or doesn’t fit like it used to!
March – cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Some rooms I am not doing like the kitchen because it will be upside down and full of dust soon when we have the new one installed. I have done the shower room and part of the office and the next on the list is the living room and our bedroom.
So as you can see there is still lots to be done and I hear the garden calling me to have a good tidy up too.
I will be posting a new April page soon with more detailed plans of my Focus on Follow up.
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I live in a small old mill town nestled into the Pennine hills in Yorkshire with my long-suffering husband of thirty some years. I have two beautiful daughters who have flown the nest (most of the time!). I paint and draw (a little) when time allows, make and bake sometimes but not often enough and garden and grow things as much as possible. I recycle and up-cycle, hate waste and I couldn’t live without my time planner and lists.
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