drEAming, fEAsible, general chit chat, taking stock, trEAsury

expanding time, expanding work…

Even though I have four days off work now I seem to struggle to get everything done in the house that I would normally have done in the 3 days I had before.

This suggests to me that Parkinson’s Law “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” has some truth in it!

It may be down to the fact that having more time has allowed me to do each task in some depth – whether it is the mountain of paperwork or the dusting each job now is being done very thoroughly and at last I can see the paperwork pile reducing to the point where I will be working on the ‘stuff’ that I receive during the week – rather than working on last week’s, or last months or longer.

I have been doing more than my set 2 hours recently on the financial tasks and what I term ‘paperwork’ as we have got a few important items to attend to which require careful reading and even more careful decisions – ones that will affect us financially long-term – I don’t know about you but I find these quite difficult.  If I say the word Pensions you will probably know what I mean.

Gradually I have cleared out a lot of old papers from the files and I have reached the point where I am completely up to date with the filing and can now do it as I go along.  I have also spent quite a few hours entering receipts and logging our spending on our Money Program on the computer.  Every account is now fully balanced and the advantage of this program is that I can run reports that will tell me how much I am spending each week in any given category – it would even tell me in which shops I spend the most money – the possibilities are endless!

When I have gathered all the information I can begin to look at making any reductions and adjustments. I am expecting a few shocks when I see the totals so far for the year.  Spending the odd fiver a week on something can add up to quite a lot over the year.  Items like magazines are typical of this kind of spending (even though I believe I have been very good recently and picked them up and then put them back on the shelf again one or two have accidentally fallen into my trolley!).  And then there are birthday cards and gifts this is always a category where the figures creep up but I have managed to buy some nice gifts at very reasonable bargain prices.

I know our food spending is working out at about £50 a week – we eat well usually in the sense that we buy as much organic food as we can and a lot of fruit and vegetables and make a good many of our meals from scratch (though this does not necessarily mean we always make healthy meals!).  When pushed for time we will often compromise and buy the main bit of the meal ready-made like Nut Cutlets and add a plateful of vegetables.

With more attention to our menu planning I know I could reduce this by another £10 easily.  I have noticed that the price for having a drink or lunch out is creeping up and although it is a nice treat now and again it does add up to quite an amount over the year.

I have some additional points vouchers for Sainsbury’s for items that I would usually buy which is good and I was handed another 5 x points voucher this evening to put towards my full shop next week.  So my total rewards value now stands at £101.44 which I am saving towards Christmas or one of their double up events if they run it again this year in November.

Stay tuned for my next update. x

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10 thoughts on “expanding time, expanding work…”

  1. I know the extra time that you are spending organising things will save you time in the long term. I can confirm that Parkinson Law is the way things work. I don’t know how I ever had time to go to work! Sarah x

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  2. Retirement and pension decisions are so intimidating. During work years there is always the thought “I can keep working, I can get another job, etc.” but eventually we have to face the music and live off what we planned 10, 20 or 30 years ago – yikes! You have done the math and the planning so I trust you’ll do better than most!

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    1. I have never worked anywhere where I could pay into a pension so I am relying on savings. Inflation here is running away with us since the Brexit vote – we have lost out quite a bit with the low interest rates but I have no doubt we won’t starve!

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  3. Tasks do fill the time allotted but there’s the other side: you wouldn’t have attended to all the “paperwork” if you were still working full time.

    Tracking all your expenditure is a great start to budgeting. I have the good intentions of doing the same. Some time!!!

    Retirement for us is 10-13 years away. I know I have to start dealing with super investment soon. Not looking forward to that. Friends are already talking about it and asking what we are doing. Heads still in the sand.

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    1. Glad to see a new post in my reader – I was wondering how the holiday was going unless I have missed a post it seemed to go quiet recently so presumed you are having far too good a time to post! Looking forward to reading it after tea.
      That 10-13 years goes quicker than you think – take my word for it I feel I have missed my 50’s out and been hurled straight into my 60’s. It is only my journal that tells me those years did happen and I did do a lot but it went by all too quickly – I want to put the brakes on now.

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