Sunday, 1 September 2013


As of last month we are in let's learn to budget mode.

When Kleintje arrives in 5.5 months we are going to have more expenses and as we both want to drop to 4 days a week we are going to have less to spend!

So... Over the last month we have started to note down all of the expenses that we make day to day (this doesn't cover the automatic payments though, one step at a time!). And what has amazed me is that just doing that works. We have seen our weekly outgoings drop as we are both more aware of what we spend.

On top of that we have also started to live on the budget of next year, putting the remainder into a savings account - we thought better to learn now, whilst we can get some money back should we make a mistake than next year when it's all for real!

We were even thinking of switching supermarkets, as we know ours sin't cheap and we had seen the price of the weekly shop sky rocket recently. But we broke that trend that last weeks, and whilst it's reasonable we want to stay with the quality that we know!

So... Let's see how this goes over the next 9 months - after that it's all for real!

So what else?

Well, we are busy trying to ensure that everything is ready when we need it. We had the builders here this week for an estimate for the dormer windows, painting the existing windows, replacing the bathroom ceiling (just the plaster on the concrete, nothing major!) and to see what it will cost to turn the attic into 2 rooms.  Phew.

On Monday we find out whether we have been way to optimistic in that budget! I hope not!


Yesterday was spent car shopping for Mrs Stace. She has decided on a 207 SW (small Peugoet estate) and we found three within budget (well two in, and one just over). First test drive went well, for a small car it has a lot of options! The most important being dual zone climate control :) The last two Volvo's have *so* spoilt us there!

So, without boring the non-petrol heads with the stories...  After a day testing the cars, and testing whether or not it will fit the stroller / pram that we have bought we had some options.

One fell away within 30 seconds of starting to drive it - it sounded rough and had no power compared to the other two. When the salesman said that he didn't think it was anything to fix I said we were not interested in it then! I've been around cars long enough to know that if you three identical cars (type and engine wise) and one sounds rougher than the other two, and has less power, then something, somewhere is not right and that we would never had trust in the car!

The other two we are really interested in. I managed to do some decent haggling for a change and got both cars down to a reasonable price (most of the time I am very bad at haggling, this time I just decided to be over the top and asked for a 1/6 discount on the car - and got a good proportion of it!)

So today it's relax day (after I've been running) and think about which dealer we are going to call on Monday to say we want their car. It's a choice out of a bit newer, and a lot more luxurious vs a bit of a saving and no climate control....  Tough choice!

Right, time get ready for that run!


  1. Perhaps you could haggle for us if we ever go car shopping again...

    I have often wondered if couples get round to costing the new project, then again it is a thirty year project with so many variables. Wish you both the best of luck.

    1. I don't think I have ever managed to do this well before...

      As for the budgeting... I'm a Scrum Master - costing a 30 year project is almost impossible - you just have to cost the many sub projects :)

      Thank you!

  2. Hi Stace!

    I admire your budgeting ability! Writing everything down really *does* work wonders, doesn't it? I spent so many years living virtually penniless that I became good at it out of sheer necessity. It has served me well.

    Best of luck with the car dealers. A rather shifty lot, aren't they? ;c) I half-expect to see them on street corners pushing fake Rolexes for extra cash in their spare time! lol


    1. Don't admire it yet! Admire it if it works :P

      They are a shifty lot, but the two that we saw were not too bad. One was a not too slimy salesman, and the other was an ex-mechanic who complemented me on my knowledge of cars when I diagnosed a potential problem with one of the cars we test drove - no we did not talk about that one any further. Got a nice comment 'You're quite technical, aren't you?' Though like Mrs Stace was saying, he probably though 'crap' whilst he was saying it :)