Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A boring budgeting post

Oh dear, I haven't posted for 2 weeks now - I've just been so busy I can't seem to find the time.  So many blog posts from everyone else to catch up with too!

So what have I been doing for the past 2 weeks?  Mainly organising and budgeting tasks, interspersed with house cleaning and gardening - the weeds finally wore me down.  I had a few oustanding things to sort out regarding my budget which had become urgent - as it's only 2 more paydays till my redundancy kicks in, I need to make sure I'm prepared. 

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I got rid of 2 direct debits that I could do without and also spent some time researching gas and electric prices to see if I could save some money.  I wanted a fixed tariff as my budget won't cope well with unexpected increases.  Luckily, the cheapest for me was my current supplier so not much effort involved just to switch tariffs.  It'll work out £80 a year cheaper than my current tariff if I use the same amount of gas and electric as I did last year.  Next step is to look at usage and get it down further.  I spend more on electric than gas and I find this hard to cut down out.  Gas is easy - just don't switch the heating on!  It works out at £331 for gas and £437 for electric a year on the new tariff with mycurrent consumption.  I'm sure there's penty of scope for reduction there - I just need to figure out how!

The only direct debits I'll be keeping are my gas, electric and broadband payments, and that's only because it saves me money.  I'll walk down to the housing association every week to pay my rent and house insurance and into town once a month to pay the council tax.  I've asked for a payment card so I can pay off my next TV licence in weekly installments and I've ended the contract on my mobile phone and am changing to PAYG.  I had set up direct debits originally because I was short on time, but I really don't like companies having access to my account - mistakes are made and they can leave you short of money.

Two more things left to sort out - I need to open a new current account (proving to be a problem) and also a savings account.  Bank accounts are a pain in the bum.  Why do you need a driving licence or a passport to apply for one?  I know it's a Government requirement but it seems awfully socially exclusive to me. Luckily I'm applying for a passport (haven't had one for about 10 years) for my visit to Germany to see my friend, Roger. 
 Roll on September and the start of my new life :o)