Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Boo-jays and other nonsuch...

The other day Mr Kitty went through all of our expenditure over the last two years. Scary times for Miss Kitty I can tell you. Luckily he didn't include my purchases (I have my own credit card for those - PHEW) but it did reveal some surprising things.

1. The overall amount of expenditure wasn't as scary as either of us anticipated.

2. We had a lot of one-off expenses in 2010 that are unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Medical, House (hello ridiculously expensive but stunningly gorgeous lamps!), a rather large piece of jewellery that was a gift from Mr K to Miss K...

3. The cats, even though we often feed them steak and send them to luxury kitty camp (the Purrrrr Hyatt as we call it) when we go away, don't really cost us a lot. Or less than we really thought they would.

4. We spend a considerable proportion of our expenditure on travel. Interstate, overseas, weekends away...

We don't really have a set budget for things but there were some things that were extremely consistent. It turns out we tend to take three "holidays" a year - one to the US, one to Europe and an Asian/Pacific Adventure. We also go to Melbourne and Adelaide to visit family fairly regularly. We love travelling: our trips are the things we look forward to throughout the year. Planning, finding great places to stay and interesting places to eat...

I often joke with Mr Kitty that travel is our one true luxury, but it turns out it's not that far from the truth. Despite what you might read on this blog, I don't get around in head to toe Prada (unfortunately), spooning avruga caviar onto my blinis for breakfast every morning. We tend to cook at home a lot, preferring to purchase yummy produce from markets and local stores. Partly a function of where we live (and that there are very few nice local restaurants), our big nights out seem to be limited to our travels. When we are in Sydney our monthly spend on food is eerily consistent which amused me somewhat. It's not like we were working to a budget on that front, it just happened...

Speaking of budgets, I have managed to do okay on my spending reduction (I don't like to call it a ban, as such). So far I have bought a jersey cardigan from Ojay and a pair of black trousers. I bought two pairs of tracksuit pants (sorely needed in my new guise as a lady of leisure) and some DVDs. I've been limiting my book purchases to my kindle, only buying one hard copy book (it wasn't available on kindle and I reeeeeeeally wanted it). I am finally embracing thrift, eschewing random purchases just for the sake of it. Partially because I am so looking forward to getting to the US in 4 weeks, partially because I haven't seen anything I really have to have, and partially because I have kept out of the shops. That seems to be the secret!

Now - to work out a strategy to keep me out of online stores...

Kitty

11 comments:

The Mummy said...

Do you know, I think that baking is actually a really effective way to prevent spending?

- You get something beautiful, new and enticing.
- It takes up time, keeping you occupied at home.
- You get to do a little 'shopping' but for low-cost items like fancy cocoa.
- Reading recipe books, trying new techniques etc., seems to satisfy the 'hunt and find' urge.

Maybe it's just me - but I never feel the urge to shop 'just because' when I've been baking.

Glad to hear that things aren't as scary as you'd feared!!

X TM

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

Good idea! I do love myself a good bake. I made choc chip cookies yesterday and have been getting my bake on totally recently... And honestly, I do still spend a reasonable amount of money on good food...

MissPosy said...

I agree with the baking..

I also agree that keeping out of the shops (and off the websites) is the secret to embracing thrift. I've been doing this a lot the past couple of months - I felt quite anxious at first, but now I seem to be in a bit of a groove ;)

Not Quite Nigella said...

hehe too true! It's always the online shopping that gets me. A part of me wishes that like regular shops they could close at night. But then the other half panics and say no no no! :P Well done on your budgeting!

carla said...

That's great to have such a wide vision on your expenditure. Mr Kitty sounds very organised!

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

MissPosy - I am trying hard to embrace thrift. Really I am!

NQN - I agree - if they closed at night or had minimum dress requirements I'd be in serious trouble! Or not, actually - my money would be a lot safer.

Carla - Mr K has everything in spreadsheets. His fiscal knowledge and organisation scares me. A lot of the time. But it was good to have an understanding of where the money goes.

Semi Expat said...

Agreed... think quite a bit of our income goes on travel but with family mainly in England it's hard... And then again little trips away too. Good luck with keeping off the online store sites !!
p.s. Love Purr Hyatt! x

Linda in Chile said...

Dear Miss Kitty-Cat
Thanks to you and your no spending policy a little while back, I have been very good too. What an excellent example you are!! I think that knowing is always better than not knowing and consider it is a very good idea to have a look at the bills carefully. I just had to do a survey of the prices here for Mr LiC's work (ick and double ick - hate doing this task but there was no one else available) and I learned that our grocery bill is high because we only buy top-end. But I only want to put good food into my girls so I am happy with that. Sending you happy thoughts. Lindaxxx

Faux Fuchsia said...

Nothing like an expensive hospital stay and a baby to curb spending. Travel is expensive but so good for the soul I think. So glad I went to Europe in Oct/Nov before the baby arrived. I find paying bills online a good deterrant to online shopping as you can see all your accounts and feel the FEAR course through your body. I agree baking and gardening are good diversions! As is obsessively checking your saving account.

Sydney Shop Girl said...

Kitty,
I am with you on the concept of 'reduction' rather than 'banning'. I've actually been more selective about the things I buy in recent weeks and have truly appreciated what I bought because they were (mostly) needs and replacements of things that have worn out.

I've also been big on shopping my closet. The makeup and clothes I've found. I've also felt very proud at all the stuff I've ditched in the process.

But, I will probably go nuts in Honolulu - less than a month to go! Oh yeah and medical bills. I think I'm subconsciously saving for those.

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

Clare said...

I'm terrible with bans, but I go quite well with reductions, especially when I have something semi-big to save for. I don't save for "large" things because then all that money sitting there is too much and I spend like a maniac.

That's really good that you sat down and did an inventory of the last 2 years though. Very disciplined!!! I'd be too scared to do my own...