Pinch, punch, first of the month!
Wow – where did January go? Everyone was complaining that there seemed to be thousands of days in January but for me it went so quickly….and as for Christmas and New Year – they passed in such a whirlwind that sometimes I wonder if they really happened already… or are just around the corner? Oh dear!
Financially I’m proud of the way I handled Christmas this year. Usually I do a bit of saving but mainly just shove a lot of the cost on an empty credit card or give Mr Fu a bill for what it’s all going to cost – he loves that (!). This past year though I was very strict with myself and saved £20 a week for the whole year so as to cover it easily. It was a really great feeling and it meant I could start shopping early. I’ve already been buying things in the Sales ready for next year and the odd birthday gift as well.
The kids helped out, too, by selling their PlayStation 3 on eBay to cover the extra cost of the new XBox they wanted. Taking advice from a friend who is THE Queen of eBay, we took the trouble to test all the games first, and list them in several small bundles so as to raise more money…. boy, was she right… We made about double the amount we’d expected! Next year the rest of their unused toys will be going, too. I was itching to sell those right away, after Christmas, but the aforementioned Queen of eBay said to wait until next year. Throughout the year she builds up a laptop folder of items to sell, complete with pictures, descriptions and postage weight, then when Christmas comes she’s ready to list at the optimal time, no matter how busy November/December is for her. I need to do this.
I also did present amnesties with lots of friends and some family after watching the Martin Lewis video on Twitter about releasing people from the pressure of reciprocal giving for the sake of it. A couple of years ago I stopped sending Christmas cards and it was just so liberating but a present amnesty is even better. I love buying (and receiving) presents but it can get out of hand and end up buying things just for the sake of giving something, and apart from the money side of things I find it really stressful getting gifts to people on time. I’m so last minute.
This part of winter is such an expensive time in our family. We’ve already had two big family birthdays in January, and February has another big one …along with 11 other family birthdays (don’t forget mine is in there, too, Mr Fu!) We’ve been doing a kind of dry January where we only drink when we go out (which is going to help as we rarely go out) and we’ve really cut back on the meat we’ve eaten, too…but it’s not going to cover those birthdays…
…Neither will it cover the cost of 5 passport renewals. We’re off to Spain at Easter for our annual all-inclusive family holiday and Brexit means we can’t risk the fact that the children’s passports will only have four months to run on them.
So I’d better get on with matched betting to give my tutoring income an extra boost. I’ve got my brother into MB now but he’s the type to completely outdo me on it within weeks of starting… and we can’t have that! I’m really into the low-risk casino stuff at the moment and had a very profitable few minutes the other day turning some ‘free spins for goals’ into a £90 win. I did a little Spins Win dance! Mr Fu and I were aiming to finish all the bookies’ join up offers over Christmas – thinking there’d be endless time for all of that… Well, guess what? There wasn’t endless time, of course. So it’ll have to be a New Years Resolution now…
I just hope it isn’t Christmas again before we get to achieving it!