April feels like it’s lasted forever – it’s not dragged in a bad way, just seems about four years since the end of March and the drama production (which finished on 9th April).
April has been a glorious month – gorgeous weather just about every day. *Too* glorious – there haven’t been any April showers around here and it’s mighty dry. I don’t want May or the summer to be a complete wash out but I wouldn’t mind the odd wet day.
Goals in 2011 progress
Since we’re a third of the way through the year, I’ve written a full update on my personal goals over on my blog. Out of the 11 goals and five sub-goals listed over there, I’ve completed one goal (and one sub-goal), six (and two) are in progress, and four (and two) are still to do.
I haven’t really made any separate progress on my additional Really Good Life goals – am reviewing them now to see what I can do over the next month.
Buy less than 12 items of clothing in 2011
Amazingly, I’ve still not bought anything – I’m genuinely shocked! I’ve online window shopped a couple of times – adding things to my basket but then forcing myself to wait until the next day to actually buy it. Each time I’ve been less enthused to finish the order the next day and just closed the tab instead. Saved a lot of money!
After March’s drawers sort through, I went shopping in my wardrobe for shirts in April – reminded myself what I had and found out what fit and what didn’t. I actually ended up getting rid of half the shirts in my wardrobe but have worn the remaining ones more since then so I actually feel like I’ve added to my options by doing that.
Growing stuff and the chickens
Aside from yesterday (which was technically May) realising that my dwarf bean seeds had all rotted in the soil (boo!), my growing has been nothing but positive in April. Those endless sunny days have paid off. The greenhouse & porch are both full of seedlings and I hope to start planting stuff out soon. The fruit trees are all leafy and in blossom, the new fruit bushes all growing well and my wooden planter collection has really boomed – hopefully they’ll be all full and verging on being productive by the end of this month.
The chickens have been a little frustrating this month – that’s unfair, most of the chickens have been fine, just Buff has been getting noisier and Ginger went broody about ten days ago. Because of her broodiness (she’s not been laying and I think we’ve lost a couple of eggs to collateral damage), we’ve only had 180 eggs this month. Only. It’s an average of 6 a day – but down from 200 / 6.45 a day in March. I did remind myself that the only reason we got our second batch of chickens was to maintain production (of about four a day) during moults/broodiness etc so anything above 120 (4 a day) is still very much win.
I’d hoped I’d be able to do a no spend month for April. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Not at all. Another expensive one…
To be fair though, it wasn’t all frivolous fun time. I spent a lot on unavoidable taxi fares in the first week or so – a whopping £80.20 on transport (bus/train & taxis) between the 1st and the 9th. I’m glad I’ve hardly left the house since then ;) Transport for the whole month clocked in at £87.80 – or about a third of my entire spending for the month.
Another third, gosh!, went on out-of-the-house or take-in food (ie food which could be avoided by better planning). Over £80 is a LOT for that stuff but did include me buying dinner for everyone on two occasions — one time for six people (at a restaurant) and one time for three people (pizza at home). Not quite sure how I ended footing the bill twice but really, for that many people on those occasions & the rest of mine & John’s other eating out, £80 is pretty good going!
The other third went on growing stuff (some seeds, compost and an albeit frivolous buy thyme plant – £29.47 – 11% of my total spend), craft training/supplies (we went screenprinting again – £25.50 – 9% of my total spend), on books (I bought 16! But nine of them were work related, and they only cost £20.21 in total – 7%), household stuff (Calpol & Benadryl were my friends during the production, plus other misc stuff – £19.49/7%) and I spent £3.89 (1.5%) on a newspaper & a mascara which I’ve categorised as “misc silly stuff”. To be fair on spendy-spendy me, with all the bank holidays/long weekends/misc time off I’ve had this month, it could have been a lot worse. I actually had two full afternoons of shopping in town/city centres so while I have spent a lot of money for me, it could have been a lot, lot worse!
As per my “save as much as I spend on avoidable/fun stuff” thing, £135.48 is myVAT-able so will be going into my special savings account. I think that, with the rest of my other outgoings & small regular savings, will push me over the edge of spending&saving more than I brought in this month so I really am going to have to be more careful (and less willing to pick up restaurant tabs!) in May so it doesn’t become a habit – I have a little buffer to soak it up this month but not forever so I will have to cut back on the frippery. That was kinda the point of the saving-what-I-spend thing — to force me to be more conscious about what I am spending and spend less!
How was your April? Did you get to enjoy the sunshine? Or have you got our ration of rain? And if you’re taking part in the “12 in 11″ challenge, how are you doing?