For the second month in a row we got out hiking in our nearest national park. We’d booked a week off at the beginning of the month and although unfortunately the weather wasn’t brilliant, we did manage to make use of some dry days. As well as going hiking we also took our neighbour’s dog to a country park. There’s a little café at the park. It used to be bit naff, but the owner’s wife took over sometime last year and now it’s great. We treated ourselves to a breakfast baguette each and a coffee. It was the first time that we had eaten something that we didn’t cook ourselves at home since March. It felt very indulgent and slightly scary. Towards the end of the week, we took him out again, a bit further afield to another country park that we’d not visited before. This time it was cake and a cup of tea at the café there.
The topic in Grow You, my life coaching program, was procrastination and planning. I have written recently about ‘calendaring’ and I’ve implemented that in both my personal and working life. Now instead of to do lists all tasks have a slot in my calendar. It’s not just cleaning, cooking and other chores that go in the personal calendar, but exercise and relaxing as well. It’s quite amazing how much time appears when everything has its own slot. I know that you may be thinking that this is restrictive, but actually it makes life much more relaxing. For example, when I look at the carpet and think – that needs vacuuming, I don’t have to worry as I know that every Wednesday evening vacuuming is in my calendar and I’ll get around to it then. I can’t recommend it enough.
My average daily steps were 8,570, slightly more than August, which I think is partly due to us having better weather in September than in August, amazing as that sounds. It wasn’t brilliant every day though and my new waxed hat has come in handy on a couple of occasions. I have continued with my Pilates program, trying to do something on a daily basis.
There were a few large expenses that I didn’t expect. We decided to buy a freezer to put in the garage. This is something that I have been talking about for a while, although Mr Simple has been slightly reluctant, wanting to sort out the garage before buying one. He finally decided we needed one, probably because the other two freezers in the house are chock-a-block with chopped apple from the garden. That’s now all moved to the garage freezer, along with runner beans, gooseberries and tomato sauce make with tomatoes from the greenhouse. It has freed up space in our home freezers for batch-cooked meals. We also decided to buy a new mattress. We are sleeping in the spare room as Mr Simple is decorating our bedroom. Although we will be buying a new bed for ourselves, the one on which we are sleeping will be for guests and the mattress is at least over a decade old. We’ve both been suffering with back ache recently, which we put down to the old mattress and now that we’ve got the new one, that seems to have been right. My half of the freezer was £250 and the mattress £132. I used the final part of holiday money that I hadn’t spent to cover these rather than putting it in my ISA.
We made our usual payment of £497.11 towards the mortgage and an overpayment of £650.00, leaving a balance of £62,430.87. I invested £600.00 into my ISA and by the end of the month the balance was £24,986.04. The returns were -£45.30 – not a good month. Adding other savings to that, which are in a fixed term savings account, my total was £38,284.02. That doesn’t include the £8,000 I have saved for a new car.
So that was it for September. Like most people life is very quiet and as we go into winter I am certain it will become even quieter. I expect there will be lots of cosy nights in front of the fire watching the telly. See you next month.