September Review

It was great to be out in the countryside again
Relaxation

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.

personal organizer and pink flowers on desk
I did a lot of work on planning this month
Personal Development

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.

person wearing white silicone strap black smart watch
Wearing a Fitbit does bring home to me how little I move if I don’t go out for a walk every day
Exercise

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.

person holding black ceramic teapot
It was an unexpectedly expensive month
Numbers
The BasicsBudgetActual
Food£110.00£158.04
Toiletries£30.00£24.21
Miscellaneous£40.00£89.81
Petrol10.00£31.22

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.

4 Replies to “September Review”

  1. Hi Sam

    Sounds Like you’ve made some great progress with your financial goals and great to see you’ve allowed yourself some indulgences. Can make all the differences some times!

    Your Life Coaching program sounds interesting. Would you recommend it? WHo is it good for and what can you get out of it?

    Looking forward to your October review already.

    It must be lovely Hiking with the all the autumn weather rolling in.

    Take care

    Shaun

    1. Shaun, the life coaching program is amazing. It is targeted at women, although there are a few men. The coach trained with The Life Coach School and I think that there are lots of programs by coaches from that school. The focus is about changing your thoughts about situations. The premise is that it is your thoughts that cause your feelings and not the circumstances in which you find yourself. Every month there is a different topic, although these repeat each year, albeit with a different focus. There’s a class every month and a work book. Then there are live coaching calls where you can be coached in person or ask questions in writing. There is also ‘Ask a Coach’, where you can submit questions any time and you will get an answer from a coach. All the live calls are recorded and available to watch afterwards. Natalie Bacon describes it as going to the gym for the mind. I cannot recommend it enough.

  2. Sounds like a good month for you. It’s always when you can get out for a walk somewhere beautiful. Even better if there’s cake and a hot drink at the end of it! Your figures sound quite similar to mine, although you’re doing much better with your mortgage than I am. Keep up the good work with all your planning, it’s definitely the way to go.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. That’s what I like about blogging, meeting people in similar situations. I love reading other people’s stories, particularly those, who like me, are late to the FIRE party. It’s interesting that you comment on progress with the mortgage as it’s all change from next month. We have decided to stop overpaying and start investing the money. We are hoping that we’ll be able to make more in the stock market over time than we’ll save through overpaying, as interest rates are so low. It’s a risk, but one we’ve decided to take and there’s hopefully time for the stock market to recover over the next few years. At the moment, with things uncertain everything’s on sale and so we’re hoping to take advantage of this.

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