Monday, January 04, 2010

Cost of living

We totted up our expenditure for the year the other day and were surprised at how much we spent on some things and how little we spent on others. Here is an average monthly spend on a few of the things would be nice to see how it compares with other parts of the world.

  1. Food £122.65pm
  2. Petrol £103pm
  3. Household...toilet rolls, tooth paste etc! £8pm
  4. Presents £61.85pm
  5. Health and Beauty £41.64pm 
  6. France £156pm
  7. Decor £103pm
  8. Other...stuff not categorised £108pm (big surprise!)
  9. Council Tax £149pm
  10. Gas & Electricity £88
There were other things like telephone, insurances, TV and internet, water rates and donations etc!  All in all we think we did quite well and if we subtract some of the one-off purchases (especially for France and home decor) we could live quite comfortably In France on what we originally thought.

It was a worthwhile exercise.

This year we will do the same but with more specific categories. 


  1. This is very interesting. I do in fact keep a little cash book - ever since one disastrous month when we both got muddled with how much we had in the bank (CMB) and ran it down - we got a letter telling us we had no funds but because we were good clients (or is it customers) they would honour all cheques. So don't believe what they say about being carted off to prison our here and having your cheque book confiscated.

    Well - as I said - it was a wake up call and now I carry around a little notebook and put mundane stuff like

    4/1 petrol 29
    Lidl 8
    Carrefour 22

    etc etc etc

    Now Mr FF is in Paris he said he would get a notebook too but with his new job it seeems rotten for me to make him enter such tiny amounts. Thus he now has a weekly float that I enter in my book

    It's the only way for me really - and it also made me cut down on spending 'cos when you see it mount up - as you've found - it is more of an eye-opener

  2. Keeping tabs on your spending is the key to happiness - what is it that the Dickensian character said - income £1, expenditure 19s 11d - happiness, expenditure £1 1d - misery. Or something like that.

    Not that we're experts - just people who have found it very useful to do what you have just done every so often. I suspect people of our generation are better at managing money because as kids nobody we knew ever had any. All families managed a weekly budget with their cash and saved when possible for the luxuries. With no credit cards it was not possible to get into debt very easily. The only designer label I had as a teenager was "Aertex" !!

    The world would be in less of a mess now if more people saved up for what they want or borrowed responsibly - but don't start me on that !!!

  3. I can't believe how much your council tax it. We're in band D now and still only pay £110! Oh and wish our food bill was only £120.

  4. Hi FF
    Yes, we were told that we could be sent to prison if a cheque bounced in France. I'm pleased it isn't true although I don't think I'd ever chance it.
    I bet Super-U is the wrong place for us to shop.

    Hi Jean
    We're just like you. Don't get me started!
    Are you back from France? Did you see the question I left on your last post?

    Is that Chris? Don't get me started on what I think of our Council. They infuriate me to the point that Bev has stopped listening to me when I verbally expose them. Thanks for rubbing it in that you only pay £110 for the same style house.
    They are talking about assessing what we have built in our gardens. Just let them dare!