I don't really have the staying power to read lots of blogs at the moment and after having missed a few days last week as well, I'm going to fall very behind. I have noticed a few February round-ups and March plans/budget posts though and remembered that I did a spending recap at the end of January and planned to do another every month this year. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint, as I had no sooner arrived in Halle last week than I got caught up in the whirlwind and completely dropped the ball on tracking spending. I didn't spend much more than I intended, some budgeted from last month's money and some taken out of my annual expenses savings account (which includes an amount for choir stuff) but between other people buying me dinner and me returning the favour by buying rounds of drinks, shared taxis where sometimes I paid and got money back in dribs and drabs or someone else paid and you were looking for a coin to hand them over quickly before running into rehearsal, not to mention tips, it all got very confusing very fast. For the next time I have an event like that I think I will clear out my purse beforehand, put a set amount of money in it and then just count what's left when it's over. That way, although I might not have a breakdown of exactly what I spent on hand, I will know the amount at least.
I did have one other big expense last month that was only semi-planned. New shoes. The good boots that I bought less than a year and a half ago needed to be re-soled (again!) and are otherwise looking very beaten up and generally wrecked. Disappointing, as I spent so much money on them but that's just the way it goes sometimes and I have to admit that, apart from the summertime, when it was just too hot, I did wear them every day. As the cost of re-soling them is over 40 euro these days and the weather should hopefully be changing to slightly warmer shortly, it seemed like a sensible idea to put that money towards a decent pair of shoes. I was going to get new orthotics anyway. The saleswoman spent a lot of time searching shoes out for me (seems like my feet are becoming even less of a normal shape every year - one day when I'm rich I'm going to get shoes handmade just for me. Actually, that's something I want on my list!) and when we had finally found two suitable pairs she actually pushed me a little towards the pair I wasn't thinking off (although they were 5 euro cheaper) as they have more reinforced seaming and, having seen the state of the boots I was wearing, she gave it as her opinion that the softer leather ones wouldn't hold up as well. If I'm hard on shoes, I may as well buy with that in mind. I've been very happy with my purchase so far though and am planning on taking money from my June budget to buy another pair. I do have a bad habit of wearing the same shoes all the time and it would be good to get a couple of pairs and start switching around more often. I'm due to go back in June anyway for a second pair of orthotics, so that's what has decided the timing.
And a planned expense was to get a new white blouse for the performance, which I did. And I lucked out by finding a pair of black trousers that fit as well. That doesn't often happen here and at 39 euro, I just went for it. The funny thing is that I have found trousers to fit me in C&A before but they were just randomly hung among other things. And that's what happened this time too. If I actually go looking for trousers there, there are never any to be had. The new trousers are a standard black pair in a very light fabric so they'll be great for work in the warmer months. Along with a second new blouse, I am more than sorted for summer work clothes now. Those clothes will actually show up in my recap for March though, as I used my credit card to pay for them after the 'credit card month' had already passed (note that I didn't buy them on credit as the bill will be paid in full as soon as it is due this month).
I've already transferred the bulk of my money for March to my Irish account to make debt repayments. Those clothes have essentially already eaten up my optional spending money for March so I'll be trying to keep to as close to a no-spending at all month as possible. I have plenty of food in the house and it's time to make sure I'm using it all up so that I have empty jars to use again when the summer starts.