Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Money in, money out

From a work perspective, September and October have been simply spectacular, the equivalent of three really good months crammed into two. I'm mentally tired, but pleased the work's been there and while November looks like being a much quieter month, I'm still hopeful it'll be a good to really good one. So that's the big plus - after eating into my savings over the past six months, I look like being in a position to put some back.

On the other hand, somebody tipped off my house and car, and so unexpected bills have suddenly started piling in too: a grand total of £900 on two major car repairs, a service and its MOT, which has finally convinced me that after nine years it's time to replace the car, which will - along with the bathroom we hope to have refitted before Christmas - wipe out all of my ISA's savings. So that will be need to rebuilt ahead of changing the car - hopefully around next April so I can claw back a bit of the £900 I've spent.

Then there's the water treatment plant. Out of the blue came the call that it was time for its service (£185) and since then it's needed a major repair that's doubled that cost. It's worth it - it's 15 years old, and the repair/service will hopefully give us another 3-5 years at least from it.

Then my computer died towards the end of September. I'm awaiting a new motherboard as it was under a year old, but in the meantime splashed out £210 on new components. And this month I had to spend out £100 on a software upgrade for a piece of work I've just completed. Again, totally worth it from the amount of money I'm earning, but not the best timing. Just for good measure, my trusty Mac keyboard (nine years old) has also given up the ghost, although replacing that only cost me around £17.

I've also had to shell out £100 on materials to replace the felt roof on Toni's workshop, but to be fair that's coming out of the bonus I usually give her based on how much I earn each month. As you can imagine, she's done quite well out of the last two months too!

So to cut a long story short, it appears I've racked up over £1,500 in unexpected bills over the past couple of months - and all of that occured weeks before I got paid for any of the work I've done! Thankfully the first big chunk for September came through today, so I can pay next month's bills and start paying back into my savings what I've had to borrow. And the latest quarterly energy statement reveals that over the past six months the solar panels have saved me £80 on last year's bill (of course, the actual amount may be a bit higher after the energy rises earlier this year, while the panels were only contributing for 4.5 months of that period), so - coupled with the first FIT payment (around £150) that's due soon, it's not all bad news. But it would be nice if November brings no more nasty surprises, so I can pour money back into savings to not just pay back what I've borrowed recently, but also to rebuild what was lost over the previous few months too.

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