Over the past few days, I have been in deep thought about a lot of things.

Returning to my meditation practice has helped me to get a few things straight in my mind about how I can continue forward as a human being.

2017 needs to be very different to this year, and I need to move into a state of being that is free from debt, full of happiness and without constraints.

The first thing that I am going to do is take back control of our consumption of stuff as a family. Everything will be put under the microscope and analysed in an attempt to find ways to spend less so that we can have more. I’m not talking about abandoning toilet paper for dock leaves or never using my car again. I’m talking about making a few small changes to the way we spend our meagre income so that we can clear down the debt we incurred by moving home and taking a holiday, without adding things to our lives that are surplus to requirement. Pretty standard things for most people, holidays and house moves, but for us, it was a setback, especially since we’d been living austere life for a long time now anyway.

Budgeting has never been my strong suit. More often than not I forget quarterly bills or annual subscriptions that auto bill me when I least expect it. It’s these sorts of things that I need to change. I need to take more control over these ghost payments. I tend to have a good idea about how much fuel we will use in our cars over the month and how much we will spend on household utility bills, food and so on. But it seems to be trying to keep back a certain amount of money for the basics that I find most difficult. These basics, over and above what I’ve already mentioned, are things like money for clothes, the odd ice cream or coffee when we’re out and about or even just grabbing lunch from Subway.

So without going into too much detail, I will be setting a daily budget of £5.00 for food & and £5.00 for petrol. £70.00 per week for these essentials, over and above the household fuel and utility bills, should be enough for my family to eat well every day and be able to get to and from work, football coaching sessions/matches and shopping trips to the out of town mega-stores. If I can stick to this as much as possible, we should see a bit more money in the pot to throw at reducing our debts. That means no unnecessary spending on anything.

Of course, there will be times where this plan will be put under severe pressure and may not work. I’m thinking about if Karta needs new clothes for school or money for a trip, or when one of the cars develops a fault and needs servicing.

2016 has been a crappy year for us as a family, one of massive change and stress. Next year will be hard for us financially, but it will lay the foundations for a brighter future, free from financial worry and filled with experiences, not stuff.

Getting my headspace sorted will also help me to be a lot more objective, as will daily exercise and eating a balanced diet. Healthy mind, a healthy body they reckon?!

Christmas is just around the corner, another bump on the road to frugal living. I’m not too bothered about it this year, but in 2017 it will be interesting to see how a truly frugal holiday season will look.

So to summarise, spend less, eat less, move more and find my centre. I refuse to be stressed any longer.

Until next time, adieu!