I'm back on the money trail, or at least back on the tracking my costs trail.
Really, I never stopped the tracking, just the sharing. Last July to December involved leaving Dubai, four months travelling in Australia and Asia, then a move to the French Alps. Those costs weren't going to be relevant to many other people.
Now we're staying in one place, at least for a while, I'm getting back into the cost tracking groove.
There were a few nuances in January. My language skills are close to non-existent, so we've booked a course of French lessons. I'm not hopeful I'll see much improvement, but it's important to at least try. The three month course for Sally and me cost €720 (£643 / $842) and was paid for in January.
Having landed in a new town and in a new country, we have to find new friends. We're making progress and have met some lovely people. Along with the effort, it's taken some money as well - we had nights out nine times in January, at least twice as much as usual.
Then there are the things I didn't think about. Car insurance, and our no claims bonus was one. Although I've never had a claim, I don't have the paperwork to prove it, so our car insurance is sky high at €1,468 (£1,310 / $1,716) a year. I'll contact my old insurers in Dubai to try to prove my no claims and see if we can get a reduction. Not only is the insurance high, but January included two installments.
Most of the apartment furnishing was done in the previous month, but we bought some storage racking and bedside cabinets in January. I'm a bit of a neat freak so I'm quite excited by the storage racking. We struggled to find bedside cabinets that we liked and eventually settled on some cheap ones from Amazon. Now they've arrived, we know why they were cheap! We'll keep them for a while, but maybe there'll be a replacement purchase later in the year.
Arranging a TV and internet package in a foreign language is not the best way to get a good deal. We didn't have the luxury of time as this had to be done before the kids came to visit - they could probably go without food, but not internet. I'm convinced we've paid much much more than we needed. Our neighbour paid less than half, but 6 weeks later he still wasn't connected.
Groceries is a cost where I expected to see big savings compared to what we used to spend in Dubai. I'm surprised by how much we spent in January, so it will be interesting to see if it changes over the next few months.
Anyway, explanations or excuses done, here is what we spent in January:
Last thing for today, this post is a few hours later than planned for which I blame Mr Groovy and his recent post The Number One Joy of Financial Security. It's been snowing all day and some new friends asked me if I wanted to go skiing. I was about to say no because I had to do this post, but I stopped myself. Mr Groovy's post reminded me that being financially secure gives me more choices in what I do. So I went skiing, and the post waited a few hours.