The headline "Stupid Costs" should perhaps be changed to "Stupid Me". Why?...because I got a speeding fine which is not a smart thing to get, and is even worse when I'm trying to manage the costs. It's no defense to say that the speed camera is new, and the limit too slow - I wouldn't accept that from my kids, therefore it can't apply to me either (please therefore don't mention this to my kids!).
So, if a speeding fine is the bad news, the good news is that for the first time since January when we started tracking our costs, we have come in under budget for the month. Our cost for April was £3,216 ($3,970) against our budget of £3,700 ($4,567). We mustn't get carried away though, as the saving we made in April doesn't offset the overspends that we had in January, February and March, so we are still overspending quite a bit if we look at the total costs for the four months to April.
So, here's the breakdown of the costs. At least things seem to be heading in the right direction, and if I hadn't wasted £159 ($196) on that
speeding fine then the month would have been even better. We also still have the cost of the gardener (I haven't the heart to tell him we don't need him), but that cost will go as we are moving to an apartment at the end of June.
Other than that, I still can't get my mind around that we are spending so much on groceries, going out and coffee shops/casual dining. When I look at other blogs, they are spending much less on these items, and I'm sure that this is partly because Dubai is expensive, perhaps by as much as 25% to 35% extra on these items compared to if we were in Europe (a midpoint 30% saving on these three items would reduce the monthly average cost by £513 ($633). I still think we should get these costs lower than they currently are though.
Loosely connected with costs, I'm off to Prague (for the marathon) at the end of this week and later in May I go to Germany for a 72km trail run - I already purchased the air tickets and most of the accommodation in the previous months (just two nights hotel in Germany still to pay for). Hopefully these trips won't blow the costs out too much in May (quite possibly I will be too exhausted to do anything!). What we are going to spend money on is booking air tickets and accommodation for the summer holiday - we will go to UK and France for a total of four weeks in July/August, and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how much that will be! Oh well, c'est la vie, as someone who wishes he could speak French would say.