Closing Out the Books for September 2019

Worth every penny . . .

September was a very good month budget-wise. Well, it was until we got to the last two days of the month. Spending on just those two days blew up all our good work and we ended up with a higher put us above where we wanted to be, by a little over $5/day.

On September 29 we visited the nearby village of Broadway, and besides our usual stop for tea and scones, we also purchased a small gift for YaYu, and we picked up two bottles of gin at the Cotswolds Gin Distillery Shop. Specialty gin is not cheap, but it’s something we can’t get back in the U.S. and something we’re especially enjoying during our time here. At the very least, the two bottles we purchased (plus the one we later bought in Edinburgh) will be enough to get us through until the end of our stay in the United Kingdom. Anyway, our DSA before entering Broadway was $35.45, upon leaving the village it had jumped to $38.75.

The last day of September was our travel day up to Edinburgh. We bought a few snack items at the village shop the day before to have on hand on the way up and bought one bottle of water on the train. But, there was a Kiehl’s shop in King’s Cross, and since I needed to buy moisturizer anyway (I had planned to look for it next week in London) I went ahead and bought a jar at the station shop. We had a light lunch at King’s Cross (sandwich for Brett and Moroccan bowl for me) and a small dinner after we arrived in Edinburgh at an Indian restaurant just down the street from our apartment (which provided leftovers for next evening’s dinner). However, adding in our bus fare over to Moreton to catch the train and a taxi from the station to our apartment once we arrived, by the time that day finished our DSA for the month had climbed to $40.24. Ouch. It could have been a lot worse, but careful spending earlier in the month saved things from really getting out of hand.

Because of our visit to Edinburgh, we have started off the month of October with our DSA above where it should be (it’s currently just slightly over $38/day), although it is dropping quickly and we should be back to around $35/day or less by the time we leave for London at the end of the week. It will climb back over $35/day again while YaYu is here, but then we’ll have the rest of the month to bring it back down. With cold weather and rain in the forecast, we won’t be going out as much as we have been, and if we’re careful we should be ending the month at $35/day or a little below, right where we need to be.

6 thoughts on “Closing Out the Books for September 2019

  1. You’re packing in a lot for such a small amount.

    Does the gin have flavouring? I’m not a fan of gin – find it oily or something. Then I’m not a big fan of spirits. Except Chambord. My fav liquour.

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    1. It helps that travel expenses (train journeys, flights and such) are handled out of a separate account. It’s a challenge at times to stick with our budget, but we’ve gotten pretty good at squeezing out the most. It helps here in England that food is very affordable, which is not the case in other places, like Japan.

      Gin is flavored by infusion (without juniper and other spices and botanicals gin would be nothing more than bad vodka). Juniper is the primary flavor, but lots of small-batch distilleries are now developing different flavors using different infusions – they’re delicious! I like Chambord as well!

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    1. The secret for us has turned out to be keeping a record every day and knowing exactly where our average is. Sometimes things get out of whack but knowing where we are we can quickly make corrections and get back on track. Brett has turned out to like doing this daily chore too which helps.

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    1. The Baharat gin is currently my favorite, so it’s interesting to know the name means “spices.” There are several spices (cardamom, coriander, cumin, cloves, ​and cinnamon) infused into the gin as well as jaffa orange. Usually, a gin and tonic is served with a wedge of lime, but at the distillery shop they advised us to use a slice of orange instead, and wow! Very delicious and refreshing. We are definitely going to take a bottle or two of it home with us because there’s no way we could find this in the U.S. (or if we could we’d pay a fortune for it).

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