Money Diary: 19th February – 25th February

Money Diaries Feb 25th - UK Personal Finance blogger tracking my weekly and monthly budget

Throughout 2018, I will be tracking every last penny I spend, and sharing it here weekly. I’m a (late) twenty-something lady, living in the North of England with my Other Half, commonly referred to as OH. I travel regularly for work, and often spend more time on the motorway than in my own home, which can often account for my fluctuating Car Expenses and entirely random Grocery costs!  By the end of the year, I’m hoping to have a better overview of where my money goes to each month, and have a realistic retirement savings plan in place (as well as the many other savings plans I have in my head, but you can read more about that here). You can also read the full series (so far) of my money diaries here. I’ve built myself a personal money tracker spreadsheet, I am armed with my bank statements, a weekly budget worksheet and a monthly budget worksheet and I am ready to rock!*

(*Input data)


This weeks Money Diary is coming a little bit later than usual, I’ve had a super busy week/weekend! On Thursday after work, I flew home to Ireland for a weekend with family. My day is always jam packed when I go to Ireland, as I have a big family to see, and there is always something going on! This weekend was both my best friend and her partners birthdays. We were fairly tame, and headed out on Saturday afternoon to watch the Rugby and have a few drinks.

I also managed to squeeze in a bit of car shopping, a family friend owns a used car lot, and I much prefer to buy, or at least get a bit of advice, from someone i know when it comes to this kind of thing. I test drive a couple and have pretty much decided on what I want. So at least I now have more of an idea on how much I need to save over the next few months!

After all of this, I had expected to be horrified when I totalled up my spending, but to be honest, I’m really quite ok with how it worked out!


The Breakdown:

Bills: £14.16 – Just a small loan payment this week. Right before Christmas, my boiler packed it in and at a cost of £3,200 to replace, we opted to pay £2k upfront and take the offer of 0% finance over the full length of the warranty. It’s such a small amount each month, and we will probably end up paying it all off next year, but we didn’t want to deplete our new car savings fund any more than we already were!


Groceries: £18.95 – A busy week travelling with work and a few days away to see the family have resulted in barely any food being bought for the house. OH has been home alone for most of it, so has sorted himself out.


Expenses/Car Expenses: £8.44 – Although I’ve travelled a few days for work, I had a full tank of diesel at the start of the week and haven’t had to refill yet. This just covers a lunch and toll bridge.


Lunch: £2.10 – One takeaway coffee this week! One!


Entertainment: £28.50 – I had been expecting this to be MUCH higher, as I have been out with friends a couple of times while in Ireland. I realised most of them have treated me this time around, one friend covered my lunch bill and another couple bought me a drink. This just covers the rest of my cocktail binge while watching the rugby on Saturday (what a day, WHAT a day!)

I also had Sunday lunch with some of the family, but my Granny had been given a gift voucher for a local restaurant for Christmas, so paid with that.


Clothes: £100.85 – I can never manage a trip back home without going clothes shopping with my Mam and Granny! I was actually quite restrained, and most of this is covered by a gift card left over from Christmas, only the 85p was paid in cash. I have also recently been provided with a university email address through work for a project I am working on, and this has allowed me to register for an NUS card…hello student discount! I forgot how ace it is to have 10 or 20% knocked off your bill!

Anyway, I had planned to finally replace my crotch-hole jeans, as things were getting pretty bad by the time I made it back to Ireland. They didn’t have the blue jeans in stock so I went for black as I was desperate, which means at some point soon I’ll have to drop another £40 or so on another pair. I also picked up a cute dress in the sale for £5 and a boyfriend style blazer which I would never normally go for, but really like! My granny is basically my personal stylist, she is my Gok Wan. A shopping trip with her always means stepping out of my comfort zone a bit. She spent my teenage grungy years trying to persuade me to wear “nice” clothes and ditch the baggy jeans, so I think she is making up for lost time now!


Toiletries: £0 – And rightly so, after my splurge last week. Usually a trip away means picking up something I’ve forgotten to bring, a deodorant, hair clips, make up remover, but this time, I was so good at packing! This is not usual for me at all!


Takeaways: £0 – I did have a takeaway while in Ireland, but my Mam very kindly treated me to that one. I provided the wine, free of charge however, since I had stocked up at Christmas when I as last visiting.


Travel: £24.30 – My flights to Ireland had been booked weeks ago (super cheap anyway, around £25 return! Thanks, Ryanair!) My wonderful Mam picked me up at Dublin airport last Thursday, so this is just the bus fare for my trip back to the airport in Ireland, and the taxi fare from the airport to my house. I’m lucy enough to live quite close to the airport this side of the water, so grabbing a taxi is the easiest option. OH actually works just across the road from the airport, but unfortunately the timings of my flight landing just didn’t make sense for him to hang around late to collect me.


Misc: £25.50 – Nothing too exciting in here, this covers the fee for my NUS card (which I have already saved in discounts on that one shopping spree) and an online course from Groupon that I’ve been eyeing up for a while.


Total: £222.80

To be Returned on Expenses: £8.44

Actual Spends: £214.36


Really, this week could have been a whole lot more expensive! It’s a lot of money, but as I’ve said before, I don’t deprive myself of having a good time and enjoying the things I love. I just do it moderately and sensibly. If I want to spend £30 while celebrating my best mates birthday, I will bloody well do so!


The week ahead is looking much quieter in terms of spending, I’m working from home for a few days, mostly due to an almighty snow storm which descended upon us just hours after my flight landed safely. On Thursday, I head off with work again for the whole weekend, so anything spent during that time will be expensed. OH has been a doll, and I arrived home to a stocked fridge so won’t need to spend much on groceries. It is bills week though, so there’ll still be some hefty outgoings.


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