Money Diary: 26th February – 4th March

Money DIaries March 4th - 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 has been a pretty crazy week, anyone else out there get COMPLETELY snowed in?! I’ve had the misfortune of having to travel with work, so I’ve not really had the option of sitting at home with the fire lit. I ended up stuck in the snow, less than 40 miles from home after a full 10 hours in the car. What a load of bull. Into a hotel for the night and I eventually made it to my destination, 24 hours after leaving home. I’m writing this from a ferry in the middle of the North Sea.

Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:

Bills: £586 – This is my busy week with bills, with it being the beginning on the month. I’ve a couple more small direct debits to pay this month, but the majority of my monthly bills are now covered.

Groceries: £12.35 – Since I’ve been away for most of the week and was also away travelling last weekend, this has been a very low spend. When I arrived back from Ireland on Monday, OH had the fridge well stocked, and I just picked up a few bits and pieces. I only spent 2 nights at home then off I went again with work. This is the plus side of travelling so much! The downside being that I’ve had to persuade OH to take a holiday day on Monday so we can actually spend some time together.

Expenses/Car Expenses: £35.53 – Despite a lot of travelling and working, this is also fairly low, I just had a half fill of diesel and a couple of coffees and snacks while travelling. My meals and drinks while I’ve been working away have all been provided, so I haven’t had to pay for them at all.

Lunch: £15 – Tuesday & Wednesday in the office….fancy cafe toasties…

Entertainment: £88.98 – This includes a small meal out with OH on Sunday after I got home from work. Nothing overly exciting, but exhaustion kicked in right around dinner time so it was more a quick fix than a “nice meal out”!

Also included..12 bottles of wine I purchased while travelling at a huge discount to standard store retail price…well, I could hardly not take 12!

Clothes: £0

Toiletries: £23.50 – I gave in to the temptation of Duty Free shopping while travelling and picked up a few OPI Gel Nail Polishes. I’ve always had crap nails, so recently I’ve been trying to keep them looking good. I got a Gel Nail kit for Christmas so I don’t have to spend lots in the salon, and I wear the same few colours anyway so don’t need an extensive selection.

Takeaways: £27.97 – After travelling on Monday from Ireland, I could no more be arsed cooking, despite the previously mentioned fully stocked fridge. Dominos came to the rescue, and charged me a small fortune in the process. This fed 4, my treat,

Travel: £0 – All paid for by work

Misc: £0

Total: £789.33

To be Returned on Expenses: £35.53

Actual Spends:£753.80

So, this doesn’t  look great on the whole, but considering almost £600 was my monthly bills, it’s really not so bad. There are obviously areas I could have cut back on here, and I hadn’t really planned on spending a penny during my work trip. I figure the wine is a great money saving exercise though, as I would be buying the same brand anyway and paying more than 3 times the cost in a supermarket.

I’m taking today off work since I’ve worked all weekend, so I am expecting to see my way through at least one of these bottles. Well deserved (and well needed!)

I’ve said this before, but I just don’t believe in depriving yourself of the things you enjoy, otherwise you are not following a sustainable lifestyle. You will cave, you will fall off the wagon and splurge, so allow yourself the small rewards! In my eyes, financial health is akin to personal health.

Financial “diets” are fine if you are saving for something in the short term, but if you want to truly change your lifestyle and attitude towards money and enable yourself to save for the long terms and spend money sensibly, I firmly believe: Everything in moderation!

3 thoughts on “Money Diary: 26th February – 4th March

  1. I really enjoy the concept of doing a weekly spending update like this. Well done! You’ll thank yourself later by stocking up on the cheap wine now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m already thanking myself for that wine haha! It’s much less of a chore tracking my spending than I had initially thought, I rarely use cash so can just update from my banking & credit card apps every couple of days. It’s really helping me understand where I am actually spending my money though, the little things definitely add up!


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