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 of my money diaries here. I’ve built myself a personal money tracker spreadsheet, I am armed with my bank statements and a monthly budget spreadsheet and I am ready to rock!*
I can’t actually believe I’m here, I’ve survived, I’m on the other side of a weekend that more or less killed me off with excitement, St Patrick’s Day AND the Most Anticipated 6 Nations Match to Date. All in one go!
In fairness, aside from this, I’ve had a very dull week. Lots of working from home, which always drives me a bit mad. When I spend all day in the house, by around 7pm I am bouncing off the walls like a puppy that needs walked. So this has been a lot of my evenings, walking around the park near my house, or by the promenade on the less wet evenings. I am old before my time!
I have been, quite frankly, dreading looking at my spending. I feel like I have spent a lot more than I actually did, some impromptu flights booked and a long day of celebrations on Saturday made it seem like I was just throwing money out the window essentially.
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £0.79 – just my iCloud subscription payment this week! As of next week, my Council Tax repayments will also start back up again around this time of the month. Is is dead tragic that I love January – March because I don’t have to pay these? It‘s one bill i have always really begrudged paying! I also have an issue with paying my water bills, but that’s mostly because in Ireland, we do not pay for water, so it was a bit of shock moving to England and having to pay around £300 per year!
Groceries: £51.56 – So this is probably what the average persons grocery bill looks like, right? I haven’t travelled at all this week, so have been able to treat myself to actual home cooked food! I love cooking, but just don’t often get the time to be as inventive as I would like sometimes. This week has featured a super tasty Thai curry with sea bream, a good old fashioned roast dinner and a tapas buffet on Wednesday when I quite fancied a little bit of everything! I also love baking, so will whip something up on weekends when I have the time. This week was apple & cinnamon muffins. I’ve tried to be a bit healthier with my baking, but after several hideous attempts at banana oat muffins, I gave up on that idea. I could never quite get the texture right, but it turns out I just really don’t like oats I think.
Expenses/Car Expenses: £0 – As I haven’t travelled, I haven’t spent a penny on my car after filling up the diesel last week. I’ve also worked from home for a few days so no other work related expenses were racked up!
Lunch: £4 – Due to working from home most days, I was in the office two days this week, and had a coffee from the nice cafe downstairs each morning. I’m a fiend for a caramel hot chocolate or a nice latte. This was one of the categories I was least looking forward to seeing the results for over the space of a week or month, but it’s actually not been quite as bad as I had thought.
Entertainment: £92.79 – What can I say guys, Paddy’s Day hit me hard! As is my tradition, I had a hot whiskey in bed that morning before whipping up a massive cooked breakfast to line the stomach. Most of this is my drinks bill, I bought a couple of drinks for others, had a couple bought back for me, and it wasn’t actually as hard to track a full day of drinking/spending as I thought it would be! With it also being one of the most hyped up rugby matches I can remember, I also had to put a sneaky £20 bet on Ireland to win. Bringing home the Grand Slam also brought me home £40, which I used to treat myself, OH & a couple of friends to a couple of pizzas in this great new bar near my house. I’ve only included the original £20 spent on the bet in my spending breakdown, the winnings have not been added to my income and those pizza outgoings are not logged.
That’s my extra fun money!
Takeaways: £0 – Can we make a big deal out of how proud I am that I didn’t cave on Sunday and get a takeaway while nursing my Paddy’s Day hangover? I made a quiche! A hungover quiche!
Travel: £33.99 – I’ve booked flights home for a weekend in April, while Ryanair were having a sale. As I was totalling my spending yesterday, I realised that I had spent more in Tesco on the supplies to cook one meal than I had spent on my entire return journey.
Luckily, all the bars we hit up on Saturday were within walking distance of my house, so no need for Ubers!
Misc: £24 – Time to talk about the downside to home ownership. There is always something that will go wrong! Something that 2 years ago, I would have just called up my landlord and not thought any more about. This week’s household drama was the bathroom light. We’ve been having problems with it since moving in, so we knew it would cause us more hassle as some stage soon. Luckily, this is loosely related to OH’s job, so he was able to fix it himself. I picked up the bits in B&Q though, so all of this is covering “bits of lights”.
I’m pretty happy with this on the whole, Paddy’s Day comes but once a year, and if I can’t have a blowout then, when can I?!
As with every week, there are things here I could have easily cut out to allow me to save a bit more money, but as I’ve said in the past, I am not in the business of totally depriving myself. I read a great post during the week from Mixed Up Money which really brought home just how much of an affect our spending can have on our general wellbeing. I will never beat myself up over purchases I’ve made, I am generally a conscious consumer. Just sometimes I am consciously consuming an unnecessary coffee, seeing an unnecessary gig, or eating an unnecessary Chinese takeaway!
All of my little coffee breaks in work may look a luxury to anyone else looking in. Yes, we do have a kettle in the office, Yes, I could make my own for about 10% of the price. I used to also take my lunch to work with me, but I found that meant I was spending ALL day in my office building and having lunch at my desk, meaning I worked right through. If I don’t bring lunch, it means I will nip out to a local cafe or I’ll have a little walk to the shop. I come back to the office feeling like I’ve had an actual break and am far more refreshed than if I’d been staring at my laptop all day.
In the summer months, this is a bit different, as I’ll take my lunch from home but will sit outside to eat. Saying this as the snow is still melting outside makes me feel like Summer might never come!