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!*
At the end of last week’s Money Diaries post, I was left with two outcomes for the week ahead: I was either going to spend a complete fortune, or not spend a penny while working away from home. I’m pleased to say I managed to spend very little when I finished up on holidays and made my way to a sunny field to kick off festival season!
I love working on outdoor events, especially when we get the beautiful weather we have done over the past few weeks. There’s always something different going on and absolutely no two days are ever the same!
This week, however, has been a little bit bittersweet. While I don’t generally discuss anything on this blog that doesn’t affect my finances in some way or another, I just don’t think I can write a blog about my week without mentioning this.
For any of my friends across the pond who may not be aware, today is the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing which killed 22 people following an Ariana Grande concert.
I learned of the news when I was woken by a panicked phonecall from my Mam early the next morning, checking that I was ok.
I was in no way involved in this event, but it really hit home with me for several reasons. As well as the venue not being very far from where I live, it’s one I have worked in on several occasions in the past. It could have been any venue, it could have been my venue.
The music industry is a small one, and many of the event crew and security staff working at the arena that night were colleagues of mine. It was some of these colleagues who I have spent the last 5 days with. Working on a large concert. It could have been any concert.
No one should ever be afraid to do the things they love, be that going to a concert, travelling somewhere new, or simply doing our job. We will not let this win.
I’ll never really be able to find the words to convey how I feel about the situation, or the emotions that are stirred up as I watch the memorial service on the news. So I’ll get back to what you came for, back to the money!
Weekly Spending Review: The Breakdown:
Bills: £0 – My one week in the month with no bills to pay, what a nice feeling!
Groceries: £0 – I didn’t actually spend any days at home last week, as I was on holidays until Thursday, when I travelled straight to work, only getting home late on Sunday night. OH hasn’t been around much either, he got home on Thursday left again for the weekend (also working) on Friday. My fridge is so empty!!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £0 – Usually when I travel for work, I have some meals etc to claim back on expenses. When I’m actually away for an event though, we have an amazing catering company hired to feed and water us while on site. There’s generally very little time to spend money!
Lunch: £14.30 – A round of takeaway teas for the inlaws while on holidays, most of the time, we were eating meals in our rented cottage, so we all managed to save quite a bit of money this way. We still went out for a few nice meals, but it at least meant that we didn’t have to force ourselves to pay over the odds for a mediocre sandwich when we just needed to grab a quick bite.
Entertainment: £92.66 – Half of this is the price difference in switching my wee brothers birthday gift of indoor skydiving tickets over to the outdoor adventure course, which I rambled on loads about last week (but it really was that good!), and the rest was for the bar tab over a couple of nights in the local pub near our holiday cottage. I was amazed by how quiet the local area in Wales was while we were there, even over the weekend. Although it isn’t quite peak season jst yet, with the weather being as gorgeous as it was, I had expected to see a lot more locals travelling to the beach for the day. WIthin a couple of days, we were already making friends with the local cafe and pub staff!
Clothes: £0 – After our holiday, I’m dying to treat myself to some new hiking gear! It was the very definition of an outdoorsy holiday, and around 3 miles into a 16 mile hike, I quickly realised my old boots just don’t cut it any more (or, they do cut it, with it being my feet!)
I’ve been keeping a lookout in the sales as I hate paying full price for walking boots, they are so expensive!
Toiletries/Beauty: £6 – A packing error on my part left me with only 3 cotton pads and no deodorant for 2 weeks. I had to make a pitstop at the local corner shop, which of course, cost a small fortune for something I have hundreds of at home. Oh well, no one to blame but myself for this one!
Takeaways: £18.85 – After both myself & OH getting home from work late on Sunday night following a looong weekend, we took the easy way out and ordered in some fish and chips. I was adamant with myself that all I wanted was a nice home cooked meal, but when push came to shove, I’m ashamed to admit that the chippie won hands down.
Travel: £0 – On the way home from Wales, OH filled up the car again, but it only needed a half tank so didn’t cost too much. I’ll be able to claim back some of the return journey on my expenses as I was headed straight to work, so will pay OH back when that comes in. We don’t usually keep track of owing each other money, but when I am having money he has spent returned to me, it’s only fair!
Gifts/Charity: £0 – OH paid for all gifts over the past few weeks, of which there were many! I donate to 2 charities through my salary, where the payments are taken before I receive my wages, so I don’t count those on my spending log as I never actually see the money. This category will mostly include ad hoc donations when friends are fundraising etc.
Misc: £0 – I love having £0 misc spends!
To be Returned on Expenses: £0
Actual Spends: £131.81
So this week has been pretty good really, sometimes when I am working away from home, I get a bit bored and end up online shopping, or going out for drinks every day after finishing. This time, as I was so exhausted from holidays (I need a holiday to recover!) I didn’t fancy the late nights, and as it was my first big show of the season, I didn’t actually get a chance to even think about online shopping, there was just too much to do!
This week has gotten off to a quiet start, but both myself & OH are off work this weekend and will probably end up doing something to celebrate finally having some time to ourselves again.
I’ve been starting to get serious about car shopping now, (having only talked about it since the beginning of the year) so I may even try and fit in a couple of test drives. The aim is to have a new car by the end of June as I have a super long journey to make with work and I really don’t fancy doing it in my current little rollerboot!
On the whole, I’ve been so out of the loop recently with being on holidays etc. I’ve probably missed out on quite a bit so fill me in on your week, what have you been getting up to? Feel free to post any links to new blog posts I may have missed in the comments too