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!*
Is there any nicer feeling than having 2 full weeks out of the office?
Is there any worse feeling than returning to the office after having been off for 2 full weeks?
That’s pretty much been the last few days for me.
After being on holidays and then heading straight on to site for an event, I’ve just about managed to catch up again with emails/phone calls/paperwork/meetings/all the things you forget are even a part of your job.
While I had a couple of days working from home at the start of the week to ease myself back in gently, the end of the week was pretty manic with 2 of our company directors in town for meetings. They both usually stay in my apartment when they are in this part of the country, which is ace for several reasons…not only do they tend to treat me to dinner out, but I also get paid extra from work for hosting, which is a great rule they brought in a couple of years ago after realising how much they were able to save on hotels by just utilising my spare room!
This isn’t as weird as it sounds, they are actually friends of mine as well as being my bosses, I have worked with both of them in various roles and other companies before they brought me in to my current position.
Weekly Spending Review: The Breakdown:
Bills: £114.16 – I’ve paid some of my council tax for the month and also made small loan payment on our boiler finance. We’ll probably try and pay this off in full next year but with so many other things to save for recently, it was a godsend having this offered on 0% interest when our boiler packed it in during probably the coldest winter I have ever experienced!
Groceries: £45.45 – I managed to spend a small fortune on Sunday when we decided to have a picnic lunch…meaning we also had a picnic lunch on Monday and will most certainly be having a picnic lunch again today to use up the last of the food! I’m still a bit up in the air with my plans for this week so haven’t really bought enough for dinners for the week. I still don’t know where in the country I will be after tomorrow!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £6 – The car is still full of diesel from OH filling up last week, and with me working from home/the office all week, but I did get a quick car wash while I was in Tesco doing my shopping on Sunday. I haven’t incurred any other work related expenses.
Lunch: £13.20 – A round of coffees one day for the office and a sandwich for lunch for myself another day. As I mentioned above, when we have directors in town, they usually treat us pretty well, so I had two lunches out this week all paid for on the company, as well as several coffees and cocktails!
Entertainment: £26.27 – I don’t take advantage, I like to pay my way sometimes! This was a round of cocktails/beers during a well deserved post-work session in the sun. What is it about a sunny day that has me craving cocktails?! I had a really lovely meal out on Sunday, which was OH’s treat, but it was the cutest little cafe set up in an old brewery which is now full of bars and cafes. Definitely the best use of an abandoned building I have seen for a while!
Clothes: £0 – After splurging a little bit on clothes recently, I’ve reigned it in a bit now. I think I’m sorted for most of my summer work-wear so shouldn’t really need to pick up anything more for a while. I’m still on the lookout for a couple of things but nothing urgent, s will just keep browsing the sales!
Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – Another area I’ve splurged in recently, so I’m more or less stocked up for the next month or so. This has been an expensive month overall in this department, as I had my waxing session to pay for before holidays as well as quite a big Boots shop to stock up on all the toiletry essentials!
Takeaways: £0 – I shared a takeaway pizza with my colleagues one night after work, one of them paid as it will be claimed back on expenses. Aside from that, I’ve eaten out a couple of times and been cooking at home mostly which is a nice change.
Travel: £154 – I’ve booked flights for myself and OH to visit my family in Ireland over the summer. I always try to get home for a full week at least once in the year, as although I do get home quite regularly, I tend to only be able to do a few days here and there and always feel rushed to see everyone while I’m there. When I take a full week it’s a lot more relaxed.
In true Irish style, I have a huge family on both my Mam and Dad’s sides and it’s always a bit of a mission to make sure I get a catch up with everyone! I also have an uncle who is home from Australia with his two wee boys for the full summer, so I wanted to make sure I have a good stretch at home with them, as I haven’t seen my little cousins in around 3 years. I’ll probably try and get another weekend freed up to visit again before they leave to go back to Oz.
Gifts/Charity: £16.25 – I picked up a few cards from my absolute favourite website, LoveLayla for Father’s Day, one for my dad and one for my stepdad, as well as a Congratulations card for a friend whose first baby is due next month. I like to be prepared! I also went to a vegan food market on Sunday as I have a vegan friend visiting for a couple of days, so wanted to pick her up some little treats.
To be Returned on Expenses: £6
Actual Spends: £384.33
I’m really happy with this week again, as the huge majority of this has been flights for the summer and they were quite cheap considering it’s a two person return journey. We’re debating hiring a car while we are in Ireland, as we’ve got the time to do a bit of sightseeing. I’m slowly trying to do a bit of an Irish tour with OH and I like to take him to at least one new place every time he visits with me. We’ll make a decision on this closer to the time though, as I sometimes have access to my mums car depending on her work schedule while I’m visiting home.
I’ve also decided to “officially” move my Money Diaries posts to Tuesdays rather than Mondays. I’ve found that Monday is often just too busy for me to have time to categorise my previous weeks spending and write my post. Rather than constantly posting “late”, I’m going to let myself relax a bit and just stick with Tuesdays!
That’s probably been the one part of blogging I have struggled with, I love the financial accountability of sharing my posts regularly, but one of my biggest downfalls has always been that I set myself unrealistic targets! I have lost track of the amount of times I have left a work meeting thinking “Why did I say I would have *insert long-winded task here* completed by the end of the week?!”
And the worst part is, these are timeframes I set myself, I don’t just agree to them, I actively put them in place all on my own!
I’m feeling good about the week ahead, the sun is shining, I’m working on a really exciting project and I’ve got a visit from my best friend on the horizon. Several picnics over the bank holiday weekend have left me well and truly feeling summery, so here’s hoping for a good one!