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!*
If there’s one thing that writing these Money Diaries has taught me, it’s that every week is a busy week. I sit down to write my post, and the first thing I think is “Well this has been a busy week!” and i think I need to stop commenting on it and lets just assume all the weeks have been busy!
Last week was just that: Busy. I had a friend visiting from Ireland, she wasn’t staying over with me this time round, she stayed with another friend, but it was great to see her. As I wasn’t able to take holidays from work while she was here, I managed to see her lots but without spending too much money, as I missed out on most of the fun activities they did in the daytime.
Work is crazy as ever, I’ve been finalising a lot of the prep for some of my outdoor events this summer so am finally starting to get some shape to the next 3 months of my life, which is a nice change.
I spent my weekend binging on new personal finance blogs, after discovering the Monthly Roundup on the UK Money Bloggers website. This was squeezed in between doing what felt like a never ending basket of laundry which was lurking around since my holidays/work trips. I can finally see the bottom of the basket again!
On to the money talk…
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £547.61 – So basically, from the 28th – 7th each month, I do not think in terms of days. Every day is simply “Bills Day”.
What you up to tonight? Paying Bills.
What did you have for dinner yesterday? Paying Bills.
So far, I’ve got my mortgage, apartment service charge and an extra payment on my Council Tax out of the way for the month. From here on in, it’s mostly small amounts to think of, my phone bill and utilities etc.
It is also coming the time of year when I should expect my water bill to come. I think I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I have a serious hatred towards paying for water. It came as a bit of a surprise to me when I first moved from Ireland to England, as we do not have to pay for water back at home.
Groceries: £19.51 – I’ve been super lazy this week and pretty much just haven’t bothered with shopping! I nipped out to pick up the ingredients for spag bol, which we made last us for 3 days worth of dinners. Normally, I find it really hard to use up leftovers after day 2, I hate having the same dinner for days on end. However, this week we were glad to have something quick and easy to dig into as both myself and OH have been busy and have barely even had the chance to eat together never mind cook!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £0 – A full week actually spent in my own office! No travelling! And with it being a 4 day week due to a bank holiday last Monday, it seemed like it might be the quickest week of my life.
Lunch: £13.82 – Despite being in the office for 4 days, I managed to keep my often erratic coffee spending in check! I had a proper nice lunch one day, skipped lunch twice, once due to being generally super busy in the office and just forgetting, and once as I was heading for a meal out straight from work. I assume the 4th day I either skipped lunch again or had something mildly depressing, as I can’t even remember it.
Still not allowing myself to feel guilty over my one little coffee pleasure in the day 🙂
Entertainment: £55 – I had expected this category to be pretty high this week as my friends were in town, but I’ve realised that really, I can go out to eat in my favourite restaurants without spending a small fortune! I haven’t drank much alcohol this week as I’ve mostly had to drive places, so that has definitely saved me a lot. It’s amazing how quickly a couple of cocktails can double your restaurant bill!
This £55 actually covered my own dinner out one evening (accompanied by a Pepsi, shock!) and also lunch for myself, OH and my friend on Saturday afternoon. How reasonable is that?! Also, I feel like I should point out here that this does include tips, I’m never going to skimp on a tip to save myself a couple of quid on an evening out.
Well, it includes tips for our lunch out, during my dinner out, I felt I had to retract my tip due to having one of the most horrific experiences of my life. More details below…
Clothes: £21 – OK, so I don’t really think this should be categorised as clothes, because I bought myself a new purse (I know, I know, it’s bad luck to buy your own purse, but there are only so many not-so-subtle hints I can give OH and I was starting to lose bank and credit cards due to the holes in my old purse!) and I don’t really count that as “clothes” as such.
Toiletries/Beauty: £50.04 – Guys, this is where my horror story comes in. So when I was out for dinner during the week, I had a delightfully average meal, nothing to write home about but it filled a hole. Upon receiving the bill, I went into my handbag to grab my purse to pay up, and I discovered approximately one entire meals worth of dinner in my bag. Someone else’s dinner. Including a huge, gross, slimy bit of fish skin which had managed to wrap itself throughout the bristles of my hairbrush, along with some other unidentified mush. As everyone sitting at my table ahd ordered from the vegan menu, we realised it must have fallen off a plate when the waitress cleared the table behind. Cut to me almost being sick all over the restaurant and a very unapologetic manager.
I had to go straight from the restaurant to Boots and pick up a new hairbrush, as well as a makeup sponge and a few other bits of makeup which had been “affected”.
I am honestly turning my stomach even thinking about this right now, so I will say no more on the matter. Except that I am basically scarred for life (I should mention that I have a pretty severe and entirely irrational phobia of fish!)
So there’s £50 I wasn’t expecting to have to spend, and I’m still a bit annoyed that the manager didn’t even knock a bit off our bill as it was quite obvious that I was going to have to spend a pretty penny to replace several items. Things like my laptop case and leather notebook/diary have just been given a super-serious scrubbing!
Travel: £8 – I’ve already mentioned I was doing quite a bit of driving over the week so wasn’t able to drink. This was a couple of quid for parking and an extortionate £6 in total to pick up and drop off my friend at the airport. I’ve also crossed a toll bridge a couple of times last week which ferrying around other friends, and forgot to pay for it at the time. You usually have 24 hours to pay online, so I’ve paid up today, 4 days late, and am really hoping I don’t get hit with a £50 fine!
Gifts/Charity: £11.25 – I saw an advert recently for Fathers Day, and while I still have absolutely no idea when it is, I ordered a card each for my Dad and Step-Dad from Love Layla, who do some amazing step-father cards, all proper tongue in cheek, just like my family! This year, I’ve gone for one referring to him as my “Bonus Dad” which might be my new favourite phrase. To my UK readers, this is your Father’s Day reminder!
Misc: £0 – Love Love Love having £0 misc spends!
I had expected to spend a bit more this week, with having friends visiting and meals out, but it’s actually been a pretty good week for spending. Taking out my bills, I’ve actually spent less than £200.
Over the weekend, I contacted Barclaycard as I’ve been receiving probably several trees worth of junk mail from them per month. I’ve been in touch with them twice already to stop this and when I mentioned this on the phone, they immediately started a complaint process. I didn’t actually want to make a complaint because I am a reasonable human with better things to complain about, I was simply letting them know, but they credited my account with £25 as a goodwill gesture regardless! I did spend this along with buying my new purse, so around £20 went to a new underwear set, and the remainder went towards the purse.
I love free money!
This is likely to be an expensive month overall, as I need to have my car serviced, MOT is due in July. I’ve been hearing the tell tale sounds of some brake pads which need replacing, so that’s a definite repair I know will be required, and you know yourself, there always seem to be about 5 small jobs which “need” doing and end up costing about £100.
My car insurance is also due to be paid up next week. We pay in full each year to take advantage of the early payment discount as much as possible and it’s so nice not to have to think about it for the rest of the year! When we do finally get the new car, I’m still unsure as to how we will pay for insurance, I’m aware that it’s likely to cost us up to twice as much to insure a new car than what my current car costs, but it’s so difficult to get a quote until I know exactly what I am buying as they all vary so much. Ah, first world problems!