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!*
This week has been mostly spent preparing for travelling loads over the next few weeks, from now until mid July, I will barely see my own bed.
I’ve had my car in the garage for a service, my MOT is due next month and I like to give myself a bit of time to get any repairs done. I’ve also noticed that my brake pads need changing soon, so I wanted them to have a look at that and price it up.
When I arrived to collect the car afterwards, the first thing the mechanic said to me was “Well, I suppose she’s hanging on in there isn’t she!” which didn’t exactly fill me with confidence about the long term prospects for my car. Not that this is news to me! At least in the short term, I have nothing major to repair, and all in all it cost just over £100 for the little bits they did do.
I’ve also been rooting through my accounts and having a look over my original financial goals for the year. I’m starting to draft my second quarterly review (check out my March review here), but with so many outgoings this month, I’m struggling to see the positives. I’ve not been able to add to my car savings recently which has annoyed me, but I should give myself a break really. Most years, I’ve had to dip into savings to pay my car insurance and I’ve not done that this year.
Swings and roundabouts, I suppose!
And on that note…
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £409 – My car insurance is included in here, as is the most annoying bill of all the bills, my toll bridge fine. I am still furious over it! I paid all of our car insurance on my credit card, as I’ve just recently got a new one and am trying to reach the threshold for my Welcome Bonus rewards. OH will transfer me his half next week when he gets paid, so I have only included my half on my outgoings.
The second most annoying bill of all time, my water bill, is going to have to wait until payday next week.
Groceries: £38.93 – I’ll be honest here, I really just couldn’t be arsed all week to do a proper grocery shop. I ended up doing two medium sized shops insead, and we feasted on a couple of new fish dishes I’ve been wanting to try out. I’m trying to be a bit more adventurous with my cooking recently, rather than just sticking to the same old things week in week out!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £125.60 – On my way to work on Monday, I grabbed some cleaning supplies after getting our new Henry Hoover for the office so I could give it a really good scrub. I am very pleased with how little I have had to travel over the past few weeks, honestly, if this was this time last year, my Car Expenses would be through the roof!
I’ve also included the cost of my car service in this category, although I’ve deducted the amount from what will be returned to me on expenses. The reasoning for this is that over the year, I want to be able to easily see exactly how much our car is costing me. Mostly so I can decide when this one becomes too expensive and we need to move on!
Lunch: £17.16 – Not a terrible week for lunchtime spending, but still a little on the high side compared to what I’d like. I was in my office every day this week though, so I was surrounded by temptation with all the lovely cafes! I swear sometimes it costs me more to go to work than I actually make in a day.
I did bring lunch with me one day though, and another day our director treated us to lunch as we were having a training session, so ordered in.
Entertainment: £12.80 – Despite barely spending a penny on entertainment this week, we’ve actually had a really busy one! We went to a festival in the park near our house over the weekend. It’s a free annual event and is absolutely amazing every year. It’s a proper relaxed atmosphere and you can bring in all of your own food and drink. We packed a bit of a picnic with some friends and spent most of Saturday and Sunday lazing around there.
During the week, I also went to the opening of a new art exhibition featuring the work of a couple of people I know. There were free drinks and nibbles, but I did stop off on the way home for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.
Luckily, both of these events took place within a mile from my apartment, so it was easy walking distance. I definitely picked well when I chose the location to buy in!
Clothes: £0 – After a particularly long and boring training session in work during the week, I somehow ended up with over £50 worth of stuff in a ASOS shopping bag! As if by magic! I did the sensible thing though, closed my laptop, and have already forgotten what those items were anyway. Willpower!
Travel: £0 – I had planned to get an Uber to and from the garage when I dropped my car off, but the weather has been so beautiful recently I decided to walk that too. About halfway, I seriously regretted it. It wasn’t an overly long walk, maybe 2.5 miles, but it was SO HOT! Note to self: Exercise is dangerous. Avoid.
Gifts/Charity: £0 – It was Father’s day this weekend, but I had already bought my cards a couple of weeks ago for both my Dad and Stepdad. I posted them a little late (with stamps I had lying around the house, so no extra cost) so was pleasantly surprised when they both arrived on time. Posting things is one of the things I suck at most. I can carry a letter in my bag for a month and walk past 5 post boxes a day and will still forget to post it!
To be Returned on Expenses: £8.09
Actual Spends: £595.40
This week still seems like I have spent more than I actually have, as I have got that credit card balance looming over me until OH transfers me his share of the car insurance payment next week. Aside from that, it was mostly good news looking at my totals, as I was expecting my garage trip to turn out a lot more expensive.
I mentioned last week that I was a bit torn in two over what to do with my new car insurance payment. I’ve decided that in order to allow me to pay the balance in full and take advantage of the discount available, my best option is to put it on my 0% credit card. The plan then, will be to pay that off within 3 months or so.
This will allow me to keep my savings where they are and earn interest on them, rather than having to dip in to pay this upfront.
Speaking of the new car, we had kind of hoped to have bought one by now, but given that I am about to hit the road for another few weeks, it’s looking like it will probably be closer to the end of July before we make any progress.
I’ve still been researching religiously online, but if anything, I’m even more undecided now than I was when I started my search. I’ve gone from a potential list of about 3 models, to a potential list of maybe 6!
Has anyone else out there bought a new (used) car recently? Am I looking too much into this? I feel like I do a lot of research then come away thinking “Oh they’re all the same anyway!”
Another first world problem to add to my collection.