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 am in the pub.
I am blogging in the pub and now I feel like a real blogger!
Last week was a pretty chaotic one (hence me desperately needing wine at 2pm on a Tuesday) with me having been away for most of it with work, while also trying to prepare for another work trip this week.
Although I was travelling for work, I was actually staying with a colleague who is also a good friend, as I will be covering some of her duties while she is on her upcoming maternity leave. She is currently much too pregnant to attempt the 6 hour drive to me, so it was only fair that I draw the short straw really!
I haven’t seen much of OH this week, as I only had one day at home and he has also been working away. It can be difficult when we are both working on events, as we end up going days without even speaking properly. We are both pretty much on call 24/7 when we are on site, and it usually ends up that when one of us has free time to have a chat, the other is crazy busy.
At the end of each summer we usually try and get away for a weekend together. Last year, we had the most expensive sleep of our lives when we went all out and treated ourselves to 2 nights in a top notch hotel, only to both spend the full 2 days napping and recharging our batteries. Doh!
And speaking of money, I’m pretty happy with last week, if only all weeks could look like this financially…
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £229.06 – The dreaded water bill. It infuriates me! Water should be free! I had thought once I got this one out of the way, I was free and clear of bills for a while, but I’ve only just realised how close we are to the end of the month. It’s already busy bills week again!
Groceries: £0 – Hands down, the best thing about travelling is that I don’t have to worry about grocery shopping and meal planning. When I’m on an event, I have catering for every meal. When I was staying with my colleague, we were taking advantage of having some proper time to spend together and were in restaurants most nights. However, I’m very aware of just how bare my fridge is right now and I know I’m coming home to absolutely no food in the house as I get back the day before OH!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £49.20 – This was myself & colleagues lunch out for 3 days, she paid on the rest of the days. When we are together, we tend to just cover each other as it’s expensed anyway and is easier than splitting the bill. We ate in this gorgeous little vegan restaurant near her house on my first day, it was the cutest wee spot! The food was amazing and I’m kind of gutted that it’s so far from home! We ended up back there again 2 days later for dinner too.
Lunch: £0 – No office days means no expensive lunches! I’ve pretty much eaten lunch out every day last week but it’s all being expensed. I will admit, I’m kind of looking forward to getting back to the office and in to my favourite cafe. They do the best coffees…they know just how I like it!
Entertainment: £69.96 – On the one night myself & OH did spend together last week, we decided to head out for dinner for two reasons. Firstly, so we could actually spend some time together, and secondly, because we didn’t want to buy in food which would go to waste when we were both leaving again the next day. I had a couple of cocktails afterwards and he had a few beers.
I picked up the bill as I’m still trying to hit my Reward Welcome Bonus threshold on my credit card, I’ve only got to spend around £100 more on it now and have over a month to do it. I also bought a packet of cigarettes, as I sometimes smoke when I am working events and have had a drink.
I know it’s a gross habit and I should stop, but I really don’t smoke often and it costs me very little in the grand scheme of things.
Clothes: £0 – I had planned to go pick up a few new t-shirts and a hoodie before coming on site for this event, as the weather can be particularly unpredictable in this part of the country. I really should have known that making shopping plans on my one day off work was very unrealistic of me! I’m glad I didn’t anyway, as I’ve got plenty of clothes with me and it would have been an unnecessary purchase! Turns out, Lazy Me is also Sensible Me!
Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – I am pretty desperate for a haircut now, anyone who has followed my Money Diaries from the beginning of the year might notice you’ve never heard me mention a haircut…and you’d be right. I haven’t had a chop since October! I have a bit of a confession to make though..
I don’t like going to the salon.
I know it’s supposed to be relaxing and a treat and “me time” etc etc, but I hate the whole experience. I hate being touched, I hate the forced conversation, I hate wasting hours of my day off sitting in a chair staring at myself in the mirror, and I almost always hate the finished product. I go to the salon out of sheer necessity and I hold it off for as long as possible!
Takeaways: £0 – I did have one Indian takeaway while I was staying with my colleague, but she paid and will expense it. I had the oddest curry, it was kind of like a roast dinner in a Madras sauce. I probably wouldn’t have that again…
Travel: £0 – No additional travel costs as I’ve driven everywhere this week and had free parking and even managed to avoid any toll bridge fines, success!
Gifts/Charity: £0 – The first week in ages I haven’t had a birthday or an occasion to buy a card or gift for. July is a busy month for birthdays in my family, with my brother, aunt and two baby cousins all within 2 weeks, so I’ll have a few little gifts to pick up. None are “big” birthdays though, so I won’t be spending a lot.
I’ve also got to pay for a hotel stay which was part of my Mam and Stepdads Christmas present. I got them tickets for a show and 2 nights in a nice hotel without thinking about how my finances night be sitting 6 months later when I actually had to pay for it, oops!
To be Returned on Expenses: £49.20
Actual Spends: £299.02
I’m pretty please with last week, considering that £230 of this was my water bill so my “non essential” spending was pretty much only our meal and drinks out!
This week should really be much the same, I should end up spending less really, as I won’t be home again until Sunday.
I’ve got a week off work in July too and am heading back to Ireland to see my family. I’m hoping that between now and then, I can spend as little as possible and save a little for that. I don’t often get to go home for such a long stretch, but my cousin is home from Australia for the first time in over 4 years so I’ve made sure to get as much time with him as possible.
I’m in the process of rounding up my quarterly goals review, so keep an eye out for that one coming at the weekend! I think I’m doing pretty well so far, after making a few changes to my plans in March.
How are you feeling about your financial aims? I’ve definitely had a few setbacks but that’s only natural isn’t it?! I think on the whole, things are looking positive 🙂