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!*
After giving myself a sneaky week off from being an adult, including looking at my laptop and therefore, blogging, I am back and raring to go! I’ve got two Money Diaries posts coming this week, so I’m not short changing you for missing last week while I was off enjoying myself.
This week was mostly spent preparing myself for taking a week off work, wrapping up some projects and packing an unnecessary amount of my belonging into my new suitcase. It just so happens to be the size of a small country, so I feel I need to fill all the space!
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £133.39 – My gas and electricity, phone bill and bank account fees were due this week, the tail end of my expensive few days at the beginning/end of each month. I pay for one of my bank accounts, but get twice the fee back in cash back each month for paying direct debits from my account, along with additional cashback on some spending, so it’s well worth paying!
I was also extremely pleased to see that my gas bill only totalled £1.70 this month. Seriously! We had a new boiler installed just before Christmas last year, for the handsome sum of £2400. I’ve been waiting with baited breath to see if it really would reduce our bills as much as we had been promised and it seems to be doing the trick! Turns out, a brand new boiler really is more economical than a 24 year old model which you can’t even source parts for any more!
We’ve still a long way to go before we recoup our £2400, but it’s a start. We still pay a set amount to our provider each month, but will just mean we are in credit on our account and will have a refund at the end of the year.
Groceries: £23.32 – As I was leaving on Friday for a week, and OH was away with work before following me on to Ireland, we made a point of buying in as little food as possible. I spent around £10 on dinners for a couple of days and OH spent about the same.
The rest of this total was food I stocked up on when I landed in Ireland at my Mams house. God bless her, I love her, but she hasn’t exactly got the most adventurous palate. She tried hard this time, she bought in some hummus, but had no idea what it should accompany. If it isn’t meat, spuds and veg, she is out of her comfort zone!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £55.95 – After living life on the edge fuel-wise for far too long and for no good reason, I finally filled up my tank before travelling on a one day trip for work. That cost around £48, and the rest was my lunch on the same day between meetings.
Lunch: £18.81 – I spent 3 days in my office this week so had a couple of “treat” lunches. One of my absolute faves from the cafe next door was on as a special, it’s a sticky cauliflower rice box with roasted cauliflower marinated in a honey & soy glaze and packed full of chillies. I like to think it is a healthy option but and well aware it is anything but!
Entertainment: £0 – This is very unusual, but thinking about it, I was so busy with work before leaving that I didn’t have any time to go out. When I arrived in Ireland, I spent the whole weekend at home enjoying time with my family who are visiting from Australia, so nothing was spent. We had a barbeque at my uncles new house and it was so nice to have all the kids back together and running around us.
It doesn’t happen very often, as my family are pretty well spread out across the globe, but I do love it when we all get together!
Clothes: £36.03 – My favourite store for every-day clothes was having a half price sale, so I just popped over the their website to have a quick look, and low and behold, some plain, practical shirts arrived at my door just a couple of days later! I spend most of my days in plain jeans and tshirts, so I took this opportunity to pick up something a little bit “nicer” for every day wear (yes, this is considered “nice” in my book.)
Toiletries/Beauty: £78.50 – I mentioned last week that I had booked myself in for a waxing session, I was a bit nervous about it as it was my first time going to a new salon. The lady I usually go to is currently off on maternity leave, and I wasn’t too impressed with her replacement the last time I went, so I had a look round for somewhere closer to home.
Turns out, the salon at the end of my street now do Lycon waxing (I prefer this to normal strip waxing, try them both in close succession and you will appreciate the pain difference!)
Off I went, as nervous as my first day of school, a lovely wee girl showed me to my treatment room, she seemed very quiet and timid. Girls, she had me waxed from head to toe and on my way home within 45 minutes. This used to take around 90 minutes in my usual salon! I am a true convert, and it doesn’t get much better that it is only a 2 minute walk from home!
Takeaways: £0 – Despite being adamant that we wouldn’t buy in lots of food for the apartment, we also managed not to spend any money on takeaways. Keeping up with the healthy eating kick! We had a curry from my favourite Chinese takeaway while we were in Ireland but on the whole, we were pretty well behaved!
Travel: £18.04 – A bit of an estimate based on the current exchange rate, as this was the fare for my bus from the airport in Ireland. It doesn’t actually cost this much, it’s around €15, but I withdrew €20 from the cashpoint and will never know what happened to the loose Euros.
Misc: £26.47 – I picked up some new earphones at the airport as I’ve not been able to find mine for a while. I could have been more organised and gotten them cheaper elsewhere before travelling, but it’s one of those things I don’t really think of until I need them!
I got these Sony ones, which are pretty decent so far. Because I work in the music industry, people often expect me to be a geek for the best technology etc. I am not. I will never spend hundreds on a massive set of headphones because when I am sitting on a train, I do not actually want to feel like I am in the front row at a gig. As long as the sound quality isn’t totally crap, I’m pretty easily pleased!
To be Returned on Expenses: £55.95
Actual Spends: £372.04
I’ll do what I always do, and attempt to justify all of my spending by minusing off the absolute essentials! £150 of this was spent on bills and groceries, a further £20 on travel. These are not things I can avoid, so my real life spending on non essentials was more like £200. Considering £80 of this was my waxing appointment, it’s not so bad…
If you have read even one more of my money diaries, you may have noticed that I am very good at rationalising my spending!
For the rest of the month, I’ll be watching the pennies closely, I’ve got quite a lot of outgoings plus a few things to fix on my car before it goes through MOT, nothing major but it will still set me back a few pounds.
With this in mind, please fill me in on any exciting summer stories you have, I am feeling very boring!