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 feel I owe a bit of an explanation to those few of you who regularly follow my Money Diaries. I’ve been totally AWOL for the past few weeks. After giving myself a week off while on holidays, I’ve unfortunately had several rather brutal things go wrong in my personal life and everything else had been overshadowed.
I won’t go into any great detail so lets just say the last few weeks have been pretty shitty.
So then! Now that I’ve gotten the depressing bit over with, let’s get caught up! If everyone could fill me in on their lives over the past few weeks, that’d be great, cause I have got a stack of blogs to get stuck into!
I ended up having to take some time off work and returned last week, so I’ve decided to restart my Money Diaries from then. I went straight back into an event, arriving on site last Monday to start building. The weather had other plans for us, however, and come Friday, after a week of glorious sunshine, we were treated to torrential rain and thunderstorms for 12 hours straight.
This resulted in us having to cancel 2 events (big metal stage, open area, lightening, not a good mix!) and pretty much made the whole week a wasted one for everyone involved. After a couple of days spent unbuilding our event again, I got home on Monday and have been trying to ease myself back into reality ever since.
As you will know, when I’m travelling with work, I don’t often spend a lot, but this time round I’ve managed much more than usual! A combination of the hot weather and finding my favourite (but surprisingly rare!) wine in stock in the local bar meant I flashed the cash a bit more than I normally would.
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £190 – Don’t they say the only certain things in life are death and taxes? This week was my council tax, car tax and service charge for my apartment building. While I was away from home, my retired downstairs neighbour has been working loads in our garden and it’s looking great!
I really don’t mind paying my small service charge when I get to come home to nice new hanging baskets and flower beds. I always get the guilt when I see our neighbour out doing all the gardening, but as he has said himself, he is retired and that’s his hobby, he claims that he feels bad when he sees us heading out to work in the rain and coming home late at night.
Groceries: £18 – Instead of staying in a hotel while away with work, we had booked several apartments which was ace. The one thing I really miss while working away is being able to make some food in my own kitchen. Even just a sandwich, a bit of toast etc. When staying in a hotel you are always on someone else’s food schedule and that stresses me out!
I stocked up on a few snacky bits and drinks to keep me going over the week.
Also, never take for granted having proper milk for your tea. Usually I don’t bother drinking tea if I’m in a hotel as it’s always those crap UHT milk pots and they just make me really sad.
Expenses/Car Expenses: £30.47 – Despite having travelled a fair bit, I had a full tank of diesel before I set off and, 500 miles later, am still running on the fumes of that. I love my car efficiency!
I expensed a few wines while I was away, as with most of my work trips, this was totally justified as wine was definitely a necessary outgoing. Around £30 was probably 6 glasses, I can absolutely explain away one glass of wine a day to my boss!
Lunch: £0 – Nothing to buy as our meals were all catered on site during the day. We also have our evening meal catered but I don’t always go for those as it can get a bit samey.
Entertainment: £60.56 – I’ve counted one of my evening meals out into this category as I didn’t keep a receipt to expense it and I was hanging out with friends and having a few drinks too. I also chipped in with friends to buy a bag of weed (£20 + £9ish for rolling tobacco). I used to be a pretty regular marijuana smoker but tend to only smoke now if I am with friends or having a particularly stressful time. This covered both of those instances so we went for it.
Clothes: £65.44 – I’ve let myself down a bit this week by allowing myself on to the Adidas website during a sale. I love Adidas clothes, they’re such good quality especially for things like leggings and running shorts. I picked up this jacket and matching shorts, both are very loud, very loud indeed. We’ll see how this goes…
I like to buy myself nice fitness clothes in the hope that it’ll make me go for runs. I don’t go for runs. I wear them at home because they are stretchy and allow me to eat more and be comfortable while lying on my sofa.
Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – I’m starting to run low on a few products as I’ve not done a toiletries run in a while. I’m kind of trying to leave it as long as possible but I have already had to order some new foundation online this week. I normally buy it separately to the rest of my makeup anyway though. I use this Mac foundation but my local store is awful and never have any of the popular shades in stock so I usually just buy online.
Takeaways: £0 – No time for takeaways! I’ve also been quite good this week since I got home about cooking rather than relying on takeaways. I have gotten so sick of stodgy foods that I have just been craving different salads all week. Lets hope this continues!
Gifts/Charity: £72.85 – My best friend is a big fan of Harry Potter, and last year, we spotted this Harry Potter/Cards Against Humanity mash-up. It was long sold out by the time it did the rounds on Facebook and i spotted it, so when I saw it appear on an advert again this year, I grabbed on immediately. It’s not a present for her for any particular reason other than that I know she really wanted it. They means nothing to me, I’m not a HP fan at all, but hey, whatever keeps her happy 🙂
I also donated £40 to another friend who was taking part in a charity triathlon. No matter how much I donate to these kind of things, I always wish I could give more. I also used to take part in quite a lot of charity events and I think that since I haven’t actually been out there doing it myself recently, I feel like I need to make up for that by throwing money at anyone else who is!
Misc: £0 – Just how I like it!
To be Returned on Expenses: £30.47
Actual Spends: £406.85
Given that £200 of this is bills it’s not awful. I really could have done without treating myself to yet more new clothes, that’s the only part of this week I feel in any way guilty about. Maybe if I wear them to go for one run then I can justify the purchase to myself?
(Disclaimer: Don’t hold your breath waiting on that one happening.)
Despite not having much time for socialising or fun things recently, I’ve still spent a fair chunk of money, mostly on getting my car ready for MOT. I’m still half heartedly hunting for a new one but considering how well mine is still running, it’s not been as urgent as I thought.
Honestly, I had imagine MOT would roll around this year and I would be hit with a £1000 quote to get it up to scratch. It’s just not worth spending a lot of money on it so as soon as something breaks that costs too much to fix, that’ll be it of the road. As it turns out, £200 or so has covered all the little bits needing done, including a new spare tyre, so I think I can hang on to it for a little bit longer!
Since everyone else is talking about it, has anyone read this recent Refinery29 Money Diaries post? It has spawned so many spin off articles, everyone seems to have an opinion on how this girl spends her money so I’m keen to hear what others are thinking? Most are rather scathing to say the least, with several comments even suggesting that she shouldn’t have been allowed to post a Money Diary as she doesn’t earn her own money.
I can’t get on board with this view, as this is what I love so much about the Money Diaries! I cannot relate to a thing this girl talks about. And for me, that’s kind of the point. I like to see how a variety of people spend their money. I don’t want a full series of women who spend exactly how I do, regardless of where that money is coming from.
Who’s with me?!