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 has been a week full of “spring” (Autumn?) cleaning and visiting friends! I’ve managed to get rid of 2 full bags of clothes/shoes/coats and have even taken them to the charity shop already. This is my biggest accomplishment! I am pretty good at doing the clear out bit, but usually I end up with several bags of clothes stacked by my front door for weeks on end!
I also took the weekend to visit some friends in the Lake District, which is one of my favourite places on earth! I don’t get to see my friends here as often as I would like to, but when we do get to catch up, it’s like we were never apart. I first met them when I was in university and we lived next door. The 3 of us were pretty much inseparable for the next 3 years! Unfortunately, life got in the way and they both ended up moving to the Lakes for work.
A wonderful weekend was had by all, we checked out a local band and braved the Cumbrian weather for a hike up a mountain which I cannot remember the name of…
They are also currently saving for their wedding, which meant everyone was chasing a cheap and cheerful time. We banded together and cooked up a storm on Friday night, which provided lots and lots of leftovers for our hungover Saturday mountain climb!
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £14.16 – My boiler loan, it’s kind of annoying paying this small amount out each month, I’d lie to pay off the full amount early 2019 if possible. The finance is interest free but I just don’t like having unnecessary monthly outgoings!
Groceries: £0!!! – This is all thanks to my Gousto box, which was paid for last week and arrived at the weekend, ready for a week of feeding! I cannot recommend these boxes enough, every meal I’ve had from them has been absolutely delicious. I do think it’s quite expensive at full price, which is £35 for 4 meals for 2. Thinking about it, it’s actually not at all, I would easily spend double that in the supermarket shopping for 4 meals.
I’ll still be on the hunt for discount codes though as they often do half price offers.
If you’re thinking of giving these a go, you can get 50% off your first two boxes if you sign up using my link. You can also then refer friends to earn credit, they’ll get discounted boxes, and we can all live the champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £33.83 – Nothing particularly exciting in here, a most of this is a half fill of diesel before my trip to the Lakes on Friday. I mentioned last week that I’d have a toll bridge fine which would probably make an appearance this week…well, I still haven’t received it and I’m getting a bit excited now thinking maybe they received my payment and haven’t fined me….fingers crossed!
Lunch: £15.56 – Using the cold weather as my excuse for managing to spend this much over just two days in the office…several coffees were called for!
Entertainment: £32.00 – Most of this covers drinks at the gig over the weekend, and also a bottle of wine which I brought along to have with dinner in my friends house. The band played in a little social club, which was an absolute treat as the drinks were so cheap! I managed to get a round in for 3 of us and still had change from £10! In my tipsy state, I decided that called for a celebratory round of tequila shots. Bad move.
Clothes: £0 – I’m desperately trying to be proper strict now with myself on buying clothes, I do NOT need any more yet! I’ll allow a little bit of spending a the end of September, when I’ll no doubt need to pick up some jumpers that I can layer (and layer and layer and layer…) throughout winter though!
Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – I’m starting to half look at where I am going to cut my spending next year once I’ve finished my Money Diaries series. As I always suspected, beauty products are one area I can definitely save some cash on! I will admit that I may have a small addiction to buying these. I spent so many years as a poor student and wanting nice makeup that I have found it hard to reign myself in since having any sort of actual disposable income. It will be tough for me to do, but I think if I can stick to a beauty budget, I am basically Wonder Woman and can do anything!
Travel: £50 – I’ve paid a £50 deposit for my best friends hen party next year, which will be back at home in Ireland. This is to cover all of our travel to various activities over the weekend. I’ve got to pay the remaining balance at the end of September, but will probably try and pay it earlier as I know how stressful it can be for the person collecting money for these kind of group things! There is always someone who is late! So if I can take the weight off by paying up early, I will do.
To be Returned on Expenses: £33.83
Actual Spends: £111.72
Another pretty cheap week over at Team FS…I’m not sure how I managed this one?!
In all honesty, I’ve been feeling a little bit down in the dumps and haven’t really been up to doing as much as I normally do. OH is struggling with his anxiety and has been for a few weeks. This isn’t a particularly regular occurrence, but when he does hit a rough patch, it has an inadvertent affect on me.
I don’t mean this to sound selfish but I’m not sure it’s possible to discuss it without it coming across like that! I am not moaning about it as such, it’s simply a fact of life. We get through it together and we know how to deal with each other, but we don’t necessarily know how to deal with other people. We’ve been having some alone time an not going out too much which I know isn’t always the best way of dealing with these things, but things are starting to look a bit better.
We’ve been more than content just to sit in with our Gousto box meals!
This week, I’ve been reading:
Simplistic Steph: The Simple Minded Millennial Podcast – I am SUPER excited for Stephs new podcast adventure! She’s one of my favourite bloggers out there so it basically means that I get to stalk her just a wee bit more (sorry for being totally weird, Steph!)
The Money Shed: How to Manage Your Mental Health as a Blogger – A very appropriate post for me this week, considering what I have just mentioned above about OH struggling with his anxiety. I am most definitely what I would refer to as “casual blogger”, it’s very much a hobby, but I think some of the points raised here can relate to a wider audience and not just bloggers – look out for number 1, guys!