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 seem to remember, only very recently, talking about how content I was and how things had slowed down a bit after a pretty hectic summer…
That changed pretty quickly!
I’m sad to report that a close friend and colleague of mine passed away suddenly last week. This has come as a total shock to all of us, he was a fit & healthy 38 year old who offered his girlfriend a morning coffee in bed and never came back.
As well as the obvious grief which has taken over, I worked particularly closely with him, so have had to pick up a lot of his workload to get us by.
I had booked a trip home to Ireland a couple of weeks ago to celebrate my Grandmothers birthday, but after hearing the news, I was undecided on going. I decided last minute that there was no point in sitting around and hopped on the flight with scant regard for what I had actually packed for 5 days away from home.
I had a great weekend full of celebrations with friends and family, and in the process, managed to spend surprisingly little (except for having to buy some emergency clothes!)
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £10.79 – Just my lottery and iCloud subscription to pay this week, I can’t quite remember what it is that I use my iCloud for, but I know when I signed up for it there was a good reason for using the service so I keep it incase I remember! The lottery payments…well, I’m going to win someday, alright?
Groceries: £8 – I spent very little time at home this week (surprise surprise!) having been away working last weekend/into the beginning of the week, and then my last minute trip to Ireland after that. I cook very little when I am in Ireland as I’m usually making the most of all the delicious restaurant and takeaways I miss so much while in England! This total was just some snacks for lunch rather than real food, some bread, ham, olives salad, cheese and crisps from the local shop.
Expenses/Car Expenses: £0 – Although I did travel with work, I lucked out in that I was working with a colleague who lives in the same city as me. He kindly offered to drive and I spent 2 hours rolling him cigarettes and checking out other cars on the road for one that looks like it has a nice big boot space. As you can see, we are very, very rock n roll.
Lunch: £6.29 – This was actually my airport lunch, rather than a working lunch as it usually is. I chowed down on a thoroughly unsatisfying toastie from Starbucks. I haven’t set foot in my office for almost 3 weeks now, I am worried for my wallet and my waistline when I return like the prodigal son to my favourite cafe downstairs!
Entertainment: £60.70 – Most of this was a meal out with the family to celebrate my Granny’s birthday. We went to a new restaurant near our house, which is very exciting as we live in the middle of the countryside and there isn’t much nearby! We enjoyed it so much we have already booked in for a Christmas meal too. I also had lunch out with a friend one day and a couple of drinks one evening with another few friends.
Clothes: £33 – I can never resist when I am in Ireland, my Granny loves shopping and is by far my favourite shopping buddy! I manage to stay fairly restrained and picked up just a couple of jumpers in the sale in a local store. Being totally honest, I had actually done a terrible job of packing and was literally running out of clothes…that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
When I was a teenager, I was very much a grungy little tomboy and would never let my granny dress me in nice clothes, so now that I have grown out of that, she basically treats me like a real life doll when we shop together!
Toiletries/Beauty: £44 – You guys…I finally got a haircut! This is my first one of the year, and believe me, it was well overdue! My stylist is pretty much a wizard with the scissors, and I’m pretty lucky in that even though I home-dye my hair all the time and don’t get it cut for many months on end, it generally stays in good condition. So I am feeling gooood with my new hairdo!
Takeaways: £0 – I did succumb to my favourite takeaway when I was in Ireland, but my Mam treated me to that one after a long day of travelling on my part.
Travel: £22.89 – After all of the bad news I’d endured, I was feeling pretty ill the day I went to have my hair cut and didn’t feel up to driving, so I ended up Uber’ing there and home again. I also grabbed an Uber to the airport to catch my flight to Ireland. I feel a little guilty spending so much on unnecessary cabs, but I don’t do it very often and the public transport between my apartment and the airport is awful, despite it only being around 8 miles away!
Gifts/Charity: £57.79 – One of my best friends has just bought her first home with her fiance so I picked them up a gift to bring around at the weekend. They both work in a homewares and furniture store, so buying them a housewarming gift was pretty difficult! Trying to steer away from home-based ideas, I ended up getting them some cooking products, lots of herb and spice mixes, flavoured oils etc, as well as the mandatory bottle of fancy wine to wash it all down.
To be Returned on Expenses: £0
Actual Spends: £243.46
I’ve not done too badly, all things considered. This was technically a weekend away so I would have expected to spend a bit more, but then I also try and keep myself in check as much as possible as most things are already more expensive in Ireland anyway.
My bigger splurges this week have been my meals out and my housewarming gift for my friends. I don’t mind these, the majority of my Eating Out spends were for my Granny’s birthday dinner and I wouldn’t have missed that! And considering it was so good that we’ve already booked in our pre-Christmas meal, it was money well spent.
This week, I’ve had the tail end of my Ireland trip and an extra day off work to allow myself some relaxing time. Apart from that, things are crazy in work, I’m overseeing a new project which means I’ve got to travel most days for around a 2.5 hour round trip. It’s not the worst commute I’ve done, but it’s so regular! If there’s one thing this job has taught me, it’s that I really do need a change of scenery in work or I get very very bored with it.
The venue I have been commuting to is also located within the grounds of a university, which given that it’s currently Freshers Week, is just making me feel really really old. Regardless of how many times I am approached by a well meaning volunteer (who is probably about 10 years my junior) asking if I need help getting to my next class, I still feel OLD surrounded by these fresh faced 18 year olds.
In some ways, I seriously envy the experience they are about to throw themselves into, but on the other, I am wholly glad to be going home to my dressing gown and nice glass of wine on the sofa.
My days of dancing shoes and cheap vodka mixes are well and truly over! Go hang around a university for 30 minutes around lunch time and you will see what I mean…
This week, I’ve been reading…
Dirt Cheap Wealth: 5 Ways We Devalue Our Time (and Potential Earnings) – An interesting read on a topic that runs through my mind quite a lot. I feel like I often am too “nice” in my working life, I am often the first person within our company that people will come to for advice and help on things. This isn’t because I am the most senior (I’m definitely in the limbo of middle management!), but I am probably the only one of us who has actually worked in every department in some capacity. I would never dream of saying no to someone asking for help, but maybe I need to be a bit less willing to volunteer myself to pick up what is essentially someone else’s job!
The Simple Minded Millennial Podcast: The Start of Something Big – OK so technically I listened to this song, not read it, but I mentioned this brand new podcast in a recent Money Diaries post, and it’s finally here! This is an ace collaboration between Simplistic Steph & The Mastermind Within and I’m so glad I’m a bit behind as it means I’ve got a few episodes to binge on during my dull commutes!