Money Diaries: September 17th – 23rd - Money Diaries Sept 23rd (Inspired by Refinery29)

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 long term 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.


Another busy week has just flown by, I seriously can’t believe how close we are to the end of the year (and also to my Blog Birthday!)

I had a couple of days off work at the beginning of the week, I flew back form Ireland on Monday night and had booked in Tuesday as an extra holiday day. I tend to get to this time of year every year and realise I’ve taken almost none of my holiday entitlement, then spend the next 3 months trying to arrange days off here and there!

In the summertime, when most people are taking their holidays, I am just too busy! In some ways, this works quite nicely, as it means that when I do take a trip away, I have generally got to go during off season, April or September/October. At least I can be a bit smug about that…


After that, I had to play catch up and put in some extra hours at work, so overall, it’s been a pretty dull week spent comparing supplier prices, stressing out over wifi and seemingly never reaching the end of my inbox.


On Saturday, I was on the judging panel for a local music award, it’s something I’ve been involved with for a few years now and I absolutely love doing it. I started my career working in the local music scene and without even really noticing it happen, as I progressed and started working with bigger acts, I lost touch with what was happening on the ground.

When I was asked to be a judge the first year, I jumped at the chance. While I like to think I am genuinely helping out young bands and giving them a platform to launch, I also just really enjoy getting stuck into some new music!


Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:

Bills: £114.16 – A payment towards my council tax. I’m currently overpaid by £80 and am hoping to have the full balance clear by December. Council tax is only paid from April-January, so if I pay off the full bill by the end of the year, I get an extra month with no payment. Handy for when I overdo it at Christmas!


Groceries: £0 – Ok, so I’m starting to feel like this is so unrealistic given that my grocery spends have been so low over the past few weeks. But I really have been travelling lots, and it’s kind of a given that OH pays for most of our day to day groceries. I have always been pretty good about doing a “big” shop on a  Sunday and just leaving him to pick up the extras through the week. This just hasn’t been happening recently but I will get myself back on track now that I am travelling less.


Expenses/Car Expenses: £581.01 – This spend has been making me feel really bad about my outgoings this week as it’s pushing the total figure sky high, but I do need to remember it’s coming back to me! I mentioned last week that I’m now heading up a new project at work, we’ve been getting the ball rolling and this is the beginnings of my office purchases. I picked up a laptop for one of my new members of staff (and used this as an excuse to test out a model I’ve been eyeing up for myself!)

There was also a half tank of diesel and a couple of toll crossings on my travels. Usually when I have a particularly large outgoing on my personal credit card, my boss rushes through the repayment rather than making me wait for expenses the following month. Fingers crossed he sorts that out this time…


Lunch: £6.18 – I’ve been pretty good about not buying lunch at work, but on my sneaky extra day off, I wrapped up in anticipation of Storm Ali and headed off for a walk around the local park. It wasn’t the most enjoyable weather to be outdoors in, but we definitely didn’t get the storm anywhere near as bad as my hometown in Ireland did, so I wanted to make the most of it!

I gave up after less than 30 minutes and headed off to a local cafe to spoil myself with some avocado toast. As if it was meant to be, on the walk home, I ran into a friend who was just opening up the bar he manages and was provided with several cocktails free of charge.

Yes, it was much too early in the day for cocktails.

No, I didn’t regret it.


Entertainment: £14.10 – I dropped in to see a friend after work on Wednesday, he lives halfway between my new venue and home and I’ve been feeling really guilty about driving right past his house daily! We went to a proper grotty bar near his house, it kind of reminded me of the one in Two Pints of Lager…

One beer, an encounter with the village idiot and a bowl of nachos later, I decided not to make my visits a regular occurrence. Maybe next time I can pick him up and bring him back to my house for catching up…it seems that somewhere between spending every weekend waking up on the floor at a random house party in my early twenties and the very moment I entered that pub, I exponentially increased my snobbery.


Clothes: £0 – Nothing this week, I’ve not had much time for shopping but I am on the search for a new winter coat. There’s a huge outlet shopping centre about 30 mins from my house, so I’m planning on taking a trip there to see if I can pick up something at a decent price!


Toiletries/Beauty: £0


Takeaways: £0


Travel: £25.44 – As always, the most expensive part of my journey to/from Ireland was the transport to and from the airport, which generally costs me a couple of quid more than the flights themselves. This was the bus from my hometown to Dublin Airport, and the Uber to my flat when I landed.


Gifts/Charity: £0 – My best/oldest friend and his wife have just had their first baby, like 5 hours ago at the time of writing! I’ve been picking them up some bits over the past couple of months, but will probably add to this over the weekend. I’m so excited to be basically an auntie!


Misc: £0 - Money Diaries Week 33 Sept 23rd (Inspired by Refinery29)


Total: £740.89

To be Returned on Expenses: £581.01

Actual Spends: £159.88

I’m actually quite surprised by how little real money I spent last week as I’d been expecting it to be a much higher total! I have spent a lot for work on the company card, which is not included here as it doesn’t ever go through my expenses. When I’m buying things like office stationery (which I love!) it kind of feels like I am shopping for myself!

This is already turning out to be a much more expensive week and we’re only a couple of days in! I’ve got to reign myself in!


The next few days are going to be hectic in work (current theme) so I’m planning a fairly chilled out weekend. I’m hoping to get shopping on Saturday to pick up a new coat but aside from that, I’m aiming for a productive weekend of cleaning and organising my flat. Hopefully I can manage that much without spending a small fortune…


This week, I’ve been reading…


The Friday Girl: What I Spend in a Week – Yep, you guessed it, I’ve found another Money Diaries poster! Also, as always, I got even more excited when I realised Allie is UK based too! This is more like a mini series and isn’t something she seems to post regularly, but Allie may have just become my new favourite close-to-home lifestyle blogger around!


Ellie Mondelli: Why I’m Glad I Don’t Love My Job – In a world where are are told you should “do something you love” and that if you “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” etc etc etc… It’s refreshing to see someone speak so practically about their career. At the end of the day, your working life is a means to an end. Yes, it’s nice to enjoy the thing you spend 9 hours a day doing, but is it necessary?


5 thoughts on “Money Diaries: September 17th – 23rd

  1. always so detailed – maybe one word per pound spent!
    I’m really impressed with how you’ve managed to cut out a lot of the spending from your life – big structural changes which mean you don’t have those costs and it means you can save the difference.


    1. Haha that’s a great measurement for word counting!
      Thank you! I can’t believe how much writing these posts helps me keep my spending in check. I’m also a big fan of paying for as many things upfront as possible, annual insurances etc. It means my outgoings are huge for a couple of months each year but it’s worth it to keep my monthly costs down 🙂


      1. It might seem obvious but I always try to find the cheapest way to pay for everything.
        Having money gives you that luxury- living month by month in debt and on credit means you pay more overall – example is a colleague who is struggling to pay the monthly payments on her recent mattress purchases – that is one debt that will keep you up at night!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, 100%! The first year I paid my car insurance upfront was a bit of a stretch on my finances for a month or two. But not having that regular outgoing allowed me to set more aside for the following year (and earn a bit of interest!)
        Now, I would never go back to paying monthly.


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