Money Diaries: September 24th – 30th - Money Diaries Sept 30th (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.


Isn’t it amazing how quickly plans can change? My nice quiet chilled out weekend disappeared swiftly on Friday afternoon when a friend landed his zoo on me for pet-sitting duties.

So I spent my weekend hanging out with his two absolutely gooorgeous huskies, two rabbits and a cat. While it was very enjoyable, it was certainly not relaxing!

On the plus side, it did mean I was unable to go shopping, which had been pretty much my only plan for the weekend. I thought I was in need of a new winter coat, but having dug my old one out of the cupboard, it is like new! I don’t need to buy a new one at all!

I do still seem to have spent a lot of money though and I’m not really sure how? I can’t even blame it on my expenses this week!


Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:

Bills: £60 – This is usually a really busy week for me with bills, but with the way the dates have fallen over the weekend my payments are all a bit more spread out. I ended up only having paid the service charge for my apartment building last week, meaning most of them are still to come.

We get a pretty good deal on our service charge from what I can see. When I was apartment hunting a few years ago, I was going to view places and then being told that the service charge was £180 or £200. That’s an absolutely crazy price to pay for a service charge! I am very very lucky to have found my apartment when I did!


Groceries: £61.73 – After not having set foot in a grocery store for weeks, I finally bit the bullet and did us a “big shop” on Sunday afternoon. I was feeling nice and healthy as I was doing my shop so it’s full of fruit and yoghurts and healthy snacks. On Sunday evening, an emergency trip to the cornershop to purchase some biscuits was required.


Expenses/Car Expenses: £4 – I worked a lot last week, but I also did a couple of days from home which costs nothing. This payment was only for a toll bridge crossing on one of my travel days.


Lunch: £13.94 – I just had one day in my office last week and it was also the first time I’d worked from there in ages, so I marked the occasion with a special massive lunch and a glass of well deserved wine with some colleagues. We’ve all been travelling a lot with work recently so it was nice to have a catch up and find out what everyone is doing with their various projects.


Entertainment: £30.29 – After a pretty mad week in work, I was in desperate need of a proper drink come Friday! OH & I went to our local pub and had a few drinks and a meze board to share.


Clothes: £53.88 – While I manage to convince myself that I don’t actually need a new coat, I couldn’t resist picking up one of these super soft, super warm hoodies. I’ve bought one of these each year for the past 3 or 4 years, they always last me through the winter, and are well worth the price. Because I work so many late nights, I definitely go for comfort over style in winter, and pile on as many layers as is humanly possible. This makes a great layer! I also had a gift voucher which I had almost forgotten about and was close to expiring, so I got £25 off.


Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – Boots, my absolutely favourite store for beauty products and toiletries, had a huge “extra points” offer on this weekend. I almost stopped in on my way home from pet-sitting, but managed to just keep on driving past! So proud!

Boots have got one of my favourite loyalty schemes of any store out there, the points are easy to collect, they run loads of double up offers, bonus points etc and I spend a small fortune in Boots anyway, so may as well be getting something back for it!


Takeaways: £28.46 – Myself and OH stayed over in our friends house on Saturday while pet-sitting. We felt a bit awkward cooking in his place while he was gone and also, in all honesty, we couldn’t be arsed. After much debate, Dominos got the better of us and we ended up ordering enough pizza to feed us for a week. It’s been months since I’ve had a Dominos after the one local to my apartment was continuously inedible when we ordered so we just stopped bothering. It was such a treat to get a properly cooked one (I need to get a life)


Travel: £55.17 – This November is my aunts 50th birthday and the whole family are planning a weekend trip to Dublin to celebrate and spend some time together. I have been keeping an eye on flights over the past few weeks but prices haven’t changed much so I just had to go ahead and book. I really begrudge spending any more than around £45-50 on flights back to Ireland because I know how cheap it can be at times!


Gifts/Charity: £95.11 – A very unconventional wedding gift for a very unconventional couple. My friends are getting married early next year and tickets for a huge Metallica gig in Ireland have just recently gone one sale. They were both absolutely buzzing to go and relive their teenage years, but having seen the (totally extortionate!) price of tickets, they had to give it a miss with having a wedding to save for. I joined forces with another friend to buy them a pair as a part of their wedding gift from us, so this was my half. I mean, it is so not the usual wedding gift, but I promise you they will appreciate it!

Misc: £0 - Money Diaries Week 34 (Inspired by Refinery29)


Total: £402.58

To be Returned on Expenses: £4

Actual Spends: £398.58


And as if by magic…I now understand where all of my money has gone! I had kind of forgotten about the wedding present gig tickets and that’s been the most expensive thing I’ve bought, so that will explain why I’ve been feeling so poor!


I’m a bit all over the place with my money at the minute, as I’ve just been paid over the weekend, but am also due loads of expenses paid back to me which I don’t get until the middle of the month. It’s thrown me a bit as I can’t clearly see where my cash is, very annoying. But also, it means that when I’m feeling even more poor in a couple of weeks, I’ll have round £800 coming in as a nice mid month booster.

In an attempt to stop myself from spending loads over the next couple of weeks, I’m trying to make myself forget about this payment coming in and just live off what I do have left from this month’s wage. Ever the optimist…

This week, I’ve been reading…


Gen Y Money: Why I Want Fat FIRE – One thing I have learned since my obsession with personal finance blogs began, is that FIRE means something different to everyone. I spend a lot of time reading about how people are attempting to reach FIRE, what pennies they are pinching and what debts are holding them back. We rarely discuss what FIRE actually means to us or what our magic FIRE figure actually is. GYM take a frank and refreshing approach to explaining her motivation behind FIRE and has really got me thinking about the path I would like to take in the future!


Women Who Money: The Drawbacks to Working From Home – Another article that I can 100% relate to! I have actually got quite a nice balance of working from home/my office/travelling, but I do find that when I’ve been working away or from home, I feel totally out of the loop on what is going on with my colleagues. Even though we generally spend all day emailing and calling each other, it’s just not the same as a face to face catch up. My train of thought while reading this post went something like “Yep….Mmhmm….Yes!…Oh so true!……Aw HELL Yes!” and so on….

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