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.
You know the saying “blink and you’ll miss it”?
That’s how I feel this week has gone.
One minute, I was moaning about Monday morning, and the next,I was moaning about Monday morning again.
It’s been a pretty packed week, I’ve been out for dinner with a friend to celebrate her new job, sadly attended the funeral of a close colleague, had about 4 billion meetings with new clients and finally spent the weekend enjoying* the Giant Spectacular in Liverpool.
(*squirming uncomfortably since I am terrified of puppets while desperately trying to have fun at this amazing event! Gin helped.)
After all of this, I’m surprised to see my total spends! Here’s how I got on…
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £453 – My mortgage payment and a small fee for one of my bank accounts. I use Barclays Blue Rewards, which costs £3 per month, but I get £7 cashback each month too plus extra cashback for some shopping through their web store, similar to how TopCashback or Quidco work. I actually don’t often use it for the additional cashback as I find that other sites offer better rates, but sometimes it will feature a retailer who isn’t available for cashback anywhere else, or will have a special offer on for a retailer.
Groceries: £4.75 – After spending quite a bit last weekend on the Big Shop, we still have quite a lot left. Both myself and OH have had to pick up a few bits during the week, some veg and bread. We can never buy a lot of fruit & veg in one go as we find it really hard not to end up wasting loads.
This weekend, I made the most of the odds and ends of our wilting veg and welcomed in Autumn with a big pot of soup. I’m not a fan of cold weather at all, but I do love Soup Season!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £8.45 – After giving my credit card a bashing with expenses over the past month or so, I’ve been holding off on any big purchases until those costs have been returned to me.
While I’ve been travelling quite a bit, my most recent project is taking me to a site much closer to home than most. It’s a very welcome change that is saving me a few pennies (many pounds, actually) in fuel.
This payment was an unavoidable toll bridge crossing and a boring sandwich for lunch on one of my travel days.
Lunch: £21.86 – Nothing exciting to report here, despite this being a little higher than my usual spending.
I won’t pretend I don’t know why.
I had two lunches on Friday.
Because why the hell not?!
I also won’t even pretend they were two small lunches. They weren’t.
Entertainment: £40.09 – I went out for dinner after work one evening with a friend to celebrate her promotion. Making the most of our offices being next door while we are both actually in the office!
I had planned to treat, but as her promotion comes with a tidy pay rise, we ended up halving the bill. We hit up this Lebanese Street Food joint I’ve been wanting to try for ages, and it was so worth the wait.
10/10, will eat again!
I feel a bit odd putting the rest into an “entertainment” category, as it was drinks at my colleagues funeral after party. Since I don’t have a “drowning your sorrows over your good friends sudden death” category, this will have to suffice.
In his memory, I sank several red wines and came home with a new cactus, who I’ve named Dylan Moran.
Clothes: £0 – I’ve found myself doing some serious browsing of comfy knitwear this week. It’s October and I spent an hour looking at Christmas jumpers.
I think I have a problem.
In a desperate attempt to stop myself falling off the wagon and returning to my old shopping habits, I’ve pulled my wardrobe apart. Every stitch of clothes I own is strewn around my spare room.
This wasn’t my original plan. The plan was to sort it out. Take notice of what I actually have, what I wear and what I have forgotten about and bought 2 more of but still never worn.
Anyway, I didn’t realise how long it takes to create that kind if a mess, so the sorting part has been postponed until this coming weekend.
Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – I ran out of deodorant last week but instead of going to Boots where I’m always tempted to buy loads of other bits, I just nipped to the pound shop and picked one up.
I don’t often find a big difference in the prices of my favourite products from store to store, but when I do need a big top up on toiletries, Boots is totally the way forward as their loyalty points scheme is ace!
Takeaways: £0 – None this week! My body is a temple.
Travel: £4.43 – On the day of the funeral, a few of us met at the office and my colleague drove us all together. I just hopped in an Uber so OH could have the car for the day. It also meant I could drink and not need to worry about driving home when I got back! My colleague then dropped me to my house on the way home as traffic was much less crazy late at night.
Gifts/Charity: £10 – Yet another contribution to yet another baby basket for yet another pregnant friend. That does make it sound like I am not happy for them, of course I am!
I just feel like I am writing this same gift explanation week after week at the minute! This friend isn’t quite as close as some of the other recent baby gifts I’ve bought, so I won’t be buying her anything on top of this group present.
Misc: £10.23 – My subscription payment to Canva, which I use to make my blog images. I love this site, it’s so easy to use for an absolute non-designer like myself!
To be Returned on Expenses: £8.45
Actual Spends: £544.36
Considering my aim last week was to drastically cut my spending over this week and next, I can’t say I am 100% happy with this, but it definitely isn’t the end of the world.
I’ve only really actually spent £100 on “non essentials” as the vast majority of this was my mortgage payment, and I don’t regret a penny of my funeral food and drinks – that was an absolute necessity. Possibly almost more of a necessity than my mortgage to be honest.
I might slightly regret my Double Lunch Friday, but only slightly. On the other hand, I also slightly think it should be a weekly event.
I’m still also struggling to account for my pennies as I’m waiting on this massive expenses payment to come in. That won’t be until next week though so until then, I’m really just trying to look at my accounts as little as possible unless I really need to, so as to not confuse myself.
While I’m still trying to keep myself on a short leash, I’ve got a dentist appointment coming up which I know is going to be the start of a bit of work needing done. I’m expecting this initial appointment to cost around £200 and dread to think what the rest may be as there’s a good chance I will need a crown fitted.
I might actually have a relatively quiet week ahead, work is as busy as ever but it always is. I have managed to not jam pack my evenings with activities and dinners out so I am counting on some proper down time! I won’t hold my breath but I will cross my fingers…
This week, I’ve been reading…
Money After Graduation: A Perfectly Curated Closet (Without Breaking the Bank) – this popped up on my Twitter timeline at an oddly relevant moment, while I was taking a break from tearing my own closet apart. The reminder of spending extra on items that will last vs the items you can skimp on is always welcome. And I am so on board with Bridget’s cashback chasing ways! I LOVE earning cashback on my shopping and religiously check every possible channel before making a purchase!
Chief Mom Officer: Chief Mom Office Goes to Fincon, Wins an Award and Rounds up 50+ Recaps – So in actual fact, I have been glued to every FinCon18 post I have come across. Liz has done such a great job of rounding up the roundups that this has definitely been my fave so far! Also, a massive congratulations on your award, Liz!
Tread Lightly Retire Early: Monthly Financial Update September 2018 – Because who doesn’t love a good finance breakdown?! If I can’t save 50% of my own income, I will instead focus on reading about others who can!