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.
Is anyone else totally freaking out over how close we are to the end of this year?!
I mean, we have Halloween right around the corner, and after that, it’s basically Christmas!
I’ve been thinking about this looming as I’ve been having a terrible time with my money recently. It’s not that I am spending loads on silly things, I’m more anticipating having to spend loads on very necessary things! After almost a year of keeping myself on track with savings targets, I’m kind of letting myself down in the final few months.
The do say, when it rains, it pours. I can attest to that. This time last year, my car broke down, shortly followed by both my boiler and my oven completely packing it in. It was an expensive few weeks! This year, I’m on the verge of spending more money on dental care than I ever have before, potentially needing to replace two windows in my apartment, and definitely need to replace the radiator in my bathroom.
So when I haven’t been dribbling my way through poorly planned meetings (immediately after having my mouth numbed!) or counting up how many lunches I’m allowed per day, I have been just looking at my online bank accounts. Just looking.
Like when you’re hungry but there’s nothing to eat and you open the fridge 6 times expecting that maybe you missed something tasty the first time?
Here’s where I’ve been spending my metaphorical fridge goodies this week…
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £45 – Phone Bill & Spotify. My phone bill was higher than usual this month as I have just switched over to a new tariff and had to pay a buy-out fee. That was only £18 though and with my new tariff, I will have saved more than that within 2 months on my bills. I was paying for about 5 times as much of a data allowance as I actually need so have cut that back to save some money.
Groceries: £21.21 – I have been the master of batch cooking this week, I put together a huuuge pot of chilli during the week and honestly ate it for about 4 days. And I still have some in the freezer for later this week! I find it’s one of the best dishes for batch cooking that doesn’t leave me bored, one day I had it with a baked potato, then with rice and veg, then another day I had it with nachos and all the trimmings then back to a baked potato for lunch the following day.
I also use a joint of beef rather than mince to make it, so while it seems expensive when buying the ingredients, if it’s lasting us for 8 portions fresh plus a few in the freezer, I can’t really complain!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £8 – Just another couple of toll bridge crossings this week. I’ve successfully managed to remember to pay my fees on time and avoided a hefty fine for about 2 months now, I’m doing pretty well! This damn toll bridge…
Lunch: £14.46 – I was in my office for a few days this week so I had expected this to maybe be a bit higher, but I did restrain myself and only have one lunch per day, so that’s a win, I suppose!
Entertainment: £65.49 – Over the weekend, I went to Ghetto Golf in Liverpool with some friends. If you are in the area and have a spare hour or two, make sure you check it out! It’s definitely one of my favourite activities!
It’s just £10 per person too, my friend had booked and prepaid online so I paid him back for myself & OH and bought a few rounds of cocktails through the evening. The only downside to Ghetto Golf is that the cocktails are almost too good and I can never stop myself from having just one more…
We picked up some halloumi fries and patatas bravas from a street food stall outside and I think I pretty much died and went to heaven.
Health/Toiletries/Beauty: £39.50 – I’ve added “health” in here to cover a dentist check up I had this week. I’m lucky that I don’t often have to pay for healthcare, (just my teeth!) so it isn’t something you will see pop up here often. That said, I do need to have a little bit of work done over the next couple of months so it might appear more than I had hoped…
Takeaways: £0 – None again this week! My body remains a temple. A temple full of cocktails, but whatever.
Travel: £7.53 – An Uber for myself & OH to Ghetto Golf, he paid for our hackney cab home as I had no cash on me.
Gifts/Charity: £10 – I feel like this is the first week in ages that I’ve not bought any gifts or been to a charity event or donated to a friends online fundraiser…I mean, I did order a gift for a friends new baby, but I haven’t actually paid for it yet so it doesn’t count until next week!
To be Returned on Expenses: £8
Actual Spends: £193.19
I’m pretty pleased on the whole with this week, I did manage to lie low during the week and spent very little until the weekend. I also don’t think I spent that much considering I had a full day and night eating, drinking and playing games in town.
One of my friends who I was out with is off to live in Canada from next week though, so it was worth every penny to get to spend some quality time with him before he goes.
My dental check up makes me sad, not because of the the money it costs, but because of the follow up work I need to have done…I’m back for another visit this week to plan the extraction of one of my pearly whites. The whole debacle is expected to cost around £700-800 overall, what a horrible thing to have to spend my hard earned cash on!
I don’t currently have any dental insurance in place, but as soon as my problem tooth is dealt with, I will be shopping around for a plan to cover at least my checkups and hygienist appointments. I don’t mind paying out when something big needs done but would be great to have routine visits covered. If anyone reading this has any advice or recommendations, please send them my way (no horror stories plz, I am already nervous enough!)
This week, I’ve been reading…
Simplistic Steph: September Net Worth & Money Goals – Because I love keeping up with other people progress, and mostly because I’m totally cheering Steph on from about 4000 miles away! Steph was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I started mine up earlier this year and is so on the same wavelength as me it’s maybe a bit scary, I can relate to absolutely every post she writes! Except for the bit where she’s just upped her 401k contributions to $700 a month…I’ll get there some day, but girrrl you are slaying!
Can’t Swing a Cat: The Truth About Voucher Codes, Coupons & Deals – This is an old post of Jenni’s, but someone shared it recently and it’s something that always rings true to be honest! I definitely used to be guilty of spending money thinking I was saving, due to vouchers, sales, special offers etc. I’m much more conscientious now when I come across a great “bargain” and I do really try and consider if I actually need the item or if I would still want it if it was full price.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have pretty crappy self restraint, but I actively do not let myself go shopping anymore unless I have a purpose for the trip. I also no longer let myself browse online stores if I’m not looking for something in particular. But, like Jenni, if I am on the hunt for a particular item, I will always make sure to search for vouchers and sales before I buy!