Money Diaries: October 29th – November 4th - Money Diaries November 4th - 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.


After a week full of meetings, events and signing not just one, but two new artist deals, I’m finally getting some down time to get my life-admin up to scratch.

I’d thought the past week was a pretty well behaved week in terms of my spending, but it turns out you actually can work 80 hour weeks and still spend a small fortune!

While it feels like I’ve done loads, looking back, it’s actually been a pretty quiet week. My aunt who lives about 2 hours from me has been ill so I took my little cousin for a night to give her a rest, so had a day spent playing Mum, but aside from that, it’s been work work work.


Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:

Bills: £582 – Lots of bills to shell out this week, my mortgage, utilities and council tax. I have nothing exciting to say about these, except that I plan to increase my mortgage repayments by £50 in January. I increased it by £100 in January this year and I feel like that’s a pretty good system, so I’ll aim to up payments by a small regular amount each year until I can really tackle it head on. 


Groceries: £4.04 – I was super busy and travelling lots with work last week, so I didn’t really have much time to eat or cook at home! OH basically fended for himself with freezer meals and a small grocery shop, but I just stopped by the greengrocers one day to pick up some veg to throw together for a handy salad that would last a few days. I love buying my fruit & veg from this store as it’s run by a collective of local farmers and the quality is great, but the opening hours are a bit odd so it’s just not always possible.


Expenses/Car Expenses: £8 – More toll bridge fees…


Lunch: £22.42 – Some of this is my usual lunch spends form working in my office, but annoyingly, around £10 is from when I was travelling with work, but I’ve managed to lose 2 days of receipts so can’t claim them back 😦


Entertainment: £111.24 – I had a last minute visit from my little cousin for an overnight stay, she has never been to Liverpool before, so we headed for the city centre and I spoiled her rotten to be honest.

We did all the touristy stuff, went on the big wheel, checked out the Beatles tour, ate lunch followed by copious amounts of ice cream at the Albert Dock and washed it down with tea and cake on Penny Lane. Throw in a few souvenir gifts for her to take home and it’s pretty amazing how quickly it all adds up!

I also met up with a friend one afternoon for a late lunch/early dinner before I worked an event that night, so that accounts for about £9 of this too…


Clothes: £0 – I’ve been pretty good about not buying clothes recently, but I do need to top up on some winter layers and a new woolly hat soon.


Health/Toiletries/Beauty: £92.72 – This is a mix of completely unnecessary products and actual totally necessary prescriptions. My skin has been playing up really badly recently, I’ve always had bad skin but I’ve never really been diagnosed with anything…it’s not acne, it’s…something else..!

I’ve been to countless doctors about it over the years and tried every cream/pill/oil you could think of. I tend to put a lot of effort into it for a few months, back and forward to the doctors etc, then eventually give up again when they can do nothing for me.

So I’m back again, and I have what I’ve been promised is a new cream I haven’t tried yet. Since I’m not exactly pinning my hopes on it, I ended up online shopping for something else that might help me. Among them, were these face pads from Nip+Fab, and I can actually already see a bit of a difference just after 5 days of using them.


Not only that, but I got totally sidetracked from my face altogether, and ended up buying these Footner Exfoliating Socks. They are a-mazing! Like seriously, my feet are like babies feet. I mean, sure, I spent a few days totally understanding how a snake feels when they shed their skin, but it was so worth it!

I also stocked up on a few of my staple beauty buys, my hair dye, face wipes and favourite Benefit  primer.


Takeaways: £39.42 – And so the temple that is my body comes crashing down. I had takeaway twice last week! Once was totally deserved, on the single evening I had at home and I did not want to spend it cooking (plus, I hadn’t done any shopping, remember!).  

The other was a total loss of willpower as I was driving home on the motorway home from work late on night after an event. It was almost like magic, like my steering wheel just turned of its own accord right towards the Golden Arches of Maccies. I also didn’t feel like I could expense it that day, as work had already provided me with breakfast, lunch and dinner…


Travel: £0


Gifts/Charity: £39.50 – I mentioned recently that I had ordered a gift for a friends new baby, it was a family portrait commissioned from a wonderful artist I discovered on Etsy. I haven’t actually given the gift to the family yet so I don’t want to share too many details, but I love it so much I have already commissioned another one for my grandparents for Christmas.

One gift ticked off the list!


Misc: £10.48 – My monthly Canva subscription. This should really be in a category with my blog spending but I didn’t really think that one through at the beginning of the year! On my tracking spreadsheet, I do have about 30 categories though, I just roll them all in to less for these posts. - Money Diaries Week 37 - Inspired by Refinery29


Total: £909.82

To be Returned on Expenses: £8

Actual Spends: £901.82


This has been a spendy week. Of course, almost £600 of this was bills and really, looking at the total spend it’s not awful, it’s just in categories I don’t usually like to see high spends.


I don’t mind having spent so much on my wee cousin, my aunt has been like a second mother to me since the day I was born. I know that it was her who stepped up the mark when my Mam couldn’t afford Christmas presents, school trips or whatever unexpected expense popped up. She is an absolute lifesaver. So I would basically do anything for her and her kids!


I’m probably most disappointed by the takeaways, I do try to eat fairly healthily in general but sometimes I really just can’t find it in me to be arsed with cooking! I do love cooking, but not when I am under pressure, rushed or tired and am just cooking for the sake of eating something. I like to be able to enjoy the process.


I’m also pretty pleased to have a Christmas present ticked off the list already! I’m usually quite organised about getting an early start with my shopping, but this year, I’ve decided to seriously reign in how much I am spending so I’m actively trying to not buy too much early on.


I often find that if I start buying things now, it comes nearer to Christmas and I forget what I’ve bought/how much I’ve already spent on people, and just keep buying!

I try to be organised and keep lists, but it seems to be the little stocking filler things that add up.

Does anyone else find this a downside to Christmas shopping early? Or do you lot all just have much more willpower than me?!


This week, I’ve been reading…

Financial Pilgrimage: Why We Decided to Pay off our Mortgage Early – This article is a guest post on The Money Mix, you can check out the Financial Pilgrimage blog here. First of all, congratulations on being mortgage free! I literally dream about that feeling on the regular. I love reading about how or why people have decided to take the financial route they are on, and this post address a question that pops up time and time again: is it better to repay a mortgage on which interest is only 3% than to invest that extra money and potentially make 8-10% back in interest? To me, paying off the mortgage is absolutely the way forward. To have that security would be second to none!


Compounding Pennies: Your Cheat Sheet to Become Independently Wealthy – A great starting point for anyone who’s interested in their personal finances but just doesn’t know where to start! This post if chocka full of useful information and tips, as well as so many links off to read more in depth about certain areas that you will easily find yourself getting lost for a full day to Jon’s posts! This is by no means a bad thing, Compounding Pennies is one of the blogs I go back to time and time again.

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