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.
This week, I’ve had a well needed break from work. You might be expecting this to be a more exciting money diary than it actually is, so I apologise in advance!
OH was unable to get the same time off as me, so I didn’t manage to go away anywhere, although that’s probably for the best really. I’ve been so busy with work recently, I have totally neglected my apartment and general Life Admin.
So it’s mostly been a week of arranging my finances, having my boiler serviced, fixing my broken apartment and the much dreaded dentist visit. The last time I had a local anesthetic, it made me feel quite ill when it was wearing off, so I thought it best to plan in this appointment for when I didn’t have to go straight to work afterwards.
I did manage to squeeze in some fun with friends amongst all of the boring bits, and I’m pretty happy with how little I spent doing it. The perks of my job include free gig tickets to most events I would want to go to across the country, so I like to take advantage when I have the time. The downside being that because I work so many night and weekends, it’s actually usually my friends and family who benefit from this perk!
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £34.19 – Just my phone bill this month, which was higher than usual due to having sent about 20 picture messages from an event to my social media assistant. It would have been nice to know he no longer has an iPhone and therefore they no longer send as iMessages…our conversation has swiftly moved to Whatsapp!
Groceries: £36.01 – I thought I would end up spending a lot more than I did on groceries given I was off work all week. I tend to go overboard and cook out a 5 course meal every day but last week, I stuck to baking and have got most of the store cupboard essentials for that anyway. I made my absolute favourite apple & cinnamon muffins, a carrot cake, a tray of brownies & blondies and a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough.
Rather than baking the cookies all in one go, we roll it up in baking paper and slice off a few cookies to bake at a time. That way, they are always nice and warm and melty when we eat them!
Expenses/Car Expenses: £0
Entertainment: £54.50 – It’s only really now that I am looking back on it that I realise how much I actually did do during my week off, here was me thinking I was really letting the side down!
I had dinner out with a friend on Wednesday, went to a last minute gig on Thursday, met some other friends on Friday for pizza and cocktails and went to another gig with OH on Saturday. So all in all, not the worst, I just managed to do it all on the cheap.
The gig tickets for Saturday were free as it was in one of the venues I work with, I was designated driver so OH treated me to a glass of coke. Our pizza worked out super cheap as I had a 2 for 1 voucher, and also, we made it there for happy hour so cocktails were all 2 for 1 as well!
Our last minute gig on Thursday was unexpected, but a friend who was working on the tour got in touch for a catch up while he was in town. As he was actually working all day and didn’t have much time to get out of the venue, it was only practical for me to go to the gig. It’s a hard life. But it was The Prodigy, and it made me feel like a young thing again, for one night only!
The downside to being invited as a guest to these sort of events, is that you are generally in an executive box. Yes, this seems great and dead exclusive, but in reality, it’s usually full of business types who have no real interest in the band who are playing, just the money that’s being made in the background. The atmosphere is never quite the same as being stuck in the middle of a mosh pit!
It was great to catch up with my friend though, it’s a weird industry this, as you can work with someone solidly for weeks or months on end, and when the next tour starts, you don’t see them for a year or more. It is nice to know though that if I am ever travelling with work, there is more than likely someone I know in the same city at the same time.
Clothes: £73.22 – I did a really rubbish shopping trip one morning.
On my list were: a new winter hat, a white picture frame, new window wipers for the car and some dried porcini mushrooms.
I came home with: 3 cosy jumpers.
Seriously, I am so bad at doing anything when I am cold. All I can think about is how cold I am. My current favourite new jumper though is this one, I am loving all of the yellow/mustard colours in the shops at the minute and this is soft AF, perfect for a chilly day in the office and it’s basically one step away from a fluffy pyjama top, so win win!
Health/Toiletries/Beauty: £130.63 – After my success with these face pads from Nip+Fab, I ended up also picking up the day time version and have been using both for a few days now. I’ll report back on these but so far, so good!
Unfortunately, the bulk of this category was spent at the dentist having a filling. I have just one more big appointment to schedule in, which will cost me around £600, an I’m hoping to get that in before Christmas. I need to have a full day off work for it though so it may end up being January before I can actually book it in.
Takeaways: £0 – Even I can’t justify a takeaway when I’ve had all day at home to cook!
Travel: £13.96 – An Uber to and home from The Prodigy gig. OH paid for an Uber to the pizza place as we were running late, but we walked home afterwards as it wasn’t too late.
Gifts/Charity: £0 – The white picture frame on my shopping list is to frame a family portrait I’ve had done for a friend. Instead, I’m nice and warm with my new jumpers.
To be Returned on Expenses: £0
Actual Spends: £342.51
Not terrible at all! Around £160 of this was money I couldn’t avoid spending, my bills and dentist visit. If OH had managed to get some holiday time to match with mine, I suspect this may have been a much higher overall spend for a week off work, though!
Since purchasing one Christmas present last week, I am now in denial again, and refuse to believe it’s so close. Most years, I would at least have bought a few gifts by now and would have my list pretty much finalised, but this year, when I even try to think of it, I just get an absolutely mental block.
I think I need to visit a Christmas Market asap to get myself in the festive spirit!
My family are cutting back big time this year on how much we are spending on each other, and are choosing to take a weekend trip together in the new year instead of extravagant gifts. I think this has kind of taken the pressure off as that’s 3 gifts off my usual list, but I’m kind of forgetting that there are still others to buy for!
My best friend, her 3 brothers and her parents all do a Secret Santa/Kris Kringle every year which means they are only buying for one person and I love that idea too. I’d find it really difficult to stick to a spending limit though! I’ve always been known to go a bit OTT on Christmas presents.
How do your family do Christmas gifts, or do you have any interesting Christmas traditions when it comes to buying gifts?
This week, I’ve been reading…
Grazia: I Earn 40k And Live At Home, But I Still Need My Parents To Bail Me Out Each Month – I considered writing a full post dedicated to this piece. I have never read anything more frustrating in my life, this woman makes me want to tear my hair out. I am not naive enough to think that everyone is disciplined with money, I have many friends who are crap at managing their spending but they are all aware of it. None of the are surprised when they have no money left at the end of the month because they’ve had a weekend away, bought 4 new outfits, had a haircut an manicure and ate lunch in Pret 23 times. But they are aware of this, they understand where their money goes. How can this person not even know that much?
I have been glued to the comments and twitter reactions to this article too, and most seem to be expressing the same thing as me so far: This woman needs to do her own Money Dairy!
Ms Ziyou: October Net Worth & Other Updates – I absolutely love a good net worth tracker, the only reason I’m not publishing my own yet is because I’m not aggressively saving for retirement or paying down my mortgage right now, so I feel like it would be insanely boring and repetitive. My Money Diaries waffling is enough for anyone to put up with haha!
What I love most about this particular post though, is that Ms Ziyou has a totally rational response to a dip in the market which is refreshing to see. It also drives it home that I am not the only one who has lost out this month!
Ms Z, you have given me hope for humanity again after my previous reading material mentioned above 🙂