Money Diaries: November 26th – December 2nd - Money Diaries december 2nd - Inspired by Refinery29 (photo credit CreativeConvex)

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.


Last week, I promised you two Money Diaries posts as I’d missed one while I was ill. As I looked over my spending tracker for the week, I realised that there was a really good chance it was going to be the single dullest piece of writing I would ever produce.

I summed it up in a tweet instead:

Money Diaries: November 19th - 25th.

I’m back in action this week and am probably feeling around 90% myself again, so that’s good enough for me! I was luckily able to work from home again for a few days this week so getting the extra rest and not trekking to the office in the cold is definitely helping.

I had another generally quiet week, work is crazy busy at the minute with lots of things to close off before Christmas, so I’ve been enjoying not doing much in the evenings and just relaxing!

Despite this, it has managed to be my most expensive week of the year so far.

I watched my first Christmas film and had a peppermint hot chocolate. Then I promptly spend about £500 online on Christmas presents.


Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:

Bills: £610 – My mortgage, apartment service charge and a half payment on my water bill. I pay water rates every 6 months, and this year my total bill has gone up by around £150 from last year, to £480. I’m not really sure what the big increase is all about!


Groceries: £60.32 – I did a huge shop towards the end of the week as I got super excited for my first proper meals since being ill. I bought faaar too much food, did not take a shopping list, and absolutely splurged!  I made myself batch cook everything up and freeze everything in portions for lunches and quick dinners over the next few weeks.

I can often be pretty rubbish at actually eating anything I freeze, but I am absolutely adamant that none of this will go to waste!


Expenses/Car Expenses: £0 – I’ve worked from home all week so nothing spent. I did buy a new laptop for work in the Black Friday sales buy paid on the company card. It’s just arrived today so my plans for the rest of the evening mostly involve admiring how shiny it is.

We have recently registered for Amazon Business, which gave me 50% off my first spend of £100, so I was sure to order my case/mouse and other accessories separately to take advantage!


Lunch: £0 – After spending almost £30 on lunch in a single week recently, this was a well overdue Zero week! Because I have worked from home a lot, with just a couple of hours out here and there, I’ve been strict about eating in.

After being ill, I didn’t properly get my appetite back until towards the end of the week, so it would have been a complete waste to splurge on anything exciting!


Entertainment: £37.32 – I had a super quiet week again as I’m still feeling pretty exhausted, so it was mostly Netflix and early nights for me. Anyone else been watching the new Sabrina The Teenage Witch? I wasn’t sure what I would think of it but I have totally binged!

I did venture out to the local farmers market on Saturday morning (yes,I know) where I ran into some friends who have recently taken on a stall there with their bakery. I ended up wandering around for long enough to help them pack down and go back to their place to hang out.

It was the first day all week where it didn’t rain, so we made a lunchtime picnic from our market haul and the leftovers from their stall. We may have cracked into a bottle of local cinnamon gin I picked up for over Christmas…delicious!

Generally, some of these spends would have gone into my groceries budget , but since most of it didn’t actually make it as far as my house, I don’t think it qualifies!


Clothes: £92 – I had myself convinced that I would resist the temptation of all the sale newsletters landing in my inbox. Until I stumbled upon Topshop and saw they had a sale on jeans.

I adore the Leigh and Joni fits, so when they are on sale I do usually pick up a couple of pairs as I know I’ll be buying them at some point anyway. I get pretty decent wear out of them for the price and find they keep their shape better after washing than some other high street brands.


Health/Toiletries/Beauty: £36.93 – Two prescriptions and a few packs of hair dye. I like to keep a stash of colourant in the house as I am so bad at maintaining my hair colour that I need to have it to hand if the mood strikes one evening. I can’t rely on me planning to do it and buying on a schedule! I know I’ll need to put a colour in before Christmas so better safe than sorry.


Takeaways: £0


Travel: £130.44 – I go home to Ireland every year for Christmas, Myself & OH have been together for over 5 years and have never spent Christmas with each other.

I know to some people this seems crazy, but the way we see it is; we live together, we see each other all year round, we both struggle to get long periods of time off work throughout the year which doesn’t allow is to travel the 200+ miles to see our families regularly. So we take the chance while we can! We always come back to spend NYE together though.

Flights are expensive at this time of year, so I’ve ended up flying really late at night to keep the costs down. This always seems like a good idea when booking, but when the time comes I end up wishing I had just spent the extra £50!


Gifts/Charity: £413.61 So this week, after the aforementioned Christmassy movies and drinks, I really got the Christmas shopping buzz! I’ve managed to tick off a pretty big chunk of my list in one Amazon sitting.

Among other things, I picked up the Fitbit Charge for my stepdad and a new XBox controller and headset for my brother. I’d also been checking out this years Harrods Christmas bear, but in all honesty, I wasn’t too keen on it! I ended up finding these cute “First Christmas” baubles by Mama & Papa for my two friends new babies.


As well as getting lots of Christmas presents sorted, I also donate £50 to my local homeless shelter every year when I start my shopping. I will make donations to various charities over the next few weeks on behalf of others as part of or in lieu of their gifts, but this is a tradition of sorts, which I picked up from my Grandad. 


Misc: £0 - Money Diaries Week 40 - Inspired by refinery29 (Photo by CreativeConvex) – Money Diaries Week 40 (Photo by CreativeConvex)


Total: £1380.62

To be Returned on Expenses: £0


Holy crap.

I’m not sure what else to say really.

I mean, this is basically Christmas completed, I have got a couple of people left to buy for which I think £150 will cover. I could be worse…couldn’t I?

Obviously my bills spending is pretty high too as a couple of the bigger bills fell into one week this time round, so in real money terms, I’ve spent £770. Actually, that’s more than I thought it would be when I knocked off my bills…I just can’t control myself when it comes to buying presents!


And even worse, I can’t help buying little treats for myself when I am Christmas shopping, no matter how hard I try.

With it coming near the end of the year, I have a lot of tidying up and figuring out to do with regards to my financial situation. I’m kind of hoping that seeing a full annual overview of how I spend my money will encourage me to take it a bit easier over the next few weeks!


This week, I’ve been reading…


Emma Drew: How Your Old Clothes Can Make You Money Without eBay  

Anyone who, like me, loves a good closet clearout but hates the hassle of eBay, needs to read this post. I have heard of H&M’s clothing recycling scheme, but had no idea about the others listed here!

Off to download the reGain app immediately…


Simplistic Steph: Increasing Your Net Worth on a Low Salary

This is my jam. I’ve linked to Steph before but I relate so much to everything she writes! I will admit that up until as recently as 6-12 months ago, I thought “net worth tracking is for rich people.”

So, so, so wrong!

If anything, I would now argue the opposite. Being aware of your net worth at any stage in your financial journey is important. I’ve only very recently began tracking mine.

Of course, people will track net worth differently, but one thing I am struggling with is whether to include my student loans. I’ve read so many conflicting opinions on this in the UK. Yes it’s a loan and yes I make repayments, but if I lost my job or my income decreased for any reason, I’d no longer be liable for these payments.

Advice and opinions and links to further reading are all more than welcome, please!

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