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.
Has anyone elses life just become a Countdown to Christmas? My last day at work is 21st. Unfortunately, I have an event that night so it’ll be a late one, but then I’m off work until January 7th!
I get two whole weeks off work! I’ll be on call in case of dire emergencies, as our venues are still open with plenty of Christmas events going on, but I think this will be the longest stretch of down time I’ve had since leaving university 7 years ago.
Like most people, December is usually a crazy month in my social life. This year however, things are a little bit different. I think partly because I do have so much time off over the festive period, I don’t feel rushed to get all my Christmas drinks squeezed into this couple of weeks!
Also, anticipating shelling out close to £1k on dental treatment is hanging over me like a dark cloud.
On that note, where has it all gone this week?
Weekly Spending Review – The Breakdown:
Bills: £305.46 – My phone bill and gas & electricity direct debits have come out, and I’ve made payments to both my council tax and water bill this week! I have one more installment to make on these, and I’ll probably pay those next week to clear it off before Christmas.
Groceries: £61.92 – I drove past a farm shop near a friends old house. I used to go once a month or so when I was visiting him, but since he moved I’m never really in the area. It’s a bit of a treat really as it’s pretty expensive! I topped up on lots of fresh fruit & veg to go along with my stash or freezer meals from last week.
I also took a trip to Morrisons to check out their alcohol offers, they’re usually pretty good around this time of year! I picked up a bottle of Baileys (obviously!) and a Jamesons Whiskey.
Expenses/Car Expenses: £22 – I spent a couple of night away with work this week with my boss. He paid for our evening meals at the hotel but I picked up lunch each day plus some toll bridge charges.
Lunch: £16.50 – I grabbed a quick lunch one day with a friend who dropped in to my office for a surprise visit. He works nearby and we try to catch up over lunch every couple of weeks or so. My treat, as he helped me out recently with some design work I needed done on a quick turnaround.
Entertainment: £0 – Oh wow, who would have thought I could have been even more boring than the week I spent in hospital?
With having two nights away with work and not getting home until late on the third day, I didn’t really have much time for entertaining myself!
My weekend was mostly spent decluttering and cleaning the apartment before we put up the Christmas decorations this week. The weather was pretty miserable so we weren’t too keen on going out anywhere.
Clothes: £0 – That’s it! No more clothes shopping in 2018!
Health/Toiletries/Beauty: £0 – Nothing to report this week, but I’m anticipating a huuge one next week as I’ve got a dentist appointment. I’ve had a few recently for small bits of work (still cost £350+ so far!) but this is the Big Appointment. I’m going in the a crown and an extraction.
I am absolutely terrified and I can’t decide if I am more nervous of the hole in my mouth or the hole in my wallet!
Travel: £39.98 – I booked flights for my best friends hen weekend in January. They’re pretty cheap and I just wanted to get it sorted before Christmas.
I’d have ended up forgetting until after new year otherwise and had to pay extortionate last minute prices.
Gifts/Charity: £8 – I live right next to my local library and all week, there have been some lovely volunteers out collecting donations for a homeless shelter nearby. I dropped in what little cash I was carrying but I always feel bad when I come across these collections as I genuinely never carry cash but I feel like they think I am fobbing them off…
To be Returned on Expenses: £22
Actual Spends: £458.89
This hasn’t been a terrible week at all, given that £300 was spent on essential bills. I have still got a few christmas presents left to buy, but I just haven’t been feeling very up for Christmas shopping. I’m not really getting the festive vibe like I usually do and I think it’s just because I’ve been so busy and ill and having teeth trouble. I’m just not myself at all.
After I get my dentist bill out of the way this week, I’ll be able to spend on presents next week without feeling guilty. That’s the plans anyway…
It’ll be an expensive week with a few bills to tie up before the end of the year too. I don’t know about you, but I hate having outstanding bills hanging over me coming into the new year. Last year, I had £1200 on credit card debt (interest free) and it’s really bugged me that this year me had to pay for last year me’s bills instead of saving!
Do you have any tips or traditions for tidying up your end of year finances?
This week, I’ve been reading…
You don’t often hear personal finance bloggers say they with they had spent more money on something, but there is definitely a “frugal line.” For me, I try to spend money on things that will add value to my life. One of the things X mentions she wishes she had spent money on is a wedding planner to take the burden off her on the day. I 100% agree.
Because I run events for a living, people expect that organising a wedding would be a breeze for me. In advance that may be so, but I can tell you now, on the actual day of my events, that’s when things go wrong! Those days are not relaxing for me regardless of how well prepared I am! And on my wedding day, I’d like to be relaxed and fully able to enjoy myself.
It’s a refreshing read and a must-read for anyone planning a wedding, especially a DIY wedding.
when I first started focusing on paying down my debts and saving seriously to buy my home, I did struggle with friends just not fully understanding my situation. Most were absolutely fine when I turned down invitations to party 4 nights a week. But there are a few who I just lost touch with very quickly.
When you’re struggling financially or striving towards a goal, it’s so important to have supportive people around you. As Ashley says in this post, the most important thing is being honest. I never disclosed the dirty details to my friends on how much I owed, but I did tell them that I wanted to be able to buy a house soon. And in order to do that, I had to clear off some student debts and save like heck!