Spending Diary 28th September to 4th October

Hi everybody,

I went on a bit of a spending spree last week. New laptop, storage boxes, photo albums and books, I really made my cards work last week!

I am hoping for more of a restrained week this week. Though this week will also involve my favourite reoccurring day of ‘pay day’! Who doesn’t love pay day? So, I may treat myself, though I really, really shouldn’t. Last week involved a lot of big treats so I don’t really need the same this week, do I?

Let us see.

28/09/2020

I woke up early for no particular reason. What I mean is I set my alarm a little earlier though I didn’t have to as I am still signed off work and am not going anywhere. I felt like going back to sleep for a little bit extra but after a twenty-minute snooze I thought I was being silly and just got out of bed.

I was expecting some deliveries today so I wasn’t going to be going anywhere. The postman arrived first carrying my MS Office package and my security package for my new laptop. The postman also had a letter from my cousin, some charity letters and this month’s new issue of Runner’s World magazine. A great post day! My cousin writes great letters and designs really interesting envelopes, it is always a treat to receive cards from her.

My Paperchase storage boxes and stickers arrived later, and then the delivery driver came back as he had left off my wine order from last week. It was a hefty box. I would be giving four of the bottles of wine away. Three to my flat mate’s girlfriend and I’ll give another bottle to my friend who fixes clothes in exchange for her fixing my jeans which I managed to rip today. Good thing I was just hanging about the house, it would have been embarrassing if I had been out and about.

I opened up the wine box and put them away, then I took the storage boxes upstairs to distribute my possessions. I put on an album (Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood) and I thought I would finish the task very quickly but I was able to listen to the full album whilst packing up my keepsakes. I divided my bulkier keepsakes into 4 categories. 1. Ticket Stubs. 2. Keepsake Papers. 3. Physical Keepsakes Pre-University Graduation and 4. Physical Keepsakes post University Graduation. I archived my cousin’s letter that I received today in the box relating to that side of the family, then I picked up all the rubbish and recycling, hoovered the floor, and finally I was done.

I felt a little sleepy in the afternoon. I didn’t want to cook so I thought I would be extraordinarily lazy and buy a pizza from Tesco. I decided to blow the food budget and picked up a lot of other groceries like cucumber, bananas, potatoes, onions, cheese, crisps, bread, oat milk, milk, non-alcoholic beers and of course the pizza! I treated myself to a big beast of a pizza. The shopping came to £24.77 which I thought was quite reasonable.

In Tesco I ran into my friend from work (Hi Becca!) but hanging about a grocery store during a pandemic with our lovely masks on isn’t much fun so it was a short but sweet conversation but it was really nice to see her.

I stopped off at Home Bargains on the walk back to my house. I used to visit Home Bargains at least once a week but I had been avoiding it during lockdown as the queues were just too much for me. It was so quiet at this late point in the afternoon that I could just walk straight in. I saw they had face masks on sale and it is so hard keeping on top of the washing of my reusable ones that I thought a few reusable spares would be good. They were 3 for £3. I chose two camouflage colour leopard print ones because they looked like something my second favourite band Manic Street Preachers would have worn in their early years (if there had been a pandemic on) and a floral print one. I’ll give one of the camo-leopard ones to my flat mate as he is also a huge Manic Street Preachers fan.

Then I went to pick up ten black fabric coat hangers – my reason for going into Home Bargains. Now that I have organised my wardrobe, I wanted all my hangers to match and nearly all of them were the same black fabric ones I had bought on a previous trip to Home Bargains. However, I did have some hangers that were different, and I had other clothes in the wash and at my friend’s house being fixed that would need to be taken into account. A pack of ten hangers should cover it. At first all I saw were grey fabric hangers, and I did briefly consider changing my colour palette, but then I saw some of the black ones tucked away. This shopping trip cost £5.99 and I had a lovely chat to the cashier.

Back home I quickly did the washing up and hoovered the floor. My decluttering at the weekend has produced 7 bags of recycling. My neighbours are going to hate me when I put the bins out tomorrow. Yikes!

I cooked the pizza and had a medium glass of red wine with it. I settled down with my laptop (the old one, the new one hasn’t arrived yet) to do my end of month spreadsheeting. My flat mate had paid me his half of the bills that come out of my account early so I had some money in my account. I paid the credit card I had put my new laptop purchase on, so I didn’t even have the ‘debt’ on the card long enough to have been sent a statement for it. I’m that adverse to debt that I just have to pay things off early.

I called my line manager earlier on in the day to confirm that this week being signed off because of my mental and physical health has done me the world of good and I plan to return when my sick note expires on Wednesday. She was very happy to hear that I am feeling better and it felt so good to have a sensible and open conversation with her. I’m looking forward to returning to work.

I paid £15 into my investment account, then did some Duolingo lessons. I got promoted to the Diamond League, yes! My hard work yesterday paid off and I finished in third place in the league below. Small things like this matter to me, I’m a loser. I also sent an email to a local Etsy seller who makes postal order brownies and blondies to place a new order. I have chosen cookie dough brownies but I will be paying for them tomorrow.

I wrapped up my day, put the dishwasher on, had a herbal tea, then began to get ready for bed.

29/09/2020

I always seem to wake up early on pay day. Today was no exception. I woke up naturally at 6am feeling wide awake, so I decided to get up and stay up. One coffee and 2 slices of marmite on toast later and I was sitting in front of my laptop sorting out my money. I set up a standing order to repay the person in my life I owe money to which will go out in a couple of days’ time. It feels so good to be getting my life on track.

So, to be clear, I am free from credit card debt, I have no overdraft, no loans, but I do owe a significant person in my life money from when they helped me out during some financially bad years for me. We’ve come to very mutually agreeable repayment terms and we are both happy with what we will do going forward.

I decided to buy myself a book missing from my Haruki Murakami collection. I used to have it but my brother borrowed it and lost it, when he has done with at least 2 other books and he has denied all of these accusations but my books are my babies and I know when they’re in distress. The book was ‘Underground’. I needed a particular edition to match the rest of my collection, so I headed to eBay. I saw it for £4.32. It has been such a long time since I last bought something on eBay that I really had to sort out my details. I still have an embarrassing username from when I first set it up in 2007 or whenever it was. Oh well.

I have about £100 disposable income to last me till next pay day. I don’t really need anything, but my splurges last week have returned my spending desires back to me and I am still in the process of doing up my life in terms of storage and organisation, so I really do want things. However, I don’t need things, so I will be good.

In October I will owe my flat mate two takeaways because I didn’t get him one in September. I am getting him one takeaway each month up until December because he is going to do some branding for another site I want to launch.

I went to the doctors for a blood test. I then dropped off a bag of donations at the charity shop and then I backtracked to the shops. As it is pay day, I can stock up on things I had been putting off as the budget run out last month. I went to Savers and bought washing machine cleaner, two packets of colour catchers, laundry cleanser, laundry scent beads, washing up liquid, dishwasher cleaner and I had to pay for a bag as all my other bags have gone with the donations to the charity shop. This came to £13.41. I stopped off at Iceland to pick up frozen blueberries, frozen peppers, three packets of vegetarian burgers and a multipack of tinned tuna, all which came to £11.50. I didn’t realise it when I picked them up but I saved £1 on a multi buy offer. Finally, I went to Tesco where I bought almond milk, Pepsi Max, Actimel, beetroot juice, avocado, tonic water, five packets of spice mixes, vegetarian mince, frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, bread flour and eggs plus three bags for life. This came to £23.81.

I picked up some envelopes of various sizes at the post office for £6.679 and finally I was done and could go home and put the shopping away.

I made vegetable stock from a bag of vegetable scraps in the freezer. I ended up with three portions of that in pots in my freezer. I also made a vat of banana ice cream. The main purpose of today was to get through my to do list which I made very good progress with. Some days I get a lot done and am uber productive, and other days I just want to sit on the sofa and watch Netflix. Both are perfectly acceptable ways to spend your time.

I finished a level on Duolingo and then the flat mate and I put all 8 bags of recycling produced from my decluttering session and all the orders I had recently. I’m so glad it’s rubbish night!

I did some chores in the evening and then relaxed.

30/09/2020

Back to work after my period of sick leave. It felt good to be back. It turns out the project I was working on before I went on sick leave with the rest of my team was nearly finished meaning we would begin new work again soon. Yippee!

To celebrate returning to work my flat mate decided he wanted a takeaway for dinner. I owe him one for each month up until the end of the year in exchange for branding work, so I had to get this one. We opted for an Indian takeaway; we love getting the whole shebang. The restaurant we normally order from was doing 10% off orders today which worked out well for me. The takeaway came to £32.24.

I had placed an order earlier in the week for cookie dough brownies from a local Etsy seller in my city and today I made the payment for them. They are from the same seller I ordered back from in August to celebrate becoming debt free. It was £18 for a tray of the brownies. There’s no getting round it; this is a completely unnecessary purchase and I can easily make adequate brownies for much less than £18. However, these brownies are amazing and as a special treat I think they are well worth it.

Ultimately, I haven’t got any credit card debt anymore, I live within my means, if I want to spend £18 on brownies and I don’t use debt to pay for it, then who am I harming?

My new laptop also arrived today, so in amongst the excitement of eating a takeaway I was also setting up that. I had trouble with the security features at first and was getting stressed but eventually it was all sorted. I will have to have a proper play around on it tomorrow.

01/10/2020

Today my monthly top up to Naked Wines was deducted from my account. I pay in £20 a month and think it works out as great value for money. I also had my subscription to Flavourly beers come out, that was £26.90.

Today was a very busy and stressful day. The whole building had workmen coming round to fit alarms around the five flats so there was banging and drilling and disruption all day. To make things worse our Juliet balcony doors that have been broken since the summer, meaning we have been sweltering in the flat with no adequate way to ventilate it during the hot summer, were finally going to be fixed today. Just in time for winter when we won’t need to open them as much! So, there was going to be more disruption and noise and chaos in the flat as well as in the communal areas.

I was also getting two old work laptops picked up around the time that I had to go and collect the brownies, so I had to leave strict instructions with my flat mate about how to hand them over if the driver arrived before I got back. I rushed to the brownie lady’s house, picked them up, then came back. The driver hadn’t arrived. I made lunch and then started work again. The driver arrived a little later than expected and it was a bit of a kerfuffle trying to leave the flat to get to the front door without getting in the way of the workmen. But it was all done. The brownies were collected, the laptops were collected, the alarms were fitted and the Juliet balcony doors were fixed. Phew!

I had wanted to get the food shopping out of the way at lunchtime, but that wasn’t to happen. Instead the flat mate and I did a run commute first to drop something off at his sister’s flat (socially distancing all the way!) and then to the shops. We went to the old faithful Tesco again. It is the biggest and best value for supermarket within walking distance of our flat so we haven’t had much choice about where to shop throughout lockdown, though we do like Tesco any way. The shopping was so much easier and less stressful with both of us there. It was a big shop. We bought Lucozade, oat milk, milk, coconut milk, orange juice, antibacterial wipes, carrots, lemon and ginger tea, 4 x 4 bar multipacks of chocolate, Club bars, dark chocolate, tomatoes, cucumber, spaghetti Bolognese spice mix x 3, cheese, oat cakes, lazy garlic, pizza, peppercorns, curry powder, crisps, rice cakes, burger buns, turmeric and eggs. The shopping came to £35.41 and I had a small saving of a couple of pounds through multibuy offers. Every little helps! I was so glad we both went to the shops as I think I would have struggled carrying all that back on my own. We have started watching a new Netflix TV series when we have our dinner.

It felt good to do a run again, even though it was very small and I did walk a couple of points. I have fallen a bit out of love with running and am trying to get back into it and build up my stamina.

02/10/2020

The weather has taken a turn for the worse and was very cold all day, plus there was a lot of rain. I was originally going to do a run after work with a friend of mine from Good Gym but we called it off as the weather was just too bad. It felt quite miserable all day and I started dreaming about merino wool jumpers, onesies, weighted blankets and thermal duvet covers. I love autumn and I love being cosy, but I hate being cold. I also hate being too hot. I like being comfortable. Don’t we all?

I had a couple of beers in my living room after work to get the Friday feeling and just wanted to relax. But it wasn’t to happen. Probably as a result of the weather our broadband started failing and that scuppered all our plans for the evening. So, we started watching BBC 4 music documentaries which used to be a highlight of our Friday nights at an earlier point in the flat mate and my relationship. The internet started working again much later on in the evening, but by that point it was bedtime. I had a late-night shower, wrote in my notebook, then went to bed after 1am.

03/10/2020

I woke up wide awake at 6am and decided to get up. The flat needed a lot of tidying. My flat mate doesn’t allow me to hoover before 9am so I tidied up everything else in the flat and then waited patiently for the clock to tick over to 9am. I fired up the hoover as soon as it did. I did have some fun in the morning. I spent 36 minutes of Duolingo.

I felt like doing a 10km run today but I knew I would have to adapt it to fit my current fitness levels. I ran for 10 minutes and then walked for 3 minutes and ran for 7 minutes in every ten-minute interval after that. This meant the run was very slow, but it felt comfortable at all times and it is the most I have enjoyed a run recently. I ran for 80 minutes, covering just over 10km during that time.

At home I did my weekly beauty regime (body scrub, shave, face mask) and then put on warm and comfy clothes. It is still raining. I did some more Duolingo French lessons and also watched episodes of ‘master that mess’ which is a series The Home Edit had on YouTube before their Netflix series which I am obsessed with.

I went back out. I had to post an old phone I had sold to one of those recycling firms. I should be getting £5 for that but for me it was more about getting the old phone out of my life (still decluttering!) than about making any money from it. I then went to Tesco to pick up things for dinner tonight. I bought yet more 0% alcohol beers. I should explain, I don’t really like soft drinks, but get bored with tea, coffee and water, so in the evenings I like to drink 0% beers on days when I’m not having any alcohol. I try to have 3-4 drink free days a week, though my units and frequency of drinking days have begun to creep up so I must get them back under control.

I also bought milk, felafel, halloumi, cheese slices, 2 packets of houmous, porridge oats, courgettes, cucumber, tortilla wraps and bananas. The shopping came to £20.26. About half of the monthly food budget is now gone so I will have to start reigning in the spending.

I was extremely sleepy when I came back from the shops, so I had some of my brownie stack to give me energy. I guess having only around 5 hours sleep and then running 10km isn’t the smartest move.

In the evening the flat mate and I had falafel wraps and watched Netflix. Then I went into a Zooms drinks meet up with my friends, getting to try out my new laptop for the first time. I was very sleepy throughout. We were playing a game called ‘Stay The F*** Inside’ and we had finished the original edition so the Zooms host paid for the expansion pack. It was about $3 so around £2.31 in GBP; I sent my friend 75p as a contribution because I had her banking details.

Eventually at far too late a bedtime I went to snooze land.

04/10/2020

Today is the day of the virtual London Marathon. I got up early to watch some of the coverage on TV and also because my friend from my Good Gym running group was doing his own virtual marathon today in our city. I wanted to cheer him on. I checked the notifications on my phone and saw that my Amazon order of lavender pillow spray and the latest book by The Home Edit was going to arrive unexpectedly early today. That meant I had to hang around and wait for that to arrive, but I was eager to get them. I left the house around 10am in the rain to try and see him in the park. The notable thing about his marathon today is he is doing it for charity, having raised nearly £3000 for Mencap, and to make it extra challenging he is doing it dressed as a star. I had got to the park too late and missed him. He would be coming back through the park at some point so I thought I would wait. I was frozen! I eventually went to get a takeaway coffee from one of my favourite cafes to try and warm up and wake up. It cost £2.55 but it was worth every penny as it revitalised me.

I went to where my friend would be finishing his marathon and saw some of my other friends from the running group there. It was very emotional seeing him finish his marathon, he looked so proud and so transformed from his experience. It was too cold and wet to hang around and only same households can go to food establishments together, so most of us went our separate ways. I went home and discovered we needed potatoes for dinner. The flat mate and I argued a bit about who should go out to pick up the potatoes. He agreed to go, but he was feeling ill, and realising I needed to pick up the clothes my friend had fixed meant it was logical that I go out to the shops. It was nearly 4pm and the Tesco shuts at 5pm on a Sunday, so naturally there was a massive queue to get in. It went down quickly though. I only needed to pick up a few things, a parsnip, sweet potatoes (all out of potatoes – to be expected on Sunday lunch day) and 2 tins of mushy peas. I had run out of gin last night during my zoom drinks (the bottle was nearly empty! It’s not like I glugged it all in one night) so because it was on offer with £5.50 off, I picked up a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. It’s one of my favourites for little more than I like the bottle design. I really need to expand my drinking choices. The shopping came to £25.40. I walked by my friend’s place on the walk home to pick up my clothes. I’m particularly glad to have the jeans, shirt dress and merino wool jumper back as they are part of my autumn/winter essentials.

At home I had a boiling hot shower in order to get some feeling back. I put on my PJs and over the top of them I wore my warmest tracksuit trousers and a favourite jumper and then I snuggled up on the sofa with a fleece blanket and my new Home Edit book, and I still wasn’t warm enough so I put the heating on. I’m going to have to call a house meeting with my flat mate to discuss how we are going to heat the house this winter. The significant detail is because we are both working from home, we will have to choose whether we heat the house during the day and thus drive up our heating costs, or try and brave it out in the cold. We have only recently got into credit with our energy company, and we can’t switch because we plan to move out within a year so it’s not worth it. Plus, silly I know, but I like my energy company because they use renewable energy sources. I may invest in more merino wool and maybe even cashmere jumpers as the cost of them might be offset by not feeling the cold as much and therefore keeping the heating off.

Does anyone have any economical heating tips for winter? You know what they say in a popular TV series…WINTER IS COMING!

My flat mate is cooking dinner, there is a wrestling pay per view on this evening. With that I declare that the week is over and it’s time to tot up my spending.

TOTAL SPENDING

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £202.64 (My half £101.32)

PERSONAL SHOPPING = £52.64

TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK = £153.96

Published by flodebtfreediary

Hello, I write about food, debt, saving money, mental health and social anxiety.

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