Spending Diary 19th to 25th October 2020

Hi everybody,

Money is tight this week, let’s see how it gets spent.

19/10/2020

I woke up unsuccessfully today. My alarm went off at 6am. I got out of bed at 8:20am. I was just a bit extra sleepy today. I did my morning routine, including my cold shower, and then started work whilst listening to the ‘Wake Up to Money’ podcast on the BBC Sounds app.

I had a good day at work. I achieved my target in terms of stats for the day and I was even able to work on some development work too.

After work I did three Duolingo lessons. The flat mate had decided we would get a take away today as we both needed cheering up. He would pay for this one and I would pay for the next one we get. We ordered from a Lebanese place and as usual ordered far too much food. We watched old series of Task Master on the All 4 app and just relaxed. I definitely feel it is colder at this point in the year than it has been in previous Autumn/Winter’s. My flat mate suggested it was the contrast from the boiling hot summer we had. Either way I find I am snuggling up underneath a blanket on the sofa a lot more than I ever remember having to do before in this flat.

As my flat mate paid for the take away, I tidied up the kitchen whilst he spoke to his girlfriend online. It was announced today that from 6pm this Friday through to the 9th of November Wales would be going into a national lockdown, much like the ones in March. The shuts when they did open after the first lockdown opened at a later point in Wales compared to England. Luckily, I don’t need to buy anything. Especially lucky as I don’t have any money.

I have to say I am getting into low spirits because of the pandemic. In no way am I suggesting I want things to ease, because for me people’s safety is the most important thing. What I want is for all of this to be over, because it is finally safe and sound.

I am going to have to rethink my running plans. I’ll still be allowed out for exercise, but it might go back to the one-hour limit like at the start of lockdown. At my current level of fitness, it takes me nearly 80 minutes to do a 10km, and I’m trying to do one of them a week at least. This also means volunteering sessions at Good Gym will be cancelled for the duration of the new lockdown. I expect I will have to have a Christmas with my flat mate this year, but I will see what happens with that. I expect the move to have a lock down over Christmas would be so unpopular a decision that probably no politician would be brave enough to suggest it.

I began to feel tired around 11pm and felt it would be best to give into my sleep desires.

20/10/2020

My sleep wasn’t too successful. I went to bed apparently at 11pm but what I remember is reading at midnight until half past, so I can’t remember where that last hour went. My first alarm went off at 8am and I got out of bed at 9:30am. I quickly had my cold shower, I actually really do look forward to them, and got ready for the day. Because I started late, I would be working till later today, so I might do my run at lunchtime instead of after work.

I didn’t do a run in the end. Instead I spent my lunch break cycling on the exercise bike whilst watching an episode of Gossip Girl.  After lunch I finished what I was working on before lunch and then it was all great from there as I achieved more stats by the time of my 4pm meeting with my line manager than I had yesterday. Good work Flo.

I felt I needed some cheering up and empowerment this afternoon so I listened to Beyonce and then Spice Girls. There are some perks to working from home.

I revised some lessons for my excel exam later this week, and then I put the skills I had learnt into practice with my own spreadsheets.

I have tomorrow off as annual leave, so I decided today would be one of my three drink days of the week. I have noticed my anxiety seems to spike when I drink alcohol so for the time being I am only going to drink when I have the next day off work. Today is a drink day, and Friday and Saturday will be too.

I have two double whiskeys. Penderyn. I have limited whiskey knowledge but I do know that I like Penderyn.

I made the dinner, a stir fry with noodles and vegetables and tofu. My flat mate is devising a pub quiz for him and his friends and he has put a huge amount of effort into it. He went to practice it with his girlfriend online and I watched more Gossip Girl.

I did my Duolingo lesson and relaxed for the night.

I’ve been making reference to ‘having no money’. I thought I would explain more.

In my main current account, I have £11.49. The only bill I have left to pay before pay day is my Which? Membership that is £6.37. The remaining £5.12 is what is left of the food budget. Both the flat mate and I split the food budget, but it is controlled from my account and I do the majority of the shopping as the way we divide the labour.

£5.12 is probably not going to last very well over the next eight days until it resets on my pay day. It will probably require some ‘creative accounting’ on my part.

Now, onto my other account.

I have a challenger bank app and I use that for my personal spending. On that account I have over £300, but only £10.90 of that is free to spend, as the rest of the amount is spread across various pots I have for infrequent bills and things I am saving up for.

So that is what my finances look like at this stage of the month.   

I don’t need to buy anything urgently, but still it feels a bit scary being over a week away from pay day and not having a lot of money to get me through that time.

With Wales going into a ‘fire breaker’ lockdown for two weeks soon it’s not like I will have many opportunities to spend the money anyway. I just like having excess money instead of non-existent money.

21/10/2020

My day off today. I still woke up at a sensible time though as the main point of today was to do revision for an exam tomorrow. I spent most of the morning revising, had a quick lunch, and did more revision before going to meet my friend for a walk around the park. I bought a tea in the café in the park for £2. After coming back home I did some more revision then made dinner. I transferred £3.90 to another friend in place of a gift.

Other than that, not much to report on today.

However, as the night wore on, I started filling an online basket with beauty items as I have run out of nearly everything. My basket at Superdrug came to £98.53 and I bought hair remover, shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, a hair mask, face mask, two toner bottles, two day creams, two night creams, two shower gels and face scrub. With all the offers on my shopping I saved £35.92. A lot of this should last me for the rest of the year.

Eagle eyed readers will have noticed I earlier this week claimed to have no money. This may be an example of my ‘creative accounting’ a foot.

There was some more ‘creative accounting’ afoot when I went online and bought items for a Halloween costume. My job is doing a big quiz on the Friday before Halloween and we are being encouraged to dress up. I went as cheap as possible because no matter how much creative accounting I do I still don’t have a lot of money, so in total with postage and packaging my items came to £25.82.

And before I could do any more damage to my wallet, I went to bed to read.

22/10/2020

I woke up at a sensible time and went downstairs to do my morning routine. Today I had my Excel Exam resit. Sadly, once again I failed. My problem is I am too slow and although I knew I was doing everything right I just am never able to answer enough questions in the 60-minute time slot.

I feel one area I can highlight for my next resit is to memorise where things are on the Excel Ribbon. I think that is what is causing a lot of my delays.

After work the flat mate and I went for a very small run. We stopped off at the shops but only my flat mate went inside as I had forgotten my mask. He bought cucumber, bread and milk. He forgot to pick up a receipt but said it cost about £3.05.

We finished watching an old season of ‘Task Master’ and then we watched the latest episode of this year’s season. It is hilarious.

I found out that my Superdrug order had been dispatched, but they had to refund me one of the shower gels. So, yesterday’s shopping only(!) cost £97.03 in the end.

I still feel there are more things I need to buy for my skincare. Plus, my cousin has become a seller for The Body Shop and I would like to buy some things from them/her. I must reign in my spending until I get my payslip and know what I have to work with next month.

23/10/2020

At 6pm today the country of the UK I live in (Wales) will go into a ‘Fire Breaker’ lockdown until midnight on the 9th of November. This will be like the original lockdown in March – all pubs, clubs, café, restaurants, non-essential shops etc will close. I am facing it with a grim determination. I hope people are sensible and don’t panic buy.

So please don’t think it was for this reason I went food shopping at lunchtime. We genuinely needed the things I bought. In Iceland I bought Linda McCartney pies for £2 and then I went to Tesco and bought orange juice, three tins of chopped tomatoes, 1kg peanut butter, golden syrup, two bars of dark chocolate, non-alcoholic beers, mushy peas, two packets of mozzarella, potatoes, sweet potatoes, two bags of ground coffee, bananas, tomatoes, avocados and carrots for £29.11. I had £3 off the shopping because of Clubcard prices. I love this scheme!

Then as a way of treating myself before the Fire Break lockdown, I headed to Coffee#1 and bought a large pumpkin spiced latte for £3.30. I seem to remember I’m not actually especially keen on pumpkin spice, but this was actually delicious! Pity I won’t be able to have any more this year.

Yes, yes, yes, I know. I’ve made numerous references all throughout this diary at the start of the week that I didn’t have any money and that I only had £5.12 of the food and household shopping budget left, and now I just seem to be spending money left, right and centre. God bless ‘creative accounting’.

I’ll explain what ‘creative accounting’ is. It won’t be anywhere as interesting as the term creative accounting makes it sound. Quite simply I am using my credit card, keeping a meticulous note of every single thing I am putting on the credit card and how much it costs, and then I am recording this on my ‘November Finances 2020’ spreadsheet and listing it as a bill to pay next month. This means I am factoring the cost into my bills before I even begin to think about what my spending money on pay day is.

Warning flags might be going off for some of you. I personally feel I can manage a small splurge pre payday on a credit card. I have sometimes had to do this creative accounting on my debt free journey and I never got into trouble because of it. My latest credit report said my credit usage was too low! The crazy thing is you need to use a credit card to show you can use credit and to build up a good credit rating. Madness.

I am still not completely happy with my finances at the moment. I would be a lot more relaxed if Christmas wasn’t nine weeks away today. I’m not particularly prepared for it. Luckily my family and I don’t really buy presents for each other so my costs are less than others might be. The only people I really get gifts for are my nieces and nephews. Somehow the cost seems to rise anyway.

24/10/2020

The food shop yesterday will keep me out of the shops this weekend which is nice. It is the first full day of the fire breaker lockdown and I did notice the parks were quieter when the flat mate and I went for our run. However, the weather was quite bad today so maybe that’s why.

My flat mate was doing an epic quiz with his friends in the living room, so I went upstairs and labelled all the storage boxes and photo albums I had bought in my decluttering/organising spree. I then did some Duolingo lessons. I then went downstairs and made a big batch of lasagne using leftovers from the fridge. The flat mate and I usually eat a quarter of the batch of lasagne I made, but we have recently come to the conclusion that that is far too much and as a result I divided this batch into six portions. This will save us money and calories.

The only money I spent today was on a donation to my step sister’s birthday fundraiser on Facebook. She was raising money for the charity that her mum – my step mum- works for so it was a worthy cause. I spent the last of the money in my personal spending fund which was £7.

25/10/2020

I unfortunately felt quite unwell for most of today. I felt really nauseated all day. It doesn’t always occur to me to take painkillers. I only like to when the pain is very bad, so it was around 7pm when I finally took some paracetamol. It made me feel better almost instantly. I tend to rely on herbal teas to make me feel better. I’m not phobic or afraid of painkillers, they do a great job, they just aren’t the first thing I think to turn to.

As a result of feeling unwell I didn’t really do anything of worth today. I did do 14 lessons on Duolingo which meant I finished a lesson I was on, I guess that was good.

The house is tidy, I am fed, the day and thus week is over.

TOTAL SPENDING

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £34.16 (MY HALF £17.08)

PERSONAL SHOPPING = £139.05

TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK = £156.13

Published by flodebtfreediary

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

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