As usual I feel I don’t have any money. This week will however bring about pay day which is always a delight, so the end of the week will probably be quite heavy on the spending.
I have decided to be a bit relaxed about how the food budget has gone to hell and is way over budget. I have the means to buy things we need and just readjust. There were plenty of times in the past when I would be so het up about the food budget that I would refuse all spending and make some interesting and bizarre meals in order to really use up our supply’s first before going to the shops. In theory that isn’t too bad a habit. I do feel more relaxed when I feel I can buy what I need rather than survive without.
I’ve been having trouble with the Superdrug order I placed last week. It hasn’t turned up and when I check the My Hermes tracker it seems to say both that it’s been delivered and that it is with them. It was a huge order for me and I really hope I get my items. I’m running on empty in terms of my toiletry’s supplies. I’m having to wash my hair without conditioner and just use leave in. It’s not ideal, but I feel reluctant to buy things I am waiting on to turn up in the post.
I did go on to Feel Unique and buy some things my friend Kate recommended to me. My friend Kate is a skincare goddess. She knows everything and anything about skincare and she is my first point of call for advice until I have the money to go to a dermatologist. She recommended some beauty pads which I bought, and I also picked up an eye cream as mine is running out. The order came to £24.74. The odd price is based on getting 10% off as I was a new subscriber.
I have decided to wait till tomorrow to contact Superdrug about my order. I placed it last Wednesday and the original email did say it could take a week to arrive so I will be polite and give it time. I do really want my items though.
I had the day off today to go to the Doctor’s for a blood test. I have a bit of annual leave to use up before the year is out so I am taking days off here and there. There was a bit of a delay at the surgery and I was glad to get out of there. My results should come back within a week, so I will call up the surgery next Monday for the results. If they come back early and there is something to discuss with me, I’m sure I’ll get a letter about it so I’m not worried.
After finishing at the surgery, I went to the shops and bought things on a credit card (‘creative accounting’ afoot) for the rest of the week. In Iceland I spent £6 on frozen blueberries, frozen sliced peppers and Quorn chicken pieces. In Savers I spent £18.24 on Lenor laundry scent beads, three packets of handwash refills, laundry anti-bacterial cleanser, washing machine cleaner, dishwasher cleaner, mouthwash and toothpaste. Then I went to Tesco and spent £28.49 on two bags for life (rookie error of leaving my normal bags at home), frozen peas, scampi, frozen sweetcorn, vegetarian soya mince, vegetarian sausages, summer fruits squash, cereal, two tins of black beans, two packets of tomato puree, Flora, tofu, cheese, noodles, bread, eggs, tortilla warps, spinach, onions, smoked salmon and mushrooms. Back at home I had my breakfast and then just relaxed reading for a bit. In the afternoon I called up my internet supplier and changed the contract to a new one. We were out of contract before and paying £41.59 and now we are on a new twelve-month contract paying £35.99. This isn’t necessarily the best deal though. The reason is if my flat mate and I cancel the contract at any time within the next twelve months (due to us finally moving out from each other) we will have to pay a fee of £15.64 for each month of what remained of the contract. Which could be quite costly. I don’t know what the future holds and this contract may or may not pan out for us, but I know that I don’t have the money now for an expensive contract, whereas I may have more money in the future for a fee. I guess I will have to see what happens.
I then logged into my energy supplier account and reduced our monthly bill from £150 to £120. We are in credit with them and I send meter readings every month so I will be able to see if we go over budget in Winter and need to increase the bill. Again, I could really do with saving the money now.
Despite spending so much money in the shops earlier there were a few things I missed so I had to go to the shops again and buy them. In Tesco I spent £5.91 on ice cream, houmous, cucumber, crisps and a courgette. I was glad when I could relax in the evening.
The day before pay day. And I still had to spend money on food! The flat mate needed milk, so I went out at lunch time to the nearest shop and bought a bottle for £1.15.
In the evening I tallied up the ‘November 2020 Finances’ spreadsheet once again to make sure everything was set up for the next day. I made my flat mate transfer me the money for his share of the bills, plus his half of what we overspent on this month’s food budget as all the excess had been bought by me. We were over on the October 2020 Food and Household Shopping budget by £88.83! I created a quick spreadsheet to compare our food budgets before lockdown to the ones during lockdown and it has increased by an average of £112! It is definitely much more expensive shopping during lockdown than before. Admittedly I have things now that I didn’t before such as a coffee subscription, a wine subscription and a beer subscription. I’ve also to an extent been buying more ‘treat’ foods than before as it is just so b-o-r-i-n-g during lockdown. However, my local supermarket does sell less budget options and has less deals on offer, so that also hasn’t helped during this time.
I was all set for pay day. My ‘treat’ on pay day is to get up early and sort out my finances in the morning. I’m weird, I know, most people don’t consider getting up early a treat but I genuinely do enjoy doing this.
Off to bed I went.
True to form I woke up at 6am, the earliest I have gotten up in the last few weeks, and I transferred all my sinking funds to their various pots, added money to my investment account and got everything organised.
I checked what my net worth this month was compared to last month’s net worth. I do a snapshot on my pay days. I technically cheat a little as I factor in the amount of debt, I pay off my personal loan even though that payment comes out a couple of days after pay day. My net worth once again is a decrease from the month before, by £139.58. This is from using my savings to pay for things. I am not getting into debt, the amounts I put on my credit card have been factored in from the get go and will be paid in full this month, but using up savings will still decrease my net worth. I must get into better budget habits; anyone got any tips?
It is my brother’s birthday in early November and when I asked him what he wanted he said some incense sticks would be nice, so I got him a nice set from Amazon that with postage came to £18.48.
Earlier in the week I had contacted my cousin who is a Body Shop seller to place and order which I was finally able to complete today due to having more money again. I bought an SPF face mist and a bright bold pink lipstick. There was a 10% off deal due to it being my first order so it came to £23.40. I try to support my friends and family where I can with their ventures and I do love The Body Shop and their ethics so it was a win win situation.
Today at work we were having a special Halloween quiz which we were all encouraged to dress up for. The costume I bought a couple of weeks back but was secretive about was because my work colleagues may read my blog and we’ve been encouraged to keep the costumes a surprise. I can now reveal that it was a skeleton all in one outfit, as well as a spooky skull mask. The costume is so comfy, not the mask though, but the outfit is like a goth onesie, I love it!
I came fourth in the quiz, standard fare for me. I have another quiz tomorrow with Good Gym so I’m hoping these questions today will be on tomorrow’s quiz and that could be an easy win for me.
To give a clue as to where my skills lies, I got more points on the music round than I had on the entire quiz up to that point. More than 50% of my total points were due to my musical knowledge. I guess it is good to have some areas of expertise.
I promised my flat mate a takeaway and we haven’t had a Chinese for ages so that’s what we went for. It was a huge meal. I ordered prawn toasts and a tofu and vegetables in black bean sauce dish, plus I had 50% of the rice and chips we ordered. I live in Wales and ‘half and half’ (half chips, half rice) with curry is a standard option at any respectable takeaway, so I know this is Chinese food but I am keeping the spirit of ‘half and half’ alive. Another thing I picked up in Wales is chips and curry sauce – this is my absolute favourite way to have chips now – so of course I ordered a pot of curry sauce for my chips. Wales has contributed enormously to my culinary landscape.
I also purchased my annual Christmas jumper, apologies if the ‘C-word’ is a trigger this side of December. It is from a site I had seen advertised to me on Facebook and Instagram as my friends follow it called ‘Merchoid’. I guess me buying from them shows I am a marketer’s dream customer. The jumper I bought was £1.99 over my £35 Christmas jumper budget. However, it is a ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ jumper, so my teenage love of Tim Burton and the fact I can wear this at both Halloween and Christmas shows value for money.
Finally, the last way my money left my wallet today was I saw my favourite cook and campaigner Jack Monroe had posted a fundraiser for an account they follow on Twitter. It was another cook and campaigner account, and that person was struggling financially, so I donated £5 to them via PayPal.
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! It’s Halloween!
I woke up a bit earlier than usual for me, but somehow seemed to waste the morning. I was tidying up, so it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything. I went intense on the tidying up. I moved all the furniture to hoover around things, even under the rug. I also did the monthly tasks of cleaning the washing machine and dishwasher. As a result, we ran out of hot water by 2pm. I had to put it on later in the day for my shower.
The flat mate needed to do some tasks at the shop so we both agreed we would go together and I would help him and he would help me with the food shopping. He needed to get a birthday card and postage materials for his mum’s birthday, which isn’t easy when birthday cards are an unessential purchase during the fire break lockdown in Wales. We did strike lucky though in the end.
In terms of personal shopping at the shops I bought a copy of the latest issues of ‘Runner’s World’ and ‘Women’s Running’ magazine which came to £9.40. The rest of the shopping I did at the shops was for the household.
I am really trying to work on having good gut bacteria, so we went to Holland and Barrett and I bought two cans of kefir and a can of kombucha, plus brazil nuts, flaxseed, vegetarian pies and the flat mate bought some effervescent multi vitamin tablets. That load of shopping came to £24.64.
Next, Home Bargains. We were mainly in here to hunt for birthday cards, but we picked up two multipacks of crisps for the house. That was £1.98.
Finally! The old faithful Mr Tesco. A big shop, I bought orange juice, rice pudding, 0% alcohol Ghost Ship beers, Yakult, 0% alcohol Brew Dog beers, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, soy sauce, four packets of spice mix, two tins of chick peas, mushy peas, two sweet chilli stir fry sauces, two multipacks of Cadbury’s Double Decker’s, Wispa, Twix, broccoli, butter, two packets of cookies, M&M chocolate bar, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cucumber, carrots, cheddar cheese, paprika, poppadom crisps, avocados, parsnip, baby corn, stir fry vegetables and a cauliflower. After club card price deals this came to £43.40. Not included is the three scented candles I bought. I haven’t included them because they came to £8 and I put my £9.50 of Tesco club card vouchers towards them.
In case anyone from outside of the UK is wondering about what ‘club card’ is all about in the store Tesco I’ll explain. Tesco is a big supermarket in the UK – one of the market leaders – and they have a loyalty scheme you can sign up for which is called ‘club card’ and it’s where you are given a card/key fob and this gets scanned every time you go shopping. You get 1p in points for every £1 you spend in store. Typically, Tesco send out vouchers every three months, though through your account you can redeem as soon as you have £1.50 in points without waiting. Before lock down I shopped around and didn’t use Tesco as much, so I received about £4 in vouchers every three months. Now, with Tesco being my biggest and nearest and cheapest supermarket within walking distance it has the biggest share of my wallet, so now I get about £10 in vouchers every three months.
Finally, club card prices. Every week now in Tesco they will have products which will have a club card price on them, for example a bag of ground coffee might be £3.50, but then the club card price is listed as £2. This means if you are signed up to the club card loyalty scheme and have the card and buy this coffee, it will only cost you £2 whereas someone without a club card will have to pay £3.50.
It is free to join the club card scheme.
In the evening the flat mate and I were keeping an eye on the news as a month-long lock down was going to be announced in England. Although we live in Wales and have been experiencing a fire break lock down already, England as another devolved nation was just doing the three tier local lockdowns and hadn’t gone back into a national lockdown again. Now it will. Since the flat mate and I live in Wales and our parents live in England we keep an eye on this news even if it won’t affect us directly as it will affect our parents. Everyone is keeping an eye on what the rules are going to be at Christmas. I am inwardly preparing myself for a Christmas in my flat, as this way I won’t be disappointed if it does happen.
I had a quick shower, put my skeleton outfit on and settled down to the Good Gym Halloween quiz. I won! Once again, I got the majority of points on the music round, but I wasn’t doing too bad before that. I have a unique skill in quizzes which is where if I don’t know the answer, I have enough surrounding general knowledge and intuition to guess the correct answer. So literally, I don’t always know things, I just guess correctly.
My prize is my very own litter picker for our next litter picking missions, and a custom carry case for it to go in. The prize originally was going to be a bottle of wine, the quizmaster said he had drunk it though.
I was feeling quite pumped up after this and stayed up watching TV and went to bed late, and was still awake probably about 90 minutes later. Since reading a book about sleep I have become a lot more relaxed about moments like this and just accepted the rest time I was having to day dream in bed. It was nice and eventually I nodded off.
I woke up a bit later as a result of the late-night last night.
I did some batch cooking and just generally prepped for the week ahead.
I declare the week is over!
FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £129.81 (MY HALF = £64.90)
PERSONAL SHOPPING = £144.51
TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK = £209.41