This week I will say goodbye to the last part of 2020 and say hello to the first part of 2021. I wondered what both will have in store for me and my wallet.
This week I plan my assault on the diamond league of Duolingo. My goal is to be number one in the league and to gain the badge that comes from that.
I spent hours on Duolingo today. I have been concentrating on the stories as I do tend to neglect them. They are also high in points so I figured it would be a good way to keep my total high.
I also had a nice catch up on Skype with one of my best friends, her husband and her toddler boy. It was a short catch up but splendid all the same. It was only in lockdown that it occurred to us we could have been catching up on Skype all this time. We live in different countries and even before lockdown only saw each other in the flesh infrequently.
The flatmate and I had run out of treats, so I headed to the shops to buy some more. On the way there I passed a homeless person and I asked her if I could get her anything to eat. I haven’t carried money on me since July so I couldn’t give her any change, but I could buy her something to eat. She asked for a cheese sandwich.
In Tesco, I bought two packets of Choc Leibniz biscuits, potatoes, Actimel, yoghurts, two packets of vegetarian meatballs, Hula Hoops, tortilla chips and another multipack of crisps. This came to £17.96. For myself, I bought two big bags of crisps that cost me £1.90. For the lady, I encountered on the way to the shops I bought a triple sandwich pack and three chocolate bars. When I left Tesco there was another homeless person outside the store so I gave her some of the chocolate bars and then gave the sandwich and a chocolate bar to the first lady I met.
My flatmate has been playing Mario 64 on an old Nintendo 64 console we have and he was getting very close to completing it. It was fun to relive memories of my childhood playing this game and the N64 in general. I used to play it a lot with my brothers. I don’t really have an interest in playing it again myself, but it is fun to watch my flatmate play it.
I completely failed to go to bed at a sensible time, especially since I stayed up late reading Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. I want to finish it before 2021 begins but I don’t think it will happen. I neglected it months ago. I had set a goal a few weeks ago of finishing the four half-read books I had on the go before 2021 begins and I have finished three of them so that is not too bad going.
I had another epic session on Duolingo. I really want to get to the top of the diamond league just once so that I can never have to worry about getting there again and I can just relax with Duolingo. I like collecting the badges you get on it!
The flatmate and I have been seriously neglecting to do a proper food shop. Though to be fair I am trying to keep the shopping to a minimum as we are seriously over budget and I don’t get paid until tomorrow. Despite all this, we still had to go to the shops again today. My flatmate bought Lucozade, two Ghost Ship 0% beers, Heineken 0% beers, bread, sweetcorn, a Jamaican beef patty, mushy peas, orange juice, cucumber and peppers which set us back £13.34. We ended the month exactly £78 over on the Food and Household Shopping budget for the month. I will work out the amount of who owes who what and sort out the bill money with my flatmate this evening.
I decided to buy some things that were on my shopping list. I wasn’t doing too bad on my finances after getting some money for Christmas and would survive until payday tomorrow. I bought a data decoder, which is a device that blocks out confidential information with a block of indecipherable text. I bought this because I had heard shredded paper isn’t that secure and can’t be recycled, so this looked like a good alternative. I had budgeted £20 for this, but the website I had seen it on was only selling it for £10. A sensible person would probably have taken the extra £10. What I did however was then buy another item I wanted which was a card blocker device. You put it next to your bank cards in your wallet and it prevents the information being scanned by a thief. I then was completely sucked into buying a set of privacy blockers for webcams. All in all, I spent £32.96 when you included postage and packaging. It was a bit over what I had planned to spend, but I felt it was worth it.
Normally on payday, I wake up early and sort out my finances. I was still awake late at night when my wage came through to my bank account which meant I had already sorted it out. All my money was moved into my sinking funds and I deposited some money to my investment account. I then checked what my financial net worth was like this month versus what it was last month. It had gone down by £62.12. My meagre savings had taken a battering before Christmas. I should be able to repair them now.
I had a catch up with another friend today on Skype. It was so lovely. I am really trying to make the most of lockdown in terms of keeping up with my friends’ whatever way I can.
I still obviously spent a long time on Duolingo today. I’ve got to keep my total up!
I woke up at 12 PM. That’s probably sensible on New Year’s Eve as it would give me more energy this evening. It wasn’t that sensible for me though as I needed to run 16 KM today to reach my target of running 1000 KM for the year. I ate some toast and about ninety minutes later I set off for my run. My breakfast hadn’t properly digested and I felt really uncomfortable during the run. I got a stitch 2/3’s of the way around and took a detour back to my flat for a quick break and stretch. I set off for the final third. It was tough. I had to run until the stitch came back, walk until it went away, and so on and so on. In a disappointing 140 minutes plus I completed the run and could finally relax in the joy of my achievement.
I had to go to the shops, again, it feels like I’ve spent most of my week in the shops. I bought two bottles of tonic water, two bottles of Pepsi Max, washing up liquid, milk, two dispensers of handwash, cucumber and a bag of Cadbury’s Chocolate Orange Buttons. This was the first £10.30 spent on the new Food and Household Shopping Budget.
I had a shower, and then the flatmate and I ordered a takeaway pizza. We used deals and my half was £11.49. I then spoke to my Dad and Step mum on a video call to bring in new year wishes.
Finally, I went into my Zoom drinks with my friends. There were so many fireworks set off around my neighbour. It was lovely. At 1 AM I finished my Zoom drinks and went to hang out with my flatmate who was trying to complete Mario 64. He wasn’t successful though. We went to bed, I had a quick read of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, but I didn’t finish reading it before 2021 had begun. Oh well.
I had an extremely relaxing day. I spent a long time on Duolingo and watched two Pixar films (Brave and Inside Out) whilst using the exercise bike. I am doing Red January which is a charity initiative of encouraging people to exercise every day of January to aid mental and physical health.
In the evening I finished off the bottle of prosecco I started yesterday. Since that time, I gave up alcohol for five weeks I haven’t been able to drink as much as I used to, which admittedly still wasn’t a lot. I used to be able to set a bottle of prosecco back quite easily though. At least this will save me a lot of money though.
My flatmate completed Mario 64 this evening. I hadn’t seen it be completed since what must have been the late 1990s. I had forgotten most of it.
At bedtime, I read a bit more of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. I might be able to finish it tomorrow. I wonder what I’ll read next when I do.
I woke up wide awake at 8 AM. I guess I must have had enough sleep the last few nights to make up for it. It will be nice to get into a regular habit before I start work again.
I watched The Simpson’s on TV whilst writing. I analysed how much I had written in 2020. It was over 140,000 words! Not too shabby. I had dramatically fallen out of the writing habit by the time 2020 had begun, probably long before that as well. It was around April 2020 I began trying to write again and relaunched my blog. Typically, it would take a global pandemic to give me the time to write again. I just really hope I keep this habit alive after the pandemic is over.
I checked my bank account and saw that I had been charged for a coffee subscription pack which I thought I had cancelled. It’s a good quality product, but I had decided to change suppliers and didn’t need this one anymore. This mistake cost me £7.95. I must remember to cancel it.
I went on the exercise bike for half an hour with the plan to do a strength workout. I began to feel a bit anxious and then my calf started playing up. I changed my exercise plans for a long walk. I had to go to the shops and in theory, it would have only been a five-minute walk to get to them. I decided to do a long detour around the parks and up some streets before ending up at the shops.
I went to Savers first. For the house, I bought a dishwasher cleaner, washing machine cleaner and toothpaste which came to £6.98. For myself, I bought four SPF lip balms and a tube of hair conditioner which set me back £7.99. I then popped to Tesco and bought Lucozade, rice pudding, chocolate bars x 8, coconut milk x 2, tofu, avocados, bananas, bagels and eggs which came to £23.43. I then went to the post office to see if they had Runner’s World magazine. They didn’t. I ended up buying Women’s Running magazine for £4.50. I decided to check out Sainsbury’s to see if they had Runner’s World magazine, which sadly they didn’t. I bought Women’s Health magazine and Cosmopolitan which came to £7.50. I will probably have to go into the town centre to buy Runner’s World magazine.
Back home I had a quick shower and then had a catch up on WhatsApp with my friend who showed me her new baby boy.
My flatmate had gone to the shops as well and came back with Erdinger 0% beers x 2, 0% Ghost Ship beers x 2, Brew dog 0% beer multipacks x 2, mouthwash, bread, potatoes, parsnip, spring onions, stir fry vegetables and raspberries which came to £20.27.
In the evening I finished The Wind-up Bird Chronicles. My flatmate was having a tough day so we relaxed with TV.
I was checking Facebook after I woke up and saw it was my Stepsister’s son’s birthday today. I had completely missed that, oops. I will send him some money in the post.
The flatmate and I were planning on doing a food shop, however, things changed.
My flatmate has had a continuous cough for a couple of days and it got worse today. He made the decision to go get a COVID-19 test, meaning both of us had to self-isolate until his results come back.
So, unable to leave the house to post things or buy things, I declare that the week is over for spending.
FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £100.23 (MY HALF = £50.12)
PERSONAL SHOPPING = £70.30
TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK = £120.42