Spending Diary 3rd to 9th August 2020


Hi everybody,

I returned to work again this week, after having taken time off due to my recent bereavement. It felt good to get back to work.


This morning I bought two books for my Kindle, but I used Amazon vouchers to pay for them so it didn’t cost me anything. That was a saving of £7.52.

I took a walk to the nearest post box, which is also near a park that I decided to walk around the perimeter of before I started work. One of the letters I posted was an early birthday card to my nephew, my going rate for my nieces and nephews is £20 so that’s what the card contained. When I turned on my work lap top I had a lot of emails and messages to get through. One was from a colleague saying what my share of another colleague’s recent birthday gifts was, so I paid that.

It felt good to be back at work. I felt fully supported by the people I work with and I felt able to manage the work load.

At lunch time I used up some cashew butter I had opened in the cupboard for ages in a homemade houmous. I added chilli to it and copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. It was a taste sensation. Best houmous ever.

I really felt like having some wine today, so I got my run out of the way early. I am up to day 98 in a row of running. I am aiming for 100. I hope I make it. The flat mate and I had batch cooked spaghetti Bolognese for dinner and we made enough portions for tomorrow’s lunch too.

I got most of the things done on my to do list but am still struggling with the bigger items. My mum once said to me that I should have a shorter to do list. Maybe she was right.


I slept in today. Yesterday I had about 5 hours sleep so I guess I needed to catch up. I still made work on time. It’s hard not to when I have no commute. I was in a MS Teams meeting in the morning, but the speakers on my laptop stopped working so I had to do the old trick of turning it off and on again.

At lunch time I used the leftover spaghetti Bolognese sauce with some pasta shapes and had that. I felt a bit queasy after lunch, not that I’m blaming the lunch. Probably just the medication I am on.

The flat mate felt we needed to do a food shop after we had planned our meals for the week so he made a list and set off for the shops. We are taking it in turns to go to the shops during the pandemic. About 20 minutes after he had left he called me to say that he needed me to come and meet him to help him carry back the shopping. I walked to where he was and we came back together with all the food shopping safely carried between us. He had bought nonalcoholic beers (we love these), Pepsi, Lucozade, milk, mushy peas, tortilla wraps, cheese rolls, cucumber, eggs, vegetarian mince, carrots, cookies, falafel, halloumi, houmous and courgettes. The flat mate doesn’t like the houmous I made yesterday, hence him buying some for himself.  The food shopping came to £26.95, but we split the food and household shopping between us.

Today was one of my drink free days. I try to have four a week. I plan on having some whisky tomorrow as celebration of my 100 days of running. Today was day 99! I did have some non-alcoholic beers today as I really do like them. I don’t really like soft drinks and non-alcoholic beers are just a more interesting soft drink to me. Apparently they do actually have some health benefits too. Not that I am claiming to know that for certain, it is just something I’ve heard.

We had sausage and mash for dinner, then we started watching The Umbrella Academy season 2. I loved the first season, and had read the comic book too. It was pretty good. It was rubbish night tonight so we only watched the one episode and then took out the bins and I tidied up the kitchen.

Finally I caught up with some stuff on my computer and then prepared for bed.



I got paid some Amazon vouchers from one of my side hustles today, so I put through an order for two notebooks, a book and some toiletries. It was £53.05 but it didn’t cost me anything and I selected free postage and packaging too. I had my most successful day at work of the week. I felt really sleepy around 5pm but had to wake up for a run with a friend at 6pm. Before that I saw an advert for Collectif clothing and felt in lust with a white dress. I was really tempted to buy it but I just bookmarked the page and decided to revisit it at another time when I was a bit flusher with cash.

I did my 100th run. My friend surprised me by bringing supporters along to the run. That really made my day. I did two laps of the park and then went home for some whisky and a falafel and halloumi wrap. I did my daily French lessons on Duolingo and after the flat was cleared up after dinner I relaxed and read Runner’s World magazine.


I had a bad night’s sleep so was in a moody funk all day. It wasn’t my proudest moment.

My sister had been in contact to ask if me and the rest of the siblings (I’m one of 6) wanted to chip in for a new laptop for my Dad for his birthday. I felt bad because I had already gotten my Dad birthday presents and I wasn’t sure I could contribute to the laptop as well. I would have to have a think about it.

I did a small run at lunch time with my flat mate who needed to run to the pharmacy to get his prescription. It wasn’t too bad a run. My 101st day of running in a row!

I was pretty sad all evening due to the lack of sleep and eventually went to bed at a decent time. I believe in the restorative powers of a good night’s sleep and I felt that everything would be ok in the morning.


I felt a lot better after a good night’s sleep. I had a good day at work too. On impulse I bought a book for my Kindle, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I still feel I need to get a lot sorted with my sleep, and I had best work on it over the weekend as I have some early morning meetings next week. I paid for the book with vouchers so it didn’t cost me anything in cash and was a saving of £3.99.

The flat mate and I have rapidly made our way through the non-alcoholic beer stash. So I went on the Flavourly website who I get a monthly beer crate from and ordered a case of low percentage beers we have had before. That came to £36 which interestingly is more expensive that the actual beer crate I get. I haven’t yet worked that out. Oh well. Neither the flat mate nor I drive and carrying back beers of any variety is a lot of hard work from the local shops so buying online works well for us.

I decided to contribute to my Dad’s laptop birthday gift. I sent my sister £30 towards it. She had found a very affordable model with all the trimmings my Dad would want so between us kids and my step mum it would be doable.

I caught up on this week’s episodes of Neighbour’s, and I will also do the same for The Heights which is another daytime Australian show I like.

Today marks 20 days until I become debt free. Whilst becoming debt free is still an achievement and something I have been working towards for a long time, it doesn’t matter as much to me now that my Mum is gone. I just wish I could share this with her.

I decided to make the house all nice and tidy for the weekend ahead. It’s something I like to do on Friday’s so it is one less thing to do at the weekend. I had already done the worst job which is the washing up so it was just general clearing up that needed to be done. My flat mate’s girlfriend had repotted my peace lily so I had three new plants to find places for.

Sitting around with my phone later I impulsively bought the latest album by the band Sparks. After using Amazon vouchers it didn’t cost anything, so was a saving of £10.99. However I did sign up to a one week trial of Amazon Prime which cost 99p, but I cancelled it as soon as I placed the order.


My alarm went off at 8am, but I slept for a further two hours. Bad Flo.

I like ‘pottering’ about for a couple of hours in the morning before I do anything, so it was about midday when I went to the shops to do the weekly food shop. I bought 2 packs of alcohol free beers, 2 cartons of oat milk, orange juice, a 1kg tub of peanut butter, 0% fat Greek yogurt, onions (brown, red), cucumber, green tea, garlic bread, tomatoes, beetroot, ground coffee, mozzarella, 2 packs of goats cheese and 2 lots of spaghetti Bolognese ready mix spices. The shopping came to £32.58 because I got 10% off it using the Tesco clubcard plus app.

Once home I tidied up and messed around on social media, and then at 3pm I went for a 5km run. As I left the house I realised I was going to try and run the furthest I’ve run since hearing about my mum’s death, and it would be the same route I did on the day she passed away. I found the run very tough. It was extremely hot in Wales today and even though I was wearing lightweight capri trousers and a vest I was still boiling hot and sweating like crazy. Sorry for that image. I had a very cool shower when I got home and did my weekly beauty maintenance (shaving, face mask, body scrub). I then made a really nice dinner of goat’s cheese, beetroot and walnut macaroni cheese. You can find the recipe on my blog now.

It was nearly 9pm before I settled down for my daily Duolingo lesson. I am learning French. I learnt French in high school, getting a mediocre grade C in my GCSE exam. I would say my grasp of French is much better now from the Duolingo lessons than it ever was in high school. Just goes to show that youth really is wasted on the young. I am taking it much more seriously now than I ever did in high school, which is a pity because when I was younger I was desperate to learn a new language. My Grandad was a Russian translator and my Aunt is a German translator. So languages must be in my blood somewhere.

I decided after my lesson I was going to relax with some Netflix and try to go to bed at a sensible time.


I slept in very late today, and still felt tired when I got up. That’s not how it should work! I had had a dream about my mum and felt sad when I woke up. I decided to get on with my day to distract me from it.

I tidied up the flat, then I went to the shops to do food shopping part 2. As it is just me in the flat this weekend there is only so much shopping I can carry on my own so decided to split the weekend’s shopping into two loads. I bought milk, Pepsi, Lucozade, mouthwash, beetroot juice, 2 tubs of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, frozen salmon fillets, frozen cod fillets, 2 packets of 4 chocolate bars, 2 slabs of chocolate, mushrooms, bread, eggs and bananas. It came to £27.15. I had saved £4.90 through various offers. I had also compared the price per 100g on the chocolate slabs against some other size bars they had in store, so I know I got the best price on them too.

I caught up with my admin stuff at home, then at 4pm I went for a run with my friend. It was still very hot even at that time. After the run we treated ourselves to an ice cream at a local Italian place. I had a two scoop ice cream of chuckleberry and a special milk ice cream. It was lovely. It came to £3.95, good ice cream is always worth paying for.

My Sparks CD had arrived today. My notebooks, skin care and book had arrived yesterday. When I got home my flat mate was back and was feeling sleepy on the sofa. Neither of us were in a hurry to eat dinner so the evening stretched out before us.

And with that I am signing off for this week. I really don’t plan on spending any more money today.





Goats Cheese, Beetroot and Walnut Macaroni

Hi everybody,

I did a food inventory of the cupboards and fridge/freezer last night and decided to make use of some things languishing in the cupboards.

Like walnuts.

I thought about making a cake with them, but the trouble with making a cake with nuts in is only I would eat it (my flat mate hates nuts), and I need to lose weight.

I remembered that once when I was at a book festival I had some beetroot and walnut pasta, so I decided to make something like that.

Here we go.



300g Macaroni

250g Goats Cheese

500ml Milk

65g Butter

65g Plain Flour

300g Beetroot, diced

1 Large Red Onion, diced

50g-100g Walnuts, ground

125g Mozzarella, sliced



Boil some water with a bit of salt and add the macaroni

Melt the butter in a separate pan, then add the flour and mix to a paste

Add the milk slowly, mixing as you go

Once the sauce begins to thicken add ¾ of the goats cheese and make into a cheese sauce

Once the pasta is cooked add the diced beetroot and onion and mix together, then add the cheese sauce and mix together

Pour out into an oven dish, then add the final ¼ of the goats cheese to the top

Add the mozzarella

Finally distribute the ground walnuts over the top to form a crust

Place in the oven at 200 degrees until crispy on top, about 20-30 minutes




20 Days

In 20 days time I will be debt free.

Scratch that.

Let me be honest.

In 20 days time I’ll be free from all the credit card, overdraft and consumer debt I ever had.

But I won’t be debt free.

For numerous years after graduating I had insecure job employment. I also made a lot of consumer mistakes, but mainly the job prospects held me back.

Someone in my life helped support me when times were tight or if a credit card couldn’t solve the problem.

I only ever borrowed money off this person on the basis that one day I would pay it back. I grew up to the song Independent Women by Destiny’s Child. I make it a point of pride to pay my way in life. This person is very easy going and wanted me to focus on the credit card debt before them. The repayment terms we’ve mutually agreed on are good.

I was going to save this big reveal for the debt free day, but I’m feeling introspective.

In 20 days Debt Stage 1 is completed.

In 21 days Debt Stage 2 begins.

I will focus my attention on Debt Stage 2 the way I did Debt Stage 1. I have set up life insurance and my will so that in the event I pass away before the debt is cleared this person will be paid back. This is how seriously I take it.

I’m a Flo, a Flo always pays her debts.

Spending Diary 27th July to 2nd August 2020

Hi everyone,

I had taken this week off work due to needing to sort out things after my mum’s death, some of the days have been harder than others.


I decided to travel back to my home town to see some family and be with them during this time. My training ticket cost £45.05 with insurance but I saved 1/3 on it due to my rail card. I also bought my Dad a couple of indoor plants early for his birthday so I could be there to see him open them. They came to £21.83. I went to the shops to stock up for the week for my flat mate. I bought Lucozade, milk, Pepsi, hand wash, garden peas, oats, chocolate x 3, cucumber, tomatoes and burger baps. That came to £14.15, but I split that with my flat mate.

I also went to Boots and bought conditioner, 2 deodorants and a leave in conditioner, but I paid with my Boots advantage card points as I am really low on money, so I saved nearly £10.


I travelled back to stay with my Dad and Step mum. The train journey was luckily uneventful and with no delays or cancellations. At home I just hung out with my family for the rest of the day, and didn’t spend any money.


It is my Dad and Step mum’s wedding anniversary today, so I bought them a bottle of wine and a card for £8. I picked up some shopping for myself at the local Co-op. That was £9.86, and later I travelled into the centre of my home town to see a friend. The train ticket was £2.05 after I saved 1/3 on it with my rail card.


I had a terrible night’s sleep due to keep waking up in pain. It turns out I have picked up an infection. I went to the shops to buy some supplies (£4.10 for paracetamol, juice and yogurt) and in the shop I nearly fainted. I came home, started making a cup of coffee, and then fainted in the kitchen in front of my Dad who was very concerned.

My friend has had the same type of infection before so I asked her about treatment. She said waiting till I got back to where I live and seeing a doctor there would be unwise as this type of infection needs to be treated soon, so I spent a couple of hours today filling out temporary residents forms for the nearest surgery, getting assessed and then getting a prescription. In Wales prescriptions are free. In England they are not. So I paid £9.15 for the prescription but I was happy to pay this, anything to get better.

The rest of the day was uneventful.


I slept all through the night and the infection feels like it is nearly all gone, wonderful! I went to the shops to pick up supplies for the train journey. A bottle of Lucozade and water which was £1.83 after I used my Co-op reward points. I also picked up some bread and milk for my Dad, £2.50 for them.

I had an almost uneventful train journey home until I got near Westbury when the train lost power. It eventually decided to terminate early so I got off the train in Bath as the station is very pretty and waited for the following train back to Cardiff.

I got picked up from the station by my flat mate and his girlfriend and back at the house we had store bought pizzas. It is very hot!


I met up with one of my brothers in Bristol to go back to my mum’s house to look through her things. My train fare was £9.45, with a third off using my railcard. The taxi to my mum’s house was £15. I bought lunch at the local shop for £4.79. The deal was my brother would pay for the taxi back to the station and I told him to take money out but he believed he could pay by card. Turns out he couldn’t, so I had to pay. Another £13, but he’s promised to pay me back.

I had a few bags with me so back in Cardiff I caught a taxi home, which was £8. I did a quick run, made a decadent batch of veggie chilli cheese fries and had a zooms drink session with my friends. It got pretty emotional for all of us at certain points. Everyone has something going on in their life that could be better, and I truly believe all feelings are valid. It’s not like I think I’m the only person with problems, or the worst problems now that my mum has died. I want to be there for my friends with all their problems too.

I went to bed late, but I expected that.


I got up when my alarm went off at 10am. I always set an alarm, even on weekends. I was still sleepy from a 2am bedtime, but I wanted to get on with my day.

I had a long to do list to do and I got stuck straight on it. I have been meaning to update my email address to a new provider after issues with my current one. After some research I decided to go for a professional account with a secure provider who look really good. That was £43.41 for a year’s subscription to their service. I then signed up to a couple of other tech sites. One was £33.99 for a year of their service. And I got a free month’s trial on another tech site, but that will be £7.95 a month going forward.

I later went to the shops and bought 2 face toners for myself, £3.38. I went to the local Tesco too for food shopping. I did my shop and was debating whether to get some more alcohol when I saw my favourite Welsh whisky Penderyn was on sale with £11 off its price and there was only one bottle left. I took it as a sign I should get it. The food shopping came to £51.07. Back at home I checked my bank accounts and noted that my wine club subscription had come out, that was £20. As had my beer subscription, £26.90. I also paid back my flat mate for food shopping he had bought whilst I was away, which was £20.81 worth of stuff.

I’m drawing a close on today. I really don’t want to spend any more money today and I usually try to finish this blog post early on a Sunday, because then I’m not tempted to do any more shopping as I would have to come back and edit this.

I bid you goodbye on this week.





Spending Diary 20th – 26th July 2020

Spending Diary 20th to 26th July 2020

Hi all,

I must precede this late spending diary with the information that on Monday 20th July I received the news that my wonderful mum had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack. It has understandably been a very hard time.


Before I received the news about my mum in the evening, I had been having a good day. I got things done at work. Then I left work early to view a house as the flat mate and I are looking to move out in September. We decided to get a chippy for tea. That came to £12.15, but we split the cost of that. I started my latest session on the book course I signed up to but quit halfway through after my brother phoned me to tell me about my mum.


My flat mate and I took a walk to a local park to clear my head. He treated me to a pasty and cake from a nearby bakery. The walk helped a little but I was still desperately sad. I continued with my daily runs as I didn’t see how they would make me feel worse and they might even make me feel better, but it was clear this grief was going to take time.


The flat mate went to the shops and bought milk, alcohol free beer x 2 packs and 2 x bottles, Pepsi, tissues, bread, cheese rolls, cookies, cucumber, orange juice, jam tarts, tomatoes and strawberries. This came to £22.33, but again we will split it. We will also split the cost of the £7.95 coffee from the subscription company Pact that came out of my account today.


Early bird sale entries for the 2021 October Cardiff Half Marathon went on sale and I took advantage and bought one. That came to £39.96, and I saved £5 from it. I also asked my colleague to tell me what my share of another colleague’s birthday presents was and it came to £3.10. My work friend was reluctant to bother me with news of the birthday costs but I insisted.


I have been having alternating bad and better days since finding out the news about my mum’s death, and this was a particularly bad day. It was made better by my flat mate’s girlfriend coming round and him deciding to treat us all to an Indian takeaway.


My brother and his girlfriend came to stay yesterday due to us going over to where my mum lived today. She lived nearest to me. I live in South Wales and she lived outside Bristol. My train fare cost £9.45, but I saved a 1/3 due to my railcard. I bought 2 sandwiches from the local shop to my mum whilst I was going through her things at her house. That came to £3.81 but I saved 84p using my co-op rewards card. My brother paid for the taxi to my mums and I paid for the one back which including tip was £15.

Back at my house we all felt too tired and sad to cook dinner so we ordered an Indian takeaway. The same place that we ordered from the day before. What I ordered came to £15 rounded up. Despite the circumstances it was quite nice to spend time with people. We took all the necessary social distancing precautions of course.


My brother, his girlfriend and I went to get ice creams at a local place to me. My two scoop pistachio and elderflower came to £3.95. We went for a walk around the nearest beauty spot. When we came back we played board games. Later we went to the shops and from the household budget I bought prosecco, onion rings, pizza dips, pizza, garlic bread, macaroni cheese which came to £16.65.

It has been a very hard week to get through, and I predicted I would be very upset on the 27th July when the first week since I heard the news passes.






35 Days

In 35 days time I will become debt free for the first time since at least 2013.

Although I am lucky that on the 27th of August 2020 I can share that achievement with a vast range of wonderful relatives and friends, there will be a significant person missing that day.

My mum passed away this week. This grief is like no other grief I have ever felt before.

I got into debt because I lived impulsively and with my heart. Whilst a lot of my debt was caused by having insecure employment, ill health and bad luck, there were plenty of times when I went on Amazon and bought £50 of books I couldn’t afford on a credit card.

I have done a complete flip personality wise. I now live with my head. I live frugally, sensibly and in budget at all times. This makes me feel safe.

It is hard to let go of the head way of thinking. I fear relinquishing it’s controls will lead me back into debt.

But I want to look back on my life knowing I lived a balanced life, I want to live within my means, but I want to have adventures and let my heart have it’s way sometimes.

The best way I can honour my mum is by living a full, happy and healthy life. I will keep her in my heart every day. I know she was proud of me, but I want to make sure I continue to make her proud and honour her memory.

I love you, mum.

Strawberry Tragedy Cake


Strawberry Tragedy Cake

Hi everyone,

I made this cake as a way of willing myself out of my feelings of despair on Saturday morning. I was upset because my Dad was back in Hospital having had a minor stroke. My flat mate wanted me to use up some strawberries he had forgotten about and this is what I made. Baking is my therapy.


250g self raising flour

1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

200g punnet of strawberries – half diced, half sliced

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

135ml sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

100g soft brown sugar



Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Add the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to a mixing bowl, mix together

In another bowl add the eggs and sugar and then whisk to a fine batter

Add the cinnamon and vanilla bean paste, plus the oil and sour cream to the egg/sugar bowl and whisk all together again until combined

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and bring together

Add half the batter to a spring form lined (greased and lined) then add the diced strawberries

Add the other half of the batter, then on top place the sliced strawberries cut side down

Put on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for around 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean


Spending Diary 13th – 19th July 2020

Spending Diary 13th – 19th July 2020

Hi everybody!

I hope you are all well. This week had a couple of notable events. Some good, some bad. I’ll take you through it.


Back to work again. Today I did a short run that took in posting a letter to my Grandpa on the way round. I had quite a productive day at work and achieved a few things. I finished a season I was watching on Netflix. Today I didn’t spend any money.


After work today I did a speed intervals session after work as my run of choice. I tend to pick days with bad weather to do that as there will be less people about. And it was another day where I didn’t spend any money.


Today I did something I had been saving up to do for ages. I signed up to turn my Word Press blog into a premium site so I can redesign it and get rid of all the ads. Yey! That was £84. I had been saving up for a while and I didn’t quite have enough but I decided to just jump in, move some money around, and do it now. The flat mate went to the shops today to buy some house supplies. That came to £7.62, but we split the cost of all the household shopping in half. I will spend some time this weekend playing around with Word Press and making my site look pretty.


The flat mate fancied something different for dinner, so he went to the shops and bought houmous, halloumi, falafel and salad items and we had wraps for dinner. The shopping came to £12.06, but once again we split that in half. My run incorporated picking up my prescription from the pharmacy so I only had to leave the house once today.


Today I received the bad news that my Dad had suffered another stroke. He had a major stroke in December last year and has slowly been recovering and gaining his speech back. This stroke was mild in comparison, but it is still a blow to the family. I’m so confused by lock down rules, especially because I live in Wales which has different rules to the other UK countries that I’m going to have to look into how I can see him. I just crashed out in front of the TV this evening and didn’t do much.


I was really sad this morning and it took me a while to get up and get going. It was after midday when I finally began doing things. First of all I made a lovely strawberry cake which I’ll put the recipe up for on here.  I then went to the shops to do the big weekly food shop. That came to £36.27 because I tried out my Tesco Clubcard Plus app which I had been given a 2 month free trial of and it gives me 10% off my shopping. I’m not sure whether I will make back the cost of it when I start paying for it, so this time is just to see if I like it or not.

I did a 5km run later on which didn’t make me feel better but it didn’t make me feel worse either. In the evening I had zoom drinks with my friends and I may or may not have drunk a whole bottle of white wine. Whoops. I had a really good time though. I watched the end of a music documentary downstairs with my flat mate and went to bed shortly after that.


My plans for today are to do a long run and do some writing and other bits and bobs. I treated myself to watching a show in depth on TV this morning. Normally I just put something on and have it going in the background whilst I do other things, but this I really paid attention to and even took notes!

I went out for my long run at lunchtime. 13.22km. It was tough in parts but I powered through it. I had a shower and took care of my weekly beauty admin – shaving, face mask, etc – and then I made an amazing omelette. I used to not be able to make omelettes at all. I have gained this skill during lockdown.

I was really tempted to get an ice cream after the run, but decided against it to save money. Which is just as well as I went on to buy a copy of Jack Monroe’s latest cookbook ‘Good Food for Bad Days’ That was £5.59 and will arrive tomorrow as I have a free one month trial of Amazon Prime. A bit of an impulse purchase, but I really do love Jack Monroe and their recipes.

I don’t anticipate spending any more money today, so I will sign off.





Apple Flapjacks


Hi everybody,

I was always a big campaigner for preventing food waste, but it became more important during lock down. So when I saw 4 sad apples in my fridge going a bit soft I knew I had to do something with them.

I also found some nuts in my cupboard expiring soon, so I incorporated them into the mix.


4 apples, diced

45ml golden syrup

300g oats

100g walnuts, ground

100g sugar – optional

Small amount of water and butter


Place the diced apple in a pan and cook with the golden syrup and water and butter over a medium heat until soft.

Place the walnuts in a food processor and grind

Add the walnut grounds and oats to a bowl

Add the sugar to the walnut/oat mix if using

Place the soft apple mix into the food processor and mix to a puree

Add to the oat/walnut mix and combine all together

Press into a greased square baking tin

Cook at 180 degrees for 20 minutes


Spending Diary 6th – 12th July 2020

Hi everybody,

This week is special for me because on ‘hump day’ I will only have 50 days left until I am debt free. I started the countdown on my blog from day 100 so I am half way through the countdown, though obviously it’s been a lot longer than that.

But I digress, let’s look at my wallet.


First Monday in 5 weeks that I didn’t have off as annual leave. It felt good to be at work. I had a new range of work to begin this week which I was very excited about. I had a good day at work. I made use of working from home by doing a strength workout in my kitchen at lunchtime. After work I did a 10km run to make up for not doing one on Sunday. The flat mate and I made spaghetti Bolognese from things we had at home so that kept us out of the shops today.


I got paid all my Amazon vouchers from my side hustles today. I had £50 on my account in vouchers. I decided to buy things I needed so I bought the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook 2021 that is released on the 23rd of July, a French grammar book for beginners, a beauty spatula and a lavender pillow spray as I’ve been having trouble sleeping. The order came to £50.01 so after I used all my vouchers it cost me just 1p! I was so happy about this. I was prioritising comfort for my future self by buying things I needed instead of all the CDs I wanted, so I was proud of myself.


To celebrate there only being 50 days until I become debt free I drank rather a lot of wine today. I think a later 0% alcohol beer is bizarrely what pushed me over the edge. To celebrate the 50 day countdown I did 50 press ups, 50 squats and 5 x 50 second planks (standard x 2, reverse and each side). I did a small run as well. I had my most productive day of the week at work which was nice. I had some things to do with my book writing masterclass in the evening, and I had my daily French lessons on Duolingo too. I decided I needed to do a financial forecast for August, so I spent some time doing that this evening.


The flat mate convinced me to get a take away today. I owed him two for design and branding work he is doing for me so this would be the second one. We fancied a Mexican so we ordered from Taco Bell. I had three things and the flat mate had four things and it came to £22.98. It was money very well spent, I loved it! I was in a celebratory mood because of the 50 day countdown so I was very happy to get a takeaway.


At work today I received the best news I could have ever hoped for. My Fixed Term Appointment position had been converted into a permanent position. This would make my financial future so much more secure and help from everything to getting a rental contract to eventually getting a mortgage one day. I guess yesterday’s takeaway was a nice precursor to today’s good news. My subscription to the environmentally friendly laundry capsules came out of my account today and I checked and I now have so many that I pushed the next delivery back to late August. No point buying more than I need to buy, that’s just money down the drain. I considered buying something to celebrate my job news and it was made further tempting by Marks and Spencer’s giving me a £10 off voucher to celebrate the launch of their new Sparks loyalty service, but I decided against it in the end. I didn’t really need to buy anything and I should save my money for things I do need to buy.

I didn’t really feel like cooking so I just had some instant noodles for dinner, then I tidied up the house which is something I love doing on a Friday as it means the house is tidy all ready for the weekend and that’s one less thing to waste my time on then. I did a French lesson on Duolingo, my French grammar book turned up today, as did my lavender pillow spray and beauty spatula yesterday. My Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook 2021 isn’t released until the 23rd so I have a while to wait for that.


Saturday is typically my shopping day. The flat mate and I tend to only go shopping once a week now. Before Covid-19 hit the UK I would probably go to the shops most days and buy a small amount of things on whim, now everything is planned out in advance and we shop infrequently, but we shop much bigger than we have done previously.

I bought a wide range of groceries. No alcohol for once, I am tempted to get some whisky, but I figured I would use up the alcohol at home. I bought lots of fruit and vegetables, chocolate and crisps for the flat mate (and some for me!), lots of store cupboard tins and sauces, drinks, dairy products, fish and vegetarian products and finally some doughnuts as a treat. Doughnuts are my kryptonite. I spent £47.15 and I bought so much stuff that an hour later my arms are still sore from carrying back the shopping to my house. 6 bags and a backpack! I think shopping will have to become a 2 person job from now on!

I also wanted to treat myself on a small scale, but I don’t really have money for unnecessary treats. What I decided to do was get some beauty products. I needed a face mask pack and a face wash, but I decided to get a face scrub too. I am well stocked now.


Today I did a long run, my longest run since the 14th March. It was 12.25km long and it felt great to do it. I had my daily Duolingo French lesson. My flat mate and his girlfriend went to get ice creams from a local store and came back with one for me – peanut butter and strawberry. It was amazing! He didn’t even want any money for it, so today was a no spend day. We had a late Sunday dinner as it was far too hot to have one earlier in the day, and we watched Rocky III. I decided to go to bed at a sensible time too.

Now, let’s see how much I spent this week.