In 65 days time I will be debt free. I made my monthly credit card payment today which brought my debt down to £450. That’s probably the lowest I’ve ever had it since my debt began. I get closer.
Where does the time go?
This week started off frugal and then rapidly got a bit more spendy as the days went on. I’ll take you through it.
Another Monday where I had booked the day off work. I have two more Mondays like this in June to look forward to as well.
Sadly this day did not get off to a good start. I had missed a call from my Step Mum and she had left a message asking me to call her back. I had a feeling about what had happened. Sure enough my Step Mum told me that my 19 year old cat Skittles had passed away in the night. I spent most of Monday holding back tears. I loved that cat so much. But she had a good life and couldn’t have asked for more.
Other than my book writing course and a short run I didn’t achieve much of significance today. This is partly because my sleep has gone to hell recently and I am struggling to fall asleep at night, and as a result I wake up late in the morning. I’m really trying to work on it.
The flat mate wanted to do some shopping today, so he went to the shops and bought burger buns, cookies, dessert pots, breakfast biscuits, milk, bread, Pepsi, cucumber and rice. It was £13.93, so £6.96 for my half. The smol laundry tablets subscription came out of my account today as well, so that was £4.50 or £2.25 split between us.
I am still running every day, and learning French on Duolingo every day, but I don’t seem to be getting as much other stuff done as I was at the start of lockdown.
I did a 5.39km run today, my longest run in a while. I managed to get caught in a shower of rain, however I consider myself lucky because it had stopped when I got back to the house but my flat mate who had set out for his run after me ended up in a biblical storm and got absolutely drenched, so I can’t complain.
We’ve been making use of what is in the house food wise, though obviously we did the shopping yesterday. In general we do have a good stock of stuff in the house and can last with minimal supplies, which is good as we only have about £15 of the food shopping budget left now.
I had my most productive week at work this week. I have been really struggling with my mental health and it has greatly affected my productivity. I had a telephone counselling session with the employee assistance programme my employer has, and confided in my line manager, so both of those really helped me. It is always good to be open about things.
I suddenly remember I hadn’t got my Dad a Father’s Day present. I had sent him a card, but had completely forgotten about getting him a gift. I hurriedly bought him a CD off Amazon and sent it to his address. That was £11.38. I think he will really like what I bought him, it’s my favourite album by The Kinks ‘Arthur…’ and I had decided long ago that this would be a good gift for him. So although it was a hurried decision to make the purchase today, I did always have that CD in mind.
My oldest niece is learning Japanese in lockdown, and as I am learning French I really wanted to support her learning, so I had decided to get her a Japanese dictionary. However, to keep things fair between all my nieces and nephews this meant I had to get her brother a book, and I also purchased a game for my other set of nephew and niece. The books were £15.28 and the game was £17.48. I can’t really afford these purchases, but I do want to show them kindness as lockdown isn’t easy for anyone.
We all had a pub quiz on skype with them later, I can’t wait for the deliveries to arrive to them all.
I had to get up early to have a phone call with my personal trainer, I mean, early for me. I’ve been struggling to wake up before 9.30am and the phone call was for 9.30am, so getting up at 8.30am was a struggle. I was still awake at 12.30am. I really must work on my sleep, but I’ve been saying that for weeks.
As a result of getting up early I was able to go to the shops very soon after they opened, posting some letters to my family on the way. I’m really struggling to lose weight in lockdown, but I’ll admit I haven’t been making the same efforts as I have done previously. I bought without really having a plan in place, so I did spend more than I wanted to. I bought oranges, mushrooms, peppers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, carrots, tomatoes. I also bought anchovies, a large pizza, Greek yogurt, Pepsi, 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, spices, orange juice, coconut milk and eggs. I should have had a plan in place, oh well. The shopping was £28.81 but I used £8 of club card vouchers in Tesco to bring it down to £20.81 (£10.40 once split with my flat mate).
I also am all out of stamps so I bought a 12 pack of 1st class stamps for £9.12. That might last me a little while, though at the rate I write letters it probably won’t.
And with that I’ll bid you goodbye as I don’t plan on spending any more money for the rest of today, I really can’t afford to even if I wanted to.
TOTAL WEEKLY SPENDING
FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £39.24 / £19.62
PERSONAL SPENDS = £53.26
TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £72.88
The freedom intensifies
My 19 year old cat Skittles has passed away. She had a good life. She was well loved and well cared for, I couldn’t have asked for more from my time with her.
I am still sad though.
She lived with my Dad and Step mum. I got her as a 12th birthday present. She and her brother who we also had, who passed away last year, were born on Valentine’s Day 2001. She lived 19 years 4 months and 1 day.
There is so much going on in the world. Be with your loved ones. Do something each day that scares you. Try something new each day. Get whatever you want out of life whenever you have the chance to. Live. Be bold. Be brave. Be beautiful.
It’s a new week, yes it is!
I wonder what this week holds in store for me.
Ok, so disclaimer, I bought something late on Sunday night which wasn’t included in my spending diary that I published on here on the 7th. This is because it was a bit of a spur of the moment purchase. My friend was doing a fundraiser on Facebook for The Bail Project, and I donated £5 to that. I am including it here.
I had today off work as I have booked every Monday in June off as annual leave. I did have to do a small training course though but that only took about 2 hours. I wrote a lot in the morning and I spent a good amount of time on Duolingo later in the day. The flat mate and I are watching a WWE Pay per View for their NXT brand and we had it with these amazing vegan burgers from Beyond Meat. They were absolutely delicious. I spent some time looking at flats online to see what sort of places I could move into this September and there were actually more options than I thought which reassured me.
A bit later I checked one of my receipt apps on my phone that pays me in Amazon vouchers and saw I had enough to cash out a £10 voucher which really cheered me up. I cashed it straight away and went on Amazon and bought Lemonade by Beyoncé and an Elton John 3 CD Greatest Hits. I had £20 in vouchers on my account so the two CDs cost me £4.99, plus I requested free postage and packaging. Not a bad saving at all.
I had been waiting in all day for a delivery to turn up – a few things from a local coffee shop – but it never did. I got the invoice late in the evening, my order was £32.30 (£16.15 for my half). I paid it, but then contacted the seller to say the order hadn’t turned up. He was extremely apologetic and assured me it would arrive on Tuesday. These things happen and he is offering a really good service, so I wasn’t upset.
A really interesting day post wise. My 12 bottle case of wine that was due to be delivered last week turned up, yey! There is in particular a white wine in the case I am eager to try. I also received in the standard post my latest issue of Runner’s World magazine that featured an article about one of my running groups, and I also had a letter from my Aunt and Uncle and another from my Cousin and her family. I also had my missing delivery from yesterday delivered, so all in all I had of lot of stuff to read and unpack.
Then a bit later on in the day there was another buzz at the door for a delivery and the flat mate answered it as I was in an online meeting. It was another lot of what I had ordered from the local coffee shop. I emailed the owner of the store to explain the mistake and said I would pay for the items if he sent me another invoice.
I did an online pub quiz later with some friends of mine and the flat mates, and then I settled down to read Runner’s World magazine.
The owner of the coffee shop who had delivered two lots of orders to me had replied to my email to say he was very sorry and although I said I wasn’t upset he still felt bad so the invoice he sent me for the second delivery had taken off the equivalent cost of the two bags of coffee, which was a nice little saving. I promptly paid the £20.01 price of the new invoice (£10.01 for my half) and then had a little panic about the amount of days left in the month with a vastly depleted food budget, but I worked out what the average amount left for a 7 day week was based on dividing what remains of the budget by the amount of days until I next get paid, and it looked like we would be alright. But suddenly that reduced price of the coffee did help.
My Amazon delivery of the two CDS turned up and I greatly look forward to listening to them later on. I don’t own any sort of streaming or portable music device, I don’t even have a Spotify account, so I do get a lot of use out of CDs which must make me really retro. I do have a vinyl collection as well!
Later on the flat mate and I went for a run, then he went to the shops to pick up some things we needed. We had put off shopping for as long as we could. My flat mate also went to the local chippie and got a small portion of chips, curry sauce and mushy peas. The Tesco shopping was £26.75, and the chip shop stuff was £4.80, so it was £15.78 for my half. It was really nice to have chip shops chips.
As predicted the flat mate came back with half the sweet aisle in Tesco. We have 2 bars of Dairy Milk, a packet of digestive biscuits, fig rolls (I admittedly asked for them) and 2 packets of 2 GU cheesecakes. Better be careful, I don’t want to come out of lockdown having put on weight.
I had a productive French lesson on Duolingo, completing another section before moving on. I sailed through the next session I was on, but eventually had to stop.
The flat mate and I watched a couple of episodes of This Country as we’ve only heard good things about it, it was pretty funny, and it was really well observed.
We then talked for a bit as I had been struggling a bit today with lockdown fatigue and it really felt good to chat. I had a good text exchange with my mum as well. I told her about a dear friend of mine who is suffering with ill health at the moment, she needs an operation and her only real option is to have private surgery. She’s launched a fund raiser and I was telling my mum about that. My mum being the kind hearted person she is wanted to help. I’m looking into if I can do some sort of sponsored event during lock down to raise money for her.
I keep struggling to go to bed at a sensible time and I really must work on that as it is starting to badly affect me. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.
I realised today was the 2 year anniversary of being in my current role at work. I looked up what the symbol for a 2 year anniversary was and found out it was cotton, so I decided to buy those two sports bras I had been considering for a while. But I didn’t just buy them straight away, I went through an employee benefits scheme I have at work and purchased a £50 voucher for that store (the price of the two sports bras) and I got a 7.5% discount on the voucher, meaning it only cost me £46.25. A small discount, but a good one, and I had spent enough to qualify for free postage and packaging too which is another saving.
I had an open discussion about how I was feeling with my line manager and I feel so much better for it and I’m ready to start again afresh tomorrow.
The flat mate was in a bad way today, all of his technology stopped synching with each other and this causes major problems for him, so he was really upset because of all that. I wish I could help him.
I completed another level on Duolingo, I did a 6.86km run in a quick time and in general I felt good about today.
I woke up at 5am today and felt wide awake, so I decided to stay up. I wrote about 1700 words in the morning, as well as blogged, and then I did a 36 minute interval session near my house. I quickly had a shower, stretched and foam rolled, then I started work.
I had quite a good day at work, but I later had a phone counselling session with the support team that my employer has. It wasn’t necessary to arrange any more sessions, but I felt good for having had this session, and I ended the working week in a really good mood.
Such a good mood in fact that when my flat mate said he felt like a takeaway I agreed, though I knew it would probably be bad on the scales tomorrow morning. I was to pay for the takeaway since my flat mate has very generously agreed to do branding work for me in exchange for two takeaways. We decided to order from an Indian place nearby that my flat mate had been to before with his girlfriend and they had been very good to him, so we wanted to give them money. The takeaway wasn’t the best one in the world but it certainly was quite nice, and it was something different.
The takeaway was £27.55. I later saw my friend was doing a sponsored event for the Samaritans, who she volunteers for, so I sponsored her for £5, with a 31p admin fee, so £5.31 in total.
Not a bad day all in all.
In direct contrast to yesterday, today I woke up at 11am, which I hate. It throws my entire day off balance. I would much rather have too little sleep than too much. I had stayed up late the night before finishing a Haruki Murakami book (A Wild Sheep Chase) so at least I had gained something from my oversleeping.
We needed to get more supplies from the shops. I hate going to the shops. The amount of people who don’t obey the one way system or the 2 metre social distancing guidelines is shocking. But we needed supplies. I went to Savers first and picked up Vaseline, toothpaste, hand wash and anti-bacterial wipes for £10.91 (£5.45 for my half). Next I went to Tesco and bought orange juice, 2 bottles of squash, olives, Ben and Jerry’s, black beans, gravy granules, a jar of roasted red peppers, vitalite, flora, vegan mayonnaise, tomato puree, frozen spinach, courgettes, apples, fresh peppers, strawberries, bananas, 3 multipacks of crisps and eggs for £33.42 (£16.71 for my half).
Once back from the shops I watched a Euro 96 football match of Netherlands versus England. My flat mate said it was one of the best football matches he had ever seen and recommended that I watch it. It was pretty good, and it is nice to see footballers I remember from my childhood again.
I went for a run after the game and then the flat mate and I just watched TV and films the rest of the evening. Around 10.30pm I got the urge to buy father’s day cards before I forget again, so I bought two from Moon Pig, one for my Dad and one for my Grandpa. They came to £8.30 for the two.
I have really been debating about whether to buy some more Lush products, more specifically the same Lush products I bought last time just in bigger sizes. After creating a £46 shopping basket I eventually decided to cast it aside. I do need the products, but the flat mate and I have a very small amount of the food budget left and 2 weeks to get through with it, plus I have put the cost of the takeaway on my credit card. There is a chance I will get £75.13 on Tuesday, but I decided it was much better to make sure I had the money first and then use that to pay off the credit card and use the rest for food than buy some products.
So with that I declare that the week is over for spending!
FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £128.19 (£64.09 my half)
PERSONAL SHOPPING = £97.40
TOTAL SPENDING = £161.49
This is much more than I was expecting to have spent, so it will have to be a leaner period for the rest of the month.
I am a quarter of the way through the 100 day countdown.
In turns of the actual amount of days, from when I finally decided I had to sort out my finances, to the date in the near future when I can make my final payment to the credit card, I have been through 1652 of them. I am 95.65% of the way through the journey. I have 4.78% of my debt total left to pay.
I will be moving on to the next stage of my life this year. My flat mate and I will no longer be living together from this September. One of us may stay in the current flat, or we may both move on to new places. This is why it is so important I have my finances in order.
So much in the world seems terrifying at the moment. I just try to focus on the good.
It is ok to be scared. It is ok to not know the answers to everything. It is ok to ask for help. It is ok to be kind to yourself. It is ok to be kind to others. It is ok to ask for directions. It is ok to get up in the morning with purpose. It is ok to worry about getting out of bed each morning. It is ok to go to bed eager for the day to be over. It is ok to go to bed eager for the next day to begin.
It is ok to not have total confidence. It is ok to worry sometimes. It is ok to not know where you will be in 5 years’ time. It is ok to not be perfect. It is ok to be sentimental. It is ok to be soft. It is ok to forget things.
It is ok to not be as ambitious as the next person. It is ok to be more ambitious than the next person.
It is ok to use spell check. It is ok to ask for help on grammar. It is ok to use a thesaurus. It is ok to use a dictionary. It is ok to ask for help.
It is ok to have made mistakes. It is ok to have done things in your past that you are not proud off. It is ok that you might make more mistakes in your future.
It is ok to try again.
It is ok to be you.
It is ok to better yourself.
It is ok.
Today is an ok day.
An interesting couple of days post wise with lots of parcels and deliveries and letters turning up. I get ridiculously excited by post so I hope you are all happy for me.
I have about £109 of the food budget left so will need to plan a course of action for making sure we make it to my next pay day with all my budget intact. I worked it out based on the amount of days left versus how much of the food budget is left and we should be ok. One of my deliveries was a 12 pack of wine and a 12 pack of oat milks, amongst other things like coffee and fizzy drinks, so I am going to be fine. Unless I drink all the wine in one go which will make me very un-fine in many ways.
I am struggling a bit with lockdown, so I am going to introduce a gratitude diary element to these daily blog posts to make me reflect on what I do have, not what I don’t.
My daily gratitude’s. Today I am grateful for:
- A fine selection of teas and coffees in my house
- New CDs to listen to
- New French lessons on Duolingo
- Having the luxury of being indoors when it is raining
- My ability to run, and my love of it
As my Granny always said, be good. And if you can’t be good be bad.
I am a fifth of the way through my final countdown.
20 days have passed since I started posting every day on my blog.
I am slowly building my empire, whatever that means. I am creating a new life for myself slowly and surely.
It is still strange to think that soon my credit card and other consumer debt will all be cleared. As I’ve said before the clearing of my debts is merely the end of stage 1 of my financial journey. I am eager to begin stage 2 which is primarily about saving. Saving up a fully funded emergency fund. Saving for a holiday. Saving for a new laptop. Saving for a bike. Saving for a house. Saving for a future.
If I could stress one thing it is this. Paying off debt is not a straight forward process. Shit can and will happen. I am not sad that my debt free journey will have taken 1727 days, I’d rather it takes a long time than I just never bother. Whilst getting into debt obviously didn’t make me proud of myself, paying the debts off definitely has made me proud of myself.
I have sold most of my possessions. I worked 7 days a week for 13 months. I went to clothes swapping parties. I never bought anything without getting a good deal on it. I have learnt more about money in the last 1667 days than I ever did in the whole of my life beforehand.
I still have 80 days to get through. I will get through them. Like I’ve said, I’m just going to enjoy the journey. It will all be ok.