Financial Review of Week 36


I don’t plan on leaving the house today, I’ve got too much desperate-search-for-a-new-job to keep me going. Plus I’ve got to batch cook my work lunches, it will be lentil based I’m sure, I just don’t know what. I am going to look through my cupboards later for inspiration.

So here, a little early, is the financial review of this week.


As it was Zero Waste Week this week I wanted to go Monday-Friday only buying Milk and Bread and saving other items for the weekend shop on the basis we had SO MUCH F****** FOOD in the house.

We achieved that.


Milk and Bread £2.09


Milk, Yoghurts x 2, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Cucumber, Parsnip, Carrots £6.10

Toilet Roll £3.99

Kitchen Roll, Coat Hangers, Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads £9.97

Frozen Onion and Frozen Sweetcorn £2.29

Sponges, Bread Rolls, Mozzarella x 2 £2.40





Bus Tickets x 5 = £5


2 x Rolls = £4.60

Chocolate Bars x 3 = £1.50

SD Card for Phone £1.21

Rain Coat £5.50

TOTAL = £12.81!!!!!!!! (YOWZA’S)


Gum x 4 = £3.96


Posting Birthday Presents x 2 = £4.70



Let’s look at some stats.

I have £16.05 left of the food and household shopping budget with…ahem…16 days until it resets. I think we may be eating dust for a part of that time if we want to remain in budget. I know there are all those challenges where you live on £1 a day, which I am tempted to try

In terms of my disposable income left I have….£0. Well, I do have some money in my bank account, but I want to do some damage control first to see how much I have left after bills are taken out (I get my final statement of the month tomorrow) and I may be in debt already as I owe the boy some money for a football match ticket we are going to in October. So I’m guessing part of today may involve selling everything I own on Ebay.

I was talking to my counsellor last Monday about my money troubles and she offered to reduce the rate down to £15 a session, which I initially said no to, but man I am so tempted, but I think there is a real chance I may become unemployed soon so I may save the offer till then when I will really need it.

Things are going to get tough. We are on the descent to Christmas, an event I pretty much have to plan in January in order to figure out how I can afford to do it. I have a large family, plus the boy’s family, plus certain key friends, plus the boy to all consider. I like to send Christmas cards to everyone and anyone and have many family members living overseas. I also have family members who have birthdays either in December or January and I include them in the Christmas budget. Plus there is the Boxing Day Football match, train tickets to see my family who live in the South of England, plus wrapping paper!!!!

All in all I think Christmas will cost me around about £500, and I will have to subsidise a lot of that with vouchers I earn through survey sites. It will be tough, but possible.



Let’s Celebrate

After yesterday’s post on here I received a notification from WordPress which informed me that I had just made my 200th post.

That means I have averaged over 1 post a day, which is great as I know there are around 5-10 days when I didn’t post this year.

I started this blog years ago. I posted sporadically at best during those years. I didn’t have dedication or discipline to post everyday.

I decided to use this blog space (I was still paying for the domain name after all) to blog about my debt free diary and my no spend year.

I thought all I would do was post about my finances, as that is what interested me.

But it became more than that.

I didn’t want to depress people, but I started having bad blips and bad moments of anxiety and I changed my medication to try and help me cope with that. I wrote about those days. I noticed that they got more attention than any of my previous posts, which I only mention because it made me realise there are others like me.

There are other people suffering from anxiety, social anxiety, depression, mental health difficulties, borderline personality disorder and the like.

I received comments, and I treasured each one, because it made me feel in a small way that I was reaching people and maybe in some small way I was helping.

I feel desperate, sad, bad about myself and the future. But one thing I don’t feel is alone.

So you may read this blog for all the talk on money saving and my financial weekly reviews, you may read it for the cheap and easy recipes and for preventing food waste, you may just be here for the daily posts of someone who finds the world a constant and daily struggle. You may be here because I have occasionally mentioned books and who doesn’t like books?

Whatever you are here for, I’m glad you are reading.

Please let me know why you visited today, what you like, what you dislike, whether you think I have too many spelling mistakes (I do try to keep them to a minimum) or whatever. Send a Haiku.

Thanks for stopping by. Here’s to my next 200 posts.


You Know What Time it is (Financial Review of Week 5)

Hi everybody,

Well another week has been completed, it’s Sunday, that means it’s time for a financial review!!

Here is how my money left my wallet this week:


Ticket to football match in March £23

Coffee x 2 with friend £5.59


Milk £2.25


3 x presents £24.87

3 x birthday cards £2.57


Bus £1


Stamps £3.84


Milk, Bread, Cucumber and Cheese £5.19

Carrots, Instant Cous Cous, Naan bread, Poppadoms, Tortilla Wraps, Fry Lite and Potatoes £6.56

2 x pizzas, ketchup, carrier bag charge £6.05

Lettuce, Sweet Potatoes, Orange Juice, Coleslaw, Burger Baps, Bag Charge £4.37


So it has been another week of heavy spending. Everything has been needed (apart from the 15p spent on plastic bags), everything has been in budget, and no forbidden purchases have been bought.

I find it shocking that I am spending close to £100 each week, as I don’t have that in disposable income each month, so it is strange to see how all your expenses add up without you realising.

I am hoping today will be my third No Spend Day of February.

I have tomorrow off work because today, as I’m sure my American readers are well aware of, is…..THE SUPERBOWL!

Watching the Superbowl is almost like a national holiday for my boyfriend and me as we take the next day off work, eat a huge amount of food, use it as an excuse to drink as much as we like and in general feel very much in the party spirit.

Although we have no particular allegiance to any individual NFL team, we love watching the Superbowl and season in general.

So I won’t wish any team good luck, I will just say ‘GO SPORTS’

Payment a Day

My bank account as of this moment only has the exact amount of money left for the two remaining bills that need to come out before next payday.

This is because of the following:

I have transferred the bulk of the remaining money to my savings account. I have transferred the money that covers the budgeted categories to keep it safe.

Safe I hear you ask? Yes, you see with the budgeted categories most of them won’t be spent every month, but I will need to have the money ‘saved’ because when I do use the money from that category I will most likely be spending a couple of month’s worth of the budget at that point.

So you can see that my savings account is the logical place for them.

I have also transferred my boyfriend the money for a ticket to a football match we are going to next month.

Which left the bill money, and £3.31.

I am now going to tell you about an idea that is from the forum on the Money Saving Expert website which was created by my hero, Martin Lewis. ‘Payment a day’

Payment a Day, or PAD as it is better known on the MSE website, is where you make a payment-big or small, doesn’t matter-everyday to your chosen account, most usually a debt or savings.

In the summer of 2016 this really kept me on track when I was ‘between contracts’ (unemployed) and wanted to tackle my debts.

My tactic is to round my bank account down to, depending on how flush I am at the time, the nearest £1/£5/£10.

I no longer do a PAD everyday, as I would soon run out of money and eat into my bill money because every penny is now carefully budgeted for, but when I do have a random amount remaining in my account I send it to one of my debts.

So I know it is only £3.31 but that is £3.31 I have sent to my credit card that I won’t ever be paying interest on again. It is small, but I have paid extra to my debts.

And paying extra is what counts.

Believe me there was a point in my life where if I had £3.31 left in my account which couldn’t be withdrawn I would be going from shop to shop looking at things to that amount that I could buy.

It didn’t even matter what I was buying.

So this means my savings account is now at £100 which I’ll agree is frighteningly small for a adult-ish girl without a permanent work contract, but that is the largest balance I have had in that account for YEARS! It is triple digits! (just)

I will dip into that savings account, as it has my work expenses money in it, but putting it in my savings account first is a statement to my intention of spending as little as possible.

Today was a good day.


My Worst Moments of Anxiety # 5

Whilst I am usually in a state of mild anxiety, there have been 5 defining moments in my life where my anxiety reached monumental heights and really buggered things up.



When I was in University most of my closest friends were doing one of the Photography courses whereas I did Film. To cut a long story short, their class trip to the Paris Photo Biennial in 2010 suddenly had a free space available which any one from any course with the money to pay could fill. Since 2 people on that course lived with me and one was my best friend they alerted me to this straight away.

I should also explain that on that trip was a guy I had a small, tiny, little crush on.

Ok, I really liked him.

I dealt with this in typical Flo fashion which was to avoid him at all costs. Unfortunately on that trip all my friends were friends with him and I ended up spending most of the time with him, which was enough to make the most composed girl a little bit nervous and stressed.

One night we were all in a bar when some guys joined us. The new guests at the table were pretty blatant about trying to get the ladies of the table to come back to where they were staying. Most of the ladies at the table were not slutty enough to actually go through with this, but weren’t exactly saying no to the attention.

Despite having spent most of my sexually awakened years single and a bit desperate to rectify this I have a pretty bad reaction to male attention. In that I hate it.

I was the classic ‘wanting the one I can’t have’ because it was safer to live in a dream world then face reality.

Whenever a man paid attention to me I would usually have one or more of the following thoughts:

  1. You must think I’m really ugly and would be so pathetically grateful for any attention that I will jump straight into bed with you. Well I won’t.
  2. You only think I am good looking because we are in bad lighting conditions and if you saw me in daylight you would run away, so we may as well not start something. (I did once put a stopper on a guy’s attention because I thought this)
  3. You like me? What the hell is wrong with you? You must be a bigger freak than I am.

Yes I subscribed to the Groucho Marx train of thought, where he didn’t want to belong to any club that would have him as a member, I didn’t want to go out with anyone who liked me. Why? Because then I would have to admit to myself that I might be likeable after all. And I couldn’t do that.

So anyhow, hot guys in Paris paying attention to me, and I was doing anything to put them off, including saying I had a boyfriend, which wasn’t true and didn’t put them off.

We all eventually left. I had been in a state of panic for a while, not because I thought the guys were bad or evil or that something bad was going to happen, but because I just wanted out of there. I found it exhausting. I wanted out of that situation and had been planning on walking back to the Hotel on my own.

I was walking ahead of everyone when the guy I fancied came up to me and tried to talk to me.  I was in my ‘shutters have come down’ state and wasn’t really making much sense. Then he said what every girl hopes to hear uttered by the boy she likes in the most romantic city in the world.

‘You’re a bit odd, you are.’

Needless to say we never went out.

This moment was defining because it explains why I get stressed in social situations. Because when you’re in a big group of friends it is hard to leave without drawing lots of attention to yourself. In fact nearly all of the stories I will eventually share with you are about me being stuck in a social situation where the average person will be having the time of their life, and I am in a state. I will tell you about my Prom night, My Graduation and My Friend’s Weddings. Then I will tell you the most event because it wasn’t a one day event, it was a prolonged period of time.

But for now, that was me, in Paris, with a hot guy, being odd.

NSD #1

I am pleased to report that today was a ‘No Spend Day’ (NSD) meaning so far this year 1/3 of the days have not involved any money leaving my wallet.

Yes the year is only three days old but I will take victories where I can.

In December I think the weight of 2016 had finally gotten to me because I was buying a big fat sugary latte coffee (despite being more of an americano kinda girl) at least once a day in order to just get through the day with at least one eye open.

But that can happen no more, so it was goodbye Java Mermaid and hello supermarket own brand gold roast instant coffee. I do like a nice ground coffee but am perfectly happy with instant, I know to some that is a sin but I don’t really have very discerning taste buds.

It was so frosty this morning, and so cold, and so dark at 6am that I was a bit like ‘Up with this I will not put!’ but there are far bigger problems in the world.

We do need more milk, but I think we can live without replacing it until tomorrow. I am desperate for as many NSDs as I can get.

In 2016 I achieved 71 NSDs.

In 2017 I want to achieve double that.

Some may wonder, what’s the big deal about a NSD? Why go out of your way to have X amount of NSDs when all that matters is that you stay in your budget?

I agree, to a certain extent. The trouble is I know myself, or at least the old self. I could barely go more than half a day without spending my money on something. It didn’t matter what it was.

I am the sort of person for whom money really does burn a hole in my pocket.

I remember when I was a 12 year old girl and was going shopping in town with my friends (no parents, woo hoo!) I would spend all my pocket money there and then, and if I had 50p left, then I would find for something, ANYTHING, that was 50p just to buy it and to have more more things.

I remember my friend had to stop me buying a 15p shampoo that had the look of washing up liquid just in order to use up my last pennies.

My problem is shopping gives me a high, and ok my tastes are cheap, think Peacocks not Prada, but debt is still debt whether it came from haute couture or the high street.

This may seem like a big revelation, but actually I have known for a long time that I am on the hunt for something that will make my life better. I am on the hunt for essentially a magic wand or a genie lantern.

What is wrong with my life? What do I have to complain about?

My life is pretty blessed, but I do have mental health problems, hormone problems, anxiety problems and low self esteem. Aye aye aye.

I was after a magical product that would cure my problems. Dealing with them head on in a mature and reasonable fashion would be too simple and sensible for the old Flo. Instead I tried to buy happiness. I had a hole in my heart that needed to be plugged with something shiny.

So when I did go shopping I couldn’t stick to a list. Oh I would make a list, but I would add to it. I couldn’t just buy the loaf of bread and milk that we needed, I would hunt high and low until I left the shop with the baking supplies, herbal teas and wonder products just to buy some lifestyle I was hoping to emulate.

I don’t really have the confidence to be me. To say and believe that I am fine the way I am. I seem to be trying to find someone else’s idea of perfection in the shops.

What I’m hoping this year is to cut to the very core of who I am and rid my life of ‘clutter’ whether it is in terms of clothes, physical items or mental clutter.

NSDs do me good. They make me realise I can live without buying crap.

Just 141 more NSDs to go.