Spending Diary 29th June to 5th July 2020

Hi everybody,

Welcome to another week in the life of Flo’s wallet!

I’ll take you through my spending.

29/06/2020

Today is a glorious day because today is pay day! Is there any better day? Who knows? I spent some time paying off my credit card bill this morning that was £117.19. This is just a credit card I use to do some flexible payments, I always pay it off in full on pay day. My goal for July is to not use it at all, let’s see how that goes!

I also transferred money into my sinking fund pots on Monzo. A sinking fund is where you put money aside each month for an expense that happens at irregular periods, such as annual things like insurance, Christmas etc. Or you could also have a pot you put money in for things like ‘Car repairs’, so you always have money set aside for when you need to buy new tires or similar. My pots on my Monzo card include Christmas, Home Insurance, TV License, Water Bill, Web Domain Names and Word Press. So I transferred what I put into them each month and that left me with £100 spending money for the month.

I needed new moisturisers so I took advantage of a voucher Cult Beauty had sent me for 15% off my first order. I’ve been really eager to buy from them. I chose two moisturisers, a day one and a night one, from a company called Versed and that came to £30 but after discount it was £25.50. A bit more than I would have liked to have spent but my friend who knows everything and anything about skincare had recommended some products to me previously and my skin cleared up immediately so I wanted to continue trying products she recommends.

I had £20 come out of my account as my first deposit for a mail order wine company. This will be split on the food bill as the flat mate benefits from the wine as well. I ordered my first crate with them last month and have loved it! I don’t think I’ll continue with this after lockdown is over and I’m back working in the office, just because I think it would be too difficult to order wine to be delivered, but it is nice for now.

I went to the shops as I have the day off work and bought cleaning supplies in Savers which came to £18.85 that will be split with the flat mate on the food and household shopping budget. I also bought myself a few beauty supplies in the same store, which came to £9.95.

I then went to Tesco and it’s hard to say what I bought that made the cost of the shopping come to £69.28, but nowadays nothing surprises me price wise during lockdown. It was a big food stock up shop. The shopping included a 1kg tub of peanut butter, loads of different herbal tea bags as I have finally used up my complete stash in lockdown, and various tins and long life stuff. I made sure to buy a jar of jalapenos just in case I get another craving to spend all my money on a Domino’s again.

I then went and bought the flowers I will be sending to someone for their birthday. The flowers and card came to £27.98, they were worth it.

I’m going to have to be a bit careful with money as I’ve now spent most of it and still have some birthday’s to come this month and the takeaway I need to get my flat mate in exchange for branding work. I have enough money for all those things, it’s just if I get a sudden impulse to buy a bunch of random crap that I’ll get in trouble! And it would be really nice to not use the credit card this month.

All in all an expensive day, but pay day usually is a spendy day isn’t it? Everyone is excited about having money again so goes and buys the things they couldn’t just the day before. And I really do have everything I need now.

30/06/2020

It was back to work today. I had a lot of stuff to catch up on from having the day off yesterday. There were a few things to wrap up as it was the end of Quarter 1 at one and that means soon I’ll be having a review with my line managers about how it has gone. There were a few niggly tasks to do as well. At lunchtime I did a strength session, mainly bodyweight exercises. After work I ran a 5km which brings my mileage for this month up to 75 miles. Go me! I’m going to reflect on the goals I set myself for June. It was a bit of a mixed bag. Some stuff I didn’t do at all and a lot of the things I did do was a real rush to get done in the last week of June. I hope I’m better prepared in July.

I made a huge lasagna on Sunday where the main ingredient was carrot. It’s because I had a load of sad looking vegetables at the bottom of the fridge I had forgotten about and I didn’t want to waste them. I’m a big fan of batch cooking, making that lasagna has taken care of dinner for three days in a row. It’s a nice little treat to have a nice dinner to look forward to each night.

In the end I didn’t spend any money today, woo hoo.

01/07/2020

I had a few things come out of my account today. I had my monthly crate of craft beer be taken from my account. That was £26.90. I also had my subscription to Tribe protein bars come out, that was £22. Finally I had a £20 amount be taken which took me a long time to figure out what it was. I later realised it was another deposit to the mail order wine company because I had tried to change my payment date to the beginning of the month not the end, and it had taken the payment twice. Oh well, at least my wine fund is nicely funded now. All of these will be split with my flat mate, so the £68.90 is actually £34.45.

The water bill finally arrived, the post has been a bit slow obviously because of lockdown. It was less than I was expecting, by which I mean it was similar to the last bill’s amount and I figured it would be more since the flat mate and I have been at home full time for three months. My share of the bill was £110.70. It is my flat mate who has the account set up to pay it so I left it for him to deal with.

02/07/2020

The beer delivery came today, as did my order of moisturisers. I love getting post, even if it is stuff I knew I had ordered.

The flat mate and I split the final portion of lasagna and had it with sweet potato wedges and broccoli. We have now run out of some things and I expect we’ll be hitting the shops at the weekend, we should really go back to food planning and making sure we use up what we have in stock first.

On my run today I went a route that would go by a postbox so I could post the letter to my Grandpa. The run streak I’ve been doing has really helped me be creative about fitting in my runs, such as doing my errands on the run. I probably wouldn’t have figured that out if I hadn’t decided to do a run streak.

At work it is another colleague’s birthday soon and I’ve been in charge of organizing their gift. I’ll leave the amount out of this in case the work colleague reads this, but I’ll include my share in the week’s total. I had nearly all of the other team member’s shares come back into my account so I am now nearly fully funded again.

03/07/2020

I missed out on tickets to see Fontaines DC in my home city, boo. I didn’t think it would sell out that quickly even though everyone said it would. To cheer myself up I bought a ticket to see Echo and the Bunnymen next year, a band I’ve always wanted to see since getting into them. The ticket was £54.15. I made sure to sign up to insurance on the ticket. If this year has taught me anything it is that you never know what is going to happen!

The flat mate wanted something nice for dinner, so off he went to the shops and came back with take away style pizzas and a whole bunch of other unhealthy stuff. Yummy. He spent £24.55 in one shop and £8.40 in another, but we will split the costs. The pizza was so big that I could only eat half of it which is unheard of for me. We watched wrestling in the evening. I had already gone for my run that day. A good thing too because that pizza really was huge.

My friend is going to be copy editing some written work of mine. I wanted to pay her for her work but she wasn’t keen for whatever reason. We eventually compromised on a donation to a food bank in return for her services, so I sent £33 to my city’s local food bank tonight.

I probably didn’t imagine when I woke up today that I would spend all the money I did, but I feel everything I bought has had a good value.

04/07/2020

I woke up late, boo. I had a quick coffee and breakfast then I ran into town. I was under the belief my bank was open, I had checked online yesterday. When I got there however it was very much shut. But at least I had gotten my exercise in for the day.

On the way back from the ill-fated trip to town I stopped off at the shops to pick up tomato ketchup for my flat mate because last night with dinner he was devastated when he discovered he didn’t have any ketchup. He really was devastated! So I bought him some today to cheer him up.

I had a zoom session with my book writing masterclass, and then I spent about 2 hours finishing a course on Duolingo that I was really struggling with. I’m learning French, technically I have a GCSE in French, but that was 15 years ago and it was a mediocre grade C so I definitely wouldn’t say I am skilled in the language. To be honest I think Duolingo is a better teacher than any actual teacher I had in high school. One teacher would write the lesson on the board and not even speak to the class during the lesson at all. That same teacher also once didn’t show up to class and we all bunked off and it was never discovered. No wonder I did so poorly.

I had another zoom call in the evening with friends from work. My poor phone got a bit overworked today, I’m always having to charge it. My laptop is over 9 years old and I’m amazed it still does anything at this stage, though there is an awful lot it doesn’t do. I would love to get a new laptop but that is a far off purchase for when I am richer which is probably going to be never. Oh well. I can dream.

05/07/2020

Disaster. I woke up at 12:30pm. I didn’t go to bed till after 1am but I am still disappointed with this waking up time. I have got to get my sleep under control again. I always struggle to sleep well in summer.

I went for a small run with my flat mate, then I made some banana bread. I made banana bread all the time before lockdown but I almost refused to make it during lockdown because it’s one of the lockdown bingo things to do. But I love banana bread and I had three bananas turning black and squishy so it had to be done. I jazzed it up with coconut flakes and dates, yummy.

I will be doing my pub quiz in the evening with my siblings, and other than that I have no plans for the rest of the day. I’ve already done my 5 French lessons on Duolingo, je suis chez moi is the latest sentence I’ve learnt (I am at my place). I might watch Rocky III in the evening with my flat mate, and eat some banana bread of course.

So with that I will sign off the week.

TOTAL SPENDING

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £212.78 / £106.39 (my half)

PERSONAL SPENDING = £155.56

TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £261.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spending Diary 11th to 17th May 2020

Hi everybody,

Money is fast becoming a priority. I am so lucky to be earning a full wage and be able to work from home during this time, but that doesn’t mean I can stop doing my best with my money. I am classed as a low earner, so I think my earning potential is limited, so I will always have to be careful with money. Though I can see that currently I am doing ok.

Let me take you through this week.

11/05/2020

The Monday after the Bank Holiday weekend. I ended up having my most productive day at work since working from home, so I really felt good about that. But it looks like we may have the beginning of an ant problem in our flat. Which is even stranger given that it is a first floor flat. Before today the flat mate and I had never seen any ants in our flat, ever. Today we saw, and killed, four. I have a mild ant phobia and this did bring on some anxiety for me which took a little while to calm down from. I dealt with it proactively by going through all the cupboards that store food and wiping them down and cleaning them with the old style favourite of distilled white vinegar spray. It stung my nostrils a little but the cupboards looked all nice and shiny. I placed opened packets of food in sealed jars and Tupperware’s to prevent a further problem. Haven’t seen an ant since this afternoon so maybe they know not to mess with me.

I received a £50 Amazon voucher from a side hustle market research panel I’m signed up to today, so I placed an order that had been in my online basket for a while. I bought a foot rest as it would really help my posture at my work desk, some cleanser that my skin care expert friend has recommended, a writing set, a ceramic food storage container that I am going to attempt a new sourdough starter with, some dots for spots (a skincare treatment for pimples) and some reusable bamboo kitchen roll that I’m going to give a try. The order after vouchers was £13.34, the bamboo kitchen roll I’ve placed on the food shopping budget so that was £8.49 (about £4.25 for my half) and the remaining £4.85 I counted as a ‘beauty’ category spend on my spreadsheets.

I also had a delivery of a 6 pack of oat milk, 2 packs of V60 coffee filters and a packet of ground Welsh coffee. I haven’t actually had the invoice yet so I’m not sure how much it will be.

12/05/2020

I received the invoice for the coffee shop delivery yesterday so I paid that straight away. It was £25.31, so £12.66 for my half.

The ants are still being a bother. I am deep cleaning various areas of the house and hoovering the floors and spraying white vinegar everywhere. Our house smells like a chip shop, but I like it now.

The flat mate and I cooked a batch of spaghetti Bolognese that will do for tomorrow’s lunch as well.

I have been taking part in an online book writing challenge, though interestingly it doesn’t really involve much writing. But it is a good way to get feedback on various things such as the potential title for my book, and I’m actually really coming to like it. It’s good for me to get out of my shell and do things that may help me in the long run.

Money is getting tight as the month draws on. The food shopping has naturally gone up now that the flat mate is back and I really don’t think we’ll make it to the end of the month with the food budget in tact so it is about minimizing the damage where possible.

13/05/2020

The ants are bothering me so much that I went on Amazon and ordered some ant killer. I tried the humane way, it hasn’t worked. The ant killer was £7.39 which the flat mate and I will split between us. It was the flat mate’s turn to brave going to the shops and he came back having spent £40.02 which is normal for lock down prices, but it means we only have about £25 of the food budget left to last 2 weeks, so my worries yesterday will almost definitely come true. I guess I’ll just have to cope with it. Or maybe I’ll look to see if I can increase the food budget for the months going forward. I’d rather have a plan and reduce my disposable income then be caught by surprise at the end of the month.

My friend gave birth two weeks ago and I’m finally getting the hang of using Moon Pig, so I ordered her, or more specifically her son a card to send to them. That was £4.05. I’m the sort of person who regularly took advantage of the ’10 cards for £1’ Card Factory deals so these cards are really starting to add up cost wise but I have come to quite like them. People should have nice cards.

14/05/2020

I was feeling really ill today. The flat mate and I had made a big Indian dinner the night before and I was feeling bad from it today. Knowing I was too nauseated to eat much lunch I went for a long run at lunchtime to make the most of it. Long is a relative term, it was 6km, but certainly longer than any other run I’ve done since lock down began. It was a truly terrible run when I was doing it, but when I got home and recovered from my increased nausea I felt much better about it.

As a result of this I didn’t spend any money today which is good!

15/05/2020

I have a rolling three month subscription to a magazine called ‘Money Wise’ that is definitely worth every penny of the small £7.50 charge every three months. That payment came out today. I had forgotten about this coming out of my main bank account though I knew it would be coming out this month. I work to a zero based budget in my main bank account only holding enough money in it for bills and food, so if I let this £7.50 charge come out it would mean I would eventually go overdrawn. So I transferred £7.50 from my Monzo account as this magazine subscription is definitely a fun spend back into my main bank account.

The Flat mate had gone to the shops earlier today and spent £14.05 (£7.03) on a few bits and pieces for the fridge. We know don’t have very much of the food budget left at all so I imagine we will go over budget this month for sure.

We considered watching ‘Long Shot’ on Netflix as a friend had recommended it saying it was better than expected. The friend probably meant the Charlize Theron and Seth Rogan film, but instead we found a 40 minute Netflix film about a wrongfully convicted man in Los Angeles and decided to watch that one instead, and I do recommend it.

I’m eagerly awaiting our ant killer to arrive. I’ve tried getting rid of them humanely and they just keep coming back. At the end of the day they are a pest and I want them out of my flat. I’ve deep cleaned so many different areas of the flat and I’m pissed off that they’re still here, it’s really bothering me.

I had gone for a run along a new route today. It was also much quieter. I think I’ve finally twigged that just because I live opposite a park it doesn’t mean I should run away there because everyone wants to be at the park. On my way back after finishing the run by the edge of the park there were Police Community Support Officers talking to people and asking them what they were up to which just highlights that it is a different world we are living in.

One good thing about lock down is when I turn my work computer off at 5pm I can be at the ‘pub’ (my living room) within 1 minute to begin the weekend.

16/05/2020

I practiced my French on Duolingo today for about an hour. I did a small 2.22km run. Later on I did some writing. In the evening I began investigating products I needed to buy as part of my skincare regime. Something I had in my Amazon basket seemed to have been removed from the site so I began looking for it on other sites. I found it on the Superdrug website and as I needed a few other things I ordered them too. It was my first time using the site for an order and I had to figure out which products would be in stock to order as some things I originally placed in my basket weren’t available to be delivered, so I had to replace them. I bought hair remover, serum, eye cream and body scrub. It came to £22.72 which was the majority of what I had left remaining in my Monzo account so I really don’t have much left to survive the month with, but then again it’s not like I’m going anywhere or doing anything.

The flat mate and I started watching End of the F****** World and I’m not sure what to make of it, it is a bit grim and dark though that’s not usually a problem for me. I’m so glad I’m not a teenager anymore, far too many hormones raging about the place. It’s much easier being an adult.

My sleep has fallen out of balance recently. I used to do a digital detox and now I’m still on my phone and laptop late at night and I need to work on that as it’s messing with my sleep. I’m going to spend tomorrow onwards getting back into the habit of going to bed and getting up at a sensible time. I much prefer my old routine of getting up at 6am and going to bed at 10pm.

17/05/2020

I don’t normally spend any money on a Sunday, at least not during lockdown. I have no plans to go to the shops as I’m planning on doing that tomorrow. I don’t really have any disposable income money left so I won’t be buying anything personal for myself, so that is the end of my spending for this week.

EDITED LATER TO ADD

Turns out we had run out of gravy, so I went to the shops and decided that I might as well blow the budget and buy everything we needed. A biggish shop later of £31.70 (£15.85) will hopefully keep me out of the shops for a while.

SPENDING TOTALS

FOOD = £126.96/my half £63.48

PERSONAL SPENDS = £31.62

TOTAL MONEY SPENT THIS WEEK = £95.10

 

 

May 2020 Financial Projection

Hi everyone,

I got my pay slip yesterday and pay day is tomorrow, therefore I have time to do a projection of my money for the month ahead.

I earn £20725 a year. Depending on my performance at work I can expect a bonus of about £150 (before tax) each quarter.

This month I seem to have been taxed differently as I have a slight increase in my pay. That’s fine with me!

Here is a breakdown of my bills

BILLS/STANDING ORDERS/MONTHLY CHARGES

Rent £375 (my half)

Council Tax £77 (my half)

Energy £75 (my half)

Broadband £17.49 (my half)

Food £150 (my half)

Debt £150

Life Insurance £14.76

Mobile £7

Gym £27 (This is a £7 donation of sorts to my gym whilst it’s closed and £20 to a personal trainer to devise a lock down at home work out. Normally it would just be £19.99 a month)

TOTM £6.80 (subscription order sanitary products)

2 x Charity Donations £10

Netflix £3 (my half)

Any bill that is followed with the words ‘my half’ means the monthly cost is double, but I split that bill with my flat mate. Some bills come out of his account and some come out of mine and we transfer the respective money to each other, but for point of ease I’m just showing what my half of the bills cost.

TOTAL £913.05

INCOME £1404.42

TOTAL LEFT £491.37

Now here is where the fun starts, what do I do with my ‘disposable income’?

This is where my sinking funds come in. A sinking fund is where I keep my money for bills that come out less frequently then once a month. It’s where I put money aside for savings, etc.

Here’s what I do with mine, my budgets have been dramatically changed due to lock down so what follows may not be an accurate description of a typical month, but it is reflective of the month ahead.

Beauty £7.50

Christmas £67.50

Clothing £7.50

Health £7.50

Home Insurance £10

Races (Running) £7.50

Renew Passport £20

Royal Mail Redelivery £6

Running Trainers £7.50

Savings £200

TV License £9.85

Water Bill £40

Web Domain Names £20

Word Press £5

TOTAL £415.85

TOTAL LEFT £75.51

Some of the above are higher than they would be normally because at the start of this year I couldn’t save very much money at all and so some bills are due to come out soon, and I don’t have the money set aside for them just yet. For instance my ‘Water Bill’ sinking fund will usually just be about £20 a month, and Christmas would be £50 a month.

My goal is to get to a point where I am saving 20% of my net pay each month, but at the moment it is just a bit too difficult and I would rather save a bit less and keep it untouched then keep raiding the piggy bank.

There’s not much to get up to at the moment due to lockdown so it should be easy to keep to the £75 fun money in the next month. Though I am lusting after a magazine subscription, but I must be realistic about needs versus wants.

So that’s it everyone, a little glimpse into my finances. I would like to get to a point where I can pay for Duolingo each month, and I would quite like to try out Disney+, but they aren’t important and what is important to me is looking to see if I can go on holiday after lockdown with my friends.

My debts are taking care of themselves and will be gone within the next four months. It’s a little hard to believe my debts will soon be gone. I’ve had them for so long and they’ve been such a part of my identity (in a bad way) for so long that it’s hard to get used to.

I’m sure it will get easier.

 

Spending Diary 13th – 19th April 2020

Hi everybody!

This is going to be a very short and boring blog post because here is the total of what I’ve spent this week.

13/04/2020

Last week I placed an order with a local independent coffee shop shut because of Covid-19 for a 6 pack of Oatly Barista style oat milk as it’s my favourite. It was delivered on the 15th but I paid the invoice today. £8.40

That’s it for this week. A total weekly spend of £8.40.

So let’s try and liven this up a little.

I have a monthly food budget of £300 that runs from one pay day to the next. My flat mate splits this budget with me as we live together, have the same taste in food, and it works for us. So my total cost each month is £150. Currently of the budget we have spent £187.06 and have £112.94 left to last until the 28th, so I clearly have enough budget left to last me that time. I am still planning on focusing on using up my stores at home rather than shopping. Although in terms of fresh fruit and vegetables I only have half a cucumber, some orange juice, 3 onions, some beetroot juice and 1 apple left I do have loads of frozen fruit and vegetables left so I will be able to eat healthily and get my five a day, which I am a little obsessed with. I know guidelines have since come out to say we should be aiming for seven fruit and vegetables a day, but five isn’t a bad place to start.

In terms of my bills I have 3 left to be taken out of my account this month, and 2 are the big ones of my rent and my credit card bill, but I work to a zero based budget so I am not worried about paying them. It’s just a nice psychological boost to know that they have been paid each month. When my latest credit card payment clears my debt will be £750 and I’m aiming to pay it off at a rate of £150 a month so that it will be cleared when I get paid in August this year.

Although it will be nice to be debt free, I am of course more concerned about the pandemic at the moment. Which is why I am aggressively trying to save money and build up an emergency fund as quickly as possible, which without wanting to trivialise the situation has been made easier by being on lockdown.

Anyway, I wish you all a lovely Sunday. Do something nice, be with your loved ones, read, catch up on a box set, put your feet up or be productive, whatever you want.

Flo’s Spending Diary April 2020 (so far)

Hi everybody!

I’m relaunching the spending diaries I used to do on my blog, back when I wrote on it regularly. I will catch up on the whole of April so far even though it is longer than a week, and then next Sunday I will just do a review of the week gone.

Here goes!

01/04/2020

I was due to start my period soon and was running low on supplies, but didn’t want to go to the shops more than necessary. I remembered seeing a company advertised on Instagram a while ago called TOTM (Time of the Month) who deliver nice organic supplies to you in the post. I bought 2 lots of pads. £6.80

02/04/2020

Even though I’m working from home as is the whole of my team, it is still people’s birthdays and they must have presents. The latest birthday is my line manager’s on the 7th. One of the team organised it and I transferred her my share via Monzo. £3

I also bought four books on Kindle. Two were by Gretchen Rubin who I love, another was the very first book by ‘Mrs Moneypenny’ who is a financial journalist and also a presenter of a show I used to love called Superscrimpers that sadly doesn’t run anymore. I’ve read her other two books and love them. Finally I bought a book that had been in my Amazon basket for about 4 years and was making me feel guilty called ‘Behavioural Economics Saved my Dog’ by Dan Ariely, which is a collection of his work. This is the only one I’ve read so far of the four and it was good! £12.96

03/04/2020

My friend Christina Thatcher who I met through a writing group she runs that I used to go to is launching her 2nd poetry collection ‘How to Carry Fire’ and she’s had to change the launch due to Covid-19. I had some spare money from my birthday so I finally bought both her poetry collections through her publisher. I’ve read the first ‘More Than You Were’ and it is simply stunning. Sparse, but stunning. £17.99

04/04/2020

The flat mate and I braved going to the shops. Although we live together and don’t have to social distance we decided the best use of our time would be to split up and do half the shopping each. We had to go to 3 shops, doing a bigger shop in one of them, so we did split it fairly and this meant we could limit our time outside. I had to buy face cream for myself £10.58

I picked up cleaning supplies and some of the food shopping and the flat mate bought frozen food in Iceland and the rest of the fresh food shopping. Together we spent £64.07, so my half was about £32.03.

05/04/2020

I’m not really running during lockdown. In fact I have only done one run and that was on Good Friday, but I have been missing running and wanted to keep in touch with the world of it in case things improve and my marathon does still go ahead later this year, so I bought one of those cheap 6 month magazine subscriptions for Runner’s World magazine. Like I said in my last post, I’m addicted to magazines! £6

06/04/2020

I’ve subscribed to a company that does environmentally friendly laundry and dishwasher tablets and I was charged for my next order today. £8.05/£4.02

08/04/2020

Today I posted a card each to my 4 nieces and nephews, and also my sister. It is my sister’s birthday soon and I like to send money to each kid at Easter so each card contained a tenner. £50

I did another big shop at Tesco that should keep me out of there until the week after. This shop may have contained a bottle of pink gin. £48.35/£21.18

10/04/2020

I recently treated myself to a craft beer order on offer. I liked the company and the beers, so I upgraded the subscription and ordered a box of 20 beers for the flat mate and me. I managed to save £13.95 on the order through a series of deals so it cost us £21.90, or £10.95 between us.

11/04/2020

This blog that you’re reading used to have a different domain name and I have since changed it through WordPress, new start new me! £11

TOTAL SPENDS = £186.51

This seems a little high, but the food shopping comes from another budget, so my personal spends were around £118 and £53 of that was gifts which don’t happen that frequently, so I feel ok about this. It was recently my birthday so I do have some spare cash at the moment which meant I could treat myself to a few books.

Hope you are all doing well. Stay Strong. Stay Safe.

Financial Review of Quarter 1 2020

Hi everybody!

I want to return to the spending diaries I used to do. I’ll admit, I don’t have the energy to do one for every week of this year so far. So please excuse me but I’m just going to do a review of what in business you may call ‘Quarter 1’ of January to March. I will however start doing spending reviews of the weeks from April onwards.

I expect that my spending habits are going to dramatically differ in the next quarter compared to this one. Do consider this very much a pre-Corona time.

Without further ado:

BEAUTY – £75.60

I regularly get various body parts waxed, plus I bought a few bits and pieces like hair dye, scrubbing brushes and toiletries, but as you can see my spends in this category are quite low compared to perhaps the average woman.

CHARITY – £26.50

I donated to two fundraisers. One for a local Arts Centre and another for a friend’s Dad who was shaving his hair and beard off to raise money for the NHS. I have since Covid-19 set up direct debits to a food bank and also the mental health charity Mind. I feel this category’s spend is a little low for three months as I try to donate about 1% of my income to charity each month, but I did struggle financially for the first quarter of the year.

CLOTHING – £171.47

This seems very high, but £90 of this total comes from buying a new pair of running shoes as my old ones were really wearing out. The rest of this is primarily made up of a few dresses, 3 bras, new PJs and a T-shirt.

GIFTS – £106.07

It’s been a few work colleagues and family member’s birthdays this quarter. Also I sent flowers to my Mum and Step Mum on Mother’s Day.

HEALTH – £289.78

Earlier this year I was training for a spring Marathon that has since been postponed to October. I invested quite a lot in my training and regularly went to either a physiotherapist or chiropractor or chiropodist to look after various body parts.

HOBBIES – BOOKS – £18.29

I’ve really got into my kindle and love nothing better than finding a great deal on a book I want to read. I have about 40 books on my kindle now that I haven’t read so I do need to catch up on my reading a bit!

HOBBIES – MAGAZINES – £10.30

Magazines are my guilty pleasure and I do have a bit of an addiction to them so I’m really pleased with this low amount, though this doesn’t include a rolling 3 month subscription to Moneywise magazine as I consider that a bill.

HOBBIES – MONEY – £10

This is a little out there, but I invested £10 in a peer to peer loan site and I should get a rate of interest back, however for now this is how I’ve chosen to categorise this spend.

HOBBIES – MUSIC – £16

This could have gone in the category above. My favourite band is Queen. I also collect coins. The Royal Mint has released a commemorative £5 coin for the band Queen, so I had to buy it. The coin and postage and packaging was £16 but the coin has a legal tender value of £5 and it is this sort of maths that probably explains why I’m poor!

HOMEWARE – £59.32

As a recent birthday treat to myself I bought high thread count bedding. It was from Primark so it was still good value for me, but was more than I typically spend on bedding. I also bought a few kitchen bits to help me survive Covid-19 such as stuff to make my own oat milk from.

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD – £213.66

I always feel this category is really high and I do really try to reduce it. This category is for food I buy out of the house on my own, for instance getting a canteen lunch at work. Even though I’ve just gone through the spreadsheets I still can’t explain why this category is so high.

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING – £17.86

This is mostly from buying stamps as I write a lot of letters to my family.

RACES – £165.85

I had a refund on one of these races as it was postponed due to Covid-19 to a date I couldn’t do as that’s when my postponed marathon’s date was changed to. I entered 3 half marathons this year, and one of those was cancelled due to the storms in February and then Covid-19 meant that that race still hasn’t been rearranged, so I may end up getting a refund on that one too. For the point of ease I’ve included the total amount I spent at the time and haven’t deducted any refunds.

SOCIAL – £229.21

I feel I didn’t socialize much this year, but I guess my bank account likes to differ! I did go to a nice birthday meal with my work colleagues. I also tend to ‘date myself’ and go off to the cinema on my own so I have seen a few films before Covid-19 changed the landscape.

TRAVEL – £285.10

Like the races category I have had around £85 of this total refunded due to Coivd-19 cancellations, so the total I spent is lower, but like I said I include the full price I spent as that money did leave my account at the time in full. I have been travelling home a few times this year to visit my Dad who was still in hospital at that point. There were also trips I was due to make which as mentioned have now been cancelled.

WORK EXPENSE – £12.25

I contribute £2 a month to a tea kitty at work, plus I buy my own herbal teas to take into work. I think this amount is very reasonable for 3 months, go me.

TOTAL SPENDS = £1707.26

This is the total amount I spent on my disposable income spending, as in my money for what I want to buy. It seems quite high as that is nearly £600 a month on just myself and I feel that money could be better used for savings or debt repayments, so hopefully lockdown will change my spending habits. I’m not saying lockdown is a good thing (apart from keeping people safe), but it would be nice if some selfish good came out of it.

I also spent £487.48 on my half of the food shopping this quarter. I split the food and household shopping with my flat mate (the ex) so I just divided the total amount by 2. I think less than £500 is good for 3 months.

I’m interested to see what the next 3 months brings in terms of my spending.

 

 

Financial Review of Weeks 13, 14, 15, 16 (I’m sorry for the delay)

Here’s the thing about working 7 days a week. Even when the 6th and 7th days of working total just 8 hours you find you lack the time to get everything done.

My Blog has taken the hit.

I will proceed with the financial reviews:

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Pizza, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Cookies, Bread, Milk, Yogurt 8.35
Super Big Tesco Delivery 114.34
White Bread and Cucumber 1.15
Juice, Cheese Slice, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Garlic Bread, Cheesecake, Bag for Life 8.14
Carrot Chips, Corn on the Cobs, Onion Rings, Chicken Strips, Chicken Popsters, Cheese Pizza x 2 11.98
Potatoes, Orange Juice, Carrots, Milk, Popcorn, Raspberries 5.99
Flu Powder, Face Wipes, Moisturiser, Hand Sanitiser 3.85
Toothpaste, Floss, Shower Gel, Handwash 4.86
Toothpaste, Soothers x 2, Vanish, Allergy Tablets, Toothbrush 7.45
Greaseproof Paper, Coconut Water x 4 2.75
Toothbrush Holder 0.29
Rolls and Lettuce 1.75
Spray Oil x 2, Laundry Cleanser x 2, Toilet Roll, Bag For Life, Laundry Bag 11.34
Massive Pizza, Jon Pizza, Cookies 6.5
milk 1.09
tortilla chips, rolls, cookies, gum 2.74
Milk, Carrots, Bag for Life 1.37
bread, doughnuts, garlic bread, lasagne, cucumber, parsnips, bag for life 6.6
Sweetcorn, Cheese Pizza 3.5
Orange Juice, Ice Creams x 2 3.9
Aqueous Cream, Hair Remover Cream, Bath Foam, Body Scrub, Razors, Face Masks x 3 7.87
Sprite Six Pack, Fanta Six Pack, Orangina, Garlic Pizza Bread, Canneloni, Bread, Cookies, Bag for life x 2 11.2
Colour Catchers, Cotton Pads, Toner, Hand Cream 6.56
Chicken Dippers, Marmite, Chicken Breast, Mince x 2, Peppers, Onion, Boy Pies 19.86
Prawn Crackers, Yoghurt 1.85

TOTAL SPENDS = £255.28 (WEEKLY AVERAGE = £63.82)

We are already over budget for this month of April and still have a week to go so it’s not going that well.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

Milk for work 0.8 WORK EXPENSE
Gum 1.5 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Easter Egg for Jon 4 GIFTS
Prawn Sandwich 2.2 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Pie Minister 17 SOCIAL
2 x Sets of PJs 34.05 CLOTHING
Apple and Banana 0.67 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Tupperware From Paperchase 1 HOMEWARE
Ale 4.5 SOCIAL
Burger and Tea 10 SOCIAL
Pizza 6.5 SOCIAL
Shonen Knife T Shirt 15 CLOTHING
Make Up 30 MAKE UP
Subway 4 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Ale 3.65 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
2 Pairs of Trousers, Exercise Tights and Top 24.05 CLOTHING
Let’s Eat Grandma Ticket 10 SOCIAL
Peach Green Tea Lemonade 3.35 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Chiropractice Groupon 23.95 HOBBIES – HEALTH
Food for Homeless person 4.28 GIFTS
Plastic Cutlery 0.75 WORK EXPENSE
Water and Mango Coca Cola 1.8 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Pint of coke 1.99 SOCIAL
Lipbalm 1.2 MAKE UP
Chewing Gum 0.45 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Sweets 3 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Train to Grangetown 3.4 TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)
Paying Postage on an unstamped card 2 POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
John Lewis Gift Card 15 GIFTS
Chocolate Treats for Hedy 2.5 GIFTS
Money for the Nie-phews 20 GIFTS
Posting the Kids Treats 6.9 POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
Indian Takeaway 16 SOCIAL
2 x Flat Whites 4.8 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Tissues for work 0.39 WORK EXPENSE
Milk for work 0.75 WORK EXPENSE
2 x Beers 7 SOCIAL
Posting parcel to Chris 1.87 POSTAGE AND PACKAGING
Boots Meal Deal 3.39 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Kimono 4.99 CLOTHING
coffee and apple 3.15 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Five Guys Burger, Fries and Drink 12.15 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Donation to Ben 15 GIFTS
Cookies and Donuts for a homeless person 0.78 GIFTS
Milk for work 0.8 WORK EXPENSE
Boots Meal Deal 3.39 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Next Voucher For Tudor 10 GIFTS
2 x Books 9.98 HOBBIES-BOOKS
Manics Vinyl 20.04 HOBBIES-MUSIC
2 x Cocktails 8.45 SOCIAL
Five Guys for 2 25.45 SOCIAL
Ice Cream 2.5 SOCIAL
Gum 0.5 NON ESSENTIAL FOOD
Fixing Jeans 5 CLOTHING MAINTENANCE
Jeans 5.99 CLOTHING
Milk for work 0.8 WORK EXPENSE

TOTAL SPENDS = A LOT (£421.66/WEEKLY AVERAGE = £105.42)

I promise I will be better at blogging from now on.

This Wonderful World of Purchase Power: Financial Review of Week 8/52 2018

Ahem.

I spent more on Thursday and Friday on personal spends then I have in some months. In fact it is very easy to say I spent more this week than I have in some months.

It was all stuff that I needed, and also included The Boy’s birthday present, but the thing was I couldn’t really afford to buy any of it, so I put it on my credit card, reasoning that I had about 6 weeks before the next statement and therefore next due date to find the money. I figured I would do it in instalments.

But it turns out that I have such an aversion to owing money that yesterday I paid the card in full, even though none of the items had cleared yet so my account will be in credit first.

It may mean that I have to not have any fun until I have money again, but I’m glad my debt is cleared.

Let’s get down to business.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Milk £1.10

Bread, Cookies, Garlic Bread, Chilli Spices x 2, Spaghetti Bolognese Spices x 2 £6.10

Milk, Margarine, Pizza, Baguettes x 2, Pasta Sauce, Crisps, Baking Potatoes, Stew Pack, Apples £8.96

TOTAL = £16.16

Now let’s move on to the B I G spends.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

WORK EXPENSES

3 x Cartons of milk £1.79

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD

Jacket Potato and tea £6.70

Coffee and Biscotti £4.15

GIFTS

Sweets for a work colleague £0.75

The Boy’s Birthday Treat Number 2 £63

BEAUTY 

Hair cut and tip £25

Hair Mask, Special Hair Brush and Hair Clips £7.72

CLOTHING

Running Trainers £108.05

16 Pairs of Pants/Knickers (4 x 4 packs) £20

Dressing Gown and Slippers £22.50

SOCIAL

Baguette and Wedges £4.15

Comedy Gig Tickets £6.50

Indian Takeaway £16.10

HEALTH

Dentist appointment £14

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus Ticket £1.60

(Let’s add up this scary amount of money)

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDS = £302.01 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £318.17

The funny thing is we are now £1.31 over the food shopping budget after doing the weekly shop, and I knew we only had a little bit left so I was saying to The Boy I wanted to restrict our spending to just the essentials. The Boy, who has plenty of money began ‘It’s great that you have a food budget and that you do all this, but….”

‘You don’t want to be deprived because you have lots of money’ I said.

‘….Yes’

Now, in order to try and claw back some self respect from you all, I will go through my ‘wombles’.*

10% Discount on the Running shoes = £12

Multi Buy savings on the Hair Products = £1.25

Free Biscuits that The Boy has brought back from work = £1.25

Using vouchers I had earned on the Dressing Gown and Slippers = £22

Watching a film for free at the Cinema through volunteering = £7.90

Total savings this week = £44.40

So it could have been a lot worse.

*Womble = Saving money, getting money off, or getting something for free. Based on The Wombles, a UK Children’s TV show about furry creatures who ‘make good use of the things that they find’ (that is a line from their song, yes, they had a song).

 

Financial Review of Week 7/52 2018

Hi everybody,

I would like to thank all my followers, old and new, for reading, cheers!

Let’s see how I foolishly wasted wisely invested my money this week.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

IMG_7496

Ice Cream, Milk, Golden Syrup £3.84

Milk, Wash Tablets, Orange Juice, Cheese, Frozen Sweetcorn, Apples, Rice, Prawn Crackers £14.92

Poppadoms £1.45

IMG_7498

Coconut Water x 4, Pizza x 2, Naan Bread, Poppadoms, Cookies x 2, Pilau Rice, Quorn Pieces, Quorn Mince, Baking Potatoes, Agave Syrup, Greek Yoghurt, Cucumber, Chicken Fillets £16.16

IMG_7497

Laundry Cleanser x 2, Washing Machine Cleaner £2.97

Beer x 3, Milkshake, Chocolate Treats x 2 £6.50 

Bread, Beetroot Shots x 2, Cayenne Shot £4

TOTAL SPENDS = £49.64

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

HOBBIES – HEALTH

2 x Magazines £8.40

Sports Watch £5.99

Race for Life Pretty Muddy £20

Magazine £4

Resistance Bands £3.50

(Total = £41.89)

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING

Stamps £7.80

GIFTS

Thank you cards £2.98

The Boy’s Birthday Treat Number 1 £30

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Taxi £2 (The Boy gave me £5 towards it)

Bus £3.40

HOMEWARE

Memory Box £2.49

SOCIAL 

Meal out with The Boy £20

CLOTHING

Work Trousers £5

Exercise Trousers £8

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD

Coffee £2.70

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING = £84.37 

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £134.01

Losing Weight the Frugal Way Part 5

I have lost my first stone!

Ok, so I stood on the scales about 3 different times on various parts of the bathroom floor as the floor is uneven and I was trying to get an accurate reading, and maybe I stopped checking the levelness of the floor after I got a scale reading that confirmed I had lost my first stone…but if the only person I’m fooling is myself surely that is ok?

Hmmm.

The trouble is, I am keeping a bit quiet about it. Yes, I am posting about it on a public blog under my own name, and I have demanded that The Boy makes me another certificate marking my achievement, but I haven’t told any friends or work colleagues yet.

This is because since summer 2016 I have gone up and down and round and round the scales between about an 18 pound difference.

From 16 Stone to 14 Stone 10 Lbs.

That may be the first time I have publicly declared my weight, so please don’t judge me.

I started this weight loss adventure at 15 Stone 12.75 Lbs.

On Saturday, my official weigh in day, my weight was 14 Stone 11.25 Lbs.

I have lost over a stone in about 5 weeks.

More impressive than that (to me) is that I am training to learn how to run again, and the training plan I am following asks me to train/run 4 times a week.

Since starting that training plan I have not missed a single session.

I have to fit it around my life, and sometimes it has been tough, sometimes I do my ‘run’ on the treadmill at the gym rather than the streets, but I have done every single one.

But I am still keeping quiet about my weight loss, apart from with The Boy and all you guys reading, because it won’t be until I have lost that magic 19th lb (and weigh 14 Stone 9 Lbs) that I will feel the ‘curse’ is broken.

I am so glad I have lost this stone, because I cheated and booked a hair cut for Thursday, and didn’t want to cancel if I hadn’t lost the weight. My hair cut is my reward for losing a stone. But it is sort of being frugal because I am going to a beauty training college, and I haven’t had my hair cut in over 2 years so I think it is a necessity more than anything else. My split ends have split ends (sorry for being gross).

Now, onto the running.

I wanted to run the half marathon that takes place in my home town each October, but I couldn’t afford the entry fee.

The Boy rang me on Thursday after I had been to the gym (go me!).

‘Hi Flo, do you still want to run the half marathon?’

‘Yes, but I can’t afford it’

‘Well, this is your lucky day’

The Boy then proceeded to tell me that he had gone to sign up for a free place through his employer at an open event. He works for one of the Universities in our town. It was there he found out they had many free spaces going, and they were available for:

Staff

Students

Alumni

and…

Members of the public.

All I have to do is raise a set amount of sponsorship, which is the rather achievable £200.

The Boy and I are obviously being very mature about it and have decided to have a competition between us to see who raises the most money.

The bonus point is we could choose between 2 of their charities, and whilst both were worthy, we opted for the Mental Health charity because of my experiences.

So that is another frugal bonus, and a rather good ‘womble’ because I also got a free T Shirt and water bottle.

I am now Walk/Running 5K, and today was my Personal Best of the year at 41 Minutes 40 Seconds.

In more frugal news I bought a sports watch on Amazon using my vouchers which cost me just £5.99 after discounts.

The thing is, what I think is working for me, the reason why it is all going well, is because I am just doing it.

By which I mean, normally I overthink things to death, or I have an all or nothing approach and believe if I am not running 5k all the way on day one then I am a massive failure and waste of space. Normally I push myself to unrealistic targets and pick up an injury and then stupidly carry on until I really hurt myself and have to take 3 weeks off by which point the sofa has become rather comfy and pizza is very tasty.

I am being so sensible, and I am not doing anything with any fanfare or fuss. It’s not a case of before where I was like ‘I HAVE BEEN TO THE GYM, LOOK AT ME, I AM GREAT, I SHALL HAVE A BEER AS A REWARD’.

Instead I am just going to the gym, because….crucially…I want to.

I can see myself in the mirror, and although I still have a large belly and haven’t seemed to have dropped a dress size, there is definition to my stomach. They aren’t abs, they are my ‘fl-abs’. And I am very proud of them.

I am still drinking alcohol (in moderation), I am still eating treat meals (in moderation), but I am being healthy most of the time.

In regards to my running training, I have already repeated one week because I didn’t feel ready to progress, and I am going to do the same with this week’s training. Before I would have felt like I was being weak, now I know it is the reason why I am getting stronger.

I wish I knew what the secret was, because then I could market the hell out of it and pay off my debt very quickly, but I think it can be summed up with a famous sports brand’s slogan.

JUST DO IT.