Spending Diary 4th to 10th May 2020

Hi everybody,

I spent a lot more money this week than previous weeks. I’m beginning to really see an increase in my food shopping, though admittedly my food shopping habits have changed too. I’ve got to be careful and not let things run away from me.


My flat mate had returned and had some food he wanted in the kitchen, so I went shopping and came back with milk, bread, orange juice, margarine and raisins. £7.20, or £3.60 for my share.


I had to transfer a work colleague £2.44 for my share of another work colleague’s birthday gift and card. My flat mate went shopping (we’re trying to split the shopping between us as neither of us enjoy being out in this pandemic) and he spent £15 (£7.50 for my share). I also had my subscription for my dishwasher tablets come out which was £4.50 (£2.25 for my share).


Today was just a chilled day at home, which admittedly isn’t that much different from most of the other days during lockdown. What I mean is I didn’t have to leave the house for anything other than my daily run and I was just able to relax, work from home and do some good work and just read.


My friend is having a tough time due to serious health concerns which would be bad at the best of times but are much worse now that we are living through a pandemic. I bought her a card from Moon Pig to send to her £4.05.

The flat mate went to the shops and bought more things. We haven’t set up a food plan yet which I think is causing us trouble. Some of the things we needed and others were treats, it was £14 in total, so £7 for my share.


It turns out that my friend is a skin care guru and I had been asking her for advice on what skin care products were best for my skin. I have adult acne and the acne scars that come with that and my friend recommended a few products, including a specific product from Lush. So today whilst I was feeling perhaps flush I went on the Lush website and bought the ultrabland cleanser and a bottle of conditioner as I had run out. It came to £26.95 which is far more than I normally spend, but I had the money set aside in my beauty budget and will try anything to help my skin.

I later went to Tesco, going quite early so as to avoid people. There were still plenty who didn’t obey the simple basics of social distancing though which makes me so angry, it really isn’t that hard to just keep 2 metres back! I picked up another book of 12 first class stamps as I’ve been writing to a lot of relatives recently. That was £9.12. Then I did the food shopping, which included a bottle of prosecco and 2 tubs of Ben and Jerry’s! Yikes! That’s probably why the shopping cost £50.56 (£25.28). I don’t have a whole lot left of the food budget now so I will have to be careful for the rest of the month. Maybe I’ll give up alcohol for a while.


Today I made the Vegan Scones you can find the recipe for on here and I had my usual pub quiz meet up with my siblings. I did a 3.5 hour cycle on the exercise bike whilst watching Netflix. I had a nice day and was very glad to not spend any money.


Today I plan on keeping my money intact, doing some more baking and cooking, and just catching up on a few things like writing. I’ll do another long cycle on the exercise bike and my daily run. Plus watching more Netflix.

I hope you are all well and keeping safe.


TOTAL FOOD SPENDING = £91.26 (£45.63)



Spending Diary of 27th April to 3rd May 2020

Hi everybody,

This week involved payday, a day possibly better than Christmas based on the fact it happens 12 times a year (on average). I am so lucky to be getting a wage during this time and I definitely appreciate it and am so grateful. I’m trying to do some good with it.

Anyway, I’ll take you through how I’ve been spending my money this week.


I woke up at 5:30am naturally and got straight out of bed. I put on a wash load and later hoovered the flat and cleaned the bathroom. I made peanut butter hummus at lunchtime and fish cakes for dinner. I wrote on this blog and I also wrote some paragraphs for something I’m working on. I was working from home today, though that’s what I’ve been doing every day of lockdown so nothing new there. I managed to finish something tricky work wise that I had started on Friday. I tend to keep to the same hours each day of 8:30am to 5pm, this is so that I can watch the Prime Minister’s broadcast live. I finished season 2 of Orange is the New Black later on in the evening. But I didn’t spend anything today, woo hoo!


I woke up to birdsong at 5:10am. I tried to listen to some birdsong on the RSPB website to see if I could identify it and I think it might have been blackbirds? It was lovely either way, so clear and lyrical. I did some writing in the morning and then watched TV before my working from home day began. My flat mate had transferred his half of the bills that come out of my account on Monday so I did have some money in my account, but I considered it bad juju to spend any of the new month’s money before pay day. Therefore the only money I considered to have in my account left in April’s budget was the £8.65 of the food budget. I didn’t spend any money today so I was left in profit.


Pay day! Yippee! I donated £6.41 to a friend’s charity fundraiser and as a treat I bought myself a book by Emma Drew who you may have heard of in the money blogging community as she is the queen of money blogging. Her book is about how to make the most of your blog, and that’s definitely something I need to do. That was £11.99.

I also received an email from Who Gives a Crap who are a toilet paper company that make sustainable paper and don’t use plastic to say they had paper back in stock. I had been on their waiting list. I was beginning to run low on paper so I bought a 24 toilet paper pack and a 12 pack of facial tissues. This was £38. I bought it on my credit card as I had a credit on that card, meaning it would only involve transferring about an extra £13 to clear that transaction, so although it still cost me the same amount it felt cheaper. Weird logic I know.


Didn’t spend any money today. Other than working from home and making some chocolate chip cookies and my veggie version of a keema curry and raita I didn’t do anything of interest either.


My toilet paper arrived! But someone in the building had let in the Yodel driver without my flat being buzzed and had also taken in another parcel that looked like it was for my flat but had actually been incorrectly delivered. It even had a different postcode. It was from Moon Pig and looked like it was flowers. I phoned the company on the box and gave them the reference number on the parcel. They said that they would contact the buyer of the parcel to arrange redelivery. There wasn’t a full address on the order so I couldn’t redeliver it myself and looking on the Royal Mail address finder couldn’t come up with the correct address just on the postcode either. The company confirmed they were flowers and that because they were perishable they weren’t going to send the Yodel driver back to pick them up. They told me to dispose of them. That seemed like a waste of perfectly good flowers, so I may or may not have flowers on my table right now. I had tried to find the person on the parcel on Facebook but I couldn’t be sure I was going to contact the right person. I really did try. So I didn’t spend any money but I do have some nice flowers.

I’m doing a challenge in May where I run every day so I went for a brief run at lunchtime, just round my local park. It was quite pleasant.


I went to the shops almost as soon as they opened today. It was a good time to go as it was very quiet and people were generally obeying social distancing. I bought a few treats (pizza, Ben and Jerry’s and mozzarella sticks) as it was Saturday, as well as 2 bottles of wine, but I still thought my shopping was much more expensive than usual at £63.12. The wine was £13 of that, but I’ve still never even spent £50 in that store before. The Ben and Jerry’s was half price as well. I guess I’m going to have to be much more careful with the food shopping when I do go out as with the Who Gives a Crap order earlier this week that’s a third of my £300 monthly food budget gone in the first week!

I went for my little run as soon as I had put the shopping away. Just one lap of the park as I was going to also do a strength workout and go on the exercise bike for 2 hours at home today as well. It was nice weather. I’ve chosen to run every day in May as I had been getting fearful and anxious about going outside and I think this will help.

I did a pub quiz with some of my siblings and their families today, as well as catching up with a friend in hospital on Instagram. After the quiz I had a zoom drinking session with some friends and it was lovely! It’s interesting seeing the creative ways people are being social during lock down.


Here we are! The end of the week. I’m going to go for my brief run soon, then I’m going to go on the exercise bike for three hours whilst watching Orange is the New Black. I’m arranging to do a video call with my Dad and Step Mum later this evening which will be nice. Lock down is really making me appreciate taking life at a slower pace and reconnecting with people. I know lock down is an incredibly scary time but I’m really trying to get some good from it. It is making me reconsider a lot of the ways I used to live my life before.

I’m not leaving the house today. I’ve got a long list of things I want to do and get on with so I feel confident I’m not going to spend any more money today.


FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING – £103.12 (split with flat mate, so £51.56)




Spending Diary 20th to 26th April

Hi everybody,

Compared to last week’s total of £8.40 I have spent a lot more money, I’ll take you through it.


My flat mate recently bought some tickets for a gig in December, seeing Manic Street Preachers. I’m going on the assumption that the gig may still go ahead and therefore I should pay him. My two tickets cost £71.50

I also bought some coffee from an online subscription service as I had run out £7.95 (approximately £3.98 when split with my flat mate)


Through a local coffee shop closed due to Covid-19 but still doing deliveries of their stock I bought a 6 pack of oat milk, a 6 pack of almond milk, ground coffee and filter papers for my V60 coffee maker £30.50 (£15.25 when split with my flat mate)

I’m signed up to another subscription service for protein bars and my next delivery came out today £16.50, normally the order would be £22 for an 18 pack but they’ve brought out a new range of products meaning the biggest box can now only contain 16 products but the price is staying the same, so as a good will gesture they’ve given me a 25% discount on my latest box. (£8.25 when split with my flat mate).

A member of a running group I’m part of has set up a charity to donate gifts to key workers, so I donated £11.50 to her cause.


Members of one of my running group are doing the 2.6 challenge today and they set up a just giving page to raise money for a local homeless charity so I donated £10.50.

Paperchase got in contact with me to say my £5 birthday treat for being a treat card member was going to expire soon. I had completely forgotten about it due to being distracted with lock down, so I decided to order a new notebook as I’m a serious notebook fiend and my supplies were running low. With discount and postage and packaging it was £9.99

I went shopping at lunch time thinking it would be quiet. To an extent it was but I really didn’t enjoy the experience as people were just not obeying social distancing and I got so fed up with it that in the end I was doing the same, which was awful of me. I was buying a small amount of supplies, mainly fresh stuff as I’m still running down the freezer to defrost it. £23.04 (£11.52 when split with my flat mate)


I’ve been trying to split my shopping across different days so I never spend too long out of the house at any one time. So yesterday was food shopping and today was cleaning supplies and toiletries. In Savers I bought toner, face wash, face scrub and hand cream. £7.66. In the same store I also bought a couple of packets of colour catchers, laundry antibacterial detergent, laundry scent beads, washing up liquid, dishwasher cleaner, toothpaste, mouthwash and suntan lotion. £21.80 (£10.90 when split with my flat mate). I then went to Superdrug to buy body scrub £2.98.

My subscription to Smol who do environmentally friendly laundry capsules and dishwasher capsules also came out of my account today and was for £4.50. (£2.25 when split with my flat mate).




TOTAL – £166.28



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.


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!


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



I’ve got to hold on to what I’ve got

It is two days till Payday.

I have, in total:

£1 in my Bank Account


£10.50 in loose change in my purse.

Good news is today was a NSD (no spend day) and I only have two more expenses left till payday.

They are:

Train Fare to Football £3.90 


Milk for Work £1.10

Which clearly leaves me £6.50 and as I am doing a Spend Free Year it’s not like I am going to run off and spend it on gel pens, pogs, tamagotchi’s, yoyo’s or whatever the cool kids are buying these days (readers under the age of 27 may have to look up some of those archaic references, and don’t then ask me to explain why pogs were ever cool, even I don’t understand and I lived during that time)

As recently as late 2015 having ‘only’ £11.50 left two days before payday would have freaked me the hell out, because it would have meant I couldn’t freely indulge in buying posh coffees, canteen food, notebooks, nice pens or whatever was available to purchase at work.

I can honestly say my body cost me hundreds of pounds. It’s just it was all in pie and chips.

But now, £6.50 spare cash before payday makes me feel like I’m winning. That I can live within budget, that I have learnt an important lesson which is ‘CLOSE THE F****** WALLET’

I am up to 8 NSDs and hopefully I can make it to double digits by the end of the month.

It’s little achievements like that which keep me going.