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.

 

 

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

and

£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 

and

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.