I want to start these posts as a way of documenting how frivolous I can be with my disposable income. Often I believe I can be rather frugal with my spending, I don’t spend a lot in the supermarket. I don’t eat out too much and I don’t drink often during the weekends but I do make a lot of impulse purchases on clothes and cosmetics which I want to curb.
I decided to post these as part of Mental Health awareness week because I know money can be one of the biggest stress factors in life. Especially comparing what our peers buy and how much disposable spending friends seem to have. It can often leave us assessing our lifestyle, and career choices, wondering if we are behind. There are many taboos still around money, and discussing earnings, we don’t discuss the realities of money and how we live. I hope this post encourages readers to seek out help if you are having money troubles but also to give clarity, especially to me as to what silly spending can or can’t look like and where I can make improvements without missing out on little luxuries.
The concept of this post I have adopted and altered a little from Refinery29. They upload anonymous weekly money diaries which I love reading. I am often conflicted as to whether these posts make me feel better or not. I have a tendency to feel jealous of how well other people spend and save their money. On the flip side if someone else is reckless I am like yessss someone else on my side. Refinery29 share the salaries on those posts which give the diaries more context, nonetheless, I am not going to share my salary because my blog isn’t anonymous and I know colleagues can read my posts. I won’t make that information public for my employer’s benefit. I will, however, try to be as transparent as I can to see where I am going wrong, or maybe I am not and there is a whole pool of us out there which are not great at saving either, I would love to know your feedback.
I would like to do four of these posts, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter so I can see how my spending is going. I don’t want to come across wankery, I do think I make a lot of sacrifices to ensure I can afford the things I want. I have my own gel nail set, I get my eyebrows threaded for £3 every 3 months. My hair costs £30 again every three months and I don’t get it coloured. I walk as much as I can so I only spend £40 a month on average on my fuel. I don’t buy high-end beauty and I do try to sell anything I don’t need on eBay and Depop.
Income: My salary comes from my full-time employment but some months I do some freelance work as well to top things up.
Things I will never feel guilty spending money on: Books and gifts for others. So don’t try and give me agg over those buys.
House costs: 475.90 a month. This includes my mortgage, all my half of the bills, and half of the direct debits for the internet, the house insurance etc. I do try and revise household costs when I can but a lot of the time I end renewing and everything increases slightly each year which I find annoying. I did swap my energy provider this year.
Monthly Direct Debits and standing orders:
- Premiere pro £19,
- Phone contract £35,
- Car tax £13.54,
- Credit Card £50,
- Dougal’s pet insurance £17.60,
- Gym membership £24.40,
- Vitality life insurance £27.55,
- Car insurance £55,
- Spotify £7.50
- Lastly, I have a standing order of £10 a month to my nephew which I have paid for the last four years (Lucky kid eh)
Total monthly = £259.59
Things I thankfully don’t pay for but get to enjoy: Netflix shout out to Pip, Amazon prime – (free with my life insurance), my therapist; I go private but it is paid for me. Photoshop. Dentist, physio, eye care etc is paid to from work health scheme.
Savings: I try to save around £600 a month sometimes less sometimes more. This can occasionally go untouched, or some months I will totally wipe it all out. I really am an all or nothing type of women. My savings are used to fix my car or to pay for work on the house which we are still renovating. I spend it on holidays or cover some sort of silly damages I incur so if they are there at the end of the month or not it is always a surprise. I also have penny/pound round up which goes into a third saving account. This amounts to around £15 a month which I always end up using. This is a free service with Halifax and could be great if I was better with my spending. I also have a cash piggy bank (literally) which I put coins into at the end of each day and put into my bank when it is full – usually about £100 once a year-ish.
Anything after the above is mine to
waste spend. This has been an uncharacteristically bad week. I was going to commence these posts next week however I thought I might end up consciously being more careful with my money if I knew I was documenting it. Instead, I used the week just passed to show a realistic documentation of where my money goes and the small mistakes which end up costing me.
My weeks spending
Monday was a bank holiday and my Mum had left me £15 to buy food whilst I stayed at her house. On Monday we took my nephew George to a local show with his pony so my spending was minimum. I took sandwiches and snacks with me and spent about £5 buying drinks for the family whilst we were there. I was home by about four and stayed in. I had soup for dinner I already had in the cupboard.
Total spending = £5
Back to work. Sitting at my desk is when I think up most of my spending, and once I have ideas in my head I struggle to shake them. Tuesday lunchtime I walked into town to send a parcel back to ASOS and another to H&M ( I cannot wait to have that money back). I then nipped into a charity shop and purchased three books £1 each (They were books I really wanted) and a Fortnum and Mason basket for my Mum for £20 (she is paying me back). Tuesday night I went to the horses and then nipped into Morrisons on the way home and Spent £18 on food. This will last me the next couple of weeks. In the evening I purchased some gifts from Paperchase £15.49 but thankfully that was all.
Total Spending = £56.49 (£20 returned)
Wednesday again was another working day. I didn’t buy anything in the day and walked Dougal at lunch. In the evening I purchased two pairs of shoes to try for the wedding I am a bridesmaid for this week. I spent a total of £45 on the two pairs. One pair will be returned. My friend has Asos premium so I at least saved on the delivery. In the evening I was off to the theatre with My Dad and sister. My Dad was driving, my sister made us dinner and I spent £12.35 in Morrisons on snacks. I also forgot my hosting for my website was renewing. I had planned to move over to lyrical hosting which would have saved me £40 but it just slipped my mind so in the end I was ripped off and Goundsite took a massive £164 (including VAT) for this poxy little website. boo. Next year I will learn. I paid for my visa for America so that was another £11. I ordered a gift for someone else which came to £43. I also impulsively purchased a t-shirt from Matalan because it said oh hey vacay. I am not regretting yet but if it doesn’t fit when it arrives I won’t be too sad.
Total Spending = £290.35 (I will get some back from the shoes)
Thursday was the dreaded day I went to collect my new braces. £210 spent before 9 am. I then spent a further £15 on fake tan because I need to look bronzed for this wedding. I took some clothes back to Newlook (as they no longer give you return labels on purchases from the website) and some paint back to Wickes which I did not use. I got £45 back from Newlook and £12 back from Wickes. Again cannot wait for that money to be returned. In the evening I went back into rugby for dinner with friends. I was really frugal because I was driving and I am trying to drop some last pounds (weight not money) before the wedding next week so spent £12.50 on dinner and a diet coke (I know I sound like wild fun).
Total spending = £237.75
I had £47 left in my SimplyHealth account at work for dental treatment so they refunded me £47 of the £210 from my retainers so at least that took the cost down a little bit. I then saw the curtains I want from Next are available for preorder. I was going to wait until June to buy these but I decided I was buying them regardless of whether it was now or June so I paid £63.75 for some pink crushed velvet curtains. I hope they look good. I stayed in on Friday night so spent no more after that.
Total Spending = £63.75
Saturday morning I woke up early and left for our weekend away with the family. Mum had kindly treated us to the nicest weekend of lovely food and relaxing. Our Grandma came too so she spoilt us all with snacks and sweets so I spent a grand total of £10 on fuel (Hannah drove us there) and my Asos and H&M refunds came through. Asos was £56 and H&M refund came to £34.99
Total Spending = £10
Sunday was spent walking along the beach or reading my book. We returned home at about 20:30 and I spent a grand total of £0 all day. Finally
Total Spending = £0
Total for the week = £663.34
Total money I got back = £229.99
End of week balance = £433.35
This was a bad week which I will not be repeating again this week. Off to list all possessions on eBay.
Podcast recommendation: A good place to start with light money advice is In her financial shoes podcast by Catherine Morgan, she also hosts a website which is filled with helpful advice.