Money Diary (& How I save/manage my money)
After previously publishing two Money Diaries, I wasn’t really in the zone for posting another, until I read an article that made absolutely zero sense to me. The article was “I Earn 40k And Live At Home, But I Still Need My Parents To Bail Me Out Each Month” and it caused a complete uproar when I shared it on my social media.
With this in mind, I’m starting this post by talking about my money strategy for 2019 – Not that I live at with my parents or ask my parents to bail me out, but more along the lines of it’s interesting and helpful to see how others manage money.
If you don’t want to read this, you can just skip down to the Monday Diary.
Each month we both pay into a joint account which pays the following bills: Our mortgage, general household bills, and weekly food shop.
After this I have the following monthly outgoings:
*Car Loan Repayment alongside Fuel and Insurance
*Contact lenses, gym membership, therapy and blog running costs.
*Loan from G to pay for my recent surgery, I had saved up 65% of the cost and he lent me the outstanding amount (I intend to have paid him back by mid-2020).
I don’t have an overdraft or credit card, my debts are our joint mortgage, my modest car loan and surgery loan from G. With significant events/purchases we tend to save and cover all costs outright when possible (for example our Wedding last year and out up and our future honeymoon). I have previously been in debt, thanks to expensive cars, credit cards, and store cards, so it’s something I work on actively avoiding.
Once my outgoings are paid, I’ve set up a spreadsheet to record my estimated incoming salary (It varies each month) and how I’m best to divide this modest amount of leftover income:
Clothing – My pattern is to ask for money Xmas/Birthday, which I set aside and add around £10-30 to each month for seasonal shopping.
Honeymoon – I’m aiming to put whatever I can afford at the end of each month towards our future honeymoon.
Up and coming bills – This is to cover mundane costs such as Dentist, MOT, and car service.
Entertainment/Social – This varies each month, depending on what I have coming up and includes costs like occasional brunch, up and coming races, social dinners etc
Beauty – I’m pretty low maintenance but this includes a monthly Gel Manicure and a haircut every 6 weeks.
General Savings – I used most of my savings on my recent surgery, so I’m rebuilding these by saving whatever I made on my blog.
Miscellaneous – One of my less endearing habits is spending money on rubbish, so I’m setting aside a small amount each week for Miscellaneous purchases.
I drag myself out of bed and head to Park Run with G and his friends, I’m still recovering from my surgery so unable to run, therefore I use the time to walk. I’ve found that I really enjoy watching everyone finish, the determination followed by huge smiles is so uplifting.
On the journey home, I stop and grab some fuel, it’s one of my least favorite jobs I don’t see the point in filling half the tank, so I spend (£52.16). Quickly demolish scrambled eggs on toast, alongside my second coffee of the day and head to Therapy (£35) we park at my office and G goes to get his haircut whilst I walk to the appointment.
An hour later we meet up and decide to claim our free coffee, I realize that my application hasn’t been updating and therefore, no coffee for me (I proceed to call the application a few unruly names). We plodded to TK Maxx as G wanted to look for a new hoodie, Inside my head, I chant to myself “Don’t look at the clothing, you’ll buy something, think of your new budget”. Once in the store, It takes all my strength to avoid the women’s section, it’s trying to lure me in, but I am strong.
I spent the afternoon baking whilst listening to Meat Loaf, as a reward for my efforts I enjoy gorging on flapjack and lovingly admiring my first ever Banana Bread. G calls me into the living room, turns out I completely overspent on food shopping during December, I get bored at lunch, which means I got into the habit of aimlessly buying food. I go to reference our food plan as a way of defending my error. But quickly realize it’s no good as I went completely off track during our weekly shop yesterday.
We eat pie and mash for dinner, then whilst lazing around in front of the fire, I consider talking to my Therapist about my compulsive food shopping, but realize it’s a personal battle I need to win. I have some money left on my Amazon account so I buy some condoms (£17.50 – Covered by an Amazon Refund) I wasn’t going to add that, but we’re all adults. I then start watching Jamie Olivers ” How to eat cheaply” or whatever it’s called, I go to bed thinking about Beef Brisket.
Total Spend – £87.16
I wake up late, then remember that I am a pro-active, sensible adult and I’m going to sort my life out. I have a spreadsheet AND a To-Do list. I start my “To Do” list and realize that it’s a horrible idea, after sorting some Amazon Returns, canceling our previous life insurance policy and extending the warranty on our Rangemaster Oven, I feel pretty good.
I pop some chicken in the slow cooker, grab the waffles I baked yesterday (recipe here) and start eBaying all my lovely Sports Bra’s that no longer fit. Alongside a few sports vests and an unused sports watch, I detest eBaying but feel so accomplished once it’s complete. FYI: I’ll transfer the profits to our Honeymoon Fund.
It’s time for lunch, hurrah! I eat a salad including tuna, sweetcorn, peppers, couscous, peans, and some delicious Pizza Express dressing. It’s a joyful feast, I’ll remember to make this again. I then head to the gym, I’ve had to find a new locker, I was very fond of locker 19 but it keeps stealing my £1 coin, at first I thought it was charming, now I’m just annoyed. I power walk and use the Recumbent Bike, whilst mindlessly watching YouTube and scrolling through Instagram.
Return home, feast on Banana Bread and yogurt, before settling down to write this post and schedule my Pinterest Pins. I notice that I already have offers on eBay, I’m going to be RICH! With 12 whole pounds. I continue working for a few hours, before serving pea and potato mash, with lemon and garlic shredded chicken and runner beans, not only am I rich, I am the new master chief.
Total Spend – £00.00
So, I set my alarm with the intention of waking up early and going for a walk – Failed.
I then showered and made a real effort with my outfit, demolished Banana bread and yogurt, as a result, I left the house feeling fly. First stop was the office, to park (for free), print a couple of letters and walk to a Dental appointment, luckily they were running on time. Unluckily, the crown I was due to have fitted, unexpectedly broke in my mouth, however, I still paid (£235.00) as they are going to make another crown and I arrange another appointment.
I then returned home and nipped out for a brief walk, which included a stop at Tesco, where I grabbed some sugar-free jelly (£4.00) before gearing up for my 6-week post-surgery appointment. I arrived early, so nipped into Sainsbury’s and brought a meal deal, to eat in my car before going shopping (£3.00). My post-surgery check-up went brilliantly and I was given the all clear to go and be fitted for a bra – Hurrah!
Feeling indulgent, I parted with £6.00 to park at The Centre MK, before dashing in to locate my first destination, Bravissimo. Luckily they could fit me in for a bra fitting, much to my surprise I was measured far larger than I’d previously anticipated. The service was absolutely excellent, I brought one standard black bra (£30.00) and one champagne and black set (£35.00). I whisked around a few other shops, but much to my frustration I couldn’t find anything in my size, therefore I decided to online shop when I got home.
I had a voucher for M&S so I ordered some underwear online, the voucher was for £40.00 and I spent £50.50 so it only cost me (£10.50). I then whizzed onto Bravissimo and brought another set (£27.00) and a new Shock Absorber Sports Bra via Amazon (£12.50). After that, I spent a lot of time worrying about the cost of re-filling my sports bra collection, alongside my existing underwear draw. Ate some jelly, blasted some music and cooked a pasta salad with leftover chicken, from the previous night. T
The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful, I fussed the cat, looked at MORE bra’s online, worked on my blog and ate chocolate.
Total Spend – £363.00 (Gulp!)
Woke up in a massive anxiety riddled bubble, I had been lying in bed analyzing my new bra size, thinking about how much money I’d spent and wondered if I should post this money diary. I took a few deep breaths and started to practice some logical thinking, realized I had £60 in cash I could pay into my bank. I also reminded myself that I’d set aside money towards my teeth a few months back, for once I was extremely thankful for “Old Katie”.
I trundled into work and ate my breakfast of you guessed it, more Banana bread at my desk. The morning passed by quickly and at lunch, I strolled to the bank to pay the £60.00 cash back in, it might sound strange but it gave me peace of mind. I returned to the office and thanked “Old Katie” again as I tucked into delicious chicken satay and noodles I’d made a few weeks back and froze for days like today.
After work, I headed to the gym where I spent a lot of time looking at bra’s (again, help – I’m obsessed) whilst power walking (multitasking or stupid?) and brought myself a top I’d been eying up in the ASOS sale (£11.00). Returned home and tucked into Butternut squash risotto with veggie balls, it was absolutely delicious. I then caught up on my e-mails and had an early night to recover from this AM’s freak out.
Total Spend £11.00
I’m in a much better mood today and guess what? I ate the same breakfast as yesterday and followed the same, unexciting morning routine. Nipped out at lunch to buy an Avocado, I had a habit of going into Tesco for one thing and buying tonnes, but I stuck to my goals and left with just an Avocado (£1.00). On my return, I ate leftover Butternut squash risotto with veggie balls, it’s still absolutely delicious.
I’ve taken over the social media strategy at work and I spent the morning writing some Insurance related blog posts. I leave work dead on time because I’m heading to the cinema and its “Free” hurrah! One of the perks of Vitality Life Insurance so I’m off to see Mary Poppins returns. I decided to be “that” person and make a sandwich (Cheese & Ham FYI) with sweet potato crisps, and Liva’s Kitchen Cookie Dough Balls.
I made a plan to drop into M&S and collect an order on the way to the cinema (too tight to pay for delivery). We’re early so I can enjoy a catch up with my friend before the film (Don’t worry, I packed snacks for her too!) and after the film, we both agree that Emily Blunt is fabulous. I returned home, ate late night cereal, before trying on my purchases and heading to bed.
Total Spend £1.00
Ugh, my 6 am alarm went off, I feel like crap, so accidentally I turned the whole alarm off and went back to sleep. As a result, I woke up late and had a mad frenzy trying to organize my lunch/breakfast – Arrived at work 2 minutes late (unheard of for me) and scrabbled around for a Lemsip. Uneventful morning, decided that I wouldn’t go out and walk at lunch, but really enjoyed eating my leftover Fajita mix with salad whilst reading Refinery 29.
Later on, my colleague declares he’s going to buy 10p advent calendars from Poundland, I buy 3 (30p) and eat one whilst wishing I didn’t feel like crap and browsing Pretty Little Thing. I’ve decided that post surgery I want to wear more colorful tops, I save a load of tops I’d like to consider again at a later date.
I’m trying desperately hard to dress up my day, but alas I can’t, I did, however, receive a Xmas card with £20.00 in, which was a nice surprise. I skipped the gym for household chores, which I feel so much better for, plus we made homemade pizza’s, which I then followed up with a long hot bath and pressing publish on my surgery post. I then went to bed, with the intention of getting up at 6 am for the gym the following day…
Total Spend 30p
My 6 am alarm goes off, I tell it to urm “go away“, the cat is snoring on G and they look so peaceful. I snooze until 7am, 7.15am, 7.25am…and give in to the lure of coffee, plus the cat is now meowing loudly for fuss. I then stagger around the kitchen like a zombie, blast up my chocolate avocado smoothie (the only way I can consume avocado) and mentally prepare myself for work.
I started the working day by receiving some really good news from my colleague, I’m absolutely thrilled for her and the fact things are going her way has made me feel uplifted. Decide to look at my Pretty Little Thing basket again and trim it down a little. Drink my smoothie, eat a mini snicker’s bar, before deciding to crack on and blast my way through to my “To Do” list. I’m still feeling rather unwell, so throughout the day I gorge on cookies, chocolate coins, an advent calendar and more snickers bar’s, encase you’re wondering, healthy eating is working really well for me.
I have a casual lunchtime meeting, I then eat tuna topped flatbread with wotsits (I LOVE wotsits) and buy two tops from my Pretty Little Thing basket (£19.99). I return home, where G and I try to take a photo for the blog but the lighting isn’t good enough and I’m completely unable to focus. We head out to visit my Mother in law, her puppy has grown rapidly and is jumping all over us, like a furry bundle of joy. We returned home and I made us a delicious tomato, cheese, and beef pasta bake, we watched TV, I ate more chocolate and ended the week by reading “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” in bed. By the way, I’d give that book 10/10 – Read it!
Total Spend £19.99
Dental Bill/ Post Surgery Bra Costs – £350.00
Parking – £6.00
Clothing – £30.99
Fuel & Therapy – £87.16
Total Spend: £482.45
This is not in any way shape or form, an average week – But it’s very interesting and frankly horrifying how quickly purchases can add up. I’m thankful that I’ve since re-stocked my underwear drawer and have no further dental bills in the foreseeable future!