October spending review | how a football injury ruined my budget

I finally have a breather from what turned out to be quite a busy and rather intense end to October. I got tackled and suffered sprained knee ligaments and some bone related ankle injury that has prevented me from cycling or doing sport since the 23rd of September. That’s context for the rest of this review.

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The good

To be honest, there’s nothing that stands out positively for me from last month. In theory my trip to Scotland was rather frugal but I haven’t paid up for my accommodation, final evening’s meal or groceries so the jury’s still out. Consequently, it looks like I saved 23% of my post-tax income (because I put about £360 in my travel fund ahead of those payments and for travel related expenses that I’ve made at the start of November).

Giving: I gave generously – to a couple of very close friends who had October birthdays as well to my friends who got married. I didn’t stop at financial giving, I’ve signed up to help a couple of awesome women to develop a platform that I think will do a world of good.

Personal care: I went a bit overboard with purchases for my friends’ wedding. It was the day before my birthday and I wanted to look great. I splashed out on a new dress (£61), some ridiculously badass flowered fish-net tights (£33) and a chunky flower necklace (£22.50) that were my nod to their woodlands theme as well as a mustard yellow purse (£12.99) to add some colour to my mainly black outfit. Totally un-budgeted spend but I felt glam and fabulous the entire day so I suppose this is in line with my values.

The bad

Debt: I didn’t pay much debt. I had planned to pay an additional £800 off to a friend but I had to loan some money to someone who needed it more.

Transport: Since I couldn’t cycle at all and walking wasn’t an option either, I sort of maxed oout on public transport this month exceeding the £140 a month target that I set at the start of the year for the first time in a while. This was £90 more than I hope to spend on this category when I’m cycling and puts a dent in the savings that I expect to have generated from owning my bike in 2017.

Professional: I spent £106.78 in this category – nearly £30 over the budget. I paid for a kindle book to help me prepare for the workshop I’ll be giving in January. I haven’t read it but I need to do so before the 24th. The biggest expense in this category was rounds of drinks for a dear colleague’s leaving do.

The ugly

Dating and socialisingI spent far too much money on socialising. £147.68 of this line item went on boozing with mates – mainly out at bars / pubs as opposed to at home. £117.82 went on dining out and takeaways. This is an unnecessary percentage of time spent socialising in ways that were not frugal.  I need to make November and December more about socialising at home and cheap outings.

Food: I ate a lot of takeaway. I blame my knee and ankle for making me too lazy to go grocery shopping for a week or two and then being unable to resume the habit for the rest of the month. Takeaways cost me a scandalous £173.09!! I can’t even look at that number. It has to stop. Aside from the days that I’m away in November, I don’t think I should have more than one or two takeaways next month.

Wrap up

I’ll keep trudging along. Sure I’ll spend more than I need to some months and sure I am not moving as quickly as I want to towards achieving my goals. Perhaps what needs to change is my goals. Maybe I need to aim for retirement in 17 years instead of 12. I’m only unhappy with how I’m spending because I think I should be doing something different to retire early. As at the 31st of October, I felt my life was exactly where it needed to be.

I could get a green light on my promotion by the 13th of November – the first step towards becoming a thought leader in my field within 5 years. I have taken my first step towards some sort of teaching career after years of not doing much about this goal for nearly a decade of my career. I have helped out my family when they needed me to. I’ve ticked off three cities from my bucket list this year and will tick another one off the list in January. I shouldn’t feel so bad about not yet aligning all my spending to my values.

What will it take for me to feel like I’m doing just enough to keep present me and future me equally happy?


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