In the last few days of 2017 I thought I might do the ultra frugal month challenge this month and then I looked over my 2017 budget and realised that for many categories, I’d made rather unrealistic spending targets. Sure, I’d known at the start of the year that I had a fairly lucrative side-hustle that would fund some of that spending but I really wanted to be able to budget more accurately for 2018. This week’s money diary means that I’ve got a more accurate picture of what I would spend in a month where I was dating, socialising and living the way I’d like to carry on doing through 2018. The only thing that isn’t quite reflective of how the rest of the year might go is that I’m not drinking at all. Here’s what I spent last week.
I know that I’ve spent more money than budgeted for last week but I don’t feel bad about it. I can only make a plan and if life gets in the way – positively – of executing that plan there’s very little I can do about it. I was thrilled to finally execute my teaching gig and get paid for it, preview early retirement life with a perfect day off and generally live what felt like I was on the path to luxuriously thrifty life.
I had the perfect day yesterday. Last week was not fantastic. It seemed like everything that could go wrong did. I had a cold sore. I got a cold/flu. I had to cancel Oslo. I didn’t have any material ready for my teaching gig even though it’s happening really soon. I was behind on the pro bono work that I’m doing. I fell and sprained or strained one finger and got a couple of blood blisters on my left hand. I also did something to my Achilles while playing badminton and subsequently couldn’t play football.
This week, on Monday morning I got a message from one of my brothers that the middle one had just fainted. In broad daylight. In the morning. Luckily he wasn’t alone. I don’t know yet what went wrong but he’s currently OK. Not great but it could be worse. I guess by the time Thursday rolled round, I was desperate for a positive day. Continue reading
I really tried this week to chalk up a few “no spend” days (other than my PAYG travel) but I kind of had the worst luck in terms of my health and injuries so Monday turned out to be the only day I didn’t spend. I had to cancel a trip to Oslo in favour of dedicating the time to my side-hustle (nailed it!) and spent some intentional time with friends. In spite of the rubbish run of luck, it was a rather decent week. Here’s what happened:
Anyone who spends more than an hour in my company gets a sense of how varied my interests and activities are. I often run out of time to do things that I’ve planned in advance, I’ve often double-booked myself and it’s often happened that I have to go to 3/4 different places in different parts of London in one day. I play badminton and football with regularity. I’ve also got various side-hustles. It often feels like I’m doing too much and spread rather thin. It also sometimes feels like I’m only delivering at a level that is a little shy of my full potential.
I didn’t track my November and December spending daily like I’ve got accustomed to over the last year or so and I can see the difference in spending for those weeks relative to the rest of the year is rather high. For one thing, I went for at least 2-3 weeks at a time eating every single meal out. I shopped indiscriminately and didn’t really set a budgeted amount for Christmas shopping. My spending was not very intentional. To help me get back into the habit of recording daily and provide more accountability, I’m going to try to keep a discretionary spending money diary post going for at least a couple of months.
I’ve loved reading all the 2017 round ups that have been doing the rounds (yes pun!) this week. Last year I had a big hairy (financial) goal of saving more. I also had associated goals related with eating better, getting fitter and de-cluttering. Here’s a summary of my progress, or lack thereof last year: