Money diary #9

After many weeks of not prioritising my finances, I have finally got my act together with tracking my spending. In order to get a sense of what the (new) landscape looks like, I’m going to carry on with money diaries at least through to July when the person of interest (now to be referred to as bae) goes back. What does a week of treat yo’self look like? Feast your eyes:

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I discovered my favourite flowers last week – black Petunias! Aren’t they pretty?

Monday

I paid for mine and a colleague’s entries into the Eurovision sweepstakes at work (£2). It was kind of a bummer to pay knowing I’d already lost but a promise is a promise. I was good and took my lunch in to work and created a version of an awesome dish I’d paid a pretty penny for the weekend before – salmon, sweet potato wedges, chorizo and a tomato, mushroom and red onion sauce (£0). How’s that for  a luxuriously thrifty dinner?!

Tuesday

My save the change mechanism on my bank card deposited some money into my “fun fund” (£1.49). I went with bae to my favourite burger place on a cheap-ish date night (£18.30) then we spent a delightful time stocking up on groceries. I don’t yet know what my long term strategy will be for this relationship but it currently feels weird going halves for things so we sometimes alternate. I paid for this shop (£32.53).

Wednesday

I had a delightful day working from home. Bae was a bit under the weather so we had lots of cuddles and treats (£0). We picked up a few more bits and bobs for dinner but I only paid for a couple of red onions, some Tropicana and a green tea drink for her (£4.63).

Thursday

I had a few more pennies squirrelled away by save-the-change (£1.17).  Bae and I started this “book club” in March (we read the same book to stay connected) and I ordered a couple copies of our next one, Getting the Love You Want, from Amazon (£11.36). I also contributed some money for the gifts to be presented to my coach and a team member who are both expecting babies (£10). Bae met me at work to check out my beautiful office and meet a couple of folks before we headed out to an exhibition. I picked up some pastries (£8.85) for our half hour walk and had a delightful evening of free socialising (£0). I got distracted and we missed our stop on the way home so we went to the Waitrose at the stop after mine and picked up some desert pots that were delightful when we tried them last weekend and on sale that day (£3).

Friday

I worked from home again and we ate cute things and caught up on The Bold Type with my housemate (£0) then went to the cinema and for dinner at Nando’s for Friday date night. We just had tap water for dinner. She got the popcorn and I got dinner (£20.10). Our Avengers: Infinity war tickets cost nothing because they were comp tickets from a glitch in the system when I tried to see something at Cineworld in February. I know it wasn’t technically free but it felt free and made up for how mad I felt with the way the movie ended.

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The delightful pan-fried sea bass experience that I replicated at home for a quarter of the price.

Saturday

This was such a good day. I woke up early and picked up some donuts (6 for £5) from a local stall and got super excited about the street parties that appeared imminent in my neighbourhood. I got bae and we headed out to a local pub that was screening the royal wedding because I no longer watch live TV at home since I don’t want to have to pay for a TV licence and we got some coffee, green juice and a full english to share (£16.70 since I treated). I then went off to get my first hair cut in ages and discovered that I have been suffering the effects of sexism for a very long time and had been woefully ignorant because I got the cheapest haircut ever simply because I went to a barber (£10).

I got some new combs (£2) then picked up a few plantains (£2) before I met a friend for lunch. We (and bae) went to a pub in the area that I’d heard had a great garden and I got my first pimms of the season and some sweet potato fries (£9). I stopped off on the way home to get a new t-shirt (well two really – £22.98) from TK Maxx. I made the plantain at home (disaster but somewhat palatable) with some eggs and avocado for dinner then headed out to a house party in east London. Sadly we were running very late so hopped in a black cab (£6.40) and grabbed some beers from an off-licence on the way (£0 for me since bae paid). When we got back home and discovered we’d missed the last bus from my local tube station, we hopped in another black cab home (£5.80). None for ages and then 2 in one day! Typical. And needs to not happen again.

Sunday

This was one of the most expensive days of my recent life but makes me feel a little good about the fact that this is the level of spending I now consider too expensive. I took bae to the Italian place near football that used to do a very good brunch menu. It seems to be under new management or a different chef now though because our meals with orange juice and a cappucino seemed very meh (£31.39). I played football afterwards and had forgotten how thirsty you get playing in the heat so had to get a bottle of water at half time (£1.76).  I kept things cheap at the pub after by sticking to one refreshing cider while I socialised (£5.20) then went back south to catch up with a friend who was visiting from Birmingham. We had a gigantic arroz di marisco that was apparently meant to be shared by 2 but wound up feeding 6 people sufficiently. I was treating bae and managed to keep the evening reasonable by not drinking with the others in our party (£45.16).

Wrap up

Quite frankly, I don’t feel terrible about last week’s spending because I could have gone so much worse with it. I’m pleased that I tracked every penny. I’m pleased I kept the drinking down. I’m pleased that we ate a lot of meals at home. I’m pleased that I got to show bae London, my mates and some of my favourite places. If I have to sacrifice some of the good aspects of my budget to do these things, then so be it. For now at any rate.

  • Total budgeted for the week: £186.04
  • Total spent: £261.48 MEH!

You can catch up on other money diaries from this year

NB: All the diary entries are only my discretionary spending and exclude savings, housing, utilities and other more fixed costs.
NB2: All the things in green were budgeted for / in budget and the stuff in red was unplanned (for this week) or higher than budgeted.

4 thoughts on “Money diary #9

  1. the black Petunias are neat! Kat Von D has a black flower garden. I like catching her gardening updates. https://bit.ly/2GCWK7d (Revelist).

    Money diaries are fun to read. But I don’t like that it’s at your (over spent) expense. Could you take out cash and just stick to that? When it’s over it’s over. (Like I am one to speak).

    Aside from that, sounds like you had a lovely week. can’t go wrong with cider!

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  2. Oh my god, that article was really good. I’m not a gardener but all of those black flowers look amazing. The sunflowers were the most eye-catching but I think until I see all of them, black petunias hold their top spot.

    Yes, I need to figure out something to do about money but it won’t be cash. I spend cash quicker because once I break a note then I’m like the coins are fair game. Something that worked a year ago was taking bank apps off my phone and only transferring money once a week (probably by standing order) to the one card that I carry. I was far more intentional because I had to really go out of my way to get to money otherwise. I can’t do that this week but I’ll set up the systems to kick in from the week starting May 28th. Let’s see how that works out.

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    • I hear you. I spend my cash quickly once it’s in my hands. once a bill is broke, it’s dust in the wind. I just recently opened another checking acct. One for main bills to be paid automatically w/no linked card. the other linked to my debit card. when it’s gone it is gone. hoping this works too. good luck to your system. rooting for ya!

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      • Yes. I’m working on a more realistic (as opposed to aspirational) budget for June (I get paid on Friday) and will pay myself first (including debt) then make sure all I have left is truly discretionary money that’s much less than I’ve been hanging onto the last few months. Thanks for the support. I’m rooting for you too.

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