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:
This is a rather shamefaced blog post. It’s over halfway through December and I’ve only just got round to doing my spending review for last month. I’ve also been very bad at documenting my daily spending, keeping track of my discretionary spending envelopes and have generally been behaving rather badly the last few weeks. I’d like to blame it on the festive season but I know it isn’t really that. I think that I’ve got a little bit too caught up in today, instant gratification and the a little less bothered by the things that should matter i.e. paying off debt and saving toward the lifestyle that I [think I] want to live. Here’s the dirty on November.
My friends, who had previously lived a couple a minutes away from my place, moved to Scotland in July and promptly booked a holiday for us all to reconnect with them and check out their new digs. I spent a night with them in Glasgow then we took a wee road trip to the Trossachs where we’d rented out a cottage for a few days of rest, relaxation, hiking and tons of board games. This absolutely fabulous holiday was not only an amazing way to reconnect with amazing humans, but it cost me less than £200 for a 4 night stay.
Here’s the breakdown of the spending: Continue reading
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.
I want to do better. It seems a bit pointless to write post after post in this vein but I really want to do better and there is currently a disconnect. When I first started this financial journey, I was in a dire state. I had no savings. I had over £30,000 of debt and was unsure about how much I owed. I didn’t have a place to stay because I was subletting my room to pay the bills. I had a frayed relationship with my family because they were tired of my irresponsible behaviour and frivolous spending. My 2 closest friends were barely speaking to me. I’d lost my girlfriend. My life was fraught with the direct consequences of poor financial decisions. It was kind of easy to make changes because I needed to change to survive. One year on, things are better, more stable and there isn’t a burning need to change further.
My financial knowledge was eerily shoddy in the past
I just found some tracking that I attempted to do in 2015 when I first realised that I was on a sinking ship and the cupfuls of water I was bailing out would no longer suffice. Here’s how bleak my life used to be 2 and a half years ago
The last week of September was weird because I busted my knee and ankle and had to spend the better part of a week resting, icing and elevating my left leg at home. I didn’t see many people or do many things and I got lulled into a false sense of [spending] security. Today, I went through the books and here are the findings on my spending last month: