Happy New Year readers! I hope you’ve had as good a first day of 2020 as I did. I went off on a little adventure with bae – we had lunch then went up a mountain and played pool. It was excellent. I’ve spent the last hour trying to figure out what my spending is most likely to look like during this year.
The 2020 budget – hopefully my 20/20 hindsight will match this plan
Yep! That’s the budget. So let me break that down for you a little bit. Continue reading
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
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.
Loch Katrine a few minutes away from the cottage
Here’s the breakdown of the spending: Continue reading
I was lucky enough to take a city break in Berlin a couple of weeks ago. My mate’s a nanny and gets time off when her “family” is away. She happened to be going to Frankfurt so we tacked on our first visit to Berlin – a city that has been in the top 5 of my travel list for a few years now. Here’s a breakdown of what we did and how much the trip cost me.
The Berlin cathedral church which we learnt about on the Original ‘free’ walking tour
Yesterday, I opened and read an article by Mindfully Spent about the power of habit. She talks about how, as a naturally erratic person, it’s taken her a while to build good habits and the impact those habits have had on her financial status. ‘A while’ was about 6 weeks. She successfully stopped paying for parking, cut back on buying coffee and started planning and prepping meals in advance. It apparently took her around 6 weeks to achieve these goals. She said, and I quote:
How did I know that I’d made a real change? My whole mindset about paid parking shifted. Now, the cost savings and the extra exercise I get when I use free parking feels like a reward. There have been one or two days when I thought I might have to pay, and I dreaded the idea. Once a mindless convenience, the expense of parking now feels like a horrible waste.
Watching P!nk a few weeks ago was super thrilling!
In October, I evaluated how being more intentional could help me become luxuriously thrifty. I don’t know whether minimalism, intentionality and thrift are always intertwined. It’s certainly been the case that since I started reading personal finance blogs, I’ve also started reading and/or following bloggers that include articles on minimalism and intentional living. At the heart of it, the FIRE movement mandates intentionality since it promotes spending in line with your values and that requires some deliberate decisions.
View at Farthing down on my London to Brighton cycle yesterday
I rarely take more than a few days off at a time so when I travel for longer than a long weekend I like to maximise my time away. When I started planning my trip to Budapest, I had a look at the most interesting and easily accessible cities to it and settled on Vienna. It also happened to be on my must-see list so I was happy! Now you might recall that I splurged a little in Budapest so I needed to keep Vienna as frugal as possible. I had no idea where to start but got a good idea of prices and an itinerary from On the Luce’s “Visiting Vienna on a budget” article.
I’ve been buzzing this week about my 8 day long holiday – the longest time off I’ve had since last November – which I started in Budapest last weekend. I have no idea what I was expecting of Budapest but I didn’t expect it to be quite so
modern, western European, I don’t know. It seemed rather London-y. Maybe all of Europe is similar. It’s a city that’s been on my must-see list for years but I never quite got round to it until now and boy, was it worth the wait?!
Stunning Vajdahunyad castle within the City park
I know I only just reviewed June but while I was at it, I remembered that reviewing June meant that I was halfway through 2017. At the start of the year, I wrote down several goals (2017: The year of the saver) that can be summarised within 4 categories
- Financial – including things like maxing out my baby emergency fund, supporting family and being able to invest properly in the stock markets by the end of the year
- Health – Change lifestyle gradually and permanently so that I never have to make another weight-related New Year’s resolution. Sleep more.
- Professional – make money using 9-5 skills, learn new skill, become go-to person at work for something.
- De-clutter – Intentional ownership. Sell, donate, or throw away stuff that doesn’t provide joy
One of the highlights of my year is my trip to Paris with my football team. We take part in a weekend-long tournament that usually involves a lot of singing, dancing, drinking, playing football and generally having a blast. I suppose this weekend could rightly be compared to Spring break, a hen/stag do, or other such lads/ladies on tour situation. Last year, my Paris trip was the straw before the straw that broke the camel’s back. I somehow managed to spend three or four hundred pounds more than I planned to and it had the most disastrous impact on my financial situation.
View from Hotel de Ville
Early views for my 5.40am train
The fanciest registration venue ever for a football tournament