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:
I thought this might be my last money diary for a while – because I thought I’d got my act together. This is rather far from the truth. The second half of last week saw quite the spectacular increase discretionary spend for the problem areas – dating and socialising. I didn’t feel guilty for all of it though because I had a spectacular weekend. Here’s how things panned out:
Argh! Another poor week. I should stop moaning after the fact. I consciously, willingly and decisively made some poor money choices last week that mean that I exceeded my budget in several categories as well as overall. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though so let’s look at how I spent my money last week.
In typical reforming spendthrift fashion, last diary’s awesomeness could only be followed by sub-par frugality last week. I ate out three times and bought groceries from the small, high-brow grocery store that’s conveniently located as opposed to the large one about a twenty minute walk away. Here’s where my money went:
I don’t know what the rest of 2018 will be like but last week was one of my favourite weeks of the year so far. It’s not so much anything to do with the fact that I successfully completed Dry January and so had my first drinks of the year but more to do with nailing a really good week where I worked hard, ate well and got to hang out with really great people while coming in under budget. Here’s what my week was like.
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 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:
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.