2016 – the year of the spendthrift

So I tracked my spending pretty diligently from mid-August until the end of December (my end of December was the 25th because my months currently start on payday while I try to get a month ahead on my bills). I haven’t shared my findings in a single post yet, mainly because for the first 6 weeks I was tweaking my tracking. The last three months, I’ve been more consistent. Here’s what the last quarter of 2016 looked like.

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A wonderfully classy frugal night in

 

I love Christmas. It’s my second favourite time of year. Mainly because it’s the one time of year that people hang with family (whether by choice or not). London empties out because everyone heads home for the holidays. I got a seat on the Northern line before 9 this morning – Northern line residents will understand how incredible this is north of Balham and south of High Barnet. So, when it came to planning a pre dispersal gathering with my friends, it was easy to settle on a wine and cheese evening in.wine-and-cheese Continue reading

Anatomy of a chronic spendthrift | How did I get into this mess?

People, including myself, often wonder how I’ve survived 6 years of crippling debt. How did I let it get so bad? How could I sleep at night? How do I remain cheerful and upbeat even when I have £20 in my wallet to last me a week? How do I stay generous – even going as far as taking on debt to help someone out? How did I keep it all to myself? How didn’t I crack under the pressure? I like to attribute the answers to all these questions to one thing, it’s just the way I am. Let me break it down though. Continue reading

Advent challenges | How I intend to build discipline this festive period

December is my second favourite month of the year, after October. I love the festive spirit, the laid back work vibes, as well as the tons of christmas parties, drinks and what not that are scheduled. All of this stuff usually has an impact, on waistlines and wallets.  Last year I took part in my first Advent running challenge – the premise is based on the Advent calendar with an aim to run everyday for the 25 days from December 1st till Christmas day.

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Safety nets and catch alls | the importance of frugal habits

This week has been a spending disaster! I bought items that I hadn’t planned to – mainly because they looked nice and would be suitable for my wardrobe. For the first time in 2 months, I’m uncertain what my account balances should be and I have more unexplained money in my weekly spending account than I’ve had for quite a while. How have I got into such a mess?

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“Great comfort and extravagant living”

That’s Google’s definition of luxury. 6 months ago I would have associated a cost with that. Perhaps you had to be wealthy or you had to spend a lot, like I used to. I would have thought about restaurants like Locanda Locatelli for a luxurious special night (£100+ per head) or Hawksmoor for a budget special night (£50 per head). I might have thought about 5 star hotels with beautifully turned down beds, the fluffiest towels and £15 burgers. I would think chauffeur driven cars and free champagne in first / business class train and plane seats. Continue reading

Draft 1: liberty within 12 years

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I’m obsessed with personal finance at the moment. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and the last thing before I go to sleep is check up on my favourite personal finance blogs to see whether there’s anything interesting to learn. There usually is. I’ve read so much information and learnt so much in the last few weeks. Some of the ideas are fairly common and most of the different articles offer similar opinions on what the best way to tackle debt is. As far as I understand, most people suggest that one follows Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. As I have no mortgage currently, this is what my version looks like: Continue reading

FIRE – I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…

tuscany_main_oI’ve been trying to learn Italian for a few years. My first trip, after I’d got a graduate job and felt entitled to start seeing the world (in style), was to Rome. I went with a work friend and we picked Rome because at the time we were obsessed with Dan Brown books and Angels and Demons had just been released. We wanted to see all the places that were mentioned in the book plus who doesn’t love Italy? I fell in love with the people, the culture, the food, the ambience, the weather (in March), and most of all the language. I don’t think I made any serious efforts to learn how to speak though until 2009 when I met my kick-ass friend FL who I girl-crushed on and wanted to impress with my language skills. Continue reading