A little less spendy: No. 3
So here we are- I made it! Week three of three of this little budgeting experiment. Whilst this was another good week, and I was still really enjoying having a good handle on my finances, I tripped a little bit on what I learnt in week 2 and ended up spending a lil more than I would've like. But hey! That's life, pal! There's always gonna be a rogue day when you forget your lunch and keys and phone and get locked out of your house for two hours and have to spend money on snacks. No? OK, cool. Just me then. Either way, here's how I (mis)spent my allotted funds this week...
Monday // Total spend: £3.87
We went swimming before work (overnight oats prepped for brekkie knocking about in my handbag, as per) and whilst I was doing the mad dash around the changing room to get ready in a tight 20 mins afterwards, I realised I had run out of toner. I picked up this Garnier one on my lunch break for a v. reasonable £3.49. I was also feeling pretty peckish in the afternoon and so, never one to ignore my lil old bod if it's trying to tell me something, I bought an apple for 38p too. Last of the big spenders, me.
Tuesday // Total spend: £8.07
Today was pretty much Monday on repeat: went swimming, packed brekkie and lunch with me, bought an apple after lunch (for 47p- SPENDY) and did some werk werk werk werk werk. Afterwards I grabbed myself a he-uge burrito for £7.60 and then went along to the launch event for Anti Diet Riot Club which was so powerful that I nearly had a lil cry.
Wednesday // Total spend: £8
At lunchtime I finally crossed off one of those hugely annoying little jobs that I always forget to do (filed along with things like hoovering the car, sending 'Thank You' cards on time or taking anything to the dry cleaners) and went to get my watch battery replaced for £8. I'm trying to not only spend less money these days, but also less time on my phone and I figure that if I actually start wearing a watch again I'll be less likely to check my phone for the time and then unwittingly fall into a fifteen minute Insta hole.
Thursday // Total spend: £12
Never one to go a full 24 hours without spending money on food, I went for potato pizza and cheap wine and a catch up with my best gal after work. I am so grateful to have ladies in my life who are cool, kind and also happy to eat dinner at 5.15pm. Afterwards we went to a talk on food, fashion and female bodies with Ruby Tandoh and Bethany Rutter, which was totally dreamy.
Friday // Total spend: £19
If you've read my little blog before, you might know that one of my joint new year's resolutions with my boyf was to have a dinner party each month where we get people we love over to our tiny flat and serve sub-par food and play parlour games. Tonight was the third installment of said project and this time it had to be budget friendly. My best pal (who, when not project managing, also moonlights as a literal heaven sent angel) helped me prep and we spent the afternoon in aprons peeling squash and poaching pears and blitzing hummus and it was all totally lovely until 7pm crept up on us and all we had to show for the day's work was a pan of half-cooked kale, three dips and a sticky toffee pudding. We managed to wrangle it altogether somehow and (I think!) everyone enjoyed it. We served three quite hearty courses for eight people, all vegan and all pretty delish (if I do say so myself). We ask that people just bring whatever they want to drink and we cover all the food. The total food bill was £38, but as it's a joint project with my boyfriend, we go Dutch. For us, that's a pretty cheap night out for three courses and some time with food pals.
Saturday // Total spend: £9.25
Needless to say, if you've had eight for dinner the night before, the morning after is spent elbow-deep in washing up suds. After a late breakfast, we had a homey day tidying, sorting, writing and reading. We ventured out to Sainsbos in the evening to grab some essentials and I bought the first few Easter eggs for my fam, which came in at £9.25. We had leftovers for dinner and spent the rest of the night in facemasks watching Queer Eye and eating Christmas chocolate. Dream eve.
Sunday // Total spend: £7.50
I somehow convinced myself that I had the time to make banana bread on Sunday morning, which I did (and it was bangin') but didn't consider that it would leave me v minimal time to prepare for a day where I had a drama rehearsal and performance and would be out of the house for 7 hours. I didn't pack lunch (foolish! Have I learnt nothing?) and so spent £4.50 on a Pret salad. I also didn't leave myself enough time to pack things that a normal human being needs in the year of our Lord 2018, like a phone with a charged battery and the keys to their own home. Hmm. After an hour's journey home, I realised I had neither of the above on my person and so was forced to buy snacks for £2 and make a call FROM A PAYPHONE to ask my boyfriend when he would be home to let me in for the grand price of £1. I spent two hours walking around my neighbourhood because there was a nice sunset and it was a mild evening and I didn't want to spend any more money from the budget (WHY?! THIS IS LITERALLY ONE OF THE ONLY TIMES SPENDING MONEY SHOULD'VE BEEN WHOLLY NECESSARY!) and a long walk allowed me to go through the five stages of grief over my forgotten keys: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and optional sixth stage, homemade curry.
Total spend for the week: £67.69. £7.31 under budget!
Total savings from 3 weeks of budgeting: £28.40.
Weirdly, I actually really enjoyed this budgeting experiment. I quite often find myself consumed by worrying about money: about saving for the future, about squandering it, about not being considerate enough, about being able to pay for things that really matter to me. But knowing where all my money was going and breaking it down day by day and week by week, I gained a really good grasp of what would be left for spending on luxuries. I took my diary and looked at everything I had planned across the three weeks- trips home, events, dinners, birthdays (gifts to buy!)- and anything I needed to buy and figured out what that manageable figure would be and strangely it has felt so freeing to have to stick to it. Free from worry, free from concern, free from having to quickly transfer money from savings to pay for another round.
With the money I've saved I'm going to buy (or at least, put the chunk towards) a new pair of shoes that I need (I promise ya). A pair that fit properly and will last me and that I actually like: no more buying stuff I kind of like that kind of fits that'll kind of sit at the back of my wardrobe because I don't feel good in it. I'm definitely going to stick to the £75 budget from here on out and try to structure my week's spending around it. I'm even tempted to try and get my food shop within that £75, which'll be a challenge, I'm sure but I'm happy to have just come this far and finally feel a lil less spendy.