A bit less spendy: No. 1
So I wrote last week about how I wanted to get a little more on top of my money. I want to get a lot more conscious of my spending I don't want to totally give up doing everything I love but I'm also pretty done with getting to a week before payday and wondering why I'm the proud owner of 7 English pennies. I want to be able to save and spend bigger chunks of money on stuff that really matters to me, which was seeming all the more impossible with every takeaway coffee and Pret porridge I bought.
And maybe also because I'm obsessed with the Money Diaries on Refinery 29, I decided to keep my own little budget, of £75 per week, and document it over on my Insta. If you missed it, here's how this week went.
Monday // Total spend: £0
And so, fulla the joys of spring (jus' kidding, it was a snow week), the budget week began. The night before, as we do most Sundays, we had whacked our slow cooker on overnight- this week with everything you need for some properly gorge Brazilian black beans. I whacked some in a tupperware along with some frozen veg, and, along with a couple of snacks, that meant I didn't buy any food whilst I was at work. Result. I managed to abstain from spending all day and spent the evening going on a little run and cooking up a huge pot of squash, lentil and kidney bean stew. I had it with soy yogurt, brown rice, almonds and raisins- even though the recipe called for figs, but I had been so fueled by my own financial fury the previous day at the supermarket that I refused to submit to the £3 bag of figs and make it werk another way.
Tuesday // Total spend: £5
If you're au fait with what I do every morning (that sounded creepier than I'd hoped) then you'll know that a coupla times a week I go swimming before work. To avoid buying brekkie on the go afterwards, I made overnight oats and took them along with me, along with black beans (again!), and more snacks. Excellent. Then once I got to the pool I realised that my shampoo and conditioner were on their way out and so later on I duly checked which products were on offer at my local supermarket (get me, shoppin' around) and picked the shampoo and conditioner combo that were on offer for £5 with a £4 saving. Just call me Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Wednesday // Total spend: £17.06
I knew today was going to be a bit of a toughy savings wise, but a bumper time fun wise because I had plans to go to see Ladybird with my best pal. After a swim (oats in tow for afterwards) and a day at work (powered by a portion of the lentil, squash and bean thing), we sped down the Northern line and directly into a sushi restaurant. I'd used a Meerkat Movies code to book the tickets on 2 for 1, so we got both cinema tickets for £15.70. Sushi came to about £15 so my best pal paid and we called it quits. We bought obligatory cinema snacks to smuggle in beforehand, which came to only £1.36, not the £6 million and a vital organ they charge you for a small sweet popcorn at the cinema.
Thursday // Total spend: £7.40
I popped out on my lunch break (after eating the final portion of the lentil, squash and bean stew from the freezer) to post a bday present. I did my bit to reduce, reuse, recycle and save a few pennies by finding an old envelope and sending the present in that. Sent it First Class (and obviously it still didn't arrive on time) for £3.40. There was also a cake sale on at work that day in aid of Bloody Good Period. I bloody love cake and I bloody hate period poverty, so I spent £4 on a slice of cake for Beau and a piece of vegan Oreo cake (incred) for me, which I sat and ate in the sun. Went to a combat class after work (which I haven't counted in the budget as it's free with my membership at the leisure centre) and came home to a chickpea and aubergine stew with chickpea flatbreads that Beau had whipped up. Ideal.
Friday // Total spend: £9.50
Had a big scary meeting in the morning which I was terrified of being late for so I had a coffee in a café nearby for £1.50 whilst I prepped. After said meeting, I met my two best girls at Dishoom and even though it was only 10.30 and I'd had breakfast, I realised I was totally starving, so had two slices of toast and pineapple jam for £3. Even though I'm trying to not have as many impulse spends, I really don't want it to screw with trying to eat intuitively, so when I'm hungry, I'm gonna eat. I had my packed lunch (the aubergine and chickpeas from the night before) at work a few hours later and then we whizzed down the motorway to Beau's parents' house in the evening, which I chucked him £5 petrol money for.
Saturday // Total spend: £15.60
Felt vvvv hashtag blessed to spend the day doing three hours of yoga and chilling in an outdoor jacuzzi for a total of zero pounds because Beau's mum very kindly let us use her guest passes for her fancy gym. Bought my own Ma a Mother's Day present for £12.00 and hopped on a train to see her for £3.60 (I luv u, 16-25 Railcard).
Sunday // Total spend: £10.75
Spent the morning with my Ma and then hopped on another train back home to London. My stepdad had put a cauliflower cheese pastry in my bag (delish) so I didn't have to buy lunch on the go before my drama class in the afternoon.
Week's spend: £65.31. Under budget by £9.69!
I must say, I'm pretty dang proud of myself for this.
I felt that limiting myself- to an extent, I mean, I still did pretty much everything I wanted to do- meant I was so much more conscious of my spending: I didn't grab a coffee at lunchtime, I didn't buy snacks at work (because I'd packed 'em with me!), I didn't spend hours browsing ASOS because my wardrobe is just missing 'something'. It felt really eye-opening to how much all those little taps of your contactless card actually add up to and now I've got £10 to put towards something I actually want. Maybe I can eventually even start scaling down, bit by bit, from £75, but at least this is a start.
I'd quite like this spending diary to be part of a bigger series on saving money. I'd like to write about how I budget with our weekly shop for a start, so keep your eyes peels for another update next week.