A little less spendy: No. 2
A wee bit late on the update front but here we are: better late than never and better on budget than a little too spendy.
This is what I spent the week beginning 12th March, AKA week 2 of budgeting £75 a week to do, see and eat what I want. My memory is a little blurry on the finer points of how I whiled away the hours, but my handy old Halifax app was there to remind me of just how I blew the budget.
Monday // Total spend: £30
OK, so not exactly a budget friendly start to the week, but again, the whole point of this exercise is to spend my allotted amount of money on stuff that I really, truly enjoy and cut back in other places where the spending is getting a little too mindless. On Monday I packed up the lunch we'd cooked the night before and headed off to work. I met Beau, my boyfriend, at a little Breton creperie on Catherine Street where some uni pals had taken me before. The buckwheat galettes are SO delish and pretty budget friendly when you consider that dinner for the two of us only came to £30. He had two savoury galettes with about 47 different types of cheese, and I had ratatouille and egg for main and flambéed bananas smothered in Nutella for pud. After that we went to see Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre. Now, I like a good show, but I hate how pricey it can be. Recently we signed up to be on the mailing list for Central Tickets, where every day they send through the best deals on tickets and opportunities to seat fill (where you only pay the three or four quid admin fee to see a show at the last min). The Dreamgirls tickets were only £15 each so pretty budget friendly and even though we were pretty high up, the view was still perfect and meant I still sobbed when Effie sang And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going. Excellent.
Tuesday // Total spend: £0
Look at me, Saint Caitlin of Finance, the Queen on Budgeting, Saving and Frugality. I don't think there was much on this day apart from a swim in the morning (oats knocking about in my handbag, as per) and coming home to cook up a huge batch of spinach, sweet potato and lentil dhal for dinner and the next couple of days' lunches.
Wednesday // Total spend: £7.99
After my swim this morning I realised I was almost totally out of cleanser and so, after ploughing through a portion of dhal I'd packed from the night before, I went shopping on my lunch break to stock up on my favourite budget one, which came in at £5.99. In my humble lil skincare opinion, it's as rich and moisturising as the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish but just without the fancy smell and packaging and half the price so a big thumbs up from me. I used to spend a lorra lorra money on skincare and have slowly but surely started cutting back where I think I can with products that do the same job and are a lot more budget friendly. I spent another £2 on some almond milk later on in the day, which I know is spendy compared to just, y'know, milk but it's so tasty in tea and cheaper than buying a single takeaway one.
Thursday // Total spend: £0
I think this was a spend free day? My bank statement tells me so. Lunch (final portion of dhal) came packed in my bag, as per. After work my best gal and I went to a combat class, like we do every Thursday. The class is part of the package of my leisure centre membership (which I LUV) so I haven't counted it as a spend. After flailing my limbs wildly at the back of the hall for an hour, I came home to a dinner of jacket potatoes and pulled jackfruit in BBQ sauce. We tend to cook most things from scratch at home (purely because we enjoy cooking and have the time to) but I doubt we could do much better than this Sainsbury's offering.
Friday // Total spend: £25.70
After work I trundled along to Waterloo to catch a train down to my Dad's house. I'd bought my tickets online a few weeks before and they came in at £25.70 for a return, which wasn't too bad. I avoided forking out an inordinate amount on M&S treats at the station (like I ALWAYS do) by packing some extra snacks in my handbag (along with my lunch of a jacket potato we'd baked the night before).
Saturday // Total spend: £0
Spent the day churning through about seven storage crates I had hanging around in my Dad's attic, which came only at the expense of agonising over incredibly cringe teen diaries I'd kept and rifling through old university assignments that proved I was once actually able to use the Spanish imperfect subjunctive. My sister came and picked me up later which was a) totally lovely to have time with her on the drive and b) exXxtremely budget friendly to not have to spend the train fare on getting to her house. Spent the afternoon playing video games with my nephew before getting the train back to LDN in the snow.
Sunday // Total spend: £0
A v quiet day of cleaning our flat in the morning and a drama class in the afternoon. No spends and nothing much else to report.
Week's spend: £63.60. Under budget by £11.40!
I'm actually so surprised that I managed to stick to budget for the second week in a row and I'm hoping that as the weeks press on, this'll become more of the norm. I don't think it's too bad going to be able to go to the theatre, to dinner and on a two hour train journey and back and still come in with some money saved. I'm definitely becoming more aware of how those tiny little spends at Waitrose at lunchtime or on a mid-afternoon coffee can make a dent in the budget and impact the ability to pay for things that I really value doing. I'm also coming to realise that those tiny bits of forward thinking and pre-planning, like packing extra snacks and cooking in bulk when poss are, little by little, helping me save some pennies.
Next week is the last of this 3 week experiment and I'm hoping that with the money I've saved across the week, I can treat myself to something I actually need. My wardrobe is seriously lacking in a pair of plain black flats and, now that we're not having to trudge through the snow, maybe I'll be able to buy them with the money I've saved through being a lil less spendy. We'll see!