The sunshine is back for my lockdown spending diary week 13! We have thoroughly cleaned the Bestway 3m pool, refilled with a lot of water and balanced the chemicals in preparation for the hottest week of the year so far. Wed/Thurs are 29 degrees here in Hertfordshire. Cannot wait to donut float around the pool.
It is also a big week in emotional terms. The new moon on 21st June, a perfect time to set intentions and manifestations for the next cycle of the moon (you still do it today, Monday!). It is also my mum’s birthday and the anniversary of her death two days later. Its been 27 years. It does get easier, but I still miss her every day. I ache for things she has missed during my life, but I know she is watching from above and cheering on every hard decision and success.
Back to my diary for last week. It was a good week, until a shopping trip to newly opened John Lewis. More on that later.
Monday 15th June – £37
A busy Monday was separated perfectly with a 7k walk with Marianne to Knebworth house to see the deer herd and to visit the 400-year-old Oak tree of life. Walks are the best. I have re-discovered the simple (and free) world of walks in nature. Fortunately I am surrounded by such beauty, woods, rivers, parkland, fields, flowers. I am hugely grateful to live where I do, being so close to so much nature. (But I still miss the sea hugely).
I bought us some water from Knebworth House £4, that re-opened on 13th June. It really feels like life is returned to the new normal this week.
The boys returned home after five days with the ex. We decided to have a Monday night treat and got a Chinese. We totally over ordered and had enough food for two days. Which made DJ very happy, Chinese for two days in a row! It was £24 for a selection of very unhealthy but very good Chinese dishes. We also got drinks, milk, bread etc from the coop for £8.
Tuesday 16th June – £127
My new website is taking shape and we should be ready to go live maybe next week!! I cannot wait to do the unveil. The colours are stunning, orange, teal, purple, vibrant and bold. The new logo matches perfectly, love, love, love. And most importantly the new site is so much easier to navigate. SO MUCH.
Liz from Lingo really has done the most incredible job. I recommend her company to everyone who needs a rebrand and/or new website. I am anticipating a huge uplift in traffic, Mediavine income and affiliate revenue (the fees I get from companies like PensionBee, Octopus energy and Top Cashback when you sign up based on my recommendation). Payback should take around 1 year. I used some of my limited company bounce back loan to pay for this business cost.
I published the latest Mrs Mummypenny Talks, an interview with the wonderful Tom Baigrie from Lifesearch. It is so worth a watch or listen, he is such a font of knowledge about the important world of protection, I cannot recommend highly enough that you consider life insurance. I pay around £30 a month for a policy that covers me for £300k. A small price for reassurance that my boys will have the house paid for if I die.
It was a high spending day. DJs feet have grown again, and he needed new trainers, now an adult size 7, they suddenly get a lot more expensive. I had a Nike voucher for £42, thanks to Top Cashback referral payments and a 5% bonus for turning my cash into a voucher, and we paid £35 for the Nike Air Max that he wanted.
Dylan was bored and the garden needed to be tidied and pool cleaned. He did a brilliant job hoovering the Astroturf, weeding, clearing leaves. It took him 1 hr 45 and so I paid him £20. Win Win. A job done that I hate, PE lesson for him and payment and a lesson in financial education.
Other costs were a £50 charity donation to Grief encounter, a friend would not take money for a favour, so I donate to my charity campaign instead. I am up to £545 (plus owed £100 from a PR agency who are donating to charity rather than paying me for an event in July). This was my May #500kmchallenge. You may remember I got to 400 km then shingles struck. I have now got to 500km via my daily walks, the only exercise I have been able to continue during June. If you want to donate here is the link.
Other small costs, £22 on Audible, Butchers and Coop.
Wednesday 17th June – £86
An exciting day for boys, we went on a trip to Hitchin to get a new phone for DJ. His hand me down phone from me has finally died. And Wednesday saw EE re-open for the first time since lockdown. And we were the first customer! It was great to see Sanita and team, behind screens and PPE equipment!
The phone was sorted, Dylan went for a Samsung A20, £15 a month, just £5 more than his current SIM only contract. Its low data, as I gift him my data from my 40GB SIMO package. The phone cost nothing upfront.
Whilst in Hitchin we also went to the beautiful deli for cheese and wine, ice cream from Fabio’s and Sweeties from Mrs Simms! This lot cost £45. Wednesday was cleaner day too, so £37.50. Having my cleaner back is the BEST thing ever.
Thursday 18th June – £262
As life returns to normal and I can now sort out my holidays. I am having two in the next 8 weeks. One week with boys in July to Wells-next-the-sea, and I paid a £100 deposit, £500 to be paid 4th July. And one week to Isles of Scilly in Aug, to be paid for next week.
Thursday was a huge day of self-care. All work meetings were cancelled, and I spent some time talking to guides in my life. I booked a 121 with Kat, who is a business and personal coach, my Antigua friend and paid for it, £125. I just need to meditate and think about how to run my business for the rest of 2020 whilst its hugely busy, but with my recovering from the last 16 years of challenges. It going to take time.
I had another trip to the doctors as my rash has returned, this time its just a rash. My body is expelling everything it does not want currently. After much time in daily fight or flight my immune system and nervous system is like, woah, we are out of that bad time and we now expelling any bad stuff from the body via cold sores, rashes, bleeding, bruising, spots! Wonderful, but I have got this. Consultant stuff all sorted with hospital; I am hugely grateful to the NHS for all their help over the past 3 weeks.
I also had a therapy session with Jennifer. They happen ever Thursday, although not paid for until 22nd June, hitting next week spending diary. My therapy sessions are going so well. Packed full of helpful coping strategies and idea. My homework this week is to come up with boundaries for relationships, work, and life.
I also paid for a charity cook along event with Grief Encounter and a chef and bought some bits from Trussles butcher for £11.
Friday 19th June – £39
Just one biggish spend here, £30 on a new bra from The Fitting Room, Stevenage. I am back down to a 32 G and needed a new bra as old ones were too big. £9 also spent at Co-op when the boys got home on bread, milk, ice lollies.
I kept Friday low-key work wise but did have a few meetings. An hour with Andrew my mentor. Good chat about strategy, everything falling into place workwise, structure, content plans, business budgets.
I also had my first book review meeting with Rebecca Megson-Smith, my writing coach and editor. She has made many suggestions and I now need to be quite a bit of re-writing. But oh my gosh she is adding so much value. I 100% recommend that you use a writing coach if you are writing a book. She knows the theory of writing, as she has studied it for many years. She is a published writer of books and play and a qualified life coach. And she is my best friend. I gave her permission to give me much constructive feedback and told her to double her fee to me😊
Saturday 20th June – £629
I really BLEW the budget here. Let me justify. I had a big invoice paid so knew that I had the money in the bank. I could 100% afford this blow out. My friend Katherine is a stylist at John Lewis, Welwyn Garden City and is doing virtual styling appointments.
I gave the brief last week that I needed some bits for re-brand and few photoshoots. I wanted colour, cool on-trend clothes, heels for running around the city, and she delivered on all counts.
We reviewed on Instagram chat on Friday and I popped into store on Saturday to do a real-life check and bought to bring home and try on. The highlights are this gorgeous leopard dress, slightly too small on boobs so I need a bigger size. And this outfit ala Ryan Gosling. The bomber jacket is to die for, £49 half price in clearance. The blouse just £17, in clearance and the trousers £35 from £100 in clearance.
Katherine picked out 11 things, 2 shoes, 1 dress, 1 jacket, 3 trousers, 4 blouses/tops and it came to £530. A few of the items need to be exchanged for different sizes but mostly it was perfect sizing wise and price was. Everything goes with everything so can be mixed and matched for capsule wardrobe effect. I have at least 20 different outfit options with these 11 pieces.
I do not go shopping for clothes often, so when I do, it is done in one go and with expert guidance! Half price Toolally earrings were also bought, a game for boys, knickers, and shoelaces for Jack. Yep £579 total spend.
We then went to Café Nero for decaf coffee, vegan gingerbread cake for me, croissants. Milkshake, diet coke, millionaire shortbread for boys £10. I bought some immune system boosting vitamins from Natural Health in Welwyn Garden City, plus lavender oil for bath. £40 spent, but I did join the loyalty scheme saving myself 10%.
It was my last day before detox so went out with a bang, drinking my champagne gift from Marianne on Monday.
Sunday 21st June – £54
Summer solstice day and I was up with the birds to watch the day in with new candle (thank you Kat for the gift) and Stonehenge on YouTube. I was practically there.
When the boys eventually rose 5 hours later, I was ready to go out! We got fruit and veg and bakery bits from the farmers market, spending £37. We then drove to St. Albans to the Verulamium park for football, press up challenge and ice creams.
My detox starts today. Meaning I am giving up 7 things, alcohol, caffeine, meat, acidic foo, sugar, dairy and gluten. Yep plant based until my Norfolk holiday. My body needs it.
A big week for spending £1234, this doesn’t bode well for the spending diary comparison that Faith from Much With less and I are doing for PensionBee 15th June to 14th July! ON that note we are doing another Q&A video around the 16/17th July. The last one from early June worked so well we wanted to another again in collaboration with PensionBee who are doing the editing for us (huge thank you as we both hate video editing!)
Categorisation wise, Lynn’s fun money personal spends is the biggest at £706, nowt I can say about that, apart from I enjoyed it very much. Business expenses were £130 including the business coaching. £100 paid towards holiday.
Other smaller costs, eating out £74, groceries £96, kids stuff £35 and cleaner £37, bills £8, household costs £20 and charity £26.
I will try to spend less in week 14, although I need to pay for Isles of Scilly travel costs and deposit. So maybe not.
I love how this lockdown diary is keeping me incredibly mindful about my spending. Yep I have spent a lot this week, but I have done it in a mindful way and have kept track of all spending. Most importantly I have money in my bank to pay for everything, no debt is involved. And I do my best to save at every given opportunity. And on this note I will be writing a price for iNewspaper this week on my spending diaries and learnings, I’ll let you know when it is published!
Have a great week everybody.
Disclaimer – This post contains links to affiliate links, as explained where I make a small fee, as do you in most cases in cashback!