So much to shout about and celebrate from the past week in my lockdown spending diary week 15. So So Much!!
The Money Guide to Transform your life is written and the first edit is done. It has been submitted to Rebecca my editor for 2nd edit. We meet on Friday to go through the edits part two. I love the writing bit, and I hate the editing part. Like life you have do some stuff you love, some stuff you hate.
I have lots of pieces coming up in the newspapers and online over the next few weeks and months, each piece will be mentioning my book and the publication date of 1st Sept. And I already have some incredible interview lined up for launch week. I AM SO EXCITED.
My lockdown learning piece for the iNews went live last week online, then in the actual paper on Saturday/Sunday. Super proud to write such an emotive piece about how I coped financially and emotionally with lockdown and my ex-husband (finally) leaving.
PensionBee Campaign is Live
AND my HUGE campaign for PensionBee went live on 1st July. Gosh it was a week to shout about. I will be on billboard, online and on TV for the national campaign with my brand partners PensionBee. I am one of four real life people sharing their pension story. Making it in life as a model = a big deal!
Spending wise. It was the end of the month where I was finally able to pay myself properly as my emergency fund has reached its six-month level and I moved money into investments, savings, and my pension. I will be tracking how the £1000 I have placed into Marcus Emergency fund, compares to £1000 in my fixed term Zopa savings account, to £1000 in my Vanguard S&S ISA and to £1000 moved into my tracker pension. I will exclude these paying myself amounts from the following lockdown spending diary week 15
It was also the first of the month with much bills, my Norfolk holiday had to be paid for, business expenses were high, and we returned to a new normal with pubs opening. This all leads to a VERY high spending week. I will share how I saved or not.
Monday 29th June – £84
A frustrating week in terms of my broadband bill. I am trying so hard to move from Virgin to EE. My bill will reduce from £38 per month to £24 per month, plus I get £100 cash back when I sign up as a new customer via TopCashBack. However Virgin refuse to give me my landline number and I cannot make the switch until I have this. So most likely I will be without broadband for a period. Every method of contact, calling them, twitter, text message, chat is ineffective, so I give up. I will just be without broadband. Thank goodness for the pubs and cafes are now open so I can borrow their Wi-Fi.
A letter will be going to the CEO, Lutz Schüler of Virgin Media with a letter of complaint. Also, they did not tell me my contract was over giving me 30 days’ notice to cancel, and my broadband has hugely slowed down since I cancelled the contract. The new contract is costing £54 so I will be reporting them to OFCOM. Do not mess with a personal finance expert.
Spending included £38 to Virgin as my last month of cheaper broadband. £19 at Co-op on vegan food, loving Violife vegan cheese and Quorn ‘chicken’. There was £9.15 for a prescription for me and £17 for two books from Amazon, one a gift for school, Create Your Own Happy a book by my friend Becky Goddard-Hill.
Tuesday 30th June – £213
Jack had his first day back at school so once I was done with my latest interview on Mrs Mummypenny Talks, a most incredible interview with Bola Sol, founder of Refined Currency…
Dylan and I headed to John Lewis Welwyn Garden City to choose my new bed and mattress. I am done with sleeping on horribly uncomfortable and hot mattress that was my marital bed. And its too big. It must go.
We chose a new very lovely bed frame called Grace and chose a mattress that felt as comfortable as the Bellagio Las Vegas mattress (I have researched, these cost £3000, plus shipping). It was in the sale with £200 off. The total cost was £1140 including a £29 fee for John Lewis to take away my horrible old mattress and recycle it. Delivery takes a week. I am excited!
I paid a 10% deposit and took out a 0% credit agreement to make the remainder payments over the next 11 months. £139 paid. Yes, this is a new debt, but right now is clearly a time to conserve cash flow.
Other spends include subway lunch for DJ and me. Vegan salad for me, sub for DJ, £9.26 spent. I got some hair dye and a new rainbow hairbrush for me £17 in Superdrug, my hairdresser isn’t returned to work 4th July, so I am self-dying and waiting for her to return. (Garnier perm dye 2 for £9 in Superdrug).
We bought more bits in Tesco, including a yummy Vegan pizza, I must get back to doing a weekly shop, £17 spent. And £32 was spent on a monthly subscription to my FreeAgent accounting software, a life saver for telling when invoices are overdue and sorting out my expenses every month.
Wednesday 1st July – £585 (monthly bills)
All my bills hit. Not going to bore you with the detail again, but they total £505, including exciting costs such as council tax and my energy bill. They are all at the most competitive level ever, as I check them every year😊
The remainder spend was for my cleaner who comes every two weeks, just £12 this week as she owed me an hour. Dylan and I headed to Knebworth Caffe Vero for lunch whilst Jack was at school again, spending £20.15 on a vegan breakfast, a worker’s breakfast, and drinks. One more business expense, my podcast hosting £12 a month. Those files are too large to clog up my website.
Wednesday is Kundalini Yoga day with Sarah of Reborn Yoga, which I adore. I have discovered a new powerful yoga that works with me as a person, it flows in tune with the moons and how we feel each week.
Thursday 2nd July – £163
Thursday was one of those days where I did not stop to breathe, it felt like! I had a photoshoot with new profile pictures for my website, newspaper features in the morning. Then did some filming for Zopa with me opening a new fixed term savings product, coming soon everyone! Luckily, the makeup from the photoshoot did both jobs. This is my before and after makeup, and check out my detox skin!!
The photoshoot was £150 including up to 15 images of my choices edited. Chris Ludwick Photography is great, pics coming soon, when I choose my favourites! My car insurance was also paid, I do pay as you go car insurance with By miles. This month the cost was £13. It is creeping up each month but is still very low. I am so glad I switched to pay as you go before lockdown started.
Friday 3rd July – £233
The biggest cost here was for part one of editing and review of my book paid to my coach £160, very much a business expense.
My yoga class from Wednesday was paid for £7, Netflix was paid for £8.99 and as it was Friday with the boys back home we popped to Tesco for Friday night dinner, all the pizza bits for £10, 2 pizzas, 2 sides, plus dips for £10, making it way cheaper than Dominos. We spent £31 in Tesco mainly with me buying some vegan bits, detox eating is not cheap.
My Mindful chef box for the following week was paid for at £26.50. I am going to pause it for a few weeks over July and Aug as I’m not sure how much we will be around. Not much I am hoping.
Saturday 20th June – £566 (holiday paid in full)
I couldn’t take the weekend off as I had loads of writing and editing to finish on my book. I worked for four hours each day from 5am to 9am on Saturday and Sunday. It was worth it. My work was pretty much finished with a couple more hours early Monday Morning.
I paid the outstanding bill for the Norfolk cottage I have booked for the boys and I, £500 we go direct rather than through AirBNB saving around £20 a night. We had a very excessive food day. Jack had breakfast in Caffé Vero £11 whilst collecting our copy of iNews and Glamour £5. We then walked to Lytton Arms after lunch for drinks and snacks, £17 and then got Wagamama’s for dinner. £32 for three bowls of pad Thai noodles, vegan and gluten free for me.
Sunday 28th June – £128
Detox results alert. After 14 days of no alcohol, caffeine, sugar, meat, gluten, dairy and acid = a huge one stone weight loss. I am super impressed and am a bit shocked that I lost that much weight! This means I am now very nearly down to my happy weight where I am size 10 to 12.
Spending wise we went to Hitchin Lavender so spend £19 on tickets, plus £5 on drinks whilst there, and had ice creams from Fabio’s in Hitchin £9 (not me, I had water).
We stopped at the farmers market for bread, fruit and veg, again no bread for me £21. And I booked a hotel for the night before I set sail to Isles of Scilly in August for £63, saving an extra 10% as I booked via Topcashback.
Finally, £11 to Microsoft on a monthly subscription, there must be a cheaper way of paying for Microsoft applications, to be investigated.
Summary £ 1973 spent
Ouch pretty high…..but…..that was £563 spent on holiday bookings for UK staycations to Norfolk and Isles of Scilly. Keeping my money in the UK, and we need all the help we can get.
Business expenses were £370, with some big costs of rebrand and book hitting (£310). Household expenses were driven up by the purchase of the new bed and mattress £149. Personal fun money on books and yoga was £42 with family fun at £19. Eating out and groceries were £213 with lockdown restrictions being lifted. Car costs at £199 and monthly bills at £364.
I say it every week, but I must calm it down this coming week. Not much is planned, aided by my no booze detox, it should be frugal. Hey, I might even aim for some no spend days!
Watch out for
This week my new website goes live!!! I will be sharing it everywhere. And this means that pre-order for my book, The Money Guide to Transform Your Life will also be Live, Wednesday 8th July is the big day.
Have a great week everybody.
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