I write this from a beautiful cottage in the village of Wells-Next-The-Sea. This is staycation number one for me, and the only holiday of the summer for my boys. We have returned to one of my favourite places in the UK, North Norfolk for a week on the beach. Every day.
It feels very normal here, yes there is hand-sanitiser everywhere, with signs limiting the amount of people in shops, restuarants, take-aways. But there are not many masks, and there are a lot of people milling around. The one metre rule is being stuck to, the beach is so huge we have a space of 10 metres to ourselves, right by the waters edge too! It feels safe and no one is taking the piss or being rude (very different to what I have seen back at home).
A total bargain firstly for the accomodation that cost cost £600 for the week, in summer holiday holidays, a two bedroom cottage, a 1 min bike ride or 5 min walk from the harbour side. Or a 10 min bike ride from the most beautiful beach ever.
I feel relaxed and happy, a world away from any worries and life challenges.
We are trying to not go too mad on holiday spending a fortune, although we have caned a small fortune on pancakes, waffles, ice-cream, slushies and fish n chips so far. But also saving on home cooked dinners, picnics on the beach.
I’ve not yet browse the shops, but I have my eye on a few places on the high street to explore later this week!
Here are my money saving highlights of the past week
Writing for The Sun
Last Monday I felt stressed. I had deadline for a piece for Fabulous magazine/The Sun and I had my last lockdown diary to write. Plus I had to go to Aldi to do some price checking as my post required detail of pricing.
I got it all done and submitted my article by lunchtime with a fully priced up meal plan for the week. A week of healthy home cooked food for a family of 4 for LESS than £40. £9.90 a day to be exact. I worked hard to get that number below £10 per person.
The meals include roast chicken, and I push boat out with a large Norfolk free range Aldi bird with plenty of leftovers for chicken pie the next day and sandwiches. There is cottage pie, pasta bolognese, Taco Tuesday and home made pizza. It is totally possible to feed your family super healthy home cooked food for less.
Read the article here. It ended up going viral. Yes totally viral. I love the stats!
- My Instagram following has gone up by 3400 so far (it juts keeps growing. As I write im at 11.6k.
- I hit my 10k on INstagram (and now have swipe up!) at 10am Wed morning. And celebrate with some balloons, by Thursday I was at 11k!!
- My website has had an extra 5000 people visit, with an extra 40,000 page views. 40k!! This is a combination of a much better website, helping people to navigate my website much better and of course the traffic!
New Content for this week
I have published some brilliant new content in celebration of my new followers and readers. I firstly wrote a post about the basics of budgeting, and included bits from my book.
I also wrote a well timed post with ten free ideas for days out during the summer holidays. Of course most of us have had four months of time to fill already, but here are some fab money saving ideas.
Nails and Tattoo
I spent £160 on fun money for me. I have a new extremely beautiful tattoo at the top of my left outer thigh of a purple butterfly (my mum) and two lotus flowers. It hurt SO SO much but the pain was worth it. I adore it. This is tattoo number three so they cant be that bad. Hugest thank you to Matt Smale who works from Al’s Tattoo Studio in St. Neots. He is the best.
I also FINALLY got my nails and toes done. Another thank you to Knenworth Nail Bar who did my nails and toes at the same time in 45 minutes as I had a meeting to get home to! £65 later my later look teal beautiful.
Lansons Q&A session
On Thursday I did a brilliant Q&A with Lansons PR agency. It was a live webinar to all of Lansons (a huge London and New York based PR agency, representing many huge financial brands) staff an clients. Katherine Hobby, director of Lansons was asking the questions and Kara Gammell and I were the guests.
We loved it. honesty all the way. And a chance to shout about what we are passionate about and how great blogging is for us as busy working mums and also for clients with super targeted engagement.
My Book is nearly reading for printing!
Haha! Yes it has gone to my editor for final edits. I am done with the writing and the first huge edit, Rebecca my writing coach and editor is now doing the final edit preparing it for my proof reader and first readers.
This is very exciting, and I feel like I am so close to getting this book out there and published. I have found an amazing book printer, in my village (!!), shop local who will print the books for around £4 each. I love that I can do this and avoid Amazon for the printing of the books. Of course the book will be available on Amazon, but for the moment it is available on my website only and can be pre-ordered right now.
Total Spend for the Week
I am still keeping my spending diary, as its important to keep in control of my spending. I got into the habit over lockdown so dont want to stop now, when Im feeling in control of my spending amounts and habits.
I spent a total of £735 last week, £200 of this was business related costs (mostly buying 10 ISBNs for my book and for future books, this is the code you need for any retailer to sell you book). Personal fun money was also £200, mostly tattoo and nails cost, with a book and stationery added in. I bought some cards and fountain pens from Waterstones.
I also spent £220 on food, including £160 on eating out, much of which if from the first two days of holidays.
Money savings things I have signed up to and recommend
I have downloaded the Plum app to re start my auto savings. You may remember I had a huge issue with Chip during lockdown where they LOST MY £1300 SAVINGS. I have recommended them in the past and will never recommend them again after this customer service disaster.
So far I have downloaded the Plum app and have set up a link to my First Direct bank account, the auto-saving commences. Plum will automatically save money for me based on good spending weeks. Its a super easy way to build up saving without really noticing it going.
If you would like to download the app, its is free, here is an affiliate link. This means that I get £5 for referring you to Plum. Full disclosure here as always.
I signed up to the Waterstone app whilst in store. Its a good scheme! I spent £41 on books for me and Jack and stationery and earned 4 virtual stamps. When I have ten stamps I get a £10 voucher! Almost like 10% off. A great loyalty scheme.
Thats it for this week, Im now off to the beach, again. I love it.