Monday Money #122 Fighting off SAD & WHY is bowling so expensive?

I write this from my dining room table office. I have a perfectly good office upstairs but I prefer it in my dining room. The kettle is near by, I look out to the garden for bird and squirrel spotting. And am surrounded by my books, crystals and Trev is always sat somewhere near by.

Where do you work if you are working from home? Do you have a separate space from everywhere else, or wing it on the dining table like me?!

I’ve just had a weekend with the boys, which has meant an expensive weekend for food. We had a couple of treat dinners over the weekend, pizza on Friday night and a cheeky Macd’s on the way home from football on Sunday. £60 was spent on eating out this past week.

Bowling? The most expensive past time with the kids?!

We also went bowling. A question, WHY is bowling so expensive? Three of us bowling for two games was £36??!! Two games that last less than an hour.

The boys love it for a fun, but really £36?! Its a lot of money. I always search for voucher codes every time we book it and never manage to find any, do you know of a way to save? I also feel slightly discriminated by the single parent pricing, as in there is no deal when you are a single parent but there is for a family of four or five.

Spending Diary & Emotional Spending

I am keeping detail of all my spending for every day in my spending diary and look back every Monday to see how i have done for the week. Its not been great this past week. I spent £350. I find it so valuable keeping this spending diary, it helps to reflect back on the days where I spent when I could have avoided it, like Thursday where I spent £25 on rubbish food.

£100 of this was eating out or Co-op top up shops. When I say top-up there has been binge shops where I have bought rubbish food. My guilty pleasure this week has been bread, crisps and chocolate. I dont eat chocolate?!

SAD is definitely kicking in, seasonal affective disorder, the first sign is a change in my eating habits. But I can see it creeping in, and recognise it. I am taking big doses of vitamin D and ensuring I get out EVERY day for a walk, sunlight and activity.

I got myself some new trainers and Jack got some slippers, we spent £60 on these, £45 on trainers for me from M&S, actually a pretty good price. These were a NEED, as my old casual trainers had a huge hole in the sole. I spent £50 on part payment towards a school trip and another £40 on fuel.

Competition to win Huge Bundle of Goodies

My competition is now live on my website to win a huge bundle of goodies including my books, candles, make up and stationery. A perfect pressie for you, or maybe some gifts to put aside for you to gift to others at Christmas, saving you bundles of cash!

Go to this post for all the way to enter, and there are bous way to entr on my Instagram post.

Auto-Saving with Plum

I am up to £181 saved into my auto-savings with Plum! I am loving this auto-saving app and how this balance has built up without me noticing. The app is connected to my current account and saves money for me every week when I have had a good spending week.

This money stays in my Plum account to pay for Christmas pressies for my boys. It feels great to know that I have that money set aside.

Thinking forward to Christmas

I have written a post this week making a plea to the British public to not overspend this Christmas. I am seeing some shocking research findings that we expect Christmas (including everything, presents, travel, entertainment, etc) to cost £619 with three in ten of us expecting a shortfall of £239. One in ten people expect to have a shortfall of £500. This short-fall will often end up on credit cards.

I have written this post to help with ideas on how to cut back, how to have those difficult conversations and how to still have fun.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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