Monday Money #141 – Lockdown Spending Diaries Week 9 – A New Month Begins

Happy International Women’s day to every woman reading today 8th March. I wrote a love letter to women for my IWD post, celebrating and sending out waves of gratitude to my bestest of friends who have supported me with a tough year personally, as well as my business friends who have supported Mrs Mummypenny in so many ways.

Of course also to you readers, (who are around 80% women!). Thank you for coming back time and time again, thank you for reading my posts, liking social media pictures, buying my book, using my referral codes. All things that help me to carry on writing more and more content to help you save money and work towards financial freedom.

My Lockdown Spending Diary Continues

Regular Bills are Paid

The start of a month always means a chunk of regular bills hit as always. Although this month was a council tax free month, saving me £150. Also my car tax payment date has moved to the middle of the month so £12 has moved to later in the month.

My total spend on regular bills was £1,614. This includes mortgage £1236, gas and electricity, water, income protection insurance, bed payments (nearly finished these £86 a month jobbies hurrah) and my annual home insurance.

I paid for my annual home insurance in one go at £123. I am also expecting £28 of cash back to clear in my Top Cashback Account in the next few weeks.

Car Costs

I received my statement of account on my car payments, PCP contract, this week. I am nearing the end of the 42 month term so am thinking about options for September 2021. Turns out my balloon payment (the amount I need to pay to keep the car) is more than I thought. I was expecting £9k, its actually £11k. I’m not sure I want to give up £11k of my hard earned savings to pay for my car outright?! This 11k will potentially lower my planned pension and S&S ISA contributions.

I have a bounce back loan that I have managed to not dip into just yet at an interest rate of 2.5%, this interest starts to become payable from April 2021. So I could use this. The refinance interest rate from the car finance company is 6.9% meaning I would be better off using the bounce back loan. Or maybe I will just bite the bullet and pay off the full amount from my cash savings. September is while off yet. I’ll make my decision when I know what my savings are looking like in August.

The thing with PCP car schemes is that they make the monthly payment lower and more affordable. But as I have worked out my initial car cost was £17,500, and after 42 months I have only paid back £6,138 of that cost. You are then left with a big balloon payment that many people are not prepared for. This encourages people to return their car and get into another PCP car deal. Basically meaning you are forever renting a car, never owning outright.

So for this week I have paid £177 in car finance costs and a small amount of car insurance at £2.

Remainder £291 of Spends, including £120 of transfers to savings.

Food spends this week was just £83 in groceries, wait for it NOTHING spent on takeaways. Mainly because I had a mindful chef delivery at £17.50 and I know this food is so much nicer than a takeaway! If you want to save 25% on your first 4 Mindful Chef boxes use me as your referrer, just pop my email address in the referral box. This was my Saturday night dinner. Chipotle chicken with slaw and avocado, really very good!

I spent £53 on birthday presents. March is a pricey month for birthdays, I have a few, including mine! I ordered some flowers and chocolates for my sister. I ordered from Moonpig via TopCashback and saved an extra 9.5% in cash back, just about the covering the delivery cost. I hate paying for delivery, I’ve got too used to it being free!

£20 went into my Plum auto-savings, where I now have £660. Not far off £1000!! I am hopefully going to use this for a holiday with the boys at some point, likely home in Cornwall rather than abroad. £15 was spent on a visit to The Range where I bought a very exciting garden brush and rechargeable batteries for the eldest Xbox (saving money in the long run). £15 was spent at the pharmacy and £5 on gaming credits.

And finally £100 went into my Vanguard Stocks & Shares ISA. I realised that it was about time I set up my direct debit again. £100 a month will go in there every month with bigger contributions as I see fit. I am favouring putting more money into my pension above my S&S ISA currently, due to the tax breaks of making a company contribution.

Total Spend for Last Week £2,082

Exercise is Back on Track

I am so pleased to report that I have got my motivation back to start exercising again. I have of course set myself a target to put a bit of pressure on myself to carry it on. I must hit 10k steps every day in March. So far after seven days I am at 77k steps…YES!!!

I am back running. Two runs so far, although the first was ****** difficult and was mostly a walk. Today I managed a 5km with around 3-4k of that running, 1km walking. I am also doing HIIT workouts most mornings for 15 to 20 minutes.

All of the above is 100% FREE and I can already see that my fat is disappearing particularly around my waist and hips. Operation lose the lockdown weight is progressing well. P.S. all guess work as I don’t weigh myself.

Read Parts of my Book for Free

I have now shared two articles focussing on Money Mindset and Basics of Budgeting, chapters 2 & 3 from my Book The Money guide to Transform your Life. Take a look if you want to get a taste of my book. Later this week I’ll be sharing excerpts from my chapter on debt repayment.

Thank you for reading my every popular spending diaries. Did you know I get around 1000 of you reading them each week!! Love it. There are affiliate links included here meaning that I will get a small payment if you sign up, this in no way affects the price you pay.


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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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