How amazing does it feel to have a few days of sunshine and be able to see friends and family again. Albeit outside and limited in numbers. Freedom is returning and it feels great, I can’t wait to go to pubs and restaurants again. This will all have an impact on spending and budgets, so be sure to allow some extra in your budget for the back to life surge that will likely happen.
I have spent Easter weekend out in nature doing lots of walks and runs. I even managed a 26k steps day last Thursday! My healthy life continues. I managed to do 331k steps in March, super happy with that!
Birthday Treats then a Car Crash
It was my birthday last Monday and the sun and warmth arrived with perfect timing. I received some beautiful gifts from my friends and family and a lot of flowers and alcohol;-). My pressie from the boys was some hair wavers, that I actually chose, ordered and bought;-)
We went for a long walk along the nearby canals, which looked the cleanest I have ever seen after a year of lockdown and fewer boats and pollution. We then had the ultimate burger treat and got a Five Guys takeaway from our nearest place in Harlow. These burgers are amazing, but are pricey. Its not like MacDonald’s! We spent £47 on burgers, milkshakes and fries and they gave us enough fries to feed 8 people, not 3!
Then annoying, sadly on the way home from Harlow we had a car crash. A car went into into the back of me, doing a chunk of damage to my bumper and boot. I am now in the middle of sorting out repairs, so far so good, my insurance company By Miles has sorted out everything quickly and the car goes in for repairs this week. As it was a no fault accident my excess is waivered and I have no claim bonus protection so it should affect my policy next year. Although I had only just renewed my policy two weeks ago!
Spending Diary for last week
Its the 13th week of lockdown, I think I’ll stop calling it lockdown once the shops open and we can eat outside, so 12th April. I will carry on doing my spending diary though, I love the reassurance it gives me and the control I feel when I go through my spending each week. Also you readers love it, it often sees 1000 people reading it when shared every Monday. So yes I will carry it on sharing how I save money each week.
First Week of the Month is Bills Month – Mortgage Decisions
April monthly bills return to normal levels with council tax returning. This month they came to £1607. My mortgage makes up the majority of this, £1236 per month. I have been thinking about making a small overpayment. Money Saving Expert has a great calculator showing how much you can save making overpayments. If I overpaid by £100 I would save £6,000 in interest and reduce my 26 year outstanding mortgage term by two years and three months!
But this would mean over payments of £100 for around 24 years = £28,800. If I invested this money instead into my stocks and shares ISA would I get a great return than £6,000? Who knows, but possibly yes my return would be greater. I invested £1,000 into my Vangaurd S&S ISA in July 2020 and is now worth £1,125. A return of 12.5% in 9 months. Obviously this is no guarantee of a return in the future, but I am happy about where my money is kept.
So I think for the time being I channel my £100 a month over payments into my stocks and shares ISA instead. Or maybe I bump it up to £200?!
I set up most of my bills to be paid on 1st of the month so I know that they are mostly all paid and I have smaller big regular costs for the rest of month. My water bill is £22 and my gas and electricity is £102. This recently went up with a new annual contract but I am still paying for a good value tariff with Octopus. We are now entering the months with lower energy usage so I always keep an eye on my balance and transfer money out to my bank account when its a sizable chunk.
Council tax is has gone up £3 a month now costing £153. And my TV license was paid at £12 per month. Car costs were also paid, PCP payments of £176 and car tax of £12. I also paid another interest free instalment of £86 for my new bed bought last summer. This should end in the next couple of months
I made a phone call to EE this week also to cancel my connected watch contract. £15 a month that I didn’t need to pay as I never used my watch for phonecalls! Always remember you need to give 30 days notice when cancelling a contract so its worth putting a diary note for 30 days before the end of mobile phone related contracts to call them up to get a better deal or cancellation.
Grocery spending was low at £57, mainly driven by much of this week being just me, no boys to feed. Take Away spent was another £57, mostly driven by the dinner from Five Guys (and well worth it!).
There was some small business expenses of £16 and Plum Auto-savings of £19. £756 now sits in my Plum savings, this has taken around a year to save this much money. A perfect way to save up for something like Christmas or a holiday. Ill be using it for our week in Cornwall in the summer holidays.
My total spending for the week was £1944 for week, of which £1795 was regular bills. So my spending in reality was £149, a good week!
Thanks for reading as ever, there are a few links in here to services I have used that are referral links. If you click on them to sign up we both get a bonus, for example Octopus we get £50 credits each to our bills.