As I write this closer towards the end of Monday 12th April than the beginning I can report on what life was like with more freedom in my nearest local town Stevenage, where we headed today for post lockdown haircut. Stevenage was very busy, as busy as a Saturday afternoon. There were queues everywhere, with Primark being the longest. People really want this lockdown to end. Social distancing not really a thing, but people were generally happy and polite and appreciative of some of their old life back. I would love to know what Primark took today in sales!
And the wait for the barbers was horrendous, we waited for an hour.
I’m feeling a tad anxious and stressed also as I write this. And I am hoping that the process of writing helps to settle me and calm me down. I’ve got a lot of work on this week, including a media day all day on Wednesday where I will tied to Zoom and radio interviews for many hours. Plus a day off work in hospital for a small procedure, that I hope doesn’t affect me too much going forward. And of course there is stressful stuff going on with the children that required me focus and attention. Ill be glad when Friday is here and I can chill at the hospital!
My Weekly Spending Diary
An Investment in a Dinner Set
I have made an investment this week. Not in a savings account or my stocks and shares ISA. No. I have invested in a beautiful Cornishware dinner starter set.
I have been following Karina the owner of Cornishware on Instagram for a long time, along with many of my fellow Cornish friends. We have been tagging each other on competitions forever, although never to have won. And I received the best birthday pressie ever from Becky Meg, a huge blue striped Cornishware mug.
This week there was a seconds sale, 30% off normal pricing, with the tiniest of imperfections, we all have those right. I had a browse and there was the blue stripey starter set, 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates, 4 pasta bowls and 4 mugs. Plus £5 voucher for being a new customer. I got the lot for £150..they would have more far in excess of £200 had I bough at full price. Bargain. And beautiful. Here is my mug so you can appreciate the beauty of the design.
A few bills paid including a new one £52
This week saw me pay for my income protection insurance, ensuring that if I get ill and cannot work I will still have a regular income coming in. £34 a month covers me for around £2,500 monthly income until the age of 60. A very essential insurance for self-employed folk, although not many have it. If you want to find out more about this or indeed life insurance do complete this contact form from my friends at Lifesearch to see what they can do for you. They sorted my insurance for me and can do the same for you, with a bonus of a cash back payment (£25 or £50 depending on value of policy) to you and also me to say thank you for the referral.
I have also given in with Disney Plus and signed up last week. £7.99 well spent. Already we have devoured Wandavision (Amazing), Soul, Aladdin and at least 8 of the Marvel films in time order. We love them. Quality family time. Netflix was paid as well this week £9.99. Maybe Ill cancel Netflix whilst we go through all that Disney Plus has to offer?!
The boys were here most of the week so food spend jumps up to £143 in total, of which £36 was takeaways, KFC (where I got the very healthy rice box!!) and supporting our local favourite cafe who has reopened, Caffe Vero! Oh and I have to show you this meal I cooked from Mindful Chef, it was paid for last week, but it was amazing. Duck with Plum sauce and vegetable fried rice. If you want to try Mindful Chef using my email as a referral will get you 25% off your first four orders, I also get a £10 credit to my account. If you try it, THANK YOU!
£20 was spent on a birthday gift to my god-daughter, totally got her a matching Strong Girls Club T-shirt to match my hoodie. £40 was spent on new trainers for my eldest who has just gone through a foot growth spurt. I did at least get a small discount by buying from Nike using Topcashback!
I visited Boots for some nice shampoo and hair colour, the greys had to go, £18 spent. There were some little business expenses of £20 and £26 spent on petrol and pay as you go insurance.
Finally there was a chunky £65 auto-save that was taken from my account going over to Plum. Much bigger than usual but I did have a positive balance for a few weeks. I am now sat on a balance of £820, so close to £1000.
My total spend for the week was £534. Quite a bit for a week with not many regular bills. My £150 spend on a new dining set busting my budget, but I have the money is savings. I can afford it.
After two weeks of the month I can already see that I have spent £2,300 (I allow a total budget of £3,000 per month) with another £200ish of regular bills to come, and a return to some life after lockdown. And yes I also have at least five dinner dates in the diary. Maybe I should dedicate the rest of the months spending to going out for dinner and nothing else?!
Debt Stories with Jane from Shoestring Cottage
I was honoured to host my friend and money blogger colleague Jane from Shoestring Cottage on my blog last week sharing her debt story. It was a story that so many of us can relate to, the creep of life and the normalising of debt. Written with real honesty it will inspire you to take the steps to plan your way out of debt.
My Podcast is Re-launching this week and become OUR PODCAST
And finally, I am SO EXCITED to share that Bec, or Rebecca Megson-Smith of Ridley Writes and my friend of 33 years is joining me as co-host of my podcast. It becomes Mrs Mummypenny Talks to Ridley Writes. Our first episode will be out on Tuesday 13th April and I can’t wait for you to listen.
Our first episode is all about us, how we became friends and some of the chunky stuff we’ve been through together. Both of us losing our parents, divorce, children, careers.