Welcome to Monday Money, ah school girl error there I am writing this on a Tuesday. Yesterday was a write off. I was exhausted and couldn’t manage much.
Is anyone else struggling with getting back to normal life and the tiredness of it? I had a night out in London last Thursday with my best university friends, Friday was a hangover. Saturday morning we were up early and drove to Manchester. My eldest was playing Man City on Sunday and I couldn’t face the 180 mile drive there and back in one day.
The consequence is that I am now shattered and couldn’t bring myself to write. I did at least record my spending diary spreadsheet meaning I was good to go with this Monday Money Spending Diary Post.
Weekend in Manchester
We had a fun 24 hours in Manchester. I booked the Ibis Budget hotel, mainly because it was cheap and central, just a 15 minute walk from central Victoria gardens. It was £82 for a triple room including breakfast. Parking was an extra £6. I saved an extra £5 by booking the hotel through Top Cashback and Booking.com
The room was definitely basic, but it had everything we needed and was clean. The staff at the hotel were incredible and really made the experience better. We were given a map and were shown how to get everywhere and were given ideas for dinner.
There was a tram top on the opposite side of the road and we did our first ever tram trip, that was incredibly easy and cheap, £3.60 for a family central zone 1 pass. We hopped on the tram to get to the Science and Industry museum, 5 stops away, a bit too far to walk.
Museum of Science and Industry
I highly recommend this place, firstly it was free. Bargain. Manchester is the centre of the industrial revolution so we walked around historical memories of that time. Explaining to my youngest that he would have working in the mill.
There were lots of interactive sections that the boys loved, from the code breaking exhibition to the experiment section on the first floor. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours.
We then headed out to find food. We found Cibo a beautiful authentic Italian restaurant not far from the museum. They had space for us as a walk in and served me a Negroni straight away. I was happy. We had beautiful pizza, garlic break with cheese, risotto and burrata. The food and the service was amazing, allbit a bit pricey. Dinner came to £79, but hurrah for the AMEX Shop Small offer (that runs until Fri 25th June) and I got £5 off.
We headed back to the hotel via a snack shop and spent the evening watching football. On Sunday we had to be at the Man City Football ground for 1pm so Sunday morning was chilled. We had a lovely breakfast at the hotel, and there was loads to eat. The morning was spent walking into the centre of Manchester via the canal that ran right past our hotel, and just sat and chilled in the central gardens by the fountains playing football and watching the world go by.
The football was amazing in the afternoon, the Man City Training complex is incredible. Perfect grounds for the boys. And Cambridge won! 3-1 versus one of the best academy teams in the UK, and the world.
We drove home via Subway and were home by 8pm on Sunday night. All in the weekend cost £285. Hotel, food, Petrol. Not a cheap weekend in any way. Being a football academy parent has always been something that has cost a lot in travel expenses. But hey this time we got a weekend away got to see lots of beautiful Manchester and ate some of the best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy.
I have been loving trying out the recipes from my friend Amy Sheppard’s new book HOB. Its packed with one pot incredibly tasty recipes. So far I have made the popcorn chicken nachos and the sausage ragu pasta (secretly packed full of vegetables)
The boys have loved both recipes, as have I. Highly recommend this book not only for tasty recipes but also for less washing up!! If you wan to order it, here is the Amazon link (aff).
Back to the Spending Diary
Dinner in London
Total spend for last week was £600, of which £295 was Manchester weekend related. I also had a night out in London with my uni friends. Nights out in London are never cheap especially when we meet for cocktails first, then dinner at City Ivy. I spent £126 on drinks, dinner and train. But again so much fun. We have been friends for 26 years now and this was the longest time we hadn’t seen each other for thanks to lockdown.
There was £60 spent on groceries. Not much spent there! And a Friday night dominos delivery as I couldn’t face cooking, £30 spent. I always gets my Dominos vouchers from the Latest Deal Website, they always have better ones that the Dominos site offer!
£15 was spent on new headphones for eldest boy, but he doesn’t like them so I will return them. There was also £75 on personal fun stuff. Flowers that should have cost £12.50 each actually cost me £25 each upon checking card statement. Hmm not impressed. And I got my nails done, rainbow pride style at £25, including a 10% loyalty discount.
Animal costs of £13, monthly flea/worming treatment. Plus £25 went to my Plum auto-savings and finally I got a £40 refund from AO, who rightly messed up my dishwasher delivery. I now have a dishwasher, but not yet working as they couldn’t connect it up. A trip to B&Q is needed to get a new pipe thing, technical speak.
So yes a £600 week, not great as this now means I am hugely overspent for June. But I am aware, and this is the POWER of a spending diary. I can now make adjustments to this week to spend as little money as possible and bring it back.
How Much Is Enough Podcast
Our podcast last week was super popular, its actually our second most listened to podcast after our first intro episode. This makes me so happy that so many people are listening to Ridley Writes, Bec and me talk about so many hugely important women’s issues.