Monday Money #157 July likely to hit record for highest spend month

Before I sit down to write this weekly article (written from the train whizzing it way from Paddington to Penzance) I always go through my banks accounts and credit card spending from the past week and pop it into a spreasheet.

It’s at this point where I’m either feeling slightly smug after a lovely low spending week, or feeling slightly sick at the amount of spending last week.

I am feeling slightly sick. You see I’ve set myself a monthly budget of £3,000. I need to face facts that this isn’t an appropriate budget for social post lockdown times. AND I don’t want to restrict myself. I want to enjoy the summer months with my boys and my friends with food, drinks, days out and weekends away. I need a different summer budget.

This year I am in the camp, life is for living. After the last 18 months, we absolutely deserve it. But I must also share that I am also committing to putting my targeted amounts into my savings and pension. I will put £12k into my pension this year, I will put £100 a month into my Stocks and Shares ISA and I will maintain my emergency fund.

I am doing okay so far, a bit behind with pension, 3.5k put in so far. £100 a month had gone in to my S&S ISA and my emergency fund is maintained.

Back to the Sick Feeling

So yes I have just added up my week of spends and I feel a bit sick. Total spend of £2,470.

Last week included the 1st of the month when all my regular bills hit, all £1,867 of them. The big chunk is my mortgage at £1,236. Nothing out of the ordinary this month except to say I paid my last month of my one year interest free deal on my new bed and mattress purchased last year.

From August I am £82 per month better off. I asked on Twitter people’s thoughts on interest free deals for bigger purchases and it got a hugely mixed response. Many are in favour, many are not.

Its nice to have several months of lower energy usage, have you checked your account and balance recently. You may have built up a credit, if you have whip it back into your own bank account. I would much rather you have the money in your account than the energy company! Whilst you are there check you are on the best energy deal.

Its one of those bills that most people just leave, but there is often a better deal out there to save you stacks of cash. I use Octopus Energy and they will likely save you money. If you love Mrs Mummypenny and read this post every week, why not check to see if Octopus will save you money on your energy bill. IF YOU SWITCH WE BOTH GET A £50 CREDIT TO OUR BILL!!

My Highest Spending is on Food – Consistently

Yet again I’ve had a £200+ week on food with £108 on groceries and £124 on eating out. I had an amazing lunch in town with Jordon Cox, AKA Coupon Kid. We’ve not met up in person since before lockdown, was lovely to catch up on life, work and everything else inbetween.

I had the boys most of last week, which means an increase on food spending. Along with the England football which meant a treat dinner of their choice, KFC.

Clothes Shopping and Haircuts

Finally after a whole year I have had my haircut, £50, I’ve gone for a layered look, medium length. I’m really happy with it. I shared this comparison picture on Instagram, and it went crazy..just shy of 600 likes at last count.

5 years ago, thin, pale and so unhappy, look at those eyes. And now, good hair and eyes that alive:-)

Did a spot of shopping for my youngest and spent £64 on new short and t-shirts. And a glittery headband for me to ear to wedding, the reason for the afore mentioned trip to Penzance.

Other costs for the week include £125 going to my savings, Stocks and Shares ISA and Plum Auto-savings. I paid £25 to my cleaner. And I also got a £50 compensation refund from AO for the dishwasher debarkle from last week, this pays for the de-humidifier that I had to buy last week.

I spent £88 on presents for said wedding and eldest sons football coach whom we say goodbye to after four years. And another £40 went on business expenses.

All leading to a total spend of £2,470 for the week. A lot. Must try to calm down.

Money Saving at a Festival

I am very pleased to report that Standon Calling (22nd to 25th July) this year will be a freebie, total. I am on the crew, working in the posh camping Lavish Lands section. This means free tickets, camping and food. And I am sure I can get free alcohol from somewhere too. I normally go every year, but as press (I will likely still get a press pass as I do love the back stage pass it gives you) I have always spent a small fortune as I’ve gone with my kids, on food, drinks and camping where Camplight put up a tent for me.

Podcast This Week – Reinvention

Bec and I spoke about reinvention on the podcast last week. Something that so many women go through, particularly me I feel. At every junction in life I have reinvented, leaving home for university, career life, being a mum, self employed life. Well worth a listen if you feel like you have reinvented or maybe want to.

To Rent or to Buy – This is the Question

A debate that I often see on social media, should you rent or buy. I put the question to the UK Money Blogger Community and we had quite the debate.

Thank you for reading as ever. Do check out my Instagram this week packed full of Cornwall pictures. ALSO I’m currently 75 followers away from 10k on Twitter, so if you don’t already follow me, please go follow me!!

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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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