I am back with Monday Money. I know, there has been a three week break, I’ve done something previously unheard of. Taking time away from my business is something that I rarely do. It’s been amazing to have three weeks of time to relax, enjoy fun, think, plan. I need to this more often. It means I come back full of ideas and ways to change things up, new ideas to try out. Exciting things are a coming for Mrs Mummypenny.
Plus its a great time to switch off, work is quiet, there’s not much going on with clients wanting work, so it really is the perfect time to sit back and chill, but look forward to the future.
My three weeks have been packed full of fun stuff. I had five days at Standon Calling festival where I worked and had THE BEST time ever. I was child free and behaved sort of like a child. Full post coming later this week on the delightful festival and how I managed to spend just £53 in 5 days! HOW COOL are the flower lights in my hair?!
I then went to Cornwall for a week, as you maybe know I am from there and my sister lives there, so we stayed with her. The expenses were basically fun stuff and food every day, and we didn’t hold back in any way. We did all the kayaking, body boarding, slip n sliding, pasties, ice cream, cream teas, meadery dinners.
I recently returned back to Hertfordshire and had a couple more days of seeing friends in London and Wellingborough spending more on eating out, then had a blissful weekend to myself, alone, going to the gym, eating lovely food (that was already in the freezer) and a lone cinema trip.
Here is my Spending Diary for the last 3 Weeks – How I have spent £3,850.
Firstly, let’s get rid of the standard monthly bills. Those that are paid in the first week of every month no fail. Mortgage, Water, Council Tax, Insurance, Electricity & Gas, TV subscriptions. This lots comes to £1,580. The majority of which is my mortgage at £1,236. This hits the end of its fixed term in April 2022, so I will be making some enquiries as to a new fixed deal soon. This can be locked in up to 6 months before your existing deal ends.
If you are nearing the end of your fixed term and want to give a brilliant independent mortgage broker a try, consider Trussle. They were marvellous with me in 2020 and got me a mortgage deal that I didn’t expect to get. And if your mortgage goes through we both get £100 of Amazon vouchers each as a gift!
Its my LAST MONTH of paying a monthly payment towards my car. 1st September sees me pay the closing balance of my finance, an eye watering £11,350 that I have set aside. This will means that I own my rather lovely three year old Toyota Hybrid CHR outright. I am going to keep it until it starts costing me lots of money in repairs. And according to my mechanic expert neighbour, this car is reliable and should have a good eight years of life. Here it is on the day I got it:-)
My car costs over the past three weeks were high at £336. This includes the last monthly payment of £176. Plus £134 of fuel costs (£75 of which was Cornwall and back). Car tax and Pay as You Go Car Insurance.
Paying off this large amount of money owed on my car does leave me with a predicament. It leaves me short on my emergency fund, Ill be left with three months of expenses, when I like to have six months. And I am very paranoid about cash flow. I have the remainder of a bounce back loan with some balance left to repay so I am going to carry on with smaller monthly payments on that, its got an outstanding balance of £10k, that I might reduce to £5k and see how things go for the next year. This way my cash flow remains positive.
Food Costs £822
These are costs over a three week period, which actually are pretty good for me! I have spent just £156 on groceries then the rest on eating out, much of which were from being on holiday. It does also include a perhaps extravagant, but very amazing dinner at Brat in Shoreditch last week, £95.
Fun Money and Leisure
Now we get to the fun stuff. My spending on the family. This includes slip n slide, body boarding, kayaking, bat n ball, cinema trips. We saved in Cornwall by buying wetsuits for the boys from Tesco for £30, rather than hiring for £10 a day. This totalled £176.
Then we have personal fun money, this includes said £53 of spending money at Standon Calling, which to be very honest I could have got away with spending nothing with the amount of free alcohol we had! I also spent £60 on a massage and VERY exciting, £60 on a new tattoo.
Last Friday I popped up to see my friends Matt and Marie Smale in Wellingborough (Whiskey and Ink Tattoo Parlour) and Matt did this most incredible tattoo. I gave him the high level brief, the shell in a mandala shape to match the tattoo on my right arm and he designed this for me, it is perfect and my favourite tattoo of them all.
I also spent some money on clothes and bit on glitter for festival, £72 was spent on a new bra and knickers. And £20 on cycling shorts, this are officially my new favourite item of clothing. Essential wear for hot sunny days, to be worn beneath dresses to stop the chub rub, or just with a T-shirt for a cool day time look, oh and of course at the gym;-)
Savings and Investments
£280 went into my S&S ISA and my Plum Auto Savings. I have got a lovely balance growing in my Stock & Shares ISA with Vanguard that makes me smile every time I check my balance (not too often folks). This is a medium term savings plan, money that will be available for the boys when they go to university to help with living expenses.
My plum savings after being raided in June for holiday costs, are now building up again, with a current balance of £822. This auto-savings works really well, a tfr is made depending on how healthy my bank balance is looking and how much I have spent, it makes saving money so easy! Here is a link to download the app and get started.
Other Random Costs
There were plenty more random smaller costs that hit. There was £25 to my cleaner who leaves me in Sept to a fabulous new job. Looks like Im going to have to do it myself, grrrr, hate cleaning. There was £195 to the cattery who looked after Trev cat for two weeks whilst we were away.
There was £108 of business expenses, mainly website costs for a few updates that my IT team did for me. And there was £41 of pet costs, flea killing spray (I think finally powerful and expensive Frontline has fixed the flea infestation issue) and a bulk load of cat food.
And this lot came to £3,850. I don’t think this is too bad considering two weeks of it was fun holiday stuff! Total costs of our Cornwall holiday for a week including all spending money, travel and cattery was £868, not bad at all for a perfect week away in one of my favourite places on this planet.
August is going to be a challenge with costs. Its summer holidays so there will be days out and fun in the (hopefully) sunshine with the boys, and another mini holiday being planned for early Sept to a caravan in Essex.
I do need to be careful with spending, July and August are traditionally low income months. And higher costs will mean I am having to use savings, but I’ve got this. We will have a fun time and not spend too much cash! An area where I am going to focus is on food. I am on a mission to eat much healthier and cook more home cooked meat free food. I am in control of my eating habits and my exercise and am on a mission to get back to a place where I am feeling happier with my body.
Thanks again for reading, if you have got this far, I want your ideas. Please drop me a message on social media or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. What do you want me to write about? Your input is greatly received.
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