It’s the last week of the summer holidays for us so we have spent time making the most of it. The holidays have gone by so quickly. I’m a bit sad to be going back to the usual routine of school, football most nights/weekends when I have my boys.
Making the most of the summer holidays has meant a trip to Cambridge, Ninja Warrior in Watford, cinema and a couple of days at my gym for tennis and long pool sessions. We’ve certainly had fun, but some parts cost mucho money, others are a bit cheaper.
House is On The Market
Last week saw all stations go with putting my house on the market. My house is for sale, hurrah! I am done with the village I live in for many reasons. I kept my house in the divorce as some stability for the children, but now that the divorce is long done and over I’m ready for a fresh start. The other issue I have that I have shared before is that I have always felt uncomfortable with my mortgage balance. I was forced into adding a large chunk onto my mortgage and it’s too much. I don’t need this big house in commuter Ville; so I’m relocating to somewhere cheaper. Still within train reach of schools for the boys.
My first negotiation was with the estate agent with selling fees for house and price to put it on the market at. I took his advice on the asking price and we negotiated hard on the fees. I like to think I got a good deal with £900 knocked off the standard pricing as long as my house sells for the asking price.
This also means that I had to sort out some household issues before anyone could view the house. Some of which I am doing myself and others that I am paying others to help with. I am repairing my bathroom ceiling that has lots of peeling paint. I’ve spent hours this past weekend stripping paint, sanding, refilling, sanding and repainting. I hated it but it cost me £45 in materials rather than £200 ish in painter labour. The technique was learnt from YouTube and a nice lady at B&Q helped me choose the bits I needed.
I have a huge list of other jobs, but I’m part way through most of them, have organised for someone to help. Cash has been withdrawn this past week to help pay for those bits.
This means that this week £178 has been spent on household stuff, getting everything ready and perfect for viewings. It will be worth it!
A Day in Cambridge
We spent the day in Cambridge on Saturday. We got the train there, went swimming at the pool with the flume slides and had a look around the Botanical gardens. One thing for the boys and another thing for me. I thought it would be bargain day out but when I added it all up I spent £102. A big chunk of this was dinner at GBK gourmet burgers £43, which DJ declared was the best burger he’s ever had, and I must also share my vegan burger with home made coleslaw was amazing. Well worth the money.
Other Family Fun Days
We went to the cinema, I use my Kidspass to save on tickets here. Three tickets, with popcorn and drinks for £27 rather than £35 normal price if booked online and food bought at counter. We saw Snake Eyes, it was okay, little boy loved it, elder boy didn’t love it. I enjoyed the fit men.
We also spent £34 on Ninja Warrior in Watford. We heard about it from a friend and the boys were excited about trying something different. Don’t bother! It was packed, far too many people meaning queues for the actual ninja warrior course. And it was hard and slippery. DJ couldn’t grip onto the hanging things to progress through the course. We watched big strong men attempt it too, no one could do it! There was also a huge inflatable obstacle course, better for little kids maybe. And at £17 each, it was too expensive. We will not be returning.
We also spent two days at the gym, playing tennis and swimming. This has to be the best thing I’ve done in a summer holidays for constant amusement. Our membership is free of charge as I am mystery shopping the gym. It has provided hours and hours of amusement since we returned from our early summer holidays.
The spend here this week was £113. This included the GBK burgers in Cambridge, plus £20 spent in Starbucks in Cambridge post swim. This also included £30 spent at David Lloyd having lunch on one of our fitness days. Finally a teeny £10 at KFC after the cinema, nothing for me as I’m being super healthy.
I did spend more this week on groceries as I wanted to more home cooking and less eating out. Partial fail. This included a big Tesco shop, I have stopped shopping at Aldi, this needs to change. The £80 spent at Tesco would have cost £50 at Aldi!
Just one trip to the garage this week for fuel £49. Next week sees a hue car expense. My final balloon payment for the car of £11k. Meaning as of 1st Sept I own my lovely hybrid car 100% outright. This means I have £0 debt in my personal name, a perfect position for my new mortgage.
Back to School Expenses
Last week saw the last bit of back to school shopping, we hit Asda for the shirts, polo tops, lunch boxes, drinks bottles and stationery. I wrote this post about last minute money saving tips for back to school essentials. I also got a new hockey stick for DJ. Total spend last week £95
Other Small expenses
A few other teeny expenses. I spent £20 on make up and stationery whilst in Asda. £6 was spent on Life Insurance. £8 went into my Plum auto savings and £30 was spent on business travel.
Summary £658 Spent
It was another £600ish week, which seems to be the new normal, providing its a non bills week. This means that I’m back down to spending around £3,500 per month. This above my monthly budget of £3,000, but this was lockdown based and needs a bit of realignment now I have months and months of spending diary information.