Monday Money #167 Challenge time – Did I survive the State Pension Challenge?

Oh my.. what a week. I has a hugely busy week with work, a busy social week, I wasn’t drinking (still not drinking until 16th Oct), I had £83 to last me seven days for the state pension challenge with PensionBee, my house purchase is collapsing around me and a few family issue to add into the mix. Stressed and overwhelmed are the words I’ll use to describe last week.

I have been sharing the results of the State Pension Challenge all week over on Twitter with my partner in challenge Faith from Much More With Less to huge debate, empathy and awareness that surviving on the State Pension of £179.60 would be unsustainable and unliveable. It was a super hard challenge that resulted in moments of feeling very sorry for myself. I bartered with friends for drinks and dinners to be paid for and I cancelled some social events. I felt like I was thinking about money the whole time.

You can read about the assumptions we made for the challenge here, what we included and what we didn’t. In summary I was left with £83 after bills for the week. Did I achieve the challenge? You’ll have to go watch this IGTV video that Faith and I filmed live on Monday 4th Oct to find out. Or go read all the Twitter posts.

No alcohol for 28 days

I am currently on day 16 of the 28 day no booze challenge with One Year No Beer. Not only could I not spend much money last week, but I could also not drink. Totally fine, until overwhelm hit on Saturday night. I really wanted a nice chilled G&T, but no I had my fake G&T. Very nice, but not the same feeling. Just 12 days left of the challenge, I’ve totally got this!

I Still did Social Things despite the no booze or spending

Finally after 2 years of twitter friendship I met Eve Keith! I have this amazing Twitter community that I am a part of, Eve being a founder member, a fellow divorcee, with lots in common. She now works near me, but lives far away, so she came here to stay rather than book a hotel, saving her money. She brought a very lovely M&S Japanese banquet for dinner, I supplied the most amazing Raspberry fizz drink that I bought from Bury Lane Farm shop last week in preparation.

I went on a date, and was bought a pint of lemonade and parmesan fries. Such a cheap date. But also a great date, dating when sober, I’ve said it before, is better, so much clarity and awareness. He’s a good un. Finally after a year of dating I’ve found someone good. Or he found me. To be fair he did find me, he answered a question on Hinge where I said ‘you’ll never guess the first concert I attended’.

i also had a great day at Westfield in London with PensionBee at the Green Live event. We talked Fossil Fuel Free pensions with a ‘huge’ crowd. Once done I spent a while browsing the other eco brands and met some amazing people. I chatted to Starling who I bank with and am keen to work with again, fingers crossed there a Lily the social manager knew me. I spoke to Ripple Wind Energy, Lovebug cat food (made from insects), Kazoo toilet roll and Nereus Aromatherapy hair care. The super soft eco and carbon neutral bamboo toilet roll from Kazoo is wonderful. Nereus gifted me shampoo and conditioner to sort out my scalp issues. Lovebug are sending some food for Trev and I will be investing in a bit of a windfarm!

Right to left, Clare & Rachael from PensionBee and me. I promise my earrings had yellow in them.

Podcast Episode – Mrs Mummypenny Talks Budgeting

Last weeks episode was a brilliant one, where Faith and I talk budgeting. This is episode 3 to celebrate my 1 year birthday of my book The Money Guide To Transform Your Life. We go right back to basics and explain the why and the how. Starting off with the spending diary that leads into the budgeting process. Budgeting is the core of personal finance and is 100% worth the couple of hours investment needed to build it and understand it.

Also it’s fun, we talk about the importance of spending money on want things that bring you joy, a conversation about Freddies Flowers was included. Now cancelled. Choose to download and listen to podcast or watch on my YouTube channel.

Spending Diary

This analysis is going to differ to my State Pension Challenge. Mostly because I did pay big one off business expenses last week. Business costs were not included on the challenge as we assumed we wouldn’t be working. Also there was house purchase costs and a rather big corporation tax bill paid on 30th Sept. And last week included 1st of the month when all my monthly bills hit, the 7 days challenge included seven days worth of essential bills.

One off Costs Included

Last week I paid £600 to my accountant for completion of my annual limited company accounts. I think I have got to the point where I can do these now myself, with the support of my fabulous accounting tool FreeAgent that makes everything easier, and actually does a lot of the hard work for me. I am an accountant by the way, I am Lynn Beattie ACMA officially, CIMA qualified in 2002. Did you know you can get this accounting tool for free when you bank with NatWest or Mettle for Business Banking?

I also paid a tax bill which is eye watering;y large, (the money was stashed away in my Marcus savings account) but it’s paid and I don’t need to pay it again for another year. And paying tax means that my business makes a good profit. £350 went to my solicitor to hold on account for House Buying and Selling purposes. There was also a couple of business expenses, a train ticket for a work trip at end of Oct and podcast hosting £64.

Food Spend £56

I normally spend a lot here, often £300 to £400. Last week due to the challenge I spent £56. Ha! It is possible! This included a mindful chef charge for food delivered out of the state pension week and £19 for Bazoo toilet roll which is enough to last 3 month I am told! Eating out spend was £12.

Self care – Fun Spends £35

I did have my nails done last week, by my friend Gena and this was included in my £83 for the week. They were £25 and are the most beautiful Autumn nails ever. And I bought a plant for £10 on my last day to celebrate having some money left for my last day of challenge.

Monthly Bills

Then all my monthly bills hit on 1st Oct. £1236 for my mortgage, oh my gosh I can’t wait for this cost to go down significantly when I move house. It kills me every month. I can afford it, but the amount, it’s eye watering.

The usual bills hit on the 1st. My energy bills are still £102, and stay this way until Feb 2022. I am with Octopus, one of the safer big energy brands. Worth seeing if you can save by switching and get a £50 credit to your bill using my referral link, I also get a £50 credit too.

Water bill was £19, Council Tax was £150, car tax was £12, Income protection insurance was £34, TV License was £13 and a very old and very cheap and very old life insurance policy was £6 (take out when I was 24!).

All of this does mean that my actual total spend for last week was £2680. Ouch, damn that mortgage, and £1000 worth of solicitor and accountant costs.

Also last week I did lots of Radio and TV thanks to the energy crisis. The best was a long Q&A on BBC News on Friday with Faith. We were great. No clips but Jordon Coupon Kid took some stills! Thanks Jordon x

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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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3 Responses

  1. I love seeing other people’s spending to see how I can save or make the most of my money. We’re having more takeaways than we usually do but I think at the moment it seems to be our only little pleasure:) Try this wordle

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