Monday Money #198 Summer Solstice

It has been a strange week last week, coinciding with summer solstice on 21st June and a lot lot going on in my personal life. Overwhelm hits and feeling of extreme sadness and euphoria vary from one day to the next.

Everything is heightened. Its the anniversary of my mums death, which always affects me so much more than my dads death. I have lots going on with my children. There has been an end to relationship and a start of a new one. And work carries on almost as a consistent energy. The weekly routine keeps me focussed and grounded.

Thankfully I have great coping mechanisms when the sadness hits. Head out for a walk with a good podcast, immerse oneself in nature and a podcast hug from Fearne Cotton and her Happy Place. Engage with friends and feel connected, I’ve been doing a lot of this, even if its over whatsapp. And meet up with friends for an actual real life hug, tick tick tick.

It hugely helps that I’m on a health kick with no booze for six weeks (except a couple of teeny gins on a date last week!), exercise levels are high, good nutritious food is being eaten. Mostly I feel good.

My Spending Diary

There was a bit of emotional spending last week, as one would expect from a challenging week. I had no plans on Saturday or Sunday so popped into Stevenage for a browse in some shops. Although I think I limited myself pretty well. I went to my favourite witchy shop Unikorn and got incense, candles and a rainbow scrunchy. As you do. I also went into a couple of clothes shops but couldn’t find any inspiration to get clothes I liked so gave up!

Food Spend for the week was dominated by a night out in London. I met Neil in Shoreditch for dinner at our favourite restaurant Brat. Dinner spend was £120 on food and pre-drinks as I sat in a near by restaurant working and drinking aperol spritz. I am back drinking again, not massively, just a gentle re-introduction.

Other spending

Included a Tesco shop where I tried really hard to economise on own brand products but still managed to spend £87 on a weeks shop. I went to the cinema and spent £31 on tickets and popcorn. £45 was spent on my cleaner, I love having my house cleaned, a huge luxury I know but I don’t want to clean myself and they do a much better job than me!

I have bought tickets to the Summer exhibition for the Royal Academy of Arts, an exciting visit with Julie my artist friend in early July. And I saved £40 that went towards mortgage over payment with Sprive and Plum Auto-savings. I also paid my broadband at £26 per month. I got a big cash back bonus with my broadband back in March when I switched. There was a £105 for switching over from EE to Virgin. I love getting cash back for switching on my essential bills and getting a better deal.

My total spend for the week excluding a big business expense week (where I paid my team!) was £400. I also successfully avoided paying for any takeaways. I prioritised clearing out the food in my freezer and it worked I spent less. The £87 spend was food for my boys who are now here for the week.

Ten BBC Radio interviews last week!

I did some more work for the BBC last week and did a series of local radio interviews on the day that Inflation was announced this week at 9.1%. There were ten radio stations from Cumbria to Manchester to Hull to Oxford talking about easy ways to save money. I am writing and talking so much about cost of living, in fact its all I talk about so I have summaries ALL OF THE CONTENT I have written this year into this post that sits in my Essentials section of website.

Mrs Mummypenny Content refresh

I am going through all my top posts on my website and updating them for current times, I’m starting with my most popular posts. And children’s birthday parties are where its at for traffic to my website. This post about lots of money saving ideas for parties is now refreshed and even more popular.

Best kids party ideas – for children under 10’s – by


More to explore


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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