Monday Money #94 – A Weekly Spending Diary in Lockdown

Weekly Spending Diary

Monday money is evolving a bit from this week, into a day by day diary. Lets face it, time are tough. Home education, keeping everyone amused, cooking, exercise, worrying news, stressing about money. So I thought this would be useful, a weekly spending diary. Ill share where I spend and save, although spending is much lower!

Faith from Much More with Less and I are keeping detailed spending diaries at the moment for some work with PensionBee. The post won’t be going live until May and it will be more of a comparison of how we both are spending money and time. These weekly spending diary posts for the moment contain the details of what I, and the boys have done.

Also its the start of single mum life for me, and a time with higher budgets to contend with so its a great time to keep a detailed weekly spending diary.

Over the diary!

Sat 21st March – £0 – no spend

The last weekend before we are told to completely lockdown. This was also my first weekend without the children, they spent three days with their dad, as we now take turns to look after them every other weekend.

I started the day with a long walk around the fields of Knebworth and Woolmer Green, I am so grateful to have beautiful green space a few minutes’ walk away. I listened to the Scummy Mummies podcast whilst walking. They were interviewing Julia Bradbury and talking about the benefits to your mental health of walking, it was very relevant.

I then totally binged on Killing Eve on iPlayer. I re-watched it from the beginning. 16 episodes to purge on. I love it, the strong female roles carrying it. And the fashion, I truly adore it.

Being the last weekend before lockdown my friend Neil came over for dinner. To celebrate my birthday of one week later and to have a few glasses of wine. Dinner was the last of my Mindful chef meals. I cooked shepherds pie with celeriac and leek mash. All stuff I already had in the fridge so free. And it was amazing!

Weekly Spending Diary

Neil brought wine (6 bottles!!), dessert and crisps with him. So again, nothing spent from me. So, Saturday ended up being a no spend day!

Oh, I did transfer £500 into my Chip auto-savings account. But that’s not spending that’s just a transfer into my savings from my current account. p.s. open a chip account and get a free £10 added to your account!!

Sun 22nd March £48.61 spent

We managed to drink 5 of the bottles of wine, so Sunday was a quiet day! Neil left at lunchtime and my friend Fran popped over for a long walk and talk. Fran has been my walking therapist friend since all my separation from husband stuff kicked off. We walk miles and miles and chat about good and bad stuff in each other’s lives.

We did a 5 mile walk around the lanes of Knebworth, Rabley Heath and Woolmer Green. Socially distancing the whole way. This was my last real-life contact with a friend as the world locked down on Sunday night. We were no longer allowed to spend time with people from other households.

I did pop out to Tesco in the evening to get new bed sheets. I had previously spent ten months sleeping on the sofa bed in the spare room and now had my comfy super king size bed back to myself. New bedding was an essential spend. £25 for new bedsheets. I then bought a few treats, I fancied cheese, I needed tonic water for my gin and got lots of fruit. Total spend in Tesco was £48.50 included the bedsheets.

Weekly Spending Diary

I have switched my car insurance to pay as you go with Bymiles, the perfect solution to current times where I will be driving hardly at all and the trip to Tesco cost 11p.

Mon 23rd March – £0 – no spend

A quiet day getting on with work on Mrs Mummypenny. I ensured that I went out for a long walk and then the boys were home at 3:15 from their dads. We spent time playing the game of life and read Fantastic Mr Fox together. A no-spend day.

Tuesday 24th March – £0 -no spend

The first day for the boys and me with home education. Josh set the agenda and we spent time on maths, English and PE. We made cookies in the morning for home economics. By 2pm cabin fever had set in, so we went on a long walk to the woods in the next village. The boys had a great time on their bikes doing jumps and climbing trees.

Weekly Spending Diary

I made a roast chicken for dinner and then spent some time doing a cash flow forecast for the rest of year to try to alleviate any stress I was feeling about money. It gave me peace for a day or two.

It was a no spend day.

Wednesday 25th March – £4.94

I had the boys until 3:15 today so spent as much time as we could on home education. Dylan was great, the eldest and did his set work. Both Josh and Jack threw a paddy after one hour, so we gave up. They played the Game of Life, which is totally educational, and we had our daily walk at 2pm. This time around the fields looking for butterflies.

We had a discussion about fleas on Trev, the cat, and 10 minutes later an ad popped up on my phone for a monthly flea and worming tablet service. Big brother is certainly watching. And I bought it. We needed it as I keep forgetting to buy! £4.94 spent today.

Thursday 26th March – £80 spend clothes £90.75 Aldi shop

A whole day to myself and I started it productively with a 4-mile run. It had been a couple of months since my last run, but I did good. I ran the whole way and recorded a time of 43 min 9s. It set me up brilliantly for the day.

Weekly Spending Diary

I shared a post on my personal cash flow and how I was going to manage given the current circumstances. The morning was spent catching up on blog work. I also spent some money. Sun 29th March was my birthday and I decided to get myself a gift. I ordered a jumpsuit and denim jacket from my PensionBee photoshoot the previous week (the jumpsuit didn’t make the cut, it was my first outfit that the directors decided against, but the stylist and I loved it!). Total cost of £90 from Next, but I found a voucher code to take it to £80.

Weekly Spending Diary

It was a beautiful warm day, so I made the most of the sun and laid in the garden. Then did a supermarket run to get bits in for the boys who were soon to return home for 5 days. I spent £90.75 on groceries, ensuring we had plenty of good food in as well as some treats (yes, a bottle of gin). I also got flowers, a candle and some skincare bits as a birthday treat for me. Unnecessary yes, but it at least means that I have some nice things in for my birthday.

Thursday evening was spent watching the self-employment government announcement, only to find out that I was entitled to nothing. Panic starts to set in. I joined a zoom call with a few other money bloggers, more panic set in.

Friday 27th March – £22 

I started the day with another 4-mile run, I can’t remember a time where I did two 4-mile runs in to days! I ran it 25 seconds faster than the previous day.

Most of Friday was spent catching up on blog work. Writing, social media and catching up with people on emails. The day started with feelings of panic which I shared on social media. People reached out to make me feel better and I had some positive emails from clients. I agreed lots of new work and I ended the day in a much more positive position.

I also reached out to fellow spending diary writer Faith and shared my new budget and cash flow. She helped me to find some extra savings (£500 worth of savings per month!!) in my budget just to help put extra bits into emergency funds during these uncertain times.

I remembered that my Mindful chef delivery was on pause, so I reactivated it for the following week and chose some tasty vegan dishes. 4 meals were £22. I ended the day with a couple of glasses of organic rose prosecco, thanks Aldi. My birthday weekend begins!

Saturday 28th March £8 plus £80 refunded

I started Saturday with more baking. The whole world has turned to baking it feels like. In preparation for my birthday I made a Victoria Sponge using Faiths award winning cake recipe. I can confirm a total success. It was amazing. I still have quite a few baking ingredients at home to keep us going. I took ages to make the cake and decorating it, after all we have all the time in the world.

Weekly Spending Diary

The daily walk was a long walk today over to the next village and back via the Co-op to locate some tonic water. The shelves were bare, so I resorted to elderflower presse instead. We spent £8 on milk, 2 bottles of elderflower presse and some sweets for the boys.

An amazing birthday pressie turned up in the afternoon, a box from M&S that my niece sent up with a rainbow cake and a bottle of sparking rose. We ate the whole cake on Saturday.

I checked on my Next deliver from Thursday that was meant to arrive on Friday and saw that Next have shut down and have cancelled all their orders. Ah well that’s £80 saved, but no birthday pressie for me.

Sunday 29th March – £1.99 Film

Its my birthday!! And what a strange day for my birthday. I started it by watching one of my favourite films in the morning, Donnie Darko, that I have on old school DVD. I opened my card and pressies and loved reading lots of messages on social media wishing me happy birthday.

We went for our daily walk around the farmers field, me with a full face of makeup especially for my birthday. The boys then played in the garden for most of the afternoon whilst I treated myself to ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ £1.99 on Amazon Prime. Obviously switching it off whenever they came near.

I had two chat with friends, yeah!! Spoke to Becky at lunchtime and had a zoom call with my Bessie university mates. Considering the current times, it was an okay birthday!

Total Spend

For a 9 day period of time total spend was £176. This is very good going for me with four no spend days. Mostly made up by food shopping. So it has made me realise that I could cut back on grocery shopping, which made up £144 of the spend in just 9 days! Alot of the spend was food in the freezer for the boys so it will last a good few weeks, so the £144 should cover at least 2 weeks of eating.


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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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