Week 2 Lockdown Spending Diary
Last week saw me share the detail of my first week of spending in lockdown. I hope that you enjoyed it! Its not just a spending diary, its a diary of my new life. My new life as a single mum and newly separated living wise from my ex-husband. An interesting look at life, emotions, worries and celebrations. I really hope you enjoy reading it as I am loving writing it. This week starts from Monday 30th March, the second day of my 43rd year!
This is part of a joint project with Faith from Much More with Less. We are both keeping detailed spending diaries 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. Learning from each other different ways of living life and spending money.
Monday 30th March – £131 Total Spend
Monday was a hugely stressful day. The boys were still at home with me, Mondays and Tuesdays are always days with me. I tried to get them doing some schoolwork, but middle son refused. He did draw a picture and took around three minutes to do it. But nothing else. He spent the morning winding up everyone and when I tried to divide and conquer, he would just go where the other boys were. It got me upset. I didn’t shout I cried. This had no impact so I decided the best place for him would be at his dads. So off he went two days early.
Remaining at home was my eldest and youngest boys. We went out for a run to burn off some of the negativity of the morning. It was almost a no spend day until I started to feel ill in the afternoon. I got so tired, hot and cold, and I started to panic that I was getting ill. The only solution for dinner was Dominos (delivery options are very restricted to my house), so £25 was spent. Did my check of Dominos vouchers on the latest deals website, 40% off a £40 spend.
I managed one piece of pizza as I felt so ill. I went to bed early to sleep it off. But not before doing a bit of emotional spending. I ordered a Strong Girls Club hoody and running vest, as a birthday pressie from me to me, spending £68.50.
The broadband bill was also paid today, £38 with Virgin. It always feels too high, but I did get £170 cashback from TopCashBack when I first switched. And its super fast and actually way more reliable for me than regular BT broadband cables.
Tuesday 31st March Total Spend £20.25. £120 bus costs
My fears were unfounded about getting ill, I woke up feeling fine! We had a lovely calm morning filled with schoolwork, me recording my podcast with the boys listening in quietly! I had a free intro online session with an osteopath in the afternoon, who suggested on Twitter he could help fix my painful frozen shoulder and maybe fix it with different exercises. Twice a day I now do some new exercises and I must admit that my shoulder is getting better with the daily exercise that I am doing, running, HIIT, walks etc so maybe this will make it all better.
We had our long daily walk this time over to Woolmer Green via the village pond for a bit of a water fix. The boys ended up covered in mud after some hill diving, they have discovered in said same village.
We walked via the co-op and stopped in for some guacamole and sour cream to go with our fajita dinner. Along with some chocolate, crisps and milk. Our local co-op is doing the best job at keeping the community stocked up with brilliant rules on social distancing. Total spend £8.50.
I had been speaking to Josh’s teachers at school about getting some help and in the short term they recommended getting a book for Josh ‘What to do when your temper flares’, ordered it from Amazon for £11.75.
I also went through my end of month finances. My business accounts were tidied up to understand where my income had come from that month. Interesting to see a nice jump in affiliate payments, making up 12% of my earnings, this is mainly referral income from Octopus energy and Top Cash Back that all you lovely readers have signed to, saving yourself money and helping me with some income too.
I paid my assistant who helps with my newsletters and mailing lists, £120 for March. And then paid myself. April is thankfully going to be a low-cost month due to my new mortgage not being paid until 1st May and my council tax is still on a break month. Plus, I got a £430 charge back refund from my Antigua flight (that didn’t happen) on my AMEX credit card that I pay in full each month.
Any cash remaining after paying myself and assistant was transferred into my savings. I moved £500 into my Chip Auto-save account, via a manual transfer and then transferred the rest into my Marcus savings account that pays interest!! 1.3%. Any excess money at the end of each month goes into my emergency savings pots currently, I have stopped contributions to my ISA, pension, holiday fund and mortgage overpayments for this month.
1st April – Total spend £17. plus Bills £260
The 1st of the month see loads of direct debits hit my account. I paid my car loan, TV licence, Income protection insurance, water bill, and car tax all in once day, which cost £260 in total. But yeah for no mortgage which is now a rather hefty £1200. (I bought out my ex in the separation, subsequently increasing my mortgage by a chunk, although monthly payments have gone from £1000 to £1200, due to very low interest rate on Santander deal and adding on a few years to my mortgage!).
This day was a Wednesday and was very chilled out with me doing some more work, the boy doing their schoolwork. And we made American pancakes for brunch, as you do. I even got to have two, as they were so stuffed, they couldn’t finish them. Check out the recipe here, very yummy.
The boys were dropped to their dads at 3:15pm and I went off on my daily walk, listening to the scummy mummies podcast whilst I walk. I spent the whole walk laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. They were interviewing Sarah Langford, author of book In Your defence, stories of Life and Law. Great interview and I totally bought the book as soon as the podcast ended! £4.99 spent. Talking of podcast today I had to pay for my own personal podcast hosting £12 to Libsyn.
Dinner was mindful chef, a beautiful tofu dish. I buy 2 meals for 2 people, so it doubled up as dinner for two days. I then met up on zoom with my friend Kat in Antigua. We had booked in a meditation exploration session after my Antigua trip had been rescheduled. It was a brilliant session to help with my priorities for 2020. I have a plan!!
2nd April – £68 Bus Expense
I am now onto the first of five days by myself as boys are with their dad. It was nearly a no spend day.
I got lots of work done and published a highly personal story about the dangers of matched betting and how I became addicted to slot machine gambling as a result. My strong guidance is DO NOT GO NEAR matched betting.
I decided to invest in some learning for my business. I use SocialBee for my social media scheduling, they have ventured into other products including SocialBee University. A course in social media skills, content, ads, engagement. It was £68. Not too bad a price for something that will improve my writing and knowledge. And you can never stop learning. The course runs over 8 modules throughout April. Perfect for lockdown times.
I went out for a run, had a nice long bath and read lots of my new book – In Your Defence. I had a long chat to one of my mummy friends. The day ended with a very exciting quiz with my fellow UK Money bloggers. I loved it. Annoyingly we came 3rd out of 5 teams, but it was so much fun. A great day.
3rd April – £47 Food
I got up before 9am to be ready for the Joe Wicks 9am workout. And ended it with many sun salutations in the garden with the birds. Blissful.
Days by myself are strange. I know that I need structure but there is still a big part of that fights that structure. I wrote myself a to do list which included one thing written, one thing voice and one thing video. As well as a few admin bits including an email to my accountant to triple check that I am structuring Mrs Mummypenny correctly. I had a concern about self-employment versus limited company and he reassured me and explained that I was doing everything correctly.
I went out for a late afternoon walk listening to podcasts as I walked. Today’s podcast was Table Manners with Jessie Ware. A love this podcast and have been listening for a year now. She always interviews the most interesting people, today was Dua Lipa.
The walk ended up a mammoth walk of 5 miles. Ending up at the Co-op for a bottle of wine, a baguette and some white chocolate pretzels £18 spent. My mindful chef subscription also hit today costing £29 for 4 meals for the following week. More than normal as I forgot to log in and make my menu choices, they made automatic choices, one of which was fish which was more expensive than my normal vegan choices.
4th April – £12.99
Saturday means less work on Mrs Mummypenny and more focus on me. I read lots of Brene Brown, Daring Greatly and then listened to episode 1 & 2 her new podcast. I loved the concept of F@cking first time, FFT. That feeling of fear you get when you try anything new. I have had that FFT for the past year about writing my book. So, thank you Brene for explaining that fear.
I decided to sort out the huge paddling pool for the garden and filled it with water and treated it with chemicals. I tried to fix the holes, but I think there may be too many and hidden underneath. (Two days later the water level has definitely gone down☹). I ordered some new chemicals for the pool spending £12.99 on Amazon.
I spent two hours on the phone to my niece chatting about life and spent a lot of time lying in the garden. Although I paced the garden whilst talking to Emma meaning that I got my 10k steps done. My latest addiction.
5th April Sunday – No Spend.
The 20-degree day that we had all been waiting for, although it was a bit windy in Hertfordshire. As I knew it would be hot, I went out for a run early door. I only managed a 2 ½ mile run as I think I have possible done too much over past couple of weeks. I am obsessed with numbers I know…but by 5th April I have managed 140k ish steps, so hit my 10k a day. Including 5 runs and 4 Joe Wicks HIIT classes, plenty of yoga and a circuits session in the garden with boys.
I made a start on my book, writing the foreword. This is going to happen! I read lots more of Brene Brown, who I will credit with making me start my book. And laid on the hammock.
I made myself a curry for dinner using up chicken thighs, chickpeas, onions and past their best tomatoes. And baked chocolate muffins, a recipe which I will write up and share tomorrow! Because I had to make a few amendments to the recipe I used and it worked, so I am patenting the recipe as mine!
Hurrah for a no spend day to end the week.
In summary quite a chunk of money was spent this week, £685 in total. But I have to point out that £300 was bills and £200 was business expenses. Leaving the remainder being made up of groceries £50, clothes £68, Takeaway £25 and some other smaller bits.
I am still spending far too much on groceries. Since I started this spending diary on 21st March I have spent £206 on groceries..too much for 17 days. Maybe I should stop the Mindful Chef weekly deliveries, but I love the food and its so healthy. It feels like a treat, but I know the food is really good for me.
Certainly some of the expenses this week were avoidable, clothes and my course bought for my business. But one is investment for the future that should provide a return. And I love my new Strong Girls Club hoodie!
Some of the links in here are affiliate links, where I receive a small fee if you sign up, in no way affecting the price you pay. But not all of them!! Some I am just trying to help the company I have mentioned.