Welcome back to week 3 of my lockdown spending diary. Not just spending, its also about savings. I hare my thought and feelings each day, the good and bad, the stress and the happiness. I hope you enjoy it, get some tips of saving money and I encourage you to keep you own lockdown spending diary!
P.S. Don’t forget my Easter Instagram competition to win a beautiful hummingbird necklace. Competition ends today Monday 13th April at 11:59pm. Just go to my page and leave a comment to enter.
6th April Monday – Total Spend £32.05, savings of £27.21
Mondays are always a day for setting up the week. And a I spend a few hours on my laptop. I published my previous week spending diary, which has now been read by many hundreds of people. So pleased that so many of you are reading it and have been inspired to keep your own diaries. Lots of you have sent over your own versions, I am loving it!
My spending diary is slightly complicated. I use various different accounts for different purposes, so I take information from my current account, my business account, American Express (used for cash back rewards, but paid in full each month!) and a Sainsburys Mastercard (when AMEX isn’t accepted). I rarely use cash anymore, in fact haven’t used cash once since I started this spending diary on 21st March.
My Sainsburys card is also helping me out with cash flow currently. I am using it for some of my everyday purchases as it’s a 0% purchases card until the end of 2020. This allows me to build up more cash in my emergency funds now when we are in times of such uncertainty. When we get to times of more certainty, I will pay off the balance in full with my emergency funds money.
Spending wise I did a small Co-op top up shop including wine, fruit and treats as the boys were back home today from their dads. A small top up shop never means small of course, it was £32.05. There was also a Chip Auto-save transaction on Monday of £27.21.
I am holding some of my emergency money in Chip but mostly it held in a Marcus Savings account where I earn a little bit of interest. I like Chip as it automates my savings, no action from me to save or forget to save. I have autosaved £270 in the past two months. If you want to set up an account, its mega easy on your phone, just hit this link and add the referral code Mummypenny10 to get a free £10 boost to get your auto-savings going.
7th April Tuesday £6.58 spent
Tuesday was very nearly a no-spend day. We went for a long walk in the morning to a new route that I discovered last week. A new way to Mardley Woods via a lane where I saw a rat nest! We walked across a huge grass field and there was end to end complaining from grass itching legs and the walk being too far. It was a 3-mile walk, we have done a lot further in the past!
I recorded my podcast on Tuesday too, my regular weekly Mrs Mummypenny Talks. It got good listening figures this week and people were interested in the spending diary updates. You can watch here on YouTube or download and listen if you would rather.
Spending wise I invested a whole £6.48 in a new basketball net. The boys love playing basketball and the net had long ago broken. Amazon must be doing incredibly well at the moment. Its annoying as I pledged to boycott Amazon (they are very difficult to work with as an affiliate, and I was kicked off their program for a silly reason that I tried to dispute but they ignored me) but needs must. And keeping the boys entertained with a basketball net for an essential for last week.
We did a loft exploration on Tuesday, the boys wanted to see my beanie baby collection (yes 130 beanie babies bought in 1999/2000, incredible waste of money…probably £700 spent on toys as a 23-year-old!!). I also found my photos and diaries from my teenage years. It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I spent some time reading my diaries from 1993, the year I turned 16. I decided to turn a couple of posts into Mrs Mummypenny Post, one entry from a great party, another entry I wrote after my mum died.
8th April Wednesday Spend £24.48, savings £24.65.
Another day another daily walk, this time via the Co-op at the end for cold drinks and/or ice lollies. The boys chose cold drinks, and of course I bought other goodies (read as non-essential sugar snacks). I avoided the wine and felt very smug about this, then got home and though oh crap I’m nearly out of booze. Anyways this meant I spent another £15.39 on random stuff we could have done without.
Another auto-save from Chip went from my current account to Chip. The algorithms look at your account behaviour and if they think you are having a good spend week they auto-save bots save more! Another £24.65 transferred to my emergency fund.
The monthly Netflix subscription was paid £8.99, I must investigate if I am on the best plan there. I am sure I saw someone say they were paying £5.99??!! I don’t think we as a family could live without Netflix in current isolation times, not going to cancel this subscription.
The boys returned to their dads for two days, so I booked in two calls. Firstly, with Heather, my wonderful friend and hypnotherapist Hall. We haven’t caught up for maybe 6 months so had A LOT to catch up on. Heather was the incredible friend who helped me to get in control of my weight and I lost 4 stone via hypnotherapy. She does skype and zoom sessions people!!
I also had a second weekly zoom session with another friend Kat Byles in Antigua (still so sad that we had to reschedule my week there), and we agreed on my eight choices for 2020. Such a good session, here they are😊
- I love being on the stage
- I love my regular daytime TV appearances
- I love connecting with my audience from all walks of life
- I love long-term relationships with brands with shared values
- I love being honest, authentic, relatable and real
- I love writing and promoting a book
- I love being a well-known authority in personal finance
- I love being recognised for my services to financial education.
This is me, what I stand for as Mrs Mummypenny and I love having these as goals, choices, ambitions, missions, whatever you want to call it.
Thursday 9th April – £99.27 spend
A whole day to myself is such a gift. This whole 50/50 childcare custody thing is so new to me and I hugely appreciate the time I have to myself, particularly when I think of the constant strain that others are under.
I have spent the last five years being there all the time for my boys. I ended my employed work in June 2015, and from that day on I was school run mum, taxi driver mum, chef mum, logistics mum. Its nice to have some freedom on the days that I don’t have the boys.
Thursday was a beautiful day, so I spent some time in the garden. My isolation obsession with Brene brown continues and I read lots of her book ‘Daring Greatly’ further understanding shame and vulnerability, in particular differences between men and women. The most common source of shame for women is about their body, I can totally relate to that.
The fridge was very bare, and I knew that the boys were back again on Friday for five days, so I braved Aldi in Stevenage to do a big shop and get some Easter Eggs in. I felt huge anxiety I must admit. The staff did an amazing job controlling the number of people in the store, but it was difficult to respect the 2-meter distancing rule and sometimes it was impossible in a store with arrow aisles. Of course, I bought lots of treat food and spent around £20 on booze and bought plenty of Easter Eggs for a hunt. Total spend £99.27. Slightly funded by £30 that my sister put into my account for the boys.
I noticed that my EE phone bill was unusually large this month and remembered that I needed to sort out my upgrade that was due a couple of days before. I had finally reached the end of my two-year contract.
Turns out my son’s phone had a £10 Apple Music charge on it which EE refunded for me and ensured any subscriptions were cancelled on both of my boy’s phones. EE also switched my contract over to SIM only. I use a lot of data and gift data to my two children with phones, so I chose 40GB plan for £17.50 a month. My old contract was £50 a month so I am now saving £32.50 a month!! Huge saving!!
Friday 10th April – No Spend
Finally, a no spend day! The only one for the week. The boys came home, and they had fun in the pool for hours. They also destroyed the pool with their games. The 1-inch hole in the inflatable rim that I had repaired was ripped open to 8 inches. Now beyond fixing, we drained the water and chucked it into the skip.
I woke up on Friday morning wanting to go for run, but I couldn’t face it, stomach cramps were stopping me. Instead I went for a long walk, that ended up much longer as I called my friend Anita and we talked forever about everything.
Saturday 11th April – £27.78 spent
Easter Saturday was a beautifully sunny day in Hertfordshire, but a storm was brewing in this household. Let’s be honest isolation is incredibly hard, especially for the children. A daily walk or bike ride hardly gives them a daily highlight. The boys are bored and are struggling to keep themselves entertained. Particularly my middle son. He was a keen scooter rider and BMX biker, his day long trips to huge scooter parks have stopped and he is struggling.
Couple isolation up with a very recent separation of mum and dad and you have a bomb ready to explode. Explode it did on Saturday morning, and not for the first time in the past three weeks. I tried to resolve the situation calmly with kind words, but there was no reasoning, he sadly went back to his dads and the xbox.
I cried a river and all I wanted was a hug, which I got from my eldest and youngest sons. Its just the hardest thing ever to deal with, particularly when you feel at a loss, when everything you try isn’t working. I spoke to a couple of friends who get the situation and know my children. It was good to talk, rationalise and cry. I am incredibly blessed with amazing friends that have got my back. I honestly would not be where I am without my friends.
Despite having too much food in the house I decided to treat the boys and myself to a delivery of choice, they went for Sea Breeze fish and chips on Deliveroo. We ordered far too much food and spent £27.78 but we loved it. A moment of satisfaction after a tough day for everyone.
Now that the pool has gone to pool heaven Dylan spent 2 hours putting together the huge goal. Hours more fun playing football rather than a pool.
Sunday 12th April – £18.99
The footballs keep disappearing over the fence into the next doors garden, so we have ordered extra footballs from Amazon. More Amazon!! Apparently sponge balls are better and less likely to be kicked over?? Two balls ordered for £18.99. I thought that was far too expensive, but an internet search couldn’t find any cheaper. But they were funded by the money from my sister:-)
We did an Easter Egg hunt and spent much of Sunday eating chocolate. Yet another long walk through the now very yellow fields surrounding Knebworth. It was beautiful and hot. We sneaked into some nearby private land with the dreamiest carpet of bluebells. Nature really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Sunday was filled with lot more football, drawing, writing and a bath to end the day. It has been the first real time that I have felt like every day is repeat of the previous. I started to feel anxious about how long lockdown will go on for. How much longer will every day be like the next? I know everyone is feeling like this, every friend I talk to, people I chat to on Instagram messages.
But we just must take each day as it comes and not think too much about the future. Focus on each day, the daily walk, the colours of the flowers, the birds singing, the smell of fresh air.
Summary of Week. Total Spend £208, £52 saved into Chip, £30 gift from my sister
Another big spending week on groceries, another £147 spent. I must calm this down. Since lockdown started, I have spent £353 on groceries. Quite a chunk of money over 23 days! Let’s set myself a challenge and try to have a good week for grocery spending for the next week. It should be totally possible with the boys away for much of the week.
Apart from groceries my other spending has been good. I nearly bought a hanging cocoon on Sunday. At a cost of £279. I let it sit in my online basket for 24 hours and thought about it, deciding that I really didn’t need it. A great tip if you are wanting to splurge on something you want and don’t need. Just pop it in your basket and think about it.