Lockdown Spending Diary Week 5
Welcome back to my lockdown spending diary week 5. Here we are entering into the 6th week of lockdown. It feels never-ending and the time is passing so slowly.
My diary is not just spending, although it was a high spending week this week! It is also about savings. I share my thoughts 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!
My ask from you this week, can you please subscribe to my YouTube channel? I am very close to 1000 subscribers and once I am there AND have 4000 hours of videos being watched in the past 12 months I can apply to monetise my channel. Thank you!!
Monday 20th April £170 spent (inc £24 of auto-savings)
I used to rebel against routine, now I find it strangely reassuring. Monday is the day I write my Monday Money Post, Tuesday is for the Podcast/Facebook Live and Newsletter, Wed is normally for sponsored content, Thursday will often be more natural content. I try to take most of Fridays off, if work things are not too manic.
Last Monday saw my fourth week of the Monday Money lockdown diaries being published, the views are slightly reducing, although still widely read. Maybe this week will buck the trend with it being a higher spending week.
I got out for 4-mile run. I have left a gap since my last run and it has worked out well, this run was my best time so far this lockdown for a 4-mile run. My fitness is vastly improving as proven by the times I am getting, yes, I am ultra-competitive with myself. I am not far off sub 10-minute miles now!
I had a high spending day on Monday, with unexpected things. My monthly contact lenses has run out, so I made a 6-month order. Vision direct are very reasonable cost wise and they were able to match my previous Specsavers prescription with the same product but £7 a month cheaper. I paid £66 for 6 months’ supply.
A good friend had her baby during lockdown, so I organised a pressie for her. I was looking online but the gifts seemed expensive and insubstantial. Then I remembered the clothing and baby boutique, My Little Things, in Knebworth. I contacted Daisy the owner to see if she could help me out with a gift. She sent me pictures of what she had in the right sizes, I chose and she hand-delivered the item to me 30 minutes later. Really brilliant service. And she is offering 20% off everything right now. I got 2 beautiful outfits for £36, split 50/50 with another friend. £18 spent.
Another impulse purchase was a lifetime membership of a new mail provider for Mrs Mummypenny. I have so many subscribers and Mailchimp (free until 2000 subs) is not fit for purpose anymore. Thanks Andy Be Clever with my Cash for the recommendation, £35 spent, business expenses.
More spent on grocery treats for the boys, £24. I spent a whole 99p on an audible 3-month subscription, this meant that I could get Glennon Doyle’s new book Untamed with my first credit, saving myself £15! And its so nice to hear her read the book to me. And then there was a transfer to my savings of £23.70.
A high spending day at £170, including the £24 transfer to savings. I need to calm it down!
Tuesday 21st April – £3.70 spent
I struggled to get much work done on a Tuesday due to boys being here all day. Although I have finally got to grips with home schooling (ish) and have created a planner tool in excel to block out the day into hour or half hour intervals. I need to sit with Jack for his learning, at 7 he needs support from me. Still no Josh at home for this two-day period, but good news to come on that.
I have just had my broken bike fixed so we went out on a 7km bike ride, even Jack. It was glorious, it felt good to bomb down the hills as fast as my nerves would let me, keeping an eye on Jack as well to ensure he was keeping up.
I have spent a lot of time this week negotiating new pieces of work. Many exciting projects coming up soon, many involving live stream interviews and video chats.
There was a positive conversation with the school nurse who is helping me with Josh and his feelings and emotions since his dad and I separated, and lockdown began. I am just so incredibly grateful for her help in these tough times. She managed to speak to Josh on the phone and had a good session with him.
Thankfully, a low spending day with just £3.70 spent at post office sending my friends new baby gift.
Wednesday 22nd April Total Spend £65
I applied for a mortgage holiday this week. I was not sure if it was the right decision, but after speaking to a couple of friends it makes sense. It will mean £3,600 of bills that I do not have to pay May, June, July that can go straight into my emergency savings. I am still of the view that we do not know what is going to happen in the next few months or rest of year so emergency savings need to be as high as possible.
The process was incredibly simple, my new mortgage is with Santander. There was a basic online form to complete, then they sent me a text to confirm that the mortgage holiday has been accepted. I am yet to see the impact on my monthly payment, but I am expecting to be small. The 3 months of interest charges will be added onto my total 27-year term. Its such a long term of a mortgage the monthly impact will be small. I shall report back when it is confirmed.
Dylan my eldest has been the biggest help with jobs around the house. He has sorted out the garage, utility room, under stairs cupboard, cutback the garden hedge, hoovered the astro turf. SO much time spent sorting, decluttering, and tidying. £50 went into his new account that is linked to my Starling Personal Account. I ordered him a helping out card which he can use to contactless pay for things when he out and about and eventually allowed back to school. Handily I also get a notification whenever he uses it so I can maintain some level of control!
There was a small co-op shop and I got a huge packet of chicken breasts from the Butchers, much better value than from the Co-op and locally sourced. Another £16 spent.
I wrote and published a post about a very clever new app called Snoop. Read all about it here, but in summary it analyses your spends and gives you targeted personal feedback on how to save money. I love it! I have listed out the ways it has helped me since I have been trying it. You can download it from here, give it a try and save some money in a hassle free way!
Thursday 23rd April £109 groceries
Waking early in an empty house is a gift. I can mooch around the house tidying, do my HIIT class and yoga whenever I want. Time was consumed writing more of my book, I am up to 3k words now, out of target of 50k. I am aiming to have it done by the end of May!
Today was my big shop day, before the boys arrive for 5 days of eating me out of house and home (is that the phrase?!). I used the new Supermarket Check-in app to see the queue length and headed to Welwyn where the queue was just 10 minutes. The app was correct, it was 10 minutes and the shop was calm and peaceful. I got most of what I needed and was out in 30 minutes. £109 lighter. Shocker. I spent £30 on booze, £7 on flowers and plants, £20 on various meat things that the boys like and another £10 on treat foods. Grocery spend is going to be super high for April!
Friday 24th April Total Spend £70 but refunds sorted for £90.
I am now up to 33 days in a row of 10/11k average steps a day. Got to have done maybe 350k steps. A huge achievement, never been done before! My Samsung watch is now measuring KM rather than miles, so I did a 6km run to start the day.
I am so much fitter since lockdown, I have lost at least 2 inches from my waist, back, my new bras bought in Jan are now too big, the muffin tops have gone. I am loving it. Getting freedom and house back to myself has had such a positive impact on my health.
I decided to make Friday a self-love and admin day. Fixing my dripping tap has been on my to-do list all week, and I finally tried it. I attempted to replace the valve, turns out impossible as limescale has fused my kitchen tap together and it cannot be taken apart. I had such a helpful chat to the customer services department of Franke taps for like 20 minutes, we ended up chatting money saving and furlough, as you do with a friendly random stranger!
Turns out I need a new tap, bugger. And Franke taps are very good and very expensive. And there are many to choose from. I have added it to my list to sort out after lockdown as I need a plumber to fit it.
This conversation means I have a £23 refund coming my way for the valve I ordered that I now do not need. I also requested a refund for my marketing course I bought at the beginning of lockdown. I have sat watching 3 of the 8 lessons and its nothing new to me. A course more suited to those who are new to marketing and social media. I know way more than I thought I did. £68 refund winging its way to me.
I popped into the village to collect Josh from school. Josh has decided to return home, I am happy to confirm. And so, begins 5 days with the boys here. We ordered Deliveroo fish n chips for dinner as a Friday night treat, spending £28. (if you set up a Deliveroo account using this link we both get £40 of credit to use against 4 delivers, at £10 a delivery!!)
I spent £16 on extra Google storage; I have 50GB of photos and they are now charging me. £16 a year is not too bad. And my Mindful chef charge for the following week hit my account, I managed to log in and choose cheaper meals, so it was £24.50 for this week!
Saturday 25th April – £10.95 spent
Saturday was a full day with the boys, all three for the first time in a while. And it had its highly stressful moments. I am not going to lie and sugar coat my life, that not what I am about. Isolation life mixed in with parents separating is a very hard time for my children.
I will never share the details on here, but Saturday was horrible. I just had to go to bed early and try to remember that ‘every day is a new day that brings you new strength’.
Spending wise we did pay an emotional visit to the Co-op at about 8pm to get ice-cream and chocolate spread, £11 worth. It helped slightly.
Sunday 26th April total spend £341 spent, £256 business expenses, £85 family or personal fun!
I woke up early, very early. 5 am. And decided to start the day with some creativity. I got up and sat at my computer and worked on my book. 4k words were written before the boys had woken up.
I also investigated Virgin flight prices for Antigua. My visit there to see my friend Kat has been moved from March to December. My March flights were refunded onto my American Express £432. And yeah, I realised I could use my Airmiles for my December fight. The December flight was so much cheaper, just £256 return in economy classic rather than economy light too!!! (Economy light is basic Virgin where you must pay to book your seat and for baggage). And if Virgin go bust, (which they might do) then I will get my money back as I paid using my Amex.
We made pancakes for breakfast and then headed straight out for a bike ride through the woods. I did some yoga and then spent the rest of the day reading, sunbathing, listening to podcasts a generally relaxing.
Anxiety was high, which is a strange feeling for me as I do not tend to feel anxious. I decided to not drink too much coffee, and my food was healthy. Alcohol consumption was limited to 2 G&Ts, laced with tons of ice and grapefruit slices.
Spending wise, I bought myself the Table Manners Cookbook that Jessie and Lennie Ware have been talking a lot about. I love that podcast, the guests are amazing, Jessie has so many ace celeb friends! £14.98 spent on a book.
I also ordered a new pool for the garden, a Bestway 7 feet diameter thing to replace the pool that was destroyed a few weeks back. And this one comes with a pump to keep it clean and fresh. DJ helped by finding a website with the best price for the model we wanted. It was £99.99 on Amazon, and he found it for £69.99 on Sports and Leisure UK! Nice saving found by DJ there. Proof that Amazon is not always the cheapest for things.
Summary of the Week £704 total spend.
Hmm my highest spend week yet. Business expenses made up £246. So, lets strip that out, leaving £458 spent, and let us strip out my auto-savings of £48, leaving a spend of £410. This is on a par with a usual week.
Groceries were high as it included a big 2 weekly Aldi shop, £185. This will drop down for the next week. Household spends were higher mainly because of my contact lenses, an order that will last 6 months. Family fun and personal fund spends were higher at £86.
See you next week for a MUCH cheaper week. Although its includes the 1st of the month where several bills hit. Ah.
This post contains a few affiliate links where if you click I earn a few pennies, specifically Deliveroo, Vision Direct, Snoop. Everything else I link to for love and support. #supportsmallbusiness