Lockdown Spending Diary Week 6
Another week passes in lockdown, that means its been 43 days since the school shut down and 41 days since actual lockdown started! Here is my lockdown spending diary week 6. Are you finding time passes slowly or fast? Personally, I am finding that it is flying. There is no shortage of things to do in my house. Jobs that have been left undone for years, content to write (so many ideas!), books to read (I have a stack of 10 books on my dining table desk ready to read), and of course my book to write.
I set a target of 50k work to write, so far, I have written 11k and I started properly on 20th April. It is flowing incredibly well, now was obviously the time I was meant to write it and why I have been procrastinating for so long (2 years!). My best friend Becky of Ridley Writes keeps checking in writing wise, one of her side hustles (soon to be become full hustle) is being a superb writing coach, shes already got 5 clients. Super proud of her.
The book is about money, my subject of expertise. And I promise that it is fun and interesting. Packed full of useful money savings tools and guides, as well as medium term and longer-term financial things we should all be aiming for and planning. It is full of interesting stories of mistakes I have made and many sensible decisions. Although I always feel like I and therefore you, will learn more from the mistakes and maybe might think you are not the only one who got into debt, uncovered a pensions mess, quit your job, got divorced, etc.
So back to my lockdown spending diary week 6! It includes the 1st of the month, so tons of bills hit.
Monday 27th April – Total Spend £16.23
The start of a rubbish 5 days of weather in the south of England, meaning less outdoor time, making it even harder for the boys. Alas every time there was a break in the rain, they were out in garden practising football, hockey, circuit training. We did fit in a long walk; longer than I thought they would do! We walked up to Old Knebworth, across the fields and down to New Knebworth Co-op with the temptation of drinks as a reward, £10 spent. Old Knebworth is beautiful packed full of beautiful huge houses, we found a public footpath that goes through people’s actual gardens!
Monday was a hugely challenging day; the effects of a stressful Saturday were still playing on my mind and my anxiety was in overdrive. My mind was buzzing, flitting from one thing to the next and I was worrying and feeling totally out of control. Sleeping patterns were awful, I slept for 5 hours on Sunday night. My friend Heather the hypnotherapist reached out to check I was okay. I said no, she offered to do an anxiety session with me over the phone the following day.
Home education on Monday was a challenge, so I made baking flapjacks one of the lessons for Jack. They were lovely and were my breakfast for the week. I use this recipe from Lorraine Pascal, its very good, they are perfect flapjacks. Did you see the post I did for Zopa Bank on the challenge of working from home and looking after children? It is a good one, here it is.
The only other cost on Monday was my bargain life insurance policy of £6, taken out when I was 23, hence the low cost. And some overdraft interest of 23p which I am not sure why I have been charged as overdrafts of up to £500 are free at the moment?
The evening was spent curled up on the sofa watching The Great Gatsby, a film I love for its beauty and colour, forgetting the sad ending which made me cry a lot.
Tuesday 28th April – Business Expenses of £136.50
By Tuesday I am beyond shattered after another terrible night’s sleep. Just a few hours to get through until my hypnotherapy call with Heather. The boys are made up as the sponge footballs order two weeks ago arrived today. And a football skills and training game arrived as well from Shuffle Up games, they gifted me the card in exchange for my view and a post on Instagram.
The boys love this game and it keeps them amused for ages. You choose a card and do the exercise to bronze, silver or gold level. There are green, amber, and red cards. DJ of course choose the red cards and can complete the exercise to gold standard, but they are hard. 30 full burpees, 60 seconds of full squat etc. The boys loved taking turns and comparing scored, Dylan on the red cards, Jack on the amber.
My podcast was recorded, despite my anxiety and tiredness its ****** good, and packed full of great info, check it on YouTube here. And please subscribe, I am edging towards 1000 followers.
Spending wise I paid two bills, my virgin broadband at £38, as explained previously this was bought along side a £170 cashback deal, which I have long ago claimed and put in my bank from Top Cash Back. If you are switching broadband, there are always great cash back deals available which hugely reduce your average monthly cost over a year. Mental note I must call Virgin to find out when my contract expires to see if I can save more money, or if not, I will be switching.
I paid my VA £96 for the month of April. And spent another £2.50 on a Money Blogger joint competition. All my spending on Tuesday was business related and came to £136.50.
I had my long-awaited call at 3pm with Heather and it was incredible. I wrote about my rock bottom moment of anxiety and how the hypnotherapy worked in this post. After the call I cooked dinner, had a bath, and went to bed! I slept for a good 7 hours and straight through. The hypnotherapy session was free of charge, mainly because we are friends and I have helped her out sharing her website and free anxiety download this week. Exchange of services works incredibly well in the business world.
Wednesday 29th April – No Spend
I was up early as usual at 5:30am and was feeling 100% different, in control of what I can control. This was the time I decided to change my name back to Beattie on everything, starting with social media. It was a name I always loved, and it has sort of disappeared with my parents dying.
We decided to take an inset day from schoolwork. And had a very chilled out day with me writing lots, the boys playing lots more of their new football fitness game. We made pancakes, Dylan eating so many that he felt sick. The boys played Rocket League whilst I sat listening to music with headphones as they are no noisy when they play!
Spending wise it was a no spend day, hurrah!
I dropped the boys to their dads at 3:15 and took off for a walk in the pouring rain across the muddy fields. I was dressed highly inappropriately and got soaking wet and freezing cold, but it was invigorating. Particularly as I was listening to Brene Browns latest podcast interview. I got home jumped straight into the bath and chilled out for the rest of the day.
Thursday 30th April – £20 to charity
Time without the boys is precious, like time with the boys. But I do appreciate my alone time and can get some much done that I want to do. I had two yoga zoom sessions booked in for today, with my friend Sue of Body Bliss Yoga. These were free taster sessions to see if I liked them. I did and signed up to a 4 weeks class starting next week every Thursday.
I went out for a long walk and managed to dodge the rain, during which plans formed of my May challenge.
Charity wise, I have been feeling like I should do something since lockdown started. I tried to sign up to be am NHS volunteer, but I was rejected for some reason and did not pursue it. Plus, I do not have much spare time with Mrs Mummypenny being so busy and having the boy’s half of the week. So, I have decided to harness my fitness and have committed to a 500km challenge. I must bike, run, or walk 500km during the month of May.
I am raising money for my favourite charity Grief Encounter, who care for bereaved children, sadly there are more of them with the covid related deaths. A charity that I so wish had been around when I was 16. They have already been in touch to say thank you and are sending me a T-shirt (and its purple!).
If you have some spare cash, which if you are working from home on full pay, you will no doubt be saving money. Indeed, yes will have spare cash, I would be grateful if you would donate to a worthy cause. I will be providing updates on social media every day.
Spending wise, just the one charity donation to little Stan who ran 130km in April, partly inspiring my challenge. £20 given to NHS.
The last day of the month also sees me do my month end accounts and pay myself. April has been a good month for Mrs Mummypenny considering its lockdown. I was able to move £2000 into my emergency savings account with Marcus. I keep my tax money and emergency funds in here as it earns 1.2% (better than 0% which is the rate for most current accounts)
Friday 1st May Total £545 including lots of bills.
Mayday and the day most of my monthly bills hit! An expensive day. I paid for Octopus Energy £92, Water £34, Car loan payment £174, council tax £146 (first payment since Feb, now with single person discount), TV license £13, Car tax £12 and Income protection insurance £29. This came to £500 but is the majority of my monthly essential bills.
I am taking a mortgage holidays for May, June, July thanks to the three-month holiday being offered by all mortgage companies. The impact on my monthly payments from August is unknown currently, must investigate this, but I guess Santander are very busy. I do not anticipate much change as my mortgage is over such a long period of time, 27 years and is a very low interest rate of 1.39%. Maybe an extra £900 will be added onto my mortgage term? I have done some basic calculations (£325k over 27 years repayment mortgage at 1.39%).
Other than bills I spent £32 paying for my Body Bliss Yoga classes for the next four weeks. And £13 Libsyn podcast hosting business expenses.
Friday was a busy day for meetings again. I had a chat to the marketing and comms team from Klarna. They approached me to do some work this week, to which I quickly replied saying no way. I fundamentally disagree with the marketing of the Klarna product, how it encourages people into taking out credit to have those clothes or other small value things they desperately want. Many people ending up in debt not understanding the consequences of not being able to afford the payments.
They listened and tried to justify their product. I was having none of it. A post is coming this week as a friend’s son has been caught up in a Klarna debt, without understanding what he was getting into, with dire consequences. Having these conversations might change the financial landscape, its my job to stand up to these big companies who take advantage of people’s commercial desires and needs. If you want £100 of ASOS clothes, great go for it, but why not save up first. Its clothes you do not need to put this on credit and pay it back over three months.
I also had a taster reiki session, again with Sue of Body Bliss yoga. It was bliss and worked perfectly over Zoom. I saw yellow, green, and purple, I love, I do, I see, and I understand. But I talk, in my throat was blocked. Maybe because of the things going on with my children. Also, I could not tune into red or orange which is I am for stability (understandable that one) and I feel for sensuality, again get that one! It was wonderful and highly recommend it. It works just as well over zoom as it does in person.
After my Klarna meeting I was a bit worked up, so I went out on a 17km bike ride and found a beautiful lake and river to sit by in the middle of the ride. Bliss. Day 1 of my 500km challenge saw me complete 20.4km bike and walking.
Saturday 2nd May Total Spend £99
A chilled out day, the sun came out again, so I spent much time in the garden re-listening to Untamed by the wonderful Glennon Doyle. Listening to her voice and her stories make me feel good and calm. A perfect book for women who have broken free or want to break free from the shackles of life, stuff you are not happy with.
I went for a 5km run and walked a further 4.1km, adding 9.1km to my 500 km challenge total.
I baked the most amazing banana bread from my new book Table Manners cookbook. That is my breakfast sorted for a few days. It goes perfectly with peanut butter I have you know, thank you Jessie Ware for the top tip. And I made a berry daiquiri with strawberries, frozen blackberries, lime juice, ice, and white rum.
More of my book was written, 2000 words in a day. And I resisted the temptation to walk to the shop to get a bottle of wine, settling for said daiquiri instead, which was much nice and quite healthy (200g of berries I have you know!).
Spending wise I did buy a few treat things. I found a fab Groupon deal for 4 packs of films for Josh’s Instax camera, plus I got 10% off for saying I was a new customer (I used a different email address!). The films cost me £23, when they are £30 in Argos the second cheapest place, I could find them. They should arrive next week. I also got a new razor and blade on a Harry razor trial thing…it was £3.95 for a new razor and I have been needing one for ages. Good deal, I just need to remember to switch off the subscription once the razor has arrived!
As part of my 500 km challenge I have committed to adding 10% of my May earnings to my fund raising do I transferred over £40 from my 1st May Mediavine earnings. And I paid £31 for my monthly book-keeping software to FreeAgent. I adore FreeAgent, it has simplified my bookkeeping so much. No more overdue invoices, as this tell me the day, they go overdue and I can simply chase for payment via the software. And sending my account to my accountant is the easiest, download a CSV file and send it over. If you are interested in a free trial use my referral code and I get 10% off my subscription for each person who signs up! Thank you!
Sunday 3rd May – £189
Sunday was a blissful day. I was up early writing, catching up on sponsored posts to send to clients for review. Then walked to the Co-op to get some decaf coffee, spending £13 in the process. I am now 6 days clean of caffeine! After a chat to my niece I jumped on my bike for a 15km ride via Old Welwyn and the river to paddle in.
The afternoon was spent binge watching ‘Upload’ on Prime. I still have 4 months annual membership to get through before I think about cancelling. And browsed Instagram. I kept being drawn into pretty shop accounts, but I did not give in. Things went into baskets but I did not check out!
I did however spot some fab deal on the Wayfair website, via a marketing email. Everything was under £99. A total lie, it was not. But it got my attention. I found a nice double bed and mattress for DJ for £176, (he is moving into his own bedroom) quite the bargain and bought it. And NO I did not use the Klarna option!
Summary of the week
So turns out the last week of April, beginning of May was very high spending. A total of £1006. Ouch. This is my highest spending week so far in my lockdown diaries.
Okay so there was £570 worth of bills, most of my bills hit in the same week. Then a further £176 for the bed and mattress. £143 of business expenses. Leaving just £117 spent on groceries, fun stuff and charity. So actually a good spends week! I am happy with that.
This spending diary is really helping me to keep my lockdown spending in control. Its never too later to start, why not give a it a go. Write down everything, and let me know how you get on