August 2019 has seen the start of my exciting new blog series ‘The Mummypenny Spending Diaries’ and today is my second guest post from Laura from Thrifty Londoner. I met Laura earlier this summer at a small UK money blogger meet up. I really love Laura’s niche and living near London means her website is a go-to site for me to save me cash and to give me ideas on things to do locally.
A reminder of Mrs Mummypenny Spending diaries. It is a chance to read other peoples spending diaries, a mixture of all sorts of guests, parents, single folk, men and women, older and younger, from all parts of the country. Not only is it interesting to read, it is also something you can learn from. Other people do great things to save money. Or maybe empathise with, emotional spending, mum guilt (talking from experience here).
Most of all, keeping a detailed spending diary is a powerful experience, making you mindful about what you spend, when and how. And this can be a tool to help to get spending under control.
Hello, I am Laura and I write the Thrifty Londoner blog. I am 26, and live in a one bedroom shoebox in West London with my boyfriend.
I blog all about millennial personal finance- from saving money whilst living in London, to the best places to find charity shop gems in the capital, I often share my finds on my Instagram page, @thriftylondoner.
My ideal spending (after rent and bills) each week is around £100- I rarely am able to stick with this, but I like a challenge (but perhaps I’m just kidding myself!). The spending diary I’m about to share is a particularly expensive week, and is perhaps my most ‘spendy’ week in a long time. I had received a tax rebate the week before from 2016 and so decided it was a good time to book my travel in advance to get the best prices.
Life isn’t always this expensive, although I should point out this is a more unusual week of spending, as not only have I spent a ton on travel, I hardly did anything social which on an ordinary week would push up my spending in this area quite significantly. This is a week in July 2019.
We’ve been away for a week and so have a Tesco delivery booked between 5pm-9pm, we ordered last week but the money comes out of my account today, £84.07. We usually get one delivery a month for cupboard basics and top up with fresh stuff throughout the month.
We have absolutely no food in the house and at 8pm the delivery still hasn’t turned up, so we order Honest Burger via Deliveroo instead, we split the cost and pay £12 each. Convenience spending can be a definite vice, but I’m trying to do better!
Total spend: £96.07
We forgot to add a few things to the Tesco delivery so I pick up a few bits at the supermarket- apples, bread, stock cubes, bin bags and a cooking apple come to £5.08
I get the train from work to a doctor’s appointment- £2.30, but I am distracted looking at Instagram and miss my stop, so pay £6.84 for an Uber to get to my appointment on time (argh!) ironic as I was reading a post about frugality!
At the weekend I bought a jacket in a charity shop but wanted to replace the buttons, I head to eBay and buy 10 horn effect ones for £2.82.
Total spend: £17.04
It’s a no spend day which is a rarity for me. I bring lunch to work with me and then head home to batch cook a couple of different soups- wild day!
Total spend: £0
I run out of multivitamins so buy a new tub from Boots, £5.79. I also buy some sliced bread, £1.00.
Typing out the above sounds incredibly boring! Not much social stuff planned this week which is probably fortunate as the last few weeks have been verging on chaotic- both spending wise and more generally.
Total spend: £6.79
My colleagues are ordering Tortilla for lunch at work, but I already brought lunch from home. Am so tempted, but decide to stay thrifty! I buy a weekend treat on the way home, a bar of chocolate for £1.
When I get home I do some research to see how expensive flights back to my home town (Guernsey) are. I pay £145.98 for a return flights in September, £102.49 to fly over for Christmas, and then I cash in some frequent flyer points and pay £12.65 for the return flight after New Year’s Day.
Travel is probably my biggest expense behind rent, bills and food. BUT it’s also my biggest love. So I tend to save up to go on a couple of holidays a year, and of course the cost of flying to visit my family and friends also adds up- but I don’t have a cheaper option unfortunately.
Total spend: £261.12
We get the tube (£4.20 for the return journey) to go for a walk round Bishops Park, and head to a café for lunch, my boyfriend pays.
I’m running out of a natural deodorant that my boyfriend’s mum got for me in the US, it’s the only one I’ve found that works really well, but they’re not stocked in the UK. I order 4 online, and it comes to £32- luckily each one lasts for around 3 months.
After buying the flights yesterday, I decide I’d better go the whole hog and book a train too for later on this month before the prices go up. I buy a return train journey from London to Liverpool for £60 (with rail card discount).
Total spend: £96.20
I haven’t made any plans today so that I can catch up on some life admin and blog work. I manage to write one blog post that I’ve been meaning to write forever, so a day at home was worth it. Another zero spend day!
Total spend: £0
Total spend this week: £477.22
Wow, that figure is higher than I expected it to be! If I had been better organised I could have avoided the Deliveroo and Uber fare- a spending habit I need to improve on. Otherwise, I’m pretty happy with how I spent my money this week, yes, I spent a lot, but that’s due to booking so much travel- and I can live with that!
Thank you Laura for your spending diary. Travel is a big cost for many people and there are lots of ways to save money on travel. I love my Network rail card for train savings in the South East. If I travel after 10am I save 1/3rd on my train ticket. A £22 travel card ticket becomes £14.66. Bargain. Other options include a friends and family railcard or young persons railcard.
If you want to read the first Spending Diary post from Dove Cottage Blog you can read it here.