Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Money diary // What I spent last week (ouch)

Working in Central London, I startle myself with how the little things add up. Like a hot drink here and a McDonald's breakfast there. A few pounds / dollars may seem like nothing, but add it up over the course of a week / a month /  a year and it can be a real wake up call. I did the £2 challenge a while back (here) to raise money for charity and it really made me think about how much I spend. I want to be better, I really do.

I'm not sure I'll be posting these every week (it largely depends on how interesting they are and how much you guys like them!) but the ultimate aim is to re-think my attitude towards money and save more. After all, just because you have the money in your account, doesn't mean you have to spend it!


MONDAY

Another typical work day. Whilst I don't drink coffee, I am rather partial to a hot chocolate. As hot drinks aren't exactly cheap in London city, I buy a bar of chocolate at the start of each week. Why? So instead of guzzling an over priced, high calorie drink packed full of sugar, I can suck (oh er) on a square or two of chocolate each day. I always go for a high percentage dark chocolate to make it a little less guilty (my current MVP is Waitrose's own brand Fairtrade dark chocolate).

I accidentally (who am I kidding?) fall into Oliver Bonas and discover that a dress I have had my eye on for ages but didn't buy because it was £70 (ouch) is now reduced to just £35 in the sale #serendipity
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Waitrose chocolate - £1.70 
Oliver Bonas dress - £35.00
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TOTAL
£36.70
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TUESDAY

One of my constant Tuesday outgoings used to be my weekly Tesco home delivery, however I've started NOT shopping at Tesco every single week as I like to shop around for the best deals. When I DO shop at Tesco, I spend a minimum of £40 (the minimum allowed without hiking up delivery costs) but I struggle some weeks to spend that much for just the two of us.

Occasionally Tesco send money saving vouchers which often aren't much good when I already struggle to fill up a £40 basket, but I will use them once in a while to stock up on pricier items like cat litter, cat food, washing power, dishwasher tablets and bumper packs of loo roll. This week I used a £9 off £60 spend voucher I was sent. Whilst £51 still feels like a lot of money to me, I won't need an online shop for a while and with their £40 minimum spend for each online shop, that's £80 I won't need to spend for the next couple of weeks. RESULT.
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Tesco shop - £51.00
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TOTAL
£51.00
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WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday I succumb to a hot chocolate from Caffé Nero as I know that I have a stressful busy morning ahead of me at work and that the bar of chocolate I bought isn't going to cut it. Plus it's bloody cold in our office. It's by no means cheap, but it's by far the best hot chocolate in London. On the plus side, as it's so luxuriously thick and filling, it keeps me going the whole morning without the need to snack (a miracle in itself).

Over lunch I order a personalised birthday card from Moonpig for a blogger pal of mine (hey Tanya!). Sure there are cheaper cards out there, but when I saw this card it was so her I couldn't resist!
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Hot chocolate - £3.20
Card (plus P&P) - £4.19
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TOTAL
£7.39
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THURSDAY

I go for a work lunch where it's all too easy to go mad on the booze and for spending to escalate. Instead I try a different tact and opt for a single glass of wine (£6-something) and some chips (£3.50) which brings me to a total spend of £10. Admittedly I'm 50% chuffed I spent so little and 50% irritated that I spent more on booze than food.

I meet a friend after work and we go to Wetherspoons. My friend doesn't drink and it's humid AF outside, so I'm more than happy with a soft drink (£2.15). My scampi comes in a choice of two sizes but I opt for the smaller size which has half the calories (always a bonus) but also comes in under £5 (£4.70). Not bad for a night out in Central London!
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Lunch - £10.00
Dinner - £6.85
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TOTAL
£16.85
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FRIDAY

A bunch of us from work decide to walk to Oxford Street and back at lunch which is about a 40-something minute return trip, but the exercise feels great. A couple of us stop at Primark where I purchase x3 of the softest cardigans known to man/woman which I just HAVE to pick up since Primark policy means you can't guarantee anything will still be there another time. I also buy a top for a friend, just because (it's not her birthday or anything). My total spend comes to £44 which is remarkable considering cardigans are often £30+ EACH these days (I'm looking at you Toppers).

On the way back to the office, we are positively sweating as it's so humid out, so we stop by a Costa and pick up drinks with copious amounts of ice. I super size my mango and passion fruit cooler and regret it as soon as I head back to the office because the damn drink seems to go FOREVER.
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Primark shop - £44.00
Costa drink - £3.25 
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TOTAL
£47.25
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SATURDAY

A spot of DIY is needed at home and it's that age old question of do you get someone in or do you do-it-yourself? We opt for the latter (cheaper). On Saturday morning Mr Curiouser and Curiouser and I head out to B&Q and pick up MDF, fixing blocks, screws and etc. We spend more than I expected which hurts A LOT but for a carpenter to come in and do something this bespoke, it would have cost hundreds. As luck may have it, we only need x4 pieces of MDF not x5, and we also don't need the No More Nails - so this will be £15 in returns to claw back on our next visit (little victories!).

That afternoon we discover we have no more food in the house (I don't know how either) so we nip out to Aldi for a couple of bits and pieces. This some how turns into a £14 shop, but as luck may have it, our savvy purchases mean we no longer need our Tesco delivery next week (which has a minimum £40 spend) resulting in an overall saving of £26. SUCCESS.

In our haste we forget to pick up something for lunch (doh) so we treat ourselves to a cheeky McDonald's on the way back. We are IN LOVE with McDonald's chicken wraps and usually opt for the Wrap of the Day which means lunch for just £1.99 - bargain!
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B&Q - £86.41
Aldi - £14.15
McDonald's - £3.98
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TOTAL
£104.54
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SUNDAY

We build our MDF construction and are really chuffed with the outcome. All it needs now is a paint, but I plan on using leftover white paint to save us having to buy any more. Later I order my Mum's birthday present - climbing roses from David Austin - which she has asked for specifically.
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David Austin rose (plus P&P) - £28.45 
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TOTAL
£28.45
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TOTAL FOR THE WEEK
£292.18
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OUCH.

This week was an especially bad week to start this series on because in actual fact, most weekdays I don't spend anything! Notably there were some one offs like the B&Q shop and birthdays are only once a year. Also I rarely go out these days (I prefer to host at mine) so this spend was an unusual one. Saying that, a £10 spend for a night out is quite an achievement these days!

Did I really need new clothes? Not really. However I'm a serial returner so what I've bought this week won't necessarily stay. Like the Oliver Bonas dress which has since been reduced further to just £18 :( Naturally I don't want to hang onto my one knowing I've paid more than I need to!

Writing it all out like this does make the little things hit home. If you decide to give this money diary a go yourself - or have any money saving tips - do let me know in the comments below! 

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