August Spending Diary: As part of my Money Monday series, I am going to keep a monthly spending diary for the rest of the year. As a rule, at the beginning of the month. I always set up my rent, credit card and loan payments as direct debits/standing orders to leave my bank as soon as I get paid. It’s the easiest way to budget. Use this opportunity to also save a little bit of money, if you are in a position to.
My rent, credit card repayments (£250 X 2) and loan payment (£236.93) were whisked out of my account after payday so I knew what was left to budget with.
Everything is already set up in the spending app as a recurring payment, which helps budgeting. I then set up weekly pots of money using my Monzo app, allocating myself a weekly budget of £200. My Zone 1-4 weekly travelcard is £50.50, so this will need to be deducted from my weekly budget too.
August started with a trip to see my family in Exeter. I had to buy my tickets on payday at full price (£78.60) as I hadn’t been able to budget for this in July. First personal financial fail! My brother and his family always look after me, so the only expenses were a birthday present (£30) over the weekend and a catch up over football at the local pub (my brother doesn’t drink so this was a cheap afternoon).
The second personal finance failure was that I couldn’t resist an impulse buy on payday. Lengbox Ltd was in the atrium of my WeWork and I couldn’t resist the luxury items on display. I bought myself 3 face masks for £5, as well as a hair conditioner and Argan hair moisture mist because my hair has been so dry recently (£29.40). On one hand, I think this is a personal financial failure. Yet, I have been telling myself I need to embrace self-care more, so I think a little self-indulgence is good.
Already I had started to move money from Week 2 to Week 1, then Week 3 to Week 2. It was rather alarming to observe that I was borrowing money from my future self. I decided to sign up to Mealpal, which everyone at work had already done for £38.04. I thought of this as a massive cost-saving as buying food at lunch can be quite costly in Farringdon. It is also a great way of having lunch prepared each day with no additional expenses.
An unexpected cost of £65.99 came out from GoDaddy, which set my budgeting back this week. It meant that I was having to borrow from Week 3 to top up Week 2 funds on Monzo.
A birthday bottomless Prosecco dinner at Wringer and Mangle at the weekend cost me £76.00, with an Uber to my house another £34.05. I refuse to travel by myself late at night if I have been out with friends after being mugged on the way home a few years ago. So to me this is a necessity I need to budget for each time I go out for the evening.
Celeste Barber tickets had already been booked for my friend’s birthday the next day, which was just amazing.
On Sunday, I decided to take photos for the London Espresso Martini Festival, but many of the places promoted in Shoreditch were not open until the evening. So this girl ended up eating out at an expense of £35.10 (pp) at the Smoking Goat. Impressive restaurant. Careful of the spices! Great cocktails. This weekend proved to be the tipping point for my overspending.
Week 3 was when I had to face facts that I could no longer budget for everything I had planned to do in August.
I had booked myself a ‘Chakra’ massage for £55.00 from Treatwell on Monday. Whilst this great for my body and soul, this didn’t help my bank balance at all. I bought an emerald necklace from Amazon on the recommendation of the massage healer, all of which culminated in the descent into being broke again before pay day.
Knowing a bank holiday weekend was coming up with South West Four tickets already booked. I had to really minimise any socialising this week. I also had a really hectic week at work so I chilled out Friday night and Saturday morning before heading out. Going out for lunch instead of going straight into SW4 was good in that I caught up with my friend, and ate something to last us the day. We did cane the money when in there, even though we tried to go easy on the drinks and have fun.
In desperation, I successfully extended my credit card limit by £300 which is the only reason I managed to get through the month and SW4. Epic fail.
Missed the carnival as my responsible self had a long sales training course that week. I decided to stay home Bank Holiday Monday instead. I was on a two-day sales training course with work so I didn’t spend money the following days. I also didn’t spend money on lunches as I had signed up to Mealpal for the rest of the week.
Rooftop Film Club had offered me two tickets to see one of their open-air films, which I was incredibly excited about. I chose Straight Outta Compton in Peckham, as part of their hip-hip nights which was amazing. Kindly gifting popcorn and a glass of prosecco, my only expenses this week was a cheeky £5 cocktail on Happy Hour before I went in to see the film, together with a round of drinks after the film. Due to the fact it was a late finish I got a taxi home (£24). PayDay couldn’t have come at a better time. Celebrating at Weatherspoons, where we buy our dinner and drinks using their app. I vowed that this month I would manage my money pots more efficiently!
Let us know how August was for you in the comments below: