As part of my Money Monday series, I am keeping a finance journal looking at how I spend my money in the city each month.
It’s unbelievable how quickly money disappears when living in the city. Even when I budget, a simple journey into central London to meet friends can cost far more than I budgeted for.
It’s more important than ever to budget, knowing that I no longer have a salary coming in. I went to see the lovely Stephen Bailey at Pheonix Arts Theatre this week, who kindly put me on his guest-list. I spent £32.60 on drinks (2 rounds and a glass of wine – you have to love London prices) but managed to jump in his taxi home and got an £11.17 Uber trip to mine. Stephen was absolutely amazing, even if I was late and then was exposed to the audience!
Reduce credit cards
Despite paying off 1k off my credit cards, spending on one of my cards crept up again this month. Eeek.
I squirrelled away money in a Virgin Money Savingsaccount which was a great idea. However, by the end of November, I had to transfer money across to cover rent and living expenses. Keeping money in different accounts is a brilliant way of budgeting.
Invest in yourself
I invested in a couple of courses to keep myself busy this month. One was a blogging course and one was a motivational course. I am guilty of spending money and then not allocating time to do the courses, which is a waste of money. So I am determined to do these!
Stephen Bailey and I had a breakfast date at The Breakfast Club, Croydon (£18.56). It’s been a while since we have had time to catch properly. With the weather changing. I decided to buy some winter shoes from Primark, a cap and skirt (£31.00). Their winter clothes and shoes collections are fantastic this year and so cheap!
I decided to go home to visit my mother and grandmother again. Return tickets to Bournemouth cost £60.90 because I didn’t pay in advance. I managed to catch up with my friend again in Bournemouth. As the weather resembled a day out of an apocalypse, we drank wine indoors catching up, although I spent £76 throughout the day on cocktails and wine. Joys of talking to best friends.
Great week for networking with other bloggers this week. It’s amazing how much just travelling around London, grabbing coffees and eating out adds up. I returned to Primark to buy some red winter boots (£10.00 as I returned the skirt which had a faulty zip).
I bought myself personal business cards to give out at networking events this week. A friend of mine works at Kindred, who were sponsoring the Social Influencer show. He kindly put me on their list to attend. A free Facebook event #shemeansbusiness followed. I met one of my best friends from University in the toilets! We decided to all go for dinner and bubbles afterwards to discuss running our own businesses. An amazing few days, which set me back £29.50 in daily expenses and a £14.95 taxi home with Kapten as I don’t like travelling back home late by myself.
I promised a dear friend of mine that I would celebrate Halloween with her. She happened to be dj’ing that evening in Maidstone. Heading to the Party Superstore in Croydon. I chose a nun’s outfit costing just £19.99, but I spent an additional £12.98 on accessory items. A return ticket to Herne Bay cost £37.70, before spending another £30 at the bar. We had the best Sunday Roast Dinner in a place called Sandwich, which my friend treated me to, before heading home.
Knowing I had no salary now coming in at the end of the month, it was time after the weekend, to look at how I could minimise my monthly outgoings and try not to spend what I left with.
I pulled together a budget planner and set aside money to pay off debt – money on myself – with money set aside for essentials like rent – and an emergency fund.
Allocate Monzo weekly pots
I allocate myself a weekly budget of £100, which I set aside creating weekly pots of money using my Monzo app. However, it’s important to leave credit cards at home so not to start running them up again when you do this! I have found this to be a really effective way of understanding how much I spend and how much I start to borrow off my future self.