Spending Review of Week 28th Jan – 3rd February 2019

Hi Everybody,

The first month of 2019 has been vanquished, and we all survived it, huzzah!

When you have as little money as I do January isn’t usually too much of an extra hardship, however I do have to admit that Christmas 2018 really did wipe me out financially. I am having to seriously reduce my disposable income to try and reset my accounts. The good news is I haven’t used a credit card in around 7-9 months (and even when I was it was 0% on purchases and I paid it off in full every month!!!).

I am writing this very early on Monday morning as I am staying up late to watch the Super Bowl, which is something The Boy and I try to do every year. We had a little nap between 7.30pm-10.30pm and two cups of coffee in I am wide awake!

In January I paid off £450 of debt, go me!!!!

To update you all, I wanted to do a spending challenge of only spending £70 initially in January on my ‘personal’ spends, but this was topped up with £30 when two of my usual counselling sessions were cancelled. So I had a budget of £100, and I spent….

£123.93

Booo!

BUT, let me explainez vous. I had to see a physiotherapist for a potential injury – that was £35, and I bought a 26-30 year old railcard for £30 that will give me 33% off train travel for a year. The physio appointment was unexpected and unplanned for, and the railcard was a bit of an impulse purchase, but if you discount them then I only spent £58.93, which isn’t too bad.

Let’s see how I spent my money this month.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

JANUARY (Last couple of days)

Toilet Roll, Laundry Cleanser 2.68
Milk, Clover, Breakfast Biscuits, Cereal Bars, Chocolate Bars, Veggie Sausages, Quorn Mince, Carrots, Parsnips, Rolls, Potatoes, Yogurt, Bananas, Apples 15.4
Frozen Onion, Butternut Squash, Peppers, Peas and Sweetcorn 5
Eggs, Part Baked Rolls x 2, Milk, Bread 4.69
Plum Tomatoes, Cheese, OJ, Lettuce, Mushy Peas, Cucumber 6.52

FEBRUARY

Bleach, 2 x Washing Up Liquid, 2 x Squash, Diet Coke with Strawberry, 4 x Chopped Tomatoes, Lemon Juice, Yogurt 10.38
Beer, Marmite, Spaghetti Hoops x 2, Milkshake x 2, Pitta Bread, Falafel, Sweet Potato, Houmous, Rice, Spice Mixes x 4, Basil, Courgette 22.63
Beetroot Salad, Turmeric Hotshot, Choco Leibniz, Sweet and Sour Sauces x 4 5
Milk, Buttermilk Chicken, Pizza, Onion Rings, Veggie Chorizo, Veggie Meatballs 12
Toothpaste x 2, Toothbrush Holder, Toothbrush x 2, Dental Floss, Toilet Roll 11.23

TOTAL SPENDS = £95.53

We went over on the January food budget by £57.67!! I blame The Boy, he has to do a lot of the food shopping because I work 7 days a week and he tends to buy a load of unnecessary treats, grrr, I must rein him in.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

TRAVEL

Railcard – £30

WORK EXPENSE

Coffee and Milk for work £3.75

GIFTS

Share of a present £3.50

Total disposable income spending = £37.25

Total combined spending = £132.78

It’s a bit high, but it usually is at the start of a new month when the food budget resets and we can ‘freely’ buy food again.

Spending Review of Week 21st – 27th January

Hi Everybody,

Another week draws to a close. I have a very rare day off tomorrow-my first since the 27th of December. It is because The Boy and I are staying up late to watch the WWE pay per view of The Royal Rumble tonight, which will finish around 4 or 5 in the morning. We are going to eat a lot of pizza and I am going to drink a lot of coffee.

I had a bit of a down moment on Friday night, as all my needs are covered financially, but none of my ‘wants’ are. Christmas set me back financially. I get paid weekly at Job 1, and in the run up to Christmas I would keep safe 4 week’s worth of wages, so that when it was the end of the month I would have a monthly ‘payday’ and I would be set up for the month ahead.

But now I am sort of accruing my wages throughout the month and by the fourth week I have all the money to pay the bills – but it is ‘last’ months bills. So I am trying to restrict my spending so that I can get back to the way I used to be, but this will mean my safe disposable income spending money in February will be about £50, which scares me. It’s more than some people will ever have each month, I know I should be grateful, but I will have to have gazelle intensity to make it through.

Without further ado let’s begin.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Crème Egg Pots of Joy, Bread, Tortilla Chips, 2 x Jam Donut 2.98
Night Cream, 2 x Toner, Shower Gel, Tampons 14.47
Coffee for Work, Greek Yoghurt, Cold Tea Infusions, Herbal Tea x 2 5.95
White lasagne sauce 0.65
Milk, OJ, Salad, Carrots, Potatoes, Rice, Cucumber 4.24
Toothpaste 1.99
Strawberries, Rice, Crisps, Chocolate, Prawn Crackers 5.17
Pizza 4
Tissues x 2, Milkshake x 2, Handwash, Celery, Grapes 5.76
Poppadoms, Pizza 3.75
Tikka Masala Sauce, Pilau Rice, Naan Bread, Wraps, Gum 3.57
4 x Onion Bharji’s 1
Lucozade Bottles, Pepsi, Cookies X 2 6.5

TOTAL SPENDS = £60.03

We overspent this week because we have bought treats for tonight, and because as the month draws to a close we are running out of things, as a result we are now over our food budget, which doesn’t worry The Boy but it does worry me as these overspends eat into next month’s disposable income.

I am still trying to use things up in the cupboard, and it is going reasonably well. Another reason for the high food spends is The Boy and I have both gotten better at bringing lunch from home when we go to work. This is obviously cheaper than buying lunch in a work canteen, it is frugal batch cooking, but this eats into the food budget whereas The Boy and I buying lunch at work would be a personal spend.

I will try better next month.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Train ticket to football £4.10

SOCIAL

Round of drinks £11.05

I went out for a friend’s birthday and bought one round of drinks, I then panicked I wouldn’t be able to buy anymore after that.

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD

Bottle of water £1.20

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING = £16.35

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £76.38

This is rather a lot to spend in the last full week of the month, but I will survive.

 

Financial Review of Week 14th – 20th January 2019

Hello everyone,

I have decided to go on a 2 week Facebook detox, deactivating my account, in the hope it will give me the time to post on here more.

My spending challenge of only spending £85 on personal spends this month took a bit of hit when a pain in my right calf whilst playing football last week took me to a physiotherapist on Monday. All is fine, I am free to proceed with my half marathon training, but I have a weaker right leg compared to my left leg and very weak and inflexible hips. So I have been given exercises to try and strengthen them and increase my flexibility.

But this took a £35 hit to my expenses this week.

These things happen, I will still be frugal, I am doing everything to cut the expenses. I did buy a magazine this week, because quite frankly I love magazines. It was one on Women’s Running and I love reading fitness magazines (they’re pretty much the only magazines I read) and I believe they are well worth the money.

Anyway, let’s begin.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

I did a big online food shop, well, actually, it was quite small compared to what we normally used to order, but the thing is we haven’t done an online shop since August last year. This was because we were moving home in September and we didn’t want to cart too much food with us and also we were downsizing so didn’t know how everything would fit in the kitchen.

Online Tesco Food Shop
Milkshake x 4, Tomatoes and Courgette
Eggs, Macaroni, Baguette, Mozzarella
Naan, Tikka Sauce, Poppadoms
Listerine, OJ, Milk, Breakfast Biscuits, Jacket Potatoes, Onion Bharjis, Rolls, Parsnips, Carrots, Mozzarella, Strawberries, Apples
Cheesecakes, Cauliflower, Quorn Pieces, Veggie Chicken Strips, Veggie Meatballs
Malt Loaf Bars, Cutlery Holder, Nutella, Microwave Rice x 3

TOTAL FOOD SPENDS THIS WEEK = £87.69

A bit more than usual, but we have many things in the house now that will last us to the end of the month.

We only have £36.65 of the budget left, so we will have to be careful. We are really going for it on the batch cooking front, I have been so good, I haven’t bought one single work canteen lunch or breakfast. I’ve gotta save those pennies some how.

I have paid off £450 of debt this month, and I really hope to squeeze in either some extra money to my savings or my debts before the month is out.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

HEALTH

Physiotherapist appointment – £35

TRAVEL – DAY TO DAY

Train to football match – £3.50

WORK EXPENSE

Milk for work – £1.20

HOBBIES – HEALTH

Women’s Running Magazine – £4.50

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING = £44.20

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING THIS WEEK = £131.89

Not too bad, if I hadn’t have needed to go to the physiotherapist I would only have spent £9.20 on personal spends this week! That’s pretty frugal.

Spending Review of Week 1 and 2 of 2019

Hi all,

So I totally posted at the start of the year and then vamoosed into thin air again, which is very bad Flo. I am trying to get back on it.

I used to do spending reviews of each week, usually last thing on a Sunday, but then life got a bit in the way.

I know technically as it’s the 13th today there haven’t been 2 full weeks of 2019 yet, but hopefully you’ll indulge me.

WEEK 1

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Lemsip, Bread, Soup
Kitchen Roll
Rice, Soup, Naan, Pitta, Poppadoms
Milkshake x 2, OJ, Flora, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips, Green Beans, Pattie, Choux Buns
Washing Up Liquid x 2, Tikka Masala Sauce, Houmous, Salad
Washing Tablets, Fabric Conditioner, Olives, Soup, Lemsip, Falafel, Crisps
Cookies
Pilau Rice x 2, Golden Veg Rice, Quinoa and Wholegrains, Paracetamol
Onion Bhajis
Sweetcorn and Onion
Milk, Squash, Bread, Mushy Peas, Cucumber, Spaghetti, Raspberries
Greek Yogurt, Milkshakes x 4, Pine Nuts, Spring Onions, Parsnips, 4 Beef Tomatoes

TOTAL SPEND = £59.37

So, since I am kinda starting again on my blog, I’ll explain how the Food and Household Shopping works in my house.

I live with The Boy, who is my boyfriend, and we set a ‘Food and Household Shopping’ budget of £250 a month, so £125 each.

The Boy pays me £125 towards the Food Shopping each month, and the running of the household food budget is all down to me. I control the budget and what food comes into our house.

(This is why it’s very annoying when The Boy has to do some shopping as he comes back with about £10 worth of treats we don’t need).

So, I declare the total spending costs of each week, but it has only personally cost me half of the total amount.

Glad we established that after, what, 2 years!

WEEK 1

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

I am doing a spending challenge this month of only spending £85 in my disposable income budget.

I have been doing very well. I have told The Boy about 3 times already this year that we are not getting a takeaway as I am being frugal.

I also sub categorise my disposable income spending, so here goes.

WORK EXPENSE

Milk for work (we have a tea fund) £1.52

SOCIAL

Ticket to see The Mekons £9.79

WORK LUNCHES

Breakfast at work £2.70

Total spend = £14.01

Total combined spending for Week 1 = £73.38

Onwards…

WEEK 2

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Chocolate, Salad Tomatoes
Potatoes, Steak
Tissues x 2, Oat Cakes, Breakfast Bars x 2, Lemsip, Coffee, Gum, Pocket Tissues, Twix’s, 3 x Chocolate Bars
Milk, Tinned Toms x 4, Lasagne Sheets, Mozzarella
Pizza
2 x Porridge Sachets, Yogurt, Garlic Bread, Salad, Rolls
Cough medicine stuff
Milk, Bag for Life, Pepsi, OJ, Potatoes, Root Veg Pack, Cottage Cheese, Gum, Butternut Squash, Falafel, Ginger, Tissues, Houmous, Pitta Bread, Peppers, Salad, Pizza x 2
MEGA PIZZA

Total spends = £66.29

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

WORK EXPENSE

Milk for work £1.52

HOBBIES – HEALTH

Using scales at gym £1

SOCIAL

Ticket to Manics after show party £5.50

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Train to football training £4.10

Total disposable income spending = £12.12

Total combined spending Week 2 = £78.41

Similar amounts of spending each week, and I am doing so well on my disposable income spending!! Go me!!

Guess Who’s Back?

Hi everybody, long time no post.

So where did we leave things? I believe it was around, gosh, April 2018. I had just lost my main source of income due to being ill, with admittedly more than a few sick days preceding that incident. Cast your mind back long ago and you may remember I was working 7 days a week, across 2 jobs. JOB 1 – A Monday to Friday admin role through a temp agency, and JOB 2 – A 4 hour Saturday and Sunday contract in a very busy retail store.

I describe myself as being a cockroach (hear me out). I have survived numerous tragedies and calamities in my life and although many times in my life have seemed bleak I am a stubborn mother f***** and make it through one way or another.

The temp agency sent me to an interview for another admin role, which I succeeded in getting, and I have been in that role ever since, over 6 months now.

I have been in near perfect health, both physical and mental. Since the 7th of June 2018 to today, a time span of 212 days, I have had only 3 sick days across both jobs. Out of the last 212 days I have had about 26 of them off as annual leave.

There is so much to update you on. The Boy and I were evicted from our old house due to the Landlord’s realising what we had been telling them for years – that the mould and damp was making it uninhabitable. We found a flat, half the size, a lot more in rent, but so much nicer and it is in the nicer, posher end of our neighbourhood. It’s like staying in an AirB&B just with all our crap in.

Moving ate into my savings, but I survived that financial hurdle. I did have to borrow money off The Boy when I initially lost my job, but I have paid that back. I have prioritised saving, and every single financial hurdle that came my way from June 2018 onwards I successfully was able to pay and I did not accumulate a single penny of debt.

I lost 2.5 stone. I did the half marathon I was training for in a little under 3 hours, having returned from injury.

I recently ran my first ever 10k on the streets, as in not at an event, and I did it in my fastest ever time as well.

Nearly all of the goals I set at the beginning of 2018 I had achieved. Except one, writing a book.

I haven’t been doing much writing of any description in the last 6 months of 2018.

I don’t want to be all #newyearnewme but I am back baby.

2019 is the year I will become debt free (as long as I can keep hold of a job).

2019 is the year I will reach my target weight.

2019 is the year I will write my (first) book.

I’m back, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of me again.

 

Walls Come Tumbling Down

I was called by the agency I am with today to be told that the place I was working for have terminated my contract due to my sickness absence.

I am out of a job.

I do still have a weekend job, but that is not enough to pay the bills. It is not enough to clear my debts.

I am angry and bitter and sad and depressed and worried.

I feel like I am being punished for being happy this week.

All future plans are on hold.

 

In Sickness and In Health

I have been ill since Tuesday, as in called in sick for work ill.

Something I haven’t done for nearly 8 weeks, which I was feeling so proud of.

That’s not to say I haven’t been ill during that time, because I have. I had a cold, a real humdinger of one.

Then there were the three nights in a row of insomnia.

I have been struggling.

So on Monday I started coming down with what I thought was a cold, and I didn’t want to, but now that I am Flo 2.0 jobs, I decided that maybe it would be sensible if just this once I took a day off work to recuperate, as I didn’t want to be ill all week like it had felt like with the last cold.

So that was Tuesday, then I added Wednesday to the mix.

Today I felt that something was ‘wrong’ but I didn’t know if I was being a hypochondriac or a baby. The people in Job 1 (the Monday to Friday job) are tough. Unless your leg has fallen off they think you are being a weakling if you don’t plough on through an illness.

So I decided to go to the Doctor, mainly to be told I was being a baby and I was wasting the NHS’s time and money (something I really don’t want to do).

But the Doctor took one look at my throat and said ‘that’s very red’ and immediately started swabbing it, and asked if I wanted a sick note for another week, which I instantly went ‘aargh’ at and said ‘NO!’ which the Doctor wasn’t best pleased with. So she prescribed me an anti septic throat spray and said to come back when I was well enough for work, either work, to get the sick note.

So then there was an awkward phone call to work where my line manager was like ‘You have had a lot of sick days’ and now I feel about 2cm tall and bad, but in a perverse way I’m…happy?…that I am actually medically, not-in-my-head, not-being-a-baby, sick.

Except being ill feeds my anxiety, my anxiety that tells me I am going to be fired for being ill and that I have no job security and that I am horribly in debt and so on and so on.

Which does not help an unwell Flo become a well Flo.

I haven’t spoken much about my anxiety and my mental health on my blog for a long time because for the most part I have been doing great. I have felt on top of the world. I have been very happy and content and it was almost like I had the super power of good mental health.

But now I am trying to ignore the voice in my head that is screaming at me that I am a failure and rubbish.