Tag Archives: finance

Be Prepared to be Bored…6 Month Expenditure Comparisons

I decided that on the 1st of April 2015 I would start keeping a thorough spending diary. I said that this was because it was the start of a new tax year but really it was because I hadn’t had the idea in January.

I never expected to keep it up, but I did. And since that date not a single purchase has gone unnoticed.

I decided for sh**s and giggles to do a spending review at the end of September 2015, which sounds like I had given it a lot of thought but really it was because I hadn’t actually kept track of the spending in any formalised way, I had just shoved the receipts in a folder.

And then I decided to divide the spending into categories as by that point I had fallen in love with spreadsheets (they still remain one of the loves of my life).

I won’t bore you with gory details, but let’s look at some stats concerning my disposable income and food/household spending.

APRIL 2015 – SEPTEMBER 2015 TOTAL SPENDS = £3105.35

APRIL 2016 – SEPTEMBER 2016 TOTAL SPENDS = £3670.45

APRIL 2017 – SEPTEMBER 2017 TOTAL SPENDS = £2856.16


So this means…

Average spend per month (on food and fun times) in April 2015 – September 2015 = £517.55 

Average spend per month (on food and fun times) in April 2016 – September 2016 = £611.74

Average spend per month (on food and fun times) in April 2017 – September 2017 = £476.02

So compare this year, the ‘no spend year’ to the first year I started keeping records and my spending has decreased by £41.53 a month (or just over 8%). This is a saving of £249.18 during that time period.

Compare this year to last year, when I went off the rails during my four months of unemployment, and my spending has decreased by £135.72 a month (just over 22%). This is a saving of £814.32 during the same time period.

So for all my struggles with money, for all my cheeky contraband purchases now and again, for all my blog posts that begin ‘I have 72p to last me until payday’ this is clear, hard evidence that my sacrifices have been worth it, that I am making great strides towards paying off my debts, that I am doing well.

Can I get a pat on the back now?


Financial Review of Week 37


I hope you are having a super, duper Sunday, or what remains of it.

I spent nearly 2 hours walking around my local streets taking photos of job advertisements in windows for my Job Spotter app, I’ve made over £10 today on that. Is it ironic that I was taking photos of job advertisement’s, to make money, when I will soon be unemployed?

Things have eased for me a bit financially now that my counsellor suggested she reduces the cost of my sessions to £15 from £25, plus I have sold some DVDs and made another £7.47. I’m still spending money, but to a lesser extent.


Pizza £2

Rolls and Jamaican Pattie £1.55

OJ, Milk, Bag for Life x 2, Mascarpone, Cheese, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumber, Grapes, Spinach, Bread £11.20

Flax Seed and 2 boxes of treats for the boy £6.50

Gum, Tropical Juice, Milk, Carrots, Eggs £4.80


I am officially over budget on the Food shopping now. 9 days to go…




5 x Bus Tickets = £5


5 x Packets of Gum = £4.95


Burger with the boy £10



Not bad, but I definitely can’t repeat that sort of spending next week. I’m skint!

Financial Review of Week 36


I don’t plan on leaving the house today, I’ve got too much desperate-search-for-a-new-job to keep me going. Plus I’ve got to batch cook my work lunches, it will be lentil based I’m sure, I just don’t know what. I am going to look through my cupboards later for inspiration.

So here, a little early, is the financial review of this week.


As it was Zero Waste Week this week I wanted to go Monday-Friday only buying Milk and Bread and saving other items for the weekend shop on the basis we had SO MUCH F****** FOOD in the house.

We achieved that.


Milk and Bread £2.09


Milk, Yoghurts x 2, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Cucumber, Parsnip, Carrots £6.10

Toilet Roll £3.99

Kitchen Roll, Coat Hangers, Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads £9.97

Frozen Onion and Frozen Sweetcorn £2.29

Sponges, Bread Rolls, Mozzarella x 2 £2.40





Bus Tickets x 5 = £5


2 x Rolls = £4.60

Chocolate Bars x 3 = £1.50

SD Card for Phone £1.21

Rain Coat £5.50

TOTAL = £12.81!!!!!!!! (YOWZA’S)


Gum x 4 = £3.96


Posting Birthday Presents x 2 = £4.70



Let’s look at some stats.

I have £16.05 left of the food and household shopping budget with…ahem…16 days until it resets. I think we may be eating dust for a part of that time if we want to remain in budget. I know there are all those challenges where you live on £1 a day, which I am tempted to try

In terms of my disposable income left I have….£0. Well, I do have some money in my bank account, but I want to do some damage control first to see how much I have left after bills are taken out (I get my final statement of the month tomorrow) and I may be in debt already as I owe the boy some money for a football match ticket we are going to in October. So I’m guessing part of today may involve selling everything I own on Ebay.

I was talking to my counsellor last Monday about my money troubles and she offered to reduce the rate down to £15 a session, which I initially said no to, but man I am so tempted, but I think there is a real chance I may become unemployed soon so I may save the offer till then when I will really need it.

Things are going to get tough. We are on the descent to Christmas, an event I pretty much have to plan in January in order to figure out how I can afford to do it. I have a large family, plus the boy’s family, plus certain key friends, plus the boy to all consider. I like to send Christmas cards to everyone and anyone and have many family members living overseas. I also have family members who have birthdays either in December or January and I include them in the Christmas budget. Plus there is the Boxing Day Football match, train tickets to see my family who live in the South of England, plus wrapping paper!!!!

All in all I think Christmas will cost me around about £500, and I will have to subsidise a lot of that with vouchers I earn through survey sites. It will be tough, but possible.



Financial Review of Week 35

The review of the week of 28th August to 3rd September.


Milk and Lucozade (I was ill) £2

Shampoo, Conditioner, Coconut Milk, Fajita Spices, Poppadoms, Veg Rice x 2 £6.13

Milk, Orange Juice, Mozzarella, Apples, Cucumber, Gum, Bananas, Carrots £7.47

Disappointing Danish and Crap Coffee £4.30

Tin Opener, Whisk, Vitamin C Tablets £5

Donuts and Biscuits £1.65




Cookbook £2


Bus £1


Gum and water £1.86

Cold Sore Cream £1.24 (Total £3.10)


Lovely meal with the boy to celebrate him getting a new job £20

Cheese wrap, Chips, Milkshake £11

3 Scoops of Ice Cream £3.95 (Total = £34.95)



I have virtually no money left, and I have spent this week too! You can read all about it tomorrow.


August 2017 Expenses

Yo everybody!

I am watching Extreme Cheapskates, it’s great, I’ve never seen this show before.

Anyway, now that I have the internet again I can finally do all the blog posts I have to catch up on.

Let’s see how I spent my disposable income in August!


I sold some stuff on Ebay, and I always include what I spent on postage as an expense, even though in theory the buyer is paying for it. I also bought some stamps and had to post some birthday presents to people.

GIFTS = £20.49

I bought some things for my in laws to say thank you for helping me with my taxes, I included the purchase of wrapping paper and bought a card for my mum.

SOCIAL = £38.24

August didn’t involve much socialising.


Bought train tickets to visit my parents in September.


I did better in August about not wasting my money on unnecessary bus journeys.

HEALTH = £4.55

On account of my crazy insatiable thirst thing I have now classified chewing gum as a health expense.


This is better compared to July, but I have lost my way a bit.


I am a Consumer, Therefore I Consume

I have been flexing my shopping muscles.

Restrained, considered purchases, contraband in terms of the no spend year but not wild and decadent items in them self, they were all practical, but still I have anxiety.

Things needed replacing in our house. The clock in the kitchen broke, we didn’t realise how essential it was to our ability to get ready until it was gone. The silicon whisk broke ages ago, but I had ‘fixed’ it, but then when a piece of the silicon found it’s way into one of my vegetable muffins I knew it needed replacing. We needed a tin opener, because our old tin opener took about half an hour and lots of strength to get round a tin.

The boy bought the clock, because he has money, whereas I have raided my penny tin several times already this month. The whisk and tin opener were partially funded by the household budget.

I bought an SD card for my phone almost exclusively funded with amazon vouchers, it cost me just £1.21 (which was primarily the postage). I needed that, yet it is still contraband according to my rules, but I am certain it will save me money in the long run as it will extend the life of my phone (and give me space for money saving apps).

And for a long time I have felt that I need a rain coat. Something that is light weight as it may rain all the time in the UK but it gets pretty humid when it does and I’m a sweaty Betty at the best of times. I wanted something that went past the waist as I had a rain coat in the past which ended at the waist which just meant all the water ran off the coat and into my pants. Fun times.

I decided to look at the Tesco website on the basis that I have been saving my Tesco Clubcard vouchers for 18 months and had a hefty £26.50 to my name.

(To anyone who is confused by this I’ll explain. Tesco’s is a big supermarket chain in the UK, I think they owned Fresh and Easy in the USA, and you can sign up for a free clubcard which gives you 1 point for every £1 you spend in their stores. I want to assure you I took advantage of some great deals they put on to gain extra points, and didn’t actually spend £2650 in their stores in the last 18 months)

So I looked on the Tesco’s website and there was a lightweight, yellow (I secretly wanted it to be yellow) rain coat which went past the waist, and yes it was £32 but I decided that the fact Tesco’s clothing range is called Florence and Fred and that the coat was sold out in every size apart from my own as a sign the Universe wanted me to have it.

So yes, I have spent £5.50 on a contraband item, AGAIN, but I feel good that the sum total of my spend on clothes this year has been £5.88 (£9.83 if you include a free item I ‘bought’ but had to pay postage for)

I think my shopping habits this year, whilst being a bit flexible with the rules of a no spend year, are a complete change for the better from the habits that got me into this mess of debt.

I am debating whether I am allowed to buy a orange scented reed room diffuser this Winter like I did last year which made me feel all Christmas-sy and made the Winter a bit more bearable. I know I’m not allowed, but maybe I can find a voucher somewhere for one.

It’s just with every purchase I make I feel anxious. I don’t feel tempted, I don’t feel ‘this feels great, let’s bend the plastic so far my credit card gets a spinal injury’ but I am scared of spending money now.

To be honest I am anxious doing anything financial apart from making money, which means it’s just as well I sold my two guitars today, one to the boy for £15 and one at a cash converters for £10 (it was a piece of crap).

I actually don’t mind selling my things at cash converters because in their buying department they have figurines of the wrestlers Jake the Snake and The Ultimate Warrior which makes me feel happy and like I am with kindred spirits.

I just want to say one more thing. Not including food/household purchases, which are split between the boy and me anyway, but if you take all the money I have paid towards my debts this year, and compare it to how much money I’ve spent on me this year, then I have spent about a third more paying back my debts then I have spending money on things like socialising and yellow-lightweight-past the waist-rain coats.


August 2017 Accounts

Hi everybody.

August was a good month financially. But let’s see just how good it was (dun dun dun)


Wages £1008.05

Tax Rebate £182.20

Ebay Sales £35.13

Selling books £19.03



Bills £835.32

Expenses post July pay day £48.02

Expenses pre August pay day £155.40

TOTAL MONEY OUT = £1038.74

MONEY IN – MONEY OUT = £205.67

Another month where I was in profit, I’m doing good on the whole this year. That £205.67 is roughly what I paid in debt repayments.