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.

 

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August 2017 Accounts

Hi everybody.

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

MONEY IN

Wages £1008.05

Tax Rebate £182.20

Ebay Sales £35.13

Selling books £19.03

TOTAL MONEY IN£1244.41

MONEY OUT

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.

 

Financial Review of Week 34

Howdy everybody.

Week 34 involved payday, so that meant we could buy food again without doing any ‘creative accounting’.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Vitamins, Stock Powder and Dried Figs £15.27

Rice, Naan, Poppadoms and Wraps £7.68

Meat for the boy, Frozen peppers and onions £10.29

Listerine, Toothpaste, Dental Floss £10.95

Milk, Sweet Potatoes, Chocolate Chips, Cucumber, Baking Potatoes, Bananas, Bread £7.15

BIG ONLINE FOOD SHOP 1 £59.21

BIG ONLINE FOOD SHOP 2 £45.87

Tupperwares and baking trays £6.56

Ice Cream, Apple Pie, Coconut Oil, Eggs £11.09

TOTAL = £174.07 (YIKES!)

 

DISPOSABLE/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

CONTRABAND

Coffee £2.35

Gum and Sandwich £5

Sandwich and Chocolate Bar £2.89

2018 Diary £0.99

TOTAL = £11.23

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus Tickets x 5 = £7

SOCIAL

Takeaway Pizza whilst watching WWE Summer Slam £10

Treats for Summer Slam £3.19

Wetherspoons Dinner £4.55

TOTAL = £17.74

HEALTH

Gum £1.58

Gum £0.99

TOTAL = £1.57

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING

Postage and Packaging on order £1.49

12 First Class Stamps £7.80

2 x Envelopes, 3 x Postcards £3.16

TOTAL = £12.55

TOTAL DISPOSABLE SPENDING = £50.09

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £224.16

Quite a hefty week spends wise. I will have to rein it in a bit the rest of the month.

I mean, I don’t really have a choice. I don’t have enough money left to have that sort of week again.

 

FINANCIAL REVIEW OF WEEK 33

Hi everyone,

Let’s get to it.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Mayonaise, Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Burger Buns £3.55

Paracetamol x 2, Hay Fever Tablets, Gum £2.16

Milk, Mushy Peas x 2, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Eggs, Paprika, Sweet Potato, Potatoes, Cucumber £9.63

Orange Juice, Milk, Bread £2.59

TOTAL = £17.93

DISPOSABLE/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

Travel (Day to Day)

Bus Tickets x 6 = £7

Health

Gum x 2 = £1.98

Contraband

5 Coffees and 1 Cake = £7.94

Postage and Packaging

Envelopes x 2 (£2)

Posting 2 Ebay parcels (£19.40)

TOTAL = £21.40

TOTAL DISPOSABLE SPENDING = £38.32

TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK = £56.25

 

Financial Review of Week 32

Hello everyone.

Delayed due to internet issues, here is the financial review of the week previous to this one (7th – 13th August)

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Orange Juice, Twirl Bars, Cucumber £2.35

Danish Pastries, Frozen Broccoli, Milk, Celery, Courgette, Bananas, Leeks, Cereal Bars, Carrots, Bread, Pasta Sauce £10.44

Chicken Tikka, Steak Pies, Frozen Peppers £6.29

TOTAL SPENDS = £19.08

 

DISPOSABLE/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

GIFTS

Gift bag £1.29

Lip balm and hand cream £4.90

Cookies £1

Wine £5

Card for my Mum £2.50

TOTAL = £14.69

TRAVEL (VISITING)

Train fare to visit family = £33.75

TOTAL DISPOSABLE/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING = £48.44

 

TOTAL SPENDING WEEK 32 = £67.52

 

FINANCIAL REVIEW OF WEEK 31

So you have just read about how I wasted my money in the whole of the month of July, but how did I do this week?

Let’s take a stroll through my spending.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Milk and ‘healthy’ crisps £2.49

Mouthwash £3.99

Cucumber, Celery, Courgette, Chocolate, Cereal Bars, Ice Cream, Sausages, Tomatoes, Bread Rolls £9.34

Takeaway Chips £1.80

Face wipes, Naan Bread £1.49

Frozen Peas, Frozen Sweetcorn, Blueberries (which I froze) £4

Hay Fever Tablets, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Interior Dehumidifier x 2 £2.81

Bread, Poppadoms, Carrots, Baking Potatoes, Mozarella x 2, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas £6.59

Milk and Scampi bites £2.45

TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £34.96

 

DISPOSABLE INCOME/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

CONTRABAND/I F***** UP

Coffee and Gum £1.79

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus ticket £1

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING

Postage box and envelope £2.88

Posting two presents £6.30

(Total = £9.18)

GIFTS

Wrapping paper x 2, Gift Bag, Anniversary Cards x 2 = £6

SOCIAL

Burger, Coke and Pint of Bitter £10.70

Coffee Bean Ice Cream Sundae (I have no regrets) £5.95

Berry Soda £3.85

(Total = £20.50)

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING = £38.47

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING THIS WEEK = £73.43

Things are about to get a whole lot tighter because I have to do my taxes next week, yowza’s.

I actually love doing my taxes. It’s one of my favourite days of the year. I definitely should have been an accountant.

 

 

JULY 2017 EXPENSES ANALYSIS

Hi everybody,

A new month has begun, autumn is on the way which means by extension WINTER IS COMING!

I know, we are still in Summer, but I am always very excited for Autumn. I don’t know why but maybe because a school year always begins in September the start of Autumn always feels like a new beginning to me.

Anyways, time to analyse the disaster that was July.

If anyone is reading my blog for the first time I’ll give you a little bit of context. I am doing my version of a ‘No Spend Year’ with many things being off limit for purchasing, which I totally threw aside in July.

Also in July I was half way through a 28 day sick leave absence from work due to stress and anxiety. So that may have affected why I disregarded my No Spend Year rules.

Final bit of context is I am doing a No Spend Year because I am in debt. Boooo!

So here is how I spent my money in the month of July.

Let’s start off with the contraband purchases:

CONTRABAND/I F***** UP

(Ahem) £77.73!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This was made up of takeaway coffees, work canteen lunches, a couple of breakfasts I had to buy as I was lazy/unorganised)

Moving swiftly on…

HOMEWARE £1.98 (Batteries and white board markers)

GIFTS £6.37 (A selection of cards for various occasions and a packet of biscuits for a friend)

SOCIAL £72.64 (So really I could have socialised twice as much if I wasn’t wasting money on the things in the contraband category)

POSTAGE £43.05 (I sold a lot of things on ebay, and yes, I charged for postage, but they way I see it is I had to have that money in order to post things in the first place)

HEALTH £14 (I went to the dentist)

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) £18 (This I feel bad about as I didn’t actually need to do any of these bus journeys, I could have walked if I had been more organised with my time)

So July, it happened. It happened badly. But I am making good progress in August and have had 4 No Spend Days out of the first 6 days of August (A ‘NSD’ is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a day when I didn’t spend any money on anything, not even something like milk).