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September spending diary – Puppies and forgotten phone contracts

Money is such a taboo topic for most people, but it shouldn’t be. In order to practice what I preach and be more transparent myself, I have kept a spending diary for the past week. Here I have detailed every purchase I have made, along with some explanations and (hopefully) useful commentary. This is my September spending diary.

Money is such a taboo topic for most people, but it shouldn’t be. In order to practice what I preach and be more transparent myself, I have kept a spending diary for the past week. Here I have detailed every purchase I have made, along with some explanations and (hopefully) useful commentary. This is my September spending diary.

I’m doing this for one week every month to see how my spending habits change with time and to hold myself accountable. I know I’m guilty of mindless spending at times and I’m hoping documenting my purchases will help make me more aware.

In August’s spending diary I spent £110.61. Read on to find out if I spent more or less in my September spending diary.

Monday

The week started with a 6am alarm – I really don’t miss those at the weekends. However, it does mean I get 30 minutes of puppy playtime before I need to be at my desk ready to start work.

I popped out in my lunchbreak to the vets to pick up Fitz’s worming tablet. Paying his vet bills always reminds me how grateful I am for the NHS. The cost of all my medical bills doesn’t bare thinking about. This tablet wasn’t took expensive (£9.01), so similar to picking up a prescription for myself. This is lucky because he has to take it monthly to prevent potentially fatal diseases.

After work I tuned into a running strength & conditioning class run via Zoom. I really enjoy this class and it definitely helps with injury prevention. I pay in advance, (£30 for 7 classes) meaning there was no cost today.

Total spend: £9.01

Tuesday

Another early start with the dog, before an equally thrilling day at my laptop.

I went to Tesco to buy some ingredients for the next few lunches and dinners during my break. This came to £21.22.

I also paid my £4.99 Apple Music subscription – somehow I managed to get an extra year out of my student membership, so I haven’t made the move over to Spotify yet even though I’ve heard it’s much better!

Total spend: £26.21

Wednesday

Today was another fairly uneventful day, filled with work, puppy play and running – my favourite kind of day.

I did discover I was still paying for an old mobile phone contract that I no longer use though. As a personal finance blogger, I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t noticed this sooner and had been paying it for nine months longer than needed. I phoned up EE as soon as I realised and luckily it was very easy to cancel. I paid the existing balance and thankfully won’t have to worry about it any more (£54.98).

Total spend: £54.98

Thursday

After a rather expensive start to the week, I was glad to have a cheaper day. I didn’t have much planned except work for the day, so spent the day glued to my laptop.

In the evening I went to training with my running club. I enjoy the sessions because you get a good workout and get to catch up with friends and have chat too.  

Total spend: £0.00

Friday

After a busy week of work, I managed to finish a bit early and headed off to meet a friend in London, with the pup of course. It’s only about an hour journey door-to-door, but I hadn’t been on a train since March so was a bit nervous.

At the station I realised I needed to top up my Oyster card (£20) – not an easy task with an excitable puppy! Now you can use contactless cards, many are surprised that I still use my Oyster card. Mine is connected to my 16-24 railcard (renewed for three years) so I get a third off any off-peak travel. This means I can get into central London for just £2.50. Thankfully, the train journey went smoothly and it was pretty quiet so social distancing was no issue.

After a picnic in the park, we went to a dog-friendly pub for a couple of drinks. Central London prices meant the two drinks came to over £12. This felt expensive, but I had a good evening so really can’t complain.

Total spend: £32.09

Saturday

Saturday turned out to be a quiet day. I got back quite a bit later than planned the previous night, so I started the day very slowly. Nothing particularly eventful happened in the day, but, positively, I also didn’t spend any money. After a film on the sofa, it was an early night ready for the next day.

Total spend: £0.00

Sunday

By this point in the week I’m realising that my life really isn’t very exciting and this is probably going to be a pretty boring September spending diary for you all (thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far!).

After a dog walk and breakfast, I headed out on a long run. This is one of my favourite weekly activities and it’s completely free.

In the afternoon I went to meet a friend. It’s always nice to catch up over a couple of drinks on a Sunday afternoon as otherwise I’d probably just be watching Netflix on the sofa. We bought a round each (£10.85). This was cheaper than Friday but still felt pretty expensive for two drinks.

Total Spend: £10.85

Weekly total: £133.14

Lessons learnt

Overall, this wasn’t too bad a week. Obviously, the extra phone bill was frustrating. But, now I’ve cancelled it I should save money going forward.

I do enjoy being able to socialise a bit more again (socially distanced of course), but don’t know how long this will last with Covid cases beginning to rise again. While I want to cut down my spending and save as much money as possible, I also don’t want to sacrifice my social life and things I enjoy. Moderation seems to be the key to this, which I think I am getting closer to achieving.

Hopefully, next month I’ll be able to cut out the unexpected expenses and bring down the weekly total significantly. I’m looking forward to keeping up the spending diary habit as it definitely makes me more aware of my spending.

If you found this post helpful, please like and share across social media or send it to your friends. Are you keeping a September spending diary? Or have you noticed any unexpected expenses appearing on your bank balance?

By The Twenty Percent

Hi I'm Katie and I use my blog to help young people take control of their personal finances.

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