The Twenty Percent – August spending update

I almost didn’t want to write this post, as it feels like it’s marking the end of Summer. Despite the weather, it seems like Summer only just started. But, here we are – my August spending update.

August feels like a holiday month, so for many people it becomes more expensive. I did spend more this month than in previous months but managed to keep my spending fairly under control.

I would love to hear how your month went. Was August more expensive for you than other months? Comment below!

August spending update – me and the pup did a lot of exploring!

My August spending update will cover:

  1. Work update
  2. Non-work life update
  3. New bank account
  4. Holiday spending update

Work update

I’m lucky enough that I enjoy my job. Even when it gets very busy and/or stressful, I can always pinpoint at least one thing I’ve liked doing. The early starts do get me down sometimes, but overall working is a positive experience for me.

However, perhaps the most exciting thing is that I had my first full week off work since November last year. (more on this later) I really don’t recommend this – breaks are so important. I feel so much more refreshed now and will aim to take more regular holiday from now on.

As much as we enjoy being busy and striving to hit career goals – not thinking about work (much) for a week felt amazing. I actually felt myself physically relax for the first time in far too long!

A bit of solo exploring

Non-work life update

Outside of work, my life remains busy.

Freelancing is going very well, and I’ve just finished signing up a new, regular client. Writing is something that will never truly feel like work. The fact that I can help educate people about personal finance through my writing is a real bonus.

I’m starting to get into a better routine with my freelancing to still make sure I still have some proper downtime each week. This still needs some work, but we’re moving in the right direction!

Now, I’m at the stage where I’m regularly invoicing around £500 a month. This may not be where I want to be, but considering a year ago I was lucky to invoice £50 a month, it feels like good progress.

I don’t just work and sleep, however.

I’m now fully into my latest half marathon training cycle. This means running around 35miles a week and doing some extra strength and conditioning on the side to make sure my body can cope with the extra workload. The best part is all the extra food I need to eat for this level of training. I’m permanently hungry!

It’s also been nice to spend some time catching up with friends and making the most of Summer – if we can call the past month that… Weekend evenings in pub gardens and other adventures may not always be best for the budget, but I believe you can’t put a price on true friendship.

Don’t spend so long thinking and preparing for the future that you forget to enjoy today. Tomorrow sadly isn’t promised, so make the most of today.

New bank account

It turns out I no-longer qualify for a Santander graduate account – probably not unreasonably given I graduated three years ago now.

I was automatically moved onto their standard current account, which has very little interest and no perks. So, I knew I had to move accounts. Long-term, I’m planning on moving away from Santander. But, I want to do more research first.

This meant, for now I moved within Santander. I choose the Santander 123 account. I’ll update you on how I get on with it over the next few months.

The most frustrating thing is that to change the automatically assigned PIN, I had to use a cash machine outside a Santander branch. There used to be one on my local high street – and on most high streets near me. But, they’ve all closed recently.

After nearly a month, I eventually found a branch at 10:30pm in Bury St Edmunds!

Our lovely meal at Bills

Holiday spending update

That leads us on nicely to my holiday.

Personally, I’m still being very cautious about Covid-19, so didn’t want to travel far and wanted to make sure I’d be comfortable at all times.

So, myself, my boyfriend and my dog all got in the car and headed up to Suffolk for a few days. We had a slight hiccup before we left as my boyfriend managed to tear a ligament in his knee two days before we were meant to set off.

We contemplated cancelling the trip but decided to adapt and overcome instead. I’m very glad we did. We ended up having a great time – even if my boyfriend was left reading on a bench while I walked the dog a fair few times!

I did find a couple of good money saving tips too.

Firstly, National Trust membership is just £25 for 18-25 year olds for a whole year. It may not sound particularly exciting, but there are so many places you can explore up and down the country. You only need to visit two or three to make membership worthwhile. I’d recommend it to anyone, but particularly if you have a four-legged friend!

Another win came at dinner one night. Eating out is one of the biggest expenses on holiday. Drinks further push the price up. Taking advantage of deals can help bring the price down substantially.

Bills restaurants are currently running a deal where you can get two glasses of wine or three beers for free with every main course you order. (Normal rules – like being over 18 – apply).

This meant we were able to enjoy a lovely two course meal for both of us, with two drinks each, for £40. The food was also excellent and, being allergic to nuts, I was pleased with how seriously they took my allergy.

September tends to mark new beginnings. However old we are, we never fully shake the “back to school” feeling. I will also turn 26 this month, so will take some time to reflect and re-focus. I find setting goals really helpful, but I do have a tendency to be too harsh on myself. We must all remember to celebrate progress and achievements as they come – regardless of how big or small they are.

So, there’s my August spending update. If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my previous spending update.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media @Katie20Percent to keep up to date with all my latest posts and find more money tips!

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