Showing posts with label entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entertainment. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Getting organised

This weekend was really good on the frugality front; I spend under a tenner on some drinks in a bar having a catch up with a friend on Friday night. Saturday I worked and had a huge free early dinner, myself and the BF was really tired, and combined with the terrible weather we declined the offer to go to the pub with our two housemates. We cosied up on the sofa together and watched Britain's Got Talent as well as catching up on some of our favourite TV shows we'd missed in the week. I kept dropping off to sleep, I have no idea why I was so tired.

Today has gone by quite quickly, I got up when the BF left for work and sorted our entire room out, sorted the washing for the week, hoovered the flat and washed the kitchen floor. After all that I obviously needed another nap lol, as I fell asleep again. This afternoon I decided it was time to get my finances in order, the savings tracker just wasn't cutting it as I've got too many different accounts, as well as the money owed to keep track of. I managed to download an excel sheet from the internet and noted everything down. At the top of the columns were titles including; ISA 1, ISA 2, 5% saver, joint saver, money owed for BF's credit card, pension with a total at the end. I've tried to screen grab my uber-organised excel sheet but it doesn't seem to want to let me.

The good news is that my previous calculations in regards to the total was correct, I've reached £10,039.02 in tota, excluding my pension and joint savings. However, this month £250 will be going into our joint account due to the way payday fell and will fall at the end of May. I can stretch £50 pretty far, so to be without it makes things fairly tight, especially I had £30 worth of extra bills to find the money for too.

I've also got a couple of nights out to pay for this week, as well as a team lunch (the venue was picked by my manager and friend from uni who hasn't a clue on how to save money). He's picked a fairly expensive place, and when I said my RSCP was a maybe he said he would pay.

When friends offer to pay for things it always makes me uncomfortable, I would rather go quietly without, whether its an expensive lunch or some shots at the pub- I always try to politely decline and enjoy what I have budgeted for, but a lot of the time they don't like taking no as an answer. Does anyone else experience this whilst trying to save?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The beauty of the humble voucher

These were taken Sunday morning waiting for the parentals to arrive x

So the music quiz came and went, I enjoyed a good night with good food, drink and company and as a bonus our team won so we took home a bottle of champagne to share, a vintage radio and £25.00's worth of 'Love to shop' vouchers each. Not bad for an evenings work, and Radio Works (the media hosting) are thinking of holding a quiz ever month too. I'm thinking of using £20 of vouchers to pay for a present for my Dad's birthday which is at the beginning of May, and save £5 to put towards something for my sister's birthday present which is in June.

Thursday I was off work so enjoyed a bit of a lazy day as it was raining for most of the day. In the evening I went to see a free screening of the teen thriller 'Elfie Hopkins' which was pretty scary, and some parts I was hiding behind my coat. The film was ok watching, but I wouldn't have bothered paying the £10.00 for a ticket to watch it.
Literally, sunshine through the window...

Then afterwards myself and my housemate did a food shop at Asda; I allowed myself one basket only and managed to squeeze a weekly shop in, which came to £30- it's definatley the way forward. I've had a quick meal pre-plan and I reckon it will be enough food to see us through until next Thursday evening.

Then Friday evening, I was meant to be going out for dinner with a friend but she ended up in A&E so after a fleeting visit to make sure she was ok while she was waiting I went to the pub for something to eat and a few drinks. I had set aside £20.00 for the eve, but only spent £16.00 including my food so had £4.00 left over.

Then saturday I went to have my hair cut, I had allowed myself £35.00 from  the money I picked up the week before working at the pub and it came in at £32.00, so I have a whole £7.00 to last until payday in two days time, then I'll have hit my £10k mini target.

Today my family came up as my sister had one of those photo shoot make over things in Richmond so I went with her while my Mum and Dad visited Ham House. The shoot was pretty cringy and I was glad it wasn't me the photographer was prodding about and telling me to look sexy. I was also dreading the viewing, which the M&D came in for as I have experienced the aggressive selling techniques these places employ before as they to try and get you to buy their photos.

Needless to say it came, the photographer was really trying to sell his images, saying how lovley the shots were etc, then the prices came and my Dad nearly fainted- £85.00 for one A4 image or £400+ for about five- what a rip off!

They declined the images you had to pay for, selected their one favourite which was free and we were hurried out the studio as the photographer slammed the keyboard on the 'don't save' icon after they wouldn't part with their cash, and I for one don't blame them! Above is a few pics I took of the shoot behind the scenes.

Has anyone else had one of these shoots and been completely taken aback by the ridiculous prices??!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Books I'm lovin'

Since I stepped up my saving game around October, when I started my new job in London I've read  more books than I have in the last few years since I was at university. 

From the age of five I constantly had my head buried in a book, which I think helped me throughout school to do well in the humanity based subjects. I think reading is a fundamental part of a child's development as it helps to improve spelling, writing, vocabulary, attention span...the list is endless. 

After managing to achieve to A's at GCSE in English and English literature it was a natural (if somewhat delayed) decision to study English literature at university. However, uni life took over and my shelves of books were skim read in preparation for the arduous task of writing countless essays. 

I think choosing this degree killed my love of books somewhat, and I found that after uni between working a full time, and part time job picking up a book was a rarity that was confined to holidays only.  I also drove to work for two years, so I didn't have much of an opportunity to squeeze my reading  sessions into my daily life compared to now that I commute to work. I find its a great to lose myself in a story, and what's more books give you hours of entertainment for very little cost. 

Over the last six months the library has been indispensable; primarily due to the fact we have moved and its now just across the road. I thought I would share my favourite books that I've read over the past few months with you; here goes!

1. One day by David Nicholls. 

This was bought for me as a birthday present, and once I had opened its brightly coloured cover I was gripped. It was a real page turner, and I would highly recommend the book to anyone. I read the book and was intrigued to watch the film. Though the story stays true to the text the acting is wooden and somewhat disappointing so read the book first. 

2. The help by Kathryn Stockett  
This was recommended to me by someone who had also read 'One day' who said if I liked this book I would love 'The help'. I found this book a little difficult to get into at first, but once I had broken through the into part I was hooked. Again, I watched the film once I had finished the book and though it was acted better than 'One day' I still enjoyed the book more. 

3. The time travelers wife by Audrey Niffenegger 

This was also given to me as a gift, and I absolutely loved the look and feel of this vintage edition (pictured above). The novel lingered on my bookshelf for around six months when I finally decided to get stuck in. Again it was a little difficult to get into as the text flips back and forth in time but lots of people have commented on the novel when they have seen it on my desk as to what a lovely story it is. I'm part way through, and watched a little of the film last night. I plan to watch the rest over the course of this week. 

4. Water for elephants by Sara Greun 

This was recommended to me by the person who recommended 'The help' and after enjoying that book so much I ordered this from Amazon for about £1.50. At first I thought the story was a little odd, a reflective story told by an elderly man about a travelling circus, but after a couple of chapters I couldn't help but love it. The writing is very descriptive, so I think it's definitely worth a read. Since finishing this tale I really want to pay a visit to the circus again. I also havn't seen the film yet, but want to when it makes it onto LoveFilm or Netflicks. 

5. 'E' by Matt Beaumont 

A must read for anyone working at an advertising agency; this was recommended by a number of people at work who described it as hilarious and true to life. It was a fast paced read, and the story is told through a series of email trails. I found it captured some of the typical characters working at the ad agency, and even found myself relating some characters to those around me. There is also a couple of sequels to this, but colleagues have warned that like many sequels they ain't quite as good as the original. 

What are you reading at the moment? 

Another hot question often asked by fellow book lovers, are you for or against The Kindle? x