Showing posts with label monthly round up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monthly round up. Show all posts

Monday, 20 August 2012

Where has August gone?

I'm not sure where to even begin...the last time I blogged was exactly a month ago. The break wasn't intentional but I just felt I couldn't continue documenting every tiny thing as I was getting frustrated with things not happening quicker, so I'll try to start at the beginning where I left off what's been happening. 

My new toy :)
First of all I handed my notice in at my last job, and despite the team dropping down from three to one they were prepared to let both myself and my manager walk away. Fine. The worst bit, they hardly even bothered to speak to us before our last days, which coincidentally were just one day apart. Then a few days before he was about to leave they said he could come back. 

Needless to say I wasn't very happy about the situation with the management, but the rest of the teams I had worked with over the last eleven months were lovely.  The people I worked with have a collection whenever someone leaves, and they bought me this Kindle case as well as a £10 amazon voucher so I could get downloading and reading straight away which I thought was pretty nice.

So, prior to handing my notice in myself and some of the other 'grads' spent about six weeks orgainising an office Olympics, which unveiled the bossiness in some. Anyways, at the final event we were all given £75 worth of vouchers to spend as a thank you which I thought was pretty nice. I was going to spend it on new work clothes as mine were looking worse for wear and wanted to look presentable when I started my new job. Then I thought, why not spend it on something I wouldn't buy myself... like a Kindle? 

I voiced my thoughts to the BF, to his horror as he was planning to buy me one as a present with the extra money from his new paycheck. I was never keen on the idea of the Kindle, thinking what's wrong with a good old book. But I didn't expect to love it as much as I do, haha. I find I can hold it one handed so read much quicker and I think its actually more enjoyable to read on. So much so I whizzed through the Hunger Games trilogy in just a few weeks. I read the majority during my week and a half off, and whilst we went to Bournemouth for a long weekend. (I'm now saving the vouchers to use as presents instead). 

Beautiful Bournemouth
The weekend away was part of my birthday present to my BF, along with some Lyle and Scott t-shirts and socks- they had a 50% off sale on their existing sale if that makes sense so I bagged some pretty good bargains there. Secondly, the weekend away was purchased through one of those gift websites, but luckily I have a friend that works there who was willing to give me his 30% discount code. 

One day at work the deal popped into my inbox, £100 for two nights stay in a three star spa hotel with breakfast too, which after the discount came to £70. I also made use of the free tickets for SW trains that they gave me when I bought my season ticket so our travel there and back cost absolutely nothing. It was so nice to get away, have some time together, the rain held off all weekend and we even managed a swim in the heated outdoor pool! 

BT Live- London 2012 

We spent the rest of our week off together cycling about, pottering around and generally enjoying each others company. One day though I did venture into central London to meet an old uni friend. We went to BT Live to watch the Olympics on the big screens. She had just got back from holiday and constantly is at her overdraft limit so we thought it would be a nice, cheap day out. 

I packed a picnic but when we got there we were told that we weren't allowed to bring food or drink in. We sat outside along with all the other people cramming ourselves with food to avoid wasting it before heading through security to watch the games and to see some cheesy boy band and Alexander Burke. Once again, despite threatening to rain the sun came out- yay! 
Practicing my portraits 
Hmm, what else.. ok. So the BF got his first paycheck, and enjoyed his first month as the breadwinner, a feeling I think we both enjoyed. He then got £300 a few days ago for the scrap copper they pulled out the air con units, so this month has doubled his old salary. 

He's so excited, has opened his ISA, put £1000 away so far and has paid me back a chunk of the money he owed me for paying his credit card off earlier in the year. He's going to give me the last £135 on Friday when he gets paid and he'll be debt free :) I had to 'borrow' the money from him this month because I had to pay back my season ticket loan, meaning I had to pay for six months worth of travel all in one paycheck. Needless to say, I havn't been able to put any money into my ISA this month, but will be putting my 'travel' money in whenever I get paid to make it up. 

Sunday afternoon photo session x

I think now he's earning more (for now anyways due to getting paid more to work nights) meaning he can contribute towards our deposit a bit he's getting used to the idea of buying a property and that it might actually happen, and he was even looking online the other day too at a property website whereas before it was always me getting excited and planning. 

Finally it was time to go back to work- I've been at my new place for nine days now and I didn't realise it would be so surreal and hard trying to learn all the new processes, finding out where all our log ins etc are kept on the shared computer drive, even the new journey has thrown me. 

I can't get the tube anymore so have been getting the bus, which has been kind of annoying. The queues are rediculously long in the morning, and there is so much traffic. However, today I managed to walk without getting lost which took me half an hour and is quite a good work out too. I tried walking home, but bumped into someone I used to work with and got all confused and lost my bearings :S. 

Coupled with the fact its been horrendously busy due to about ten different university clearing campaigns going live on the same day I've been pretty tired when I get home, especically as I hardly ever leave on time anymore. But the time flies by, unlike my last job which is always a good thing right?

Ok so I hope I havn't bored you too much, I think I'll be posting more regularly again now I'm hoping to get back into my old routine.  

Friday, 1 June 2012

June's Happy list

It's that time of the month again; this month I've been noting down the little things that make me happy as I go along on my phone so have found it much easier compared to when I was compiling May's happy list. Here goes-

1. The feeling of laying on cool, clean bed sheets after a bath- priceless!
2. Yummy poached eggs on seeded toast. A lovely weekend breakfast....
3. I had a craving for brie and pickle on crispbread so treated myself as it wasn't in our normal shopping list.
4. The warm sunny weather we've been having, especially the longer evenings.

5. Discovering a cool new photography iPhone app- Marblecam. Try it!The pics above were all processed with it.
6. My credit score increasing by 37 points.
7. Completing another month within my shoestring budget.
8. The upcoming jubilee weekend- Four whole days off!
9. Cycling in the Surrey countryside
10. The best of all this month, the BF's new, better job!!! - though have just found out for the first six weeks he'll be working nights 10pm-6am. The down side, I won't see him as much as I thought I would, the upsides, he'll get time and a half pay, my sleep won't be interrupted in the middle of the night like it is now and we'll still have weekends together.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My 100th blog post

This week has been a pretty hectic week compared to my normal week; firstly on Tuesday, the first of the beautiful weather I was lucky enough to have been given free cinema tickets to see the 'What to expect when you're expecting' film which started at six. I worked from home in the afternoon which was lovley, before cycling to the cinema.

Instead of buying expensive drinks and snacks in the cinema, bumping up the price of our trip, we dipped into Sainsbury's en route to pick up some food. I kept my eyes peeled for deals which included a huge bag of sweet Butterkist popcorn for £1, a huge bag of kettle chips £1 and a meal deal which we split for £3. The film was lighthearted, funny and definitely my cup of tea so I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the rom-com genre- however it wasn't overly girly and the BF enjoyed it just as much. Once we were home we worked together to re-work the BF's CV ready for his job interview/meeting on Thursday.

Wednesday was another scorcher of a day- and consequently the tubes and trains were all messed up. I finally made it to Putney to meet a friend for dinner at Pizza Express which was nice as we sat outside. She had 2-4-1 Orange deal, but her phone battery died so we had to resort to 25% off using a downloadable voucher on my phone. Even so it came in at just under a tenner which I thought was pretty good- we went for one drink afterwards which was nice. I had budgeted for the evening,which took me up to just under my monthly budget.

Thursday was D-day. The BF was extremely nervous about meeting with his friends boss, and whilst he was in the interview I literally felt sick. The good news is that he got the job!! I was soo happy as it will completely -change our lifestyle and mean we can live like a normal couple pretty much- if there is such a thing as normal? What I mean is that we'll have evenings, weekends, bank holidays, Christmas's, New Years and so on together, which we haven't had in the last four and a half years. It means we won't have to plan literally everything around his work rota, which often gets changed at the last minute without much notice. Finally, besides the extra money it means that when we (hopefully) move into our own home I won't be left on my own.

To celebrate he came to meet me from work, as I was meeting my mum in town too. We all went for lunch then walked over to the South Bank for a drink, then when BF went home me and my mum went over to Green Park to meet my sister as later in the evening we were going to see 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' in Kensington Gardens.  I picked up three tickets for £40 from Last which is pretty much the normal price of one theatre ticket.

Dancing with the birthday girl

Friday was payday at last; I hit my monthly budget target and now my personal savings total has hit £10,638, while we have £500 in our joint savings. The BF has almost £900 but he needs to use some of this to learn to drive as he'll be driving a company van in the future due to his new job. So all in all things are heading in the right direction. I spent most of the day at a Google event (hello free breakfast, snacks and lunch) and got to spend time in their gorgeous offices.

Then finally, yesterday I spent the morning doing the weekly housework and in the afternoon me and the BF set off with a little picnic to the local park, armed with my SLR camera. And one of my favourite shots is the one at the top of the page. In  the evening we went to a friends 21st birthday party-m I didn't feel too good because of the sunshine so stuck to the diet coke.

Today I think I'll spend the day relaxing before the working week begins again. Hopefully this one will be a little calmer.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Payday update

That time of the month came again, payday. This time it meant I have just about exceeded my 10k mini target which feels pretty good, even though there's still a way to go. I'll wait for the £250 to go out of my account at the beginning of the month (into my 5% fixed payment saving account) and for this month's credit card payment to come out (£70, only £45 if my own personal spending) before transferring the £350 into my general ISA.

Our refund also came through from British Gas, £245! I've shifted the money almost straight away into our joint account every day saver, which is almost at £500 so as not to spend it. I'm not sure what this will be used for, either to book a holiday late in the year, flights in the summer to the BF's beachy home town, or as part of our stamp duty payment. Either way, its nice to know its there as last year our joint account was running on empty due to more expensive accommodation costs and we had to buy all our new furniture.

I also took out the Experian 30 day free trial to check my credit score to see if it had been affected by my lack of student loan repayments, and its in the good category with a score of 898 our of 1000. It seems that because I have very recently applied for credit I have been marked down, and because I'm not really using much of the credit it seems to be going against me a little- crazy right? Anyways, I'm aiming to improve my score by only using my credit card where ever possible rather than the money in my own personal account, or in our joint account. We need to improve the BF's credit score, I'm guessing that due to his lack of organisational skills and late credit card payments etc it wont be as high as mine so I think he may even start using the dreaded credit card for small amounts, now that he has set up a direct debit for the full amount to be paid off every month.

Finally, this month financially looks OK (all being well with the job- we've gone very quiet which is never good!). I've got a five hour bar shift on Saturday, which I'll get paid for seven hours. This covers money to renew our rental contract (£80 for them to file the contract- ridiculous!) as well as the last what I owe my housemate for last years TV licence with a little to spare. I also have those vouchers to pay for my dad's birthday present.

My clothes need a bit of a lift (again?!) so this lunch time I hot footed it down Oxford street to H&M as I had a £5 off voucher that expires on Sunday. I picked up a replacement pair of skinny blue jeans (two pairs of mine will be going in the bin) and a white t-shirt top as all my white tops have been relegated to 'house clothes' ie. a hop, skip and a jump from becoming pyjamas. I thought the jeans were £20, but scanned through the till at £9.99 so in total I spent £13. I've allowed myself around £30ish for new clothes this month, and I kind of need some new ballet pumps as the sole in mine is starting to go.

I think that's all the news on the financial front; the wintry weather is making it easier to resist the temptation to spend, you can't step foot outside the door without being drenched!

Onwards and upwards.... until next time x

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring has arrived in London!

I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

Anyways, payday came around on Friday and with that the ticker gets updated. So if my calculations are correct this is how much I've saved so far (including the BF's credit card repayments which will end next January)

Things on the money front are coming along fairly well I think, besides having to throw some food out earlier on in the week; a new tub of Heinz 'fridge' beans that I forgot were ours which were growing mould, some out of date eggs which were put on someone elses shelf and forgotten about after doing a big shop, a carton of gone off pomegranete juice, blood orange juice and chocolate milkshake.

Things I'll take from this is to keep control of the shopping by not buying such big shops as we don't get round to eating it, not buying items to try which may end up being wasted and keeping all our items on the bottom shelves so I can actually see what we have.

Friday was our two housemates birthday drinks, I managed to dodge the offers of shots with the urges to 'live a little'...hmmphh! and only had two bottle of cider (I don't know how it lasted for the few hours we were there-I guess you get quite a lot in each bottle). I had budgeted £30 for the night, but only spent a fiver- result!

Today I have put this dress on Gumtree to try and sell for £50, like the other dress it came from New York's Greenwich Village and unlike eBay Gumtree doesn't charge you to advertise. I also took advantage of this websites offer of 50 free prints when you sign up, I've signed up with a new email address about four times now.

 I plan on making a border of photos around our room seeing as we're going to be here for another year. Other than that I've sorted out our room for the week, done two loads of washing and may head to the park to start reading 'The time travellers wife' in the sun before cycling up to meet the BF from work. Hope you're all enjoying the sunny weather, Happy Sunday! x

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February round up

I've been documenting my finances all month using my iPhone app which allows me to see at a glance where my money has been going.

So here goes;

Basic income: £1,444
eBay money for dress: £60
Pub shift & tax rebate: £116
Mystery shop: £10
Sold Nintendo Wii: £100
Pub holiday pay: £37

Clothing: £7.50 extra on exhanged Xmas present (blue dress H&M) which has been worn lots, including work, lunches & dinner. 

£16.00 black ballet flats from Topshop, also worn lots and allow me to wear some of my springier clothes from last year rather than buying new ones. I walked into work yesterday to 'You look nice, are your trousers/top new?' Nope :) Think its called 'going shopping in your wardrobe'.


£2.80 'water for elephants' paperback, Amazon
£1.70 'E' paperback, Amazon

Both for the bookshelf as I like adding to my collection in between borrowing from the libary (my local libary also didn't have these books)


£10.00 Friend's birthday present
£5.00 Charity donantion to a friends little sister
£1.20 work donation for colleague who had a bike accident

Groceries (bought for personal eating!)

£6.00 Dim sum from M&S 
£1.14 hot chocolate and biscuits at work


£220.00 rent
£200.00 into the joint account (covers food & bills & some trips out)


£20.00 Contact lenses 
£12.21 Cosmetics etc.


£1.50 drinks
£15.00 Ping Pong Dim Sum
£4.00 Las Iguanas 
£10.00 Borough Market
£3.50 Burger King
£4.00 x2 hot drinks out 
£13.70 Pizza Express
£3.80 lunch at work cafe (jacket potato with beans, sans beans :() 


£156.00 Monthly travel card
£20.00 Petrol (car coming off the road at the end of the month)


£42.00 Gym membership (now cancelled) will be making use of my push bike and the lighter evenings
£35.00 Phone bill

£796.00 spent, which is about normal for me. (=20 cash I forgot I withdrew for a cinema trip, and lunch out) 

Savings: £967 approx. 

£500 leant to BF for credit credit card payment
£60 extra money to round down the account
*the rest is sat in my current account waiting for the new ISA to be opened

This month we shouldn't be paying council tax, and a few days ago I made BF check and update the Gas and Electricity meter readings and it seems we are around £200 in credit with the gas, I have no idea how. Lets hope it comes back our way.....I also spontaneously bought a dress online I saw on a blog, and it sold out and the payment didn't go through- on reflection I'm kind of pleased it happened.

Here's to another fun and frugal month. x