Let's Talk Money

17 June 2019

I was inspired to do this post in the style of a weeks account of the money I spend, having read one of the Refinery 29 Money Diaries. Reading around 3 hours worth of their Money Diaries, coupled with a recent pay conversation at work inspired a whole new wave of thinking.

I personally don’t view money as the taboo subject society perceives it to be. Unless we have open conversations, we won’t ever learn about finances. I’ve never thought I had an issue with money and through talks with my financial advisor (a.k.a my mum) I can confirm I don’t. However good I am with money, I’ll always want to have more stashed away to fall back on if a rainy day comes (literally every day in England)…. or so I’m able to spend more money on that luxurious holiday to The Maldives.

My major outgoings are my rent (I rent a one bedroom apartment in south London, so it’s pretty pricey) and bills.  And then I have the smaller monthly outgoings in the form of subscriptions (no way I’d EVER cut Netflix, Look Fantastic Beauty Box & Audible out of my life, which is £30 a month). I do have a steady income coming in from a full time corporate job, as well as the occasional bits of inflows from side projects and ventures. My blog being one of them. So now I’ve given a bit of context, I wanted to dive deep into my day to day spend, which I have to admit was quite eye opening but let’s just get into it before I start being bad and making excuses/justifying my spend.

I use my Monzo start for most expenditures but also have my handy Halifax account where my large expenditures such as; rent payment, council tax and other bills come out of. I pop 20% off all income whether it’s salary or blog/Instagram income into a saving pot each month. I have a Stocks and Shares ISA which I invest into on a weekly basis. In addition, my Monzo account rounds up any spend I make and puts the remaining amount into a savings pot. For example, if Transport For London took out £5.40 for travel, Monzo being the babes that they are would round this up to £6 and place 60p in my savings pot.

My weekly spending report


Transport for London: I was charged £6 for the previous days London Underground travel. Although most days, it’s just to and from work on the tube, you will see a very odd pattern here, sometimes I’m charged £2 for the tube, other days it’s £11.
Brunch: It’s Saturday, and who doesn’t brunch on the weekend? £12 spent at Farm Girl Cafe in Notting Hill (basic instagram girl but so good)
Cocktails: Later in the evening, I spent £29 at Cahoots in  Central London, which is a 50s style bar set in an unused underground station. Disclaimer: not all the cocktails were for me.

Total spend: £47


Uber: A reoccurring theme is my money being spent on Uber taxis, I just don’t like being cold and would much rather take a taxi over waiting for the night bus, especially on a Saturday night in London. So that’s £20 gone getting me and my friend home from our night out on the town at around 3am on Sunday morning. #NeverNightBus
A gym day and a Sunday roast cooked by my friend kept Sunday’s outgoings to a minimum

Total spend: £20


I worked from home on Monday (with a fully stocked fridge), so my spend was fairly limited. Limited being nothing

Total Spend: £0 


Coffee: The standard Soy Caramel Latte bought from Pret most mornings without fail, costing £3. I know this is an area where I can stop spending and start saving
Lunch was on my friend so £0 spent here

Total spend: £3


Transport For London: £3 for the previous days Tube travel.
App: £5 on iTunes (god knows what I spent this on - some app subscription?)
Lunch: £7 for a Pret salad (Ironically these images in this post have been taken in Pret, which is where I spend a lot of my money, sponsor me please, Pret A Manger)
Exercise: £9 spent on a dance class at Pineapple Dance Studios

Total Spend: £24


Coffee: £3 for the Pret a Manager caffeine boost
Lunch: £7 at eat Tokyo buying Sushi for lunch
Transport for London: £7 for the previous days Tube travel (thanks Transport for London)
Dinner: My friend was down in London, so we went out for dinner at Coppa Club near St. Paul’s where a main and 2 glasses of wine (because Thursday is the new Friday) came to £28.

Total Spend: £45

Friyay (also known as Friday):

Travel: £7 for the previous days Tube travel
Coffee: I decided to switch the coffee up and go to my beloved Starbucks (its Friday, treat yourself) so spent £3 on a Soya Caramel Latte
Lunch: I bought lunch at a place called Jinjja Ltd on a Leather Lane (a food market near where I work) at spent £6 on Korean fast chicken.
Drinks: After work drinks, £6 in one bar on a glass of vino.
Drinks: I then met my friend in soho for drinks at Thirst Bar (happy hour on Friday night means £10 per two drinks). We had 4 but that’s not the point....

Total Spend: £32

Firstly, I bought no clothes! If this is my average per week, excluding other outgoings such as rent, council tax, savings and bills and I follow the same pattern for four weeks of the month, I’m spending around £684 per month (excluding rent, bills, council tax, gym memberships, subscriptions), which both you and I know can be halved.

My money mantra is all about the ‘F*ck off’ fund. Basically having money just in case of any emergency or life event. In case you want to leave your job, in case you have the worst flatmates in the world and need to move out, having that money there so you can do something takes the stress out of an already bad situation. I try to save 20% of everything I earn (still working on this). If you’re finding it difficult to save 20% then start small (i.e. 5%) then escalate every couple of months.

Give yourself a goal. Everything is done better when it’s goal driven, you tend to work towards something with much more heart when you’ve got a final destination. I also find when I make it physically difficult for me to see the money for example, a bank account that you can’t have access to, I save more as I tend to forget about it. I’m certainly not the money savviest of them all (Martin Lewis is there for that) but i’m trying to get better.

As there is no greater feeling of seeing a lump sum of money sat in your bank account, I’ve started to adopt a few of those things like cutting down on buying coffee everyday on my way to work as that saves £15 per week. I’m also thinking of writing a follow up a saving plan as I’m officially aware that I need to ‘adult’ and getting myself on the property ladder in the next two years is one of many ways in which I plan to adult. So a budget plan and any tips I can offer on the process (especially if you give in as easily to the ‘new in’ section on ASOS as I do), is to come.

And I want to hold myself accountable, so if I haven’t saved enough to buy my own house by March 2021 (ideally March 2020) then you’re well in your right to have a moan at me.

Some of my favourite tools for managing my money are;

Monzo: The digital, mobile-only bank based in the United Kingdom gives you instant notifications to tell you when you spend money, tallies your outgoings, and categorises your spending, providing the option to add notes so you can control your spending. Other features that I LOVE are the fact that you can roll up each transaction to the nearest £1 and putting the change into a "pot" for later use. Also being able to freeze a card instantly if it gets lost eases the mind, when in the old days you have to ring up the bank and wait for them to process it their end – no more thanks to the Monzo app. Monzo also makes it easier to make payments when abroad.

Meet Cleo: Cleo is an artificial intelligence money-managing assistant. It connects with your bank account, and uses an AI chat bot through Facebook Messenger to provide you with any updates on your spending, allows you to ask it questions relevant to your account and spending habits, and receive instant feedback and advice. It’s emoji/GIF friendly and VERY sassy. I think it’s a great tool for anyone not wanting a tool that is full of heavy financial terms, but something that is lighter but still effective (not an ad, but I have done a paid advertisement with them in the past)

Money Box: Moneybox is an investing app that breaks down the complexities and barriers behind investing. So if you previously thought that investments were just for ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ types, think again - Moneybox make it so simple and easy. Similar to the Monzo, they do the rounding up on purchases, so spend £2.45 in Pret, £0.55 of that will go into your Moneybox fund, which is then invested into invest the change into thousands of global companies via tracker funds. Unlike Monzo this isn’t instant and will often leave your bank account all in one go (on a Wednesday to be precise). But if investing small pennies isn’t enough, you can take lumps sums per month and deposit these into your Moneybox account on a weekly or monthly basis, that can be funnelled into (hopefully) profitable investments. There are three core investment choices in Moneybox: the Cautious fund; the Balanced fund and the Adventurous fund, which is how you choose where your investments are heading. But I bet you’re thinking, what does it cost me to invest??? Costs are an average of 0.68% a year plus a £1 a month subscription fee. The 0.68% is made up of 0.45% for the platform administration and an average of 0.23% for the funds.

Femme Finance Club: Femme Finance Club provides education on financial topics with the aim of fostering a culture that drives social and economic progress via Instagram and Twitter (for now). Follow their updates on @femmefinanceclub

Outfit Details

Safari Jacket - I originally bought this from Zara, but it's sold out. Similar from Dorothy Perkins 
Black Jumper - I Saw It First
Black Skirt - ASOS (similar
Tights - Gipsy
Trainers - New Look

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