If we’re being honest, we all like to have a nose into other people’s lives, even if it’s just to compare what we would do in the same circumstances. Sometimes there’s nothing as compelling as others who are possibly just as mundane as we are!
After years of talking about frugal living and bargains, I’ve decided it’s finally time to spill the beans about my own spending. In the past I’ve mentioned how we manage our money as a couple – everything combined, with an equal personal fun money allowance granted every month. It’s this fun money that I’m going to track in my spending diary.
Why not track all our spending?
Come on, it’s just a really bad idea to tell the entire internet how much you’ve spent on your last utility bill and where you went to lunch yesterday – you don’t want enough personal information out there already to give identity fraudsters a leg up, so it’s a compromise.
This also means this diary is very personal. It’s a record of the things I find important and it’ll help me see where I’m likely to spend or fritter money away.
What’s my budget?
When we first started out with this plan, we allowed ourselves £30 each per month to spend just on our hobbies or things we wanted for ourselves. We then bumped it up to £50. This is for the stuff we want to enjoy on our own – anything that we decide to do as a couple or a family comes out of the overall pot.
If I decide I don’t want to spend anything at all in one month, then my £50 will roll over to the next month, and so on, until I either end up rolling in dough or I spend it all. Usually I start of a year with a small pot of savings from the previous month, but after last month’s art materials spending spree I actually went into debt.
How much am I starting with?
Yes, I owed myself a whole £1.92.
I blame the staples. I bought some staples on eBay to fit the cheapo staple tacker I bought from Lidl earlier in the year. They never arrived, and in a panic to find some staples that would fit, I picked up several different packs from local shops to find a match, and for the first time dipped into the red.
Oh, and none of the staples I bought worked! I should have spent more on a decent stapler in the first place – lesson learned.
So that means I’m starting 2019 with £48.08 to my name. Regardless of how much I make on the side, this budget doesn’t change.
The one exception to the budget…
This month we’re having our family present day. In previous years we’ve done a Star Wars theme and a treasure quest, and this year it’ll be “The Riddler”! We’re all teaming up to get gifts for each other, and anything that we buy for each other comes out of the overall family pot, not our own personal fun money. So we’ll be doing a lot more spending than usual, but perhaps not so much on ourselves.
What I’m going to do in this case is write up a post about our present day and turn it into a gift guide. You can see more about one of our present days here.
Want to see more?
Well, we’re planning a grocery shopping diary as well as keeping up the five frugal things posts and savings/income reports. Hopefully all of these will inspire you to track your income and expenses and save!
Is £50 too little for you, or would it be too much? Too frugal or too frivolous? Let me know what you think about the spending diary in the comments below.