Northern Girl’s Money Diaries – Week 1 with Me!

Hi, I’m Chloe and this is my blog! I’m 22 (23 on Wednesday) and work as a Facilities Administrator for a government organisation in London. I decided to kick off my new series of money diary posts where I get you guys to talk about money! Don’t worry, I’m not grilling you on your monthly spends like a scary bank manager, this is a fun series about where you spend some of your money and what you’d spend more of it on if you could as well as spreading some money advice. The posts will all go out on a Saturday morning as something light and fun to read with your morning coffee/tea/breakfast. So let’s begin!

Monthly Spend:
  • Rent/Mortgage – £750
  • Bills – Phone Bill £49
  • Mobile phone insurance £8.99
  • Car insurance £13.99 (my utilities are covered in my rent split, we have a joint account so we pay a set amount into that and the utilities come out of that).
  • Credit Cards £150 (split across 2 cards)
  • Savings £250
  • Subscriptions £0
  • Socialising/Leisure £100 on average throughout the month
  • Food £100
What does a typical week look like for you?

I work through the week Mon-Fri in central London but as my boyfriend works for TFL we get free travel, it’s a huge cost saving and I think we’d struggle to live in London if it weren’t for that. We shop at Lidl for our groceries so we try and do a big weekend shop with food that we can take to work for our lunches. In the evenings I’m either at yoga/running/catching up on some blog chats. Weekends vary, this weekend we’ll be joining the TFL walking weekends with organised walking tours around London that are completely free to join so our spending will be very low. Last weekend we were socialising with friends as we went to see The Kooks at Ally Pally so our spending was quite high by our standards. We feel so lucky to live in such an amazing place but we’re realistic and know it can be expensive so we just try and find lots of different things to do on the cheap so we’re not stuck at home just because of money!

What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over?

I’m a sucker for work out clothes/accessories. I always want more! Just yesterday I was looking at some new nike running trainers because they were in the sale even though I’ve only had my own since christmas! I’m relatively new to running so I must admit i’m not acclimatised to running in the heat (yes it has been 19+ degrees in London) and I certainly don’t have the attire for it so I will be treating myself to some Nike running shorts this month with some birthday spending money.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Definitely my car. I consider myself fortunate as I didn’t go to University and started in a good job at 18 – I’ve progressed in the same company ever since. I didn’t rush out to learn to drive straight away at 17 as I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t enjoy it but at 18/19 after a brief period of working abroad I picked it straight back up. Working meant that I was able to save for it from day one so the second I passed my test, my mum took me straight out to get a car. We went halves and in 2013 I got my little Toyota Aygo called Terry. He served me well and when we moved to London he went back to my mum for her to have constantly and to hopefully one day pass on to my sister.

Me with Terry the day we bought him!

Are you saving for anything at the moment?

I do have a savings account that I pay into every month. Before we moved to London we were saving for a deposit for a house, we know that at the minute that seems unlikely living in London but the payments are automated and we can afford to live where we are comfortably whilst keeping up with the payments so it’s easy at the moment. Our tenancy is up in October and we are thinking of trying to find somewhere a little bit cheaper just so we have more flexibility so we may start a separate savings account for holidays too. I’m also trying to be strict on myself and save an extra £50 a month so I have some spending money when I go on a hen party to Spain in July.

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you’d go out and buy?

Probably a house somewhere relaxing. We went on a 2 week driving tour of Italy a couple of years ago for my 21st and it was stunning so maybe a nice tranquil lake house that I could escape to whenever I wanted? We also visited relatives in Scotland as our summer holiday last year and it was beautiful, we were told a story about a friend of my family’s who lives in Fraserburgh, Aberdeen but travels and commutes to London through the week which really intrigued me. I love seeing family up there and I must admit I’ve never felt so relaxed as taking an evening stroll along the beach so I’d maybe like to do something similar.

It was beautifully relaxing being by the coast and away from the hustle & bustle of life and I have so many happy childhood memories in Fraserburgh

If money was no object, where would be your dream travel destination?

Do I have to pick one?! My single destination would probably somewhere like Mykonos or Santorini it just seems like the perfect place but ideally i’d just travel everywhere! There are so many different places I’d love to see at some point in my lifetime and I do fear that I won’t get the opportunity to see them all. Even though I lived in Spain, I do wish I’d have travelled a bit more when I was younger rather than getting straight into a good job with a career progression path that I want. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh!

What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve received

I got given a wish pot for my 18th by my Grandma’s work colleagues. If you haven’t seen them then they’re a ceramic money pot which when filled with only £2 coins will store over £1000. You can’t open them whenever you feel like as they have to be broken in to. They’re not a quick way to save money, it took me over 3 years to save £530 but they are quite fun. The excitement I used to get when a £2 coin dropped out of the self-checkout was quite laughable! I only saved every time I had a spare £2 coin but you could be quite savvy about it and swap a spare £10 note to £2 coins every week.

NG x

I am constantly on the look-out for new people to provide me with their money diaries! If you’re interested please email me and I will sent you the template and schedule. You don’t have to be a blogger and there are no age restrictions so get in touch.