The Northern girl’s money diaries – week 8 with Abbey!

Hi! My name is Abbey, I’m a 22 year old student and blogger over at www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk. My blog is a real mix of everything – from books and beauty to fashion and days out! I’ve just finished my Masters degree but I’m not completely done with education yet, as I’m starting my PHD in September. I’m very used to living on a student budget after all this time, so I was very excited to be offered the chance to feature in Chloe’s money series. Keep reading to find out where I splash (and save!) my cash…


MONTHLY EXPENDITURE:
Rent:
 £558

Bills / Utilities: Included with my rent

Loans: I’m not paying back my student loan yet as I’m not earning regularly

Memberships / Subscriptions: N/A

Socialising / Leisure: Average £80

Food: Average £80

QUESTIONS:
1. What does a typical week look like for you? I have just finished my Masters Degree and I’m currently still living in my uni accommodation as my rent is paid until the end of July. A typical week for me during my degree would include the regular mix of studying, attending lectures, writing essays, and that all important down-time. Thankfully, I don’t have any day-to-day travel expenses as I walk everywhere (Oxford is quite a small city!). My hobbies include reading, going out with friends, and blogging – most of which aren’t that expensive! However, if I go away to visit friends or to attend blogger events, transport can get pricey as I’m reliant on bus / train travel – but thankfully the coach into London is only £14 for a student ticket, which really isn’t that bad!

2. What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? I used to be a massive clothes shopper but I’ve grown out of that a bit now! Gone are the times when I’d regularly splurge all my pocket money in Primark! These days, food is probably by guilty spend! I really enjoy going out for breakfast (there’s an amazing breakfast place just a 15 minute walk away from me in Oxford and their pancakes are to die for!), and there’s always the temptation of a packet of chocolate biccies in the supermarket as well! But hey, eating is essential, right?!

3. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? 
My recent expensive purchase has actually been a holiday! In August, I’m off to Portugal on a yoga retreat as a solo vacation, which I’m really looking forward to! Thankfully I have a job in September which should cover most of the costs (hooray for something above minimum wage!!) which is a relief. The holiday has set me back about £700 so far but I’m determined not to let costs creep above £1k. As I’ve paid for the holiday itself and the flights already, that shouldn’t be a problem unless I go CRAZY when shopping for new bikinis! 😉

4. Are you saving for anything in particular at the moment?  Does saving for a rainy day count? I don’t really save for particular things, my usual motivation is just seeing the figure in my savings account rise and rise, I find it really satisfying! 

5. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would go out and buy?  I would most definitely buy a nice house for my Mum and Dad – they have worked so hard in their lives to ensure that for me and my siblings, nothing was wanting. My Dad has built up the family business from practically nothing to an amazing success, and I can’t thank him enough for it! My Mum is also a fantastic businesswoman and she is so savvy, always coming up with new ideas and advertising campaigns, so she really deserves a treat too!

6. If money was no object what would be your dream travel destination?  I have been studying Classical Archaeology (the material culture of ancient Greece and Rome) for four years now, so I would love to go on a full tour of the Mediterranean! I’ve visited Athens twice and loved it, but I’ve yet to explore the city of Rome properly, so that would definitely be the top of my list! It would be amazing to visit the places I’ve read about in books for so long and properly get an understanding of how ancient peoples once lived there! It’s a totally nerdy answer but hey, that’s me!

7. What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve ever received? My Dad always told me that although a new pair of shoes or another equally frivolous purchase might seem like all I want now, when it came to later life and I was wanting to buy something big like a house or a car, I’d be really thankful that my younger self had put some money away to help me achieve those things! And guess what – he was right!

Thanks Abbey for taking part! If you’d like to be involved in my money diaries series drop me a comment! NG x

Norther Girl’s Money Diaries – Week 4 with Alicia

Hey there, I’m Alicia and I’m a 20-year-old full-time student in London. I also work a zero hours’ contract in hospitality as well as running a lifestyle/beauty/fashion which you can find at www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk . While working a zero hours’ contract is extremely useful when having a busy university schedule, it does also mean that I often get shifts cancelled on me last minute. As well as having to pay a fine if I must cancel last minute, which is extremely annoying, especially months when I haven’t been able to work a lot and I often end up not getting paid a single penny. Due to being a student I live in London from September until June every year and spend the summer at my mums trying to save up any extra pennies to make it through the first term of the academic year.

Monthly expenditure:

  • Rent: £696 (this includes all bills such as electricity and internet, and home/gadget insurance)
  • Bills: Phone bill- £15
  • Savings: £30
  • Subscriptions: £4.99 – Apple music student subscription
  • Socialising/ leisure: £250 on average a month
  • Travel: £150 I have to travel around London for shifts
  • Food: £80 roughly, I normally do about two food shops a month
  1. What does a typical week look like for you? I normally have classes five days a week during the day, and I try to work at least two shifts a week when it’s possible. I have two nights a week in which I go out drinking with my friends, but these are student nights and therefore are often cheaper than the average night out in London. With entry normally costing £5 with transport to the club included, therefore I’ll often hunt out the cheapest bottle of wine with the highest percentage. I will often also order food at least once a week when I simply don’t have the energy to cook. Although I do place a food delivery order twice a month, in which I will normally spend between £40 and £45 to stock up as much as possible and occasionally I can just get away with popping to the local corner shop in order to stock up on things such as milk, bread and pasta. It’s not rare for me to have to travel to the other side of London for work (I live in zone 3 of South West) which costs me a pretty penny in travel costs, which aren’t covered by work. If I finish after midnight though I often get given a £15 taxi allowance in order to make sure I get home okay, this is often only enough to get me part of the way home the rest I have to either do either through public transport or pay for the taxi myself.
  2. What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? Makeup. I run a blog which includes beauty so I can never resist buying new makeup and while I try to set myself a budget of £20 a week to spend on makeup I often will go over or not spend a single penny. I guess this kind of evens itself out over the course of the month. Although I’m slowly starting to come to terms that I already have more than enough makeup and I don’t have any storage room left for more products.

    One of my most recent make-up binges

  3.  What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? Probably my phone, I bought the iPhone 6 last May out of my student finance payment, I needed a new phone but I didn’t want to get phone contract that would cost me £45+ when I was in the position to be about to buy one out right. By doing this it has meant my phone contract is only £15 a month to cover everything I need (specifically enough data and texts) which is a lot nicer on my budget. My phone is still going strong (touch wood) although I did have to pay to replace the screen the other week as I may or may not have completely smashed it on a night out, I paid the consequences…£79.99 worth of consequences.
  4. Are you saving for anything in particular at the moment? I’m saving up for a new camera, specifically either the Olympus Pen EP7 or Canon 1200D. While I do try to pay money into my savings account every month, I have times when I struggle to put anything in there. I also recently emptied it out in order to have spending money on my holiday to Croatia, which occurred just before I got my final student finance payment and therefore I was running very low on money.
  5. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would go out and buy? I’d buy my own flat in London, so I could live up here all year round, and not have to worry about rent, as I currently live in student accommodation so my rent comes out in three payments around the same time as I receive my student finance. While this may seem useful as at least I know my rent has been paid, they’re often very large payments and will, therefore, leave me really feeling the pinch, especially the first payment of the year which is often the biggest…despite that being the smallest amount of loan I receive.
  6. If money was no object what would be your dream travel destination? I don’t have just one dream travel destination, I want to see the whole world, but I suppose if money really was no object it would have to be Mexico. I don’t think there is any specific reason why I just like the idea of having bath robes and slippers included in the cost of the hotel. Although I would absolutely just want to go round the entire world.
  7. What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve ever received? If you can’t afford to buy it twice then don’t buy it. I can’t remember where I heard this but it’s something I’ve lived by since being a student, that and putting all my change into a pot and then counting it up at the end of the year. You don’t ever realise just how much can be hidden in a pot of change until you count it up.

Thanks Alicia for contributing! If you’d like to be featured in a money diary. Leave me a comment and I’ll send you the info. 

NG x

Northern Girl’s Money Diaries – Week 3 with David!

Hi I’m David, and you can normally find me at www.daveygranger.co.uk. I’m an intern working and living in central London and this is my money diary…

Monthly spends:

  • Rent/Mortgage – £560
  • Bills – £70 (£20 phone bill, utilities £50)
  • Gadget insurance – £12
  • Subscriptions – £10 (Spotify Premium)
  • Socialising/Leisure – £250
  • Food £130
  • Travel £60
  1. What does an average week look like for you? I work full time Mon-Fri in London. I’m pretty lucky that I live close enough to work that I can just about walk it, though this does take about an hour so I don’t live THAT close. In the evenings I’m often working on my blog and other projects, running, doing boring adult jobs like food shopping, or off to a concert or socialising with friends! It’s hard to stay in when you live in such an amazing city.
  2. What are your usual guilty spends, what can’t you resist buying over and over? Money is pretty tight, as I’m an intern renting in London. However, I buy tons of concert tickets. I love live music more than anything and it feels like I’m always planning to go to more. I love to travel too, I’ve been trying to fit in some trips with my busy schedule/tight budget, it seems like it’s working!
  3. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought? Physical thing, my Canon 60D. I’ve had it now for 2-3 years and bloody love it, though it was second hand to begin with so now it’s dying a little. Otherwise, it would be the month I spent in Japan. Kinda spent a bit too much on that, however it had been my lifelong dream to travel around Japan.

    Me with my beloved camera

  4. Are you saving for anything at the moment? I don’t have too much money leftover at the end of the month. I don’t really have any left to be honest. This isn’t what forever will be like, just whilst I’m an intern I hope! However I am careful not to dip into savings I already have, I usually end up in them every single month but I’m briefly out after payday! Definitely not the healthiest way to deal with money but it’s what I’m doing for the time being!
  5. If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you’d go out and buy? One of those fancy round the world plane tickets. I’m off for a long time.
  6. If money was no object, where would be your dream travel destination? South America is the trip I’m going to start planning. I’ve been dreaming of Peru for years. I’m going to do this trip anyway, but it’s currently my dream travel destination, so if money was no object I’d probably just spend longer on the continent!
  7. And finally… What’s the best money advice/tip you’ve received. Honestly, it’s been not to worry so much. I worry a lot about money, a massive amount. Being told to relax with it and not let it dominate my life has been the best thing for me. I’m still very careful, but I don’t let it ruin my day.

Thanks David for contributing! If you’d like to be featured in a money diary. Leave me a comment and I’ll send you the info. 

NG x