This month’s fun activities were:
- worked on existing craft projects for which I didn’t need to buy anything: knitted top started in February and a knitted present for a friend.
- went to 1 language meetup (£1.50 drink).
- went to 1 knitting meetup.
- went to 1 extra knitting meetup at someone’s house (we were working on a present (above) for one of the group)
- kept watching free online TV (YouTube).
- borrowed books from the local library (continuing to work through Book Challenges on Facebook).
- travelled to Birmingham and met a friend (travel paid through work, £2.05 drink with friend)
- visited my family during a bank holiday
- met up with my parents during another bank holiday
- met a group of friends for lunch at one couple’s house
- had lunch with another couple at their house
- continued meditating sporadically, as well as practising mindfulness.
- listened to a lot of music on YouTube.
- travelled to London for a training course (Tickets paid for by work).
- studied languages using Memrise.
- downloaded emagazines through the library and Zinio app.
- continued using Happify free version to improve my state of mind.
- visited a friend at her house twice
- visited another friend at her house and had lunch with her
- went to a local craft gallery (£4.70 for return metro ticket)
- did some colouring (book and pencil crayons would have cost £8.46 but were bought with an Amazon gift card)
- had dinner at a restaurant with my husband’s family (£20 from our food budget)
- had lunch with my parents (they paid)
- went to a local world heritage site with my parents
- had a catch-up/celebration lunch with two former work colleagues (£7.95)
- went to the International Festival of Glass (£4.20 metro ticket, £5.00 entry)
So this month’s total spend on fun was:
- £2.05 hot drink
- £1.50 hot drink
- £4.70 metro ticket
- £20 dinner
- £7.95 lunch
- £9.20 glass festival
To summarise the total spend for the year:
- Month 1 – £131.26 (estimated – includes holiday to Dublin)
- Month 2 – £9.54
- Month 3 – £14.75
- Month 4 – £74.10 (includes holiday to Wales)
- Month 5 – £14.25
- Month 6 – £29.80
- Month 7 – £222 (estimated – includes trip to Italy and holiday to Lisbon)
- Month 8 – £48.75 (estimated)
- Month 9 – £20.00
- Month 10 – £17.25 (includes trip to Spain)
- Month 11 – £399.20 (includes holiday in Denmark)
- Month 12 – £45.40
Total £1,177.55. I think this is very reasonable considering it includes four holidays. Travel is something that I really enjoy, and it’s great to see that I can still fit in a fair amount each year without going over my spending goals. I seem to be keeping under £20 for most months where there is no travel, which I am very happy with. I should note there are several factors which help with this:
- I don’t drink alcohol so this straight away cuts out a major expense, plus correlated expenses such as needing a taxi after going out, plus some of the incentive to go to pubs.
- I’m married so this cuts out a lot of expenses relating to dating and going out to meet people.
- My closest friends in the local area are either pregnant or have kids, meaning they’re also not interested in going out a lot.
- I’m naturally introverted and so enjoy spending a lot of time on my own.
This is quite a specific set of circumstances which allows me to save a lot of money. On the other hand, many people are not interested in travelling overseas so might have a higher monthly average but not reach my maximum spend for travel months.
I’ve enjoyed this experiment, and tracking my activities has given me a way to look back and appreciate everything I’ve done over the last year. I’ll carry on for another year, aiming for similar spend. One thing I’ll relax is the “embargo” on going to the Birmingham library due to the cost of tickets. I think since it has a wider range of books, and since I can visit a friend in Birmingham and would like to see more of her, I’ll plan to go to Birmingham every couple of months.