My Retirement Week (8)

I posted recently about the costs of retirement, so I thought I’d actually monitor what I spent this week on myself. I split our expenses into a monthly household budget, out of which we half an equal amount of “spending money” for myself and Mrs McG. That’s our own personal spend, so that’s what I’m monitoring here.

Saturday 28th – Golfed in arctic conditions. I have an annual membership which I budget for, so I’m classing this as “free”. But, if I want to roughly estimate it, I play around 70 games a year, the cost per round is approximately £12. In the evening, we were out with friends for a birthday celebration, which came out of our joint “Family Events” household budget.

Sunday –  Usual lazy (hungover) morning, followed by a trip to town in the afternoon where, to avoid Christmas shopping with my DOY, I headed for a pint. £3.20. As the missus was taking her time (more than ten minutes) I had to have another. £3.20.

Monday – Atrocious weather. I went to the gym, skipped a coffee, came home, cooked, read books, wrote my journal, cooked dinner, ‘phoned ex colleagues. Personal spending: £0

Tuesday – due to a swimming pool refurbishment in my gym this month, I’m having to use a local alternative, so I spent £4.00 visiting there this morning. Followed by a coffee, £2.60.

Wednesday – Quick visit to the golf range, trying to keep my arm in, £3.00.

Thursday – Another visit to the pool and a coffee – £6.65

Friday – Coffee at Bannatynes gym, £1.90. Lunch at Chinese, £9.00, couple of pints “early doors” at local, £10.50.

There you go then. Total spend in a fairly typical week, £44.55. The majority on coffee and alcohol. Enough said.

I caught a BBC4 concert featuring Burt Bacharach. My God, how did I know so many of those songs?  The music service I’m a member of, Deezer, (which is a bit like Spotify) recommends music to you, and one caught my attention this week: Battle Scars by Walter Trout. Never heard of him, and with a name like that I’m sure I’d have remembered. Turns out it’s a blues album. I’ve no idea why this was recommended, but then even Amazon fires books to me as suggestions that I would not pick up if they were offering me a tenner to read them. I’m not a massive fan of the blues but after a week of listening to this album, I was glad it had been pushed my way.

The Sunday Times started to publish their Books of the Year of which, annoyingly, I’d read about two. Less annoyingly, there was about two I thought I’d want to read. On top of them, there was a recommendation for Don Winslow’s epic The Cartel which is on my list. His novel The Power of the Dog is, if you’re into hard boiled American crime fiction, an absolute belter.

Martin Lewis was on TV ranting, as he does, that the majority of people in the UK are sitting on standard tariff energy bills. He became quite flustered about it, so I went onto my “Blue Price Promise” EDF tariff to see if they had any new offers. They did. About four clicks later and I’d saved £120 against my projected energy budget for next year. Thank you Martin. But why hadn’t EDF flagged this up to me?

Talking of money, when am I going to stop the daily checking of the stock market? On Thursday morning, it had risen to above 6400. “Aha, the fabled Christmas rally”, I thought, only to see it drop to 6290 that afternoon. This was due to….ah, who gives a toss? Nobody knows anything anyway.

9 thoughts on “My Retirement Week (8)

  1. We were with EDF too, paying £68 per month and switched to OVO. We received a refund from EDF of about £280 and are now paying £55 per month, so financially OVO win but also their web based meter reading and payment review services are very useful. You submit monthly meter readings online so no more estimated readings. If there is any dispute over the meter readings as happened when we switched, you can take a picture of the meter and send it to them. You can also review your electricity usage against payments going back to the point you switched to OVO.

    Your week looks similar to mine apart from the golf.


  2. hi Jim, just wanted to say that although I am an avid reader I avoid all “best of” lists like the plague – I just don’t really care what the Sunday Times thinks on the subject, if I’m honest 🙂 I might miss out on some good books this way, but it’s not as though there’s a shortage of good (and not so good) books in the world.


    • There is, I suspect, a massive amount of snobbery in these lists too. Nobody is going to say “I really enjoyed Lee Child’s latest”, even if it’s true. On the other hand, everyone is voting for the Booker winning “A Brief History of Seven Killings”, which a quick read of Amazon One Star reviews put me off for life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve a sneaky suspicion my discretionary spending will fall into two categories, alcohol and allotment. I’ll ensure the spend holidays fall into the family budget, to make sure I look like the frugal hero I am…


    • I am cheating quite a bit with our own “budgets”. I didn’t even want to think about how much booze was drunk with friends at a restaurant last Saturday, never mind allocate the cost of it to my own “personal spend” (even worse, as my DOH points out, she drank Coke all night and drove home, so she didn’t enjoy the “shared” entertainment budget as much as me!) But, I argue, as long as the budget is tight, and closely monitored, and we enjoy what we’re spending the cash on, then we’re probably ahead of the game. And, by God, she enjoyed the Sunday morning a lot more than I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have saved so much money (which I used to buy more shares of my favorite index fund) by giving up booze. I had a snooty red-wine habit. (A victim of marketing.) If I’d given up years ago, I might be living on a beach sipping sparkling water by now.


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