18th March 2020

These posts were originally posted on the MoneySavingForums (a UK money management site), I am moving my journals across to WordPress to have them in chronological order. I’m not sure how much of other people’s words I’m allowed to copy across from one site to another, so in some sections I may summarise conversations.

Ok, so as much as I was stressed in my last post, as least it wasn’t the apocalypse

I’ve been self-isolating due to a mild cough and going a tiny bit insane as a result. I’ll back in work next Tuesday – maybe. Work wants me to stay home (with full pay) because I count as vulnerable for medical reasons. Now, obviously that is very good of them and I recognise this is a very privileged position to be in – but I can’t willing submit to self isolation for what is potentially months. I just can’t. Right now (18th March) the government advice is for me to

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. (Well, duh)
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. (It’s not, for me)
  • Avoid large gatherings (if any are still running), and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs (if any are still open).
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media. (My communities are starting to get these set up, video meetings instead of real meetings, but most aren’t set up fully yet)

Basically I can go to work or I can walk the dog or I can go grocery shopping. This could potentially be in place for months. And now work is asking me not to come into work. That’s really hard to voluntarily sign up for. I’m hoping to talk them into letting me work part time – if I only worked 2 days a week, my exposure would be reduced whilst keeping me sane.

So that’s my dilemma right now and thats enough about C-19 for now.

March Money
March is bonus month so I got extra money from work. I also got a letter from them saying I had been previous underpaid and they were giving me some more money to make up for that. So plenty extra to divvy up this month. A few of my savings categories I’ve put some extra money into to buff up for future months. The majority of the extra money I’ve poured into my Emergency Savings.
Credit Card – £687.56 remaining, the March payment hasn’t processed yet. I’ve set aside an extra £100 but I’m going to wait until the day of the direct debit so it doesn’t interfere with that
Emergency Savings – £1675.38 saved, for contrast, last month was £1113.61
H2B ISA – £584.20 saved, I didn’t put any extra into here because it’s harder to access if I need it. Once my Emergency Savings is full I’ll put more into here
Christmas Gifts Family – £40
Christmas Gifts Friends – £20
Christmas Misc – £20
Divorce – £300, this is one of the categories I put extra money into. Among other things I made it a nice round number. I don’t know if this completely replaces the money I took from it in previous months but it’s a start
YNAB – £30, this is one of the categories I put extra money into
Dad Holiday – £175
Pride Savings – £80
New Laptop – £30, this is a new category I want to start contributing to monthly for future laptop, as and when it happens
Subscription – £15
FA Diploma – £100
Debt Free Whiskey – £30
Some other categories I buffed up this month are:
Takeout – £50, I don’t think that’ll all be used but I’m going to be at home more and I might treat myself to stay sane
Online Shopping – £50, I might finally buy that bag this month!
Birthday Of The Month – £75, I’m going to a wedding in April and need to buy them a gift
Holding Category – £100, I offered to help someone buy YNAB but they couldn’t decide if they wanted it, I also had another reason for setting some money aside but I can’t remember it so I’m just leaving it there for now

Some of these categories are deliberately overfull. I don’t intend to spend £75 on a wedding gift – and I don’t think they expect me to – but there was a works night out planned and I might need money for that. If it’s still going ahead. It probably isn’t. Worse case scenario I move the money into my Emergency Savings at the end of the month. 

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