To be furious with myself for spending all this money and having nothing to show for it

(57 Posts)
Runnyrose Thu 23-Sep-21 06:29:57

I've just seen my payslips (I do occasional bank shifts for another Trust as well as my main full time job) and because of the 3% pay rise for NHS Staff and that being backdated to April I have quite a bit more than I normally would. But I have spent so much money this month I cannot save a single penny of it. Literally. In fact I need to take £11 out of my savings account to cover all the things I have spent! I've just totted it up and after my bills and everything else that I pay for and budget for in a month I should have been able to save £900 this month which is an awful lot more than I can normally save because of my childcare bill. I am completely disgusted with myself because I have very little to show for it. I'm trying to justify a few things to myself and there are some things that I know made this month an extra expensive month; there was a wedding we went to including hotel and gift and meals out around it; I have invested in a few nice things for my art hobby which I don't think we're an excessive luxury. I've bought a few nice things for DD ready for Christmas and stored them away and a few birthday gifts bought as well for friends and family but that's it... And that really cannot account for much more than half of that! So Christ knows what I've spent £450 on.
I've been doing so much better with my savings recently despite not being able to save as much so to have had a month where I really could have boosted my savings by almost a grand and to have frittered it away is just disgraceful!
I don't really know what my point of this is other than to announce my shame and hang my head!

OP’s posts: |
Furrybutts Thu 23-Sep-21 06:36:10

I sympathise :-(
I am beyond awful at saving.
I have an expensive hobby and the temptation to spend on that makes me blinkered.

At least you have bought gifts for later, and had an expensive month with the wedding, so it's not like you just don't know where it's gone.

Try and learn from this month, and try better next month.

CeeceeBloomingdale Thu 23-Sep-21 06:39:05

Chalk it up to experience and do things differently next month. I transfer savings on pay day as though they are one of my bills so I can only spend what is left.

SandysMam Thu 23-Sep-21 06:40:16

I take it you are a doctor or a nurse Op? In which case you have probably had the shittiest year of your professional career. So you spunked some cash after working hard? Lived like a person who doesn’t have to scrimp and save? Forgive yourself, don’t do it again and forget about it! I reckon you probably deserved to treat yourself a bit!

SturminsterNewton Thu 23-Sep-21 06:42:02

I find that it's not my big purchases-- sofas, holidays etc--where I lose track of my money; it's all the £20s here, £30s there that add up over the year to a huge amount. I really keep my eyes on these in order to save.

Booknooks Thu 23-Sep-21 06:46:05


I find that it's not my big purchases-- sofas, holidays etc--where I lose track of my money; it's all the £20s here, £30s there that add up over the year to a huge amount. I really keep my eyes on these in order to save.

Yeah, they're the ones that creep up- things like popping to the supermarket for a few bits, the odd takeaway, amazon, getting a few things on the way back from work or whatever; scary how quickly it adds up. I used to spend a load of time thinking about big purchases and not pay much mind to the small ones, but as you say they're the ones to look out for.

DGFB Thu 23-Sep-21 06:46:58

Give yourself a break. We all do this sometimes and actually you do have things to show for it


PersonaNonGarter Thu 23-Sep-21 06:46:59

OP, you are doing fine. It’s ok to spend on hotels and birthdays sometimes - and this is so unusual for you that you’ve started a thread about it.

It might help you to feel better if you make yourself a couple of meal plans or Christmas gift lists or whatever. Do some close budgeting to help you feel like you are back in financial control. It’s fine and you are ok.

JuneOsborne Thu 23-Sep-21 06:47:02

But by buying Christmas gifts and birthday gifts you have effectively saved.

I save money for Christmas but haven't spent any yet. You've just done it the other way round.

I also find that if I've had a number of tighter months, all if a sudden, there's a month where I have to spend more on all sorts, so extra bits on the supermarket shop, maybe a pack of socks for the kids here, a pack of pens there and so on.

ViaRia Thu 23-Sep-21 06:48:24

Don’t be too hard on yourself - you’ve been able to enjoy a wedding, including extra meals out, without worry. You’re investing in your hobby, essential for taking care of your well-being. You’re getting prepared for Christmas (ridiculously) early.
I’m not sure how you can lose track of the other £450 though…?
Did the extra money increase the amount of tax etc you paid? Otherwise surely you can see from bank statements - when I add up all the small amounts to supermarkets/ coffee shops etc, I’m always amazed how all those little spends can add up over the course of a month!

LakieLady Thu 23-Sep-21 06:52:55

Every now and then I give myself a financial reset, by having a month where I only buy essentials and defer anything else.

I always end a fair bit better off at the end of that month, which makes me realise how much of my money gets frittered away on stuff I don't actually need.

TheWitchersWife Thu 23-Sep-21 06:55:49

I know exactly how you feel.
We paid all bills this month, did a big food shop. And that was it. All money was gone.
Then we sold something for £100 and got a £90 refund from a holiday we'd booked.
DH said we should save it but it's completely gone.
I know every pound we spent and where, but it still seems like such a big amount of money.
£50 in the poundshop on some Halloween bits and pieces but mostly clothes and shoes for my DC.
£12 in one charity shop on DC clothes.
£11 in a different charity shop on DC clothes.
£10 in yet another charity shop on DC winter coats.
All stuff that will be worn and nothing selfish or too silly and eldest DC needed clothes in the size up.
£25 on a takeaway (that could have been avoided).
£10 in home bargains for some separate sectioned kids plates because my DC doesn't like his food touching and the plates we have at home are really small and don't fit his portion sizes on anymore.
DH bought himself a present for £20, but he really never asks for anything.
£25 on some different bits of bedding as my main treat.
And while it all went on a small luxury or on things we actually needed. It's a shock now, 5 days till payday and there's nothing left 😬
Thankfully we buy a lot in bulk on payday so always have food and nappies in and everything important, but it just seems mad that it all went so fast.

Hollyhead Thu 23-Sep-21 06:56:56

Well the £450 you’ve accounted for all sounds fair enough/will save money in future months. So it’s only £450 you could have saved. Does that feel better?

Ifailed Thu 23-Sep-21 06:57:09

I agree with PPs, I know about large purchases (say a new appliance) and will have put some money away for a few months to cover it. However, if I get a small windfall it's so easy to 'fritter' it away on a few things without really noticing it.
Don't be to hard on yourself, and if it happens again (hopefully soon) you'll be prepared and can put it straight into savings.

malificent7 Thu 23-Sep-21 07:00:46

450 is not a lot nowadays.

malificent7 Thu 23-Sep-21 07:15:51

Also you cannot take this money when you is to be enjoyed and used for useful things eg food, accomodation, entertainment. ( but then im a spender).

RosesAndHellebores Thu 23-Sep-21 07:17:49

£450 alone could easily have gone on the wedding weekend.

Do you have a regular savings account?

ablutiions Thu 23-Sep-21 07:18:12

The tricks to saving are
1) get paid enough to save (which you seem to)
2) set up a standing order to go out just after payday to a savings account that's hard/fiddly to access (see point 6 below to work out how much)
3) set up a 'sweep' on your account on last day before payday to put any surplus straight into savings
4) use a banking app like mondo that pings you when you spend and tracks it all very visibly.
5) don't use a credit card
6) do an analysis on a spreadsheet for last 6 months analysing exactly what you spent and where. Allocate a sensible budget for presents, meals out etc and stick to it. Be clear on how much you will allow yourself to spend each month. Be realistic. Whatever is left after standing orders and your budgeted living expenses is the amount to save every month. Or if you don't have time to do that , take a guess and see how you do.

You'll soon start to see the savings rise and that's a lovely feeling. Being able to replace /repair the washing machine when it breaks for example, without an overdraft is wonderful.

BarbaraofSeville Thu 23-Sep-21 07:18:54

If you're serious about changing things, you need to analyse your spending and budget. You might find that the cost of your essentials has gone up, so some of the money will have been accounted for that.

If you've been working more, you've probably spent more on petrol, parking etc which can't be avoided as is a cost of working. For the 'missing' £450 it should be easy to find. Download the transactions from your bank account/credit card and use the assigned categories to analyse where the money's gone.

Did you really need to buy so many birthday presents for friends and family. Most adults would really not miss exchanging gifts or exchange very token gifts like a small bunch of flowers/bottle of wine.

But I don't understand how people can say they don't see how the odd £20/30s add up to hundreds of pounds if you do them a few times a week it adds up over the month, it's basic maths that we're all capable of.

You also need to account for annual and irregular expenses because it's just regular expenditure that will happen sooner or later, so you need to put money aside for this and don't look on it as 'savings' because it's not money that will build up for the long term. Christmas would fall into this category, likewise the wedding. Presumably you've known about this for a while, so you should have started planning on how to pay for it.

If you want to save money 'just because' or for an emergency/retirement etc, you need to put it away before you consider spending on non essentials. Then you can't spend it, but if you arrange your money so it is allocated to cover all of:

Essential direct debits
Childcare, children's activities
Food and travel/fuel
Annual and irregular essentials like school uniforms, opticians, dentist, prescriptions, insurance, car servicing/MOT and things you would like to have like Christmas, holidays, birthday gifts, wedding attendances, mini breaks etc
Savings for emergencies, car replacement, retirement/just because.

Obviously most of the above is essential although you have to cut your cloth with things like Christmas, holidays, gifts, cars etc so you might not be able to spend as much as you'd like on all of these.

But you do want to aim to have something left to spend on personal non essentials and leisure like art materials if that's your thing. And as long as you're not spending hundreds of pounds on this when you already have a cupboard full of similar that you never use, it's not a ridiculous luxury, it's a normal expectation.

Anyway, the Moneysavingexpert Money Makeover is a good place to start changing how you see money and will free up more to spend on nice things. You can even get a free £100+ a the moment by changing your bank account. Get the weekly email for regular reminders and tips like this.

Iggly Thu 23-Sep-21 07:21:38

These things happen.
I didn’t even realise the rise had gone through yet and wasn’t until September!

Either way, the nhs deserve more.

Girlintheframe Thu 23-Sep-21 07:22:22

I would go easy on yourself op.

Yes you've probably wasted some but what's done is done. The main thing is you've realized. We all make mistakes, the point is to learnt from them and you have.

I use YNAB for budgeting/saving. It's made a massive difference.

Plumtree391 Thu 23-Sep-21 07:41:56

I don't think it's terribly to be unable to save any money for one month. You've enjoyed spending and why not? You can't take it with you. At least your bills are paid, the rest is yours to do what you like with.

Save some next month.

Plumtree391 Thu 23-Sep-21 07:42:23

'terrible' not 'terribly'.

NoBetterthanSheShouldBe Thu 23-Sep-21 07:44:24

Don’t feel too bad about it, everyone needs a break sometimes to reset.

It would be important for me to know where the money has gone, or I’d worry about this happening every month. It won’t have been cash, so a quick spreadsheet analysis of last month’s spending will show you what’s happened.

I’m on a fixed income and do this every month, once you’ve set it all up it takes maybe 20 minutes.

BluebellsGreenbells Thu 23-Sep-21 07:55:30

Best way to save is to constantly check your account for upcoming bills and current total.

I’ve also had an expensive month - kids back to school , so clothes stationary etc - we had a celebration for exams.

It happens.

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