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Money diary: are bulls’ penises environmentally friendly?

If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be running up and down the aisles of Tesco searching for dairy-free yoghurt, I’d have thought you’d lost your mind. Yet here we are.

Low-level climate anxiety has been eating away at me for a while. COP26 has only increased this, and now I’m on a mission to cut my carbon footprint without breaking my (relatively) strict budget.

I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to live a more sustainable life but worrying about increasing costs, so I thought I’d keep a money diary in a bid to help (and/or entertain) others.

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Day 1

I probably should have chosen a more exciting day to start my money diary, but sadly today proves uneventful.

It’s my last day of work before a few days off. So, I’m stuck at my desk for most of the day desperately trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible – not an easy task!

Total spend: £0

Day 2

I’m spending my first day off running errands – how exciting.

First on the agenda is dropping my dog off at the groomers. He doesn’t moult so needs a haircut every six to eight weeks. I’m convinced I spend more on his hair than I do on my own, but at least I don’t have to hoover up dog hairs every evening. The groom costs £42.

While I’m there, I also pick up some treats for the dog. Vegan diets aren’t great for dogs, so the chews are a collection of different dried meats. Are bulls’ penises environmentally friendly? Apparently, they’re a delicacy for dogs. I spend £10 on these, but they should last a couple of months.
After this, I have a doctor’s appointment, where I get a prescription (£9.35).

Eventually, I make it to Tesco. I always take the opportunity when I’m near a bigger store to browse for deals and new sustainable switches. Hence the mad search for dairy-free yoghurt! I find a 500g tub for £1.75 – success!

After picking up a few other bits, the total shop comes to £15.20.

Total spend: £76.55

Day 3

I’m going away with my boyfriend and dog for a couple of days.

Normally, I don’t use my car very much, but I’ll be driving us there. It should be about a 200-mile round-trip. Sustainability-wise we should get the train, but it will take an extra two hours each way and we’re not staying near a station.

Before we leave, I fill the car with petrol, which costs £56. Petrol is very expensive at the moment – all the more reason to find alternative ways to travel!
The drive goes remarkably smoothly, and we even find a parking space around the corner from the hotel.

We’ve already paid for the hotel, so we check-in and get settled. After walking the dog for a while, we find a pub for dinner. My boyfriend pays as I drove.

Total spend: £56

Day 4

We spend the day exploring and checking out some of the local sights.

My boyfriend and I don’t track every penny. Instead, we tend to divide who pays for what, so it is fair. Today, that works out as him buying lunch and a couple of drinks in the day and me paying for dinner.

One thing I’m noticing is how much cheaper vegetarian dishes are in restaurants than meat options. My veggie burger is £3 cheaper than the beef burger! I don’t think I’d have noticed the difference as clearly if I wasn’t keeping this money diary.

The dinner and drinks come to £40.30.

Total spend: £40.30

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Day 5

No Saturday morning is complete without a Parkrun – a friendly, free five-kilometre run. What’s not to love? Seeing as we’re away, we have to drive to the nearest event, but it’s in the right direction for our journey back home.

We head out for brunch after. Sticking to my new sustainable diet, I have poached eggs on sourdough. My boyfriend pays as I’m driving us back home.

After a long drive and far too many miles on the M25, I’m exhausted and collapse on the sofa with Netflix for the evening.

Total spend: £0

Day 6

Today’s sustainability dilemma is one that affects anyone who menstruates.

It’s well advertised that standard period products contain copious amounts of single-use plastics. There are alternatives available, but I’m not sure where to start.
So, I do what any journalist would do and asks Twitter. There are some helpful responses and I have a lot of research to do.

I’m still undecided, so will sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow.

Total spend: £0

Day 7

After a good night’s sleep, I’m ready to tackle the day. This is good, seeing as it’s Monday and it’s going to be a busy week.

The first thing on my agenda is to look back through yesterday’s suggestions. Eventually, I settle on a moon cup. The reviews are good, so fingers crossed!

It’s reduced from £17 to £8.50 – a budget win! Given one box of tampons costs around £2.85, it will only take around three months to start saving me money.
After this, it’s another uneventful day of work and dog walking. I must do a food shop tomorrow.

Total spend: £8.50

Money diary summary

Total spend for the week: £181.15

Overall, I think this was a good starting point for my money diary. I made some sustainable swaps and they all fit into my budget.

The trip away threw off my budget and sustainability goals slightly, but it was much needed after a busy few months!

I’m planning on checking out a local refill store next week, and also need to venture into the office. So keep an eye out for that in my next money diary.

The post Money diary: are bulls’ penises environmentally friendly? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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