If you’ve read Why I’m Learning about Personal Finance post, you’d know that I’m trying to live a more frugal life. Admittedly, I have a materialistic side, and I used to spend so much on clothes, beauty and random things that I just didn’t need. After graduating and learning more about personal finance, I realised that I needed to stop my unnecessary shopping habits. It’s been nearly two years and I can proudly say that I’ve been so much better with my money, and my desires and impulses to buy frivolous things have slowly withered away.

That said, despite my new approach to money, that still doesn’t mean that I don’t spend money, or that I stick to my monthly spending budget. I still believe in investing in things that are of actual value.

During this COVID-19 period, I knew that there was a 90% risk of me defaulting to lazy mode being stuck at home when I could use this time so productively. Thus, I decided to invest in a few bits and bobs that would boost my productivity during this time. To my surprise, the service for most online retailers still remains the same given the current circumstance. I’m super grateful for all the warehouse and delivery workers for making it possible for others to buy things whilst being safe.

Productivity

Classic 17th Month Planner from Ban.do

This is probably my favourite purchase so far this year. I used to use diaries/planners during my Uni years. Not only did it help me keep track of things I need to attend and do, but I also wrote the things I did in the day. From “went to Ministry of Sound with girls” to “cleaned my room”. I bought this planner to help with my productivity during this time because I really need it. It has helped me a lot with managing my remote work time and my own quarantine goals (i.e. blogging more and up-skilling myself on marketing).

I got this planner from John Lewis and it’s one of the best planners I’ve owned! It has bold and colourful tabs that make it easy to locate months- very useful to have in a planner. The planner itself is beautiful, artistic and quierky. As the image above shows, each month has its own desgin and colour. For example, March’s colour is peach. It’s got random and encouraging quotes throughout, and there’s a message for every week. It’s as if the planner is also interacting with you.

All these things might seem unnecessary and useless, but for some people like me, these little cute things make you more excited to use it. I call it pretty motivation.

Productivity

Typo Note Pads

Visit the Typo website here.

If it’s not already obvious, I love stationery. Namely, stationery that helps with productivity. So when I saw that Typo were doing ‘30% off Stay at Home’ promotion for a period of time, I couldn’t resist to a little bit of online window shopping. I saw that this pack of note pads were on sale for £4.20 down from £12, I had to get it (for my sister as I already have one from Kiki.K)!

Productivity

Typo Jumbo Mouse Pad & Amazon Wireless Mouse

This is probably my most practical purchase of March-, especially for this quarantine period. Before I started to blog again, I wasn’t using my device much and so I didn’t see a need for a mouse. Although I’ve been using the trackpad on a laptop for years and had no issues, I knew that an ergonomic mouse would turn out more to be more comfortable. It might seem minor, but it’s easier to navigate the cursor and just feels more natural.

I realised a few days after using the mouse that I would need to invest in a proper mouse mat. I thought I didn’t need to spend the extra dollars on one, but it became a bit of a faff using magazines. I saw this JUMBO mouse mat on Typo and thought it was a good idea. Sometimes, I like doing work downstairs on the mahogany dining table which my mum just recently polished. I started to get worried that my device was going to scratch and mark the table, and so a jumbo mat where I can also place my device, mouse and mug (with lots of room to spare) was a win-win.

Living

Typo Pink Mood Mug

Visit the Typo website here.

This is my guilty purchase of March. I say guilty because I’m trying to not spend money on unnecessary things. My mum will confirm that we don’t need another mug in our very full shelf of mugs. But occasionally, I’ll allow some of my materialistic impulses- within reason. It sounds silly but as soon as I saw this PINK ‘MOOD’ mug, the thought of owning one and having it next to my pink planner made me so happy. Plus, it was on sale for £3 down from £7. BarGAIN.

Fitness

Sapphire (Amazon) Yoga Mat

Check out the Amazon website here.

This is one of my proudest purchases of March. Proud because I got it for a good price during a time where a lot of things were selling out. With gyms closing down, I’m pretty sure a lot of people were turning to home workouts. I managed to buy one of the last £13 mats on Amazon that would be delivered to me two days later. Don’t say I’m not a bargain hunter.

Fitness

My Protein Whey Protein Powder

And this is another proud purchase of mine! Since I’m going to be doing home workouts, I realised that it would be good to start drinking whey protein shakes again. I bought added two bags to the cart (1kg & 50g) that totalled to £27. Before deciding that I only needed one, I Googled ‘My Protein discount codes’ and found one that said ‘Google’.

I didn’t expect it to work because what kind of discount code is that, but to my surprise, it knocked the price down to £13! That was for both bags. Such a great bargain! I also made the transaction at 11:30 pm, paid £1 for next day delivery and it was delivered to me before I got out of my bed the next morning.

That’s about it for my March purchases. Unfortunately, despite spending a third of it at home, March wasn’t my strongest budgeting month. Although I went a bit over my budget, I’m really grateful for purchases. They will help me reach my goals by boosting my productivity and I know that I will get so much use out of them. Hopefully, April will be a more frugal month for me.

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