I’m an incredibly nosy person. I love What’s in My Bag videos and blog posts, What I Eat in a Day videos and blog posts and tag posts of all descriptions. So it’s probably no surprise that I love Refinery 29’s Money Diaries series (US series here, UK example here). This is literally a week in the spending life of a woman, and they’re fascinating.
I do feel like money is the last remaining taboo, and something that people are super cagey about; especially on the blogosphere where people inexplicably produce designer handbags every week and never want to talk about how they actually…earn those bags. So, I figured I might actually start recording what I spend my ££ on in a given week.
As background, I earn just shy of £25,000 for my local government grad scheme job which post tax, student loan payment and pension payment, leaves me with £1,515.88 per month. My rent is £640 per month, with bills of around £88 (covering gas, electric, internet, Sky TV, council tax & contents insurance).
7.00 I’m a stickler for eating breakfast so finish off my milk with some raison granola
8.00 Begin my commute to work, it takes about 35 minutes and costs £2.40
8.30 Grab a bottle of water from the Tesco Express near work, as I’m missing carrying one with me (£0.60)
10.00 Take advantage of the free tea bags and make a cup of tea to have with a Kitkat I bought from home
12.30 Eat leftover stir-fry for lunch
14.00 It was one my colleague’s birthday’s at the weekend, and one of the other grads has made her a birthday cake, so have a little slice of that.
17.05 Head to Asda after work and buy salad leaves, sweet peppers, milk, bread rolls, some Nakd Bars, a Bounce protein ball, a bottle of elderflower cordial, a Cadbury’s Flake dessert, some mince pies and some mini Mars bites. I’m am the walking embodiment of why you shouldn’t go food shopping hungry. (£14.77)
17.30 Commute home (£2.40)
18.10 Am starving, so pop an M&S Cook range Chicken Breast with Proscuitto, Cheese and Green Beans in the oven. Eat this with salad leaves for tea. Follow up with the Flake dessert.
22.00 Having chilled for most of the evening, I head to bed.
Total Spend: £17.77
7.00 Having been up most of the night with weird nausea, I decide to work from home today on the off chance it comes back
8.00 Start working for the day, whilst eating Honey & Vanilla Oatso Simple (working from home perks)
11.00 Make a cup of tea & have a mince pie as a bit of a festive work break
13.00 Head to Farringdon for a meeting, the trains are being ridiculous so my half hour journey actually results in my arriving at 14.05. And I hate being late. (£2.40)
14.55 Leave meeting via Pret a Manger, which I hop into to pick up a Brie & Cranberry Baguette, Love Bar and a coffee (£7.75). Pret is my favourite but it’s definitely good for my bank balance that there isn’t one where I work.
15.00 Head back home so I can work for a little longer (£2.40)
19.00 Heat up some lentil soup for dinner, along with a bread roll
21.00 Make a cup of Mulled Fruit tea to get me in the zone for bed (I have a big day at work tomorrow and am a little bit anxious)
Total Spend: £12.55
08.15 I’m at a conference this morning, so have to fork out a bit more than usual for my commute (£2.80)
13.45 Survived! Grab a few sandwiches from the free lunch buffet.
14.05 Get the tube back to the office (£1.50)
14.35 Pop to Tesco Express on my way in for cotton face pads and some chocolate (£1.20)
17.00 Head to my mentor session which has been arranged for the pub, get a glass of Rose which my mentor pays for
18.15 Walk to my work friend’s house as she’s invited a couple of us over for dinner. We have a lovely evening of prosecco, crisps, sweet potato dahl and chocolate fudge cake.
21.30 Head back to the station and commute home (£1.50)
Total Spend: £7.00
8.00 Head to work, having polished off the last of my cereal this morning (£2.40)
12.00 Pop to Greggs and pick up a Tuna Crunch Baguette and a coffee (£3.20)
17.15 I’m spontaneously heading to a salsa class tonight (yes really); so meet my work friend at the station and head to Tottenham Court Road (£2.80)
18.00 We arrive at Salsa! First we have some tapas and I also order a mojito. We split between the two of us, so pay £12 each
19.30 It’s time for our class, despite Salsa! being literally in the centre of London one class is just £6 amazingly
20.45 Our class is finished and I am kind of embarrassingly shattered. We pop to the bar and get another cocktail (£7.75)
22.00 I’m flagging a tad and so decide to head home, leaving my friend to enjoy the free salsa dancing. I did really enjoy it so I’m definitely tempted to return (£2.40)
Total Spend: £36.55
8.00 As always, off to work. Forgot to pick up replacement breakfast stuff so am travelling on a depressingly empty stomach (£2.40)
8.50 Grab a cinnamon roll from Tesco on my way into work (£0.80)
12.15 Head out in search of lunch, don’t really know what I fancy and end up buying a chicken pasta salad from Asda. It features tons of mayo and I don’t really enjoy mayo so this was a bit of a fail (£2)
15.30 The day goes from pretty blah to super exciting when I get an email from Today Tix to tell me I’d won the lottery for Dreamgirls tickets. Claim my pair of tickets, they’re £30 but I have a £10 credit on my account so I only pay £20
18.00 Meet my housemate at Yo Sushi on the Southbank for pre-theatre dinner, where I thoroughly enjoy gyoza, chicken salad, soba noodle salad and mini cheesecake balls. And a Diet Coke obviously. My housemate covers the cost to pay me back for her theatre ticket
19.00 Head to the seriously beautiful Savoy Theatre, where I pick up my tickets and drop £8 on a programme
20.30 It’s the interval, Amber Riley has just sang her face off and I buy an ice-cream at the rather steep price of £4.50
22.15 Travel back from Charing Cross, totally buzzing from the theatre (thoughts will be up once it officially opens, but as a spoiler, it’s amazing) £3.50
Total Spend: £41.20
09.50 As I have a death wish, I head to Westfield in Stratford to pick up by Grandad’s Christmas present (£1.50)
10.30 Begin my day at Caffe Nero, where I grab a croissant and a coffee (£4.50)
11:20 Visit the new Missguided store, and pick up a little velvet skater dress which is a style I’ve wanted forever, after being generally underwhelmed by a lot of the quality of the clothing (£18)
11.40 Buy my Dad one of his Christmas presents, also get free gift wrap which is great (£33)
12.10 Get my Grandad his Christmas present from Marks & Spencer, and a reduced price mini pizza for lunch (£27)
12:40 Get a tad carried away in Paperchase, as always, and spend £12.05 on a Christmas card for my grandparents, gift tags and a gift box
13:35 Do a slightly ridiculous treat your self purchase from American Apparel, and buy an off-the-shoulder black bodycon dress for £36. I’m telling myself it’s timeless.
14.00 Flee before I can possibly spend any more money (£1.50)
18.00 Decide that it would be a great idea to order takeaway, as the Chicken Noodle Soup I have in the fridge doesn’t really appeal. Order a Habanero burger with small skinny fries and an Oreo milkshake from Gourmet Burger Kitchen (£19.05)
Total Spend: £140.55
So I hope you found this interesting! It’s definitely been good for me to pay attention to my spending, though I’m obviously giving myself a pass for Christmas presents!