I’m kind of obsessed with the Refinery 29 money diaries. I find it so interesting to see how different people spend their money, and who prioritises what when it comes to spending. I noticed Lily blogged about her weekly money diary recently, so I thought I’d have a go at doing my own.
Whilst I’m not really on a strict budget, I am trying to save more money and be more conscious of my spending, so I thought this would be an interesting way to see what I’m actually spending my money on. I spent the week recording every penny I spent (excluding any regular bills like rent, council tax, phone bill etc) and here are the results.
2.32pm – I spent the weekend down in Lockerbie for Grandma’s birthday, and I catch the train home on Monday afternoon. I bought a return ticket last week, so don’t have to pay anything on the day.
3.38pm – I arrive back in Edinburgh and decide to get the bus home so I don’t have to carry my bags. As I’m going out later, I buy a day ticket which costs £4 for unlimited travel.
6.22pm – I use my day ticket to get the bus down to Leith for the Highland Park event at Chop House. Laura and I join a few other bloggers for an evening of cocktails and good food. As it’s a complimentary press dinner, I don’t have to pay a penny (one of the perks of the job!).
10.54pm – Catch the bus home using my day ticket and head straight to bed.
Monday total: £4
12.15pm – I spend the morning catching up with emails and doing some work, then finally make myself some breakfast just after 12. There’s a bagel in the cupboard, so I have that with some peanut butter.
1pm – I walk along to one of my clients, Frisky Froyo, to do some work. I need to take some new photos for their social media pages, so I take some snaps of a banana milk bubble tea and a smoothie bowl, then have them for lunch as I get on with work.
4.40pm – I leave Frisky and take a walk through the Meadows. The cherry blossoms are out so I have to stop and take a few photos, of course.
5.03pm – I haven’t had time to do any grocery shopping since I got back from my weekend away, so I head to Red Box on the way home to pick up dinner. I get an udon noodle box with Szechuan sauce, chicken, broccoli, carrots, onions and extra chilli, plus a can of Irn Bru. £6.60.
6.45pm – Laura and I do an Asda online grocery order with food for the week. Laura does it on her account, so I’ll pay her back for my share once it’s delivered tomorrow.
Tuesday total: £6.60
9.40am – The Asda order was due to arrive between 10-11am but it’s here early. We unpack everything and I work out that my share comes to £35.97.
1.48pm – I’m working from home all day, so for lunch I have some roasted vegetable cous cous which I ordered from Asda. I eat as I work as I’ve got lots to catch up on since I took the day off on Monday.
5.16pm – I was planning on having dinner before heading out to another blogger event this evening, but I’m not that hungry so just have an apple instead.
6.35pm – Laura, Louise, Lauren and I arrive at the event at the Guerlain Spa. We each have a couple of glasses of complimentary prosecco and a few canapés. I also have a complimentary hand massage and we watch a make up demonstration to pick up a few tips.
8.19pm – We’re feeling a little bit hungry after the event, so we head to Bread Meats Bread. I order a side of buffalo fries (they’re huge!) and a large Coke. £6.
Wednesday total: £41.97
8.45am – I’m working from home again all day, so I get up early and answer a few emails before starting my 9-5 shift for the i.
11.33am – I stop for breakfast and have a bagel with Nutella and a glass of Tropicana. I watch a 10 minute Youtube video as I eat my breakfast, then get back to writing up today’s articles.
3.25pm – As I had breakfast quite late, I don’t have lunch until the middle of the afternoon. I have the other half of the tub of cous cous from yesterday and a glass of water.
6.46pm – I make homemade steak burritos for dinner. I’ve already started marinating the steaks when Laura tells me she won’t be home for dinner, so I cook her steak anyway and leave it in the fridge for later. I make myself one burrito for dinner (with homemade guacamole, chipotle beans, rice, soured cream, cheese and jalapeños), and also make a second one which I can have for lunch tomorrow.
Thursday total: £0
7.48am – I’m doing a sponsored Instagram post with Barclays so I get up early (super early for me!) and head along to Cockburn Street to find the #cashbackcoffee van. I have a hot chocolate as I don’t like coffee, and I put up my Instagram post.
8.44am – I pop in to Boots on Cockburn Street as I need some more Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texture Spray. I’m not convinced they’ll have any as it’s quite a small Boots, but I find some hidden at the back of a shelf. They’re reduced as well, so I get two for £9.30.
8.56am – I fancy a smoothie for breakfast, so stop off at Hula on my way home. I order a large Betty Ford smoothie and, as there’s a charge for card transactions under £5, I add a raspberry cheesecake brownie too. £7.20.
11.49am – It’s another shift day for the i, so I spend the morning writing. As I was up much earlier than usual, I’m feeling hungry before noon so tuck into my leftover burrito and watch a Youtube video before getting back to work.
2.56pm – I had planned to keep my raspberry cheesecake brownie for after dinner, but I’m feeling hungry again so have it as an afternoon snack instead.
5.45pm – I make myself a chicken teriyaki stir fry and settle in for a night of pyjamas, Netflix and endless scrolling through Instagram.
Friday total: £16.50
3.27pm – We’re going round to Lauren’s house for a late afternoon tea, so Laura and I go to Scotmid on the way to get two bottles of prosecco and a sharing bag of crisps. It comes to £14.98 and Laura gives me a fiver towards it, so my share is £9.98.
3.46pm – We meet Louise and get the bus over to Lauren’s. The bus is £1.60 but I use a prepaid ticket on my phone so it doesn’t cost me anything on the day.
7.30pm – After eating scones and cake, drinking prosecco and playing a game of Articulate, we start talking about Lauren’s hen do. It’s in Bristol so we’ll need to get a flight down – Laura checks the prices and books it for all of us. I transfer her my share of £60.58.
8.34pm – The other girls are heading to the pub, but Owen and I had planned to do something together this evening so I head home. I get the bus and pay in cash this time so it’s £1.60 for a single.
9.15pm – I quickly make a stir fry whilst I wait for Owen to come over. It’s quite late when he arrives, so we decide to just watch some TV and have a relatively early night.
Saturday total: £72.16
12.35pm – We have a lazy morning and then head out for brunch. We walk to Salt Cafe and order an Eggs Benedict each, a smoothie, an orange juice and two Americanos. It all comes to £26.50, Owen gives me a tenner and I pay the rest on my card. £16.50.
1.40pm – We go to Cuckoo’s Bakery on the way home and choose a couple of takeaway cupcakes for after dinner. I get a sticky toffee pudding cupcake and Owen chooses a double chocolate one, £5.25.
1.48pm – We also stop off at Scotmid and buy a few beers and ciders for later, as well as some snacks for the afternoon. £12.60.
6.00pm – We make a Thai steak salad for dinner. I have two mango and raspberry Rekorderligs and Owen has two cans of Budweiser. We split the cupcakes and have half of each. Owen heads home just after 9pm and I spend the rest of the night watching Grimm on Netflix.
Sunday total: £34.35
Weekly total: £175.58
So, thoughts. I’d say this is a fairly average week for me (aside from the flights to Bristol!) and I spent around about what I thought I would. As I work from home a lot, there’s usually at least one day per week when I don’t leave the house and therefore don’t spend anything.
As I thought, food and drink is my biggest expense. Without that, I only spent around a tenner (plus the flights, obviously). I love dining out, so getting the opportunity to attend press dinners and being able to review restaurants is fantastic. If I hadn’t been at the Chop House event this week, I would have probably been tempted to go out for dinner at the weekend – but I don’t mind paying for a good meal as it’s something I enjoy.
Going forward, I don’t think I’ll really change my spending habits as I’m pretty happy with how they are at the moment. The only thing I’d like to do is be a little bit more organised with Asda orders so I know I have all the groceries I need for the week and don’t need to spend money on takeaways or quick trips to Scotmid. However, a little cupcake treat or brunch out never hurt nobody!
Have you ever kept a money diary before?