The Money Diary

6th October 2019

money diary

I think we all have a fascination with money in some way. After all, half our lives (if not more) is spent working to earn said money so understandably, it’s of great interest to most of us. I’ve always considered myself to be good with money but what with planning a wedding and doing up our new house, I wanted to keep a close eye on my spending so decided to do a 10-day diary. I’ve always enjoyed reading these type of posts so thought I’d do my own and hopefully, I may even find it beneficial to do so. The diary will feature every day spends rather than direct debits such as bills and our mortgage.

Friday:

I pay £1.50 for parking for my orthodontist appointment, something I always resent having to pay, especially as I am literally just on the street. It’s even worse this week because I don’t have the exact change and it’s one of those old ones that won’t spit out change so it’s goodbye £2. My orthodontist appointment which was only supposed to be a bit of a chat regarding my potential Invisalign treatment ends up with them booking me in for a scan, costing me an eye-watering £200. I always knew it would be something I needed to do during the process but I was not prepared for it today and I can’t lie, it bloody stings.

After work, I head to a small shopping centre to pick up some bits and bobs. I reluctantly pay £5 for two packs of tampons where even the cashier tells me: ‘These things are such rip-offs. It makes me so mad.’ Me too, sister.

It’s my Grandad’s 80th birthday next week so I pay £1.29 for a card before heading into B&M which is always dangerous but I just can’t resist the lure. To go alongside the tampons, I shell out £5.49 on chocolate but  I don’t mind too much as it’ll last me a while. I hope.

We head to Aldi for a top-up food shop. We’ve been doing Hello Fresh for a few weeks so our grocery shop has been cheaper as a result and so we only spend £37.34.

Daily spend: £251.12

Saturday + Sunday

It’s the weekend and in theory, there’s no reason for me to spend anything as I’m mostly home for the next couple of days. But my mum asks me if I need anything from the shops and I transfer £2.50 for some dishwasher tablets.

Daily spend: £2.50

Monday

I used to buy a skinny latte two or three days a week at work but I’ve started taking in my own since we got our own fancy coffee machine at home. I feel smug about not spending money on coffee and using my reusable coffee flask.

Monday night is my weekly Zumba class but my monthly gym membership includes all classes, concluding a money free day.

Daily spend: £0

Tuesday

My petrol is running low so I stop at a garage before work, spending £45. I used to have to fill up twice a month but since we’ve moved house and are five minutes down the road from my work, it’s now only once a month which is great. I eye up the treats as I go to pay – it’s dark, rainy and miserable and I’d bloody love some chocolate but I manage to resist. I’ve got an indulgent weekend coming up so I’m trying to be well behaved during the week. …But then I nip into a Tesco express, picking up three Terry’s Chocolate Oranges which are down to 75p. At least two of these I’ll save for Christmas (yep, I’m that person) but as for the third, I couldn’t possibly tell you…

I’m running out of make-up remover so pop onto Amazon to replenish my stock. I’m annoyed that I have to buy two bottles for £10 as there’s no option to buy just one but at 700ml each, I know they’ll last me well.

Daily spend: £57.25

Wednesday

I take lunch to work every day and often batch cook at weekends for the week ahead but last night I was too knackered to lift a finger, even crawling into bed for a nap. I grab a baked potato with beans for lunch today spending £1.85. But my place of work are sadists who charge additionally for both beans and cheese (fiends!) so I bring in my own grated cheese from home to sprinkle on top. I’m not sure if this is lame or genius but I don’t care. I hate paying for lunch at work but my choice is cheap, healthy and filling so I don’t feel too bad on this occasion.

Daily spend: £1.85

Thursday

I’m back on Amazon this morning. After four months of living out of suitcases, we’ve finally ordered a chest of drawers from MADE which arrive this weekend. I went through a bit of a Marie Kondo phase at the beginning of the year and I’m determined to keep organised so order drawer organisers for £12.99. I need to travel to London next week for work so book a return train ticket with travel card included for £42.50. This comes from my own card but I’ll claim the money back via work expenses. I’m always surprised how expensive it is to travel to London from where I live, especially as it only takes 50 minutes but hey, I’m not paying!

Daily spend: £55.49

Friday

Today, I make a purchase I was certainly not planning to make this week. I’m part of a few DIY wedding Facebook groups and through them have learnt about the magical world of Cricut. There’s been even more hype recently because there’s 20% off at Hobbycraft. I soon lose myself in Pinterest and YouTube, becoming convinced I need one of these machines. I’m never one to make a hasty purchase, especially when it’s so expensive so I do a lot of research before finally placing an order, adding vinyl to my basket so I can actually start using the machine. The total comes to £220. Ouch.

Daily spend: £220

Saturday

We head to Sheffield for the day, having booked tickets for the comedian Russell Howard months ago. We stop by Meadow Hall shopping centre where parking is free. For lunch we have sweet crepes, costing £9.25, mine stuffed with Nutella and Kinder Bueno. It’s delicious but very sickly. I could do with some new wardrobe pieces but am pretty unsuccessful, only managing to pick up some ankle boots from M&S for £29.99. I wear my current ones to death and I can feel them starting to get holes. We grab a couple of bags of sweets from Poundland for £2 to take with us to Russell Howard, knowing at the arena tonight they’ll be three times the price we can pay here. For dinner, we go to Coal Grill and Bar where we share an amazing cheese and caramelised onion starter. Matt has fajitas and a side of dirty fries for his main while I opt for a brie burger. I manage to find a £10 off voucher online so the total price for our meal is £40. Annoyingly, within this, we paid the tip twice as Matt didn’t realise the restaurant added the tip to the bill automatically and the waitress didn’t alert us of the fact the tip was already accounted for.  The service wasn’t that good. We head to the arena (I paid £10 for parking in advance) where Matt buys a diet coke for £3 and I get a cup of free tap water. Usually, you can only buy bottled water at comedy events so I’m impressed.

Daily spend: £84.24

Sunday

Having got home early in the morning from Sheffield after an awful drive in the rain, we sleep in late. I was hoping not to spend anything today but we head to The Range for a couple of house bits. Matt needs trouser hangers for the wardrobe and we pick out a table cloth as our dining room table is relatively new and I’m the worst for spilling things. We also grab a hook to hang Luna’s towel on for when she has muddy paws.

Daily spend: £53.22

Conclusion

Total spend in 10 days: £725.67

Wow. I was definitely not expecting such a high-cost result when beginning this.  While we definitely spent less in Sheffield than I thought we would, I was not planning on making such a big purchase with the Cricut machine and I would never normally splurge that amount of money. I think it says a lot that even now, I’m slightly nervous that I will use it enough to justify the spend and that’s despite having the money available to spend. I also wasn’t expecting to have my Invisalign scan so soon but I always knew it was a cost I’d have to spend at some point. Thankfully, payday fell within the 10-day diary which made my two big spends a tad more comfortable.

I  definitely think this experience highlights the amount I spend on chocolate but then I counter this with the fact that I don’t drink or smoke. It’s my ‘vice’, as it were. Looking back on the whole ten days, I’m actually quite surprised as I genuinely thought I’d have more spend-free days. It’s safe to say the average 10 days is certainly not like this and everything tends to balance out across the month. But generally, I can justify the majority of my spends.

Do you track your spends? Would you be interested in doing a money diary? I’d love to read it so do let me know your thoughts below!

Emily>