The Money Diaries from Refinery29 are interesting to say the least. Controversial at times with women often being asked to justify their priorities, their thoughts or their daily routines. Fuck all that. But I still believe it’s so important to talk about money and be transparent and open. I used to be bad with money, not looking much at it. Now I try to stick to a budget and save quite a lot, which I’m happy with. But there are things I love, books, travel, art, that I’m happy to spend money on if I have it.
Monthly bills: £550 (I do put £600 in our joint account monthly so most of it comes out of that).
Savings: I try to put between £500 and £1,000 in my savings every month, unless we have a big expense (like we just bought a new mattress).
Loans: I have a student loan in Canada so it doesn’t come off my salary, I just send some money every once in a while to cover it.
Wake up before 7 feeling really cold and tired. Catch the 7.30 train and finish reading No.More.Plastic. The train is surprisingly on time, which is worth noting! Get to work around 8.30. Repay my co-worker who paid for my dinner on Friday (£38). Tickets to the Enchanted forest in Pitlochry go on sale for next year. Been meaning to go for 2 years but it always sells out, so jump on and buy tickets for me and the Brit (£46.10). Leave work around 1pm to catch the train home. Arrive in Stirling around 2pm and head to the doctors to pick up a prescription and drop it at the pharmacy (£0 because Scotland). Buy some lunch and other food items from M&S (£7). Get home and work until 5.45. Fireworks start going off as it’s Guy Fawkes night. Someone in our square is going all out. The Brit gets home around 8pm. We eat and watch TV before going to bed. Read Running Like a Girl until I fall asleep.
Feel unwell all night so text my boss to say I’m sick home/may work from home. Log in around 9.30 as I’ve caught up on sleep a bit. 11am, Skype meeting with the Iceland team. Make a light lunch around 1.30 with some leftovers. Work until 5.30pm. Watch Downton Abbey while doing dinner, salad and stuffed avo. Brit gets home around 8.15pm exhausted, we eat, watch the newest episode of The Good Place and head to bed around 9.30. I read Running Like a Girl until 11.
Wake up at 7.10 and get on with my morning routine. Catch the train at 7.50 and keep on reading Running Like a Girl, it is so good! Get to work around 8.50, make a breakfast bagel and log into work. Take a wee break around 1.30pm to get a soup for lunch. Browse the web for a waterproof sport watch, abandon when I see the prices. Finish work around 5. Home by 6.15. Transfer £80 to my friend who booked our Airbnb for our trip to Estonia at the end of the month. Make a veggie stir fry for dinner and we watch the new Outlander episode.
Wake up around 7.30 and get the train around 8.10. Keep reading Running Like a Girl, and cry on the train. Get to work around 9.15, get a breaky bagel and get to work. A coworker was in St Andrews yesterday and brought back Fisher and Donaldson fudge donuts, so I get one and take a bite. I realise it’s lunch time so I leave it there and go get a soup for lunch while reading Running Like a Girl. Later, get back to work and to my donut. At 5.15 I leave work to head to dance class (which I blocked paid for in August). Home around 8.45pm, jump in the shower and warm up the stir fry leftovers. Brit gets home around 9, we eat while asking each other ridiculous questions from our Trivial Pursuit game from the 1980s. We go to bed around 10.30, but I finish my book at 11.45.
Wake up feeling tired (shouldn’t have read that late) and catch the 7.50 train. Get to work around 9am. Coworker brought me some home-grown apples, yummy! Around 12.45, I head out to grab a salad for lunch (£4.50). Leave work at 4pm to catch the train home. In Stirling, I meet up with a friend for tea and cake (£5.60). We realise we haven’t seen each other for nearly 6 months, she live 5 mins away. We part ways around 6.30 and I head to Tesco to buy tofu for dinner. End up buying a few things we don’t usually find at Lidl like almond butter and black beans (£13.40). Get home around 7.30 and make us a nice wee vegan dinner. The Brit gets home around 8 and we eat dinner while watching Outlaw King.
Total: £10.10 from personal account and £13.40 from joint account
Wake up early around 7.30am, but we stay in bed until 9 chatting. At 10am I head out because I booked a sports massage (I get them every two or three months) (£45). The Brit is working all day so I sit down next to him and start addressing our wedding invitations. After what seems like far too long, I finish and head out to the post office. I mail the foreign invitations (£11.25) and a package full of Icelandic sweets to my parents (£8.50). The farmers’ market is on so I roam the stalls looking for interesting stuff. Buy handmade soap and a brownie to share with the Brit (£6.50). Go into M&S and buy some food for lunch, dinner and to make a pie with those apples my coworker gave us (£18.05). Get home and make lunch for the two of us before starting to make the pie. I listen to The Guilty Feminist Podcast at the same time. Once the pie is done it’s already 5pm so I decide to start making dinner. We’re having sushi and the rice always takes forever to cool down. We eat around 7pm while watching this week’s episode of The Good Place. Eat pie for dessert while watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Total: £60 from personal account and £29.30 from joint account
Wake up around 9am and eat apple pie for breakfast as the Brit and I chat. He starts working, so I amuse myself with blogging for a while, then I head back to bed to read because it’s so cold. Around 12.30 I get up, get dressed and make us lunch. The Brit finishes his work around 1.30 as we’re heading over to some friends’ house. We stop on the way to put in petrol (he pays from the joint account) and I pick up some flowers for our friends (£3.50). We spend about 2h at our friends’ house having snacks, tea and cake. It’s great to catch up. We head back home and do a food shop. Since we see some interesting Christmas stuff, we buy it in advance of our quiet home Christmas (£73). Later, I clean the kitchen and start cooking while listening to The Guilty Feminist. We eat our wee stuffed avo with salad and the Brit goes back to work. I Skype my parents for a while then head to bed around 10.30.
Total: £3.50 from personal account and £73 from joint account
Looking back on the week, it’s not too bad. I paid for a few big ticket items like our Airbnb for Tallinn, tickets for next year’s Enchanted Forest and my massage. But apart from that this week’s spendings wasn’t bad, with £73.60 from my personal account. Overall, this is pretty accurate of my spending, except I don’t seem to have bought a book…weird!
Have you ever been tempted to do a money diary? Do you have any good tricks for sticking to a budget?xx