Age: 22

Occupation: Welfare Officer at Sheffield SU

Describe your spending habits/attitude to money in a few sentences: This is my first year with a full-time job and proper salary, so my attitude towards money has changed a lot. I’m more conscious of my spending because I earned my money, and I try to save a good chunk of my pay every month. I like to think I’m quite thrifty, especially with lunch as I almost always pack one to bring to work. I’m also trying to reduce my carbon footprint so I buy fewer clothes than I used to. I go out a lot less than I did as a student, but I eat at restaurants much more, so it likely balances out.


Income per month

Earnings (minus tax): £1400 approx

Student loan/bursary: None


Regular spending per month (approx)

Rent: £325

Utilities: £65

Travel: None, I walk to work and my girlfriend has a car

Phone: £30

Other spending: Gym – £18, Spotify and Netflix – free (I use my dad’s account)

Loan Payback: None, I’m not over the threshold

Savings: £500


Leftover to spend: £462, £107.80 a week



12:30 – I walk into town because I’m having a burst of January motivation and want some new gym wear. Go to Boots and get some makeup and other bits worth about £20 but I paid with a voucher that I got for Christmas so they ended up being free. River Island – £4. Primark gym wear and coat hangers – £16.50. Sainsbury’s – food for the week – £10.11.

14:15 – Bus home – £1.20.

17:45 – I go to the gym in my new gear. I’m feeling cute until I nearly pass out in the class. I manage not to throw up after so I’m taking that as a win.

19:00 – I make a sweet potato, puff pastry thing for dinner, and a cauliflower and pomegranate salad for the staff lunch tomorrow. I only had to buy a few things for it as most of it was leftovers, so it was very cheap.

Total: £31.86



8:15 – I hit the snooze button. I’m very spoilt to work in an office where I often don’t have to be in until 10am.

8:30 – Get up

9:15 – I pack the salad for the staff lunch – it looks a bit soggy but hopefully people will like it.

10:30 – I always get so hungry at work but I keep an excessive quantity of snacks in my drawer to try and stop spending – it’s so hard when your workplace has so many food places! I eat fruit and a slightly sad Sainsbury’s basic biscuit bar to keep me going.

12:15 – Staff lunch is nice and also free!

13:40 – I buy cinema tickets to see The Favourite with my girlfriend on Wednesday. They’re cheap because we have the Showroom young person discount cards. I buy both – £9.

14:30 – Facebook has given me ad credit, so I boost my meal kit post by a tenner – free.

17:00 – I planned to go to the gym but I have too much to do so I decide to stay late and get more work done.

19:00 – I go to Tesco on the way home from work, I buy milk, fruit, and ingredients for a veggie shepherds pie that I’m going to make for my housemates. I get my housemate avocados because they’re half price – she’ll probably pay me back but it’s only a quid so not worried – £7.25.

19:30 – I make the pie filling and put it in the fridge for tomorrow. It’s stir fry on the menu tonight and I save half for my lunch tomorrow.

20:00 – I pretend to try and do ‘life admin’ before giving up to watch Harry Potter (they’re screening them all on ITV) with my housemates.

Total: 16.25



10:00 – I am in so much pain from that horrible Sunday gym class that getting out of my office chair feels like torture. I take an ibuprofen

11:00 – I have an amazing meeting with Film Unit about their plans for International Women’s Day; I’m buzzing from the second-hand feminist productivity.

12:00 – Stir fry for lunch.

17:30 – I go to the gym on the way home but I’m still sore, so I put the bike on low resistance and just watch Brexit unfold on the gym TV.

18:30 – I go to boots to buy a new nail varnish. I have a brain blank at the counter and forget to use my voucher, so I pay with real money, damn – £2.99. Also, I get bread and some veg from Tesco, and some normal milk because soy in mash is horrible – £1.47.

20:30 – I eat my homemade shepherd’s pie and I drink red wine with my housemates. We tipsily compare pictures of ourselves from 2009. A nice evening.

Total: £4.46



8:30 – I get to work earlier than usual as I am interviewing for a new part-time position today. I resist getting a coffee because I don’t mix well with caffeine and even though it will wake me up now, I’ll definitely feel horrible later.

12:00 – I am starving between interviews so I consider getting a cake, but I have an apple instead – rubbish substitute.

13:30 – I have soup and bread for lunch at my desk.

14:00 – I go to the Zero Waste shop to see how the meal kits are doing. I buy red lentils and a jar for them, and some yoghurt raisins as a reward for resisting the cake earlier – £2.19.

17:30 – I meet my girlfriend outside her office in town and we to go to the film.

17:45 I get a pint before the film – my girlfriend pays because I got the tickets. She also buys popcorn beforehand.

21:00 We get dinner at pizza express because I have a 2-for-1 voucher, but then we get totally ripped off on drinks (£4 for a lime and soda!) so it works out almost the same anyway – £9.75 including tip.

21:30 We get an Uber home even though the bus stop is right outside, but it costs barely more than two bus fares and saves waiting in the freezing cold. I pay because she always drives me places and never asks for petrol money –  £3.50.

Total: £15.44



9:00 – It was another early start, only to find that my 9:30 and 10:30 meetings are cancelled. Annoying because I could have had a lie-in, but gives me time to catch up on emails, and write this diary.

12:30 – I have soup again for lunch.

16:00 – There’s a work leaving-do at Interval, so I fill up on pizza with the logic that I won’t have to make dinner later.

18:00 – I go to the gym on the way home.

18:45 – My housemates are making pasta bake and despite all the pizza I’ve eaten, I definitely want some. I buy mozzarella and garlic bread – £1.22.

19:30 – The pasta bake is great, especially with three gin and tonics.

Total: £1.22



9:15 – I get a lift into work from my housemate.

11:15 – I order washing up brushes for the work kitchen because there’s only a gross cloth in the sink and it upsets me – £2.99.

12:15 – I buy biscuits from Our Shop for some student focus groups I’m running later – £2.48 but I will probably expense it and get the money back at some point.

17:30 – I buy a bottle of wine on the way home for a night out with work friends – £5.99.

18:15 – I have a 20-minute snooze before getting ready and heading over to a friend’s house for dinner.

19:45 – She makes Thai curry and we have a few drinks.

21:30 – We get an uber into town but the app glitches so it doesn’t fare split properly. I probably owe someone money for that.

21:45 – I get a drink  – £5.75

00:00 – I didn’t keep track of exactly who bought drinks when, but I can tell from my Monzo that I bought a round at midnight – £13.55.

00:45 – I leave and go to a pub to meet a friend who’s only in Sheffield for tonight (these times are estimates based on texts).

1:15 – We walk to another bar and get lost on the way, in negative degree temperature.

1:45 – The bar is completely dead and I sobered up on the walk so just tired now. Uber home – £3.50.

2:00 – I remember to take at least some of my makeup off. I eat some toast in bed and get crumbs everywhere.

Total: £34.26



7:30 – Hungover. Back to sleep.

9:30 – I feel a bit better and pleased with myself for taking my makeup off. I Look at my Monzo to fill this in and I guiltily remember how much I drank.

12:00 – I wallow in bed all day but I manage to summon the energy to change my crumby sheets.

15:00 – I drop some old clothes off at Oxfam, then I get the bus to Hallam for my writing class – £1.20.

18:30 – I meet my girlfriend for a drink in town (hair of the dog);her best mate works there so he gives us his staff discount. We have two pints each – £5.10

20:00 – Uber back, I pay – £4.99.

20:30 – My girlfriend makes dinner, alcohol plus hangover sends me to sleep before 10.
Total: £11.29


The Result


Food/Drink: £34.47

Entertainment: £9

Alcohol and Nights Out: £30.39

Clothes/Beauty: £23.49

Travel: £14.39

Other: £2.99


Total: £114.73


Thoughts at the end of the week:

  • I drink too much, that is immediately clear, and I also take way too many ubers considering how bad they are on worker’s rights.
  • This is quite an expensive week by my standards (I bought clothes, went for a meal and had a night out), so I am pleased that I still came in only just over budget.
  • Having a Monzo card is brilliant, because it means you can keep track, but also means you can’t wipe the memory of your night out spending – it’s all there on the app.


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