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)
Travel: None, I walk to work and my girlfriend has a car
Other spending: Gym – £18, Spotify and Netflix – free (I use my dad’s account)
Loan Payback: None, I’m not over the threshold
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alcohol and Nights Out: £30.39
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.