The Money Diaries #2: The Week Before Payday

I did a Money Diaries post back in Augustand it was honestly pretty eye opening. I had just been paid, and was a little more frivolous with money (particularly on food and drink) than I had realised. Honestly it was quite a scary process, and I felt shocked by how much I was spending, and how little I had to show for it. I thought it would be interesting to do another one of these posts for the week just gone, the week BEFORE payday, to see how different it worked out!

MONDAY 

7.15am – I’ve taken the day off work today because honestly I’m just wiped from our weekend in Venice, and I feel really viral. I wake up at my usual time, have a cup of mango strawberry tea, and then fall back to sleep til midday, so score, that’s at least half a day where I haven’t spent any money.

2.00pm – The extra sleep has done me some good, but I’m still flagging. I need to pop into town to pick up a card for Connor, it’s our anniversary tomorrow. I pick up a coffee in Starbucks because even though it only takes 5 minutes to walk into town, I’m beat. I top up my Starbucks card by £10, and spend £3.05 on a Tall White Mocha with soy milk (I remembered to bring a cup so I save 25p). I pick up a card for Con for £2.50 in Paperchase, but then accidentally fall into Lush, who have just launched their Autumn collection, and I spend £37 restocking a few must haves, and picking up a few autumn treats. Oops.

7.00pm – I see an advert on TV for Deliveroo and then spend 20 minutes trying to convince Con we should order Five Guys. Luckily, he doesn’t waver, and saves us some money by cooking fresh pasta and chucking a sundried tomato garlic bread we have in the oven. He’s so much more sensible than me.

TOTAL: £49.50

TUESDAY

8.35am – It’s my first day back in the office and honestly I’m flagging. We’ve also run out of oat milk, so I can’t make coffee at home. I swing through the Starbucks Drive Thru with my own cup and use another £3.o5 from my Starbucks card. I’ve resolved not to top up again this week though, so I need to be sparing with my remaining £4.95 credit.

12.30pm – I haven’t been food shopping since before Venice, and so I don’t have anything for lunch. I pick up a sandwich, pack of crisps and a Fanta Lemon from the food truck and it costs £4.30. I have change so it doesn’t feel like spending real money.

7.30pm – It’s our anniversary and Con’s booked us a table at Cote Brasserie for a chilled dinner together. We plough our way through three courses and sink a fair few glasses of wine. I shudder to think what the bill was but Con paid as an anniversary treat, so I’ll pretend it was much less.

TOTAL: £4.30

WEDNESDAY

3.10pm – Remember what I said yesterday about not topping up my Starbucks card? Yeah that was a lie wasn’t it. I’m on my way to see Kelly, and I’ve promised to pick up coffees en route, so I top up another £10, and pick up a maple latte for Kel, and PSL’s for her husband and I. I also grab myself a smores muffin because I need a pick me up, and end up using £12 of credit.

TOTAL: £10

THURSDAY

7.45am – I’ve found a bottle of Oatly in the back of the cupboard and feel very smug. I make a gingerbread latte at home and save myself a few quid on a Starbucks run. Unfortunately, I know I haven’t got anything at all in the house for lunch, so my victory is short lived when I realise I’m going to have buy lunch on the way to work.

8.50am – I pop into M&S Simply Food to pick up lunch which is always a bad idea. I pick up a chicken and asparagus risotto, fine, and then grab a bag of donuts to share with the team. I then lose all self control when I spot a rack of halloween themed sweets, and pick up a ton of Pumpkin Percy Pigs on 3 for 2. Sigh. That’s £9.05 gone in seconds.

3.45pm – I’m on my way home from work and decide to pop into Homesense. I don’t *need* anything, strictly speaking, but I’ve seen some pumpkin bunting on Instagram and I NEED it. I accidentally pick up two candles I don’t need but that smell amazing, and spend £28.97.

7.00pm – I’ve been to the gym and now I’m walking towards Wagamama to meet my parents for dinner, they’ve just got back from a 5 week trip and we’re going to catch up over katsu curry. Unfortunately, my path between the gym and Wagamama involves walking past Lush, who are doing their VIP Christmas Collection Launch and as I have no self control, I pop in and walk out £36.80 lighter. Thank god Con pays for dinner so at least I’ve saved money there.

TOTAL: £74.82

FRIDAY

9.00am – It’s payday, thank Christ. My paycheck comes in and I immediately send half back out for rent and into our joint account for bills. It’s a sad thing to watch but still, my bank account looks a little healthier now. I treat myself to a coffee from Starbucks because Payday, and use up the rest of my credit.

1.00pm – Mum and Dad are back in the office today for the first time in 5 weeks, and they take us all out for a team lunch to thank us for holding the fort. I have the most amazing chicken and bacon pie, and a pint of Amstel, which is so much sweeter for being free.

7.30pm – We meet our friends Emma and her husband Ed for drinks in town. Emma and I take full advantage of two for one on Pornstar Martinis, and somehow because we have the boys with us we manage to get away with not paying for any drinks ourselves – score.

TOTAL: £0.00 

SATURDAY

10.05am – My sister and I are on our way over to our cousins house for a catch up over breakfast. We stop at Lidl on the way over, raid the pastry shelves and manage to only spend £5.25 in total, despite the fact we’ve bought so many pastries I’m struggling to carry them.

12.00pm – I place an Amazon order for my cousin while we’re at her house, I’ve recommended a book to her and decide to just buy it for her as a little gift. It’s £9.99 but I end up paying for shipping because I was logged into the wrong amazon account.

1.30pm – Con and I do a food shop, he pays, and I pick up lunch from Pret on the way back because we’re starving. Pret is SO expensive, I pick up two drinks, two soups and two baguettes and it comes to £18.95. Con and I have a discussion about cutting back on eating out next month because it’s undoubtably where most of our money is going.

5.00pm – We’re out for my mum’s belated birthday meal at a local cheese and wine bar tonight. It’s not cheap, we splurge on a party sized cheese and charcuterie board and a fair bit of wine, but my dad picks up the tab as a family treat. I like these early evening things, because I’m home and in bed by 9!

TOTAL: £24.20

SUNDAY

10.00am – I’ve decreed today a staying in day because I’m knackered. I catch up on some reading, bake a cake, watch This Is Us and generally chill. I’m still in my pyjamas at 3.30 when Connor says I’m ‘festering’ and drags me out for a walk with the promise of a coffee as a reward for going out.

TOTAL: £0.00

I think it’s still pretty clear that most of my money is going on food and drinks, and honestly a lot of it is unnecessary. I’m trying to be a bit more prepared this month and get meals prepped for lunches, make coffees at home and just generally eat less.

Also, I clearly need to stay away from Lush and Homesense. They’re bad for the bank balance.

Budgeting tips always welcome!

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