Money diary #1

I didn’t track my November and December spending daily like I’ve got accustomed to over the last year or so and I can see the difference in spending for those weeks relative to the rest of the year is rather high. For one thing, I went for at least 2-3 weeks at a time eating every single meal out. I shopped indiscriminately and didn’t really set a budgeted amount for Christmas shopping. My spending was not very intentional. To help me get back into the habit of recording daily and provide more accountability, I’m going to try to keep a discretionary spending money diary post going for at least a couple of months.

Image of the lake at Hampstead heath

I took a walk round Hampstead heath . It was awesome and free!


  • Having spent New Year’s eve watching 7 episodes of Designated Survivor by myself, there was a very high chance of spending the day mooching around. Fortunately, my friend was going grocery shopping to meal prep so she picked me up and I did the bulk of the shopping I’d need for about 2 weeks. £24.40
  • I also picked up some toiletries (on sale) at Superdrug £19.79
  • Finally, I ordered a replacement for a Christmas that I gave to my friend £84.95. 


  • First day at work and I woke up and made my lunch to take in. Rushed out the door and forgot it on the kitchen counter-top. I had to get lunch and opted for a buffet place across the road from my office. £6.90
  • I stopped off at a grocery store on my way home to get a couple of items I’d missed out on Monday. £4.25


  • Our house has had a lot of people in it for a couple of months and I got tired of cleaning up after people or just not being home enough to maintain a level of cleanliness that I was happy with so I opted to pay for a cleaner to come in £20


  • I had dinner out with a mate before my side-hustle Christmas do – I paid for us both as a treat at this Portuguese place because she’s not having a great time financially. It was delicious. £34.21


  • I made a ridiculous mistake in an effort to be frugal. I had to get from quite far East London back home in South London. City mapper showed it would take 75 minutes by tube but I decided to attempt to get the bus. It took me about 3 hours and wound up costing 10p more. Fail! One of the things that I did was stop at McDonald’s for a double sausage and egg McMuffin. £4.09


  • I started kickboxing again. My mate and I spar with each other at the park or at hers so it’s usually free. I couldn’t find my hand wraps so I had to pick up a new pair (£3.99) and then I finally got a new sports bra since I’ve totally destroyed my old ones (£32.00). I took lunch out with me but since she gave me toast and jam, I had it for dinner instead (£0)
  • In the evening I went to my mate’s for pre-drinks and then we headed over to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for a night of cabaret and retro music. Entry to that cost £6. I wasn’t drinking but found that my energy levels were super low and I was getting a headache. I popped out and had some chicken and chips £4.50 which revitalised me. The others wanted to keep going so we went into another bar where I paid another £6 under duress. I didn’t even stay for up to 10 minutes before I had to take my friend home because she was upset. I’ve been protesting against Uber for months but my mates keep trying to force me to share taxis with them. I stood my ground and took the bus home instead.



  • Sunday was beautiful and luxuriously thrifty! I met a friend for tea near Hampstead heath. She’s the friend I got dinner for earlier in the week so she paid for my tea. £0
  • We popped into the Keats library to work and study. I’d packed a lunch of an omelette and sautéed vegetables to avoid needing to buy any food out. £0
  • Afterwards, I met my friends/clients for a walk on Hampstead heath. It was a gorgeous day for a walk and I resisted the urge to splash out on ‘un-budgeted for’ walking shoes by wearing my running shoes to tramp through the muddy paths. We then went to a lovely pub nearby and caught up / relaxed and since I only drank water, I didn’t spend a dime. £0 

Wrap up

Overall, I think I had a good week. If I could keep my spending to this sort of level and level of intentionality through the year, I reckon I’ll stay within budget.

  • Total budgeted for the week: £126.80
  • Total spent: £272.56
NB: All the diary entries are only my discretionary spending and excludes savings, housing, utilities and other such fixed costs
NB2: All the things in green were budgeted and in budget, the stuff in black were known but not necessarily planned for the week and the stuff in red was either not budgeted or higher than budgeted




9 thoughts on “Money diary #1

  1. I appreciate your honesty about your struggles to stay on budget over Christmas. I don’t have much luck in that department either. It sounds like your spending is very much connected to your social life. I wish you well in standing up to friends who lead you to spend more chaotically than you want to. It’s tough to change from a spender to a frugal type. I know!


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