Money diary #3

I know that I’ve spent more money than budgeted for last week but I don’t feel bad about it. I can only make a plan and if life gets in the way – positively – of executing that plan there’s very little I can do about it. I was thrilled to finally execute my teaching gig and get paid for it, preview early retirement life with a perfect day off and generally live what felt like I was on the path to luxuriously thrifty life.



My friend reminded me that she’s performing her show – that I wanted to see and have heard good things about from non-friends who saw it a couple of months ago – so I bought two tickets to lock in the experience. I might get the money for one ticket back depending on who I go to see the show with. £23

I took my lunch into work and my mate I was supposed to be meeting with bailed on me (£0). I also gave my friend my Monzo card to use when she forgot her wallet at home so my transport costs for the week were split over two cards again. £1.50


I remembered to strap my ankle when I went for badminton (£0 since I paid for my friend’s cinema ticket) and timed my brisk walk across the common perfectly. After work, I met a friend and we managed 45 minutes of basketball (£0) before I played my first outfield game of football since the end of September (£11). My ankle hurt a little after the game but it wasn’t anything serious. I should take advantage of my free physiotherapy sessions this week though. I not only took in my lunch, I prepped ahead and took in some food for dinner since I had a long day out of the house (£0)


We had a team away day today so didn’t need to take lunch in with me. We spent the morning doing work related team bonding and had lunch at a Busaba Eathai. I tried a different dish and enjoyed it although the portions were smaller than I remember (£0). We went to Swingers for some mini golf and I had to leave in the middle of an origami masterclass.

I met up with a person of interest and we walked from Liverpool street to Southwark where we stopped in a Costa for some tea because the small independent cafe that we’d targeted now opens in the evenings only on Fridays. She got my tea because I was too slow getting out my card from my wallet (£0). I love a budget date. Walks don’t cost a thing.


This was the highlight of my week. After a spot of work and meeting with my clients in the morning, I spent the rest of the day walking. My mate went through Hampstead heath and stopped for crepes near Hampstead tube (£10). We meandered on via Camden, Primrose hill and Regent’s park, to the Picturehouse member’s bar where I drank water (£0).


I had a plan to work late on the slides for my presentation but this sort of got derailed. First off, it was a dear colleague’s leaving drinks so I popped into a dirty Martini at about 5pm for free drinks (which I didn’t touch because Drynuary) and food (£0). I’d only been back in the office for about an hour when I went to meet a mate for a catch up and a bit of a walk as we tried to experience the Lumiere festival. It wasn’t as awesome as I thought it would be but made a nice background as opposed to drinking in a pub (£0).

It turned out that someone had moved the printers without letting us know so I couldn’t print the supporting documents that I wanted to. I spoke with the person of interest and she mentioned that she had a printer then invited me over. I realised that I was perfectly dressed for my teaching gig and would benefit from a bit of downtime so I went East. This might explain why my transport costs at the end of the week are significantly higher than budgeted.


This is one of the days I’ve been waiting / prepping for all January. I didn’t get her printer working the way I wanted it to so I decided that the exercise could be done without the toolkit I’d planned to use. I stopped off at the Tesco near the venue to pick up some sharpies which were on sale (£6), down from a normal £22. Bargain! I also picked up a notebook with different kinds of paper (£2.50) and some chicken and a sausage to eat before I started (£1.90). The gig went much better than I expected. It turns out that time or passion has erased my fear of public speaking. The organiser of the event wants me to run at least one more session and one of the students wants me to speak at an event at his university. I was super thrilled.

I had a date planned so stopped off to get tofu, mushrooms and spring onions for brunch in the morning (£3.70) and some pancakes to snack on (£1.60). After a marvellous vegan Persian mezze dinner, I took a taxi to drop off my keys so that my mate could sleep in my empty bed (£8).


Brunch was everything that I’d hoped it would be and cost nothing additional (£0). I headed off to my first competitive 11-a-side game but this plan was thwarted by the sudden snow. I ended up at home chilling and made my friend some tea when she brought my keys back. I made dinner and lunch for Monday then went to bed early after our power mysteriously turned off in the building. When my final transport costs got debited, I’ve spent a lot more than the £33 that I budgeted (£9.40). It appears that in the future, if I know that I’m going to zone 3 regularly, I might want to buy a monthly travel card.

Wrap up

I feel like I’m in a comfortable place with my spending. I’m probably not going to hit my £80 food target for January and I’ve already overspent on my transport budget but that’s the point of this month. Getting a baseline since I know that my optimistic budget from last year did not pan out as planned.

  • Total budgeted for the week: £65.04
  • Total spent: £82.19

You can catch up on Money diary #1 and Money diary #2 too.

NB: All the diary entries are only my discretionary spending and exclude savings, housing, utilities and other more fixed costs.
NB2: All the things in green were budgeted for / in budget and the stuff in red was unplanned (for this week) or higher than budgeted.

6 thoughts on “Money diary #3

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