Money Diary - a week in February 2020

I love reading Refinery 29’s money diaries because they embody that sweet spot of nosiness
and people’s ‘boring’ everyday lives that I love so much. I also live for the comments,
even though people be judgmental boy! I decided to write my own, albeit in a slightly different format as the R29 ones are anonymous so I’m not revealing details about my job and how much I earn etc.


  • I got an email from Fresh Therapies who were selling some reduced nail polish remover, as the packaging was slightly damaged. I have wanted a natural nail polish for a while as I’ve been reading about the amount of questionable chemicals in standard removers, plus I'm trying to reduce random chemicals in my beauty regime overall. I also threw some biodegradable pads to use instead of cotton wool. I paid with PayPal (I sell stuff on eBay so keep my winnings from that separate to my main bank account). £13.99
  • For work I usually bring in lunch from home but this Monday we went out as a work team to a local cafe called Pinkmans. I had the frittata with salad and bread, plus a blood orange juice. They bake their own sourdough bread so that was a particular highlight. £9.99
  • My colleague wanted a coffee from Pret on the way back to the office and I couldn’t resist the vegan cookie because it’s so chewy and wonderful. £1.60
Total: £25.58


  • I am a Brownie and Guide leader so this week for Guides I planned an ‘I’m a Celeb’ evening with bush-tucker type challenges. I had to buy loads of 'gross' food (I use quotations as some of it I would happily eat but you know, kids) for them to try (cold tinned spaghetti, lime pickle, olives, tomato juice etc.) as well as jelly cubes so I could make jelly with plastic bugs in for them to dig out with their teeth. We do this every year ‘cos they love it so much, but it takes quite a lot of planning and shopping! I wasn't sure if I should include this as it’s not actually my money but I did still physically spend it, so I think it counts. £9.90 (Girlguiding money)
  • I wanted to see Queen & Slim as soon as I heard the premise, so as it had a ridiculously short window at the cinema, Rich and I went to see it before it was relegated to only being on at like 10pm on a Sunday (who can stay awake for such late cinema screenings?) I enjoyed it, the acting especially was fantastic along with the soundtrack and cinematography. However, I found the script a little bit cringe at times. I give it a strong 7/10. I made some popcorn at home and brought it along with some water to avoid the insane cinema food prices. £9.90 (BOGOF with Meerkat Movies)
  • Bought whipped cream, jelly snakes, licorice sweets and other random items from B&M and The Range near the cinema for Guides (the cashier definitely thought we were weird) £15.66 (Girlguiding money)
Total: £35.46 (but £25.56 was Girlguiding money, so total spent by me was £9.90)


  • I spent £0 today! I had a hair cut booked but it was cancelled as the hairdresser was ill. It worked out well however as it was rearranged to the following Saturday and I had a party to attend the same evening, so it made much more sense to have a fresh trim! I haven’t had my hair cut since October so it was most definitely in need of some attention.
Total: £0


  • Thursday is Brownie and Guides day and I don’t have time to go home in between work and getting to the hall so I have to eat there. If I'm organised I will take an extra thing out of the freezer but if I forget, luckily there is an oven and microwave in the hall. I got some lentil dahl and a samosa from Waitrose. We are also selling our flat and buying a house so I needed large letter stamps to send off some paperwork! £8.36
  • The cinema is so good at the moment (awards season!) so I bought some tickets for Sunday to see 1917. Last time I tried to go to the cinema on a Sunday without pre-booking it was packed and the only seats available were RIGHT at the front (we politely declined and went to a different cinema). £11.48
  • Needed some last minute Brownie and Guide stuff, including Jelly Babies for Brownies as we did a Jelly Baby evening (you would be surprised how many different activities and games you can get out of one packet!) £4.92
Total: £24.92 (but £4.92 was Girlguiding money, so total spent by me was £20)


  • Our friend’s birthday is on 14th February, and she’s also recently moved into a new flat with her boyfriend, so I got her a cute plant from Wilko, along with a plant pot (basket style) and card from a gift shop near my work. I was very pleased that the plant and pot went to together most perfectly. £11.24
Total: £11.24


  • Went for breakfast for the aforementioned friend’s birthday with Rich and some other pals. The man working at the cafe told us the chef hadn’t turned up so we could only order food which was already prepared. I had a orange and cardamom hot chocolate and vegan sausage roll which was probably the best vegan sausage roll I’ve had so no complaints about the lack of chef from me! Rich had coffee and a chicken wrap. We don’t have a joint bank account (which a lot people think is crazy) so as Rich pays for more of the monthly outgoings, I pay for more stuff when we are out and about, the food shop etc. Added £1.70 for the tip pot, as there was no chef it looked stressful! £15.70
  • Had a little bit of time left after breakfast so took a few outfit photos for Instagram before going back to pay for parking in a local multi-storey car park. £2.50
  • I went out in the afternoon with my mum to look at some charity shops and bought a metallic silver skirt and grey/silver-y jumper from a Mary's Living & Giving shop. It's definitely more expensive than some other charity shops but I liked both items a lot so treated myself. £21
  • My mum loves a particular antiques shop in the same area so we went in for a browse and I saw a lovely mid-pink coloured velvet cushion that I knew would look a dream in my green and pink front room! My mum said it was good quality and as mums know best, I purchased. £15
  • Stopped for a tea break. I don’t drink ‘normal’ tea but I love a herbal one, so I had lemon and ginger. £2.60
Total: £56.80


  • Rich and I went to the cinema to see 1917 (which is amazing but be prepared to cry a whooollle bunch) which finished about 1:30 so we were v. hungry. We had to do a big shop anyway so went to the Asda cafe for lunch. It was pretty cheap and cheerful but I guess it filled a hole! I had tomato soup with a roll and some crisps. Rich had veggie chilli with rice. £8.60
  • I plan each meal for the week in advance and then write a list according to the recipes. I usually shop in Tesco as I know my way round and can find most things (most being the operative word, my local Tesco is fairly small and doesn’t have certain stuff like giant couscous, pearl barley - I know these aren’t ‘regular’ things but it still annoys me) and I don’t really like Asda on the whole as I don’t think the quality is particularly great. However I get most of my fruit and veg from an organic veg box now so I’m not buying too much supermarket fresh produce. I budget £50 a week and usually spend slightly less but this week we bought a bumper back of cat litter so it upped the cost a bit. £57
Total: £65.60

Weekly total: £163.54 (I didn't include the Girlguiding money)

This week was more expensive that average, due to the shopping on Saturday, double cinema trips and work lunch out. I would say I spend most of my disposable income on activities and food, so the weekend meals out count was pretty accurate. Bristol has such a prolific and diverse culinary scene so I love to sample as many places as possible - no ragrets!

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