Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Life: Money Diary - Winter Edition!

I sort of enjoyed showing you how I spend my money back in August - those summer days of lunches eaten outside and rooftop yoga classes now seem rather distant in my memory as winter brings with it a whole new spending challenge. Darker mornings and colder hands necessitate more coffee buying, WhatsApp group threads with the titles "Hen Do" and "30th Birthday" hint at spending yet to come and there's that thing happening on the 25th December which might require some use of the credit card...

I tracked my week in December so I can look back at it in January while willing people to buy vintage patterns on my Etsy store to fund my coffee habit. I guess this was not a typical week for me (usually more gym and less gin) but if there's one month where you can hope that your social life briefly resurrects itself it's December and I'm trying not to feel too guilty about money spent on good times with good friends.


11am - Yoga Class at Fierce Grace (using my trial membership which I bought on Black Friday - 30 days for £39) but I pay for a mat and towel at the studio because someone else doing laundry is worth £2.20

12.45pm - Waitrose on the way home. The newly opened sushi bar is slowly bankrupting me but I find myself buying a pack of sushi, two pre-made Starbucks iced coffees and a giant cookie for a friend's Christmas gathering on Sunday all for £16.48

5pm - walk to the Tower of London for Christmas ice-skating, wearing every warm item of clothing I own. Queue, queue, skate, queue. Walk across Tower Bridge and along the riverside. Friend buys me a "schokokuss" because I've never had one. Christmas lights and a less freezing than anticipated riverside walk. Pop into London Grind to warm up over a Negroni and a bowl of sweet potato wedges, total evening damage £29


9am - Yoga Class at Fierce Grace (again). Take my own towel this time and just pay £1 for mat hire.

11.30am - Waitrose (again) to buy a late breakfast of Rebel Kitchen coffee "mylk" and a yellow-stickered smoked salmon bagel for £4.79

2pm - meet a friend to take a bus and tube trip across London to avoid the dreaded rail-replacement bus. Spend afternoon at friend's house eating cake and drinking tea. Catch a lift back to the tube station and get home quicker than expected spending £6.30 on transport.


9.30am - bircher muesli from work canteen, lots of water because this hot yoga membership is a ticket for permanent dehydration £1.45

1.30pm - pop to Boots for Nurofen because ice-skating is dangerous when men speed skate into you. Also pick up a Boots meal deal for lunch (Festive Falafel sandwich, Starbucks iced coffee and a vegan snack bar) and my vitamins which are on 3 for 2 all for £12.12

7pm - feeling lazy after an entire day sitting down at my desk, pop into Abokado on the way home for reduced sushi for £5.79
Very un-glamourous unfiltered lunch-at-desk shot.

8am - eat Alpro pot bought in a rare moment of grocery shopping last week.

1.30pm - salad from work canteen for £2.60. No gym yesterday or today due to aforementioned ice-skating issue.

3.30pm - coffee run for £3.05.

7pm - meet a friend for dinner at Pizza Express in Hampstead. £11 for my vegan pizza and Diet Coke because I downloaded a voucher - tube there and back for £5.30.


8am - wake up mid crazy dream where my 5.55am alarm didn't go off and I didn't go to my hot yoga class. Oh.

9.30am - Starbucks soy cappuccino because I'm already feeling guilty about not doing yoga for £2.45.

1.30pm - desk lunch of salad and soup for £3.50 because the cold weather has seen to my daily Itsu addiction and spending £8 on lunch.

4pm - afternoon doldrums. Buy a new blog template for £49 because "update blog" has been on my weekly to-do list since the summer.

5.30pm - take the tube to Queen's Park for a client event. Sparkling water, sushi and mini bagels at client event.

8pm - hop on the overground to Chiswick (unchartered London territory), meet Elodie and Hannah at Chiswick Fire Station. Much West London vibes. Much awareness that I bought my coat in 2012. Tanquery 10 Gimlet and a side of peppered squid for me since I ate at the client event. Split bill based on what we had and the service charge - £20.68 for my share (West London!).

Midnight - on the tube home and a man starts urinating in the carriage. Bless the circle line and it's walk through trains making running the length of one in horror a possibility and £6.80 in total transport.


9.45am - Soya mocha from Pret on the way to work for £2.10. Realise that my phone alarm no longer works and feel half guilty and half refreshed for two days of accidental week day lie-ins.

1.30pm - lunch at desk of a falafel wrap, carrot sticks and hummus for £3.50.

6pm - finally make my way to Lush at Liverpool Street station to buy a Secret Santa gift  for £15.10, also pop to Boots for some VAT-rated "essentials" for £3.50.

8pm - Work Christmas dinner at a venue which used to have the pleasure of being the City's stickiest, sleaziest bar. Colleague buys me a vodka soda while we wait for our table. The food is slightly better than my (low) expectations, I have smoked salmon to start, sea bream for my main and a chocolate cheesecake dessert. I'd already paid a £10 deposit so on the night it comes to £30 for the food, service and drinks.
Chocolate cheesecake - much calories, much festive.

9.30am - despite eating dinner at 10pm I am starving this morning. It's Friday so "treat myself" to an English muffin with peanut butter for only 75p.

1pm - Friend who works in the city is hungover, we swap our desk WhatsApp chat for meeting for lunch. Head to K10 for their sushi conveyor belt. It's the season for spending so minimal guilt by this point, I have two plates of sushi and a fruit salad for £12.85.

6pm - waxing appointment while watching last night's episode of The Apprentice. It's covered by courses purchased earlier in the year so nothing to pay.

7pm - buy Diet Coke, Popchips, hummus and carrot sticks for an evening in with a girl friend for £10.39. Copious amounts of gin already in my kitchen.

Sushi sushi sushi.
Total: £239.45  -  mostly on things eaten or drunk.  At least my blog looks good.



  1. I really enjoy reading these! As well as tracking your spending you've created a perfect insight into the life of a Londoner (especially the appreciation of Circle line trains - gulp). I'd do the same but I can't quite face up to how much I fritter away in Pret and Boots just yet... xx

  2. Loved reading this. I dread to think how much money I fritter away - mostly on food when I'm not organised enough to plan in advance and take lunches etc. Maybe I should do this.

  3. I love these posts - I'm so nosy! And wondered whether to do one for my week but then I really don't do enough for it to be as interesting... and I literally spend my money on food and drink (drink = coffee).

  4. Love your week in spending, made me smile at my desk and simultaneously feel incredibly dull and quite impressed that I can regularly go 5 days without spending anything because working from home or the office in the middle of nowhere is not conducive to my much missed late afternoon Costa habit from my 'proper job' days.

  5. This is so interesting! It makes me think I should add up what I spend, although I don't generally go out for lunch (once a half term as a treat). I have a Starbucks card so I can see how often I top that up, which is probably more than I really should...

  6. Loved this, Lily! You should do one in January to compare! xxx


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