Money Diaries: Week 2

Day one:

6.45am: My alarm goes off, and I can tell I didn’t get a great sleep last night. The cold I got last week is still hanging around a little, so I’m not going to the gym this morning as I figure it’s best to let my body relax and work on getting better.

7am: My boyfriend, R, has made coffee. Bless him. He gives me a big cuddle and tells me he thinks he is getting a cold too. I feel bad for giving it to him, but that’s what happens when you live in close quarters! I make a banana smoothie for breakfast and pack leftovers, watermelon and some homemade protein balls for lunch.

8.30am: I start work. We have our work retreat/Christmas party starting tomorrow so even though it’s only Wednesday, this is our last day in the office for the week and everybody is in a good mood!

9am: I get a call from my beautician asking if we can move my IPL hair removal appointment earlier this afternoon, so I tell her I will come straight after work. I’ve been getting IPL on my underarms and bikini area since about this time last year and it’s effective at decreasing growth, but it’s expensive.

10am:  While catching up on emails, I find out that a story/project I’ve been working on is being pushed back a week, which is a bit of a weight off my chest!

1pm: I heat up my lunch and eat at my desk. I hate eating at my desk, but it’s convenient for when I want to read the news and catch up on Money Diaries etc rather than using my phone. I’m still hungry after lunch so I eat my emergency muesli bar that I keep in my desk as well.

4.30pm: I finish work and rush out the door to get to my IPL appointment. It stings but is over quickly. $59.99 gone for just a 10 minute appointment! I’m considering finding an alternative but not sure what just yet.

5.15pm: I get home and have an early shower, and do a bit of a ~beauty routine~ since I’m flying interstate tomorrow morning and have a busy few days. I wash my hair, do a face mask and cover my body in gradual tanning moisturiser. I have neither the time nor the inclination to properly commit to fake tanning, so the moisturiser is an easy alternative.

6pm: I make shakshuka for dinner- yum! BF is playing footy tonight so I use the solo time to pack my bags, do some work on my computer and watch an episode of The Bold Type. 

9.30pm: I had hope to get an early night since I have a big day tomorrow, but R gets home and spends some time cooking himself some food, so I help out a bit while we catch up on our days.

10.30pm I finally make it to bed, set my alarm and fall into a deep sleep.

Daily total: $59.99

Day two

5am: My alarm goes off. Bleerrrgh. I actually usually get up early to go to the gym before work, but my schedule has been all over the place the last few weeks so it’s hard this morning.

5.30: R drops me off at the airport (good boy) and I meet up with my colleagues before boarding the plane, where I do a little reading and then catch up on some podcasts and rest my eyes.

10am: We land in Melbourne and a driver takes us to our accommodation. Since this is a work retreat, it is all organised and covered by the company. $0.

11am: It is hot and I am STARVING. Most people haven’t arrived yet and lunch is still a while away, so a few of us head to Woolworths to pick up some snacks. I buy two bananas, a packet of chips and some protein balls on sale. $5.13

1pm: Everybody has arrived and we all have lunch together (provided by work) before some activities together. My $125 for my car loan also comes out which always stings a little, but isn’t included in this tally.

6pm: We head to dinner at a restaurant in Chinatown. The company has organised a ‘set menu’ for us, so the waiters bring plate after plate of food and drinks to the tables. It’s all delicious and there are plenty of vegetarian options for me. We eat as much as we can and then virtually roll out the door before having more drinks and then heading to karaoke! The food was all pre-organised and paid for, so there is nothing to pay for tonight. $0.

2pm: We have spent hours singing our hearts out and it is finally time to head home. It’s been a fun night but I am absolutely shattered after a long day and very ready for bed. My voice is hoarse and will definitely be non-existent in the morning! I text R, collapse into bed and sleep like a baby.

Daily total: $5.13

Day three

8am: My alarm goes off, my mouth is dry and I am still tired. I hydrate, spend some time lazing around in bed and then it’s time to shower and make myself presentable.

9.30am: We all meet for breakfast and then spend the morning doing some team building activities.

1pm: It’s lunchtime, and some of our colleagues who didn’t come out after dinner took home the leftovers, so I dig into those while the others have KFC. $0.

2.30pm: We do some more team-building activities and then do the office ‘Secret Santa’. I end up with a funny card game, which I’m pretty happy with.

5pm: Our bus arrives to take us to Werribee Zoo. I am usually not a fan of zoos, but this one is open plan with a lot of space for the animals, and they do a lot of conservation work as well. None of the animals are in cages and they seem very well cared for. We were taken on a safari-style tour followed by a buffet dinner and drumming/dance performance. There are drinks available but it’s so hot that all I want is water. Dinner and the bus tour was pre-paid so cost on the night is $0.

9pm: We head home, all have a drink together and I head to bed around 11. I feel very lucky to work for a company where everybody is genuinely so nice and where everybody looks out for one another. My weekly gym membership is debited from my account ($14.95), but there is no cost for our meals.

Daily total: $14.95

Day four

7am: My alarm goes off, and it’s time to shower, pack and head to the airport. I’m travelling with one of my colleagues and since he travels a lot for work, he has access to the airport lounge. He takes me in as a plus one and we grab some free breakfast before boarding our flight.

10am: Our flight lands and it’s only 10am because of the time difference, which is nice. I get a taxi home and it’s $29.19.

10.30 I arrive home and have an hour to unpack and get ready before heading into the city. My friend, G, has just finished law school and is having lunch and drinks to celebrate. I quickly throw on a summery playsuit, do my hair and look up bus times to see when I can get into the city. I’m not haven’t really been wearing makeup at all lately and just put on a little bit of concealer and mascara. My phone tells me it will take nearly an hour on the bus which means I would be quite late, so I opt to get an uber.

12.15pm: After a couple of wrong turns my Uber drops me at the restaurant. $19.83. I don’t really feel like drinking yet (I’m not a big fan of day drinking, plus R and I are going to a party tonight), but I order a salad and fries because #balance. Total $22.75. The food is great and it’s a really great to catch up. The weather is unseasonably cold and I find myself wishing I didn’t wear such a summery outfit! After a couple of hours R texts me (he has been at work) and tells me he can pick me up on the way home so I head downstairs to meet him.

3.30pm: We need to pick up some drinks for tonight and R has a giftcard for a bottle shop near our place, so we head over there and pick up some ginger beer, wine, and a couple of premixed gins. He pays on the gift card so there is no cost, woohoo! He also buys us coffees and we head home to get ready for the party.

4.30pm: We are chilling at home when we realise we totally forgot to get a present for L, birthday girl! We quickly get dressed and head to the shops on the way where he buys the card and I buy a nice bunch of flowers. $15.

5.30pm: The party is actually quite close to our place, so we drive R’s car over with the plan of walking home at the end of the night. The group is mostly made up of R’s friends from university and some people we don’t know, but it’s a nice group and we spend the night catching up with everybody and making the most of our free drinks. At the end of the night we start walking home and are about halfway there when some of the group who are going into the city drive past us and offer us a lift. We gratefully accept and are home two minutes later.

12am: R was too busy drinking and talking to his friends to eat at the party and is starving now. We haven’t done grocery shopping yet so there’s not much food at home- he starts making some toast and then decides he is too tired and we hit the hay.

Daily total: $86.77

Day five

6.45am: It’s Sunday, and we wake up annoyingly early. We hang out in bed for a little while and then I drive us to L’s place to pick up the car.

8am: Since he didn’t eat last night, R is ravenous and gets McDonald’s on the way home- he gets a full meal and a hash brown for me. I make some coffee and toast and we watch The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix. The movie starts off ok, but then gets more and more ridiculous and seems to drag out forever!

10.30am: We start putting together another online order for our groceries! You have to order by 11am for same day pickup, and my computer glitches as we are doing the order so we miss out and have to go in person a little later.

11.30am: Time for shopping! It ends up being a big one: avocado, spinach, mushrooms, pumpkin, zucchini, broccoli, capsicum, watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple, bread, tofu, tempeh, black beans, frozen berries, muesli bars, dishcloths, shower gel, crackers and more. R decides he wants nachos for lunch so we also get salsa, corn chips and vegan cheese. The bill comes to about $125, but I have a gift card so there is nothing to pay out of pocket- yay!

1pm: We get home and it’s time for lunch and more Netflix! We watch Nocturnal Animals and it is GOOD. Sad and creepy, but good.

3.30pm: R does some work on the computer while I start prepping my food for next week. We are usually really good with meal prepping and but it’s been a bit less structured recently so I’m excited to get back into it (is that boring?). I prep a batch of quinoa, roast some pumpkin, cook broccoli and zucchini, cut up some capsicum and make some black bean and mushroom patties from scratch. Preparing all my ingredients separately means I have a bit more versatility with how I’ll eat them so I don’t get bored- some days I’ll put the food with spinach and avocado and turn it into a salad, others I can add some bread and make a sandwich, or I can just heat it up for a hot meal.

5pm: R is heading to the movies this evening and invites me to come, but I think I need a night at home to relax and unwind after the busy week! I finish doing my food prep and put The Bold Type on in the background.

6.30pm: Time to shower, moisturise and put on a face mask while I prepare myself for the week ahead. I pack my gym bag and sort out my outfit for work tomorrow in an effort to make the morning go smoothly.

7pm: Time for dinner. Since R is at the movies it’s just me, which is nice now and then. I cook some penne pasta and throw together some onions, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, and coconut cream with some random herbs and spices. It’s actually delicious.

8pm: As a surprise for R, I decide to quickly make some healthy banana muffins. I often bake banana bread and he loves it, so I know the muffins will go down well. They are so good that I eat two before he even gets home.

9.30: Food is put away, dishes are done, face mask is washed off and serum applied. R gets home and we chat for a bit before going to sleep.

Daily total: $0

Day six

6.45am: My alarm goes off and it is so hard to wake up. I snooze for 20 minutes which means I am now pushed for time. I quickly shower, pack my lunch, and force down toast and a smoothie before rushing out the door.

8am: I had planned to get petrol on the way to work, but I don’t have time now. My fuel tank is dangerously low but the light isn’t quite on yet, so I’m hoping it will be fine until tonight or tomorrow.

8.30am: Work work work. Everybody is tired after a big week last week! I catch up on some emails and some of my regular content, but I am definitely dragging my feet today.

12pm: Lunch time. I eat my salad and one of the banana muffins. They are just as good as they were last night! I also transfer $5 to a co-worker who purchased gifts for our managers on behalf of all the junior staff.

4.30pm: I finish work and don’t hang around any longer than necessary!

5pm: I arrive at the gym and it’s busy, as it always is on Monday afternoons. I do a good workout which feels good after being out of my usual routine. I was fighting a cold last week and prior to that had just been on holidays and hadn’t got properly back into it yet, so I’m happy to be finding my groove again.

6.30pm: Home, and time to make dinner. R cooks some steamed pumpkin, potatoes and greens, and then he adds chicken to his and I cook tempeh to go with mine.

7.30pm: We watch an episode of The Bold Type while we eat. My dinner doesn’t quite fill me up, so I have another banana muffin. I spend some time doing dishes and getting my bags ready for tomorrow- I want to get up early and go to the gym, which means I need to get everything organised tonight.

9.30pm: Bedtime! I start reading a new book but only get about two lines in before R starts distracting me. We chat for a while and fall asleep.

Daily total: $5

Day seven

5am: I vaguely feel R get up and start moving around. He is starting work super early today so he kisses me goodbye while I am still half asleep.

5.30am: My alarm goes off and I force myself to get out of bed. I quickly get dressed and drink some pre-workout. I don’t always have supplements or pre-workout since I don’t usually need the extra energy and I’m not a professional, but it does really help in the early mornings sometimes!

6am: I’m out the door and stop to put some petrol in my car before my tank completely runs out. Since I don’t have much money left in my account, I get just enough to last me until payday. $15.01

7.45am: I finish my workout, quickly shower and get ready in record time. Getting ready is SO quick in the mornings now that I’m not wearing makeup anymore!

8.30am: I eat my prepared breakfast of oats and berries at my desk while having a cup of tea.

12pm: Lunch time! I use the office sandwich press to toast my tempeh sandwich and it’s not bad! I’ve never had a tempeh sandwich before and I think with a couple of tweaks I’ll be able to nail it soon. I also chat with my TRL team online trying to work out whether we have enough players for tonight- it’s a tricky time of year with a few people going on holidays!

4.30pm: Finish work for the day! I’m a little peckish when I get home but I don’t want to eat anything too big since I’m going to be running around soon. I make a protein shake and spend a bit of time vacuuming and doing dishes before R gets home.

7pm: We head to the footy fields for the game. It’s a mixed team and we were short on guys tonight so R agreed to fill in, which is nice of him. It all gets a bit dramatic a few minutes into the second half when one of the guys on our team has a bad fall and ends up hurting his leg- they have to call the ambulance and everything, so our game is quickly wrapped up.

9pm: We get home and quickly organise a late dinner. I heat up some of the prepped veggies, two of my black bean patties and a little bit of quinoa, and top it with some avocado. It’s kind of like a burrito bowl! We watch a little bit of TV then make our way into bed at about 10.30.

Daily total: $15.01

Weekly totals

Food and drink (including groceries): $27.88

Entertainment (including sport): $0

Home and health: $14.95

Clothes and beauty: $59.95

Transport: $64.02

Other: $20

Weekly total spent: $186.8

Final thoughts/reflection: As predicted, this week was a LOT cheaper!! Being away at my work retreat and having all of the events already organised and paid for was definitely a major factor, plus the grocery store gift card saved a a big chunk as well! Looking back I feel that once again, I haven’t wasted money on anything excessive (maybe the $59.95 hair removal treatment, but I could argue that it is saving me time and money in the long term). The only thing I think was probably a silly financial decision was spending almost $20 on getting an Uber into the city when I could have driven myself in and parked for much less. To be honest though, I had initially planned on drinking and am not completely comfortable driving and parking in the city, so I did do what I thought was best at the time. All in all, I think I spend my money pretty wisely and with my general expenses and cost of living, I don’t really think I could do much better!



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