I first discovered money diaries on Refinery29. Yes, the concept has been thought of before, but Refinery29 has worked it into something that I have become completely fascinated by.
I can spend hours upon hours reading about how people spend their money. So this week I decided to track my spending R29 style. Unlike R29 I am not going to start this post with my salary, monthly bills etc., because that is not what’s important to me right now. Instead I will just be tracking what I spend on a McDonald’s Crew Member salary. Right now it’s just important for me to be aware of how much I am spending, and what I can potentially cut out.
It’s a long one – but I hope you find it interesting!
8:15 a.m. – My alarm goes off reminding me that I have a therapy group at 9.30 this morning. I snooze it once and when it goes back off I realise that I’m really not up for it this week. I had surgery last Wednesday, and I’m still not feeling the best, so I turn it off and decide not to go. I’ll go tomorrow night instead.
1.00 p.m. – I definitely oversleep! I’ve been staying at my parents since I got my surgery done and my sleeping schedule has gotten way out of whack. Mum comes in and finally tells me I need to get up – I have a check up appointment with my surgeon this afternoon so I need to get to it.
2.30 p.m. – I finally get some food! Mum and I stop off at one of her favourite cafes to grab a bite to eat before the appointment. It’s a local chain that I’m seriously considering applying at to get some extra cash now that I’ve moved out. I get a raspberry and passionfruit juice and a slice of banana bread. Mum shouts the bill.
4.30 p.m. – By the time my appointment is over I am drained. My surgeon is apparently on holiday and I ended up having a check up with a bunch of doctors I didn’t know. They tell me I have an infection and I need to take another week off work. Shit, that’s going to blow my budget.
We stop by my work on the way home to drop in another doctors certificate. I can’t help but buy myself a 3 pack of nuggets and a chilli sauce while I’m there. I try not to eat too much meat, but for some reason my body has been craving nuggets these past few months. I need to quit it. With my discount, I pay $1.60.
5 p.m. – We stop at the bakery and chemist on the way home. Mum kindly offers to pay for my antibiotics, but while I’m in the chemist I realise I’m out of micellar water and grab myself some for $8.39. I also run into the bakery and buy a spinach and ricotta roll, because I feel guilty asking mum to pay for my snacking habits. Since they’re close to closing, I get two for $2.50.
8.30 p.m. – The latest Game of Thrones episode aired earlier in the day, and the rerun is about to play on TV! I dibs the lounge room so my family doesn’t ruin it for me (no one else watches it!) and heat up a bowl of last nights leftovers (veggie jambalaya) and a big glass of water. The episode is good, but I have a feeling next weeks will be better!
12 a.m. – Somehow it’s hit midnight without me realising! I go outside to have a smoke before going in and doing my nightmare skincare routine. Before bed, I make myself a cinnamon sugar bagel and pour a glass of iced coffee that someone had bought (score!). Probably not the best before bed snack, but I’m feeling it and I’ve had a relatively crappy day. I end up falling in the dark hole of youtube and fall asleep around 4.30 a.m. Oops!
Daily total: $12.49
10.30 a.m. – My alarm goes off way too early considering my late night, and I accidentally click snooze. Next thing I know it’s midday and mum’s waking me up reminding me that we were supposed to be leaving at midday. I messed up. I quickly jump in the shower before we head out the door.
1.30 p.m. – We stop at McDonald’s on the way out because of my sleep in this morning and now we don’t have time to go out for anything better. Mum gets herself a large McChicken meal with an orange juice for me. I go to take the orange juice, and end up dropping it everywhere. I run back inside and get myself a small orange juice and a bottle of water for later. $6.10
2.10 p.m. – I got two $10 tickets from our local cinema a week ago for using my member card for the first time in over a year. Considering tickets are usually $20, it’s a score! We are going to see Dunkirk, which I’m super excited about, and since I have the cheap tickets mum offers to pay. We don’t buy snacks but I have my water from earlier.
4.30 p.m. – Dunkirk was amazing! I have therapy in an hour, so to kill some time mum and I go to Spotlight and have a browse. They have a 30% off sale, and I end up spending $13.28 on a lemon juicer, tupperware and a dustpan and broom.
8.30 p.m. – After group one of my friends pick me up to hang out at hers. We stop at KFC on the way home because I’m craving it and haven’t eaten anything yet. I know it’s not healthy, but I have been trying to eat healthier and I’m allowing myself treats so I don’t end up going completely backwards with my diet. $10.95
10 p.m. – We stop at Kmart on the way home which is risky because I am known for spending all my money at Kmart. Somehow I walk out with just a lunchbox. I have been looking online for the perfect lunch box recently to make bringing food to work easier, and somehow I find exactly the one I wanted for $3 which is 10x cheaper than the ones I’d been looking at online.
3 a.m. – Another friend comes to hang out with us around 11. After some smoke, Splatoon 2 and snacks I decide to call it a night and get a lift home.
Daily total: $33.33
2.30 p.m. – Oh god! I wake up late again and realise I have to get my sleeping pattern back under control. I need to have an early night tonight! For a very late breakfast I decide to make myself 3-ingredient pancakes. We are out of almond milk, so I use banana, flour and skim milk and eye-ball the ingredients. I eat them while watching some netflix.
5.30 p.m. – Today is an extremely chill day. I play a bit of Splatoon 2 but mostly spend the day aimlessly scrolling the internet. Eventually I decide I’m hungry and heat up the last of the jambalaya for dinner. I’ll have to get cooking again tomorrow!
7.00 p.m. – Mum gets home and got me some cigarettes. Bloody hell they are expensive! $31.45
9.00 p.m. – Somehow in the past few hours everything has gone to shit. It’s all very personal and not something I am at all ready to talk about. I find a muesli bar in the cupboard, finish up the rest of the iced coffee and curl up into bed for the night. Who knows when I go to sleep, but I binge watch netflix for hours before I do.
Daily total: $31.45
11.15 a.m. – Luckily I remembered to set my alarm last night so I actually wake up before it turns afternoon. I get up, make myself a cup of tea, and have a smoke. Somehow even though I slept for 8+ hours I am still exhausted, but at least my sleeping schedule is slowly getting back on track.
2 p.m. – I didn’t eat a proper dinner last night and I woke up starving. I’ve been craving fried rice for a few weeks now, but I have left over quinoa in the fridge so I decide to make some kind of ‘fried quinoa’. I don’t have many vegetables but I use carrots, beans, corn and spring onion. I add some pickled ginger, garlic and chilli as well as a homemade dressing. It’s a bit all over the place but tastes delicious.
6.30 p.m. – The weather has been horrible the past few days, so I haven’t really felt like leaving the house. I end up scrolling through netflix for a while looking for something to watch but end up drawing a blank. I decide to finally sign up to another streaming service (Stan) and get a months free trial to see what shows they have. Within minutes I see that they have the complete Will & Grace series, and immediately settle in to watch. I have been wanting to watch this series beginning to end for years so I’m excited to start.
8 p.m. – My parents and brother are home from work now, and mum decides to make pasta. I offer to help, but she’s already got the water boiling and it’s a store bought sauce so there’s not much I can do to help.
2 a.m. – I do it again – why?! It’s late and I’m tired, and go to bed without washing my face. Oops.
Daily total: $0
9.45 a.m. – My alarm goes off and I’m exhausted. Get up, wash my face and make a cup of tea to take outside while I have a smoke. I have a post-surgery check up today, and they give me a call while I’m having a smoke to say it’s been pushed back an hour and a half. I would be happy, but I’m already awake so I don’t even get to have an extra hour of sleep. Bugger.
11 a.m. – My grandma offers to drive me to my appointment and I head over to her place for breakfast before. I have a crumpet with vegemite and another cup of tea and sit and catch up with grandma for the first time in weeks.
1.10 p.m. – My check up goes well and I’m given the all clear to go back to work – yay! I’ve been off the roster for almost two weeks now, and I’m glad I won’t have to call in sick for the shifts I picked up this weekend. The appointment costs me $36.55 but that will be refunded by medicare.
2 p.m. – My grandma needs to stop at the hardware store to get potting mix on the way home, which also conviniently has a cafe. I get an iced coffee and scone, and my grandma shouts my food. I’m so thankful for my family this week! While we are in the home and gardening section, I buy myself a cactus, two mason jars and a storage container. $29.88
2.45 p.m. – We stop at the local grocer on the way home. I look around for a while but realise that I have lots of leftovers at home that I should really eat, so I don’t end up buying anything.
5 p.m. – My plans fall through for the night, so I end up having a night in with my brother. I have my leftover fried quinoa and end up watching hours of Will & Grace.
8 p.m. – Nothing is happening, but I remember I have some gin leftover from the other weekend. I end up having two gin and tonics and watching a few episodes of Master of None. I also notice that $6.70 has come out of my bank account for some skincare bits I bought on Afterpay a few weeks ago.
12 a.m. – Around midnight I decide I’m ready for bed. I make a cup of tea, have a smoke and get into bed. I watch some Futurama before I go to sleep.
Daily total: $29.88
11 a.m. – I wake up reasonably early for me at the moment. I go back to work tonight but apart from that I don’t really have any other plans. I get up, have a quick shower to wash my face and body and settle in on the couch for the day.
2 p.m. – Mum decides to put a movie on, but ten minutes in I realise I’m not feeling it. I sit on the couch scrolling social media for a while, but end up going down to my room and doing some tidying. I am going back to my place tomorrow and have some things to pack up.
3.30 p.m. – I start work at 5 and have a few errands to run before hand, so mum and I head off. We stop at the local grocer and my apartment to drop some things off, before mum drops me at work for the night.
4.30 p.m. – I get to work early to grab myself dinner. It’s definitely not healthy, but I buy myself a 6 nugget happy meal with a diet coke. I need to stop eating chicken again! New week resolution? $3.95
8.00 p.m. – I wasn’t supposed to have a break tonight, but the manager asked me to stay back an extra two hours and I need the extra money! Because I’m helping out, I get free food on shift and make a wrap and buy a coffee frappe. Not the healthiest but it’ll do!
12.30 a.m. – I am finished work! We got a rush of customers as I was about to finish, so I end up staying back an extra half an hour to help in kitchen. I don’t feel as bad about the free drinks I was being given on shift now! I buy myself a hot chocolate, and my mum a flat white before I call a cab home. The drinks cost me $6.50 but mum kindly pays for my cab which was $22.50.
2 a.m. – I finally decide to call it a night and I go out for a quick smoke before I go to sleep. Luckily my brother is away for the weekend so I steal his bed (and electric blanket) for the night.
Daily total: $10.45
7.30 a.m. – My dog wakes me up way too early, so I put him outside for a little bit and grab myself a glass of water. I end up scrolling through social media for a bit, before putting an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on and falling back to sleep.
12 p.m. – I end up sleeping a lot longer which I’m happy about considering my late night. I have work again tonight and have a relatively lazy day planned. I go outside for a smoke and spend about an hour catching up on some youtube.
2.30 p.m. – Eventually I realise I need to get ready to move my stuff back home. I have a quick shower, do my skincare and then spend about an hour sorting things and loading them into the car.
5 p.m. – Mum suggests going to my favourite Thai place for dinner and I can’t refuse. I get my usual: sweet n sour veggies with no tofu (I’m allergic) and drink their free water. As usual, I can’t fault my meal – it’s delicious. When I go to pay, mum buts in and taps her card before I can get to it. I love my mum but it’s so hard to treat her!
6.45 p.m. – We stop for groceries after dinner. I’m moving back into my flat tonight and I’m out of basically everything. I get apple juice, greek yoghurt, blueberries, spinach, sweet potatoes, canned tomatoes and quinoa, plus some extra snacks. $42.15.
8 p.m. – I decide not to buy myself anything before work. I make a pact to drink 3 large cups of water during my shift instead – and I do it!
12 a.m. – I am knackered! My feet are killing me after not working continuously for so long and I’m ready to hit the hey. I grab myself a wrap and hot chocolate for $7 before getting a cab home. I used all my cash on the wrap and drink, so unfortunately the cab costs me more than usual paying by eftpos $8.55.
Daily total: $57.70
Total money spent this week: $175.30
In all honesty I am surprised at how much I managed to spend this week, considering how many times I commented on people shouting me meals. I’m definitely in a tough spot budgeting-wise at the moment, but I’m really hoping that in the near future I can hone down on my spending habits. I’ll be interested in doing this again on and off!