Money Diaries

 Photo by  Estée Janssens  on  Unsplash

I’ve been really interested in doing some money diaries exercises, and since we just moved – it’s been even more on my mind. I really wanted to see where my money was going, so I thought that it would be fun to do a test run for my first full work week since we moved into the new house.

This was a fun little exercise – and it helped me see where my money tends to disappear to during the week. Of course, it’s not a typical week of spending because we just moved and I’m in the process of getting the house set up, which means a bit more spending than I’m used to.

As I did this exercise, I realized that I was spending less because I knew I would be writing it down. This helped a lot with frivolous spending!


Monday 10/2

7:30 a.m. – I take the bus from our new house in Baltimore county to my job in the city. It’s a pretty easy route and I usually just listen to podcasts on the 40ish minute ride. I only bought a one way ticket today because I’ll be loading up on a fare card when I get downtown. $1.80

8:15 a.m. – Last week I realized my $5+ hot chocolate at Starbucks is pretty much the same as the $1.50 one I can get at 7/11. I stop in the 7/11 next to my office and grab some milk and cereal, a hot chocolate and some goldfish to snack on. $6.11

12:30 p.m. – I stop by the mall and buy a new black beanie, to ~*celebrate the start of fall weather. Then I head to the transportation office to put twenty dollars on my fare card.s. I’ve got leftovers for lunch – chicken thighs, mashed potatoes and corn. $27

4:30 p.m. – My husband is off today, so I get a ride home from work. He went grocery shopping on Friday so our fridge is fully stocked – which means no paying for dinners this week. We settle in for the night and he makes pork loin and salads.


Tuesday 10/3

7:30 a.m. – I take the bus using the fare card I bought yesterday, but when I get down to work I decide to treat myself to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. I’m on the second day of my period and craving chocolate. $2.98

8:30 a.m. – Checking my email I see that our Spotify payment was automatically deducted from my account. My husband and I have a joint Spotify premium account that is a god-send during the work week. $14.99

12:30 p.m. – I didn’t bring lunch today because I got too caught up in reading last night to prep anything. Plus I’m not feeling good so I carb-load on some pasta from the Italian place across the street from my office. $9.49

4:45 p.m. – I stay a little late at work and my bus home is way less crowded. I swipe my fare card and spend the rest of my ride reading.

7:00 p.m. – My husband’s working a closing shift so I’m on my own for dinner. I make goat cheese grits and some shrimp, then I pack up a lunch box of grits and some leftover pork loin for tomorrow.


Wednesday 10/4 

8:00 a.m. – I pick up a box of cereal at 7/11, along with a hot chocolate. Now I’ve got breakfast for the next few days at work. $7.00

9:45 a.m. – I order some art supplies from Amazon for a project I’ll be working on this weekend. I spend about fifteen minutes debating on whether or not I should order a book that’s on my Goodreads wish list, but ultimately I decide against it. I’ll probably cave and buy it in a few weeks once the price goes down a little. $11.04

12:30 p.m. – I make a trip to the library on my lunch break to return my books before they’re overdue. I pick up the new Stephen King novel (700 pages, Jesus Christ!) and a malted milkshake from Potbelly’s on my way back to the office. $3.63

2:30 p.m. – After texting with my husband, I buy two tickets to a Friday showing of the new Blade Runner movie. He’s been really excited for this movie to come out, and the theater near us does regular priced reserved seats for opening weekends – so we decided to buy the tickets early for good seats. $28.06

4:30 p.m. – I use my fare card for a bus ride home, and realize we forgot to defrost anything for dinner tonight. My husband offers to order takeout since I ordered the movie tickets and we wind up testing out a Chinese place near our new house. Their dinner special portions are huge, so I officially have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


Thursday 10/5

7:00 a.m. – I don’t take the bus this morning, because we’ve got to do a pickup / dropoff for dogs that we’re looking after – so my husband drops me off at work. I stop by 7/11 to grab a hot chocolate and manage to get about a half hour of reading done since I’m in the office so early. $2.01

1:15 p.m. – I grab a Coke and a bag of mini Starbursts before heading back to work for the afternoon. I’ve got killer cramps and a headache, so this is my treat to myself. $6.01

1:30 p.m. – I remember that Colourpop released a My Little Pony collection and I really want one of the eye shadows and highlighters. I add them to my cart and debate the pros and cons for a while. I definitely already have enough makeup, but this is a limited edition release and the packaging is super cute. After fifteen minutes, I cave and order. I blame my post-lunch cramps. $17.99

7:00 p.m. – I get a text from a friend to meet out for drinks but my husband’s in the middle of cooking dinner (steaks!) so we pass. We settle in for the night and I have a glass of wine with dinner. At this point I’m sort of wondering if this “money diary” is just a food diary, since that seems to be where the majority of my spending is.


Friday 10/6

8:20 a.m. – The bus took a little longer this morning but I still manage to grab a hot chocolate before work. $2.01

9:30 a.m. – I got a surprise bonus from the union I’m a part of! This is great because I’m running errands tomorrow for house related things, and the bonus will help a lot.

12:10 p.m. – I decide to order some new chairs for our dining room. I’d have them saved in my Amazon cart for a while, and now that I have a little extra cushion from my bonus – I pull the trigger. The reviews are great, and I can’t wait to see how they look in our dining room. $152.77

1:15 p.m. – I usually buy my lunch on Fridays and today’s no different. There’s a Chipotle about half a mile from my office so I walk over there to grab some tacos. A lot of times I’ll buy lunch because it means that I get to move around and walk during the work day – and I remind myself that I should really get my butt back to the gym and actually use the monthly membership I'm paying for. $9.65

5:30 p.m. – My husband I grab burgers before going to see Blade Runner (he pays). We have reserved seats so we get there right at 6:00, and I order a frozen margarita. $9.28

10:00 p.m. – Blade Runner is amazing but long. We head home and relax since my husband works early tomorrow.


Saturday 10/7

9:00 a.m. – I drop my husband off at work and then head to my go-to nail salon to get a fill. They have the best selection of colors. $38.00

12:00 p.m. – I head down to the city. I’m meeting up with some friends and walking around Fells Point Fest. Parking is awful, but I park a little further away and pay for four hours of parking. It works out perfectly because I need to pick up my husband at 5:00. $8.00

1:15 p.m. – My friend and I grab lunch before we head into the festival – pizza and margaritas. $19.26

1:30 - 4:30 p.m. – We walk around the festival for a few hours and my friend covers the drinks. The weather is perfect but the amount of people is pretty overwhelming. I head out around 4:30 to go pick up my husband from work.

5:30 p.m. – My husband’s work day was insane so we spend another night in, watching movies and eating leftovers.


Sunday 10/8

11:00 a.m. – I drop my husband off at work and then head to Ikea. I’m using part of my bonus to pick up a rug I’ve had my eye on. I had picked out a smaller rug, but when I’m there I find the larger version of the same rug in the As-Is section for 50% off. I grab it and pick up some other things I need for around the house (picture frames, bathroom rugs, ect). My total comes to less than the cost of the rug I had originally picked out, which is awesome. $194.45

12:30 p.m. – Since I saved so much at Ikea, I decide to stop on my way home. I had driven to an Ikea further away from us based on what they had in stock. I stop at a Target halfway between Ikea and my house, and I grab a random assortment of things: pillows, groceries and a onesie for my friend's baby. $105.71

2:00 p.m. – I swing by McDonalds because I haven’t eaten yet today, and order a soda and some chicken tenders. $5.29

2:45 p.m. – On my drive home I realize I forgot to pick up cilantro and cheese for the chili I’ll be making tomorrow. I don’t really want to – since it’s a Sunday afternoon – but I stop at the Trader Joe’s near my house. I’m in and out in less than 15 minutes, but it’s super chaotic in there. Remind me to never go grocery shopping on Sundays. $12.61

6:00 p.m. – I pick my husband up from work and we’re both dead tired. We’re off tomorrow, thank god, but both too lazy to cook. We decide to stop at the diner near our house for dinner (his treat).


Total Spent: $695.14

New House Expenses: $452.93

Normal Expenses: $242.21