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Money Diary: A 23-Year-Old Occupational Therapist On 30k

·19-min read

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.

This week: "Hi everyone! I’m a 23-year-old working and living in London. I work as an occupational therapist and am currently saving towards buying a house by getting together a hefty deposit. I’ve recently hit £20k saved so quite proud of myself!

I’ve been saving properly for over a year and have been able to hit some major milestones, which is great. It’s been a really long journey. My finances have been more of a focus for me for going on two years now. Prior to August 2019 I would spend my money frivolously and once went on a family holiday with £100 to my name (many moons ago when I was a teen). I’ve worked a range of retail jobs and used to struggle to say no to a discounted item. Although I am still tempted by yellow stickers, I have to make sure there's room in my monthly budget first!

I’ve tried my hand at a range of finance schemes. I've just started a YouTube channel about my savings, started a small business and begun trading (I’ve lost £5 so far! Not happy about that) but I find a clear budget and having a goal are what work best for me."

Industry: Health and social care
Age: 23
Location: London
Salary: £29,888 (which will be increasing, come on, we totally deserve more than a 1% increase).
Paycheque amount: Just under £2,000
Number of housemates: I live with my family.

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: £100 household contribution.
Loan payments: Student loan (depends on how much I get paid per month with or without overtime but on average around £25-£50 per month).
Utilities: £0 (paid for by family).
Transportation: £110
Phone bill: £12 contract.
Savings? £21,000 which I have saved over a year and a few months; the money I saved in 2019 went towards a Thailand holiday! This figure includes a few thousand I have in an ISA and £1,500 in an emergency fund.
Other: £300 savings towards my driving lessons. Professional membership £27.05 (monthly). FabFitFun subscription £45 per box and totally worth it.

If you are interested in submitting your own money diary then please send us some information about yourself to moneydiary@refinery29.uk. Each published diary will receive £100.

<strong>Day One</strong><br><br>6am: Went to bed quite late last night as I had a four-hour nap after a trip to A&E. Unfortunately I wake up really early with a headache. Stay in bed for a while. <br><br>9am: Get up and ready for the day (shower etc.) then do some YouTube research and watch some new YouTubers. I injured my ankle yesterday and have to wait for an all-clear before I return to work as I work in a fast-paced environment. <br><br>11am: Browse on TikTok and see an offer on a clothing app where you save £15 if you spend over £15 so have a look at the app, seems to be legit. Happy gal!<br><br>12pm: Reply to emails, plan YouTube uploads and review my budget. <br><br>1.30pm: There was a new pair of trainers on the app I’ve been wanting to order for a while but sadly the discount code did not work in the end.<br><br>2pm: Spend £2.50 on Getir – they had an offer I couldn’t resist and I managed to get £17.50 worth of food for £2.50 and free delivery! Weekly shop done. Feel like I am on a roll here so spend £13 at SheIn on some baking items. I love baking and compared prices before purchase. Can you believe a bundt cake tin is £50?! <br><br>3pm: Start to prepare my dinner. I’m currently fasting for Ramadan so dinner is always a big one for me. I have leftover mince so I’ll be preparing some beef burgers and fries. <br><br>4pm: Review my goals. I make a lot of goals and review them regularly to make sure that I am reaching them. Slow but steady wins the race! <br><br>5pm: Download the Cherryz app and purchase some home essential items, luckily there's a deal so I save a lot of money and only spend 85p. <br><br>7pm: Have a bath. Baths are honestly one of my favourite pastimes, lounging around feels better with lavender bath salts.<br><br>8.30pm: Dinnertime! And I watch my favourite series, <em>The Bold Type</em>. I’m obsessed, Sutton and Richard have totally restored my faith in love.<br><br>10pm: Watch Netflix until I end up falling asleep.<br><br><strong>Total: £16.35</strong>
Day One

6am: Went to bed quite late last night as I had a four-hour nap after a trip to A&E. Unfortunately I wake up really early with a headache. Stay in bed for a while.

9am: Get up and ready for the day (shower etc.) then do some YouTube research and watch some new YouTubers. I injured my ankle yesterday and have to wait for an all-clear before I return to work as I work in a fast-paced environment.

11am: Browse on TikTok and see an offer on a clothing app where you save £15 if you spend over £15 so have a look at the app, seems to be legit. Happy gal!

12pm: Reply to emails, plan YouTube uploads and review my budget.

1.30pm: There was a new pair of trainers on the app I’ve been wanting to order for a while but sadly the discount code did not work in the end.

2pm: Spend £2.50 on Getir – they had an offer I couldn’t resist and I managed to get £17.50 worth of food for £2.50 and free delivery! Weekly shop done. Feel like I am on a roll here so spend £13 at SheIn on some baking items. I love baking and compared prices before purchase. Can you believe a bundt cake tin is £50?!

3pm: Start to prepare my dinner. I’m currently fasting for Ramadan so dinner is always a big one for me. I have leftover mince so I’ll be preparing some beef burgers and fries.

4pm: Review my goals. I make a lot of goals and review them regularly to make sure that I am reaching them. Slow but steady wins the race!

5pm: Download the Cherryz app and purchase some home essential items, luckily there's a deal so I save a lot of money and only spend 85p.

7pm: Have a bath. Baths are honestly one of my favourite pastimes, lounging around feels better with lavender bath salts.

8.30pm: Dinnertime! And I watch my favourite series, The Bold Type. I’m obsessed, Sutton and Richard have totally restored my faith in love.

10pm: Watch Netflix until I end up falling asleep.

Total: £16.35
<strong>Day Two</strong><br><br>10am: Wake up. My sleeping routine has completely changed now that I have to be off work, I’ve typically been staying up late to eat Suhoor so sleep later and wake up even later. I stay in bed and watch YouTube and Netflix for an hour and a half. <br><br>11.30am: Get out of bed, get ready for another boring day. I’m fasting as it’s Ramadan and usually plan my days around food. I’d usually get out of bed much earlier for breakfast.<br><br>12pm: Prepare some orders. I manage to sell some items on eBay so +£45 to my side hustles pot, woohoo! Will take the easiest route to my postie's. The less walking, the better, thanks to my injury.<br><br>1pm: Go to the post office, which takes me extra long due to my ankle and crutches. I spend £12 on postage. My sister asks me to send a letter for her too, which is an extra £2 so £14 in total. <br><br>2pm: After a long queue in the postie's I pop into a local food store and get some fruit for a smoothie which I’ll prepare later and some extra bits I need at home: dry foods, sauces, juice and a chocolate croissant, yum. I really miss Pret croissants! Total £20. I thought I’d get as much as I can as I don’t want to be out too much with the injury. <br><br>2.30pm: Get home and put my shopping away, review my budget for a little while and move money where needed. Also put my washing on. Currently trying to plan a spa day for my sibling but everything is booked up. <br><br>3pm: Read a book and do some journalling, it’s such a game-changer for me and really helps get my thoughts out and into paper. <br><br>5pm: Call my best friends. We chat on the phone for two hours, which flies by! Long phone calls usually drain me but this was an easy one. <br><br>7pm: Do a bit of self-care using a face mask I got from my FabFitFun box. Applying it with a silicone brush makes such a difference! <br><br>8pm: Prepare my dinner. I break my fast in about 25 minutes so pop on some rice and and stick a frozen breaded chicken breast in the oven which I got reduced from M&S a week ago (frozen upon purchase). Prepare my meal and enjoy! <br><br>9pm: Stay up for an extra hour or two watching YouTube now that I have the energy after having my dinner. I have my smoothie before I go to bed to fill me up for the day ahead. <br><br>10.30pm: Super tempted to have my croissant so I pop it in the oven, eat<br>and head to bed. <br><br>11pm: Listen to a sleep story to help me get to sleep, there are so many free ones on YouTube.<br><br><strong>Total: £34</strong>
Day Two

10am: Wake up. My sleeping routine has completely changed now that I have to be off work, I’ve typically been staying up late to eat Suhoor so sleep later and wake up even later. I stay in bed and watch YouTube and Netflix for an hour and a half.

11.30am: Get out of bed, get ready for another boring day. I’m fasting as it’s Ramadan and usually plan my days around food. I’d usually get out of bed much earlier for breakfast.

12pm: Prepare some orders. I manage to sell some items on eBay so +£45 to my side hustles pot, woohoo! Will take the easiest route to my postie's. The less walking, the better, thanks to my injury.

1pm: Go to the post office, which takes me extra long due to my ankle and crutches. I spend £12 on postage. My sister asks me to send a letter for her too, which is an extra £2 so £14 in total.

2pm: After a long queue in the postie's I pop into a local food store and get some fruit for a smoothie which I’ll prepare later and some extra bits I need at home: dry foods, sauces, juice and a chocolate croissant, yum. I really miss Pret croissants! Total £20. I thought I’d get as much as I can as I don’t want to be out too much with the injury.

2.30pm: Get home and put my shopping away, review my budget for a little while and move money where needed. Also put my washing on. Currently trying to plan a spa day for my sibling but everything is booked up.

3pm: Read a book and do some journalling, it’s such a game-changer for me and really helps get my thoughts out and into paper.

5pm: Call my best friends. We chat on the phone for two hours, which flies by! Long phone calls usually drain me but this was an easy one.

7pm: Do a bit of self-care using a face mask I got from my FabFitFun box. Applying it with a silicone brush makes such a difference!

8pm: Prepare my dinner. I break my fast in about 25 minutes so pop on some rice and and stick a frozen breaded chicken breast in the oven which I got reduced from M&S a week ago (frozen upon purchase). Prepare my meal and enjoy!

9pm: Stay up for an extra hour or two watching YouTube now that I have the energy after having my dinner. I have my smoothie before I go to bed to fill me up for the day ahead.

10.30pm: Super tempted to have my croissant so I pop it in the oven, eat
and head to bed.

11pm: Listen to a sleep story to help me get to sleep, there are so many free ones on YouTube.

Total: £34
<strong>Day Three</strong><br><br>11am: Wake up, had a proper lovely lie-in as last night I stayed up way too late watching YouTube videos. Glad I’ve found a new hobby sharing my savings journey on my YouTube channel though! <br><br>12pm: Watch even more YouTube videos and check my emails. I am waiting for a few orders to arrive. Book a nail appointment (£40) to get some acrylics done, decide not to get a pedicure as I’m scared my ankle will still be in pain. I know £40 is much more expensive than the high street but I’m treating myself! And I’ve managed to get 10% off so it’s a win-win. I invested in a gel nail kit a few months back so can do my pedicure at home in due time. <br><br>1pm: Have a spurt of energy and get out of bed. Some New Balance I ordered a while ago have arrived so I try them on and they are so comfy. I got a good saving too so happy with that!<br><br>2pm: Edit a YouTube video and upload it to my private feed. Pre-filming honestly makes life so much easier. Get asked to make my biryani so ask my sibling to get some coriander. No coriander at the shop = saving for me, happy gal. <br><br>3pm: Put on some makeup and film a few reels for my Instagram, also do some fun videos miming along to some of Beyoncé’s and Mariah Carey’s live performances. <br><br>4pm: Edit and upload a YouTube video. My Cherryz order arrives so I take a break then continue with my concert for another hour or so. <br><br>5.30pm: Find the energy to put away my order, clean around the house as best as I can and reorganise my spice tray. Definitely feeling like a Stepford wife, lol. <br><br>7pm: Prepare my biryani, takes me about an hour to make. After this I prepare my plate for breaking my fast. <br><br>8pm: Reply to some comments on my YouTube channel and browse Instagram for about half an hour before breaking my fast. <br><br>8.20pm: Remember that I wanted to order some bits from Etsy so spend £30 on paper plates and bunting. I’ll be hosting a brunch later this month so looking forward to that. I’ll also be cooking loads, is it bad that I’m pre-stressed?<br><br>8.30pm: Break my fast and have my biryani, it's pretty good. And it gets all thumbs up so I guess it was worth it. I’m quite impressed, I’ve been challenging myself to prepare one meal a week from another country, from scratch. Last week I made lahmajun, and chicken kebabs. <br><br>9pm: Eat loads more as usual and then go to bed around 10pm. <br><br><strong>Total: £70</strong>
Day Three

11am: Wake up, had a proper lovely lie-in as last night I stayed up way too late watching YouTube videos. Glad I’ve found a new hobby sharing my savings journey on my YouTube channel though!

12pm: Watch even more YouTube videos and check my emails. I am waiting for a few orders to arrive. Book a nail appointment (£40) to get some acrylics done, decide not to get a pedicure as I’m scared my ankle will still be in pain. I know £40 is much more expensive than the high street but I’m treating myself! And I’ve managed to get 10% off so it’s a win-win. I invested in a gel nail kit a few months back so can do my pedicure at home in due time.

1pm: Have a spurt of energy and get out of bed. Some New Balance I ordered a while ago have arrived so I try them on and they are so comfy. I got a good saving too so happy with that!

2pm: Edit a YouTube video and upload it to my private feed. Pre-filming honestly makes life so much easier. Get asked to make my biryani so ask my sibling to get some coriander. No coriander at the shop = saving for me, happy gal.

3pm: Put on some makeup and film a few reels for my Instagram, also do some fun videos miming along to some of Beyoncé’s and Mariah Carey’s live performances.

4pm: Edit and upload a YouTube video. My Cherryz order arrives so I take a break then continue with my concert for another hour or so.

5.30pm: Find the energy to put away my order, clean around the house as best as I can and reorganise my spice tray. Definitely feeling like a Stepford wife, lol.

7pm: Prepare my biryani, takes me about an hour to make. After this I prepare my plate for breaking my fast.

8pm: Reply to some comments on my YouTube channel and browse Instagram for about half an hour before breaking my fast.

8.20pm: Remember that I wanted to order some bits from Etsy so spend £30 on paper plates and bunting. I’ll be hosting a brunch later this month so looking forward to that. I’ll also be cooking loads, is it bad that I’m pre-stressed?

8.30pm: Break my fast and have my biryani, it's pretty good. And it gets all thumbs up so I guess it was worth it. I’m quite impressed, I’ve been challenging myself to prepare one meal a week from another country, from scratch. Last week I made lahmajun, and chicken kebabs.

9pm: Eat loads more as usual and then go to bed around 10pm.

Total: £70
<strong>Day Four</strong><br><br>9am: Wake up and get ready for another day lounging at home. Upload a YouTube video and do some social media promotion, browse socials for a bit. <br><br>11am: Start preparing my meal for when I break my fast, cue buttermilk preparation. Prepare a chicken tenders marinade following a recipe. <br><br>12pm: My sibling goes to the shop and I ask them to get me a chocolate croissant so I guess that’s 95p spent. Clearly chocolate croissants are a weakness of mine. <br><br>1pm: Look up more recipes, think I’ll make some Swedish cinnamon and cardamom buns in a few weeks. They are so cute and I love cinnamon. Have a quick phone call with my dad and then watch Netflix for a little while. <br><br>2pm: Remember that I have some iced white chocolate flavour coffee from my Cherryz order and decide I need a reusable cup. How cute are those personalised Starbucks cups? To be fair I am a sucker for anything personalised. Browse Etsy but nothing catches my eye. <br><br>3pm: Read a book, <em>Everything I Know About Love </em>is my current one. When I worked in retail I used to read a few pages on my break then put it back on the shelves, lol. It’s taken me a few years to actually pick up my own copy. <br><br>4pm: Look at nail art designs. Again, can’t find anything that I like so I do my washing.<br><br>5pm: Contact someone on Instagram to enquire about a cake for my brunch, no reply but her cakes are amazing so I’m happy to wait for her to get back to me. <br><br>6pm: My sibling heads out to get a takeaway so I ask them to get me one too. Totally worth it as the portions are huge and can probably last me two days. £6.50<br><br>7pm: Wash and blow-dry my hair, one of my siblings helps me braid it. Usually I pay them £5 but they rushed it today and I’ll only have the braids in for two weeks before I get my hair done. So no charge! <br><br>8pm: Prepare my chicken strips and try to film a Reel which ends up making my Instagram crash. Break my fast and enjoy some of the goodies (food) I got earlier! <br><br>8.45pm: Get to frying my chicken tenders which come out super tasty. I’ll definitely be making them again. <br><br>9pm: Watch some shows on my iPad, head up to bed around 10 and have my croissant with a cup of chai tea, read an ebook for 20 minutes on my phone. Then sleep! <br><br><strong>Total: £7.45</strong>
Day Four

9am: Wake up and get ready for another day lounging at home. Upload a YouTube video and do some social media promotion, browse socials for a bit.

11am: Start preparing my meal for when I break my fast, cue buttermilk preparation. Prepare a chicken tenders marinade following a recipe.

12pm: My sibling goes to the shop and I ask them to get me a chocolate croissant so I guess that’s 95p spent. Clearly chocolate croissants are a weakness of mine.

1pm: Look up more recipes, think I’ll make some Swedish cinnamon and cardamom buns in a few weeks. They are so cute and I love cinnamon. Have a quick phone call with my dad and then watch Netflix for a little while.

2pm: Remember that I have some iced white chocolate flavour coffee from my Cherryz order and decide I need a reusable cup. How cute are those personalised Starbucks cups? To be fair I am a sucker for anything personalised. Browse Etsy but nothing catches my eye.

3pm: Read a book, Everything I Know About Love is my current one. When I worked in retail I used to read a few pages on my break then put it back on the shelves, lol. It’s taken me a few years to actually pick up my own copy.

4pm: Look at nail art designs. Again, can’t find anything that I like so I do my washing.

5pm: Contact someone on Instagram to enquire about a cake for my brunch, no reply but her cakes are amazing so I’m happy to wait for her to get back to me.

6pm: My sibling heads out to get a takeaway so I ask them to get me one too. Totally worth it as the portions are huge and can probably last me two days. £6.50

7pm: Wash and blow-dry my hair, one of my siblings helps me braid it. Usually I pay them £5 but they rushed it today and I’ll only have the braids in for two weeks before I get my hair done. So no charge!

8pm: Prepare my chicken strips and try to film a Reel which ends up making my Instagram crash. Break my fast and enjoy some of the goodies (food) I got earlier!

8.45pm: Get to frying my chicken tenders which come out super tasty. I’ll definitely be making them again.

9pm: Watch some shows on my iPad, head up to bed around 10 and have my croissant with a cup of chai tea, read an ebook for 20 minutes on my phone. Then sleep!

Total: £7.45
<strong>Day Five</strong><br><br>3am: Wake up and have some water before my fast begins again, I think the tea left me dehydrated? I wanted some toast but couldn’t find the energy to go downstairs. <br><br>9am: Wake up, do my skincare, shower etc. and head downstairs. Start trying to clean the kitchen, which takes me a good two or three hours with many breaks included. <br><br>11.30am: Try to FaceTime my friend but she doesn’t answer so I guess that catch-up is postponed. <br><br>11.30am: Browse TikTok and see a girl's small business who sells affordable clothes so I order a bustier-style top for only £13. Manage to get 15% off so with delivery it's £14.50. Happy days.<br><br>12pm: Head upstairs and relax a little. Watch some of <em>The Circle</em> on Netflix, which keeps me entertained for two hours. <br><br>2pm: My sibling returns home after popping by a Gail's Bakery. £3.20 for one of their tasty cinnamon buns. I’ve tried to replicate them at home, trust me, they are not the same. <br><br>3pm: I've decided I’ll be making Indian food tomorrow. I'm thinking tandoori chicken, onion bhajis, rice and garlic naan bread. All from scratch of course. Manage to get my sibling to go to the shop to get some of the bits for me. Honestly, walking with crutches is not for the fainthearted. £2.75 <br><br>5pm: Scroll through Instagram which makes me feel bad about myself but then again, social media isn’t really real. Glad I pretty much share it all (good and bad) on my socials, even if most of it is for my close friends list. I distract myself by beginning to plan a brunch with my cousins, hopefully we can go somewhere indoors next month! <br><br>6pm: My sibling shows off a scarf which looks like something I’d like... Pretty floral pattern and doesn’t slip off at night? I get them to order me one! £8.44 (I know, SO much money on a scarf but it’s an investment).<br><br>7pm: See that McDonald’s is doing a deal for click and collect orders. Try to coax my sibling to go by offering to buy them the deal too but they don’t want any. Fuming. Think I’ll treat myself to it anyway and just pay that delivery fee. <br><br>8pm: Prepare my snack to break my fast. I have a strawberry smoothie and some mango along with that slice of toast I was craving earlier this morning. Of course it’s slathered with butter – yum! Also order my Maccies. £9 but get free delivery and some cash back.<br><br>8.30pm: Pray, have my snack and then wait for my McDonald’s to arrive. All here and all for me. Usually I would get the McDonald’s dupes in Tesco but this ankle injury is clearly hindering my frugal techniques. <br><br>9pm: Food finally arrives, half of it is spilled and my drink now makes up most of the meal. Make a refund request, eat what I can and watch stuff on my iPad until I get tired. Prepare myself a crispy pancake, load it with lemon juice and sugar and enjoy it fresh, then go to bed around 10.30pm. <br> <br><strong>Total: £37.89</strong>
Day Five

3am: Wake up and have some water before my fast begins again, I think the tea left me dehydrated? I wanted some toast but couldn’t find the energy to go downstairs.

9am: Wake up, do my skincare, shower etc. and head downstairs. Start trying to clean the kitchen, which takes me a good two or three hours with many breaks included.

11.30am: Try to FaceTime my friend but she doesn’t answer so I guess that catch-up is postponed.

11.30am: Browse TikTok and see a girl's small business who sells affordable clothes so I order a bustier-style top for only £13. Manage to get 15% off so with delivery it's £14.50. Happy days.

12pm: Head upstairs and relax a little. Watch some of The Circle on Netflix, which keeps me entertained for two hours.

2pm: My sibling returns home after popping by a Gail's Bakery. £3.20 for one of their tasty cinnamon buns. I’ve tried to replicate them at home, trust me, they are not the same.

3pm: I've decided I’ll be making Indian food tomorrow. I'm thinking tandoori chicken, onion bhajis, rice and garlic naan bread. All from scratch of course. Manage to get my sibling to go to the shop to get some of the bits for me. Honestly, walking with crutches is not for the fainthearted. £2.75

5pm: Scroll through Instagram which makes me feel bad about myself but then again, social media isn’t really real. Glad I pretty much share it all (good and bad) on my socials, even if most of it is for my close friends list. I distract myself by beginning to plan a brunch with my cousins, hopefully we can go somewhere indoors next month!

6pm: My sibling shows off a scarf which looks like something I’d like... Pretty floral pattern and doesn’t slip off at night? I get them to order me one! £8.44 (I know, SO much money on a scarf but it’s an investment).

7pm: See that McDonald’s is doing a deal for click and collect orders. Try to coax my sibling to go by offering to buy them the deal too but they don’t want any. Fuming. Think I’ll treat myself to it anyway and just pay that delivery fee.

8pm: Prepare my snack to break my fast. I have a strawberry smoothie and some mango along with that slice of toast I was craving earlier this morning. Of course it’s slathered with butter – yum! Also order my Maccies. £9 but get free delivery and some cash back.

8.30pm: Pray, have my snack and then wait for my McDonald’s to arrive. All here and all for me. Usually I would get the McDonald’s dupes in Tesco but this ankle injury is clearly hindering my frugal techniques.

9pm: Food finally arrives, half of it is spilled and my drink now makes up most of the meal. Make a refund request, eat what I can and watch stuff on my iPad until I get tired. Prepare myself a crispy pancake, load it with lemon juice and sugar and enjoy it fresh, then go to bed around 10.30pm.

Total: £37.89
<strong>Day Six</strong><br><br>3.30am: Wake up and have some water, super thirsty! I think tea before bed is making me super dehydrated. Go back to sleep. <br><br>9.30am: Wake up but takes me another half an hour to properly wake up. Reply to some messages and FaceTime my friend for a few hours. She’s a baker so I order a cake for Eid. She’s charging me a special rate so I send her a deposit of £17.50 for now and will send the remainder once I receive the cake. <br><br>12pm: Get ready for the day ahead, brush my teeth etc. Looking forward to my bubble bath later! Plan my day and write a food list. I’m making an Indian dinner today, all from scratch. Can you tell I love cooking? <br><br>1.30pm: Head to my local food store. It’s a bit pricier than others but guaranteed to have what I need. Pick up some gram flour for my onion bhajis, tomatoes for salad, mashed potato and a margherita pizza. Sadly I can't find lemonade and mint to make mocktails. £9.20<br><br>2.30pm: After a long walk (hop) back, I pop my shopping away and get settled down and do some YouTube research. I'm trying to get monetised by December so I’m pre-preparing my videos and scoping out creators who have similar content to me. <br><br>4pm: I went to start baking my cakes and realised I don’t have any butter so ask a sibling pick up some. £1.40 spent. My SheIn order arrives so I share my haul with my sibling. Lots of little baking goodies! I’m super excited to bake something today because why not? I make some little Kinder Bueno cupcakes with a homemade hazelnut filling. It was a bit too hazelnutty so I added some cocoa powder, which made it more chocolatey. I also start preparing the rest of dinner: my onion bhaji batter is ready to fry, my chicken is marinating and the naan bread will be prepared before I pan fry it. <br><br>5.30pm: I forgot I had booked a restaurant for the weekend. £150 charged to my card as a deposit! Luckily I am splitting this with a sibling so they pay me back £75. Not a happy bunny but I did include it in my budget at the beginning of the month. Head off to have a bath. <br><br>7.30pm: Chicken in the oven on a low heat and frying my onion bhajis, they smell AMAZING. Lastly, I pan fry my garlic naan and pop them into the oven too to maintain warmth. <br><br>8.15pm: All the food is in the oven to keep it hot. Pretty proud of myself! <br><br>8.30pm: Break fast! I can’t say no to an onion bhaji so have one of those. I have a strawberry smoothie and some fruit alongside it, then pray. <br><br>9pm: Dinner is served, everyone eats and then comes dessert. Everyone really enjoys the food and I’m so glad! <br><br>10pm: Eat my cupcake, watch <em>90 Day Fiancé </em>which is honestly my guilty pleasure and head to bed once the episode is done. <br><br><strong>Total: £103.10</strong>
Day Six

3.30am: Wake up and have some water, super thirsty! I think tea before bed is making me super dehydrated. Go back to sleep.

9.30am: Wake up but takes me another half an hour to properly wake up. Reply to some messages and FaceTime my friend for a few hours. She’s a baker so I order a cake for Eid. She’s charging me a special rate so I send her a deposit of £17.50 for now and will send the remainder once I receive the cake.

12pm: Get ready for the day ahead, brush my teeth etc. Looking forward to my bubble bath later! Plan my day and write a food list. I’m making an Indian dinner today, all from scratch. Can you tell I love cooking?

1.30pm: Head to my local food store. It’s a bit pricier than others but guaranteed to have what I need. Pick up some gram flour for my onion bhajis, tomatoes for salad, mashed potato and a margherita pizza. Sadly I can't find lemonade and mint to make mocktails. £9.20

2.30pm: After a long walk (hop) back, I pop my shopping away and get settled down and do some YouTube research. I'm trying to get monetised by December so I’m pre-preparing my videos and scoping out creators who have similar content to me.

4pm: I went to start baking my cakes and realised I don’t have any butter so ask a sibling pick up some. £1.40 spent. My SheIn order arrives so I share my haul with my sibling. Lots of little baking goodies! I’m super excited to bake something today because why not? I make some little Kinder Bueno cupcakes with a homemade hazelnut filling. It was a bit too hazelnutty so I added some cocoa powder, which made it more chocolatey. I also start preparing the rest of dinner: my onion bhaji batter is ready to fry, my chicken is marinating and the naan bread will be prepared before I pan fry it.

5.30pm: I forgot I had booked a restaurant for the weekend. £150 charged to my card as a deposit! Luckily I am splitting this with a sibling so they pay me back £75. Not a happy bunny but I did include it in my budget at the beginning of the month. Head off to have a bath.

7.30pm: Chicken in the oven on a low heat and frying my onion bhajis, they smell AMAZING. Lastly, I pan fry my garlic naan and pop them into the oven too to maintain warmth.

8.15pm: All the food is in the oven to keep it hot. Pretty proud of myself!

8.30pm: Break fast! I can’t say no to an onion bhaji so have one of those. I have a strawberry smoothie and some fruit alongside it, then pray.

9pm: Dinner is served, everyone eats and then comes dessert. Everyone really enjoys the food and I’m so glad!

10pm: Eat my cupcake, watch 90 Day Fiancé which is honestly my guilty pleasure and head to bed once the episode is done.

Total: £103.10
<strong>Day Seven</strong><br><br>8.30am: I woke up and was still feeling super tired so stayed in bed a little longer. I attempt to nap, which does not go to plan. <br><br>9.30am: Check my YouTube and see that I hit 190 subscribers! My goal for this month was actually 150 subscribers but I’ve done double uploads this month – glad to see it’s paying off. I do some more YouTube stuff, research SEO, update my tags and watch some new YouTubers I have been enjoying. <br><br>10.45am: Actually get out of bed and prepare for the day. Remember my sibling's birthday is coming up soon so make a mental note to have a look on Etsy. Usually we send gift lists for our birthdays but this year they want it to be a surprise. Why can’t people make birthdays easy? <br><br>11.30am: Go downstairs and grab my post, an order I placed last week has arrived. I blow up one of the balloons to see how it works but can’t deflate it afterwards so have to hide it in my room. <br><br>12pm: I find some hair extensions and decide I want to wear them this weekend so give them a wash and let them air dry. <br><br>1pm: Discuss my sibling's birthday plans and they decide they now don’t want to go out on the day so I call and cancel the reservation at the restaurant I had booked. +£150 to me! <br><br>1.30pm: Decided to order my sibling a cake. There’s one place my family love and they do cakes last minute – think fresh cream and super light sponge, I’ll take three please! Luckily get 10% off so £46 spent. The cakes are so good so I’m really looking forward to them arriving. <br><br>2pm: Have a browse on Etsy for an hour, is this what being off sick does? Makes me scroll endlessly? Add a few things to my basket and review them after. <br><br>3.30pm: I plan my next week, I have plans for Eid so need to schedule my days properly to make sure I get what I need and on time. Head back to my Etsy basket, finally decide what I want to order. Get myself some sweets and a silk face mask, I’ve been wanting one for ages. £30 <br><br>5.30pm: Ordered a new phone screen as my current one is absolutely shambolic! £1.99<br><br>8.30pm: Break fast with leftovers from the past few days.<br><br>9.30pm: Head to bed.<br><strong><br>Total: £77.99</strong>
Day Seven

8.30am: I woke up and was still feeling super tired so stayed in bed a little longer. I attempt to nap, which does not go to plan.

9.30am: Check my YouTube and see that I hit 190 subscribers! My goal for this month was actually 150 subscribers but I’ve done double uploads this month – glad to see it’s paying off. I do some more YouTube stuff, research SEO, update my tags and watch some new YouTubers I have been enjoying.

10.45am: Actually get out of bed and prepare for the day. Remember my sibling's birthday is coming up soon so make a mental note to have a look on Etsy. Usually we send gift lists for our birthdays but this year they want it to be a surprise. Why can’t people make birthdays easy?

11.30am: Go downstairs and grab my post, an order I placed last week has arrived. I blow up one of the balloons to see how it works but can’t deflate it afterwards so have to hide it in my room.

12pm: I find some hair extensions and decide I want to wear them this weekend so give them a wash and let them air dry.

1pm: Discuss my sibling's birthday plans and they decide they now don’t want to go out on the day so I call and cancel the reservation at the restaurant I had booked. +£150 to me!

1.30pm: Decided to order my sibling a cake. There’s one place my family love and they do cakes last minute – think fresh cream and super light sponge, I’ll take three please! Luckily get 10% off so £46 spent. The cakes are so good so I’m really looking forward to them arriving.

2pm: Have a browse on Etsy for an hour, is this what being off sick does? Makes me scroll endlessly? Add a few things to my basket and review them after.

3.30pm: I plan my next week, I have plans for Eid so need to schedule my days properly to make sure I get what I need and on time. Head back to my Etsy basket, finally decide what I want to order. Get myself some sweets and a silk face mask, I’ve been wanting one for ages. £30

5.30pm: Ordered a new phone screen as my current one is absolutely shambolic! £1.99

8.30pm: Break fast with leftovers from the past few days.

9.30pm: Head to bed.

Total: £77.99
<strong>The Breakdown</strong><br><br>Food/Drink: £119<br>Entertainment: £75 (later refunded) <br>Clothes/Beauty: £92.94 <br>Travel: £0<br>Other: £59.84<br><br><strong>Total: £346.78</strong><br><br><strong>Conclusion</strong><br><br>"Overall I think I did quite well. I was able to spend within my budget. I think I spent more on food because I was mostly at home so I’ve eaten more takeaways as I wanted to reduce my time outside. I didn’t spend that much on home-cooked food/ingredients, I was able to consider cheaper options and also get cashback so that’ll add up and I’ll get some money back in the long run too. <br><br>I cannot believe how much I spent in total though! I tend to do a budget and review it at the end of the month but if I’m tracking my budget properly I can see there are areas where I can improve.<br><br>I think I’m going to be focusing a bit more on doing bulk food shopping and also increasing my skills/ability to make more meals at home while trying to learn new recipes to make it more meaningful."
The Breakdown

Food/Drink: £119
Entertainment: £75 (later refunded)
Clothes/Beauty: £92.94
Travel: £0
Other: £59.84

Total: £346.78

Conclusion

"Overall I think I did quite well. I was able to spend within my budget. I think I spent more on food because I was mostly at home so I’ve eaten more takeaways as I wanted to reduce my time outside. I didn’t spend that much on home-cooked food/ingredients, I was able to consider cheaper options and also get cashback so that’ll add up and I’ll get some money back in the long run too.

I cannot believe how much I spent in total though! I tend to do a budget and review it at the end of the month but if I’m tracking my budget properly I can see there are areas where I can improve.

I think I’m going to be focusing a bit more on doing bulk food shopping and also increasing my skills/ability to make more meals at home while trying to learn new recipes to make it more meaningful."

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