Inspired by this article on Refinery 29, I decided to keep a spending diary for one week of my life to note my spending habits. I found it super interesting reading about other people's spending habits so I'm hoping mine will be interesting to you, too! The week I chose to keep this diary ended up being kind of weird, because it was only a 3 day workweek. So that gave me much more free time to buy things… which I suppose ended up making for a more interesting spending diary than a normal week would :)
Day 1: Monday, was off work because of MLK day, woo!
9:00 - Spent the morning watching TV and being semi-productive on the computer. Ate leftover burrito from lunch yesterday for brunch.
2:00 - Drove to my brother's house to hang out with my baby niece (and him and my sister-in-law.. but mostly the niece) Was very proud of myself because I was pretty hungry when I left for their house, but I remembered that I had a piece of oatmeal bake in the fridge so I ate that rather than stopping somewhere on the way to get a snack.
6:00 - After I got home, I spent the rest of the night making food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had pulled pork bowls for dinner and tomorrow's lunch, which was taught to us by some of our friends (hi Steve and Jenna!) : pulled pork, mashed potatoes, baked beans, and corn all piled in a bowl- SO GOOD. Then we made breakfast sandwiches for the workweek. I'm going to do a whole separate post on the make ahead breakfast sandwiches once I perfect them, but it's a toasted english muffin, ham, hash brown, cheese, and egg. The egg is the trickiest part - trying to figure out how to make the egg ahead of time so that it doesn't get gross and watery when you reheat it.
8:00 - Made our grocery list for the week. I ended up feeling slightly annoyed that my whole night has revolved around making food, prepping food, planning meals, etc. But I know it's worth it because it'll save a lot of money rather than going to restaurants.
Total spending: $0
Day 2: Tuesday
7:00 - Got coffee from our building before leaving for work (our building has free coffee in the lobby every morning! Not the best coffee, but free is good) At work, ate one of the delicious breakfast sandwiches we made for breakfast. SO GOOD. Already start looking forward to tomorrow’s sandwich as soon as I finish today’s. Really need to perfect the recipe to post on the blog.
12:00 - Leftover pulled pork bowl for lunch.
4:00 - Home from work, Venmo mike for half of our groceries because he went grocery shopping on the way home ($23.50), take a powernap (oops), do a yoga video. Contemplate online shopping for new pajama pants. Decide not to because I want to be productive doing other things tonight and I know online shopping takes me awhile. Also, the longer I put it off, the longer I don’t spend money :)
5:30 - Make dinner: spinach and sausage pasta! We bulked it up with a bunch of extra vegetables- broccoli, green pepper, and squash.
7:30 - Go on a post-dinner walk around our neighborhood, then make hot chocolate and watch TV.
Total spending: $23.50
Day 3: Wednesday
7:00 - coffee from downstairs again. Need to break this habit… tea is so much healthier! (since I don’t put sugar or cream in tea). Breakfast sandwich for breakfast again.
12:00 - got $3 wonton soup for lunch in honor of a coworker’s birthday. Skip eating the lunch I packed (leftover spinach and sausage pasta).
4:00 - stop at grocery store on the way to Mom’s house. Pick up some ingredients I need for dinner, and also get sucked into buying some ridiculously good popcorn- that Boom Chicka Pop stuff? I’ve seen it but never tried it, and there were two kinds on sale for $0.82 each because they were holiday flavors. DUDE THIS WAS SO GOOD. I basically ate the entire bag myself. Anyway, spent $11.64 at the grocery store on popcorn and dinner things.
6:00 - Make Mexican Casserole for Mom and I for dinner. This is another recipe from our friends Steve and Jenna (hi again!). Basically beans, peppers, ground meat, and salsa in the bottom of a casserole dish, cover with sliced velveeta then you make 2 boxes of jiffy cornbread and pour the batter on top and bake it all up. So good.
9:00 - Get home, put leftover mexican casserole in containers for lunch tomorrow, bed!
Total spending: $14.64
Day 4: Thursday
7:00 - skipped the coffee this morning and made tea at work. WIN. Enjoyed my delicious breakfast sandwich at my desk.
12:00 - leftover mexican cornbread for lunch.
4:00 - bowl of cereal for a snack, then went on a walk and listened to a new audiobook I downloaded from the library (The Heist). So far it’s good!
6:00 - leftover mexican cornbread for dinner (this stuff makes a TON… 8 servings! I still have 1 serving left after this)
Total spending: $0
Day 5: Friday, off work for Inauguration Day
9:00 - made coffee cake for the first time in my life! I used this recipe and it was ridiculously good. (specifically the crumble… omgggg). It took forever to make but was totally worth it. YUM.
1:00 - went on a walk around our neighborhood to see if any bars were doing Inauguration Day drink specials. No luck. Headed home and had leftover spinach and sausage pasta for a late lunch.
4:00 - Went to Port City Brewery to use a gift card (it was PACKED so we just got some bottles to go), then Target to shop for pajama pants and also shoe protector to waterproof some boots. Mike and I split the ~$5 bottle so I ended up spending ~$23 total on the waterproofing and pjs.
8:00 - made homemade pizza for dinner!
9:00 - drink some of our new beer and order a million things online. I'm looking for new black flats for work, so I ordered some from DSW and Nordstrom Rack. I also ordered a bunch of summer dresses from Target and Nordstrom Rack. I'm fully expecting to return a majority of the items I ordered (i ordered 5 pairs of black flats but I only need 1), so I'm less stressed about the fact that I just spent over $300 online. $150 at Nordstrom Rack + $110 at Target + $87 at DSW. Still using ebates so I also got like $3 in cashback off of those purchases, woo! (PS that ebates link is a referral that’ll give you $10 extra in cash back and me $5 if you sign up and make a purchase of $25!)
Total spending: $370 (but I ended up returning $230 so actual spending was $140)
Day 6: Saturday
9:00 - leftover coffee cake for breakfast. Yum.
11:00 - drove to a friend’s for a family thing for the afternoon. Had lunch with her family!
5:00 Spent the evening napping, going on a walk, making leftover mexican casserole for dinner (finally ate the last serving haha)
9:00 - met up with friends in DC! Spent a lot more money than we usually do BUT this is a fairly rare occasion. Mike and I split the bills but overall spent $60 on drinks (lol on 6 beers, ouch) and I reloaded my metro card with $10 on our way there (the ride was only $2.85 though) and then we spent $7.27 on an Uber home.
Total spending: $44 (after splitting stuff with Mike)
Day 7: Sunday
9:00 - leftover pizza for breakfast (and more leftover coffee cake)
2:00 - 9:00 - (got lazy with the time thing and am just gonna list this all in one big group) Went on a walk/run with Mike (in the rain- not our finest idea) then had the most productive afternoon of my LIFE. I showered (yes this is actually an item I need to list as an accomplishment), vacuumed (AND cleaned out the vacuum), took pictures of things to sell on ebay and started listing 2 of them, calculated how much mike owes me for utility bills and requested the money on Venmo (dude Venmo is the best thing ever), made enchiladas for dinner (with homemade "refried" beans and homemade enchilada sauce), baked eggs for breakfast sandwiches, made a batch of homemade taco seasoning, made our meal plan and grocery list for the week, cleaned the counters in the kitchen... YEAH. So productive.
Total spending : $0
Total weekly spending: $222.14
This was fun! I also have my monthly budget listed on this page, so you can see what my usual month of spending looks like :)