Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money. If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.
Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.
Every two months Money for Life is teaming up with a young person and publishing their Spending Diary written over a week, tracking their spendings and sharing their money and budgeting tips and tricks.
Job: Progression Officer – Youth Worker
Weekly or monthly paycheck amount: £1,250 (after tax)
Living conditions: With Family
Housing costs: £250 rent
Any Loan payments: Loan Repayment £80 a month
Food Shopping: £50
Phone bill: £70 phone contract, tablet £46 a month, £15 sim contract
Savings: with Nan here and there for holiday in March (Amsterdam) & April (Barbados), suppose to put £100 minimally per month
Other: Netflix £8.99, Argos Card £50
8am – Wake up this morning feeling tired and hungry! What can I eat…?
8.20am – finally out of my bed, I go downstairs to make an oats, berry and mango smoothie (ingredients bought on the weekend during my weekly shop), that’s £2.50 saved on breakfast!
8.40am – I left the house to go to my dentist appointment. I use my contactless card to get on the bus as I was running late and had no time to top-up at the shops which would usually cost me £5. – £1.50
9.20am – I caught the bus back to work from my dentist appointment, tapped my contactless card again saving £1.50 as TFL allows everyone to get 2 bus rides for £1.50 within 1hr.
12.45pm – stopped off at Tesco to get a croissant £0.80p to eat with my lunch (tuna and pasta – meal prep, money savings!!)
4pm – I caught the bus home £1.50, so smelly and sticky!
7pm – Dinner time…. hmm I am sitting here thinking what I can eat… I am so hungry; do I cook or get a takeaway to make it quick? Yesterday’s Chinese was so expensive and came in a small portion costing me a whole £6.50! that was for a large king prawn fried rice including £2.50 delivery on Just Eat. Do I go Co-op or order takeaway? Co-op it is!
7.25pm – I walked to Co-op and spent £8.55 on fresh chicken (to cook), chips, Dorito crisps, biscuits, a big bottle of water and Orange juice
11.30pm – Finally in bed Watching Netflix – David Attenborough!!
Total spending: £18.85
8.30am – I went to sleep quite early yesterday and still woke up late today ☹. I am here thinking; do I get a cab or do I get a bus and message my manager that I am running late to work? Hmmm I am meant to be spending minimally as payday is not until the 25th of this month… Bus it is! £1.50
9.20am – Stopped off at Tesco quickly to get some lunch! Today is a busy day full of meetings so no time to go out during the day.
Reduced Chicken Katsu Curry £4.00 – down to £1.82, x2 Croissants 80p each = £1.60
3pm – I left work early today to allow enough time on the bus to get to my art therapy session – £1.50
3.40pm – I got to my appointment early, so I went to Starbucks to get an ice latte coffee to waste a bit of time as I hate waiting around! – £3.95
5.30pm – I stopped off at my friend’s house on my way home, I always say to myself I won’t stay too long as it gets dark and I end up getting a cab home rather than the bus which is more money spending!
7pm – I only just realised the time, ohh shoot I left straightway to get the bus which was coming in the next 5 mins, caught the bus in time, £1.50 spend!
8pm – I walked into my house to see dinner made by mum and my sister did meal prep for me and her yay!! Money saving for me tomorrow with a 20 min extra lie in 😊
10.30pm – Watching Hollyoaks on catch-up E4 and then straight to bed as I am feeling so tired.
Total spending: £11.87
8am – I woke up and went back to sleep by accident! Is there such a thing?!
8.35am – I woke back up and realised I am running late! 20mins snoozing slipped into 35mins of going back to sleep!! Rushing to leave no time for breakfast
9am – I walked to work and stopped off at McDonald’s for 2 hash browns & brown sauce £1.79
1.30pm – lunchtime eating the meal prepped by my sister yesterday – food always tastes much better when you don’t make it!
4pm – I just finished work and left to go to the bus stop to go to my meeting in Hackney £1.50.
4.30pm – I stopped off at Gregg’s on my travels to get a mocha coffee and sausage roll for £2.25! so random but I was feeling a bit peckish and tired, so this has done the job!
6pm – I got on the bus home £1.50 and had dinner which my sister cooked again 😊.
11pm – Watching Hollyoaks on catch-up E4 and then straight to bed
Total spending: £7.04
8am – I woke up this morning so tired, training today at 10.30am. I made some breakfast and went back to bed for 45mins! Some call it lazy, I call it every minute counts 😊
10am – I walked to training as it’s not too far from my house. I stopped off at my local coffee shop to get a regular mocha for £2.50!
12.30pm – Training finished. I walked to work as I have time to waste and could save money on travel.
12.45pm – I stopped off at Co-op on my way to work, what do I want, mmm… chicken pasty it is! £1 😍
6.30pm – On my way home from another late meeting, I get off the bus early to walk home and see if I could find any food shops on my way as I am marvin!!
7pm – I ended up buying a large fat chips and curry sauce from my local fish and chips shop £3.60 and x2 Kinder Buenos from my local shop £1.20 😍
8.30pm – Watching Netflix at home, the final episode of power, who’s going to kill ghost!!
11pm – Off to bed to go to sleep
Total spending: £8.30
8am – woke up this morning, walked to work and stopped off at Tesco to buy x2 croissants 80p each £1.60 and a reduced chicken masala microwave meal £2.50 reduced from £4.29
12pm – Lunch time – mmm that chicken masala microwave meal tasted so nice, it’s not everyday bread or salad!
2pm – went to the coffee shop to have a meeting with my manager, they have the best mocha coffees and chocolate brownies!! £4.50
5pm – left work a little late today, got a bus to my friend’s house. On the way, I picked up Chinese king prawn fried rice & chicken noodles £9.20
7pm – watching Hollyoaks and then went to the shop to get a drink, they have the best American fizzy Fanta flavours. I bought x2 strawberry cherry flavours £2 and a bottle of water £1 £3
10pm – Came home, watched Junior Bake Off on E4, they made the best cinnamon and apple cake which I will be attempting to make next weekend! Check out the recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/803633/apple-and-cinnamon-cake
Total spending: £20.80
12.30pm – I woke up this morning as I call it naturally! No alarm, no noise, no calls or texts! I love the weekends because I get to sleep without anyone complaining 😊
3pm – I left my house to walk to the train station for my meeting, stopping off at Co-op to get a meal deal; chicken salad sandwich, ready salted crisps and a bottle of water £3.50
3.20pm – topped up my oyster card at Angel station to get the train to Aldgate East £10
4.20pm – I left my meeting and got the train back to Hackney to go to my friend’s house. On the way I stopped off at McDonald’s to get x2 cheeseburgers no pickles! Double cheeseburger, medium chips and a mini chicken snack wrap £6.55
8pm – I got a Viavan cab home using the app, got in and continued to watch the final 2 episodes of junior bake off £5.25! check out the app for yourself, cheap and quick cabs: https://www.viavan.com/london-launch/
Total spending: £25.30
11.30am – I woke up this morning and watched Hollyoaks catch up on e4, I always watch the whole week all over again 😊
12pm – I went to the café and got a chicken panini and chips for £4.50
1pm – I am staying in for the rest of the day, Netflix and chill kind of day.
4pm – I decided to go for a walk, taking my sister’s dog bailey with me. We stopped off at Co-op to get dog treats and water £2.20
10pm – I decided to go sleep early today after a chilled weekend, back to work on Monday, off to bed!
Total spending: £6.70
Want to follow our young person on Social media?
Youth and community engagement account – @dippedincreativity_yp & @dippedincreativityevents
Personal account – @_smilerrr
Watch out for the next Spending Diary coming out soon.
Are you interested in writing a Spending Diary?
Get in touch with email@example.com
Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.