Next: a teacher who makes $59,999 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on prenatal yoga and prenatal first aid classes.Editor's note: All prices have been converted to the U.S. dollar.Occupation:
$3,393Monthly ExpensesHousing Costs:
$0All Other Monthly ExpensesUtilities:
$117.50 for my share. ($96 for electricity and gas, $49 for TV and internet, and $90 for council tax, split with my husband.) Health Insurance:
$0, as it's covered by workCell Phone:
$24.50 for my share ($49 for me and my husband)Transportation:
Roughly $140 on gas. (I generally only use the car for my commute to work, so this should go way down when I begin my maternity leave.) Cleaner:
$19.25/week for my share ($38.50/week, split with my husband)Netflix:
$13Pure Barre On Demand:
I generally try to put around $600 into savings each month. I also pay 5% of my pre-tax salary into a pension, which is matched by work. We're trying to save as much as possible before I start my maternity leave, but we also have a lot of getting-ready-for-baby expenses at the moment.
8:55 a.m. — I wake up just before my alarm, which was set for 9 a.m. I'm usually an early riser and can't sleep in much past 8 a.m., but I've found that pregnancy means I can sleep a lot later if I let myself. (Must be all of those middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks.) I eat two rice cakes with peanut butter and drink two glasses of water before heading out for a haircut. I haven't had one in almost five months, which is longer than I usually leave it, and decide to go a bit shorter than normal. Still not sure how I feel about it... $65
10:30 a.m. — I stop by my favorite coffee shop on the way home and pick up a latte for my husband and a cinnamon bun for myself. When I get home, I make myself a decaf tea to enjoy with my bun, and chat with my husband before he does some work. $7.13
11:50 a.m. — Our weekly groceries are delivered. We get onions, carrots, apples, cereal, whole-wheat pasta, rice cakes, pumpkin puree (I'm ready for fall!), quinoa, peanut butter, toothpaste, cheese, salmon, minced beef, broccoli, Greek yogurt, lettuce, tomatoes, pesto, milk, and Amy's Rice Mac & Cheese. The total comes to $96.02, which seems like a lot. I'm hoping to cut down on our weekly food spending over the next few months, but it's tough with my appetite/laziness. My husband pays for these weekly deliveries as he makes more than I do, and I usually supplement with midweek shops when necessary.
12:30 p.m. — I ordered a bunch of maternity clothes from Gap earlier in the week, and finally get around to trying them on. I dislike most of it, so I pack it up and walk to the shop to return things. I end up getting $128.07 refunded to my card, which feels great. As I leave the mall, I wander into a couple of baby stores and am seriously tempted by cute clothes, but resist. I then pop into Marks & Spencer, which I should never do when hungry. I end up buying mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, tortilla chips, and salted caramel popcorn. If you didn't know I was pregnant, now you do. $9.46
1:30 p.m. — I cook the mozzarella sticks for lunch along with green beans, and enjoy it while watching property shows on TV. I am addicted to HGTV, but unfortunately can't get it here in London. Probably for the best.
2:30 p.m. — My husband asks if I want to go for a walk to enjoy the good weather, so we head out toward the river. We end up walking much further than I anticipated and don't get home until 4:15 p.m. I'm completely exhausted, so I send my husband out for Sprite; it's the only thing that sounds refreshing. He surprises me by coming back with a Magnum ice cream bar, as well! I drink and eat in front of the fan.
8 p.m. — Dinner with my husband in front of the TV. This is a habit I hope to break when the baby comes. I definitely watch way too much TV and know I need to cut down. I have a salad and Amy's Mac & Cheese for dinner. Our apartment is so hot and I'm dying. We continue watching TV until 11:15 p.m., when we head to bed.Daily Total: $81.59
9:30 a.m. — It's a bank holiday, so no work! My alarm goes off at 9:30 a.m. and I'm impressed that I managed to sleep this long. I doze in bed for another half an hour before showering and getting ready for brunch with my best friend. I do a quick clean of the apartment as my friend is coming to see it for the first time. (We moved about a month ago.)
11:30 a.m. — I wasn't planning on eating before brunch but can't last, so I have a bowl of Bran Flakes with milk.
12:30 p.m. — My friend and I walk to a local place that I've been meaning to try for ages. I apprehensively order huevos rancheros. Coming from L.A., I'm very particular about my Mexican food and struggle to find impressive options in London. I also order a giant bottle of cold sparkling water. The food is actually great, and I tell myself to return soon. My friend and I spend two hours catching up and looking at nursery furniture on Pinterest. $16.84
2:45 p.m. — I get home and lie in bed in front of the fan. It's so hot again! I eat some ice cream and watch Gilmore Girls
, my comfort show.
5:20 p.m. — I drag myself out of bed to do some meal prep for the week. I am the laziest cook, so I try to prep fruit and vegetables over the weekend to encourage myself to cook healthier meals after work. I peel and chop carrots, cut up broccoli and strawberries, and organize ingredients for dinner.
6:30 p.m. — Do some nursery-furniture shopping online. I can't tell if I'm nesting or avoiding other responsibilities. I email a seller on eBay to ask if I can see a rocking chair in person. For some reason, I'm very particular about this purchase and haven't been able to find anything that I like. I also check Etsy and see a picture of the trunk coffee table we ordered a few weeks ago. I love it!
7 p.m. — I've been debating whether or not to buy a maternity top for weeks; it's expensive and feels extravagant. However, I decide that after yesterday's Gap returns I can afford it, and it's a top that I can wear long after the baby comes. I bite the bullet and order. I manage to get 15% off, which makes me feel a little bit better. $71.58
7:15 p.m. — I start cooking dinner — salmon, broccoli, and quinoa with a spicy sesame sauce. It's delicious and one of our favorite meals. I make enough to have leftovers for the week.
8:30 p.m. — My husband and I have dessert (chocolate orange for him, chocolate chips for me) and tea while watching the first episode of The Cuckoo's Calling
on BBC. We loved the book and are pumped about this. It's good, although we're not convinced they cast the right guy to play Cormoran.
10 p.m. — It is still SO hot in our apartment. We get into bed and I complain about the heat for 10 minutes. My husband is a saint and gives me a back rub to help me calm down. We watch a movie until we fall asleep.Daily Total: $88.42
5:30 a.m. — I wake up for my normal weekday routine: brush teeth, work out, shower, get ready, eat breakfast. This morning, I do a 20-minute HIIT video from The Body Coach. All of his workouts are free on YouTube, and I usually do three a week. I have Greek yogurt and strawberries for breakfast and chug three glasses of water. I've noticed I feel much more dehydrated since getting pregnant, so I'm always conscious of how much water I'm drinking. As I'm getting ready, I notice that I'm almost out of moisturizer. I quickly head to Boots.com to buy a couple more bottles. $24.52
7:30 a.m. — I get to work and immediately make tea and fill up my water bottle. I allow myself one caffeinated tea a day when I'm working, and I treasure it. I head back to my desk and catch up on emails while drinking my tea.
10 a.m. — Back at my desk after a busy morning of meetings and work with kids. I used to be a classroom teacher, but two years ago, I started a new role as the Challenge & Enrichment coordinator for the entire lower school. My time is now split between working with kids and helping teachers plan and deliver more challenging lessons. I'm starving but have a group of kids coming in five minutes, so I quickly eat two chocolate-covered rice cakes.
11:50 a.m. — After enjoying a glorious recess duty in the sun, I get back to my room and snack on pistachios.
12:45 p.m. — I eat leftover salmon, broccoli, and quinoa at my desk. I also have an apple and nibble on some chocolate chips. I keep a little bag in my desk and they're great for snacking on when I'm craving something sweet.
3:30 p.m. — I tutor a third-grade student after school. I worked with her last year and am excited to start again after the summer holiday. She's a real sweetheart and loves math, so we get to play a lot of fun games. Her mom gives me $50 in cash when she picks her up. The extra money is great; I try to tutor three times a week during the year, and the supplemental income is super-helpful.
5:30 p.m. — I get home from work and am, of course, hungry again. I snack on tortilla chips and a chocolate chip cookie my husband bought me over the weekend.
6:30 p.m. — I start making dinner. I had planned to make a salad, but just don't have it in me. Instead, I cook whole-wheat pasta and mix it with tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto. It's good, but I'm full from my snacking and don't eat a lot of it.
7:30 p.m. — Eat a Magnum bar. My husband comes home and we chat while he eats dinner. We rarely eat at the same time during the week because our schedules are so different, but I try to sit with him when I can.
9:45 p.m. — I get into bed and read What to Expect When You're Expecting
. I'm a few months behind, so I don't find the information that helpful or enlightening. I put it down and pick up Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
. It's just not doing it for me tonight. I read one chapter and then give up. My saintly husband comes in to give me another back rub, and then I fall asleep.Daily Total: $24.52
7:30 a.m. — I have the morning off because of a doctor's appointment. One of the great things about living and working in the U.K. is the fact that I'm allowed to take paid time off for all of my antenatal appointments (including antenatal classes), and it doesn't count as sick leave. I set my alarm for 8 a.m., but am up at 7:30 a.m. I refuse to take off my eye mask and pretend to keep sleeping until my alarm goes off. I wake up and do a 30-minute Pure Barre workout, then get ready and have strawberries with Greek yogurt for breakfast.
10 a.m. — I walk to my local salon for a wax. I love the place I go and they always make me feel comfortable and relaxed. The woman who does it ends up charging me less because it didn't take much time at all. She also tells me I'm well on my way to earning a free massage. Just knowing I have that in the future makes me excited. $34.85
10:40 a.m. — I walk home and have breakfast number two: Bran Flakes with milk. I've been trying to figure out a changing-table system for the nursery (we have a built-in dresser, but need something to go on top of it), and have settled on a woven basket. I find two online that are almost identical and I can't decide between them, so I order them both and will return one. $141.96
11 a.m. — Still have some time to kill before my doctor's appointment, so I lie in bed and finish Hillbilly Elegy
. I enjoy it, but I'm not sure it gives me a ton of insight into the minds of Trump and Brexit supporters, as it claimed on the cover. Head to my appointment at 11:40 a.m.
1 p.m. — Stop for gas on the way to work. I bought a new (used) car in February and am so happy with the mileage I get these days. This is the first time I've filled up in a month! $59.59
1:30 p.m. — Get to work and have lunch, leftover pasta from the night before. I eat at my desk, as usual, but have a group of kids working in my room with another teacher, so it's not the most relaxing lunch in the world. I spend the time prepping for meetings later in the day.
6:30 p.m. — I get home and start making dinner. The weather has completely changed; the temperature has dropped and it's raining, so I make tomato soup with brown rice and parmesan. It's delicious and so comforting. Later, I have frozen yogurt and watch more property shows. We somehow ended up with more TV channels when we moved, and I'm now able to watch a real HGTV show on my U.K. television. Thrilling!
9:15 p.m. — I get into bed and start reading Small Great Things
. My husband comes in for my nightly back rub around 9:45 p.m., and stays with me until I fall asleep.Daily Total: $236.40
5:30 a.m. — I do a FitSugar workout this morning. This one is a collaboration with the Blogilates woman, and it's great. I'm sore from yesterday's workout, which is always a nice surprise, but the moves today stretch me out nicely. Bran Flakes and milk for breakfast. I watch Gilmore Girls
while I get ready.
7:45 a.m. — Get to work a bit late and rush to make my tea before the day begins. I was meant to cover for a fourth-grade teacher this afternoon, but she comes in to tell me I no longer have to. A nice surprise, and it means I can attend a math-curriculum meeting with the middle school team.
9 a.m. — Spend more time than I should looking at rocking-chair options for the nursery. Send pictures and links to a few friends to get their opinions. I don't know why I'm finding this so hard...
10 a.m. — I start reading updates about what's going on in Houston and think about all the students I've had who lived there or are there now. (Because I work in an international school, we get a lot of oil families, so there's a huge population from that area of the world.) I donate $10 to the United Way of Greater Houston and another $10 to the Houston Food Bank. It's not much, but at least I feel like I'm doing something. I also research NaNoWriMo, a writing challenge for young authors. Seems like a great option for some of our kids, but doesn't really begin until after I go on maternity leave. Will have to discuss this more with teachers. Snack on pistachios and chocolate-covered rice cakes. $20
12:45 p.m. — Head to recess duty after grade-level meetings. I'm starving, so I bring an apple. It was pouring rain minutes before my duty began, but the sun came out for us and it was actually lovely. Trying to enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Winter is long (and gray, and wet, and miserable) in London.
1:20 p.m. — Have a working lunch at my desk (again). Leftover pasta and chocolate chips (again).
3:30 p.m. — I tutor another student after school. We also focus on math, but this student is still learning English, so we focus mainly on mathematical language. He's the cutest kid in the world and we have a lot of fun playing new logic games and working with "manipulatives" to build numbers and describe place value. Snack on carrots while we work. His dad pays me $38 but should have paid $50, so I email him to ask for the extra money. He apologizes and says he'll bring it tomorrow.
6 p.m. — Get home and rest for a bit, then go to the kitchen to start making dinner. I was planning on making meatballs with tomato sauce, but I realize I'm missing a bunch of key ingredients. The meat will go bad, so I throw it into the freezer and save it for another day. Leftover soup it is. My changing baskets have arrived, so I open the package and try them out in the nursery. I think I've picked a favorite, but decide to wait for my husband to get home to get his opinion.
6:30 p.m. — Heat up the leftover soup and watch TV. Treat myself to more frozen yogurt. I'm the laziest on Thursday nights. My husband gets home and agrees with my basket choice, so I wrap up the spare and prepare to ship it back to the store tomorrow.
9:30 p.m. — Get into bed and continue reading Small Great Things
. Not entirely sure this is the best choice for a pregnant woman, but I'm enjoying it all the same. Back rub, then sleep.Daily Total: $20
5:30 a.m. — It's Friday! I bounce out of bed a little more easily knowing it's the last early start of the week. I do another Body Coach workout, cardio and resistance training. It was a new one for me, and it was great! I eat Bran Flakes with my Greek yogurt because the blueberries I planned on eating have mysteriously disappeared. (I'm looking at you, husband.) Watch Gilmore Girls
while I get ready, and listen to the Gilmore Guys
podcast on my way to work. (It's an obsession, and I recognize that I have a problem.)
10 a.m. — After a busy morning of parent meetings and whole-school activities with the kids, I spend a bit of time researching birth classes. I keep hearing good things about hypnobirthing and am interested, but we worry it's a bit too hippy-dippy for us. I make a few phone calls but don't commit to anything yet.
10:30 a.m. — I snack on almonds and chocolate-covered rice cakes. I search for new recipe inspiration for next week and then place our online grocery order, which will come on Sunday. I buy chicken, carrots, apples, black beans, passata, chocolate chips, chocolate-covered rice cakes, quinoa, almonds, whole-wheat tortillas, sparkling water, salmon, parmesan, Greek yogurt, broccoli, cheddar, milk, and ice cream. The total comes to $97.26, but my husband pays. I'm so bad at budgeting for food. I also have to order enchilada sauce from a specialty website. I end up getting a couple of cans of Ro-tel diced tomatoes, green chilies, and microwave popcorn, along with red and green enchilada sauce. I spend the extra $2 for express shipping because I want to make the enchiladas on Sunday...and I really want that popcorn. I spend $26.10, which horrifies me. Being an expat with cravings is expensive. $26.10
1:10 p.m. — I eat the last of my salmon leftovers and an apple for lunch after a terrible lunch duty with the third graders. It's always hard to set up routines and expectations at the beginning of the year, but I find it particularly difficult now that I'm not a classroom teacher. I end up having to email a few parents about student behaviors during lunch, which is never fun.
2 p.m. — Is the day over yet?! I snack on chocolate chips to get me through.
3:30 p.m. — The father of the student I tutored yesterday stops by to give me the money he owed, which is great. I order some last-minute supplies from Amazon. Normally, I order things through my school's account, but for some reason they don't have Prime and it takes longer than it should for items to arrive. I need these supplies for Monday, so I order them using my personal Amazon account. I order five copies of Holes
and project folders. The total comes to $32.82. I'll be reimbursed from petty cash...eventually. I also book my first pregnancy yoga class and a pediatric first aid course for me and my husband, but don't have to pay for those right now.
4:30 p.m. — After work, I drive to the post office to ship back the changing basket. I end up having to buy a pack of labels, but it's not too expensive ($1.92 for 12). I pay extra for tracked shipping since I want to be 100% sure I get the money back. Shipping costs $14.20. I then stop by Boots and pick up the moisturizer I ordered earlier in the week. While I'm there, I realize I'm out of dry shampoo and grab a big bottle ($6.44). I'm suddenly starving, so I pop into M&S on the way home and buy tortilla chips, cheese puffs, caramel waffles, ice cream bars, strawberries, and blueberries ($14.45). This is why I should never enter a grocery store on an empty stomach. $37.01
7:45 p.m. — My husband calls as he's leaving work and says he wants Thai food for dinner. Works for me! I place the order and we eat together when he gets home. He agrees to watch Buying & Selling
with me while we eat, which never happens (his hate of property shows is intense) and is so nice! We switch to the latest episode of Cuckoo's Calling
for dessert. I have decaf tea and two caramel waffles. $43.04
10:45 p.m. — Into bed — exhausted after a long week!Daily Total: $106.15
8:30 a.m. — So happy it's the weekend. I get up at 8:30 a.m. and clean the apartment before eating strawberries with Greek yogurt for breakfast.
9:45 a.m. — I head to my prenatal yoga class; it's amazing! I was a little bit apprehensive about this, but the class is so relaxing, the instructor is really supportive and helpful, and the other women are friendly. It's just nice being around a bunch of pregnant women. None of my friends have ever been pregnant, so it's reassuring to be around people who are experiencing the same crazy things that I am. (Seriously, my dreams? So bizarre.) I end up making a friend who's just moved to London from Vancouver and lives right around the corner from me. I'm excited! $21.94
12 p.m. — I get a pedicure after yoga (it's much harder to reach my toes these days) and then go to the bank to deposit my tutoring money from the week. $30.97
1:30 p.m. — I'm back home and completely famished. I have a couple of handfuls of Bran Flakes before heating up an Amy's Mac & Cheese and watching TV.
4:30 p.m. — I wake up from a nap. I was most definitely not a napper before getting pregnant, but now I find myself falling asleep all the time. It's great, but I also wake up feeling lethargic. I snack on tortilla chips and have an ice cream bar to perk up.
7:15 p.m. — I pay for the pediatric first aid course. It ends up being less than I'd expected, which is a nice surprise! Still, it's a lot of money. At this point, being pregnant just makes me feel like one of the GIFs in which people are throwing money into the air, specifically this one
8 p.m. — My husband and I drive to the movie theater to see Detroit
. He was meant to buy tickets earlier in the day and forgot, but assured me there was no chance it would sell out. Of course, we get there and it's sold out. I'm not impressed. We drive home, and my husband picks up a pizza for dinner. We end up watching The Light Between Oceans
on Amazon Prime and it's phenomenal. We finally get to bed around 11:30 p.m.Daily Total: $227.14