What is a Money Diary?
Money Diaries is where we tackle what might be the last taboo facing modern working people: money.
Whether you’re saving up for a house, have just started a new job or you just want to be smarter with money, tracking your purchases is a great starting point. With Money Diaries, we’re asking YOU to share how you spend your hard-earned money over seven days.
You can read some of our favourite Money Diaries below:
How do I submit my Money Diary?
It’s simple! Log your spending over seven days and report back to us with all of the details. Keep in mind that all Money Diaries published on the site are anonymous. We post your age, location, job, salary information, and daily diary entries, but never your name or contact information. This information is only given to our Money Diary Editor, who may reach out with questions. Submit your Money Diary via this Google form.
Will I get paid for my Money Diary submission?
Yes, if your Money Diary is selected, you will be paid $200 AUD.
When will I hear back about my Money Diary submission?
Due to the high volume of pitches we receive, please note that we won’t be able to respond to every pitch. If it’s of interest, you’ll hear back from our Money Diaries Editor.
Tips for tracking your spending:
Record the time of day, the amount spent, and a little blurb about what you bought for every purchase. The more detail you provide, the better understanding we get of your day-to-day which is what makes a Money Diary fun to read.
We encourage you to record all meals (even if they are for free at work or home) and if you go grocery shopping during the week, include a list of everything you bought. Use the “expensed” check box to denote anything that will be expensed as part of your job. If you have a partner that you share finances with, please include any of their purchases for the week. Please try to keep your Money Diary between 3,000-5,000 words.
More Info & FAQs
You will be contacted if your diary is chosen for publication. In order to keep to a timely publishing and pay schedule, we require a response within 24 hours.
Additionally, you can find our Money Diaries FAQs below:
How do you choose which Money Diaries to publish?
We consider the diarist’s income, occupation, and location; the level of honesty, coherence, and quality of the writing; and timeliness. We are also vigilant about choosing diaries that are inclusive and representative of the communities of our diverse readership. We do ask for pronouns to ensure proper use, but we do not ask about our diarists’ races, ethnicities, or sexual orientations unless they choose to disclose that information in their entries. We try our best to represent the experiences of all diarists to the best of our ability.
What should I include in the monthly expenses notes? What should I leave off?
Do include any payments toward debt (e.g. a credit card) and other recurring expenses. For example; utilities, phone, gym membership, and subscriptions. You may also include expenses that are yearly or quarterly — but please state the correct frequency. Please do not include things like grocery purchases that you make during the week in the monthly expenses, even if you are explaining that you spend roughly X amount on groceries each month. The exception is something like payment for a HelloFresh delivery — that would be considered a subscription, and therefore qualify. If you make a one-off payment toward debt during the week you’re tracking your spending, please include it on the day you made the payment.
Can I submit my diary to you via email and not use the form?
No. Money Diaries that are submitted to us via email are not considered for publication.
I live with a partner/spouse and we share finances. Should I include their income in my annual salary amount and net worth? Should I include their expenses in the notes section for other monthly expenses?
Do you and your partner/spouse share bank accounts and the majority of your expenses? If yes, please do include their salary, paycheque amount, net worth, monthly expenses, and daily expenses. If not, explain your situation and proceed with only your own expenses.
Should I include anything I got for free or someone else paid for in my diary? How do I do this?
Yes! To do this just enter “0” in the amount field of that diary entry. Note that you will still need to assign this entry a spending category.
Do I need to itemise each expense per timestamp?
Yes, if they go under different categories. This is the correct way to itemise a timestamp: 9 p.m. — I take a taxi ($8.99) to the restaurant, where I have a cocktail and pasta primavera ($20). $28.99
How do I know how to categorise my purchases?
Here are some helpful definitions of each category with examples:
Food & Drink: Includes, but is not limited to: grocery shopping, dining out, drinks at bars, coupons for food, signing up for meal plan services (unless you already subscribe, in which case, that is a regular expense and goes in the monthly section).
Entertainment: For some diarists, it helps to think of this category as “experiences.” Includes, but not limited to: movies, plays, rentals, nightclub covers (any food and drinks bought on-site, however, would go in Food & Drink), books, recreational drugs, festival passes (the ticket, not the food, drink, etc. bought there), coupons for entertainment.
Home & Health: Includes, but is not limited to: tech hardware (new phone, computer, gaming console, etc.), photo printing services, prescriptions, out-of-pocket health expenses, decor, painting materials, first-aid and toiletries, pet care (food, toys, vet bills), condoms, detergent.
Clothes & Beauty: Includes, but is not limited to: shopping for clothes of any kind, dry cleaning services and cleaners, makeup, tattoos, skincare (sunscreen), spa treatment (unless it’s specifically medical), clothes for events (wedding guest), rental subscription service.
Transportation: Includes, but is not limited to: petrol, repairs, toll fees, ride-share services, public transportation (unless it is a monthly expense already deducted from a paycheck, or already purchased), travel tickets (plane, bus, train, etc.)
Other: Includes, but is not limited to: gifts, miscellaneous travel expenses, grouped expenses (if something isn’t properly categorised into other sections), irregular payments (for example, loan payments that aren’t preset each month, charitable donations.
If you have any questions not answered in the above link, ideas, or general feedback you may email the Money Diary editor at email@example.com