Money Diary: 28-Year-Old Working In Technology On 81k

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 we're with a 28-year-old working in technology in London. She has worked hard to build her career since graduating from university but is a frugal girl at heart and is slowly adjusting to enjoying the odd indulgence while saving for the future.
Industry: Technology
Age: 28
Location: London
Salary: £81k, plus bonus/stock
Paycheque amount per month: £3,845 on a non-bonus month (post tax/NI and student loan deductions)
Number of roommates: One: husband
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Mortgage £1,130 (shared with husband).
Loan payments: Student Loan, currently a whopping £450 due to income. Due to finish payments in the next 12 months, though.
Utilities: £189 on council tax, £125 for gas, electricity and water, £70 Virgin Media (all shared with husband).
Transportation: About £30-40 a week on public transport (commuting to the office three to four days). £10 on petrol.
Phone bill: None – paid for by work.
Health insurance: None – paid for by work.
Savings: £1,500-1,750 per month from my salary goes into our savings account.
Other: £390 car lease, £14.99 Spotify, £48 cleaner, £50 furniture repayment (all shared with husband).
Total: £2,817.50
1 of 8
Day One

6am: Drive five minutes to the gym where I get free parking. I do have a membership but my work pays for both me and my husband.

7.30am: I make porridge when I get back from the gym. Luckily I have all the ingredients already.

8am: I am working from home today so I commute from my kitchen to my study. Naturally, I walk.

12.30pm: Leftovers for lunch. Minced beef, peppers, egg and avocado. A strange but delicious combination, I love working at home!

5.30pm: Book a flight for next month, it’s £92 but it's for a customer meeting so I'll expense it.

7pm: Cook burgers for dinner. I have all the ingredients from last week's shop.

Total: £0
2 of 8
Day Two

7.30am: I take the train into central London. £8.20

8am: Meet my colleagues for a quick breakfast and head to a customer meeting. Luckily, someone else pays. Not sure of the cost.

8.45am: I stop to pick up breakfast items for the customer I am meeting. It is £26 but again, I'll expense it.

12.15pm: I take the Tube and I use my Oyster. £2.50

12.30pm: Lunch is on the go so I get a protein pot from Pret and a giant bottle of water. £4.49

5pm: I grab a cheeky KitKat on my way to drinks. It's been a hard day! 65p

7pm: A perk of my job is client dinners and drinks which are either expensed or paid for by the company. I have dinner and drinks and I'm unsure of the final total but it's probably around £100 for my share.

11pm: It's late so I get a black cab from the train station to my house. £6.20

Total: £22.04
3 of 8
Day Three:

6.15am: Whizz over to Paddington to meet an old colleague for breakfast and a catch-up. Train £10.70

7.30am: Breakfast and coffees at a slightly pretentious coffee shop/ café. £17.79

9.30am: Tube to the office. Oyster caps. £2.50

12.30pm: I've brought some leftover homemade curry for lunch, which stinks the office out but I love a hot meal in the middle of the day.

2.30pm: Deeply regretting last night's drinking – the headache's kicked in… buy paracetamol. 70p

6pm: I go to an evening course at a local university on Wednesday nights and I forgot to pack extra leftovers for dinner. Pick up a salad and water from M&S. £5.49

9pm: Travel home. Oyster has already capped so £0.

10.10pm: Black cab home again, it's dark, wet and my feet hurt. £5.20

Total: £42.38
4 of 8
Day Four

6.30am: Finally, a meal at home. Porridge with almond butter and flax. We have a major event today and I'm going to need all the energy I can get.

7.15am: Train to the event. £10.70

11am: I am hungry, so I buy a bagel and enjoy five minutes of peace for myself. I'm at a convention centre so it's totally overpriced. I secretly wonder if I'd be better off bringing leftovers next time. £6

5.30pm: Take 10 minutes to sit down and drink a coffee and relax. The coffee is a bit crap. £2.55

6pm: Head to a drinks reception to see a customer and end up staying for dinner. The cost is covered by work.

10pm: Treat myself to an Uber back to the nearest mainline station. £10.60 (expensed)

Total: £19.25
5 of 8
Day Five

7am: Porridge with almond butter and flaxseed at home, no spend. I'm working from home today, too, so no commuting costs either.

1.30pm: I microwave some homemade leftover curry for my lunch.

3pm: I'm heading to my friend's house in Wales this weekend and want to beat the traffic so we hit the road. It's 200 miles away so costs about £30 in petrol.

5.30pm: My friend tells me about a new app which makes it easy to get theatre tickets cheap so I download it and within five minutes I have purchased two tickets to see a show in June. £38

8pm: We order in takeaway, burgers and shakes. A friend provides the wine. £10

Total: £78
6 of 8
Day Six

9.30am: I have 10 hours of sleep and my friend makes me breakfast. Winning!

12pm: We're having a day out at a local museum. It's £9 admission and we make a £5 charitable donation while there. £14

2.30pm: I'm starving and there is just one choice for lunch, the onsite café. It's at a tourist site but still pretty cheap. £6.20 for food and drinks.

7pm: We head to a pub dinner, my share comes to about £18. I'm driving so spend another £2 or so in petrol. £20

Total: £40.20
7 of 8
Day Seven

11.30am: Stop at Tesco to pick up car snacks and a sandwich. My friend pays since we paid for petrol to and from Wales.

12pm: We do the long drive home. Petrol is about £30.

4pm: We've had no chance to get to the supermarket before it shuts so grab a few bare essentials from a convenience shop. £5.50

5pm: A friend is getting married this summer and we've just got all of the details so I book a hotel. Prices seem to range from £100 a night to £34 for the Travelodge. It's a bit further but even with the cost of a taxi will still be half the price of the fancier choice, and who spends time in the hotel room during a wedding anyway! £34

7pm: We cook dinner using what I bought earlier and some meat we had delivered on Friday. We switched from supermarket meat to ordering it in bulk online around three years ago and wouldn't change back.

I make five lunches so we have some leftovers for the week.

Total: £69.50
8 of 8

More from Work & Money


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.