Money Diary: A 28-Year-Old Music Journalist On 48k

·20-min read

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: "I am a 28-year-old living with my dog, P, in zone 2 of northeast London. I moved to the UK from Germany back in 2014 to do a gap year between school and university and worked as a live-in au pair. As the family had three older kids and two dogs I had to look after, I started work at 4pm (once kids came home from school) and therefore was able to have a full-time job on the side and saved every penny I made from that (I didn’t have to pay any bills or rent at the au pair family's and even got £80 a week as pocket money which I spent during my 2.5 year stay there). After that I moved out, continued working as a music journalist for a German radio station and was able to buy my very first share-to-buy property from the salary I had saved. Back in 2017 I got a 35% share (staircased up to 75% in 2021 thanks to COVID-19 and falling house prices) of a one-bedroom flat which even has a big garden (for zone 2 in London) and I pay rent on the percentage I do not own.

I was always working from home so once the pandemic hit, not much changed in that way besides the fact that I am still working on 60% as the music business hasn't healed in Germany yet. I do miss all the weekly free concerts I'd get to go to here in London though, which I worked at, took pictures, taped speeches and wrote about afterwards.

Pre-pandemic, if I wasn’t at gigs with a capacity of 200 in Shoreditch or 20,000 at the O2, I was boxing, running or doing other social activities which were all eventually cancelled. Luckily I still had my dog and could go out and socialise with other dog owners. Without her, I would have been pretty lonely during COVID-19."

Industry: Music
Age: 28
Location: London
Salary: £48,000 (pre-COVID-19), £29,000 right now*
Paycheque amount: £4,000 (pre-COVID-19), £2,415 right now (working freelance = around £2,000 after taxes)
Number of housemates: Only me and my dog, P.

*I have other side hustles like nannying and babysitting which add an additional ~£3,000 a year and aren’t calculated in the paycheque amount.

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: £370.64 (mortgage), £252.16 (service charge and rent for the share I do not own), £77 council tax (single person discount) and £8.88 insurance for apartment.
Loan payments: £0. I did not go to university but paid for online courses upfront. I do not own a credit card (which I actually should to boost my credit score).
Utilities: £25 electricity and gas, £10 water – I bought a yearly gym pass which is five minutes' walk from mine and as I train five times a week, I shower there.
Transportation: £0. I cycle a lot and work from home. My spend might come up to £20-30 if it rains or I meet someone in a completely different part of London.
Phone bill: £8, cheapest there is for 3GB a month plus every three months I’ll add £10 credit to be able to call my grandparents in Germany.
Savings? I was raised by my mother who was always very good with money. If we had a lot or not, we would always have the same lifestyle, save the rest and not have to worry about the next paycheque. So after each payday, I directly transfer the amount I have left from the previous month into my Marcus by Goldman Sachs account and can only access it on the computer. Right now, I’ve got £21,300 in that account as it has a better than competitive interest rate compared to normal banks. I will use this for extra payments of up to 10% of the mortgage balance (before a charge applies) and I’ll hopefully be able to pay off the mortgage way sooner than expected. I do not have insurance for my dog as quotes started at around £120 a month when I got her 18 months ago. Therefore I put aside £100 every four weeks and have £1,800 in her own bank account.

I’ve also got $5,000 and €5,000 in a safe-deposit box in Germany. This money is the safety safety net which I built up in 2018 while employed as a 24/7 weekend nanny for an HNF (high net worth family). I saved my entire income from the weekend job for a couple of months while working my music journalism job Monday to Friday. Yes, I had no time for myself but this extra makes me sleep at night. If worst comes to worst, I can live off that money for about one year without struggling.
Other: My gym membership is £250 a year which comes to £20.83 a month and the raw food for my dog costs around £12.50 every month. I do not have any subscriptions, get a free Spotify code from work and use my mom's Netflix account. I pay £16 for my Wi-Fi monthly.

<strong>Day One</strong><br><br>7am: I wake up due to the sun shining in my face. I love this time of day as I am a total morning person. I open the rest of the blinds, let my dog, P, in my bedroom and give her a good cuddle. This time is precious to me.<br><br>7.30am: I make a coffee (my dinosaur of a coffee machine is still working even though it’s like 15 years old and grinds the beans just perfectly), take my laptop and go back to bed. I check the to-do list I made last night, start answering some of the mail which came during the weekend and check all Instagram stories I might have missed while asleep. (As a music journalist you’re basically never off and have to constantly check what’s going on everywhere in the world.)<br><br>10am: Time to walk my dog, get ready for the gym and train for 80-90 minutes. I was an amateur boxer back in Germany, then moved to London and had to rebuild all the muscles and strength. COVID-19 happened and it pushed me back big time. Now just starting on my pace without a trainer and getting my stamina back before setting foot in the ring again. After training I shower in the gym, walk home, make my breakfast and FaceTime my mom.<br><br>3pm: Finishing off a work call with my colleagues, writing the last and extra article for the day – which means I can relax more in the mornings the following days – and preparing written content to go live on Facebook and Instagram. (Thank god for the planning tools we have today. This means once it’s all done and online on our website, I can schedule posts and call it a day.)<br><br>5pm: I’ve finished work for the day and writing my to-do-list for the next day already. Then I eat leftovers from Sunday's dinner while preparing overnight oats for the next morning and FaceTiming my best friend in Germany. After that I check Instagram stories and lie in bed watching the <em>This Is Pop</em> documentary by rapper T-Pain. I take notes about timestamps for an article I’ll write the following day (work never stops) and go to bed by 10pm.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day One

7am: I wake up due to the sun shining in my face. I love this time of day as I am a total morning person. I open the rest of the blinds, let my dog, P, in my bedroom and give her a good cuddle. This time is precious to me.

7.30am: I make a coffee (my dinosaur of a coffee machine is still working even though it’s like 15 years old and grinds the beans just perfectly), take my laptop and go back to bed. I check the to-do list I made last night, start answering some of the mail which came during the weekend and check all Instagram stories I might have missed while asleep. (As a music journalist you’re basically never off and have to constantly check what’s going on everywhere in the world.)

10am: Time to walk my dog, get ready for the gym and train for 80-90 minutes. I was an amateur boxer back in Germany, then moved to London and had to rebuild all the muscles and strength. COVID-19 happened and it pushed me back big time. Now just starting on my pace without a trainer and getting my stamina back before setting foot in the ring again. After training I shower in the gym, walk home, make my breakfast and FaceTime my mom.

3pm: Finishing off a work call with my colleagues, writing the last and extra article for the day – which means I can relax more in the mornings the following days – and preparing written content to go live on Facebook and Instagram. (Thank god for the planning tools we have today. This means once it’s all done and online on our website, I can schedule posts and call it a day.)

5pm: I’ve finished work for the day and writing my to-do-list for the next day already. Then I eat leftovers from Sunday's dinner while preparing overnight oats for the next morning and FaceTiming my best friend in Germany. After that I check Instagram stories and lie in bed watching the This Is Pop documentary by rapper T-Pain. I take notes about timestamps for an article I’ll write the following day (work never stops) and go to bed by 10pm.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Two</strong><br><br>6.45am: Somehow I wake up hungry. Get those overnight oats from the fridge and realise I don’t have any fresh fruit left (put that on my to-do list for the day).<br><br>8am: After cuddles with the doggo, walking her and checking good old Instagram, I head for an early session at the gym. We don’t have AC so I either have to sweat while just standing around breathing normally or go once they open or right before they close.<br><br>10am: On the way back from the gym I walk to a local food market, grab a box of strawberries, two boxes of blueberries and raspberries, three avocados and five bananas for a whopping £5. (Loving this market, the vibes and the people there. It’s a shame the council will soon turn this amazing street into something else and close down all the stalls.)<br><br>4.30pm: Due to the fact that I am still on 60% workload and I’ve worked longer on Monday, I can relax a bit more in the mornings and don’t have to publish anything 'til 1pm UK time. At around 4.30pm I am already done for the day. Start doing some laundry and vacuuming the apartment.<br><br>6.30pm: I took out some salmon earlier today which I’ll use for tonight's dinner and grab a bottle of rosé – I’ve still got nine left from the big box of 12 that my dad gifted me four months ago for my birthday. Alcohol in London is so expensive so it’s cheaper to order online from a good vigneron in the south of Germany and get it shipped here. Plus the quality of the bottles is way better.<br><br>8pm: My sort-of-ex-but-not-ex-because-he-did-not-want-a-relationship (single people in London will understand) comes over for dinner. We sit on my patio and enjoy a glass of the German rosé with fresh fruits.<br><br><strong>Total: £5</strong>
Day Two

6.45am: Somehow I wake up hungry. Get those overnight oats from the fridge and realise I don’t have any fresh fruit left (put that on my to-do list for the day).

8am: After cuddles with the doggo, walking her and checking good old Instagram, I head for an early session at the gym. We don’t have AC so I either have to sweat while just standing around breathing normally or go once they open or right before they close.

10am: On the way back from the gym I walk to a local food market, grab a box of strawberries, two boxes of blueberries and raspberries, three avocados and five bananas for a whopping £5. (Loving this market, the vibes and the people there. It’s a shame the council will soon turn this amazing street into something else and close down all the stalls.)

4.30pm: Due to the fact that I am still on 60% workload and I’ve worked longer on Monday, I can relax a bit more in the mornings and don’t have to publish anything 'til 1pm UK time. At around 4.30pm I am already done for the day. Start doing some laundry and vacuuming the apartment.

6.30pm: I took out some salmon earlier today which I’ll use for tonight's dinner and grab a bottle of rosé – I’ve still got nine left from the big box of 12 that my dad gifted me four months ago for my birthday. Alcohol in London is so expensive so it’s cheaper to order online from a good vigneron in the south of Germany and get it shipped here. Plus the quality of the bottles is way better.

8pm: My sort-of-ex-but-not-ex-because-he-did-not-want-a-relationship (single people in London will understand) comes over for dinner. We sit on my patio and enjoy a glass of the German rosé with fresh fruits.

Total: £5
<strong>Day Three</strong><br><br>7.30am: Slept a bit longer due to the wine I had last night (I’m a real lightweight and do not need more than one glass lol). Still up before 8am, making the dough for a rye bread with extra sunflower seeds (my favourite to bake) and calling my mom over FaceTime.<br><br>10am: A dog walk, breakfast with freshly baked bread and a work call later, I’m back on full work mode, researching, listening to new releases which will get published the following Friday and making notes while folding away the laundry and making a grocery list for food shopping later on. It’s always important to concentrate on something else when listening to brand-new music. This shows me if the song is just one of many you’ve got on in the background but not really realising or if it’s going to turn into this massive hit which is stuck in your head 24/7 without you even paying a lot of attention (that’s how radio playlists are made btw).<br><br>3pm: Having leftovers from last night's dinner for lunch as I can still not really calculate the amount of food I need. Not complaining though because steamed salmon, baby potatoes and veggies are amazing. I don’t own a microwave so I've got to clean up the pan after reheating it on the oven. I also have to empty the countertop dishwasher which is such a luxurious object in London. It looks horrible standing around in my living area/kitchen but it’s 100% worth the hype and only needs to run twice a week. Pots and pans don’t fit sadly but that’s not a big deal anyway.<br><br>6.30pm: Wasn’t too focused at work and had to sit at my desk a bit longer than expected. Nevertheless I’m finally done, cycling to the closest Lidl which is about 25 minutes away. I buy as much food as I could fit in a big backpack and extra bag and only spend £16.59 on a kilo of chicken breasts (I’ll freeze most and use within the next month), veggies such as red peppers and broccoli plus eggs, lentils, cheese, milk, salami, smoked salmon, tinned sardines, plain flour, milk and other small bits. This will last me the rest of the week.<br><br>10pm: Today was my gym rest day which was really needed. So instead of doing a late session, I’ve taken my time with dinner, used some of the food I bought today and made a chicken stir fry with rice. As measurements were a bit off, I’ll have it not just for tonight's dinner but also for Thursday and Friday (and maybe even Saturday). Not complaining as it’ll save me some time and thought on food. I used to meal prep a lot so use the containers, pack everything away and off to bed.<br><br><strong>Total: £16.59</strong>
Day Three

7.30am: Slept a bit longer due to the wine I had last night (I’m a real lightweight and do not need more than one glass lol). Still up before 8am, making the dough for a rye bread with extra sunflower seeds (my favourite to bake) and calling my mom over FaceTime.

10am: A dog walk, breakfast with freshly baked bread and a work call later, I’m back on full work mode, researching, listening to new releases which will get published the following Friday and making notes while folding away the laundry and making a grocery list for food shopping later on. It’s always important to concentrate on something else when listening to brand-new music. This shows me if the song is just one of many you’ve got on in the background but not really realising or if it’s going to turn into this massive hit which is stuck in your head 24/7 without you even paying a lot of attention (that’s how radio playlists are made btw).

3pm: Having leftovers from last night's dinner for lunch as I can still not really calculate the amount of food I need. Not complaining though because steamed salmon, baby potatoes and veggies are amazing. I don’t own a microwave so I've got to clean up the pan after reheating it on the oven. I also have to empty the countertop dishwasher which is such a luxurious object in London. It looks horrible standing around in my living area/kitchen but it’s 100% worth the hype and only needs to run twice a week. Pots and pans don’t fit sadly but that’s not a big deal anyway.

6.30pm: Wasn’t too focused at work and had to sit at my desk a bit longer than expected. Nevertheless I’m finally done, cycling to the closest Lidl which is about 25 minutes away. I buy as much food as I could fit in a big backpack and extra bag and only spend £16.59 on a kilo of chicken breasts (I’ll freeze most and use within the next month), veggies such as red peppers and broccoli plus eggs, lentils, cheese, milk, salami, smoked salmon, tinned sardines, plain flour, milk and other small bits. This will last me the rest of the week.

10pm: Today was my gym rest day which was really needed. So instead of doing a late session, I’ve taken my time with dinner, used some of the food I bought today and made a chicken stir fry with rice. As measurements were a bit off, I’ll have it not just for tonight's dinner but also for Thursday and Friday (and maybe even Saturday). Not complaining as it’ll save me some time and thought on food. I used to meal prep a lot so use the containers, pack everything away and off to bed.

Total: £16.59
<strong>Day Four</strong><br><br>6.30am: Early bird rises as usual, cuddles with the dog, coffee in bed and the first round of research.<br><br>8am: Off for an early boxing session with one of my friends from the gym, then shower and head home to make some food. As I’ve still got a lot of the seeded rye bread left, I make a banging avocado and egg breakfast and a smoothie. Eat it while lying on the sun lounger in the garden and enjoying the heat a bit before calling my dad to discuss my travel plans to go to Germany. After five years of owning a KTM Duke 2 and parking it in his garage, I finally passed my DAS (full and unrestricted motorcycle licence) this year. My dad is getting the bad boy ready, changing tyres, getting the German MOT (TÜV we call it) and changing all liquids a motorcycle has. This was his birthday and Christmas present for me back in 2016 (when I bought the KTM). After hanging up the phone I buy my flight to Frankfurt, which is cheaper than two pints in a local pub. I also get an ICE train ticket from the airport to the closest station to my dad and make a note to top up my Oyster card before I head to Germany as I can easily access the London airport via public transport. (Flight is £10 and train £16 – ridiculously cheap, isn’t it?!)<br><br>4pm: After a couple of work calls with colleagues from my radio station and some label deals and releases which we discussed further, I finished work around 4pm and headed out to a local park to meet two of my friends. It rained earlier but we decide to sit on a blanket in the grass and bring our dogs. They can run around freely while we enjoy each other's company, talk about work, the horrible dating life in London and plans for the weekend. Everyone brings some sweets or little pieces of food (I still had some fruit from the market) which we all share, and our own drinks (water for me).<br><br>8pm: Back home and reheat dinner from last night (chicken stir fry) before going to bed to watch some episodes of the new <em>Chernobyl 1986 </em>Netflix show. Fall asleep midway through.<br><br><strong>Total: £26</strong>
Day Four

6.30am: Early bird rises as usual, cuddles with the dog, coffee in bed and the first round of research.

8am: Off for an early boxing session with one of my friends from the gym, then shower and head home to make some food. As I’ve still got a lot of the seeded rye bread left, I make a banging avocado and egg breakfast and a smoothie. Eat it while lying on the sun lounger in the garden and enjoying the heat a bit before calling my dad to discuss my travel plans to go to Germany. After five years of owning a KTM Duke 2 and parking it in his garage, I finally passed my DAS (full and unrestricted motorcycle licence) this year. My dad is getting the bad boy ready, changing tyres, getting the German MOT (TÜV we call it) and changing all liquids a motorcycle has. This was his birthday and Christmas present for me back in 2016 (when I bought the KTM). After hanging up the phone I buy my flight to Frankfurt, which is cheaper than two pints in a local pub. I also get an ICE train ticket from the airport to the closest station to my dad and make a note to top up my Oyster card before I head to Germany as I can easily access the London airport via public transport. (Flight is £10 and train £16 – ridiculously cheap, isn’t it?!)

4pm: After a couple of work calls with colleagues from my radio station and some label deals and releases which we discussed further, I finished work around 4pm and headed out to a local park to meet two of my friends. It rained earlier but we decide to sit on a blanket in the grass and bring our dogs. They can run around freely while we enjoy each other's company, talk about work, the horrible dating life in London and plans for the weekend. Everyone brings some sweets or little pieces of food (I still had some fruit from the market) which we all share, and our own drinks (water for me).

8pm: Back home and reheat dinner from last night (chicken stir fry) before going to bed to watch some episodes of the new Chernobyl 1986 Netflix show. Fall asleep midway through.

Total: £26
<strong>Day Five</strong><br><br>7am: This week went by pretty quickly. I’m doing the same old: dog cuddles in bed, coffee (noted I have to get new coffee beans for my machine) and research. Fridays are different for a music journalist. As I’ve had the chance to already listen to some of the biggest tunes a day or two before they were released, I wrote a piece about those and scheduled it to be published at 6am. I check if the artists have said anything about the drop and update it before the articles go live on Facebook, Instagram and our own app. Once that’s all done I walk P, take part in two quick meetings about 'New Music Monday' and go to the gym.<br><br>11.30am: I’ve had to cut the gym session short and shouldn’t have gone anyway because I’ve booked my second COVID jab for 1pm and have to prep a piece of work which I’ll finish while on public transport. Have another slice of the rye bread, head out to take the bus to Holborn (£1.55). My second jab was booked for end of August but because I’ll fly to Germany earlier and do not want to quarantine (if the rules stay the same as they are now), I booked a different slot and managed to get my second Moderna five weeks after the first.<br><br>3pm: Vaccine appointment was pretty quick. Some people queued for two hours (as it’s a walk-in pharmacy) but if you check their website, you can book appointments for the next day and don’t have to wait outside. On the way home I passed the lovely fruit market and bought everything again (box of strawberries, two boxes of blueberries and raspberries, three avocados and five bananas for £5). I also got a free mango, as the stall owner wanted to get rid of everything. Lucky day! Once off the bus (£1.55 for the fare as I used two buses within one hour), I went home and walked P, ate some fresh fruit and published everything else I wrote and edited while out and about in London.<br><br>4pm: Quick check on the German charts and finish piece about the new #1 hit before I log off for the weekend and take a nap.<br><br>7pm: This vaccine is taking its toll on me already. The first time my left arm hurt and I couldn’t really use it for two days after but with the second jab I have headaches within a couple of hours. The nap worked a bit though. I’ve got enough energy to get dressed while eating warmed up stir fry from the other day and go on a date – not the sort-of-ex-but-not-ex-because-he-did-not-want-a-relationship person. As he doesn’t want to commit, I’ll go on dates and try to find someone who does want a relationship. I liked this new guy's profile while waiting for my bus earlier today, Hinge connected our profiles and I asked him out straightaway. K (his name) wants to go to a pub and offers to drive to mine so it’s easier for me. He works in finance, which is funny – somehow I always match with people who are completely broke with two different baby mamas and still live at home with their parents or people who work in finance. There is literally no in between. <br><br>8pm: We meet at the pub and he asks if I want to drink something, I take my phone out to scan the QR code. I give him my phone to order something and when he hands it back to me, I pay via Apple Pay. Apparently he had no idea this works as he tries to give the waitress who serves us my cider and his beer his credit card. The look on his face is priceless. I spend £10.20 for both drinks (20p more expensive than my flight from London to Frankfurt…).<br><br>10.30pm: After the drink in the garden of the local pub we walk around my neighbourhood before he heads into a corner shop and buys me four deluxe bars of chocolate to make up for the beer I paid for earlier. Pretty surprised by this move but not going to complain. He offers to drive me home but I kindly decline and walk home. After walking my dog I drift off before even picking anything to watch on Netflix.<br><strong><br>Total: £18.30</strong>
Day Five

7am: This week went by pretty quickly. I’m doing the same old: dog cuddles in bed, coffee (noted I have to get new coffee beans for my machine) and research. Fridays are different for a music journalist. As I’ve had the chance to already listen to some of the biggest tunes a day or two before they were released, I wrote a piece about those and scheduled it to be published at 6am. I check if the artists have said anything about the drop and update it before the articles go live on Facebook, Instagram and our own app. Once that’s all done I walk P, take part in two quick meetings about 'New Music Monday' and go to the gym.

11.30am: I’ve had to cut the gym session short and shouldn’t have gone anyway because I’ve booked my second COVID jab for 1pm and have to prep a piece of work which I’ll finish while on public transport. Have another slice of the rye bread, head out to take the bus to Holborn (£1.55). My second jab was booked for end of August but because I’ll fly to Germany earlier and do not want to quarantine (if the rules stay the same as they are now), I booked a different slot and managed to get my second Moderna five weeks after the first.

3pm: Vaccine appointment was pretty quick. Some people queued for two hours (as it’s a walk-in pharmacy) but if you check their website, you can book appointments for the next day and don’t have to wait outside. On the way home I passed the lovely fruit market and bought everything again (box of strawberries, two boxes of blueberries and raspberries, three avocados and five bananas for £5). I also got a free mango, as the stall owner wanted to get rid of everything. Lucky day! Once off the bus (£1.55 for the fare as I used two buses within one hour), I went home and walked P, ate some fresh fruit and published everything else I wrote and edited while out and about in London.

4pm: Quick check on the German charts and finish piece about the new #1 hit before I log off for the weekend and take a nap.

7pm: This vaccine is taking its toll on me already. The first time my left arm hurt and I couldn’t really use it for two days after but with the second jab I have headaches within a couple of hours. The nap worked a bit though. I’ve got enough energy to get dressed while eating warmed up stir fry from the other day and go on a date – not the sort-of-ex-but-not-ex-because-he-did-not-want-a-relationship person. As he doesn’t want to commit, I’ll go on dates and try to find someone who does want a relationship. I liked this new guy's profile while waiting for my bus earlier today, Hinge connected our profiles and I asked him out straightaway. K (his name) wants to go to a pub and offers to drive to mine so it’s easier for me. He works in finance, which is funny – somehow I always match with people who are completely broke with two different baby mamas and still live at home with their parents or people who work in finance. There is literally no in between.

8pm: We meet at the pub and he asks if I want to drink something, I take my phone out to scan the QR code. I give him my phone to order something and when he hands it back to me, I pay via Apple Pay. Apparently he had no idea this works as he tries to give the waitress who serves us my cider and his beer his credit card. The look on his face is priceless. I spend £10.20 for both drinks (20p more expensive than my flight from London to Frankfurt…).

10.30pm: After the drink in the garden of the local pub we walk around my neighbourhood before he heads into a corner shop and buys me four deluxe bars of chocolate to make up for the beer I paid for earlier. Pretty surprised by this move but not going to complain. He offers to drive me home but I kindly decline and walk home. After walking my dog I drift off before even picking anything to watch on Netflix.

Total: £18.30
<strong>Day Six</strong><br><br>9am: Normally on a Saturday morning I’m out with P at latest 8.30am and we go on a big two-hour walk to the Wetlands or somewhere else fun. But the side effects I’ve had after getting my second jab are no joke. I ask my neighbours if they’re around (we have a WhatsApp group to arrange puppy playdates) and we meet up to let the dog play around in a nearby basketball court. I simply do not have the energy to go anywhere. After 30 minutes' playtime with P and her furry friends A and Y, I take her back home and lie in bed.<br><br>11am: I had a lunch date booked with a friend of mine and wanted to cycle over to Islington but have to text her to reschedule as I’m just drained, my arm and head hurt and I feel like I’ve just run a half marathon (done that three times so I know the feeling of having zero power in any limbs). She understands and we reschedule for next weekend.<br><br>2pm: Have some rice pudding with fresh fruit and have to cancel another friend of mine. We wanted to go to a fancy place in West Hampstead later today, have dinner and shisha. I just can’t imagine getting dressed and leaving my apartment today. L totally understands and we agree to meet for lunch the next day (if I feel better).<br><br>10pm: I feel like I’ve slept all day long and haven't done anything. It’s already after 10pm, I am still tired but have to walk P before going to bed again.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Six

9am: Normally on a Saturday morning I’m out with P at latest 8.30am and we go on a big two-hour walk to the Wetlands or somewhere else fun. But the side effects I’ve had after getting my second jab are no joke. I ask my neighbours if they’re around (we have a WhatsApp group to arrange puppy playdates) and we meet up to let the dog play around in a nearby basketball court. I simply do not have the energy to go anywhere. After 30 minutes' playtime with P and her furry friends A and Y, I take her back home and lie in bed.

11am: I had a lunch date booked with a friend of mine and wanted to cycle over to Islington but have to text her to reschedule as I’m just drained, my arm and head hurt and I feel like I’ve just run a half marathon (done that three times so I know the feeling of having zero power in any limbs). She understands and we reschedule for next weekend.

2pm: Have some rice pudding with fresh fruit and have to cancel another friend of mine. We wanted to go to a fancy place in West Hampstead later today, have dinner and shisha. I just can’t imagine getting dressed and leaving my apartment today. L totally understands and we agree to meet for lunch the next day (if I feel better).

10pm: I feel like I’ve slept all day long and haven't done anything. It’s already after 10pm, I am still tired but have to walk P before going to bed again.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Seven</strong><br><br>10am: I feel like I’ve never slept more than I’ve done in the last 24 hours. I do feel way better but won’t hit the gym or plan anything super exciting. I make myself some breakfast, FaceTime my mom, then my best friend and finally my dad and make more plans with him. After buying the flight to Frankfurt earlier this week, I’ve scheduled the days I’ll be in Germany and finally booked the Eurotunnel (£100) to bring back my motorcycle. This will be a 700-mile trip and cost me a fortune but it’ll be worth it in the end. Can’t wait for rides out of London and exploring different parts of the UK (while my dog is at my neighbour's or being looked after by friends).<br><br>3pm: I've made an entire plan and asked different friends and family members if I can stay at theirs while on the road in Germany. Get ready, on the bus (£1.55) and head out to meet my friend L for lunch. We end up in this small Italian place close to Angel station as it is pouring rain and share a starter (arancini) and one half-metre pizza which costs us (plus soft drinks) £11 each. Banging price! We walk around the area with our umbrellas out to digest the amount of food we have eaten before I take the bus (£1.55) back home again.<br><br>7pm: Walk P quickly around the block as it’s still raining and she hates it before lying in bed with freshly made popcorn and Netflix.<br><br><strong>Total: £114.10</strong>
Day Seven

10am: I feel like I’ve never slept more than I’ve done in the last 24 hours. I do feel way better but won’t hit the gym or plan anything super exciting. I make myself some breakfast, FaceTime my mom, then my best friend and finally my dad and make more plans with him. After buying the flight to Frankfurt earlier this week, I’ve scheduled the days I’ll be in Germany and finally booked the Eurotunnel (£100) to bring back my motorcycle. This will be a 700-mile trip and cost me a fortune but it’ll be worth it in the end. Can’t wait for rides out of London and exploring different parts of the UK (while my dog is at my neighbour's or being looked after by friends).

3pm: I've made an entire plan and asked different friends and family members if I can stay at theirs while on the road in Germany. Get ready, on the bus (£1.55) and head out to meet my friend L for lunch. We end up in this small Italian place close to Angel station as it is pouring rain and share a starter (arancini) and one half-metre pizza which costs us (plus soft drinks) £11 each. Banging price! We walk around the area with our umbrellas out to digest the amount of food we have eaten before I take the bus (£1.55) back home again.

7pm: Walk P quickly around the block as it’s still raining and she hates it before lying in bed with freshly made popcorn and Netflix.

Total: £114.10
<strong>The Breakdown</strong><br><br>Food/Drink: £47.79<br>Entertainment: £0<br>Clothes/Beauty: £0<br>Travel: £132.20<br>Other: £0<br><br><strong>Total: £179.99<br></strong><br><strong>Conclusion</strong><br><br>"I am not really surprised about the breakdown. I know how much money I normally spend in seven days and barely go above it. My weekly shopping never goes above £25 in Lidl or Aldi (plus those additional fruit trips to the market). What surprised me though was the £100 ticket for the Eurotunnel which was already half-price due to the fact that it’s a motorcycle and not a car. I could have spent the extra £26 for my flight to Germany and the train to the station easily on that Friday night out in West Hampstead.<br><br>All in all I’m very happy with my spending and how this week turned out. Not having takeaways (which I don’t like as it’s never really hot when it gets here) or uncountable pints at a pub is the reason I could afford buying my share-to-buy property in the first place.<br><br>Once the music scene is back up, I’ll be out and about more often, have to use public transport and go for dinner and drinks before a big gig. But for now, saving a lot of my income (currently over 50% every month) will help me pay off the mortgage in the near future and maybe get a bigger apartment with a garden in my area."
The Breakdown

Food/Drink: £47.79
Entertainment: £0
Clothes/Beauty: £0
Travel: £132.20
Other: £0

Total: £179.99

Conclusion

"I am not really surprised about the breakdown. I know how much money I normally spend in seven days and barely go above it. My weekly shopping never goes above £25 in Lidl or Aldi (plus those additional fruit trips to the market). What surprised me though was the £100 ticket for the Eurotunnel which was already half-price due to the fact that it’s a motorcycle and not a car. I could have spent the extra £26 for my flight to Germany and the train to the station easily on that Friday night out in West Hampstead.

All in all I’m very happy with my spending and how this week turned out. Not having takeaways (which I don’t like as it’s never really hot when it gets here) or uncountable pints at a pub is the reason I could afford buying my share-to-buy property in the first place.

Once the music scene is back up, I’ll be out and about more often, have to use public transport and go for dinner and drinks before a big gig. But for now, saving a lot of my income (currently over 50% every month) will help me pay off the mortgage in the near future and maybe get a bigger apartment with a garden in my area."

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