Money Diary: An NHS Commissioning & Contract Manager On 47k

·19-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'm a 27-year-old commissioning and contract manager working for the NHS and living in Wiltshire. My role is very all-encompassing, I do a mix of project management, research and analysis, stakeholder engagement and contract management. I’ve worked in public commissioning roles for six years now and I really enjoy the variety in the work that I do. I have just started an MBA apprenticeship through my employer in business management and I feel very grateful to be given this opportunity but as someone who has not had significant experience of academic learning, the process has been overwhelming at times. I live with my partner, L, and our dog, T. We bought our house in November 2018. L is much more frugal than I am and his behaviours and values have definitely rubbed off on me. We try to save our money to put towards holidays and decorating our house. We are probably significantly more frugal in comparison to our friends and because of this we try to prioritise the events and plans we commit to. This is much more challenging for me than for L as I am very much a yes person and love to sign us both up to plans."

Occupation: Commissioning and contract manager
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 27
Location: Wiltshire
Salary: £47,126 (+ approx £7,200 in independent work. This amount fluctuates but is from the independent work I do on non-working days/annual leave and when it is available).
Paycheque amount: £2,713.15 after tax, NI and pension contributions.
Number of housemates: Two: My partner, L, and dog, T.
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: £400 for my half of the mortgage, this is rounded up to include a small overpayment.
Loan payments: £0
Savings? £8,000 in an investments ISA which I consider my longer term savings and then £2,000 in different pots for our upcoming holiday, Christmas, birthday, car expenses, etc.  
Pension? Yes, I pay 9.3% (£359.75 from my last paycheque).
Utilities: My half of the joint bills are: £70 home insurance, £180 council tax, £67 TV and internet package, £42 water, £135 gas and electric.
All other monthly payments: £9 SIM only phone contract. £18 life insurance. £36 pet insurance. Subscriptions: £14 Spotify Premium, £149 per year for retainers.

Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? 

After I passed my GCSEs I struggled with considering further education and worked in a supermarket for a while. I then decided to enrol on a remote Level 3 business course and then went on to a Level 5 business course. Since joining the NHS I have been given the opportunity to complete an MBA through the government’s apprenticeship scheme. I feel hugely privileged to have been offered this opportunity as without it I’m not sure I would have been able to fund a university course.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?

I grew up in a household with alcohol and drug misuse. My mum has never worked and my dad always gave the impression of having no money problems. However, as I got older I realised that my dad would spend all of his money each month and would rely on credit cards to tide him over. I didn’t have any direct financial education from my parents. Since moving out, my dad has reached a payment plan regarding his debt but he definitely still has a spend mindset. My parents are both in recovery and my relationship with them is much better now.  

If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?

My partner and I moved out in 2018.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?

I would say I became financially responsible once I moved out. Although I worked full-time while living at home and would contribute towards the household, this was a subsidised amount.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?  

My first job was working on the shop floor in a supermarket. I really enjoyed this job. I got it because I didn’t feel ready to commit to a further education course and I was keen to begin earning money.
 
Do you worry about money now?

Yes, as I worry about the rising cost of living. I am more of a saver than a spender but I have been known to make some spontaneous expenditures. I really struggle with the ever-present internal conflict of trying to save while trying to enjoy my 20s. I am also aware that my parents don’t have a pension and I will likely need to support them both in the future. 
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?

I received £500 in an ISA from my grandparents when I turned 17. I put this towards my first car.

Refinery29 is currently looking for someone who has a NatWest ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ card to take part in a paid opportunity around R29's Money Diaries. This person would need to be a conscious spender and saving up for or considering making a large purchase (£500 and under). If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please do send a bit of information about yourself and your financial situation to moneydiary@refinery29.uk.

<strong>Day One</strong><br> <br>7.30am: Wake up and get out of bed. L is taking T out for his walk, which gives me time before work to tidy our bedroom, clean my retainers and do some basic skincare (cleanser, vitamin C, moisturiser and SPF). <br> <br>8am: It’s a lovely sunny morning so I treat myself to fried eggs on sourdough and sit in the garden listening to Radio 2. I can already feel the sunshine impacting my mood. <br><br>8.15am: I make a cup of decaf tea and start working. I spend my morning reading and responding to emails and attending calls.<br><br>12.05pm: I break for lunch and make an Instagram-inspired pasta salad. I use spinach, carrots, apple, red onion, cucumber and gherkins. I also eat a packet of prawn cocktail crisps while waiting for the pasta to cook. I eat lunch in the garden with T and wait for L to break for lunch. <br> <br>1pm: Get back from lunch and attend a webinar from the university delivering my course. The session is mainly information around the online platform, which we have already been given via email so I keep my camera off and do some work throughout.<br> <br>3pm: Take a cuddle break with T, make a coffee and return to the webinar.<br> <br>4.30pm: My webinar finishes so I take a break to eat some ice cream and give T some frozen banana. I spend the rest of the afternoon consolidating notes and writing actions from scribblings I’ve made this week. <br> <br>6pm: I finish work and decide to mow the lawn. L helps me tidy the garden as we are planning a BBQ for the weekend. I put on Beyoncé’s<em> Homecoming</em> live album from Coachella and make a start.<br><br>6.15pm: It is really hot! I find a spray SPF that I bought earlier this year and put it on. I'm trying to be better at reapplying SPF and encouraging L to do the same so I leave this out in the kitchen.<br> <br>7.50pm: Finished! Such a feelgood, hype-you-up album. The time went so quickly and we were mega productive.<br><br>8pm: I realise I’ve missed dinner so I have some leftover salad with sourdough croutons and then blueberries with yoghurt afterwards. I make myself a rosé wine spritzer and head up for a cold shower.<br><br>8.45pm: Sit down with T and L to watch some TV. We catch up on the previous night’s <em>Love Island</em> and watch tonight’s episode.<br> <br>10pm: Read some of my book, <em>The Nowhere Man</em> (really enjoying this, if anyone enjoys murder thriller genres), and fall asleep.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day One

7.30am: Wake up and get out of bed. L is taking T out for his walk, which gives me time before work to tidy our bedroom, clean my retainers and do some basic skincare (cleanser, vitamin C, moisturiser and SPF).

8am: It’s a lovely sunny morning so I treat myself to fried eggs on sourdough and sit in the garden listening to Radio 2. I can already feel the sunshine impacting my mood.

8.15am: I make a cup of decaf tea and start working. I spend my morning reading and responding to emails and attending calls.

12.05pm: I break for lunch and make an Instagram-inspired pasta salad. I use spinach, carrots, apple, red onion, cucumber and gherkins. I also eat a packet of prawn cocktail crisps while waiting for the pasta to cook. I eat lunch in the garden with T and wait for L to break for lunch.

1pm: Get back from lunch and attend a webinar from the university delivering my course. The session is mainly information around the online platform, which we have already been given via email so I keep my camera off and do some work throughout.

3pm: Take a cuddle break with T, make a coffee and return to the webinar.

4.30pm: My webinar finishes so I take a break to eat some ice cream and give T some frozen banana. I spend the rest of the afternoon consolidating notes and writing actions from scribblings I’ve made this week.

6pm: I finish work and decide to mow the lawn. L helps me tidy the garden as we are planning a BBQ for the weekend. I put on Beyoncé’s Homecoming live album from Coachella and make a start.

6.15pm: It is really hot! I find a spray SPF that I bought earlier this year and put it on. I'm trying to be better at reapplying SPF and encouraging L to do the same so I leave this out in the kitchen.

7.50pm: Finished! Such a feelgood, hype-you-up album. The time went so quickly and we were mega productive.

8pm: I realise I’ve missed dinner so I have some leftover salad with sourdough croutons and then blueberries with yoghurt afterwards. I make myself a rosé wine spritzer and head up for a cold shower.

8.45pm: Sit down with T and L to watch some TV. We catch up on the previous night’s Love Island and watch tonight’s episode.

10pm: Read some of my book, The Nowhere Man (really enjoying this, if anyone enjoys murder thriller genres), and fall asleep.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Two</strong><br> <br>5.47am: Look over at my alarm and am pleasantly surprised how early it is! Go back to sleep.<br> <br>7am: Alarm goes off and I get up. I clean my retainers and head downstairs to give T his breakfast and morning cuddles.<br> <br>7.30am: Admire our garden work and check the weather. The forecast is predicting light showers. L and I debate putting the garden furniture away. <br> <br>8am: L makes me a frothy coffee and I start work. I spend my morning responding to emails and then I have a team meeting followed by a contract review meeting.<br> <br>12.30pm: L and I break for lunch and make our go-to, which is egg noodles, frozen vegetables with a BBC Good Food sauce recipe made up of peanut butter, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, chilli flakes and rice wine vinegar. So good and so quick!<br> <br>1.25pm: It’s started to rain heavily so we scramble to get our furniture in before finishing lunch.<br> <br>2.30pm: My afternoon goes well. I have supervision with my manager and two internal calls. I spend the rest of my day working through my to-do list and getting through emails.<br> <br>5.30pm: Clock off and put my out of office on. I’m using annual leave tomorrow to pick up some independent work as this is the only opportunity I have now to work directly with patients so I grab it when I can. I review patient documentation that is sent through and make notes to discuss tomorrow. <br> <br>6.30pm: Pause for dinner. L has made us pasta with a spicy tomato sauce (one of his go-to recipes). We sit and chat about our days and decide to cancel the BBQ on Saturday. I message our friends and end up catching up with a few on WhatsApp, we talk all things money, relationships, babies. In the end we keep an open invite with a few local friends who are happy to play it by ear.<br><br>8.30pm: We walk T around some local fields and he has a great time meeting two other dogs. L and I get such joy out of seeing the dogs play and we come away feeling happy with the progress that T has made with his training.<br> <br>9.30pm: Get home and put <em>Love Island</em> on. I continue reviewing the documents for tomorrow. It’s a complex situation so I make a note to offer additional wellbeing support to other colleagues joining tomorrow. <br> <br>10.30pm: I attempt to read some of my book but don’t manage it as I fall asleep.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Two

5.47am: Look over at my alarm and am pleasantly surprised how early it is! Go back to sleep.

7am: Alarm goes off and I get up. I clean my retainers and head downstairs to give T his breakfast and morning cuddles.

7.30am: Admire our garden work and check the weather. The forecast is predicting light showers. L and I debate putting the garden furniture away.

8am: L makes me a frothy coffee and I start work. I spend my morning responding to emails and then I have a team meeting followed by a contract review meeting.

12.30pm: L and I break for lunch and make our go-to, which is egg noodles, frozen vegetables with a BBC Good Food sauce recipe made up of peanut butter, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, chilli flakes and rice wine vinegar. So good and so quick!

1.25pm: It’s started to rain heavily so we scramble to get our furniture in before finishing lunch.

2.30pm: My afternoon goes well. I have supervision with my manager and two internal calls. I spend the rest of my day working through my to-do list and getting through emails.

5.30pm: Clock off and put my out of office on. I’m using annual leave tomorrow to pick up some independent work as this is the only opportunity I have now to work directly with patients so I grab it when I can. I review patient documentation that is sent through and make notes to discuss tomorrow.

6.30pm: Pause for dinner. L has made us pasta with a spicy tomato sauce (one of his go-to recipes). We sit and chat about our days and decide to cancel the BBQ on Saturday. I message our friends and end up catching up with a few on WhatsApp, we talk all things money, relationships, babies. In the end we keep an open invite with a few local friends who are happy to play it by ear.

8.30pm: We walk T around some local fields and he has a great time meeting two other dogs. L and I get such joy out of seeing the dogs play and we come away feeling happy with the progress that T has made with his training.

9.30pm: Get home and put Love Island on. I continue reviewing the documents for tomorrow. It’s a complex situation so I make a note to offer additional wellbeing support to other colleagues joining tomorrow.

10.30pm: I attempt to read some of my book but don’t manage it as I fall asleep.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Three</strong><br> <br>7.27am: I am awakened by L. He has decided to try and get his hair cut today and his barber isn’t local so he has to go early. I get up and put on my summer dog-walking uniform (Crocs, sports leggings, oversized T-shirt and bumbag). T is ecstatic to see that I’m ready to take him out. We walk around the same fields as yesterday and bump into lots of dogs he’s met before.<br> <br>8.27am: Make breakfast for T and make porridge for me with blueberries, cinnamon and honey.<br> <br>8.45am: It's payday! I transfer money into our joint account and my savings accounts.<br> <br>9am: Log on and get prepared to start the meeting.<br> <br>12.30pm: The first half of the meeting is intense but productive. I tell colleagues to take 30 minutes for lunch and I go into the kitchen to make a pasta salad (the same recipe as earlier in the week) before returning to the call.<br> <br>5.30pm: I spend some time tidying up the report I’ve written throughout the day and send it on to the other professionals on the call for comment. I also note the patient identifier, date of meeting and location so that I can check for the payment next month.<br> <br>6.30pm: L makes us katsu curry with chicken and white rice. It is *chef's kiss* and puts us right in the mood for the weekend.<br> <br>7pm: We paid a deposit on a cruise earlier in the month and we need to pay the remaining amount. It is our first time going on a cruise and we are both a bit nervous but are hoping to see more of Greece. L pays on his credit card and I transfer my half to him. This also includes a payment L made earlier today for travel insurance for the trip. We both get excited and download the app that shows us how many days we have left. £1,630<br> <br>9pm: After a walk around the fields we come home to watch <em>Love Island</em> with snacks (sour cream Pringles and cashews).<br><br>10.30pm: I go up to bed but don’t fall asleep for an hour or so as I get stuck in a good bit of my book.<br> <br><strong>Total: £1,630</strong>
Day Three

7.27am: I am awakened by L. He has decided to try and get his hair cut today and his barber isn’t local so he has to go early. I get up and put on my summer dog-walking uniform (Crocs, sports leggings, oversized T-shirt and bumbag). T is ecstatic to see that I’m ready to take him out. We walk around the same fields as yesterday and bump into lots of dogs he’s met before.

8.27am: Make breakfast for T and make porridge for me with blueberries, cinnamon and honey.

8.45am: It's payday! I transfer money into our joint account and my savings accounts.

9am: Log on and get prepared to start the meeting.

12.30pm: The first half of the meeting is intense but productive. I tell colleagues to take 30 minutes for lunch and I go into the kitchen to make a pasta salad (the same recipe as earlier in the week) before returning to the call.

5.30pm: I spend some time tidying up the report I’ve written throughout the day and send it on to the other professionals on the call for comment. I also note the patient identifier, date of meeting and location so that I can check for the payment next month.

6.30pm: L makes us katsu curry with chicken and white rice. It is *chef's kiss* and puts us right in the mood for the weekend.

7pm: We paid a deposit on a cruise earlier in the month and we need to pay the remaining amount. It is our first time going on a cruise and we are both a bit nervous but are hoping to see more of Greece. L pays on his credit card and I transfer my half to him. This also includes a payment L made earlier today for travel insurance for the trip. We both get excited and download the app that shows us how many days we have left. £1,630

9pm: After a walk around the fields we come home to watch Love Island with snacks (sour cream Pringles and cashews).

10.30pm: I go up to bed but don’t fall asleep for an hour or so as I get stuck in a good bit of my book.

Total: £1,630
<strong>Day Four</strong><br> <br>8.15am: It's Saturday! We lie in bed talking about our dreams and end up having sex. Eventually I get up and do some housework while L takes T for his walk.<br> <br>9.18am: I head off to Asda to get some additional supplies for our mini BBQ. I buy beer, cider, pegs, charcoal, hash browns, frozen vegetables, bananas, red onions, vegetable oil, Greek yoghurt, bacon, salad, garlic, tomatoes, white rolls, napkins, onion rings, crisps and eggs. £23.60 for my half.<br> <br>10.30am: I get home, unpack the shopping, make myself a frothy coffee and porridge. I then have a shower and get myself ready for the day.<br> <br>12pm: My best friend and her other half arrive. I make us a rosé spritzer and grab the boys a beer. We sit in the garden and catch up on how their house sale is going. They have just bought a new build and show us the layout and design they have chosen. It all looks so great!<br> <br>12.30pm: Our other friends arrive. We sit in the garden, eating nibbles and getting boozy. L gets the BBQ going.<br> <br>1.30pm: L does a great job with the food and gets compliments all round. It starts to rain but we manage to arrange the seating under cover so all seems to be okay.<br> <br>8pm: Most of our friends leave us but one couple is staying over. They help us take out the recycling and tidy up. We sit inside and put some TV on.<br> <br>10.30pm: I head up to bed as I'm shattered. L stays downstairs with our friends and heads up a little later. It seems we are all quite tired after sitting out in the sun.<br> <br><strong>Total: £23.60</strong>
Day Four

8.15am: It's Saturday! We lie in bed talking about our dreams and end up having sex. Eventually I get up and do some housework while L takes T for his walk.

9.18am: I head off to Asda to get some additional supplies for our mini BBQ. I buy beer, cider, pegs, charcoal, hash browns, frozen vegetables, bananas, red onions, vegetable oil, Greek yoghurt, bacon, salad, garlic, tomatoes, white rolls, napkins, onion rings, crisps and eggs. £23.60 for my half.

10.30am: I get home, unpack the shopping, make myself a frothy coffee and porridge. I then have a shower and get myself ready for the day.

12pm: My best friend and her other half arrive. I make us a rosé spritzer and grab the boys a beer. We sit in the garden and catch up on how their house sale is going. They have just bought a new build and show us the layout and design they have chosen. It all looks so great!

12.30pm: Our other friends arrive. We sit in the garden, eating nibbles and getting boozy. L gets the BBQ going.

1.30pm: L does a great job with the food and gets compliments all round. It starts to rain but we manage to arrange the seating under cover so all seems to be okay.

8pm: Most of our friends leave us but one couple is staying over. They help us take out the recycling and tidy up. We sit inside and put some TV on.

10.30pm: I head up to bed as I'm shattered. L stays downstairs with our friends and heads up a little later. It seems we are all quite tired after sitting out in the sun.

Total: £23.60
<strong>Day Five</strong><br> <br>8am: My alarm goes off as I have a race today! It’s only 10km and I'm a fairly novice runner but have been completing the Couch to 5K programme with a local club. I'm equally excited and nervous as I am hoping to secure a PB.<br> <br>8.15am: Make myself a coffee and have some toast. I check the weather and put on some three-quarter-length leggings and my club racing top. I give T his breakfast and then L drops me at the race.<br> <br>9.30am: Get to the race and see the other club members. They're all great and fill me with encouragement. I get nervous as someone mentions a fairly steep incline but I'm also very excited. It’s a great day for it as it's lovely and sunny and all runners are grinning. <br> <br>11.17am: I finish! I secure my PB by just over one minute. I am chuffed and relieved it's done. <br><br>11.30am: I catch up with the club members and celebrate our achievements. We get a group photo and I remind myself to post it on the club social media. I collect my medal and get given some protein bars, which I happily stock up on.<br> <br>11.30am: L collects me from the race. He lets me know he’s cooked our friends a full English breakfast. He must be proud as he shows me a photo he took, ha.<br> <br>12.30pm: Get home and chill with our friends. We talk all things house renovation, skincare, holidays, etc. L makes me a celebratory bacon roll.<br> <br>2pm: Our friends leave and we crack on with the essential housework (washing up, laundry and hoovering).<br> <br>3pm: L and I head out to see my mum and sister. My mum is suffering with a tooth infection but has been prescribed some antibiotics and tells us she’s feeling much better. <br> <br>6pm: We return home and watch TV. <em>Moonraker</em> is on, I'm a huge fan of the James Bond films. I tell L I have a crush on Jaws and he laughs. <br><br>7pm: I spend some time looking on Vinted and Depop. I buy a pair of secondhand Levi’s shorts for £10.54 and a secondhand playsuit for £7.79 that I plan on wearing on holiday. <br><br>8pm: As neither of us is hungry we decide to have a picky dinner that includes meats, salad, cheese, coleslaw, crackers and bread.<br> <br>9.30pm: I head up for bed as I’m feeling tired. L takes T out and heads up shortly after. I read in bed before sleeping.<br> <br><strong>Total: £18.33</strong>
Day Five

8am: My alarm goes off as I have a race today! It’s only 10km and I'm a fairly novice runner but have been completing the Couch to 5K programme with a local club. I'm equally excited and nervous as I am hoping to secure a PB.

8.15am: Make myself a coffee and have some toast. I check the weather and put on some three-quarter-length leggings and my club racing top. I give T his breakfast and then L drops me at the race.

9.30am: Get to the race and see the other club members. They're all great and fill me with encouragement. I get nervous as someone mentions a fairly steep incline but I'm also very excited. It’s a great day for it as it's lovely and sunny and all runners are grinning.

11.17am: I finish! I secure my PB by just over one minute. I am chuffed and relieved it's done.

11.30am: I catch up with the club members and celebrate our achievements. We get a group photo and I remind myself to post it on the club social media. I collect my medal and get given some protein bars, which I happily stock up on.

11.30am: L collects me from the race. He lets me know he’s cooked our friends a full English breakfast. He must be proud as he shows me a photo he took, ha.

12.30pm: Get home and chill with our friends. We talk all things house renovation, skincare, holidays, etc. L makes me a celebratory bacon roll.

2pm: Our friends leave and we crack on with the essential housework (washing up, laundry and hoovering).

3pm: L and I head out to see my mum and sister. My mum is suffering with a tooth infection but has been prescribed some antibiotics and tells us she’s feeling much better.

6pm: We return home and watch TV. Moonraker is on, I'm a huge fan of the James Bond films. I tell L I have a crush on Jaws and he laughs.

7pm: I spend some time looking on Vinted and Depop. I buy a pair of secondhand Levi’s shorts for £10.54 and a secondhand playsuit for £7.79 that I plan on wearing on holiday.

8pm: As neither of us is hungry we decide to have a picky dinner that includes meats, salad, cheese, coleslaw, crackers and bread.

9.30pm: I head up for bed as I’m feeling tired. L takes T out and heads up shortly after. I read in bed before sleeping.

Total: £18.33
<strong>Day Six</strong><br> <br>8am: Today is a non-working day for me. I wake up with L, make a coffee and have porridge for breakfast. I make T his breakfast and then take him out for an early walk.<br> <br>9.15am: I make a start on one of my university assignments. I'm struggling with some of the recommended reading. I take the time to reread each sentence and then try to summarise what I've consumed. I manage to get a good flow going and write a good proportion of my essay. <br><br>11.30am: I take a break and head out to see my grandparents to have a cup of tea and catch up with them. They are becoming more housebound and I struggle with feelings of guilt for not seeing them enough. I notice that they have some dirty plates in the kitchen that look like they are building up so I do some washing up while they watch TV with their tea. We have a good chat and reminisce about memories of my childhood. <br> <br>1.15pm: Head home and have some leftover BBQ food for lunch. Talk with L about DIY plans we would like to start.<br> <br>2.15pm: I carry on with university work and try to get back in the flow. It feels slow and difficult to begin with but I watch a TED talk which helps.<br> <br>4.15pm: Stop for a break and take T for a small walk round the block while catching up on my podcasts (<em>Shagged, Married, Annoyed</em> and <em>My Therapist Ghosted Me</em>). This prompts me to message my friend and remind her that I paid for tickets to see Joanne McNally. She responds with emoji and transfers me £21.<br> <br>5.30pm: I settle down to watch <em>One Tree Hill</em>.<br> <br>6pm: Make my usual pasta salad and portion some up for L.<br> <br>6.40pm: I leave for running club. We end up running 7km with a good pace. It's good to catch up with my running friends.<br> <br>7.20pm: I eat one of the protein bars I picked up at the race and L makes me a hot chocolate. L tells me about his day and that he would like to sign up with me on the next race. This is exciting!<br> <br>10.45pm: Head up to bed, read some of my book and fall asleep.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Six

8am: Today is a non-working day for me. I wake up with L, make a coffee and have porridge for breakfast. I make T his breakfast and then take him out for an early walk.

9.15am: I make a start on one of my university assignments. I'm struggling with some of the recommended reading. I take the time to reread each sentence and then try to summarise what I've consumed. I manage to get a good flow going and write a good proportion of my essay.

11.30am: I take a break and head out to see my grandparents to have a cup of tea and catch up with them. They are becoming more housebound and I struggle with feelings of guilt for not seeing them enough. I notice that they have some dirty plates in the kitchen that look like they are building up so I do some washing up while they watch TV with their tea. We have a good chat and reminisce about memories of my childhood.

1.15pm: Head home and have some leftover BBQ food for lunch. Talk with L about DIY plans we would like to start.

2.15pm: I carry on with university work and try to get back in the flow. It feels slow and difficult to begin with but I watch a TED talk which helps.

4.15pm: Stop for a break and take T for a small walk round the block while catching up on my podcasts (Shagged, Married, Annoyed and My Therapist Ghosted Me). This prompts me to message my friend and remind her that I paid for tickets to see Joanne McNally. She responds with emoji and transfers me £21.

5.30pm: I settle down to watch One Tree Hill.

6pm: Make my usual pasta salad and portion some up for L.

6.40pm: I leave for running club. We end up running 7km with a good pace. It's good to catch up with my running friends.

7.20pm: I eat one of the protein bars I picked up at the race and L makes me a hot chocolate. L tells me about his day and that he would like to sign up with me on the next race. This is exciting!

10.45pm: Head up to bed, read some of my book and fall asleep.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Seven</strong><br> <br>7am: Wake up. I’m feeling energetic so I volunteer to take T out early. We go around our usual route and have a great time.<br> <br>8am: Start work. I focus on reading and responding to all the emails that have come in from Friday and Monday.<br> <br>9.45am: It’s L’s birthday in two weeks and I haven’t got him any gifts. He's known for being especially difficult to buy for but he has told me he would like an Amazon Fire Stick. He also tells me what this will do but it goes over my head. I buy it now before I forget. £29.99<br> <br>10am: Return to work. Today I'm working on reviewing an operational pathway. I start by pulling together my key questions and adding comments to the existing pathway.<br> <br>12.30pm: Break for lunch. We make potato salad and have it with pitta bread and dips.<br> <br>1.30pm: Return from lunch to attend a new senior board meeting. I get to shadow these meetings to contribute towards the learning for my course. It’s very interesting and I make notes of questions to discuss with my manager.<br> <br>4.30pm: Take a coffee break and give T some afternoon cuddles.<br> <br>4.45pm: Back to work. I have two introductory calls and enjoy speaking to my new colleagues.<br> <br>6pm: Finish work. L makes me a non-alcoholic gin with lemonade and offers to make dinner. I jump on this suggestion and he makes us a chicken curry with rice. We find some mini garlic naan breads in our freezer and pop these in for good measure.<br> <br>7.30pm: Catch up on the <em>Love Island </em>episodes we have missed and watch the most recent one.<br> <br>10pm: Head up to bed. I get stuck in my book again so fall asleep later than planned...<br> <br><strong>Total: £29.99</strong>
Day Seven

7am: Wake up. I’m feeling energetic so I volunteer to take T out early. We go around our usual route and have a great time.

8am: Start work. I focus on reading and responding to all the emails that have come in from Friday and Monday.

9.45am: It’s L’s birthday in two weeks and I haven’t got him any gifts. He's known for being especially difficult to buy for but he has told me he would like an Amazon Fire Stick. He also tells me what this will do but it goes over my head. I buy it now before I forget. £29.99

10am: Return to work. Today I'm working on reviewing an operational pathway. I start by pulling together my key questions and adding comments to the existing pathway.

12.30pm: Break for lunch. We make potato salad and have it with pitta bread and dips.

1.30pm: Return from lunch to attend a new senior board meeting. I get to shadow these meetings to contribute towards the learning for my course. It’s very interesting and I make notes of questions to discuss with my manager.

4.30pm: Take a coffee break and give T some afternoon cuddles.

4.45pm: Back to work. I have two introductory calls and enjoy speaking to my new colleagues.

6pm: Finish work. L makes me a non-alcoholic gin with lemonade and offers to make dinner. I jump on this suggestion and he makes us a chicken curry with rice. We find some mini garlic naan breads in our freezer and pop these in for good measure.

7.30pm: Catch up on the Love Island episodes we have missed and watch the most recent one.

10pm: Head up to bed. I get stuck in my book again so fall asleep later than planned...

Total: £29.99
<strong>The Breakdown</strong><br> <br>Food & Drink: £23.60<br>Entertainment: £0<br>Clothes & Beauty: £18.33<br>Home & Health: £0<br>Travel: £1,630<br>Other: £29.99<br><br><strong>Total: £1,701.92</strong><br> <br><strong>Conclusion</strong><br> <br>"Apart from the big payment of our holiday, this is definitely a typical week for us. We spend most of our joint money on food and drink. This really fluctuates week on week and whether we have any plans with our friends. Since starting the MBA I'm consciously trying to alternate weekends that we are socialising with quieter weekends so I can study. I was quite conscious this diary might be quite boring for readers but it is a true reflection of our weekdays!"
The Breakdown

Food & Drink: £23.60
Entertainment: £0
Clothes & Beauty: £18.33
Home & Health: £0
Travel: £1,630
Other: £29.99

Total: £1,701.92

Conclusion

"Apart from the big payment of our holiday, this is definitely a typical week for us. We spend most of our joint money on food and drink. This really fluctuates week on week and whether we have any plans with our friends. Since starting the MBA I'm consciously trying to alternate weekends that we are socialising with quieter weekends so I can study. I was quite conscious this diary might be quite boring for readers but it is a true reflection of our weekdays!"

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Money Diary: A 26-Year-Old Accountant On 35k

Money Diary: A Business Analyst In Bournemouth

Money Diary: A 24-Year-Old Medical Student On 7.9k

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting