Money Diary: A Trainee Accountant On 28.6k Who’s Just Moved In With Her Girlfriend

·14-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 22-year-old trainee accountant living in east London with my girlfriend, L. We moved in together a few weeks ago so have had quite an expensive time furnishing the place, although a well-timed birthday has helped with some of the costs. L and I have a joint account we use for rent, utilities and groceries, as well as any other shared purchases like takeaway. Where any purchases are from the joint account I’ve just given my half of the cost. This week L and I tested positive for COVID-19, which means we’re self-isolating. I can work from home but L is a carer so essentially has time off."

Industry: Accountancy
Age: 22
Location: London
Salary: £28,600
Paycheque amount: £1,817.30
Number of housemates: One: my girlfriend, L.

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: £700 for my share of rent.
Loan payments: None, I was very lucky to have my parents plus a grant pay for university.
Utilities: Council tax £55, water £15, energy £21, Wi-Fi £9 (all my monthly share).
Transportation: I top up my Oyster about £75 a month, depending on how often I go into the office.
Phone bill: £15
Savings? About £12,000 – half of this in a LISA and the other half easily accessible in case of emergency. I was able to save a lot living rent-free for the past year.
Other: Netflix and Spotify £0 – I’m still sponging off the family plan for both of these. YNAB – I put away £4 a month towards my budgeting app. £0.79 a month for iCloud storage. £1.89 a month toward my password storage and generator app. £5 a month to The Outside Project, an LGBTQIA+ community shelter. £12 direct from my pay each month for dental insurance.

<strong>Day One</strong><br><br>9am: Alarm goes off and I waste no time getting up. I’m getting my first jab today! Have some toast and coffee and notice we’re running low on both. <br><br>9.50am: Make my way to the bus and then the Tube. £1.55 + £1.60 but on a prepaid Oyster. <br><br>10.30am: Jabbed! Get a badge and a slightly tender arm for my troubles. Start making my way back home. Go home entirely via Tube. £1.60 on Oyster. <br><br>11am: By the time I get home I’m in dire need of painkillers because of my period pain. Usually I just have a rough first day but this is day two and my back is killing me. <br><br>11.30am: L and I start heading to Ikea. We moved in a few weeks ago and we’re almost finished buying things for the flat but have a few items left. £1.55 on the Oyster. <br><br>12.15pm: We start wandering through Ikea and fantasising about our future home. My back is still incredibly achy. <br><br>2.30pm: Starving! Queue for ages at the Ikea restaurant for some plant balls and chips and devour them hungrily. £7.05 for my half.<br><br>3pm: Carry on with our Ikea journey. While we’re there a friend who came for dinner last week texts to say they’ve had a self-isolation notice and tells us to get tested. We pick up some storage boxes, a bin, some picture frames, lint roller, squeegee, toilet brush, lightbulbs, a chopping board, glasses and tea towels. A very exciting shop. Comes to £48.21 but L has a gift card. £4.11 for my half.<br><br>4pm: Feeling pretty low energy so buy a Coke before we head home on the bus. £1.55 on prepaid Oyster + £1.25 for the Coke.<br><br>5pm: Do lateral flow tests. Initially think we’re in the clear but after half an hour mine says I’ve tested positive. Have a guilt spiral about Ikea but L reassures me that we didn’t know and we kept our masks on. Friend texts to say they’ve tested positive too. <br><br>6pm: Start feeling a bit worse and realise the back pain is probably COVID rather than period as it’s my upper back/shoulders. Notice I feel a bit tight-chested too. <br><br>7pm: I take a bath to try and alleviate the pain. L makes risotto and brings it to me to eat in the bath. <br><br>9pm: Turn the projector on (we have a projector instead of a TV) and watch <em>Stepford Wives</em> together.<br><br><strong>Total: £12.41</strong>
Day One

9am: Alarm goes off and I waste no time getting up. I’m getting my first jab today! Have some toast and coffee and notice we’re running low on both.

9.50am: Make my way to the bus and then the Tube. £1.55 + £1.60 but on a prepaid Oyster.

10.30am: Jabbed! Get a badge and a slightly tender arm for my troubles. Start making my way back home. Go home entirely via Tube. £1.60 on Oyster.

11am: By the time I get home I’m in dire need of painkillers because of my period pain. Usually I just have a rough first day but this is day two and my back is killing me.

11.30am: L and I start heading to Ikea. We moved in a few weeks ago and we’re almost finished buying things for the flat but have a few items left. £1.55 on the Oyster.

12.15pm: We start wandering through Ikea and fantasising about our future home. My back is still incredibly achy.

2.30pm: Starving! Queue for ages at the Ikea restaurant for some plant balls and chips and devour them hungrily. £7.05 for my half.

3pm: Carry on with our Ikea journey. While we’re there a friend who came for dinner last week texts to say they’ve had a self-isolation notice and tells us to get tested. We pick up some storage boxes, a bin, some picture frames, lint roller, squeegee, toilet brush, lightbulbs, a chopping board, glasses and tea towels. A very exciting shop. Comes to £48.21 but L has a gift card. £4.11 for my half.

4pm: Feeling pretty low energy so buy a Coke before we head home on the bus. £1.55 on prepaid Oyster + £1.25 for the Coke.

5pm: Do lateral flow tests. Initially think we’re in the clear but after half an hour mine says I’ve tested positive. Have a guilt spiral about Ikea but L reassures me that we didn’t know and we kept our masks on. Friend texts to say they’ve tested positive too.

6pm: Start feeling a bit worse and realise the back pain is probably COVID rather than period as it’s my upper back/shoulders. Notice I feel a bit tight-chested too.

7pm: I take a bath to try and alleviate the pain. L makes risotto and brings it to me to eat in the bath.

9pm: Turn the projector on (we have a projector instead of a TV) and watch Stepford Wives together.

Total: £12.41
<strong>Day Two</strong><br><br>8am: Call Mum and let her know I’ve tested positive and likely won’t be able to fly home to see my family as scheduled. My family live abroad and we haven’t seen each other in a year. Mum and I speak almost daily and are very close but it’s not the same. <br><br>9am: Have a big cry about the above and about how rough I feel. I’ve got a cough now to go along with the back pain and tight chest. <br><br>12pm: We’re entirely out of coffee and can’t pop to the shops to buy some. Logical solution is obviously to order some from McDonald's and get burgers and fries to go with it. £5.44 for me.<br><br>1pm: We do a food shop to be delivered tomorrow. Stock up on food, snacks and drinks to last us at least 10 days without leaving the house. Use points to get £30 off the order. My half £41.90.<br><br>2pm: L buys a 1,000-piece puzzle in anticipation of our self-isolation. We cuddle up on the sofa and watch the F1 race together. I got weirdly into it over lockdown, having never cared about motorsports before. Transfer L £4.49.<br><br>5pm: Race over, I head to the patio to do some gardening while L stays inside playing guitar. I still have some big empty pots and decide to buy some more herbs and pollinator-friendly plants to fill them. Plants are my domain so I pay alone. £62.91<br><br>7pm: I take some tofu out of the fridge for dinner. It’s been open a while but seems fine to me. L tells me it smells rancid and throws it out. I go round the flat sniffing things and realise my sense of smell is gone.<br><br>9pm: I buy some cake tins and embroidery hoops on Amazon as both are hobbies of mine and it seems I’ll have plenty of time for them this week. £23.94<br><br>9.30pm: Watch <em>Palm Springs</em> in bed together and then fall asleep.<br><br><strong>Total: £138.68</strong>
Day Two

8am: Call Mum and let her know I’ve tested positive and likely won’t be able to fly home to see my family as scheduled. My family live abroad and we haven’t seen each other in a year. Mum and I speak almost daily and are very close but it’s not the same.

9am: Have a big cry about the above and about how rough I feel. I’ve got a cough now to go along with the back pain and tight chest.

12pm: We’re entirely out of coffee and can’t pop to the shops to buy some. Logical solution is obviously to order some from McDonald's and get burgers and fries to go with it. £5.44 for me.

1pm: We do a food shop to be delivered tomorrow. Stock up on food, snacks and drinks to last us at least 10 days without leaving the house. Use points to get £30 off the order. My half £41.90.

2pm: L buys a 1,000-piece puzzle in anticipation of our self-isolation. We cuddle up on the sofa and watch the F1 race together. I got weirdly into it over lockdown, having never cared about motorsports before. Transfer L £4.49.

5pm: Race over, I head to the patio to do some gardening while L stays inside playing guitar. I still have some big empty pots and decide to buy some more herbs and pollinator-friendly plants to fill them. Plants are my domain so I pay alone. £62.91

7pm: I take some tofu out of the fridge for dinner. It’s been open a while but seems fine to me. L tells me it smells rancid and throws it out. I go round the flat sniffing things and realise my sense of smell is gone.

9pm: I buy some cake tins and embroidery hoops on Amazon as both are hobbies of mine and it seems I’ll have plenty of time for them this week. £23.94

9.30pm: Watch Palm Springs in bed together and then fall asleep.

Total: £138.68
<strong>Day Three</strong><br><br>8am: Alarm goes off and I get up. Jam on toast and a cup of tea as there’s no coffee. Does jam usually have specific flavour or does it just taste sweet? The tea seems pretty flavourless but I’m not a big fan of it anyway. Feeling a bit better otherwise. <br><br>9am: Start work by telling HR I tested positive so they can notify people I worked with last week. I went into the office a few times as I was feeling fine. <br><br>1pm: Take lunch. L has made spicy ramen in the hope I’ll be able to taste it. We walk around the patio and then have a game of backgammon. I win! After lunch we do PCR tests and L posts them. <br><br>5.30pm: Finish work and start on the puzzle. It’s got some rather tricky sea sections that look set to entertain us for a while.<br><br>6.30pm: Start roasting some aubergines and courgettes for dinner, we’ll have them with vegan ribs and couscous. <br><br>9.30pm: Sainsbury’s order arrives and we put it away. Very grateful for the drinks in the order and help myself to a beer. L and I find some virtual escape rooms and spend a couple of hours trying to get out of them. <br><br>11.30pm: Cleanse and moisturise my face, pop on a Headspace and go to sleep. <br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Three

8am: Alarm goes off and I get up. Jam on toast and a cup of tea as there’s no coffee. Does jam usually have specific flavour or does it just taste sweet? The tea seems pretty flavourless but I’m not a big fan of it anyway. Feeling a bit better otherwise.

9am: Start work by telling HR I tested positive so they can notify people I worked with last week. I went into the office a few times as I was feeling fine.

1pm: Take lunch. L has made spicy ramen in the hope I’ll be able to taste it. We walk around the patio and then have a game of backgammon. I win! After lunch we do PCR tests and L posts them.

5.30pm: Finish work and start on the puzzle. It’s got some rather tricky sea sections that look set to entertain us for a while.

6.30pm: Start roasting some aubergines and courgettes for dinner, we’ll have them with vegan ribs and couscous.

9.30pm: Sainsbury’s order arrives and we put it away. Very grateful for the drinks in the order and help myself to a beer. L and I find some virtual escape rooms and spend a couple of hours trying to get out of them.

11.30pm: Cleanse and moisturise my face, pop on a Headspace and go to sleep.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Four</strong><br><br>7.50am: Wake up 10 minutes before alarm is meant to go off. Have a headache so don’t think I’ll manage to snooze. <br><br>8am: Shower and head to the kitchen – we’ve got coffee! Make myself tomatoes on toast (my favourite) and a coffee and pray I’ll be able to taste them. Unfortunately, I can’t. <br><br>9am: Start working. Still not feeling great.<br> <br>9.30am: Check my bank account and see a massive payment has just left my account. I had a huge final gas and electricity bill from my old place, I don’t really know how it happened but I’m sure it has something to do with windows that wouldn’t fully close and WFH. £620.63<br><br>10am: Amazon delivery arrives. It’s the baking items and embroidery hoops. I started embroidery in the first lockdown and I’ve decided to embroider some pieces for our bedroom wall.<br><br>11am: Feeling even worse after a team meeting. Call in sick and get back in bed. <br><br>1pm: Make omelettes for lunch – gram flour for L, egg for me – and then back to bed.<br> <br>3pm: A friend has sent me a bouquet of flowers. They brighten up my day and the kitchen.<br><br>4pm: Resurface from bed and decide to do some baking. We’ll have a vegan chocolate babka for dessert and I make some pizza dough for dinner too. <br><br>5.30pm: L is watching the football so grab a beer and join her.<br><br>7.30pm: Football has been watched and pizza has been eaten, both were pretty successful. The babka was less successful but it was a first attempt and I tend to play around with vegan baking recipes until I perfect them so I’m not too fussed.<br><br>8pm: L and I get our PCR results. We’ve both tested positive this time. I go have another bath and try to drown my sorrows in bubbles.<br><br>12am: We go to bed but struggle to fall asleep as we’re both feeling so ill. Drift off around 1am.<br><br><strong>Total: £620.63</strong>
Day Four

7.50am: Wake up 10 minutes before alarm is meant to go off. Have a headache so don’t think I’ll manage to snooze.

8am: Shower and head to the kitchen – we’ve got coffee! Make myself tomatoes on toast (my favourite) and a coffee and pray I’ll be able to taste them. Unfortunately, I can’t.

9am: Start working. Still not feeling great.

9.30am: Check my bank account and see a massive payment has just left my account. I had a huge final gas and electricity bill from my old place, I don’t really know how it happened but I’m sure it has something to do with windows that wouldn’t fully close and WFH. £620.63

10am: Amazon delivery arrives. It’s the baking items and embroidery hoops. I started embroidery in the first lockdown and I’ve decided to embroider some pieces for our bedroom wall.

11am: Feeling even worse after a team meeting. Call in sick and get back in bed.

1pm: Make omelettes for lunch – gram flour for L, egg for me – and then back to bed.

3pm: A friend has sent me a bouquet of flowers. They brighten up my day and the kitchen.

4pm: Resurface from bed and decide to do some baking. We’ll have a vegan chocolate babka for dessert and I make some pizza dough for dinner too.

5.30pm: L is watching the football so grab a beer and join her.

7.30pm: Football has been watched and pizza has been eaten, both were pretty successful. The babka was less successful but it was a first attempt and I tend to play around with vegan baking recipes until I perfect them so I’m not too fussed.

8pm: L and I get our PCR results. We’ve both tested positive this time. I go have another bath and try to drown my sorrows in bubbles.

12am: We go to bed but struggle to fall asleep as we’re both feeling so ill. Drift off around 1am.

Total: £620.63
<strong>Day Five</strong><br><br>8am: Alarm goes off and I am feeling better. L didn’t sleep well so I leave her sleeping while I go shower and make myself a coffee. <br><br>8.45am: Feeling better was short-lived and I let work know I’ll be taking another sick day. <br><br>10am: A friend buys L and me (and himself) tickets to see Lorde next year. He very kindly insists they’re a gift as we didn’t enjoy his last gift, COVID, as much. Will repay with drinks next time I see him.<br><br>11am: The flat is in a bit of a state so L and I have a quick clean and tidy before I get back to the puzzle.<br><br>1pm: My appetite has pretty much disappeared but I know I should have lunch so pan fry gnocchi with some sage from the garden. L tells me it tastes nice and I take her word for it.<br><br>3pm: L orders a mop and some household cleaning products. Fun purchases only in this money diary! £10.77<br><br>4pm: Browse Instagram and get lots of ads for amazing vegan tasting menus and dining experiences. Feel sad that there’s no point booking any of these until I get my smell and taste back so stop scrolling.<br><br>6pm: Start prepping enchiladas and guacamole for dinner.<br><br>7pm: The puzzle is complete! L and I realise we’re going to have to find another way to pass the time.<br><br>8pm: Browse Boots for a while. End up buying some moisturiser and serum for L, and serum, conditioner and hair removal wax for myself. £33.59 but L transfers me £8.53 for her bits.<br><br>9pm: Read in bed for a few hours until I fall asleep.<br><br><strong>Total: £35.83</strong>
Day Five

8am: Alarm goes off and I am feeling better. L didn’t sleep well so I leave her sleeping while I go shower and make myself a coffee.

8.45am: Feeling better was short-lived and I let work know I’ll be taking another sick day.

10am: A friend buys L and me (and himself) tickets to see Lorde next year. He very kindly insists they’re a gift as we didn’t enjoy his last gift, COVID, as much. Will repay with drinks next time I see him.

11am: The flat is in a bit of a state so L and I have a quick clean and tidy before I get back to the puzzle.

1pm: My appetite has pretty much disappeared but I know I should have lunch so pan fry gnocchi with some sage from the garden. L tells me it tastes nice and I take her word for it.

3pm: L orders a mop and some household cleaning products. Fun purchases only in this money diary! £10.77

4pm: Browse Instagram and get lots of ads for amazing vegan tasting menus and dining experiences. Feel sad that there’s no point booking any of these until I get my smell and taste back so stop scrolling.

6pm: Start prepping enchiladas and guacamole for dinner.

7pm: The puzzle is complete! L and I realise we’re going to have to find another way to pass the time.

8pm: Browse Boots for a while. End up buying some moisturiser and serum for L, and serum, conditioner and hair removal wax for myself. £33.59 but L transfers me £8.53 for her bits.

9pm: Read in bed for a few hours until I fall asleep.

Total: £35.83
<strong>Day Six</strong><br><br>8.15am: Wake up and head straight to the coffee machine. I really think taking yesterday off was helpful and I’m hoping I still feel well by the time work rolls around. <br><br>9am: I decide I’m well enough (and bored enough) to get back to work and let my team know. Have a quick catch-up call to get up to speed and then start working.<br><br>10am: L’s grandmother has sent us a care package with chocolates and a new puzzle. Looks like we’re sorted for entertainment.<br><br>10.30am: Make my tomatoes on toast. I know I won’t taste much but cutting cherry tomatoes into eights is a calming part of my morning routine. Sprinkle my toast with more salt and chilli flakes than usual. <br><br>1pm: Leftover enchiladas for lunch and we make a start on the new jigsaw.<br><br>4pm: Work is going quite slowly so I try to order my hood for graduation but get confused by the online instructions and have to call the shop for clarification. I finished my master’s last summer but graduation was delayed due to the pandemic and has now been rescheduled for later this month. £12 for the hood. <br><br>5.30pm: Finish work and collapse on my bed. I’m glad I worked but feel quite exhausted by the end of the day!<br><br>6.30pm: I do a little gardening on the patio while L gets started on dinner.<br><br>7.30pm: L got some roller-skates for her birthday which she brings out of the cupboard. She practises a bit first, then I have a go, holding on to her for dear life. By the time we’re finished I have aches in muscles I didn’t know existed but I can make it across the flat without falling over.<br><br>11pm: Head to bed feeling pretty tired by both work and roller-skating.<br><br><strong>Total: £12</strong>
Day Six

8.15am: Wake up and head straight to the coffee machine. I really think taking yesterday off was helpful and I’m hoping I still feel well by the time work rolls around.

9am: I decide I’m well enough (and bored enough) to get back to work and let my team know. Have a quick catch-up call to get up to speed and then start working.

10am: L’s grandmother has sent us a care package with chocolates and a new puzzle. Looks like we’re sorted for entertainment.

10.30am: Make my tomatoes on toast. I know I won’t taste much but cutting cherry tomatoes into eights is a calming part of my morning routine. Sprinkle my toast with more salt and chilli flakes than usual.

1pm: Leftover enchiladas for lunch and we make a start on the new jigsaw.

4pm: Work is going quite slowly so I try to order my hood for graduation but get confused by the online instructions and have to call the shop for clarification. I finished my master’s last summer but graduation was delayed due to the pandemic and has now been rescheduled for later this month. £12 for the hood.

5.30pm: Finish work and collapse on my bed. I’m glad I worked but feel quite exhausted by the end of the day!

6.30pm: I do a little gardening on the patio while L gets started on dinner.

7.30pm: L got some roller-skates for her birthday which she brings out of the cupboard. She practises a bit first, then I have a go, holding on to her for dear life. By the time we’re finished I have aches in muscles I didn’t know existed but I can make it across the flat without falling over.

11pm: Head to bed feeling pretty tired by both work and roller-skating.

Total: £12
<strong>Day Seven</strong><br><br>8am: Wake up feeling the best I have all week. Head for the shower full of energy and have a happy sing-a-long to ABBA.<br><br>9am: I’m waiting on a client to send me quite a bit of information and there is no sign they’re going to send it today. If I’m lucky it’ll be a quiet, easy Friday.<br><br>1pm: Take my lunch break but no food appeals. L persuades me to eat an apple, which I eat outside in the sunshine while we play cards. <br><br>4pm: My big order of plants and herbs has arrived and I am so keen to finish work so I can open the box and start planting. I’m not quite sure how I’d classify that on my timesheet so restrain myself.<br><br>5.10pm: I finish work slightly early because, as predicted, the client didn’t send me what I needed. L has the football up on the projector so I grab her a cider and me a beer. <br><br>6pm: Mum calls and asks me how she can watch the football as my parents don’t have TV channels. Get one of my siblings to set her up on a laptop.<br><br>7pm: Another successful football match, albeit not very exciting. Finally head out to pot my new plants while L gets together some dinner for us. <br><br>8pm: As neither of us can taste anything at this point, L decides we should experiment with cocktails and alcohol combos. Some very dangerous combinations emerge as a result and we blast music for a kitchen disco. Drunkenly decide that roller-skates should be added to the mix, which results in L spraining her wrist. Switch to playing board games instead as has a much lower risk factor.<br><br>12am?: Head to bed, looking forward to the hangover tomorrow morning.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Seven

8am: Wake up feeling the best I have all week. Head for the shower full of energy and have a happy sing-a-long to ABBA.

9am: I’m waiting on a client to send me quite a bit of information and there is no sign they’re going to send it today. If I’m lucky it’ll be a quiet, easy Friday.

1pm: Take my lunch break but no food appeals. L persuades me to eat an apple, which I eat outside in the sunshine while we play cards.

4pm: My big order of plants and herbs has arrived and I am so keen to finish work so I can open the box and start planting. I’m not quite sure how I’d classify that on my timesheet so restrain myself.

5.10pm: I finish work slightly early because, as predicted, the client didn’t send me what I needed. L has the football up on the projector so I grab her a cider and me a beer.

6pm: Mum calls and asks me how she can watch the football as my parents don’t have TV channels. Get one of my siblings to set her up on a laptop.

7pm: Another successful football match, albeit not very exciting. Finally head out to pot my new plants while L gets together some dinner for us.

8pm: As neither of us can taste anything at this point, L decides we should experiment with cocktails and alcohol combos. Some very dangerous combinations emerge as a result and we blast music for a kitchen disco. Drunkenly decide that roller-skates should be added to the mix, which results in L spraining her wrist. Switch to playing board games instead as has a much lower risk factor.

12am?: Head to bed, looking forward to the hangover tomorrow morning.

Total: £0
<strong>The Breakdown</strong><br><br>Food/Drink: £55.64<br>Entertainment: £28.43<br>Clothes/Beauty: £25.06<br>Travel: £0<br>Other: £710.42<br><br><strong>Total:</strong> <strong>£819.55</strong><br><br><strong>Conclusion</strong><br><br>"I’m pretty on top of my spending so nothing this week really surprised me. Everything was budgeted for, even the enormous energy payment. That was the most abnormal spending I had this week, although budgeting has also shown me that there’s no such thing as a normal week in terms of spending. That said, this was definitely a different week, as L and I felt like we were re-experiencing the first lockdown. We wouldn’t normally have such a big food shop, as L eats at work quite often.<br><br>I’m okay with the spending on plants and hobbies as they are essential to my mental health and I’ve learned the value of prioritising that. I wouldn’t have spent as much on as many hobbies most weeks but I probably would have spent more money going out for food and drinks with friends, so it all balances out.<br><br>I used to feel a lot more stress about spending, particularly spending on myself, and I would have agonised for days over some of these purchases. I still have that to some extent, as I have spent a fair bit of time this week debating whether to purchase some skates for myself. Ultimately, I’ll probably make space for roller-skates in my budget and allocate money towards them over the next month or so."
The Breakdown

Food/Drink: £55.64
Entertainment: £28.43
Clothes/Beauty: £25.06
Travel: £0
Other: £710.42

Total: £819.55

Conclusion

"I’m pretty on top of my spending so nothing this week really surprised me. Everything was budgeted for, even the enormous energy payment. That was the most abnormal spending I had this week, although budgeting has also shown me that there’s no such thing as a normal week in terms of spending. That said, this was definitely a different week, as L and I felt like we were re-experiencing the first lockdown. We wouldn’t normally have such a big food shop, as L eats at work quite often.

I’m okay with the spending on plants and hobbies as they are essential to my mental health and I’ve learned the value of prioritising that. I wouldn’t have spent as much on as many hobbies most weeks but I probably would have spent more money going out for food and drinks with friends, so it all balances out.

I used to feel a lot more stress about spending, particularly spending on myself, and I would have agonised for days over some of these purchases. I still have that to some extent, as I have spent a fair bit of time this week debating whether to purchase some skates for myself. Ultimately, I’ll probably make space for roller-skates in my budget and allocate money towards them over the next month or so."

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