Money Diary: A University Lecturer In Wales On 20.2k

·23-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 29 years old and currently work two roles at a university as a senior administrative officer and a lecturer. I am 36 weeks pregnant and about to go on maternity leave. My teaching contract is due to end at the end of the month so I won’t be returning to that role after my maternity leave; my administrative role is a recurring contract which has been confirmed to continue when I return from maternity leave. I’ve always considered myself quite good with money but I’ve never lived in particularly highly paid areas or chased high-paying jobs. I have lived with my husband for five years and we bought a house together about eight months ago. Though we adore our home it has been nothing but a financial nightmare, with a leak and endless spiral of problems appearing the day after I found out I was pregnant. My husband’s children are from different relationships and his daughter is with us 50% of the time, broken into the 5 5 2 2 system, which works really well for us all. His son lives further away so is with us alternating weekends and then the similar 5 5 2 2 pattern during school holidays."

Occupation: Administrator and lecturer
Industry: Education
Age: 29
Location: Wales
Salary: £12,090 for my administrator role, £8,185 for my lecturer role
Paycheque amount: £1,385 after deductions such as tax, pension, national insurance.
Number of housemates: One husband full-time (S), one stepdaughter (L) and one stepson (P).
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £520 split equally between my husband and me.
Loan payments: I owe about £24,000 in student loans and pay the minimum each month. My husband and I also owe my parents about £50,000 as they helped us with emergency house repairs (for which we are eternally grateful).
Pension: I have a very basic pension and pay in about £40 a month.
Savings? I have about £5,000 in savings but we have some ongoing work taking place in our house and I owe our plumber about £2,000, which will be paid on completion of the work. I plan to give most of the remainder to my parents afterwards to start paying back our debt.
Utilities: Split equally with my husband our bills include: internet £41, water £30, gas and electric £120, council tax £230. We pay for home insurance annually.
All other monthly payments: £52 a month for my phone plan, which feels disgustingly high (it does include accidental damage insurance though). Subscriptions: National Trust membership £11, life insurance £12, charity donations £11, Now TV £2.99 (I’ll cancel this when it goes up), Amazon Prime £79 annually.

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

I paid for my undergraduate degree with student loans and worked part-time when possible. Student loans were not available for master's programmes when I did mine but my dad kindly paid for my master's tuition fees with money he received from inheritance. I worked alongside my master's to pay for my living expenses. For my PhD (which I withdrew from), I received a full fee waiver from the university so I did not pay any fees. I did not receive any stipend so I worked alongside this.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?

I was always aware of money growing up, though I don’t recall many specific discussions about it with my parents. I was taught the difference between essentials and non-essentials, which has always stuck with me, and I was always fairly aware of what we could afford. I knew some children had a lot more money but was also aware that I was more fortunate than many.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?

I stayed at college for an extra year because I was indecisive so I moved out for university at 19 years old. I did move back for a couple of short periods (one or two months at a time) in between years of study and jobs.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?

I feel like I have been financially responsible for myself since I moved out of my parents’ house but at the same time they have always been there as a safety net and I knew they were always there to help if I needed it – for example our roofing issues! My husband and I share bills so I feel like although we are financially responsible for ourselves, our finances are also very much intertwined and we would struggle without each other now.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?

I worked at a copy and print centre. I got it because I applied for hundreds of jobs and was available on the days they needed cover.
 
Do you worry about money now?

I do. I used to worry terribly about money but had gotten a lot more relaxed (no longer always picking the cheapest option on the menu for the sake of 30p) until we had to spend thousands of pounds on emergency work on our house and are now in massive debt to my parents. I feel very guilty for any expenses I make while owing them money. I’d love to have a pregnancy massage as I’m pretty sore these days but I absolutely cannot justify spending £50 on myself right now, even though I know they wouldn’t mind me getting something to help myself. At the same time I also feel awful for worrying when I know that I am in a really privileged position to be able to rely on my family for such generous help.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.

I received about £50,000 in inheritance which allowed my husband and me to buy our home. We were ready to look at buying at the time anyway but could never have afforded a house of this size, and without this money we likely would not have been able to consider having a child together (without this having a negative impact on his other children).

<strong>Day One</strong><br><br>7.45am: Wake up to a suspiciously quiet house. We usually get woken up by the kids clamouring about but I can't even hear YouTube on the TV downstairs. I lie and enjoy the peace and quiet, while baby kicks me in the ribs.<br><br>8am: Check phone and see money has been taken out of our joint account by Tesco as we have a delivery coming today. Check my email for my receipt, we have one substitution: Tesco brand burgers have been swapped for Birds Eye. £38.94 for my share.<br><br>9am: Get up properly and realise I've split another pair of maternity leggings. Not sure if it's because they're secondhand or because I'm getting so thicc I'd give Elastigirl a run for her money. S is having a lie-in due to a week of DIY so I make breakfast for us and the kids. Dance round the kitchen to Kate Bush while the air fryer heats up (three guesses what we've just finished watching).<br><br>10.45am: New baby should be here within the month and currently not one of the kids has a functioning bedroom, the upstairs bathroom has no door and the downstairs toilet has no toilet, so the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty DIY-heavy (with some proper jobs being done by our plumber and his team). Ready to get stuck into decorating L's bedroom and five seconds into shaking up the paint the lid breaks off and explodes all over the carpet. It needs replacing eventually but we were hoping to hold off for a while as carpets are blimming expensive. Ten minutes with a wet sponge and the brush attachment on the drill seems to have saved us!<br><br>1.30pm: Head over to my mother-in-law's after lunch. Stop at Toolstation on the way for S to pick up Polyfilla which he's already paid for and the stain block paint (kitchen paint was a no-go). He pays on the joint account while I entertain the kids in the car. £8.40 for my share.<br><br>6.30pm: Come home from mother-in-law's and I start cooking dinner while S cracks on with his filling and painting. Kids get to work on some important <em>Roblox</em> business.<br><br>8pm: It should be bedtime but we need to hang curtains and build L's new (via Facebook Marketplace) bed. Thankfully not too difficult even with no instructions and she's very happy with her room makeover. The curtains don't make the slightest bit of difference to the light levels so we realise that (annoyingly custom-size) blackout blinds may be on our list sooner than we'd hoped.<br><br>9.30pm: S and I get some time to relax and stay up too late watching TikToks together.<br><br><strong>Total: £47.34</strong>
Day One

7.45am: Wake up to a suspiciously quiet house. We usually get woken up by the kids clamouring about but I can't even hear YouTube on the TV downstairs. I lie and enjoy the peace and quiet, while baby kicks me in the ribs.

8am: Check phone and see money has been taken out of our joint account by Tesco as we have a delivery coming today. Check my email for my receipt, we have one substitution: Tesco brand burgers have been swapped for Birds Eye. £38.94 for my share.

9am: Get up properly and realise I've split another pair of maternity leggings. Not sure if it's because they're secondhand or because I'm getting so thicc I'd give Elastigirl a run for her money. S is having a lie-in due to a week of DIY so I make breakfast for us and the kids. Dance round the kitchen to Kate Bush while the air fryer heats up (three guesses what we've just finished watching).

10.45am: New baby should be here within the month and currently not one of the kids has a functioning bedroom, the upstairs bathroom has no door and the downstairs toilet has no toilet, so the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty DIY-heavy (with some proper jobs being done by our plumber and his team). Ready to get stuck into decorating L's bedroom and five seconds into shaking up the paint the lid breaks off and explodes all over the carpet. It needs replacing eventually but we were hoping to hold off for a while as carpets are blimming expensive. Ten minutes with a wet sponge and the brush attachment on the drill seems to have saved us!

1.30pm: Head over to my mother-in-law's after lunch. Stop at Toolstation on the way for S to pick up Polyfilla which he's already paid for and the stain block paint (kitchen paint was a no-go). He pays on the joint account while I entertain the kids in the car. £8.40 for my share.

6.30pm: Come home from mother-in-law's and I start cooking dinner while S cracks on with his filling and painting. Kids get to work on some important Roblox business.

8pm: It should be bedtime but we need to hang curtains and build L's new (via Facebook Marketplace) bed. Thankfully not too difficult even with no instructions and she's very happy with her room makeover. The curtains don't make the slightest bit of difference to the light levels so we realise that (annoyingly custom-size) blackout blinds may be on our list sooner than we'd hoped.

9.30pm: S and I get some time to relax and stay up too late watching TikToks together.

Total: £47.34
<strong>Day Two</strong><br><br>8am: Wake up and check my phone. I am officially 36 weeks pregnant today ahh! Read my apps that tell me my baby is currently the size of a romaine lettuce. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a lettuce which isn’t iceberg. It's raining, husband is fast asleep and the kids are quietly watching TV downstairs so I continue to snooze.<br><br>9.30am: We have a leisurely morning breakfast and lattes from our mini barista coffee machine. One of the best purchases we ever made, in place of Christmas presents to each other one year. Much better than walking to the coffee shop in a storm anyway! We've been told our plasterer will be coming to sort our downstairs toilet (which was meant to be a simple job until the internal render all crumbled off the walls the second the plumber drilled a hole) but not sure what time.<br><br>1pm: Text plumber as the plasterer hasn't arrived, then get down to making lunch. Order privacy film for L's bedroom windows as she's allergic to closing her curtains and her room is really overlooked. £13.98<br><br>2pm: No word from the plasterer but the weather is still pants so we spend the afternoon playing <em>Exploding Kittens</em>.<br><br>5.30pm: Plasterer is definitely not appearing and plumber hasn't heard from him either. Make dinner and then spend the time before bedtime helping S restore and put together a gorgeous, marble-topped dressing table he bought for L at auction last year, which has been stuck in the garage. For some reason the previous owner has stained one drawer much darker than the others so we'll have to match them at some point but for now we're all just grateful she has accessible storage again.<br><br>11.30pm: After bedtime and getting up to date with<em> The Boys</em> on Prime we remember we told L we would paint her picture rails pink (originally she was going for a full pink room but now she wants to keep it mostly white so happy to accommodate the change). I order some pink satin wood paint on Amazon. £8.99<br><br><strong>Total: £22.97</strong>
Day Two

8am: Wake up and check my phone. I am officially 36 weeks pregnant today ahh! Read my apps that tell me my baby is currently the size of a romaine lettuce. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a lettuce which isn’t iceberg. It's raining, husband is fast asleep and the kids are quietly watching TV downstairs so I continue to snooze.

9.30am: We have a leisurely morning breakfast and lattes from our mini barista coffee machine. One of the best purchases we ever made, in place of Christmas presents to each other one year. Much better than walking to the coffee shop in a storm anyway! We've been told our plasterer will be coming to sort our downstairs toilet (which was meant to be a simple job until the internal render all crumbled off the walls the second the plumber drilled a hole) but not sure what time.

1pm: Text plumber as the plasterer hasn't arrived, then get down to making lunch. Order privacy film for L's bedroom windows as she's allergic to closing her curtains and her room is really overlooked. £13.98

2pm: No word from the plasterer but the weather is still pants so we spend the afternoon playing Exploding Kittens.

5.30pm: Plasterer is definitely not appearing and plumber hasn't heard from him either. Make dinner and then spend the time before bedtime helping S restore and put together a gorgeous, marble-topped dressing table he bought for L at auction last year, which has been stuck in the garage. For some reason the previous owner has stained one drawer much darker than the others so we'll have to match them at some point but for now we're all just grateful she has accessible storage again.

11.30pm: After bedtime and getting up to date with The Boys on Prime we remember we told L we would paint her picture rails pink (originally she was going for a full pink room but now she wants to keep it mostly white so happy to accommodate the change). I order some pink satin wood paint on Amazon. £8.99

Total: £22.97
<strong>Day Three</strong><br><br>6am (ish): Get woken up by baby having a party kicking my ribs. Realise she also has hiccups so rub my tum until I go back to sleep.<br><br>8am: I struggle to wake up properly this morning. The kids both have teacher training days so S and I are both on annual leave. Still no sign of plasterer so have another lazy morning of not being sure if he'll show up.<br><br>10.30am: I may be on annual leave from my admin job but annual leave isn't really a thing for lecturers so I sit down to reply to a student email and upload a spreadsheet for the external exam board this week. Can’t upload the spreadsheet as I’m still waiting for someone else to complete part of it. Try my best not to look at the rest of my emails.<br><br>11.20am: Text from Ikea that they are on their way to deliver our furniture order. In almost the same minute I get a text that our plumber is on the way to drop off some things for the plasterer who will be here at 3pm.<br><br>12pm: S goes out to buy paint for our bathroom, P's room and baby room. I get a notification that our joint account has been declined because there's not enough money in it – all our bills went out today but I don't think he's noticed. I transfer £50 into the account but no further payments appear so I think he's just paid it for now. Will sort it out with him later as we're still trying to work out how much we need to put into the joint account each month now that we're paying more in energy costs and extra council tax. <br><br>12.30pm: Ikea delivery arrives and they have to awkwardly pile it up in our hallway (which currently contains one million errant shoes, half a box of tiles and a toilet) so they can take a photo to prove they delivered it. <br><br>1pm: We're getting stuck into demolishing another bedroom (P enjoys having a go with the hammer on an old fitted wardrobe) when there's another knock at the door. Plumber has arrived with supplies for the plasterer. I barely make it back upstairs when there's another knock! Our bath panel has arrived, which is a massive relief as the delivery company marked it as signed and delivered a week ago and we've been trying to track it down ever since. We paid £10 extra for next-day delivery but they don't seem fussed about refunding it, which is very annoying.<br><br>2.30pm: Plasterer arrives and we make him a brew before he gets to work.<br><br>3pm: Abandon the plasterer (I'm sure he's happier with some peace and quiet anyway) and go to start our afternoon of errands. We all pile in the car and have a fun trip of filling up the car with fuel (S pays) and air in the tyres before heading to mother-in-law's house to pick up some bits that need to be delivered to another family member.<br><br>4.30pm: Before dropping off the items we collected, we take P to his mum's house and all go together to watch his karate class. <br><br>5.15pm: We set off to make our delivery and then head back to mother-in-law's house to make dinner with L. <br><br>10pm: We did have plans to start painting the bathroom when we got home but suddenly it's nearly 10pm and we end up drinking tea and watching <em>Brooklyn Nine-Nine</em>.<br><br><strong>Total: £0</strong>
Day Three

6am (ish): Get woken up by baby having a party kicking my ribs. Realise she also has hiccups so rub my tum until I go back to sleep.

8am: I struggle to wake up properly this morning. The kids both have teacher training days so S and I are both on annual leave. Still no sign of plasterer so have another lazy morning of not being sure if he'll show up.

10.30am: I may be on annual leave from my admin job but annual leave isn't really a thing for lecturers so I sit down to reply to a student email and upload a spreadsheet for the external exam board this week. Can’t upload the spreadsheet as I’m still waiting for someone else to complete part of it. Try my best not to look at the rest of my emails.

11.20am: Text from Ikea that they are on their way to deliver our furniture order. In almost the same minute I get a text that our plumber is on the way to drop off some things for the plasterer who will be here at 3pm.

12pm: S goes out to buy paint for our bathroom, P's room and baby room. I get a notification that our joint account has been declined because there's not enough money in it – all our bills went out today but I don't think he's noticed. I transfer £50 into the account but no further payments appear so I think he's just paid it for now. Will sort it out with him later as we're still trying to work out how much we need to put into the joint account each month now that we're paying more in energy costs and extra council tax.

12.30pm: Ikea delivery arrives and they have to awkwardly pile it up in our hallway (which currently contains one million errant shoes, half a box of tiles and a toilet) so they can take a photo to prove they delivered it.

1pm: We're getting stuck into demolishing another bedroom (P enjoys having a go with the hammer on an old fitted wardrobe) when there's another knock at the door. Plumber has arrived with supplies for the plasterer. I barely make it back upstairs when there's another knock! Our bath panel has arrived, which is a massive relief as the delivery company marked it as signed and delivered a week ago and we've been trying to track it down ever since. We paid £10 extra for next-day delivery but they don't seem fussed about refunding it, which is very annoying.

2.30pm: Plasterer arrives and we make him a brew before he gets to work.

3pm: Abandon the plasterer (I'm sure he's happier with some peace and quiet anyway) and go to start our afternoon of errands. We all pile in the car and have a fun trip of filling up the car with fuel (S pays) and air in the tyres before heading to mother-in-law's house to pick up some bits that need to be delivered to another family member.

4.30pm: Before dropping off the items we collected, we take P to his mum's house and all go together to watch his karate class.

5.15pm: We set off to make our delivery and then head back to mother-in-law's house to make dinner with L.

10pm: We did have plans to start painting the bathroom when we got home but suddenly it's nearly 10pm and we end up drinking tea and watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Total: £0
<strong>Day Four</strong><br> <br>10am: I'm really struggling with energy today so by the time I get downstairs S has already fed himself and L and made me a coffee. He's trying out our new spin mop on a mess of plaster spilled on our wooden hallway.<br><br>12pm: Cracking on with yet more DIY, today we're sanding filler, painting walls and attempting the privacy film on L's window. I get a notification for Google Opinion Rewards asking me about my last visit to Asda. I get 22p of credit, currently I have about £35 of Google Play credit but I'm stingy and am forever saving it for a rainy day.<br><br>2pm: I make L's favourite soup for lunch to make up for her slightly boring day while we crack on with steaming walls and painting. As S goes out to pick us up some bread our stick blender dies for no reason. Ring S to see if there's a cheap one in Asda. £14.55 comes out of our joint account so looks like soup's back on the menu. £7.28 for my share.<br><br>3pm: Waddle to the park for some fresh air and decide to use our O2 Priority to get free coffee/tea from Greggs. Get there and they've run out of freebies so S pays full price for a latte, tea and Vimto for L. After a run about the park we go to Poundland to get sugar-free biscuits, wallpaper paste, plastic sheets, spray bottles, a notebook for L and a few other random bits. £4.25 for my share.<br><br>5.30pm: I'm off to yoga! A couple of weeks ago I paid £29 for a month of unlimited yoga including in-person and virtual lessons with a local company, and most of the classes are pregnancy-adaptable. I love it and it really seems to have helped me maintain my mobility in the third trimester. I have to pass a chip shop on the way and the smell is overwhelmingly tempting. Unfortunately due to my gestational diabetes, chips are off the menu for the next month or so.<br><br>7.30pm: Home from yoga and S has made dinner for me and started painting the bathroom. After food we get L ready for bed. Trying to get back into a routine after a week and a half off school!<br> <br><strong>Total: £11.53</strong>
Day Four

10am: I'm really struggling with energy today so by the time I get downstairs S has already fed himself and L and made me a coffee. He's trying out our new spin mop on a mess of plaster spilled on our wooden hallway.

12pm: Cracking on with yet more DIY, today we're sanding filler, painting walls and attempting the privacy film on L's window. I get a notification for Google Opinion Rewards asking me about my last visit to Asda. I get 22p of credit, currently I have about £35 of Google Play credit but I'm stingy and am forever saving it for a rainy day.

2pm: I make L's favourite soup for lunch to make up for her slightly boring day while we crack on with steaming walls and painting. As S goes out to pick us up some bread our stick blender dies for no reason. Ring S to see if there's a cheap one in Asda. £14.55 comes out of our joint account so looks like soup's back on the menu. £7.28 for my share.

3pm: Waddle to the park for some fresh air and decide to use our O2 Priority to get free coffee/tea from Greggs. Get there and they've run out of freebies so S pays full price for a latte, tea and Vimto for L. After a run about the park we go to Poundland to get sugar-free biscuits, wallpaper paste, plastic sheets, spray bottles, a notebook for L and a few other random bits. £4.25 for my share.

5.30pm: I'm off to yoga! A couple of weeks ago I paid £29 for a month of unlimited yoga including in-person and virtual lessons with a local company, and most of the classes are pregnancy-adaptable. I love it and it really seems to have helped me maintain my mobility in the third trimester. I have to pass a chip shop on the way and the smell is overwhelmingly tempting. Unfortunately due to my gestational diabetes, chips are off the menu for the next month or so.

7.30pm: Home from yoga and S has made dinner for me and started painting the bathroom. After food we get L ready for bed. Trying to get back into a routine after a week and a half off school!

Total: £11.53
<strong>Day Five</strong><br><br>8am: Back to reality today. S takes L to school (via her mum's to drop off some things she brought over during half term) and I wait for the plumbers to arrive before heading off for a morning of antenatal appointments. I check my work emails while I drink coffee – even though I'm technically still on annual leave – as I believe it's the external examiners board today (I've not had an email with the details or been invited to attend so I’m quietly lurking in case they suddenly realise they need to ask me something).<br><br>8.40am: Make coffee for the plumbers and rush out of the house. Realise I didn't pick up a mask and although it's not a legal requirement I feel like I should have one as a diabetic pregnant person using public transport to get to a medical setting. £4 all-day ticket for the bus.<br><br>9.20am: Waddle race across the hospital car park to make my scan appointment because the bus was delayed. Arrive to be told it's been cancelled but they forgot to tell me so waddle back over to the consultant building instead for a lengthy wait to be seen. New scan booked for Friday and blood tests added to my appointment today. Everything's looking okay but I may be having signs of pre-eclampsia and it looks like I'll be having a sweep in a week's time. <br><br>11am: Bus back across town for my next appointment. I have a 40-minute wait between buses so I treat myself to a decaf iced latte with sugar-free syrup. Extra treaty because I have a fully stamped card so it's free.<br><br>12pm: While waiting to see my midwife I spot a lovely cot on Facebook Marketplace for £20. Message S to see if he can check if it's still available so he can go and get it after work.<br><br>1.30pm: Home from the midwife and downstairs toilet has been fitted, hurray! Make lunch and message family to update on pregnancy situation. At my appointment my midwife told me about umbilical cord ties, which seems a sweet alternative to the bulky plastic clips they use as standard. I look some up on Etsy but decide to wait until S is home to ask his opinion.<br><br>3pm: Spend the afternoon attempting to harvest colostrum (I guess if you know, you know?) and just put my boobs away when there's a knock at the door. A bundle of breastfeeding tops I ordered from Vinted!<br><br>5.30pm: S gets home from work and we catch each other up on our days. The cute £20 cot was already gone when he messaged but he likes the idea of the umbilical cord tie I show him so I place the order for £6.50.<br><br>7pm: Head off to my swimming lesson, which costs £7. I expect it will be my last for a couple of months at least. <br><br>7.45pm: After swimming, S picks me up and we go to Asda and buy food that we don't necessarily need including pork scratchings and microwave popcorn, which I've been craving today. We somehow spend £13.40 on crisps, gammon (something neither of us has eaten in years), sausages and microwave popcorn. S pays because it also includes a bottle of milk for his milk club at work. <br><br>8.15pm: Head home and make dinner. <br><br>8.30pm: S painted most of the rest of the bathroom while I was swimming so we have a chilled out evening watching <em>The Lincoln Lawyer.</em><br><br><strong>Total: £17.50</strong>
Day Five

8am: Back to reality today. S takes L to school (via her mum's to drop off some things she brought over during half term) and I wait for the plumbers to arrive before heading off for a morning of antenatal appointments. I check my work emails while I drink coffee – even though I'm technically still on annual leave – as I believe it's the external examiners board today (I've not had an email with the details or been invited to attend so I’m quietly lurking in case they suddenly realise they need to ask me something).

8.40am: Make coffee for the plumbers and rush out of the house. Realise I didn't pick up a mask and although it's not a legal requirement I feel like I should have one as a diabetic pregnant person using public transport to get to a medical setting. £4 all-day ticket for the bus.

9.20am: Waddle race across the hospital car park to make my scan appointment because the bus was delayed. Arrive to be told it's been cancelled but they forgot to tell me so waddle back over to the consultant building instead for a lengthy wait to be seen. New scan booked for Friday and blood tests added to my appointment today. Everything's looking okay but I may be having signs of pre-eclampsia and it looks like I'll be having a sweep in a week's time.

11am: Bus back across town for my next appointment. I have a 40-minute wait between buses so I treat myself to a decaf iced latte with sugar-free syrup. Extra treaty because I have a fully stamped card so it's free.

12pm: While waiting to see my midwife I spot a lovely cot on Facebook Marketplace for £20. Message S to see if he can check if it's still available so he can go and get it after work.

1.30pm: Home from the midwife and downstairs toilet has been fitted, hurray! Make lunch and message family to update on pregnancy situation. At my appointment my midwife told me about umbilical cord ties, which seems a sweet alternative to the bulky plastic clips they use as standard. I look some up on Etsy but decide to wait until S is home to ask his opinion.

3pm: Spend the afternoon attempting to harvest colostrum (I guess if you know, you know?) and just put my boobs away when there's a knock at the door. A bundle of breastfeeding tops I ordered from Vinted!

5.30pm: S gets home from work and we catch each other up on our days. The cute £20 cot was already gone when he messaged but he likes the idea of the umbilical cord tie I show him so I place the order for £6.50.

7pm: Head off to my swimming lesson, which costs £7. I expect it will be my last for a couple of months at least.

7.45pm: After swimming, S picks me up and we go to Asda and buy food that we don't necessarily need including pork scratchings and microwave popcorn, which I've been craving today. We somehow spend £13.40 on crisps, gammon (something neither of us has eaten in years), sausages and microwave popcorn. S pays because it also includes a bottle of milk for his milk club at work.

8.15pm: Head home and make dinner.

8.30pm: S painted most of the rest of the bathroom while I was swimming so we have a chilled out evening watching The Lincoln Lawyer.

Total: £17.50
<strong>Day Six</strong><br><br>7.30am: Wake up and get ready for my penultimate day of work (!!). Have breakfast with S before he sets off.<br><br>9am: I’m working from home so it feels a little anticlimactic but I sit down to see what I’ve missed over the past week and a half off. So many emails! Turns out there’s a reply all chain on a mailing list though so I can delete most things and only have a few outstanding tasks.<br><br>10am: Get a phone call from my yoga instructor as she’s tested positive for COVID. I’m not entirely sure what the guidance is at the moment but we do have some spare lateral flow tests (we both had to test regularly for our jobs). Fortunately for me, my test shows up negative and my yoga instructor says she isn’t feeling too poorly. Unfortunately, the person covering the class tonight isn’t trained in pregnancy yoga. <br><br>12.30pm: Go and make lunch and see a post on Facebook about the Pink Stuff stain remover being very reduced on Amazon so order a couple of tubs. £5<br><br>1.30pm: Finish work for the day and make lunch.<br><br>3pm: Go out to a cafe to meet up with two friends for a catch-up. I order a decaf iced latte with sugar-free syrup but they're out of sugar-free syrup and decaf coffee. As I ponder the menu (and explain that I can't have sugar as I'm diabetic) the waitress offers me fresh squeezed fruit juice. Which is sweet, but also…sweet. I go for a mint tea. £2.75<br><br>5pm: I get home just as S gets back from work. We plan to spend our evening painting more walls. <br><br>7pm: While eating dinner I spot another nice crib on Facebook for £15 and we arrange with the seller to buy it on Sunday.<br><br>8pm: While painting the final layer of the bathroom S drops our last toilet roll in the bath and it gets soaked. To resolve the situation, we go for a romantic walk to Asda to buy more toilet paper, Lilt and sugar-free 7UP. £5.55 for my share.<br><br><strong>Total: £13.30</strong>
Day Six

7.30am: Wake up and get ready for my penultimate day of work (!!). Have breakfast with S before he sets off.

9am: I’m working from home so it feels a little anticlimactic but I sit down to see what I’ve missed over the past week and a half off. So many emails! Turns out there’s a reply all chain on a mailing list though so I can delete most things and only have a few outstanding tasks.

10am: Get a phone call from my yoga instructor as she’s tested positive for COVID. I’m not entirely sure what the guidance is at the moment but we do have some spare lateral flow tests (we both had to test regularly for our jobs). Fortunately for me, my test shows up negative and my yoga instructor says she isn’t feeling too poorly. Unfortunately, the person covering the class tonight isn’t trained in pregnancy yoga.

12.30pm: Go and make lunch and see a post on Facebook about the Pink Stuff stain remover being very reduced on Amazon so order a couple of tubs. £5

1.30pm: Finish work for the day and make lunch.

3pm: Go out to a cafe to meet up with two friends for a catch-up. I order a decaf iced latte with sugar-free syrup but they're out of sugar-free syrup and decaf coffee. As I ponder the menu (and explain that I can't have sugar as I'm diabetic) the waitress offers me fresh squeezed fruit juice. Which is sweet, but also…sweet. I go for a mint tea. £2.75

5pm: I get home just as S gets back from work. We plan to spend our evening painting more walls.

7pm: While eating dinner I spot another nice crib on Facebook for £15 and we arrange with the seller to buy it on Sunday.

8pm: While painting the final layer of the bathroom S drops our last toilet roll in the bath and it gets soaked. To resolve the situation, we go for a romantic walk to Asda to buy more toilet paper, Lilt and sugar-free 7UP. £5.55 for my share.

Total: £13.30
<strong>Day Seven</strong><br><br>8am: Another struggle to get out of bed but just one more day of work until I'm on maternity leave. I know it won't be a break once the baby arrives but I'm hoping I'll have time to get some things done. S makes me breakfast and coffee in the time it takes me to become human and test my blood sugar. We get 10 minutes to eat together before he goes to work and then I waste time on my phone before my day begins.<br><br>9am: Final day! I wrap up a few tasks and set up my out-of-office, which feels very surreal.<br><br>11am: Catch up with my boss on the phone to discuss any final bits and pieces, then set off to pop into the office to check some post which arrived for me last week.<br><br>11.30am: Despite three colleagues having seen my post in a locked room, it doesn’t appear to be anywhere. We waste an unnecessary amount of time looking for it before giving up and I waddle back home.<br><br>12.30pm: I have a bit of an early lunch as there’s not much for me to be getting on with for work and I need to leave an hour after eating to test my blood sugar so it will give me time before I head off for my scan later.<br><br>1.30pm: Just about to leave and realise my leggings are on backwards. Quickly sort them out then rush off to get the bus, which is 15 minutes late and stinks of weed. £2 bus fare.<br><br>2pm: Get to my appointment and I'm nowhere on the system so I have to take a seat and hope they can fit me in somewhere this afternoon. Bit concerned what the state of my blood pressure will be when they finally check it.<br><br>3.30pm: Everything seems okay so I'm set free after my appointment. I'll have a follow-up in two weeks (if baby doesn't come sooner due to the sweep). Get the bus home, £2 again.<br><br>4pm: Realise I'm feeling really exhausted so make some popcorn and watch <em>Parks and Recreation</em> in bed. Check my work email in case I've received any emails from my teaching colleagues. Bit of a sting to not even have a goodbye email after having worked with the department on and off for the past five years but it's not a massive surprise.<br><br>6pm: I’ve had an accidental nap and S has been to the shops and back and started making me dinner. <br><br>8pm: We end up having a very relaxed and lazy evening, and I manage to harvest more colostrum before bed.<br><br><strong>Total: £4</strong>
Day Seven

8am: Another struggle to get out of bed but just one more day of work until I'm on maternity leave. I know it won't be a break once the baby arrives but I'm hoping I'll have time to get some things done. S makes me breakfast and coffee in the time it takes me to become human and test my blood sugar. We get 10 minutes to eat together before he goes to work and then I waste time on my phone before my day begins.

9am: Final day! I wrap up a few tasks and set up my out-of-office, which feels very surreal.

11am: Catch up with my boss on the phone to discuss any final bits and pieces, then set off to pop into the office to check some post which arrived for me last week.

11.30am: Despite three colleagues having seen my post in a locked room, it doesn’t appear to be anywhere. We waste an unnecessary amount of time looking for it before giving up and I waddle back home.

12.30pm: I have a bit of an early lunch as there’s not much for me to be getting on with for work and I need to leave an hour after eating to test my blood sugar so it will give me time before I head off for my scan later.

1.30pm: Just about to leave and realise my leggings are on backwards. Quickly sort them out then rush off to get the bus, which is 15 minutes late and stinks of weed. £2 bus fare.

2pm: Get to my appointment and I'm nowhere on the system so I have to take a seat and hope they can fit me in somewhere this afternoon. Bit concerned what the state of my blood pressure will be when they finally check it.

3.30pm: Everything seems okay so I'm set free after my appointment. I'll have a follow-up in two weeks (if baby doesn't come sooner due to the sweep). Get the bus home, £2 again.

4pm: Realise I'm feeling really exhausted so make some popcorn and watch Parks and Recreation in bed. Check my work email in case I've received any emails from my teaching colleagues. Bit of a sting to not even have a goodbye email after having worked with the department on and off for the past five years but it's not a massive surprise.

6pm: I’ve had an accidental nap and S has been to the shops and back and started making me dinner.

8pm: We end up having a very relaxed and lazy evening, and I manage to harvest more colostrum before bed.

Total: £4
<strong>The Breakdown</strong><br> <br>Food & Drink: £48.97<br>Entertainment: £0<br>Clothes & Beauty: £0<br>Home & Health: £53.17<br>Travel: £8<br>Other: £6.50<br><br><strong>Total: £116.64</strong><br> <br><strong>Conclusion</strong><br> <br>"This was a really interesting experience. I definitely didn’t realise we spent so much on random groceries throughout the week! Some of the DIY purchases are naturally a bit atypical for us but from tracking my spending throughout the week I’ve realised how randomly my husband and I split paying for things. This is something that we might want to look into in more detail to ensure neither of us is overspending. Apart from the extra DIY expenses I’d say this is a fairly typical week for us. Usually on a day off with the kids we might have done something more interesting or gone out for the day so if we hadn’t been waiting in for trades and the weather hadn’t been so naff we’d probably have spent a bit more."
The Breakdown

Food & Drink: £48.97
Entertainment: £0
Clothes & Beauty: £0
Home & Health: £53.17
Travel: £8
Other: £6.50

Total: £116.64

Conclusion

"This was a really interesting experience. I definitely didn’t realise we spent so much on random groceries throughout the week! Some of the DIY purchases are naturally a bit atypical for us but from tracking my spending throughout the week I’ve realised how randomly my husband and I split paying for things. This is something that we might want to look into in more detail to ensure neither of us is overspending. Apart from the extra DIY expenses I’d say this is a fairly typical week for us. Usually on a day off with the kids we might have done something more interesting or gone out for the day so if we hadn’t been waiting in for trades and the weather hadn’t been so naff we’d probably have spent a bit more."

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

Money Diary: A Senior Software Engineer On 110k

Money Diary: A Marketing Manager In Norwich On 32k

Money Diary: A Charity Helpline Worker On 21.5k

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