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Money Diary: A Project Manager In London On 46k

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 cisgender bisexual woman, living alone in a studio which I bought last year. I had a generous gift from my parents as well as a loan from them that I’m paying off now. I’ve just got two adorable new roommates – my guinea pigs – and my girlfriend is in my bubble so we spend a lot of time here together. Lockdown has been hard as I struggle with anxiety and depression. I’ve just started therapy to help with this, and I’ve been taking medication for over a year.Career-wise, I’ve recently started as a policy manager in the NHS but I’m struggling to think about what I want to do long term. I earn a great salary – I’ve had a £14k pay rise over the course of a year, partly due to moving jobs – but I find it very hard to manage my money. When I got my new job last year I vowed to finally go to therapy which means that, as well as house expenses, I’ve had to cut my budget down significantly.”Industry: HealthcareAge: 30Location: LondonSalary: £45,680 Paycheque amount: £2,141.44. This is based on an emergency tax code while my old job sorts out a P45. My take home should be around £300 more once this is sorted out.Number of housemates: NoneMonthly ExpensesHousing costs: My mortgage for the studio is £512. I pay £80 to my parents for their loan and the annual service charge is £1,400, which includes home insurance.Loan payments: See above. No other loans except student loan, which comes out of my payslip.Utilities: £45 to Octopus Energy, £38 for critical illness insurance, £20 for Now TV package and broadband, £22 for Thames Water, £87 council tax. Transportation: No fixed cost – I budget £50 for Uber and public transport.Phone bill: £27Savings? £400. I wiped out my savings between December and January; I had to get new carpets, new windows and pay the annual service charge. I plan to save £400 per month while I go to therapy, then increase to £600 when it finishes.Other: I donate £10 to the Outside Project and £15 to a local food bank. I’m a member of the Women’s Equality Party (£4 per month). Day One6.45am: I’m staying at my girlfriend A’s house so I wake up with her and the cat cuddled around me. The cat looks so innocent, no trace of the absolute monster that woke me up at 3am by sitting on my head. I snooze for a while before showering and leaving at 7.30 to catch the Overground back to mine to work from home. I check my emails, Nationwide current account and Monzo on the way home. £2.40 for Overground.8.10am: I pop into Tesco to pick up some snacks for the guinea pigs: S and P. I’ve recently adopted two guinea pigs, partly to have some company while working from home. I get them some kale and studiously avoid buying myself any ice cream. When I get in I check my phone and have some missed calls from my girlfriend – oops. I was feeling anxious on the way home and texted her to say I’m planning to increase my medication dose. I’m currently on 50mg sertraline but have been feeling more and more anxious recently – including crying about whether the guinea pigs loved me last night, which I’m never going to live down. She asks me to speak to my therapist first and I agree. We end the call so we can both start our work days. I make a coffee in the French press and have two slices of brown toast with hummus – absolute comfort food. £1.05 for bag of kale.11.30am: I have a break to eat a Tru bar (Aldi’s own brand Nakd bar) and finish the coffee from earlier. I started my new job about two months ago and I’ve found it quite hard to make connections in our Zoom-based environment. But my last meeting was really inspiring, talking to the leader of our BAME network, and I’m hoping we can start something together for LGBT+ staff in our directorate. A few years ago, I worked in a country where it was illegal to be gay. Only a handful of people knew that I was bisexual and while I was never scared for my safety, the experience was pretty tough. Since then I’ve been determined to always be as out as possible at work – not for my own sake but to show others they can do the same. It’s been hard and I think I always fear rejection on some level but it’s something I choose to do on behalf of all those who can’t. Plus, my girlfriend is *amazing*. I can’t imagine not sharing her with the world.I get a notification on Monzo to say that TfL took my bus payment for yesterday. £1.5012.30pm: Lunchtime! I spend the time playing with the guineas and phone my dad on his birthday. My parents live so close to me that it feels weird not to see them today. Knowing they’re volunteering to vaccinate people makes me very proud and I’d hate for them to pass anything on to the vulnerable who they’re seeing day in, day out. I make wholewheat spicy noodles and peas with preserved black beans in chilli oil – delicious! I also spend some time doing my favourite ‘time waster’ activity aka looking at fancy foods on Deliveroo. A combination of finances and diet means I don’t really order takeaways when I’m eating alone but I really enjoy looking at menus instead?6pm: Work is finally done for the day. I work longer hours so that I get every other Friday off. It’s pretty hard to keep it up in lockdown though, when I just want to sleep most evenings. I feed the guinea pigs and start panicking because I can feel a solid lump on S’s stomach. I phone an emergency vet and she reassures me that if he’s eating, it’s not an emergency. One of my biggest worries about the guinea pigs is vet bills – until next payday (when I’m planning to top up my savings by £500), I really don’t want to have to visit a vet. Hopefully S will feel better tomorrow! I clean out the rest of the cage and give them some more hay and anxiously watch S to see if he’s in pain.7.30pm: A arrives, which is a balm to my frazzled soul. She reassures me that the guinea pigs are fine, which is really helpful as, unlike me, she is an experienced guinea pig mother (albeit many years ago).Panic over, I run to Tesco for some ice cream and roti to complement our dal. Which is delicious. We half-watch Bon Appétit videos and half-watch the guinea pigs, then fall asleep around 10. £4.70 for roti and ice cream.Total: £9.65 Day Two7am: A’s alarm goes off at 7 so naturally I’m awake too. I woke up a few times in the night after some seriously surreal dreams but don’t feel as tired as normal, which is a win. After cuddles, I get up around 7.30 to run a bath and check on the guinea pigs. Starting the day with a bath is one of the few joys of working from home IMO so I tend to do it two or three times a week. It’s just so soothing! A has her day off today for her MA course so she stays in bed to read.8am: I check my Monzo and spot a suspicious transaction – £1.05 at Tesco at 5am this morning. Sigh. I suspect it’s just a duplicate transaction from yesterday but it means that my card gets frozen. As I’m also out of milk, A treats me to an almond latte+ from Costa on Uber Eats. It’s got added protein – I can’t tell but it’s really sweet! £4 for my coffee, A pays.9.30am: I start work then decide to phone the vet just in case there’s something more seriously wrong with S. I book a 9.30 appointment for Saturday morning – £45 for consultation, paid on the day. Much better than the £100 the emergency vet quoted last night! I’ve requested a refund of £65 on my gas and electric as my account is massively in credit so that should cover the fees. If it doesn’t come by Saturday, it’ll be on my credit card until next month’s payday. I’ll take S for a general check-up next month too.11am: I’m having a slow morning at work, not helped by the fact that my phone is in reach… I check my bank accounts (again – I’m obsessed) and remember that a festival instalment payment I was expecting to go out this month has been pushed back to March. Hooray! I immediately stick £20 into my savings account to avoid spending it. It’s the only way to cut back on spending in lockdown.1pm: A has finished up her lectures for this morning so heats up some leftover dal and roti for lunch. What a babe. She also makes me turn off my webinar and take a proper break, which is much appreciated. I’ve been so bad at taking breaks during lockdown – I either worry that people will think I’m not working hard enough so skip a break or I go to the other extreme and take loads of short breaks and then miss lunch. I’ve got three hours back-to-back today so I need some fresh air.1.15pm: We walk to the Overground so that A can head home. I show her the little cupcake shop I’ve wanted to visit for ages and impulsively treat us both to a cupcake. Mine is amazing! Lemon and rhubarb with lychee icing. I manage to feel only a little guilty about excess spending and excess calories. £5.503.55pm: I get a buzz on my intercom from a UPS driver. Work has sent me a chair! The delivery man kindly offers to bring the chair upstairs. I decline – something I regret as I drag it upstairs one step at a time. My studio flat is on the first floor of a converted house from the 1900s; I need all the help I can get up these stairs.5.10pm: I feel faintly depressed at the idea of leaving the huge chair in the middle of the room until after work so I decide to put it together. And hey, it’s technically a work task. It weighs a ton and is very hard to manoeuvre so I get the guinea pigs out and let them paddle around the empty cardboard box while doing a poop-scoop and feed. An hour later, I’m sitting among a pile of rubbish, reading blogs on my phone. The chair is half-finished.6.30pm: I finally put the chair together and tidy up and drag myself to Tesco as I fancy a glass of wine – but I’m ID’d! The horror. I run home, get my passport and return. I immediately forget that I need toilet roll and have to return. £9.25 for both trips.10pm: After two (small) glasses of wine and two episodes of Glow Up, I’m ready for bed. Total: £15.80Day Three9am: After a restless night’s sleep, I start work at 9. My new work chair is the worst. My feet don’t touch the floor and my back already aches. I will be so annoyed if I have to send this back. I vow to look online for hacks to make the seat lower. Breakfast is a pod coffee. My stomach was in knots last night after the kidney bean dal so I’m taking it easy this morning…11am: I take a break for a second coffee and a slice of brown toast with dairy-free butter. I check my emails to see that my energy company is raising a dispute as they need to settle the energy bill from the old tenant. As today is the start of my new tariff with them, I think something must have gone wrong – we settled the old tenant’s bill when I moved in last year. I send them an email to ask for clarification and feel frustrated that nothing seems to run smoothly.12.30pm: I take a break to cook some lunch after a brainstorming session with my manager. I check my calendar for my next meeting and realise it’s not a webinar. I’d been banking on having my camera off to eat but actually need to participate. I leave lunch – couscous with tinned mixed bean salad and veggie sausages – in the kitchen while I dash on a call. I finally eat about 1.30pm on the actual webinar. This is hour two of five of calls today.2pm: To stop my legs seizing up, I pace the flat during a webinar. Apparently I do 6,000 steps and lose 228 calories. I’ll take the latter with a pinch of salt but as I’m obsessed with quantifying my life, I’m pleased with a high step count – since WFH that’s often been my daily total.4pm: My last hour of calls today: therapy. I see a private provider after 10 months of NHS-funded therapy in 2019. I have a real love-hate relationship about being in therapy. Mostly I feel an ongoing sense of guilt about seeing a therapist because I don’t feel like my problems are serious enough to justify their time. I used to self-harm, which I stopped after starting on antidepressants, so part of me also wants to believe I’m fixed now. But I know that the drugs won’t work forever and I really want to stop taking them this year as they’ve had such a negative effect on my sex drive, so therapy it is. We talk about how I can’t budget and how I feel like I’m always worried about money. Ironically, this is mostly because I pay £325 a month for therapy. The session leaves me drained so I finish work early. Something else I feel guilty about. £65 for therapy (pre-paid).5.20pm: I pop to Tesco, partly to get some more pesto for tea and partly so I can tell A I left the house today. After therapy I need something relaxing so I opt for Harry Potter and a glass of wine in the bath. While I know J.K. is now a total transphobe, the HP fandom was there for me as a teenager figuring out my sexuality. I feel like it would be letting her views win if I stopped supporting the fandom which took her work and queered it. £1.90 for tuna and pesto.7.15pm: I’m late for my psychoanalytic theory class! After a quick dinner of pesto gnocchi with tuna (and ice cream for dessert) I sign in for the session. Turns out I’m too late to watch the whole thing (an hour) before our group starts at 8pm. All classes are pre-recorded with a discussion group afterwards. I signed up last year when I was considering becoming a therapist. I’d still love to work in the psychology field but being in therapy right now means I don’t want to take on more emotional labour. Hopefully my classmates will have watched more than me.While watching I check Nationwide, Monzo, my emails, Facebook and my calorie counter (again). Apple has taken £3.99 for my calorie counting app monthly payment today from Nationwide and I have no new notifications on socials. In Monzo I notice that my monthly budget is lower than the money I have in pots. Success! I update my budget, which tells me I have £20 more than planned. A small amount but every little helps. £3.99 calorie counter.9pm: Lecture and class are finished. I’ve been a terrible student and spent the class off camera texting A. I’m worrying about whether I should put the guinea pigs up for adoption but A calls and reminds me that I suggested a one-month trial, which will be up in two weeks, and that there’s nothing wrong with realising that I don’t think I can care for them properly. I decide to stick out the trial period and manage not to cry. Lockdown is taking such a toll on my anxiety and I don’t want to use A as a crutch. We talk about her writing for her MA and plans for our evening tomorrow before hanging up at 9.45pm.10.30pm: After a combination of pacing, kitchen chores and dancing by myself, my Fitbit tells me I’ve done 10,000 steps. Goal achieved! Kitchen-wise, I do the bare minimum to avoid living in squalor, haha. Mostly this means endless washing up. I’ve been trying to become more eco-friendly since moving here so I use OceanSaver to clean the counters. It’s really cool as it comes in a tiny powdered cube – you just add warm water to create a bottle of cleaning spray! 10.40pm: I check Amazon to see how much it would be to get fleece for the guinea pigs’ cages instead of sawdust. This takes me down a wormhole of online shopping and I end up buying A a personalised candle from Etsy for Valentine’s Day. We didn’t do presents last year but we decided to do a small treat during lockdown. It’s 11.30 by the time I go to bed and I know I’ll be paying for the late night in the morning. £14 candle.Total: £19.89Day Four7.30am: Alarm goes off. I snooze.9.05am: I’m at my desk and working. I’m trying to streamline my morning routine, which means spending less time cleaning out the guinea pigs and more time making breakfast and having coffee. I need to realise that if I don’t clean them out immediately, it’s not the end of the world. I already feel less stressed and more settled, especially after they enjoy running around on the carpet for five minutes while eating some kale. Just as I start work, I remember it’s Oddbox day! This week I get three aubergines, four parsnips, four onions, lettuce, a LOT of potatoes and peppers. £10.99 but paid in advance. I immediately give some of the lettuce to the pigs, who love it.11.45am: I take a quick break after a really productive meeting with my team. I really enjoy our fortnightly planning sessions and it’s great to feel like they have my back if I need them. I eat leftover pasta and take a break to lol at Jackie Weaver memes on Twitter. Never change, internet.5pm: Work is nearly done and I am on the wine. After a loooong afternoon of IT issues, I deserve it. I’m reading some documents and occasionally checking my emails. Very zen. I check my email and my gin box has been delivered too – what a day! A and I got a half-price discount for Craft Gin Club at the start of January so two boxes were £40, including two bottles of gin and tonics. It’s such a treat. Alas, £40 per month is a bit much so this will be our last month. I haven’t opened it yet but am mega excited for when A comes over tonight to unbox it with her.5.30pm: I end up browsing Amazon for the second half of A’s present. It’s a signed photograph of her favourite sci-fi character. It is 100% cringe and I know she’ll love it. I feel really smug about getting my shopping done. Then immediately worry it’s too silly. Oh, brain. £8.986pm: I finish work and – guess what – it’s bathtime! A is a writer so I’m reading one of her stories for her. She’s got such a fun voice to read and I text her my thoughts when I finish. While I’m in the bath I put the piggies in their playpen and they manage to poop all over it in about five minutes. What cuties.Post-bath, I chill out while waiting for A to arrive. I watch more Glow Up and do even more steps.8.15pm: A arrives and I am very pleased to see her. She’s brought a HelloFresh meal with her: halloumi tacos, amazing! She starts cooking while I watch TV. She finishes cooking around 9 – the tacos are delicious and it’s converted me to HelloFresh, which I previously assumed was a con. We watch Drag Race and ADORE the lip-sync shenanigans. If they’re not buying what you’re selling Ginny Lemon, time to leave! We head to bed at 10.30pm. Total: £8.98Day Five8am: Alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed. It’s going to be a busy morning! I feed and clean the piggies, prep the animal carrier, do the washing up, tidy the kitchen and lounge, wash and get dressed. My beauty routine is washing my face with water and using Simple moisturiser on my face so it’s always very quick. A is not a morning person so she is not doing well this early on a Saturday. After she showers, she takes over and makes us coffee and toast. I’m out of toppings so mine is butter and pesto. Then we’re out of the door and into an Uber at 9. £8.70 for Uber including tip.9.30am: After dropping S at the vet – socially distanced – A and I walk over to Lidl to kill time. I get a call from the vet in the queue so dash outside and leave A to pay. It’s not good news. She thinks S’s lump is cancer. She gives me two options: I can have it removed and biopsied to confirm or I can take him home without treatment. S could die under the anaesthetic and, if it is cancer, there won’t be any treatment. S is also old for a guinea pig (he’s four) and the biopsy would cost £400-500. I decide it’s more humane to avoid the stress of a biopsy, especially as he’s not in pain at the moment. There’s no guarantee of how long he’ll live so I just need to keep an eye on his quality of life before making any more decisions. I feel sad that I’ll only get to spend a few months with him but reassured that it’s not anything about his care or feeding that’s gone wrong. The vet said this had probably been growing for months. I feel really sad that S’s previous owner might have known about it as it seems so cruel to give away your dying pet. £45 for the vet. £8.53 for Uber including tip.10.30am: A and I are back home and the guineas are reunited. I head out again to walk over to the blood donation centre and call my parents on the way. They’re sad to hear the news about S.11am: I arrive at the blood donation centre. This is my first time donating blood and there is a long form to work through as I hurriedly drink the recommended 500ml of water. The donor nurse that checks me in is wearing a rainbow badge on her uniform, which immediately warms me to her. The centre is really busy but everyone is masked up and socially distanced and the atmosphere feels like a school fete, with biscuits, a radio and a team of middle aged women running the show. The nurse does a painful finger prick to check my haemoglobin levels – they do this by seeing if my blood sinks or swims in a copper sulphate solution. I’m so fascinated by this – so quick and low tech! I pass the test and move on to see the nurse.11.30am: I get parked in a small cubicle while the sister runs through my paperwork. She’s extremely thorough in asking about my medical history and explains that, due to my time overseas, they’ll do an extra test on my blood to check if I have malaria antibodies. If I do, the blood can’t be used as it might cause a reaction in the recipient. This test is in addition to the blood typing and other tests (including HIV) that they’ll do as standard. She clears me to donate.11.45am: I’m taken to a reclining chair by a third nurse. I sit down and am tilted backwards so that the arm rest is slightly higher than my head. I’m given a sheet to read of recommended exercises before the cuff goes on. I make a fist to help her find a vein and from there it’s a quick next step to actually having the needle in! For anyone who’s interested in donating blood, I can say that this is almost the least difficult part. I keep making fists while the blood is pumped out and the total donation time is around 10 minutes. The blood bag is successfully detached and the sister tells me it will be used to help three to five people. So many from one tiny bag! I hope it can be used. I should find out in a week or so if any malaria antibodies are present.12.15pm: After the required snacks and sugary squash, I leave. Despite it taking a long time to set up, I’m so pleased I was finally able to donate. My parents have always told me my blood is a rare donor type so hopefully it will do some good. I’ll definitely sign up again.12.45pm: I’ve slowly walked home from the blood donation centre and pop into Tesco on the way back. I pick up two meal deals for A and I as we both fancy smoothies, as well as some vegetable kievs for dinner. I would usually ask A for her half but she paid in Lidl this morning. £9.202pm: A and I have been chatting and reading on the sofa but I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. I settle down for a short nap in bed which turns into a deep sleep. 4.30pm: I finally drag myself out of bed to – guess what – a bath. It’s lukewarm so I don’t faint and I still feel so tired. While I know baths are not the best environmentally, my bath is a three-quarters bath and my shower is not a water-saving one so I feel like it balances out as most weeks I only bathe every other day, without a shower in between.7pm: A finishes cooking dinner, which is a veggie kiev with some slightly burned roast vegetables. We eat on the sofa and start watching The White Ribbon. It’s a black and white film set in 1910s Germany; it’s a little eerie but compelling and the photography is beautiful. I highly recommend. £3.50 from Apple TV. After the film A and I have a long discussion about the morality of choices made in extreme circumstances. It’s interesting as we have very different perspectives. We head to bed early and spend some quality time together. We finally fall asleep about midnight.Total: £74.93Day Six 9am: I get up after a pretty disturbed sleep. A wakes up around 10am and we cuddle in bed for a while before she makes the coffee. I get up to open the blinds and see that it is snowing! A and I drink coffee and eat breakfast in bed; it certainly feels very cosy in the flat.The guinea pigs’ previous owner has messaged to ask if I want the outdoor hutch. I text back to tell her the news about S’s cancer.11am: For our anniversary last year, A made me a special photo album of our time together. We get out some more old photos as well and reminisce about our times last year. It feels good to look at the photos and it reminds me that there were some good things in 2020!1pm: A and I have fallen into a regular Sunday routine: a nice lie-in, reading together in bed and a long walk. Today we mix things up as we order my favourite takeaway – Five Guys! I get a cheese vegetable burger and small fries, and A and I share a peanut butter and caramel milkshake. It’s insanely tasty. And in theory, salt is good for headaches and after blood donation. What a winner. £14.42 for my share including tip. 2pm: After a lot of food and a lazy morning, A and I end up having a stupid couple argument. She’s been filming me while I read and laughing behind the camera, which makes me feel really uncomfortable. I know it’s because she’s adding stupid TikTok filters but still, the feels are real. I nearly cry as I tell her that I feel ugly and fat at the moment and it feels like she’s laughing at that and not the filters. She apologises and we decide to head out for a walk for some fresh air. I need to go to the eco shop to buy some conditioner so we head out after we both shower. I top up the guinea pigs’ water, food and hay as I’ll probably stay with A tonight and head back before work.4pm: After a cold walk through some local parks, we make it to the eco shop. I get Faith in Nature Tea Tree conditioner for £2, in a small bottle I brought from home. It’ll last me for the rest of the month. A gets her own new bottle. She pays for our items and I transfer the cash. £25pm: We hit the Overground to head to A’s. Her cat needs feeding. I stop to pick up a beer at the shop on the way home. £1.50 for Overground, £2 for beer.6.30pm: A and I have a disagreement about dinner. I don’t always want to eat dinner – if I have a massive lunch, then I’m happy to have a slice of toast, whereas A wants us to eat proper meals more regularly. Unfortunately, this comes across as trying to control my diet, which triggers a lot of defensiveness in me. In the end, A makes a stir-fry and we agree that I’ll try some if I’m hungry when she finishes. TBH, by the time it’s ready, I’m actually starving. Thank God for a smart girlfriend. She sends me a HelloFresh voucher and I cave and order my first box. I just want more tacos! I skip all the remaining deliveries ’til after next payday so I don’t get a surprise £30 bill next week. £6.997pm: While A cooks I lounge around and look at photos of motorhomes. Our dream for 2022 is to get our driving licences and travel Europe in a motorhome. This might not be very practical but we can still dream. To my surprise I really like the look of some of them – best get saving!8pm: We join some friends on WhatsApp for drinks and a classic Bollywood film Angoor. It’s a lockdown tradition and we love it – so many films to discover. A and I would also love to live in India but they only recently legalised same-sex relationships and I’d like to live openly wherever we end up. Plus, not sure the motorhome would work as well.After we say goodnight to the group, it’s lights out for A and I at about 11. We look out at the snow before we sleep.Total: £26.91Day Seven6.45am: I stay in bed at A’s until 7.30 then rush for a train at 8am. It’s freezing at A’s and even the cat seems cold, judging by the speed at which she throws herself under the covers. The road is icy to the station and the Overground is quiet. £2.40 for the train as it’s now peak time.8.30am: I arrive home and feed and clean the guineas. I log onto my laptop at 9.05 and realise I’ve missed a meeting at 9. Luckily it’s just a catch-up with a work friend on some development opportunities so we just meet at 9.15 and chat things over. Then it’s onto the daily grind: meetings, spreadsheets and email updates. I’m having both a productive and enjoyable day.1pm: Lunchtime. I mix gochujang, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and garlic in a small pot, and fry some aubergine and cook the sauce down ’til everything is a little sticky and sweet. Mmm, so good! And spicy. While I eat in the kitchen I see a new neighbour arrive to unpack. Seems like a weird time to move but okay.2pm: We have our team call today, which is our team of around 25 people. I’m leading a session on LGBT+ history month at the end. It’s a surprisingly moving session as a few colleagues ask questions and talk about what it means to them – allies and queers alike.A colleague interrupts to tell us about how she was bullied for being straight in a previous job because gay men don’t understand family life. This manages to be both incredibly self-centred and homophobic *at length*. Luckily the most senior person on the call shuts it down quickly and I give a pointed comment to try and refute some of the homophobia, while other colleagues support me in the chat. I feel comforted by the number of people who are calling out the BS. But it’s hard to hear these things in person – the most hate I’ve ever got is from Twitter trolls.2.30pm: My line manager calls to debrief and congratulates me on keeping my cool. He’s a great manager, I really appreciate it. As the two openly LGBT+ people present, we take a few minutes to rant and then work on next steps. After the call, I feel much calmer. Plus a few colleagues reached out to thank me for leading the session. Folks, this is what allyship looks like. Back to work after the drama…7pm: Still working but I treat myself to a cheeky G&T for making it through another Monday. Any excuse!7.30pm: Time for the guinea pigs’ big clean! I try to do the cage on a Sunday or Monday so it smells nice when I’m working from home. I’m hoping to be done by 8ish to catch up on Glow Up.7.45pm: The guineas are out but something is wrong. S is constantly jumping on P, who can’t seem to move away. I watch S for a bit before realising in heartache that he’s unable to walk on his left leg. The tumour must be pressing down on it. When I lift him out of the run, I can feel the odd angle of his leg and how it doesn’t seem to lie at the same position as his right. I’m so deflated. I thought we would have lots of time together.8pm: I call A, who watches S on FaceTime. She agrees he looks worse than at the weekend. I’m really sad for him – the thought of putting him to sleep is heartbreaking. I leave his former owner a voicemail to let her know and tell her that we will try to take him to the vet on Friday.10pm: Still sad about the guinea pig. I have a bath to relax. Bed by 11.Total: £2.40The BreakdownFood/Drink: £56.06Entertainment: £3.50Clothes/Beauty: £2Travel: £25.03Other: £71.97Total: £158.56Conclusion”I spent more than I anticipated this week but this was due to the sad (and hopefully rare) need to go to the vet’s. Sadly since this diary was written S has passed away, as the tumour spread incredibly quickly. His old owner paid for the vet bills, which was incredibly kind, and I’m planning to adopt a new guinea pig to give P some company. Including the vet bill and taxis, this made up over a third of my weekly spending and really reinforces the need for me to continue to save heavily each month so I can build up a regular savings pot for emergencies like this.In terms of my more regular spending, I can’t believe how much I went to Tesco – and how much it costs! In the future I’m definitely going to start a bigger weekly shop at a local supermarket to see if I can save some money there. I also can see that I spend quite impulsively on treats like a meal deal lunch or a bottle of wine, and will be talking to my therapist about how to manage this.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: A PR Exec In Yorkshire On 21kMoney Diary: 22-Year-Old Children’s Nurse In LeedsMoney Diary: A 26-Year-Old In Hong Kong On 30k

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