Friday, 16 September 2016

Day 6 - Saturday


9:00am -
Get up early for a gym class desperate to be productive. Walk there and back, spending another £4.50 on this time, the superior smoothie. No regrets, even though I clearly spend an unacceptable amount of money on smoothies.
After zero sleep and another late night ahead, I have a quick nap and then a lunch of stuff I already have in the house from yesterday.

8:00pm - after a day of during very little, I head to a party at my friend’s new flat to celebrate him and his boyfriend’s birthdays. I pick up some wine en route for £9.50, and that was the most expensive wine in the whole of Sainsburys. Unfortunately it was still gross. We ate there on minions themed paper plates, using yellow plastic cutlery, and drinking from paper minions cups.
Then at about 1:30am headed to The Scotch of St James. It is super expensive, and I spent a depressing amount of money (£56) on not very much at all. I also got cash out for my friend who promised he’ll pay me back but I am not optimistic. I won’t count it and have a little faith. 

All the ubers I got everywhere, home was the main one, came to £34.37. Fucking surge charges. Thank the Lord I get my bonus soon. I need to stop spending like the rich person I certainly am not. This diary IS shaming me into changing my ways. So that’s one thing. I ended up going to bed at 7:30am so I need to sort my fucking life out.
Total: £105.87. Fuck my life.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Day 5 - Friday



8:15
Waking up at home this morning. Breakfast is overnight oats that I prepared last night with yogurt, chia seeds and milled linseed. I have a doctors appointment at 10 and I've missed the last TWO so today I am fucking going. And giving myself an hour to get there in case anything else goes wrong. Fate does not want me to start CBT.

9:40 - I spend a stupid amount of money in London, so prepare yourselves. I’m stressed now about this appointment so I fall into protein Haus at buy a Lean Pb smoothie and a caramel carb killa bar - £7.50. I actually prefer the Kr├╝ger version of this smoothie because it’s super thick and has a zillion times more peanut butter in. But is obviously far worse for you. Maybe tomorrow. My bus there is £1.50.

11:20 - I’m in a rush to get back to work things now so after another £1.50 on the bus back, I hop on the dlr for a few stops instead of walking the remainder of the way home. Another £1.50. I think.

11:30 - I don’t actually have any food in the fridge, other than Philadelphia and Fever Tree tonic water which won’t really make a meal, so I go to tesco and spend £15.12 on food. Mainly salad stuff, and some feta. Oh and some pine nuts. Just realised I forgot to add those to my lunch. Oh well.

14:45 - I get into the office to catch up with some people. We usually work from home on Fridays, but obviously you can go in if you want to. I meet a friend in Caffe Nero and get a £3.25 frappe latte because this office is hotter than the surface of the sun.

17:30 - meet friends in a bar next door for catch up drinks. By a double G&T and it comes to £5.55 so I'm slightly baffled. This is LONDON. Turns out its happy hour until 8, and you can get 2 cocktails for £8.50. So I also do that twice. 3 for me, one for someone who I inevitably owe money to

9:30 - we then go for some food, more drinks and some bizarre karaoke where they give you your own sound proof room. Which was definitely needed. God I need to save money next week. We spent £20 on food and a cocktail each, and afterwards I transferred my friend another £20 for the karaoke and our fish bowl cocktails. £40 in total, and got the tube home. I'm going to keep saying £1.50 coz I have no clue how much it costs. I nearly had to spend money on a hostel because when I finally got home at about half 12, the power had gone off on our whole street. Obviously my key fob didn't work because the gates are electric, so i just pathetically shook the gate until a stranger walked past, got talking to me, and helped me break in. Nice man. Who now knows how to break into my building.

Anyway. This is bad. I'm shopping at Iceland next week.

Friday total - £95.92

Fuck. Also Saturday was. worse. This is actually really helping shame me into budgeting.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Day 4 - Thursday



8am
I don’t have time to sit down for breakfast this morning. Thursday is going home day, so after a stupidly early spin class I just shower, fling my stuff into my suitcase and head out. This was far easier when I didn’t have 8:30am meetings every day and could get in for 9. But we’re really low on seats and desks atm so at least this means I get to claim one early. I’m passing Sainsburys anyway so I buy a yoghurt for £1.10. I nearly buy one for lunch too because I like these, then realise it isn’t going to fare particularly well out of the fridge all day and it really isn’t much of an inconvenience to just walk back here.
8:10 - I also buy a cheese scone because a) I want one and b) I’m in solid meetings til half 10 once I start. The office’s canteen does a disappointing cheese scone, but beggars can’t be choosers. He was 55p. The caffe Nero soya mocha that followed very soon afterwards was £2.55

13:00 - lunch was rainy. And I forgot money, so went and ordered my salad, realised I couldn’t pay for it, and had to run back to the office. I least got to pick up my umbrella, but it’s now completely fucked so it didn’t really help me. Got a Diet Coke too, so this was £6.60. I then hopped and skipped to Sainsburys (my feet are still wet) for my second yoghurt of the day, a roll-on deodorant because mine finished this morning and they’re handy for plane carry on luggage, and some tampons. This came to £3.30. My snacking was impressively low. I did pick at some of my colleague’s popcorn and a square of dark chocolate. But she obviously didn’t charge me. TO THE AIRPORT.

18pm - airport eating involves leisurely sipping green tea in the BA lounge as I wait to board my flight which for ONCE is actually not delayed. I also have some spiced root vegetable soup, a seeded bread roll, and a mini tuna sandwich. 

20:30 we’ve landed and i once again hop on the dlr home, spending £1.50. 

21:00 at home, I pick at some grapes and pistachios, then decide I want to go to tesco to buy some yoghurt to prepare breakfast for tomorrow. They don’t have any alpro which is what I’d set my heart on, so I settle with Greek style 0% fat. I then pick up a pack of quinoa and bulgar wheat on a whim. I think this was £3.23 although I can’t fully remember.

Thursday total = £18.83

Friday, 9 September 2016

Day 3: Wednesday



7:35 
I had 5 hours sleep last night which, for me, is a Bad Thing, so I will definitely be the boringest human alive today. My manager finds it absolutely hilarious that I will happily watch the Bake Off in bed on my own with some tea but.. I see no problem with this. My breakfast is the same as yesterday, plus a spoonful of jam. They’ve sat me next to the pastry table this morning, so this requires some incredible restraint. I want a croissant, but instead I grab a banana for my bag. All free.
And a mini chocolate twist. Fuck it, it’s hump day.

09:37 - I’m already munching through my trek bar, when I get an instant message from a colleague downstairs offering me a white chocolate and raspberry cookie. They are my FAVOURITE, so I practically run down the stairs. 

13:00 Unsurprisingly I’m not that hungry, so lunch today involves another wander. I cashed in some of my work performance points for a £50 Amazon voucher, so while that’s pending, I need to do some live book research in waterstones. Although this was technically free, I will get taxed on it at the end of the month. To my list i've added:

  • His Bloody Projects - Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • The Dog who Dared to Dream - Sun-Mi Hwang
  • All This Has Nothing to Do with Me - Monica Sabola
  • Grief is a Thing with Feathers - Max Porter

In terms of actual money spend, lunch was a £3.50 Pret soup (vegetable tagine, such a winner) and an 80p Fage yoghurt from Sainsburys. I also picked up some effervescent vitamin c tablets in Sainsburys because I’ve run out and i keep forgetting that the tesco one are seriously sub par. They were £1.10 so, all in all, £5.40.

4:45 - today is a serious fat day. I go and buy some Quavers to eat while I sit down and tackle our office seating plan. They temporarily got stuck in the vending machine which was almost DISASTROUS, but a man saved me. They were 70p.

8pm - even though i've stuffed my face today, I make the tactical decision to prioritise napping over exercise. I then haul myself back up for another meal out. This time it was Moroccan, so relatively healthy I guess, but I did eat approximately 10 tonnes of rice. Someone else picked up then bill again, to expense for us all. My phone died before I could take a picture, but it really was spectacular. 10/10 would eat again. I did miss the Bake Off, but we win some, we lose some.

I bought a tea earlier too.. think that was £1.20

Wednesday total: £7.30

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Day 2 - Tuesday



7:35
So breakfast really is the only thing that makes getting up worth while, especially now that I have to be in work an hour earlier. I really don't know who I was kidding. So I opted for some melon, and some alpen with natural yoghurt and a sprinkle of sliced almonds. And coffee, obviously. I also never got round to drinking that Diet Coke last night, so that’s in my bag. This is included in the room price, so there’s nothing extra to pay.
8:02am 
On Tuesdays I’m tasked with buying fruit for the office. I’m allowed to spend a maximum of £15 which I can claim back. Today £13.25 got us some bananas, some apples, some figs, nectarines, grapes, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I will spend the morning picking at this, along with another of the trek bars I bought yesterday.

13:00 
lunch was a large salad and, since yesterday’s Diet Coke exploded in my bag as soon as I got into work this morning, I this time opted for a bottle. This came to £6.65. I also got a little walk in, since I’m hatching a 10km poke egg which is clearly very important, and there’s a plan forming to go out to dinner tonight. El Cartel, which is SERIOUSLY good, so if you don't stuff your face basically you're miserable and not living.

After work I rushed to the gym, showered and ran out again to meet my colleagues in a bar opposite the restaurant. They don't allow you to book, so you just have to show up, put your name down and wander off somewhere to wait. The handy thing about this specific bar is that they actually come in to get you when your table's ready, and let you bring your unfinished drinks in with you.

21:00
After a g&t in the bar, we went wild on mexican food which, as usual, was super cheap and life changingly good.  
I also feel like my hair is gross so I may finally bite the bullet and actually go to a hairdresser in london, rather than waiting until i'm home. I just feel like i'm cheating on her. And it's so much more expensive. But yeh. Remind me to call them tomorrow. Or don't, because by the time anyone reads this tomorrow (Wednesday) will be over. I need to just bite the bullet and fucking do it.*
Anyway, food. Someone else picked up all bills so, again, nothing. It's expensable anyway, so I haven't just been freeloading. I also chanced a frozen margarita, because they had a coconut flavour on. I've been here twice before so am pretty certain at this stage that I don't like frozen margaritas so I'm not entirely sure why I thought this was going to be any different. Because it was obviously still gross. Everyone else had 3; I only finished my first because I loaded waaaay too much hot sauce onto my sweet potato tacos and was on the brink of death. When a frozen margarita is all that can save you, you know times are hard. 

*this definitely didn't stem from an earlier viewing of Kylie Jenner's snapchat story. hahahaha imagine..

Tuesday total: £19.90 

go me.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

In Which I Track My Awful Spending - DAY 1 (Monday)



This week, I have decided to document my spending, a la Refinery29’s Money Diaries. Because a) I find it super interesting, and b) I did a lot of paying back the money I owe people last night and now I’m poor and it’s only the 5th day of the month. Will this guilt me into spending less? I think we can all agree that no. It will not.

I don’t at all want to copy them, so if you’re super interested, check out an example of Refinery 29’s much better and honest version HERE

Slight caveat, I’m on expenses during the week atm, which means £5 towards lunch, and up to £30 is reiumbursable for an evening meal. I obviously wouldn’t eat out twice a day if I was on a London based project. Absolute first world problem, but try staying thin when the gastronomic world is your oyster. TRY IT.
Anyway.
Day 1 - Monday 5th of September
Day 1 begins with me pretentiously sipping a cold brew from a glass bottle on the DLR to City Airport. It’s 6:30am. I bought this yesterday so it doesn’t really count. But my DLR fare is £1.50. I don’t actually remember how much the cold brew cost anyway; I bought it on an over-excited whim. The queue for The Breakfast Club was about 800 miles long yesterday, so I went and got us all takeaway coffees for the wait. Then spotted this gem.

I’ve only started eating breakfast in the last month. I usually skipped it because it meant getting up earlier and I love sleep. But one week day hangover too many led me down into the hotel restaurant and its included in what we pay anyway so WHY NOT. A 4 pound weight gain, that’s why not. When you have to eat in restaurants every night (woe is me) those extra 500 calories are precious. No more mushroom and extra cheese omelettes for me.

8:25am. The food trolley on the plane comes round. Yes I did just say I wasn’t having breakfast this week. Fight me. They announced at the beginning of the flight that they’ve added some extra passengers last minute so they apologise if they run out of breakfasts. I’m not sure why they bothered bringing this up, as they run out of breakfasts in 5 minutes on a standard day anyway. If you’re not at the front of plane, vegetarian or healthy breakfasts just ain’t happening. Anyway, I’ve opted for the ‘healthy option’ which consists of a raspberry yoghurt, some melon and grapes and some orange juice. And then a tea. This doesn’t cost anything. Thanks, BA.

9:30am I’ve landed in Edinburgh now so pop into WH Smiths in the airport for some water and painkillers because I have a headache. I then decide I’m still hungry and buy 3 Trek peanut power bars for the week. Eat one now. £7.23. Return tram fare from airport to the office is £8.50.

12:30 Took a walk to Pret because I was in the mood for some autumny soup, but all they had was tomato which is dull so back to the office canteen I went and grabbed a banana, a yoghurt and a make your own salad, which tbf is excellent. And all came to £4.25.

15:30 - my coffee cravings lead me to run across the road to Caffe Nero for my staple soya black currant latte. The staff always look at me like I’m unhinged, but I introduced someone to it last week and she loved it so ITS GREAT. Anyway, my stamp card was full so this cost zero. Then went back upstairs and was greeted with delicious sweets to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu festival. Celebrations and traditional Indian sweets. Free sugar.

19:45 - after desperately trying to burn off all the crap I ate earlier in the gym, I completely cancel it all out and decide to carb up with a veggie burrito bowl with gauc and cheese. And a Diet Coke for good measure. That comes to £7.50.

All in all, not BAD. But it has been a boring, lazy day.
Monday total - £28.98

Thursday, 21 July 2016

In Which I Adapt to Living out of a Suitcase


OK, so it's been a long time since I last posted. And I couldn't even attempt to cover all that's happened since then, so I'll summarise.

In the industry I work, we're assigned to projects. If you're super lucky, they're in London and you actually get to live in the flat you pay extortionate rent for. Or maybe even abroad, in which case WOW - go you. But mainly, you're somewhere in the good ole UK. This isn't a shock; we know what we sign up for. The flexibility requirements were hammered in hard throughout the application process. But hey, it's fun. I have to wash my bedding far less often, which is a mega plus, straight up.

There are however, dilemmas. For example, when mirrors have lights directly above them (which is apparently the case in every hotel in existence), it's REALLY hard to do your eyebrows. The light exaggerates every little downy hair so it's impossible to tell where the edges are. Unfortunately I'm a terrible packer, but if I were a better person, I'd pack my own mirror instead of darting between the bathroom and bedroom whenever the lighting pisses me off. Why don't I just use that mirror, you ask? Because it's handier when you can spread things out across the sink like a useful like shelf. Shh.

Another issue that arose recently, is the moral conundrum of whether or not to tidy your room before you vacate. I mentioned casually over dinner once that I do this, and everyone else found it hilarious. But I would feel like the worst person ever if I left the ironing board out. But people DO THAT. and the IRON. If i've been applying makeup over the sink for a week, it'll be covered in little bits of powder, eyelashes, and bristles from makeup brushes it's too much effort to replace. Some people DON'T WIPE THAT AWAY. Am I abnormal..? Does anyone else do this..? The dinner in point was actually in the hotel restaurant, so my colleagues called over the waitress and asked her if it was necessary. She said not, and that each person gets 30 mins per room which sometimes over runs if one is particularly messy, so it's nice sometimes to have a quick one that makes up time. But, in general, it's not required. But I go to these hotels a lot. I'm scared of being judged. I'm not strong. I crave affirmation.

Anyway, I've been working from home this week and i'm off to France on Sunday, and I'm already missing the safety and solace of my own little self-contained living space. I have a flat, but I'm responsible for maintaining that.

Anyway again, this has been pointless. Love you.

ps. I didn't say I'm in Edinburgh. I'm in Edinburgh. It's beautiful and I love it.