Money Diary: Tracking Expenses for a Week

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Money Diary

I started this blog because I wanted to show that you can live a great life without needing to spend ridiculous amounts of money. And now, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is. I discovered Money Diaries on Refinery 29 a few months ago. Inspired by that, and a couple other bloggers (namely xAmeliax and The Luxe Strategist), I decided to create my own diary. 

I don’t think we always know how much we actually spend in a week. We probably keep track of monthly bills (at least, I hope you do!) but maybe we don’t always know where the rest of our money goes. I encourage you to try tracking your spending for a week and see where you spend. It can be eye opening. 

I always make sure I spend less than I earn. This includes all of my monthly bills and discretionary spending. But to be honest, I don’t really track my spending.

As far as the week goes, I didn’t do anything to change my spending habits or try to appear like a better budgeter than I am.

This week was a little unusual as it was Fourth of July week and I had two days off work with the holiday. Let’s take a look at what happened.

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I started the day late because I went in to work later than usual. I work in higher ed so every once in a while that means a later shift to accommodate students’ needs. This always gives me morning time to work on the blog, which I love! I also was able to get in a bit of a morning work out!

Going in late to work causes my meal times to be a little weird. I went into work at my normal lunch time and had lunch in the middle of the afternoon. On these days I like to treat myself a bit (plus I know the Chick fil a drive thru will be more reasonable). I grabbed a chicken nugget combo ($7.26).

Monday Total: $7.26



Every Tuesday I have a chiropractor appointment in the evening after work. They also have a trainer who specializes in injuries and people with spine problems, so I work out there weekly as well. This is all part of my monthly expenses. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but I actually injured my back a couple of times and I have a bulging disk in my lower spine (make sure you lift properly!!).

There’s a gas station right next to the office that is typically a bit cheaper than gas closer to home. I stop there before my appointment ($17.45). I’ve also gotten into this bad habit of picking up a soda and a snack there before my appointment. I don’t usually bring snacks with me so this is the first chance I have to eat since lunch. ($2.16). Clearly not the healthiest choice.

Tuesday Total: $19.61



I was really hoping to have a no spend day today! But heat and tiredness and cravings all got to me and I got a soda. Again 🙁 96 cents.

I guess it’s a positive that I’ve only spent money on food and gas so far. I’ve been tempted by the MANY holiday sale emails that I’ve gotten, but so far nothing has wowed me enough to actually buy it.

Wednesday Total: $0.96




Red, white, and blue outfit
I love to dress themed

Top, Pants, Hair Clip


Happy 4th of July! Today was very uneventful. It was Day 1 of a 4 day weekend and I took full advantage of being lazy. Also it was Stranger Things day! So of course I had to do some binge watching. I didn’t go anywhere for fireworks today, so I watched the Walt Disney World fireworks on their livestream. Today was a no spend day!

Thursday Total: 0!


Read about my super simple budget



No spend day number two! I finished Stranger Things today (just rip my heart out) and again spent most of the day at home. This evening I went to watch fireworks with my friend and her now THREE YEAR-OLD (crazy!).


Fireworks by St. Louis Arch


Friday Total: 0!



Hey big spender. Saturday started out with me having to get up quite early. My mom needed to take her car in for maintenance so I picked her up from dropping off her car. We then went to breakfast (she paid) and a bunch of other places.


Two books


First was Barnes and Noble where I purchased “The Inspired Room” and “Maybe in Another Life” for myself and a birthday present for a newly three year-old ($51.61). Then was Target. When my mom and I go out together we tend to just pay together to only do one transaction and figure out the difference later. She paid at Target, while I paid at Kirkland’s ($47.62) and Old Navy ($24.95). I was actually supposed to go to another Fourth of July fair this evening but I was so worn out from being out in the heat all day that I decided to stay home.

Saturday Total: $124.18



I met up with my friends to see a matinee of Spider-Man Far From Home ($6.55). Not sure if I like it as well as Homecoming but it was still good. After I ran to Trader Joe’s for some quick meals for the week ($15.97). I just love the Trader Joe’s frozen section! Finally I met my friend for ice cream ($2.38) before she had to head back home, which is a couple hours away from me.

Sunday: Total: $24.90


Weekly Total: $176.91


It’s really interesting to break down your week and see exactly where your money goes. I’ve known for a long time that I have a tendency to nickel and dime myself with buying drinks or snacks while I’m out and about (things that could be avoided if I prepared a little better). Saturday was clearly the day that did my budget in. I can’t say I have a ton of days like that, but they aren’t as few and far between as I’d like. 

I would say having a couple of no spend days is pretty typical for me. What wasn’t typical was there were no Starbucks trips. A lot of times I hit up Starbucks on my way home from work, but the convenient Starbucks is currently closed for a couple of weeks doing some remodeling. I always load money onto the app to get rewards points, but I typically do the smallest denominations at a time. It’s not unusual for me to reload the app every week or two.

Have you ever tracked your spending like this? I’d love to hear your experience.

Also is this a time of post you’d like to see more of? I find these types of things fascinating so I don’t mind making it a somewhat regular feature!


winter to spring transition outfit with a striped sweater and medium wash jeans

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  1. 7.20.19
    Ornella said:

    Wow! I’ve never thought of keeping track of my expenses in diary form! I’ve tried doing it in list form but it’s not the same as actually tracking when and how you spend it. I might have to do the same. And like you I find that if I’m going through a no-spend period there is always that *one* day where I completely blow the budget. But what’s life for if not for enjoying?

    Are you planning on doing more? I think it’d be interesting to do a month long diary. Or do you think that would be too much?

    (Btw I love your blog! I’m getting back into reading blogs and I’m glad I found yours!)

    • 7.29.19
      Emily said:

      Thank you! I’m not sure about tracking for a whole month. That could be a little overwhelming. I think doing weekly tracking especially when different things are going on in my life would be manageable and interesting. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. 7.25.19
    paige said:

    LOVED reading this and definitely feeling inspired to track my spending for a week! x