What I Learned From Tracking My Spending For A Week

If you follow me on Instagram (please do if you don’t!), you’ll probably have seen that I shared my spending on my Insta stories for a week.

I shared every single penny I spent, from food to coffee to totally unnecessary clothes. As I mentioned at the start, tracking one week of spending doesn’t accurately reflect my monthly budget. The week that I did just happened to be a relatively good one as it was a few days after payday. The end of the month would be a totally different story.

While my spending mostly consisted of food and coffee, my monthly total includes bills, petrol, prescriptions, money I owe and other various expenses like Netflix and Spotify.

Disclaimer aside, I thought I’d share a roundup of exactly how much I spent on each category, as well as what I learned from the whole experience.

Coffee = €15.25

Food = €44.50

Alcohol = €23.40

Clothes = €97.06

Nails = €30

Magazine = €3

Travel = €20

Total = €233.21

[If you want a breakdown of everything and comments about each, have a look at the ‘What I Spend’ highlight on my Instagram.]

What I learned:

– I spend a ridiculous amount on coffee, but it’s worth every cent. I know I could make big savings by making my own, but I love the routine of buying a cup of coffee before work and it honestly gets me through the morning.

– Bringing my lunch definitely makes a huge difference to my spend. I try to bring a lunch four days a week and then go out on a Friday, and I’m so glad I’m in that routine. Otherwise, I could easily spend at least €50 on five days’ lunches.

– I spend a fair amount on snacks, but they’re so worth it for me. They’re convenient and keep me going throughout the week without having to make granola bars on a Sunday evening, which I just can’t prioritise the time for. I could definitely make a saving if I bought fruit instead of breakfast bars, but one step at a time.

– I suppose I’ve learned that I’m really lucky to be in a relationship where we split the cost of things. If we’re out, we tend to buy drinks in rounds and at the weekend when we’re staying in, usually one of us pays for food and the other pays for snacks/alcohol. While I do pay my fair share, I have to admit that I’m really lucky to have a boyfriend who’s generous and helps with expenses when I’m short on money, and vice versa for him.

– I’m so used to not tracking my spending. By no means do I have a budget that allows me to spend recklessly, but sometimes I do it anyway. Most times I check my bank balance, I’m certain someone has stolen my card… when really it’s just me. I really enjoyed actually being aware of my outgoings, and I was actually surprised some days when I realised I didn’t spend as much as I thought I did. Coming up to Christmas, my daily spend will be much higher but I definitely want to track my spending in the new year.

– I’m terrible at saving. I knew that before this, but it has really made me realise that I need to get stricter with my savings and stop wasting money on things I don’t need (clothes). Here’s hoping I’ll achieve that in 2019!

I just feel the need to say this one more time: this is just one week of my life and it happened to be a pretty good one spending-wise. Perhaps me tracking my spending meant that I bought less than usual, but I’m not sure. I’ll probably share another week’s spend sometime in January, and Lord knows that will be bleak as hell.

If you have any money saving tips, please share them in the comments below – I’d love to hear!


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