Money Diary Series

How a Married Couple Moving
Toward Career Security Spent
Their Week

We have clear goals to buy a house to call our own

We are Hillary and Susan. We married in 2017 and have been transitioning through a mix of part-time and full-time jobs as we worked to secure our careers-jobs. And now, we have landed! 2019 was a great year for us both. Susan found her work in Tax and Hillary landed a head coaching position for the women’s volleyball team at a small private University.

We are so happy in our new apartment and exploring a new city. Susan, the numbers person, pays close attention to our spending and saving. We have clear goals to buy a house to call our own, and, once settled, consider growing our family. However, a trip through Europe is on our docket first.

As vegans, we eat most of our meals at home and we bring our lunch to work. Hillary is the cook and does a great job making delicious vegan meals. We are not big coffee drinkers, so the daily Starbucks doesn’t creep into our budget. We do love dogs and have a miniature poodle named Stanley.

Here’s how we spent money this week.


Spent: $47

Gas: $27

Contribution to baby gift for work colleague: $20


Spent: $35

Dog food for Stanley: $25

New holiday collar for Stanley: $10


Spent: $89

Picked up two xmas gifts: Two T-shirts: $37

Chipotle for dinner: $17

Headlight replacement: $35


Spent: $92

Groceries: $50

Holiday lights and batteries to decorate: $24

Holiday pillow: $18


Spent: $52

Dinner and drinks with friends: $52


Spent: $40

Tried our hand at Bingo night: $40 – didn’t win ?


Spent: $18

Laundry soap and game watching snacks: $18

Spent: $373

Reflections on keeping a money diary

Our weekly food expenses were on target at about $65. We usually budget $75 for the week. We did go out one night to eat with friends and then to Bingo so our entertainment costs were around $100 – a bit more then we’d like to spend but it was fun. Having a pet is always an expense because we love to buy things for him. Besides his food we did limit our spending to a new holiday collar – and he looks adorable.

The headlight was an unexpected expense and of course with the holidays, we know that there will be additional costs. We wrote a list of who we want to buy gifts for and try to stick to a dollar limit as well.

We know our car will need some work and soon we will probably need to get a new one. We do need to figure out if we should continue to put money into the car or replace it – with probably a used car.

We do plan to open a savings account to save money just for our trip to Europe and our goal is to sock away several hundred dollars a month for this trip. This will cause us to track our expenses carefully and limit toys for Stanley, but hopefully he won’t mind.

Besides rent, and the looming need of a new car, we do have one student loan that costs us $400 a month. These are our biggest expenses, so we feel pretty good that Europe is doable. These are exciting times for us and we feel pretty good about our spending so far.

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless