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Money Diaries: A Week in March

Money Diaries: A Week in March |

Inspired by R29’s Money Diaries and Cosmo PH’s… weekly expenses thing that everybody seems to hate, I decided to track my expenses last week and blog about it. (Okay, it’s more like I straight up copied Money Diaries.) Before I get into it, here are a few things to note about me: I’m not a thrifty person, I do not scrimp when it comes to food, and I have a big appetite. I also have a spending problem but I still try to be sensible with my money. I’ve been doing better at avoiding mindless expenses and I am pretty proud of that!

I live at home with my mom and 7 cats. My monthly bills include our phone and DSL (PHP1850), my post-paid line (Plan 1799 + monthly cashout for my phone), Spotify Premium (PHP129), and credit card bill. Karlo (my boyfriend) lets me use his Netflix account. I don’t pay rent and contribute to the household by buying groceries (depending on how often I go, I spend around PHP2000-4000), food for the critters (at least PHP2000/month), and chipping in for other things (e.g. we’re having our kitchen cabinets redone and I gave PHP3000 for that).

Monthly income: ~50k+ after taxes.

Day 1 – Monday

10AM – I usually spend weekends at Karlo’s and when his driver doesn’t have a lot of errands on Mondays, I get dropped off in BGC. Today before work, we drove through McDonald’s so I could get Fish and Rice and an iced coffee, which Karlo paid for.

11AM – I eat my Fish and Rice at work.

1230pm – My co-workers are heading to Jollibee for lunch so I ask them to get me a Tuna Pie (PHP45).

4PM – I head to the building cafeteria for merienda but they were all out of turon so I walk to the supermarket to buy microwavable popcorn (PHP36.25), a box of cereal (PHP139), soy milk (145), and Parmesan cheese (PHP201.50). I got the cheapest Parmesan cheese brand available and it tasted like crap.

7PM – After work, I take the BGC bus (charged to my Beep card) to Serendra to get my brows and girlstache threaded (PHP380 + PHP50 tip) then walk to Market Market to buy sheet masks. The department store didn’t have any but I saw a kiosk selling Korean skin care and decided to get an ampoule (PHP690) (I googled reviews before taking it to the cashier). Getting home takes 3 rides, costing PHP60 total. I buy a pack of cigarettes (PHP73) along the way.

10PM – Dinner is leftovers.

11PM – I turn on the AC, set my alarm for 5AM, and force myself to sleep.

Total: PHP1819.75

Day 2 – Tuesday

7AM – I have to spend the whole day out of the office for a shoot so I take the shuttle (PHP8) out of my village, ride an FX (PHP25), and book a Grab (PHP120). Food was provided but breakfast was tocino so I asked my co-worker to get me fries and coffee (which she said I didn’t have to pay for). A co-worker has issues with her ATM so I lend her some money (PHP2000) but I don’t know if I should count this because I’m getting it back anyway???

7PM – It’s a wrap! I book a Grab (PHP100) to Galleria and pass by The Face Shop. I get sheet masks (PHP325) on a buy 5, get 5 promo. I have to get conditioner, too, but I remembered that I still had full-sized Finesse shampoo and conditioner that Sample Room sent over YAY.

830PM – I consider taking the bus home but it was a war zone so I walked to the UV Express terminal and take the shuttle (PHP50). I buy my mom her ice cream (PHP165) and I get a pack of cigarettes (PHP73) at the convenience store. I usually don’t smoke that much but I share my cigarettes with anyone who asks, so……..

930PM – After 9PM, fare getting to my house from the village gate is PHP10. Dinner is homemade vegetable lumpia.

1030PM – I do my 9-step skin care routine (I need to get emulsion/lotion to complete the 10 steps) and watch a bit of Greenleaf on Netflix before sleeping at midnight.

Total: PHP2876

Day 3 – Wednesday

10AM – Today is a ~regular day~ and it takes me the usual 4 rides (PHP51) to get to work.

1130AM – Lunch is brown rice, a salted egg, and Spanish sardines. I’m pescetarian again (I’ll eat chicken if there really isn’t a choice) and I keep bottles of Spanish sardines and gourmet tuyo in the office fridge because I don’t always like the fish things that our building caf sells. One of my co-workers brought pancit for the office to celebrate her birthday so I had some of that for a second lunch.

2PM – I pay for our phone and DSL bill (PHP1850).

4PM – I get hungry around 4PM and eat cereal and pancit for merienda.

630PM – I pack a tote bag with cat food, water, and a small cup and head to the bus stop behind my building to check if the stray cat I’ve been feeding is there. She isn’t. I cross to McDonald’s and get an iced coffee (PHP47).

7PM – I go back up to my office to work.

8PM – I’m hungry and I’m not sure if we’re getting overtime food so I eat my co-worker’s banana.

10PM – I give up on work and walk with my co-worker to McDonald’s for Fish and Rice (PHP152). I take a GrabShare (PHP160) to Quezon City after dinner to catch Outerhope perform at my favorite bar. I drink a lot of beer (PHP395).

2AM – Karlo and I head home and eat cheese and pandesal before sleeping.

Total: PHP2655

Day 4 – Thursday

10AM – Help. I am very hungover.

12NN – Karlo has a 1PM presentation so he drops me off at Katipunan where I take an Uber (PHP271) to work. I would have taken a GrabShare but I had to be at the office for a 1PM meeting.

130PM – I eat a Better Than A Facial from Saladstop (PHP260) during my meeting.

2PM – Surprise! The lightning headphone jack I ordered from the Apple website a week ago arrived while I was out. The iPhone 7 is stupid and I need to invest in bluetooth headphones.

330PM – Fuck fuck fuck this post-drunk hungries. I ask a co-worker to get me Pringles (PHP43) from 7-11 and I pour myself a bowl of cereal.

430PM – A co-worker asks if I still wanted to try Potato Corner’s Garlic Parmesan Fries (PHP80).

830PM – I leave the office and take the BGC bus (charged to my Beep card) to Market Market. It takes three rides (PHP60) from Market Market to my house.

1030PM – Dinner is leftovers and I have all the Maltesers for dessert. :(

1245AM – I fall asleep.

Total: PHP714

Day 5 – Friday

8AM – We’re having our kitchen cabinets redone and one of the workers asks me money for sandpaper (PHP25). My mom borrows cash (PHP5000) because she needs to pay them today and she isn’t heading out until Monday.

11AM – Heading to an offline somewhere in Pasig for the whole day. I take a shuttle (PHP8) to our village gate. It’s hot and I’m thirsty so I buy a bottle of water (PHP15) before taking a UV Express (PHP25) to C5. From there, I hail a cab (PHP120) to get to Pasig Boulevard.

1PM – I eat lunch at the pantry and I am shocked that my rice, fish, and egg is only PHP45. I had to ask the ate if she was sure. I could have charged it to the producer’s account but SERIOUSLY, 45 PESOS FOR A FULL MEAL?!

130PM – My co-worker and I are having trouble starting work without coffee so the producer sends a messenger to Starbucks. I get a cold brew which I don’t have to pay for, yay!

4PM – Turon and tuna pasta, charged to the producer.

8PM – We order BonChon for dinner and I get the Crispy Squid Ricebox. The prod house pays again.

11PM – We’re done for the day. It’s too late for me to go to Chotto for drinks with co-workers so I book a Grab (PHP160.50) to QC. I’ll be reimbursing this since it’s covered by OT transpo pay. I ask Karlo to pick me up at his village’s Mini Stop, where I buy a pack of cigarettes (PHP73).

1AM – I eat 3 donuts and fall asleep while Karlo plays Witcher.

Total: PHP5471.50

Day 6 – Saturday

11AM – I wake up and head downstairs to have my morning coffee. Karlo orders Yellow Cab for lunch.

1PM – I eat a bit of the shrimp aglio olio, still feeling guilty from my late-night donut binge.

230PM – We head to my house because I don’t have any clothes or makeup with me.

4PM – Karlo is hungry so I fry up some veggie lumpia for him.

530PM – We say goodbye to my mom and drive to UP Town Center.

730PM – Our movie (PHP400) isn’t until 950PM and I’m starting to feel lightheaded from hunger, having eaten so little today. We decide on Salu-Salo where we order pakbet, crispy hito, and rice. I pay PHP350 + PHP50 for tip.

830PM – We still had time to kill before the movie and Karlo wanted to check out Datablitz. I go to H&M and end up buying two tops in the same style, different colors (PHP1798).

930PM – Karlo and I meet up and head to the cinemas. I get popcorn and a water (PHP100).

950PM – Get out was OMG AMAZING.

12NN – Some of my friends are at Today x Future so we decide to drop by. I made a mental note to only stay for 2 drinks max. That doesn’t happen. I pay for my and Karlo’s drinks (PHP520).

130AM – I’m out of cigarettes so I walk to 7-11 to buy a pack (PHP68) and get water (PHP30) for two very drunk friends.

230AM – Karlo and I head to his house and I ask if we could drive through for food. The McDonald’s along the way is all out of Fish and Fries/Rice (wtf right) and I’m starving so I order McNuggets (PHP220).


Total: PHP3536

Day 7 – Sunday

1PM – Well. I am hungover.

2PM – I eat fish and rice for a very late lunch and give Iron Fist a try.

4PM – Two episodes in and I’m kind of bored. I take a nap though I can’t really sleep because I should be working but I don’t want to work.

8PM – Karlo heats up leftover veggie pizza for dinner and we watch Moonlight.

1030PM – Karlo drives me home.

1AM – I have trouble falling asleep but I somehow doze off, waking up around 5AM because my aircon timer went off and I had to turn on the fan.

“Monday,” I grumble bitterly, before going back to sleep.

Total: PHP0

Weekly total: PHP17,072.25

Weekly breakdown

Miscellaneous: PHP7000
Clothes & Beauty: PHP3243
Food & Drink: PHP3048.75
Utilities: PHP1850
Transport: PHP1218.50
Entertainment: PHP400
Cigarettes: PHP287
Home & Health: PHP25

Holy crap, 17 grand?!?!?! To be fair, some of these expenses aren’t regular, weekly things and I am getting some of it back. Still, ~PHP10,000 is a LOT.

Anyway, let me know if you guys would be interested in me doing this regularly! I’m thinking of doing this again next month to see how much I spend on a week when I don’t pay a utility bill or shop for clothes/skin care.

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  • Reply Euri March 20, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Holy crap! That’s a lot of money spent! ????

    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Diba!!! Pero in my head, I’m deducting the 7k that I loaned out haha but 10k is still a lot.

  • Reply Romila Marie March 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I love this series from Refinery! So interesting to see other people’s expenses haha Please do it regularly if you can! :) *nosy af*

    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:56 am

      You should do it, too!

  • Reply Cae March 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm


    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Hahahaha thanks, Cae <3

  • Reply Gellie March 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    For personal financing reasons, I found myself doing this din just to keep track of how much I spend. Do this regularly! :D

    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Sige, I’ll do it once a month! I used to track with an app but I’d stop and feel guilty when I start spending a lot kasi lol.

  • Reply rizpsycle March 20, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    i’m kinda idk at how surprised you were at the price of that fish, egg, and rice meal. it’s totally normal. maybe you’re just used to mcdonald’s pricing

    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:55 am

      It’s because I work at The Fort and a meal (1 rice and 1 ulam) at our building’s cafeteria is 90 pesos minimum. :)

  • Reply Justine March 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    I am obssessed with R29’s Money Diaries and try my best not to miss a post. After last week’s I was just thinking I hope someone does a weekly equivalent of this!! Thanks for doing that. Such a great read. I hope others follow suit so I can read theirs too haha. It’s a Gemini thing I know bec I am spendy as fuck. Reckless too at many times. We have the same house contributions too. So annoying but I’m trying to cut back as well. More of these!

    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

      You should do it, too!!!

      Kainis yung spending problem ng Geminis haha of all the self-destructive behaviors…

  • Reply Justine March 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I meant I hope someone does a peso equivalent hehe

  • Reply Erica March 20, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I would love to see you do this regularly!!!

    • Reply Helga March 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Thank you!!! I’ll do another one next month. :)

  • Reply Pia March 21, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I enjoyed reading this and I can’t wait to read the next one, Helga! I miss reading your blog posts ??

  • Reply Pia March 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I enjoyed reading this and I can’t wait to read the next one, Helga! I miss reading your blog posts ??

  • Reply Dre March 21, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    This is a good idea. I need to track my expenses, too. For the past 2 months, I’ve been living on paycheck to paycheck. I need to know what I need to eliminate on my spendings.

  • Reply malen March 22, 2017 at 5:08 am

    I list down our expenses (Lester and I), too, everyday.
    I try my best to spend 100aed maximum/per day.

    Back in PH, I think I used to spend 200max/day.

  • Reply Jhanz March 22, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Do this more often pls! And holy crap for 10k~ in just a week?!! My meager salary is ashamed of itself lol

  • Reply Monique March 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Wow, I enjoyed reading this! More please. :D

  • Reply Danica Rama March 22, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    This really is interesting. I had fun reading it and wondered how much I spend in a week lol. I’m starting to track my daily expenses na rin because of this haha. Thank you Helga! :)

  • Reply Estell March 24, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    WHOA 17K???! That is a lot haha. But this effort of tracking your spending’s a great way to curb that. Good for you! This inspired me to do my own money diaries! Also, those Topshop tops! NEED. Thanks, Helga!

  • Reply Aica March 27, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Wow, 17K grand? And I thought living here in this country is not as expensive as other countries. Kaloka. Hahaha. Would love to see you do this monthly, and maybe some time add a challenge budget too!

  • Reply Jam March 29, 2017 at 9:48 am

    That’s A LOT. I wouldn’t be able to survive the following week if I have spent 17k (10k until your money is returned, haha). This is really a good way to track expenses, and hopefully, cut down on “things we don’t really need as of the moment”. Anyway, I’m thinking of tracking my weekly expenses too, sana lang sipagin ako. Haha

  • Reply Nickle March 30, 2017 at 1:55 am

    WOW you spend a lot. I was thinking of doing the same, coz you know, I’m gaya-gaya, but my life is boring and I work at home so for one week the most I’d spend is 1k. But then again, I don’t make as much as you do and I’m currently the breadwinner of the family so I try not to spend that much.

  • Reply Crystal March 31, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Quit smoking!

  • Reply Yan March 31, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Wow! I want to do this too but I live with my parents so I don’t really get to spend much on a daily basis. Still, I think I’ll be surprised at how much I’m actually spending if I start listing them down! Good idea!

  • Reply Money Diaries Because Why Not – blag bleg blig blog blug March 31, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    […] Inspiration from here, here and here. […]

  • Reply Aiza Coronado April 4, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Do this more often! I used to be obsessed with tracking our expenses! I do it in an Excel sheet, but I slipped. Haha.

  • Reply Ben June 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Nice post! And I thought my 300-500 a day on a regular workday was already extravagant. LOL. Hang in there, it’s a struggle.


    Uber to the MRT station – 80-100
    MRT – 20
    Bfast – at home or brunch – 100-200
    Cigarettes – 71 (trying to buy 1 pack every 2 days)
    Century Tuna and Bananas for dinner – 60-70
    MRT – 20
    Uber from the nearest MRT station to my house – 60-90

    Yeah, it sound pretty boring, that doesn’t include expenses when seeing my GF etc. Just a regular workday. I think I can survive with around 5K a week all things being said. Cheers and more power!

  • Reply Britney June 21, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’m in the US, so I used a converter to compare to the USD’s that I spend. I see a lot of commenters saying that you’re spending a lot, but I spend even more than that per month. *blush* Of course I was including my rent and other bills in that as well. This is a good idea though. I should break out what I spend into categories just to really see where my money goes. Although I think most of my money goes toward food. I enjoy eating out a lot.

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