Daily spend: London

I’ve written about money before, without much precise detail. Inspired by Money Diaries, How I spend it and The Financial Diet, here I’ve broken down what I spent on a Saturday in London.

I’m thinking about repeating this style of post, so let me know if you’d be interested in that!


Walk to station

A free start to the day. The downside is I felt like I was on my way to work because I do the 20-minute route most mornings.


Train tickets

£3.30 per advance single with a 16-25 Railcard – my last one! Good value for a 90-minute journey. I booked these three weeks ahead and decided on an early start to save a few more pounds.

£6.60 (with a 6am alarm)

Bus and tube

I used contactless for travel between Victoria, Sloane Square and Warren Street.


Lift home from station

Free, thanks to a helpful husband. I paid for the last petrol fill-up after our New Forest holiday.


Travel total: £12.90

Food and drink


I didn’t want to try my luck finding a strictly gluten-free lunch in between meeting people, so I packed leftovers from Friday’s dinner. Tofu, vegetables and brown rice with tamari – nicest hot but fine cold. I also took a Nakd bar, some Nairn’s biscuits, an apple and a refillable metal water bottle. My bag was heavy but I probably saved at least £5 by planning ahead.



At 10am I met my sister at a bakery in Chelsea, where I got a (glass) bottle of sparkling water.


I went on to meet friends at the Wellcome Collection cafe and got a pot of tea for one. I refilled my water bottle a few times throughout the afternoon.



I was hungry as I headed for my 5pm train and picked up some hummus chips and a chocolatey snack bar from Holland & Barrett. I decided I’d wait to have dinner at home with food we already had.


Food and drink total: £6.27


On the train I listened to podcasts and music on Spotify (already paid for) and started a book I got for £1 in a charity shop last week.


My sister and I walked around the shops and didn’t buy anything. We tested out some Aesop exfoliating hand wash which was lovely but at £27 it’s not something I’d purchase for myself. A blanket similar to some I’ve seen in the North Laine caught my eye in Zara Home, which reminded me to put one on my ‘Possible things to buy in the months ahead’ list.


At the Wellcome Collection I could have nipped into a couple of free exhibitions but I didn’t want to stop chatting!


Entertainment total: £0

Total daily spend: £19.17


It was a fairly cheap and really nice day. I’m trying not to spend unnecessarily, which I stuck to. This was on the frugal end of London day trip options, as there were no theatre tickets or meals out.

I’d say this day generally reflects my current attitude to spending. I like making an effort to socialise while keeping costs down. I don’t often go out to browse in shops, and when I see things I like I usually do some research before making any purchases.

What do you think? Is there anything you would have done differently?