‘I’m 39, a frugal northerner and earn £40,000. This is how I spent my money – on a bachelor party

‘I’m 39, earn £40,000 and had a modest upbringing. This is how I spend my money

Send an email to participate in How I Spend My Money money@telegraph.co.uk. All our topics are genuine but anonymous.

I have always been very frugal. Born from humble beginnings in a big northern city, I grew up to live within my means and not spend extra money on things that can be bought cheaply. This hasn’t really changed since he moved to London twelve years ago.

When I came here I was earning £15,000 a year and deeply in debt. The low-budget life I’d been living until now came in handy: restaurant prices were checked in advance, “bring your own drinks” places were prioritized, and I rarely went to nightclubs or expensive bars.

But since then my salary has increased and the pressure on my finances has virtually disappeared.

I recently inherited a significant amount of money from a grandparent, which allowed me to finally pay off my student loans. This increased my take-home pay, which is a nice extra treat every month.

It also means that even the need to save is a little less urgent these days, but the joy of a bargain remains. The smaller section of the supermarket is still the first place I look, I can never bring myself to spend on hotels and I am known among friends for securing the cheapest train tickets possible.

I cycle to work and still live with three other people in a simple shared house. Like many people my age, I like football, socializing and traveling. A real highlight is when I can combine all three – because of the bachelor party I’m going on this week.

  • Age: 39

  • Annual salary before tax: £40,000

  • Monthly salary after tax: £2,693

  • Rental price: £785

  • Household bills: £80, split between housemates

  • Subscriptions (Netflix, mobile): £36

Day 1

Paying for breakfast is a thing of the past in my new job, because fruit is free. We all benefit from this, despite the strict signs that say you can only take one piece.

At lunch I opt for a £3.50 Sainsbury’s meal deal lunch, complete with Coca Cola, crisps and a wrap. On Monday evenings I play football at five, so I need the energy.

Matches are usually followed by a visit to the pub, but after a frustrating 4-4 ​​draw, many boys disappear home.

Thanks to a train strike, I have a six-hour tube and bus return for £5.55. I’m hungry and opt for a KFC burger while I’m out, adding another £1.99 to my day.

When I finally get home just before midnight, I take some leftover pasta out of the refrigerator.

Total: £11.04

Day 2:

I live cheaply and stay home every night because I’m leaving for a friend’s bachelor party on Thursday.

I did some grocery shopping in advance, so I take sandwiches to work and eat a hearty spaghetti bolognese from the freezer when I get home.

The bicycle takes me to and from work for free. But then I lose £10 on football betting while trying to raise money for an expensive upcoming weekend. Girls’ math, I think.

Total: £10

Day 3:

Just a day after the big trip I’m back in Sainsbury’s at lunchtime for a meal deal (what a lunch).

At the end of the day I cycle home, but I head to Sainsbury’s again for a £3 stir-fry to increase my vegetable intake before an inevitable attack starts in 24 hours.

Total: £6.50

Day 4:

I’m on the train today so my expenses start at a fare of £3.70. I’m being taken for lunch by a client so that’s a significant saving, which is handy if I somehow have to pay £18.40 for a single to Gatwick. So much for being the Trainline Wizard.

I get two bottles of Peroni for the train journey at £3.99 each for a quick pencil sharpener before I get to the airport, then don’t forget to finally get travel insurance for £23.94.

For this weekend, I feel like it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I walk into Wetherspoons and buy a pint for a friend and one for myself for £13.40, before investing £5.99 on a Pret sandwich for the plane and two beers (£10) on board. We are going to Munich for a few days.

My contribution to the Uber from the airport is £7.50 before we check in and go to a bar. If you withdraw €50 from the ATM you will have to pay €6 euros, which can go up to £48.52, but the money will remain valid for the rest of the night and will also provide you with a halloumi wrapper. We return on foot in the wee hours of the morning.

Total: £129.45

Day 5:

The rest of the team goes to a museum, so our splinter group strolls through the city before ending up in a waterfront café.

I opt for the schnitzel and a beer to start the day for €28, before heading to another bar to see if it can accommodate a meal for all.

I buy four beer mugs and a bottle of water before considering calling the German police when the bill comes to €55. As soon as the laughing subsides, my three companions tell me that I can skip a round.

By the time it’s my turn again, it’s a much more sensible €27.50 (£23.63) for four pints during a highly competitive game of beer pong.

The next stage of the tour ends at the fair, where I use the remaining money to buy two beers for €10 (£8.60) and a hot dog for €8 (£6.88). Once again we stagger home for free.

Total: £110.33

Day 6:

We get up late and try to track down the rest of the group. Unfortunately failing, we park our car for a great lunch with spare ribs, chips and another beer. Another $50 later, I’m ready for the biggest bachelor’s day.

I buy four beers in an hour – two for me, two for the man of the moment, the groom – for €22 before we go to a restaurant.

I order a huge pork knuckle and a beer stein, which really hits the spot. It’s also easy on the wallet, coming in at €60 (£51.60), but it’s worth every penny.

While most people go home, I spend €17 (£14.66) on another round and raid the ATM for another €50 (£43) in cash. We decide to continue late into the night and meet some locals who take us to a karaoke bar. The gin and tonics flow until 5am and my money lasts the whole time.

Since the sun has only just risen, I skip buying a metro ticket and ride home for free.

Total: £171.22

Day 7:

The hangover and fatigue go together and the struggle is real. Another £7.50 with an Uber gets me to the airport, before I invest €9 (£7.74) in a sandwich for the flight. I refill my water bottle for free.

Back in London I am greeted with the two words no one wants to hear: railway replacement. The cost of my journey home is £12, but its duration increases to more than double what it should have been.

I’m unable to cook so I decide to invest £18 in a sub-par Indian takeaway before a much-needed early evening.

Total: £45.24

Weekly total: £483.78

As told to Madeleine Ross.

Leave a Comment