What is Money Diaries? – a personal insight into the spending habits of millions.

Published on 04. January 2019

What is Money Diaries? - A personal insight into the spending habits of millions.

Talking about one's finances is still, in 2019, considered a taboo subject. However, today’s young women are going against the grain by making their spending and their income public up to the very last penny. Money Diaries is an intricate exploration of Millenial spending habits, designed to teach a simple lesson - how to save money.

A closer look at Money Diaries

A young woman from New York keeps track of her income and expenses for a week, using content with her "Money Diary" and shares her experience. The 21-year-old intern explains her finances in seven very personal diary entries in the summer of 2018 and her revelations are going viral on the web.

Money diaries are booming in the US, especially in the generation of female millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1998). "Money is what we are talking about!" is the slogan of the Money Diaries published by the online magazine "Refinery29". More than 500 of them, written by young women from 46 US states can now be found on the website. The financial transparency on the web breaks "the last taboo that modern women have to face," claims the website. 

Arguing with your partner about the shopping expenses and who pays what, as well as "secret" spending on drugs or alcohol. The anonymous content not only gives a deep insight into one’s finances but also into the everyday life of Millennials. The range of money diaries spans from the very wealthy to the struggling. On one hand, there is the rich New York trainee who in addition to her meagre internship salary, receives 3,200 US dollars a month from her parents and splashes it at parties. On the other, there is the young government employee from Washington D.C. who shares a two-room apartment with her boyfriend and dog, finds her job dull, and prepares free cookies for lunch to spare her budget. Whichever way you look at it, lifting the lid on personal finances is definitely a push in the right direction for female independence. 


Money Diaries: making “money talk” transparent again

Why are the money diaries such a big hit? "I think one of the reasons why the Money Diaries are so popular is that men have monopolised the money topic for such a long time," says Lindsey Stansberry, editor at Refinery29. With Money Diaries, now also available as a book, women have, for the first time, the chance to talk openly about their finances. It’s a good idea for men and women at all age groups to experiment with a money diary. "

"Only when I write down exactly where my money goes, I have an overview of my personal expenses," says Mechthild Winkelmann. "Those who regularly keep track of their income and expenses can better defy the trend of overindebtedness "

Keep your own Money Diary

Keep ahead of your finances with our finance checklist, here's how it works:

• Write down any regular income such as salary, child benefits or a parental allowance

• Take a closer look at your bank statements and enter regular payments such as rent, electricity, insurance or the Netflix subscription into the budget diary

• Enter annual or quarterly payments in the month in which they become due or divide by twelve and include the appropriate amount each month in the budget

• Transfer irregular costs such as expenses for food, clothing, restaurant or cinema visits

Important: The overview must be written and as complete as possible. You can gain knowledge in terms of finance only be consistently conducted and actually evaluated budget.

It all adds up - the repeat offenders

The daily latte macchiato to take away, the cheap flat screen offer at the online shop, the impulsive purchase in the pharmacy... If you meticulously monitor your finances at least for few months, you’ll get a pretty good feeling for what you are spending your hard earned money. People who keep track of their personal expenses are surprised to find out where their money goes.



Even though keeping track of your expenses, doesn’t increase your income, it helps you identify your potential savings. In addition, thanks to the budget diary, you can pursue personal saving goals: building up a financial cushion, a holiday trip or buying a house are among the top 3 savings targets. 


Keeping a household diary

A good household may require some discipline but it’s not that difficult thanks to the budget diary. The best part, you can start working right away to track down the “money-eaters”.  All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper. "The budget diary" includes in addition to specific saving tips, 54 weekly overviews for daily costs, twelve monthly overviews and an annual overview. Anyone who prefers private cost control to the calculator can create an Excel spreadsheet to list revenue and expenses. Prepared lists can be found online, various computer software are available to help you with bookkeeping.

Meanwhile, there are also a variety of free tools to keep track of your personal expenses on the go at all times. This allows you to simply scan the receipt from the supermarket and the coffee to go can be written down via smartphone.


Exchange with like-minded people

If you need an opinion, saving tips or just want to exchange ideas, feel free to join the Fidor Community.

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