10 Reasons to Start Reading Refinery29's Money Diaries

Refinery29 has a variety of different featured sections from Style to News to Beauty, but my favorite column lies within the Work & Money section and is called “Money Diaries”. I stumbled upon MD one day and can honestly say it is my favorite column on the Internet. Simply put, individuals across the globe (the columnists are primarily American women but sometimes temporarily living in various countries) submit a diary detailing every purchase they make over a seven-day period. Anyone may submit their diary for publication and the team at Refinery29 chooses which ones to upload based on a variety of factors.

Every diary is different and the personal details the diaries have really allow the readers an intimate look into their lives. A wide variety of ages, location, and income level make up the diaries making no two the same and the majority very interesting to read. At the beginning of each one, writers are asked to explain personal details such as their occupation, salary and monthly paycheck, as well as monthly expenses such as loan payments, savings or gym memberships. Following that information, it is up the given diarist to choose how little or how much information to share going through the week.

I genuinely like reading the Money Diaries because it gives me an outlook into different career paths, different cities and how other people choose to spend their hard earned money. Since reading them, I have become significantly more conscious of my spending habits.

If I haven’t sold you enough, here are 10 reasons you should start reading MD’s…


1. Each one is super entertaining and a great way to pass some time at work or in class. Why not become consumed with a stranger's struggles?

2. Different cities have much different living costs and as a college student trying to decide where to live this may be eye opening. Who knew groceries in Alaska could be so expensive???

3. Some diarists have great ideas for saving and can spark some creativity for your own saving 

4. The meal prep options are endless and can give you some seriously great ideas to spice up your lunch

5. It’s eye opening to recognize similarities and differences between yourself and those writing the diary

6. Whether the MD is making $20,000 or $200,000 a year – these diaries allow you to get a sense of their character and the type of people they are

7. Reading the diaries in a way makes you more accountable for your own spending by seeing what other people do with their own money

8. Many fun and resourceful apps, like Mint and Quicken, are talked about in the diaries

9. The column may inspire you to write your own diary and inspire a new budget

10. The comments section is always extremely entertaining, with many people either bashing or commending each given diary

The next time you are looking for something to do, try reading some Money Diaries and maybe you’ll become inspired!