Money Matters

A Gen Z digital entrepreneur on £200k

What does a tea-obsessed Gen Z digital entrepreneur on £200k spend (and earn) in the space of a week? Let's find out

Money Diaries header

Welcome to The Money Diaries with Sage, where we dive into the finances of business owners and discover how they deal with money matters on a daily basis.

We’re asking entrepreneurs how they’re managing their finances over a seven-day period, to give you a picture of what incomes and outgoings really look like from their perspective. 

Today is the turn of a Gen Z digital entrepreneur who finds working with his team very rewarding—and likes a lot of tea.

And make sure you check out Reader’s Response at the end of this article, where accountant and best-selling author Carl Reader reveals his thoughts and shares some top tips for our entrepreneur.

Here’s what we cover in this article:

Meet our entrepreneur and check out their Money Diary

Final thoughts on the week

Reader’s Response

Meet our entrepreneur and check out their Money Diary

Industry: Internet

Location: Westminster, London.

Salary: £0 salary but £200K a year from speaking events

Household: I live alone

Money Diaries day 1

Day 1 – Monday

Opening balance at the start of the week: £1,106,287

We have a new space in London launching soon, so my primary focus today was to ensure the partitions, paintwork and carpeting were in place, so we can give people the best possible welcome when they walk through the door.

All the sawing and polishing gave me a headache, but it’s great to see all the hard work that was put in to making this space special. So a small low but a super large high.

The biggest challenge today besides our new project was organising all that will take place in the space, as thousands of people have come forwards offering support.

That means I had to balance many priorities today and for the remainder of the week too.

One super win was confirming £5m worth of spaces across the UK due to the success of our new project in London.

However, in terms of ‘money in the bank’, a brilliant £5k opportunity was warmly accepted.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my tea, so cheekily £50 spent was on 20 teas, with £3 spent on highlighters, £89 spent on a new shirt, £20.50 spent on travel and £43.20 spent on food. Payroll today cost £838.

I spent 18 hours working today working and I decided to skip breakfast and lunch following my 18-hour fast.

Money earned: £5,099

Money spent: £1,039.70

Money Diaries day 2

Day 2 – Tuesday

Many details for our London project had to be added to our mission plan and so I began the planning process and did something few may think is logical.

I walked two miles this morning in 40 minutes to kickstart ideas.

This was hugely beneficial, as it led to the completion of some of the finer details in our mission plan, including live events within the space, with specific names confirmed to join, alongside big country-wide events.

I find working with my people incredibly rewarding, so when I do pop back home, even though it may be super amazing to be back, sometimes I experience a bit of an energy debt.

When I get back, it feels like a black hole at times with the silence. That’s why I enjoy playing music when I get home.

A huge win today.

I found the perfect Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer to join me. They start in two weeks’ time, which is exciting.

Really looking forward to working with them as they are such a fun duo.

Payroll today cost £838. Travel cost £16 today and I only had 15 teas, so in total £37.50. Food cost £38.

Purchased lots of fun elements for inside the new space in London, and I had a bit of a cheeky spending spree (£1,506, but that’s just between us, don’t tell anyone…).

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Additionally, a surprise was on my doorstep when I returned home.

I received a gift from a friend that included ‘Gucci’, lavish tea bags (which I adore). That totally makes up for the lack of teas today.

Money earned: Basket of teas

Money spent: £2,435.50

Money Diaries day 3

Day 3 – Wednesday

Today began with an ultra early morning.

Instead of 6am, it was 5am because one of our partners invited me for a cup of tea.

I promise it was not the tea that enticed me to go!

A brilliant meeting with lots of learnings and key takeaways, including one that particularly stuck out to me: “You make a living from what you get, you make a life from what you give.”

We later connected each other to five people in our network, so there are humongous plans coming up.

One of the people who I was introduced to offered me £11,000 for a speaking event, which I kindly accepted.

Another partnership was established with the first month, now equating to £1,090 with two universities, 90 companies and three governments also wanting to support young people with me and my business.

A gift (candle and book) was given to a partner for £46.50, with £50 spent on 20 teas, £40 spent on new trousers, £40.20 was spent on travel and £33.80 spent on food.

Payroll today cost £838.

Money earned: £12,090

Money spent: £1,048.50

Money Diaries day 4

Day 4 – Thursday

Such an exciting day today.

I had a meeting with 20 decision leaders instead of the usual 15, so I read through my briefing pack to see how the future may best be created for our young people across the UK.

Curious to see if there’s any time for tea today. 25 meetings in total are booked in for today.

I asked my Private Secretary to pop out 13 times today to get two teas each time amounting to 26 teas (then secretly made myself some at home—10 more teas for me).

A super day with two new partnerships joining us, choosing different packages amounting to £3,045. Although this will go to my business bank account, not mine.

The meetings have really drained me today, so not feeling so good.

The 26 teas cost me £65, so I decided to eat a tad less to make up for it, spending only £15.20 today on food.

Although, I thought to treat two very hardworking colleagues of mine, so spent an additional £24.75 on food. £20.60 was spent on travel.

With a big filming session earlier, I realised the need for one more camera and a few professional lights, so I invested £1,990 to upgrade production value of a special upcoming series.

Payroll today cost £838.

Additionally, it was my best friend’s birthday today, so I thought to surprise her with some books she wanted.

Money earned: £0

Money spent: £2,953.55

Money Diaries day 5

Day 5 – Friday

Fridays are amazing with a more relaxed feeling in our offices. It was even more relaxed than usual today, which was comforting.

Colleagues even brought gluten-free, vegan chocolates into work (which were swiftly eaten by all).

I had 10 meetings today, with the goal to reach 0 emails in my inbox, have a run, and order a suitcase for an upcoming speaking event, all in the space of five hours before I started the next bunch of actions.

Very grateful that all of the key actions got completed, although I will have to do the run on the weekend, as I hurt my foot after helping my assistant to get the suitcase up the stairs.

One of our superstars has also confirmed a big partnership to support 2,000+ more young people in the next two months.

Although this isn’t a financial partnership, they agreed to market what we do, so we can help another 5,000 young people across the year.

I decided to treat our people with a few goodies in the form of food, costing £49. Travel cost £20.50, with personal food expenses costing £30.45, and servicing my laundry machine costing £89.

The suitcase cost £50 (which is totally worth it for the opportunity to go and speak in one of the largest arenas I’ve heard of). Tea costing £50 today too.

Payroll today cost £578 with only some of our superstars working on Fridays.

Money earned: £0

Money spent: £866.95

Money Diaries day 6

Day 6 – Saturday

A super day for me to relax and think about what’s to come. I didn’t have many goals today, besides walking, watching TV, and doing the running I missed yesterday.

I also checked up on my distant cousin, I wanted to see how he was feeling after his recent divorce during the pandemic. I thought I might pop by and see if he’s OK.

There’s an app that launched last year that allows you to walk other people’s dogs (and I love sausage dogs—especially ones with cute stubby feet and long bodies with mini paws and mini smiles), so I realised my ambition to walk 10 sausage dogs across the city today.

One was called Mark, another was called Little Susan, and another was called Dwayne The Rock, who was as light as a feather and extra cuddly.

Although this was all free, a lady gave me a £10 tip for supporting, so I decided to give her £10 back as it was so much fun.

Payroll today cost £0, food cost £40.48, a movie cost £8.99 (with popcorn already stocked).

Money earned: £0

Money spent: £49.47

Money Diaries day 7

Day 7 – Sunday

This was one of the busiest weekends this year, as I had to place a whole five job adverts online due to a large growth spurt in the organisation.

I flipped that duvet and I pressed the buttons to go big.

Only an hour later, there were already 293 candidates, so all is going well so far.

I was super tempted to get back to them today, although I thought they may be resting like me this weekend, so I thought to be kind and push for tomorrow instead.

Something really frustrating happened today.

I had a toothache and the start of an ear infection, so I had to not only spend time and money on the tooth, but also on the ear, costing £156.50 in total—it must have been that popcorn yesterday, a bad kernel that lead to the toothache.

Now it’s time to rest, so flipping the duvet back on, ready for an ultra busy day tomorrow, with a bit of shopping beforehand, spending £70 on shoes.

Payroll today cost £0 with food costing £30.

Money earned: £0

Money spent: £256.50

Total money earned this week: £17,189

Total money spent this week: £8,650.17

Closing balance: £1,114,822.30

Final thoughts on the week

Overall, this week has been a very successful week, with many learnings from the talented people I had the opportunity to meet.

Turning over a profit and drinking a recorded 111 teas, equating to £252.50 (£2.50 each, not including the ones I make for myself), has felt like a shower of sunshine.

The expenses were far more than I anticipated, and it appears a cheaper solution may be in order, such as a tea subscription.

Travel costs are also higher than anticipated, amounting to £117.80 in one week, so maybe a bicycle to the office would be a better option.

My advice when it comes to managing finances would be to assess the percentage gained vs the percentage lost, from the total sum of assets owned.

It’s never worth risking 50% of your total assets for a short term slice of happiness.

Money is worth different amounts to different people depending on how much they have. With this mindset, £1m to a billionaire is only 0.1% of their capital, however it could be 100,000% of their capital if they have £1,000.

The weirdest thing I spent money on: £40 on new trousers (even though I have four of the same pair).

Something I bought to treat myself: Teas (and lots of them).

An unexpected cost that cropped up: Toothache/ear infection costing £156.50.

Reader’s Response

And to wrap up… what are Carl Reader’s thoughts on the financial habits of our Gen Z digital entrepreneur?

Check out the video below to find out…