Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
This week: "I am 24 years old and moved to Wiltshire just over a year ago to move in with my partner who is studying nearby, after a stint of doing long distance when I worked in London. It was definitely the right move – not just because living together has been great but the work feels more rewarding and I feel like my new service really looks after me. I work in an IAPT service which provides free psychological support to people experiencing various mental health difficulties across the UK – if you are looking for support yourself, just search IAPT and your area and your local service will appear. We are currently working from home due to COVID and running all of our appointments by phone, which I prefer in some ways as I have gained a couple of hours in my day from not commuting! But I do miss the social aspect of my role from seeing less people face to face.
My living situation with my partner is currently in a one-bed furnished flat – the rent is really good value but being cooped up over lockdown has really impacted our mental health and made us realise how desperately we want to buy our first home as it would be impossible to rent a bigger property with our incomes as they are. Thankfully, we realised we had already saved enough to do so thanks in part to my frugal approach to money. I have always kept track of my budget with a spreadsheet and tend not to spend much week on week, though I do occasionally treat myself."
Industry: IAPT (mental health)
Paycheque amount: £1,605.38
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend
Housing costs: £575
Loan payments: £180 – car payment on a car loan of £4,000 at 0% interest. I am just under the student loan payment threshold.
Savings? I try to save £300 a month (though have saved much more during COVID). £4,462.57 in savings accounts, £15,078.03 in my LISA thanks to lots of penny-pinching (we are just about to buy our first house!). My partner works part-time and is studying for his undergraduate degree (this is why he contributes a lot less).
Utilities: Energy £52.22, council tax £105. Partner pays for water and food.
Transportation: £20 a month due to lockdown and not travelling home.
Phone bill: £12 – I am still on my dad's family plan and buy my phone outright so it keeps costs low.
Other: £16.50 contact lenses (keep meaning to cancel as I haven't been cycling to work so no longer use them. I was in a bad cycling accident a few years ago which led to my glasses cutting deeply into my face above my eyebrow and two new scars and have used these ever since to avoid it happening again. That was with a helmet!).
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