Money Diary: A 27-Year-Old Actor In London On 25k

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’m a 27-year-old actor living in London. I’ve been acting and working a bunch of different jobs in between for the last seven years. It’s a tough old slog and very up and down (both in terms of success in the industry and financially). The main priority of 'money work' was always anything that pays enough for me to live in London but is also flexible and tolerant enough for me to have last-minute auditions or even quit at short notice for an acting job. Over the years my bread-and-butter 'money work' has become mostly private tutoring – some months I’ll be doing two or three hours a week and other months up to 18 hours. I’ve also worked in cafes, teaching in schools, doing admin – all sorts!"
Occupation: Actor
Industry: Arts
Age: 27
Location: London
Salary: Approx £25,000
Paycheque amount: This month I estimate it will be around £2,000 (pre-tax). Last month it was £1,797.
Number of housemates: One husband and one cat.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: My share of the rent on a two-bed flat is £750.
Loan payments: Credit card (paying off tax bill) £140 a month.
Savings? I once put around £500 into a LISA but it doesn’t look like I’ll be buying a house any time soon. I have £568 put aside for a tax bill later in the year but that won’t be nearly enough. I will have to use my credit card again. 
Pension? I have an actor’s pension but it only gets paid into when I work as an actor and I have no idea how much is currently in it (it won’t be very much). 
Utilities: Council tax £69, water £14.50, TV licence £6.72, phone and internet £57, gas and electricity £110.
All other monthly payments: Shared Amazon Prime £3.99, cinema pass £14.99, therapy £100 a month, shared Adobe £12.48.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I went to university and had a student loan but my parents paid for my rent and living expenses while I was there. I did a master's degree at the age of 25, where I got a government loan for the fees and paid for my own living expenses through working.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
Both my parents are also self-employed so I was aware that money could be unpredictable. We were always comfortably well off despite their freelance lives and I had a privileged middle-class upbringing. I think my parents were lucky to be able to establish themselves in the precarious self-employed world when they did, have no student debt and be able to buy a house in their mid 20s. I was very fortunate to grow up not really having to think or worry about money. 
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out to go to uni after my A-levels at the age of 18.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
When I left uni and moved to London my parents occasionally helped me out with things like my phone bill, train fares to visit them, etc. At that point I was sofa-surfing and scrounging money together through various different jobs. After I found a place to rent I became fully financially responsible for myself. 
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My very first job as a teenager was probably babysitting my parents' friends' younger kids. My first job out of uni was temping as a receptionist in my home town for a month. I signed up to a recruitment agency and they got me the job. It is still my only experience of the nine-to-five life and I hated it.
 
Do you worry about money now?
My income changes on a daily basis so I do worry quite frequently if I will make enough money each month to cover all my expenses and bills. However, the nature of my work does mean I am usually able to get more work if I need to. The main thing I worry about is not having any savings to fall back on if I get unwell or am not able to work for any reason. I’d also really like to buy a house one day but extortionate London rents means saving for that is pretty impossible at the moment, let alone getting a mortgage as a self-employed actor… 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No.

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