Money Diary: A 21-Year-Old Student Biomedical Scientist On 16k

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 recently moved to London to start my industrial placement as part of my uni course, something I would definitely recommend to everyone. It also gives you an extra year of uni and you get paid for it! Fair warning: it took me six months, dozens of applications and five interviews to get this job so if you don't get one straightaway, that's fine, keep pushing. The life I dreamed of having in London while on placement is definitely not what it is now due to the pandemic. I thought I would be going to art exhibitions and museums every weekend, going for walks down the Thames when, in reality, I can't just vibe my way through my weekend – if I want to go to the Tate I have to book in advance and that is a whole faff. 
Money-wise, growing up I was taught to buy only what I needed and if it was something expensive, I could find it on eBay for less. Both my parents are teachers and worked their way through their degrees, which I admire very much and am very privileged not to have had to do as they funded my living costs at uni. I did not get a maintenance loan (though I have one for tuition) because my mum wanted to spare me from debt. For my placement year, I am fully financially independent and plan to save enough to continue this in my final year, as well as getting a job on the side to help with costs. I think my approach to money is the same as my mum's: I try to save most of it and use the rest to live cheaply.
I still have one year of uni after I finish this job in August and I have no clue what I will be doing when I graduate. I'm quite lucky that the medicines and healthcare industry is one of the ones that has grown due to being at the centre of the infrastructure tackling the pandemic, so I am sure I will find something in a field I enjoy."
Industry: Student biomedical scientist in medicines and healthcare
Age: 21
Location: London
Salary: £16,000
Paycheque amount: £1,333 (before NI deduction). I pay £64 per month in NI and I don't pay tax as I am not over the personal allowance yet.
Number of housemates: Two: my boyfriend D and my friend B who is on the same placement as me.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £1,325 rent split between three.
Loan payments: £0
Savings? £1,000 in a Nationwide Flex saver and £1,000 in a Help to Buy account. I have a boyfriend of two years, we don't have any shared finances at the moment.
Utilities: £7.27 each for water, £6 for Wi-Fi and around £4.30-£15 per week each for electricity (we have a pay-as-you-go meter and can't top up more than £50 at a time).
Transportation: £15 max. I walk to work and don't really use transport because of COVID.
Phone bill: £10
Other: The Atlantic news subscription £24 for the year paid in a lump sum with 50% off, Netflix £6 and Spotify £12.99, split between me and D.

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