A Week’s Spending On A Freelance Writer’s Salary In Birmingham

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 cash during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last penny.
This week, a freelance writer living in Birmingham, the UK's second largest city. She says: "I try to save my money, but I enjoy makeup and travelling, so that's what I put most of my savings towards."

Age: 22
Location: Birmingham
Salary: £20,000 on average but can severely vary
Paycheck Amount: I’m freelance so it fluctuates, but approximately £1500
No. of roommates: 2 Monthly Expenses
Rent: £450
Loan Payments: £20 per month for student loans
Utilities: Bills included in rent
Transportation: £50 every three months for fuel. Approximately £10 per week for public transport
Phone Bill: £35 per month
Savings: £200-£300
Gym: £19.99 per month

Day One

7:30am: I drive to the gym and work out on weights for an hour. I don’t like to eat before because it makes me a little nauseated. 9:30am: I throw together a smoothie using whatever fruit is in the house, so this week it was mango, pineapple, spinach, lime, and apples. I drink about a litre of this everyday so it fills me up until dinner. 7:00pm After I finish the day’s assignments, I head out for dinner with friends. We get burgers which comes to £13.75 for me including a beer. Daily Total: £13.75


Day Two

8:18am: I walk 25 minutes to the train station to go to London for the day. I have a meeting with a potential client regarding some contract copywriting. As I have a 16-25 railcard, the cost of the journey there and back is £9.90. 9:20am: I eat a banana I’ve packed in my bag and I sip on a smoothie I made in the morning throughout the train journey. 10:47am: I top up my Oyster with £30, then use around £5 of credit travelling to the potential client’s headquarters. 2:00pm: After I finish my meeting, I walk back instead of taking the tube as I feel bad for not exercising that much. It clocks up to around 6k according to Google Maps. 3:05pm: I stop halfway to pick up a foundation I’ve been wanting to try called Hourglass Vanish Foundation, which came to a rather pricey £42. 4:15pm: I travel back to Birmingham and watch some TV when I get home. Really uneventful day!

Daily Total:

Day Three

7:30am: I wake up and make some soy chai, then I drive to the gym for an hour-long swim. 9:30am: I arrive back home and finish the rest of my assignments. When freelancing, you’re either incredibly busy or doing nothing. 2:00pm: After finishing my work, I visit my dad’s house for some lunch. My much younger half-sister wants me to take her to see Finding Dory. 4:00pm: As it’s Wednesday, a friend of mine gets buy-one-get-one-free cinema tickets so we used her code to bring the total to £8. My sister also wanted ice cream so that came to £2.75. 10:00pm I had dinner at my dad’s house then drove home. Daily Total: £10.75

Day Four

7:30am: As normal, I go to the gym for an hour, shower, then drive back home. 9:30am: I make some juice, then as I have no assignments for the day, I go to Soho Road to pick up some Indian groceries. I buy paneer, loads of different spices, vegetables, fruit, and spinach. The total comes to £15.20 12:00pm: As I have no more work, I get started on pitching different outlets. I successfully pitched a few reviews and an essay. Should bring in around £600. 5:00pm: I make mattar paneer and naan, then I watch some television. Daily Total: £15.20

Day Five

8:00am: I allow myself a little lie in because I’m going to have a long day. When I wake up, I make extra caffeinated chai and eat an apple. I also make a smoothie and put it in a large litre bottle, then walk for 25 minutes to the train station. 9: 30am: I’m travelling back to London again as I have a job interview today. As unjustifiable as it sounds, I would like a full-time job as it provides more permanence and financial stability, and a proper schedule. Like on Tuesday, the train cost me £9.90. 2:00pm: I walk for 45 minutes to my interview, where I have a glass of water. 3:00pm: After my interview finishes, I walk for an hour to my favourite Italian deli in London for a focaccia sandwich and a large glass of wine. They offer me water and I foolishly assumed it would be tap, instead the waiter comes out with a chilled litre bottle. I drink several pints of water a day, but not in one go. The bill comes to £11 and it would have been £8 without the water. 5:00pm: I get a text from my mum asking me to pick up cupcakes from her favourite bakery. I buy six which comes to £14.25, then I walk back to the train station. Daily Total: £35.15

Day Six

8:30am: I go to the gym for an hour, then drive back home. 9:30am: I drink my smoothie and get started on some of my assignments with YouTube on in the background. 8:30pm: I get ready to go out using my new foundation, but I use a powder I hate and it dries out my face. 10:00pm: I go out to a karaoke bar with friends and end up spending £30 including drinks and room rental. Living in the Midlands means going out is extortionate, but it's not like paying £5 for a pint in London. This is probably double what I'd normally spend on drinks too. Daily Total: £30

Day Seven

9:00am: I make some soy chai then go to the gym for an hour as usual. 12:30pm: I visit my mum’s house to help her cook a roast dinner, we end up going with lamb. 7:00pm: I drive back home after spending the day with my mum and brother. Daily Total: £0

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