Money Diary: A Business Development Manager & Mum In London On 183k

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 we're with a business development manager in London. She has recently returned to work full-time after one year’s maternity leave so is really trying to balance work and life, put time into her relationship and maintain friendships. She returned to work willing to put everything in but worries she has gone backwards. In her spare time she tries to fit in exercise but on the weekend her priority is spending time with her family, followed by trying to see friends.
Industry: Consumer Goods
Age: 31
Location: London
Salary: £62,000 but I share a bank account with my husband. We both put 100% of our salary in there and he earns significantly more than me and theoretically we go by ‘what’s yours is mine’ so I’ll add his salary in there, too. For the purposes of this diary I have included shared expenses but not his day-to-day spending. His salary is £121,000 so together that is £183,000.
Paycheque amount: £3,772.58 + £6,401.92 = £10,174.50
Number of housemates: Two. My husband and my toddler.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Rent £1,950
Loan payments: I still owe on my student loan in Australia where I studied. I haven’t paid it since I moved to the UK but the government changed its policy so I now pay it back at the end of each tax year in one lump sum. We don’t have credit cards.
Utilities: I pay everything in one go when it comes in so I don’t see it as a monthly cost, rather as an extenuating cost for the month when they come in. We pay £900 council tax and about £1,000 bills per year.
Transportation: £60 petrol per month. Husband spends £140 on Tube for work.
Phone bill: £15 per month. I also have a work phone but choose to have a separate personal one. Husband just has one phone that is covered by work.
Savings? Because we don’t have credit cards, we have some savings that we can transfer over to our everyday account if we have a big unexpected expense or are running low towards the end of the month that I then immediately top up at pay day and which then affects the amount I can actually save each month. We own a house in Australia that is rented out. The rent covers the mortgage but I count my ‘savings’ as the amount that I transfer in extra to pay off the mortgage faster each month. On average it is about £2,700.
-Nursery fees £1,750. High but it’s the going rate in our area. A friend said you should see nursery as an investment into your future career but I also know that we are really lucky to be able to manage this. I met a lot of mums on my year off who could not return to work as they couldn’t justify the nursery fees. Also not sure what we will do once we have two children...
-Cleaner every two weeks £66 (£33/session)
-Netflix £7.49
-Amazon Prime £6.58 (£79/year) – Husband signed up to the 30-day free trial and forgot to unsubscribe. I have to say it has been pretty convenient though!
-Husband has Apple music £9.99
-Gym membership: I pay £15 subsidised gym membership as a work perk and then pay for ad hoc classes on the weekend, husband’s gym membership £140

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