Money Diary: A 25-Year-Old Charity Worker In London On 33.8k

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 a 25-year-old charity worker living in east London. I’ve been single for a long time and I currently live in a rented four-bedroom flat. Five people live here in total, apart from one guy who has chosen to go to his parents' for lockdown, which to be honest is a bit of a relief considering that it’s a small space and we’re all spending a LOT of time in here at the moment. One of my other flatmates is a nursery teacher and due to go back to work on 1st June so currently the main concern is staying safe and not going completely bonkers while we’re all cooped up together." 
Occupation: Case studies officer
Industry: Charity
Age: 25
Location: East London
Salary: £30,500 plus £3,300 London weighting.
Take-home pay: £1,960 after tax, student loan and pension contributions.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £585 for a teeny tiny double room in zone 2. I had the option of picking a bigger room for £650 per month but after finding out that my ex-flatmates from my previous house fiddled with the rent split and were overcharging me, I decided to pick the smaller room with cheaper rent to try and even it out. I live with one of my best friends (J), a couple (L&S) who were already here when I moved in, and the absent dude from the room next door to mine (T). 
Other monthly expenses: Bills are a bit higher at the moment because we’re a man down – last month’s lot came to £83.30 (they are normally around £65). I also spend £20.99 on my phone contract and £4.40 on my Labour party membership. I have a passionate hatred of the Tube and therefore cycle everywhere, so my travel expenses are usually £0 regardless of the pandemic and having to work from home. Gym membership would normally be £34 but this is on pause during lockdown. 
Savings? Before working in the charity sector, I was a freelancer in the TV industry which is extremely precarious, so I’ve always been quite good at putting money aside for periods of time when I was between jobs. Now I have a proper permanent job, I’m able to have a bit more structure with my savings AND I have a workplace pension for the first time ever, which is amazing. I put £300 per month in a 5% Regular Saver (I’m aware I’m blissfully lucky to have this considering the Bank of England has just slashed the base interest rate to 0.1%) with the intention of putting it all into my LISA when the account matures later this year. I also put £200 into a Stocks & Shares ISA and £250 into an easy access account. 

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