Money Diary: A 22-Year-Old Children’s Nurse In Leeds 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: "Hello! I’m 22 and I live in Leeds. I’m a newly qualified children’s nurse, I love my job and it always feel like a privilege. I also have the best colleagues so I feel very lucky! I studied at Leeds Uni and chose to stay here to work and I’m so glad I did. I love living in Leeds, it’s my fourth year here and I’m still discovering the city. I've felt so lucky to have a job throughout the pandemic, I know I really am one of the lucky ones. I live with two of my best friends so although it is hard being away from my family and boyfriend G, I am well supported."
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 22
Location: Leeds 
Salary: £24,907
Paycheque amount: This month is £1,914 but this varies depending on how many weekends/nights I do, as well as overtime shifts. It normally varies between £1,800-£1,900.
Number of housemates: Two, my best friends from uni, A and K, and our 17-year-old cat we adopted in November.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Rent is £458 a month for nearly city centre which feels fairly reasonable. I can walk to work in five minutes and there's a gym in my building that’s still open as it’s a residents' gym. I have an en suite and A and K share a bathroom. I love our flat. The kitchen/lounge/dining room is big and open plan, and when we can it will be perfect for parties! 
Loan payments: None! I am still under the threshold for paying back my student loan.
Utilities: Bills are £133 a month, this includes everything (water, electricity, Wi-Fi, council tax, flat insurance). Our council tax is a lot but we stop paying it in March, we chose to pay it over just a few months so our bills will go down significantly after this. Our water bill is the same and is only paid over just a few months too. To us, this means once the payments are done, we’ll have more money each month for things like going out (whenever we finally can). 
Transportation: £15. In normal times this would be a lot higher but lockdown means I only occasionally use Ubers. I can walk to most places I need from the flat, which is handy, and K has a car so she drives when we do a big shop (thank you!). I am used to getting the train and bus a lot – during university my boyfriend G was in Manchester so Northern Rail/TransPennine was my bestie, and not having a car I would get the train home too. 
Phone bill: £24.99 a month for the phone and all the minutes, texts and data.
Savings? I saved a lot to go travelling once I finished my degree but COVID had other plans. I have roughly £4,000 in a triple access saver, £4,000 saved from working during the pandemic. As a student nurse I ‘opted in’ and was paid for my final placement. And a further £1,400 in a NatWest account. I want to set up an ISA but I’m trying to decide what will be best for me. I tend to do my weekly spending on a Monzo and transfer that money across from a Santander account. 
Other: I have Now TV for £10.99 a month, BritBox for £6.99 a month and of course my Spotify for £4.99 a month. My Audible is £6.99 I think? It really helps me sleep and I get through more books. All my subscriptions feel slightly excessive but BritBox is needed for my Downton Abbey love and I have used my Now TV a lot, especially in lockdown. 

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