Money Diary: A Disability Advisor In Brighton On 11.5k

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'm a 35-year-old part-time disability advisor at a university in Brighton, where I live in a rented flat with my partner. 
When I turned 30 I became inspired by the 'girl boss' movement (Sophia Amoruso has a lot to answer for) and decided to ditch my nine-to-five to start a ceramics business. In three years I spent nearly all the savings I had accrued in my 20s, worked out that I was actually a terrible ceramicist and awful at running my own business, so I jacked it in. 
Thankfully I managed to pick up a part-time job in my field of interest that just about covers all my living costs. After spending a year applying for millions of full-time jobs and barely getting an interview, I decided to go back to school and get the psychology degree that I should have started when I was 18 so that I can progress in this field. As universities were strangely not interested in my A-level grade D in drama, I had to complete a university access course this year, which was called off when COVID hit but I will be receiving a calculated grade instead so my university dreams haven't been shattered.
Becoming a mature student in the current climate feels risky. With a recession on the horizon, minimal savings, microscopic pension, no assets and not being in a position to enter the full-time workplace again until I'm 38, it's safe to say I'm quite worried about the future. I have always been scared of money, which on the one hand is a good thing because I've never been in any debt but on the flip side, my credit rating is abysmal because I'm petrified of credit cards. If I could keep all my money where I can see it, I would. 
I try to keep my spending low as I'm squirrelling away any extra money into my savings for when I'm at uni as I don't know how long I'll be able to carry on with my job. I buy most of my clothes secondhand on eBay and before lockdown would try to say 'no' more than 'yes' to socials with friends to save money. I've definitely sacrificed a lot of fun over the past few years and am secretly a little glad that lockdown = no FOMO."
Occupation: Disability advisor
Industry: Higher education
Age: 35
Location: Brighton
Salary: £11,500
Paycheque amount: About £900 but I sometimes pick up extra work to top this up, which can be anywhere from £100 to £600 per month. This includes paying £40 per month into my work pension scheme which I can't always afford on a lean month but I have pension fear so make it work.
Number of housemates: One, my partner (B)
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £875 rent per month split between us.
Loan payments: £0
Utilities: I pay £956 into our joint Monzo account to cover our joint outgoings for the month. Council tax £127, water £23.49, electricity £100, internet £22.95.
Transportation: £30 to our car pot on Monzo each month to go towards insurance, MOT, parking permit etc. B pays a bit more as he uses the car for work, and he usually covers all the petrol.
Phone bill: £28
Savings? £2,800 but a big chunk of that is paying for my final tax bill. I was self-employed until recently and can't wait to see the back of my tax return. Any money I have left over after all my outgoings goes into my savings, which varies month to month depending on how much extra work I've picked up.
Other: Spotify £9.99, Netflix £8.99 (split between us). Photoshop £9.99 per month (I definitely do not use it often enough to justify it). I have been putting £50 into a 'fun' pot on my personal Monzo each month since lockdown started to set aside some cash to treat myself when real life resumes.

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