Money Diary: A Recently Divorced 33-Year-Old On 33k

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 newly divorced project manager living in southeast London in a tiny hobbit flat that just fits her and her craft supplies. She is single...ish. Which basically means she's in that weird bit of a new relationship where they don't talk about where it's going.
"I'm a big believer in budgeting for everything, which works well at the start of the month, but I tend to let it go awry on the odd night out! The end of the month will usually see me eating from supplies and frantically trying not to use my credit card. When I get paid I set a budget for each category that I need to spend money on, and transfer the money into the pots for each. I try to save in advance for things like car insurance and Christmas presents. Some months are more successful than others. Some months I’ll stick to my budget, and others I’ll end up blowing the entire fun pot on one night out. I try not to be too hard on myself when I deviate from the plan; I just pick up, dust off and move on.
I’m partial to a bit of gin and frivolity. I rent, and doing it on my own is pretty expensive. I'm battling a bit (a lot) of debt and trying to get the balance right between living, having fun and paying down the debt so that I don’t go into my 40s in the same financial situation. I’m aiming to pay around £500 on debt a month and, since the start of the year, have managed around this figure most months. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’ll probably never own a property, but I want to be able to start properly saving for my future financial security.
Industry: Finance (digital project management)
Age: 33
Location: Southeast London / Kent borders
Salary: £33,000
Paycheque amount: £2,152
Number of housemates: 0 – I’m too old and grouchy to share with strangers, no matter how much money it would save me.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £775 rent. God bless the prices in the southeast (not). A teeny one-bed flat with good commuter links in an area where I feel safe walking home alone from the train station after dark.
Loan payments: £244.27
Gas and electric: £35.28
Water: £10.05
Council tax: £69
Internet: £19.99
TV licence: £12.37
Transportation: £100 in the 'Car Fund' to cover insurance (pay upfront for a year), breakdown cover, tax, MOT, service and repairs. £100 in petrol – commute to work is driving.
Phone bill: £32.99
Savings: Ha. No seriously, I have a £70 emergency fund which I am building up to try and stop me using my credit card, and some small amounts squirrelled away for certain things when I need them. Last month the emergency fund got a battering because my washing machine and GHDs broke in the same month. I put £20 a month into the fund. I split my wages on payday into various ‘pots’, so I currently have around £900 saved and allocated for various things like food, fun, health, car, clothes and presents. It sounds really organised, and in a way it is, but they aren’t real savings because I dip into the pots as and when I need to spend from them.
Other: Netflix: £5.99; Contacts: £17.50; Gym: £25.95; Credit card repayments: around £250 a month.
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