Money Diary: A 24-Year-Old Student On 8.4k Who Just Bought A House In Leeds

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 24-year-old (mature?) student in Leeds, working part-time at a wine shop, and I bought my first house about six weeks ago. It’s a lovely three-bed in a village on the outskirts of the city, and it was a bargain. It’s split 50/50 with my boyfriend, A, and we scrimped and saved for the last three years to buy it – although my mum did give me £1,000, which was supposed to be a wedding present, since she decided we might never get married and could do with the money now. That also matched my savings to A’s, and upped our deposit to 10%.
I was made redundant from what I thought was my dream job in April, so decided to go back to uni and finish the final year of my degree. I thought the redundancy would put a stopper on our house-buying plans but our amazing mortgage broker managed to get us a great deal, even on my part-time contract.  I worked a lot of overtime over summer, and saved up enough money to furnish the house, plus a nest egg which I’m now mostly living off." 
Industry: Wine Retail / Student
Age: 24
Location: Leeds
Salary: £21,000 full-time (45 hours) – £8,400 pro rata (18 hours).
Paycheque amount: £702 plus overtime so can go up to ~£1,500 depending on how much I work. During term I try not to work more than 18 hours a week but since it’s December I’m doing more like 36.
Other: Student finance. Despite being a homeowner in my mid 20s, Student Finance England still wants to know what my parents earn. My mum is a teaching assistant but she lives with her partner and since his income is none of my business, I receive the minimum, non-means tested loan, something like £3,800. I got £1,276 in September, which I saved as an emergency fund to cover two months' house expenses.
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend A.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £276 for my half of the mortgage.
Utilities: Council tax £55 (which includes my student discount), energy £35, water £17, house insurance £10, broadband and TV £18, TV licence £8, life insurance £20. A and I each put £600 a month into our joint account to cover all of the above plus a £200 budget for groceries, and the rest goes to a 'house pot' to pay for things like paint and doorknobs now, and new flooring and windows later down the line.
Loan payments: £125 to credit cards. I’m still paying off some bad decisions, but also stuck my annual car insurance and new sofa on the credit card to pay off monthly. It’s interest-free and I pay more than the minimum each month.
Transportation: Around £30 petrol per month, plus £30 per semester for my parking permit (rented from another student). Also car tax £12.21, breakdown cover £6.12, and £30 a month saved to cover my MOT and service each year.
Phone bill: £37
Savings? Basically wiped out by house and furniture buying but I have about £1,000, which I’m eating away at to top up my low income, £500 saved for a holiday, plus my £1,200 emergency fund.
Other: Spotify £4.99, gym £20, mattress on finance £34.49, Netflix £5.99.

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