Money Diary: A 29-Year-Old On 24k On Holiday With Her Mum

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 29-year-old bisexual woman living in the West Midlands. I coordinate customs paperwork for a manufacturing company. It’s mostly glorified filing but I have been involved in my company’s Brexit planning, which has been interesting to say the least. I live with my best friend, E. We are both single and childfree by choice and will probably end up still living together at 70 with a bunch of cats. That’s the dream, anyway. I grew up in a single-parent household with no child support from my dad. My mum really struggled financially and I was always aware of it.
I’m terrible with money, I’m always after instant gratification. When I was in my late teens/early 20s I made some stupid financial decisions, including taking out payday loans. It was mostly to buy frivolous things and it’s something I regret. I am still paying off about £3,000 of that debt and I’m trying to become more financially responsible.
I didn’t go to university when I was 18 and that’s also something I regretted. I’ve started a part-time course with the Open University with the aim of getting an undergraduate degree by the time I’m 35. I wonder if it’s too late for me but I’m really enjoying the course. I have taken out student loans to pay for this."
Industry: Manufacturing/Administration
Age: 29
Location: West Midlands
Salary: £24,000
Paycheque amount: £1,606.20 after a 5% pension contribution.
Number of housemates: One, my best friend E.
Monthly Expenses
Rent: £337.50 (£675 total, split equally with E, this includes our water bill).
Loan payments: £221
Utilities: £113.50 (the total is £227, again split equally with E).
Transportation: I used to spend about £100 on public transport before lockdown. Although I have gone into the office throughout lockdown (we were classed as an essential business), I have been walking a lot more and now spend around £20.
Phone bill: £169. I know, I know. This includes phone, tablet, Spotify subscription and YouTube subscription. The tablet contract is up this month and I won’t be renewing it.
Savings? £850. I did say I’m terrible with money. However, at the start of lockdown I didn’t have any savings at all. Now I’m trying to put about £200 in each month.
Other: Netflix £8.99, Vulture ~£3.50, Amazon Prime £7.99, Cineworld £18.40, Kindle Unlimited subscription £7.99, therapy £80 per month, local food bank £25 per month.

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