Money Diary: A 26-Year-Old Homelessness Worker In Manchester On 26k

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 am a 26-year-old from Manchester working in local government. I started a new job about two months ago which included a nice increase in pay. This pay rise combined with a massive drop in spending on going out, drinks and travel (and generally having fun) during the pandemic has meant that my savings have grown pretty significantly over the past few months. I feel quite guilty about the fact that I have benefited financially during the pandemic when so many people around me have been made redundant, furloughed or taken pay cuts. 
I generally consider myself to be quite good at knowing when to spend and when to save but I definitely don’t make use of different financial tools and would like to make myself better informed in general."
Industry: Local council – housing and homelessness
Age: 26
Location: Manchester
Salary: £25,995
Paycheque amount: Take home £1,696.07 after tax, pension and student loan payments 
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend L
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £337.50
Loan payments: Student loan payments come directly out of my salary.
Utilities: Monthly bills (electricity, council tax, internet, TV licence) £90, water bill is paid quarterly, normally around £120.
Transportation: I don’t have a car but I’m a named driver on my boyfriend's car insurance. This was £79 at the start of the year. Due to lockdown neither of us is driving much at the moment so petrol costs are pretty minimal.
Phone bill: £42
Savings? I have £9,700 in a savings account.
Other: Contact lenses £13, £5 to Rape Crisis. I have a free gym membership thanks to my best friend working at a gym, my dad has paid for a family Apple Music account which me and my sisters use, I use my sister’s Netflix and we use my boyfriend’s mum's Amazon Prime. I also have a free Audible subscription for the next 12 months which was an incentive with my phone contract. I realise I’m very lucky to have all these things for free as they would probably come to around £80 a month if not. This has made me realise I should probably increase the amount I give to charity to try and pay it forward.
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