Money Diary: The 31-Year-Old Living On A Beach in Mexico

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 woman who, eight months ago, left a well-paid director job in London and moved to Mexico where she has settled in a quiet beach town. She has recently become a freelance writer and teaches English. She and her boyfriend are house-sitting by the beach so don't pay rent or utilities, plus they take a percentage from the four rooms they rent out. This combination of incomes allows her to work from the roof terrace, be at home with the puppy and spend time volunteering with a local dog charity.
Because her freelance income brings in pounds and the general cost of living is much cheaper in Mexico, she is able to work fewer hours and lead a much healthier life. There isn't much to do apart from go to the beach and there are no good shops to tempt her, so her spending habits have changed quite a bit, although the money still seems to disappear! She also spends a lot less on going out drinking – but sometimes does miss her old social life! She earns considerably more than her boyfriend so pays for most of the shared costs involving food and dinners out.
Industry: My freelance work is mainly in the publishing industry and NGO/voluntary sector.
Age: 31
Location: Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Salary: Difficult to be exact as it changes every month and I'm just starting out with the freelance work.
Paycheque amount per month: Last month I estimate that I earned around £700 so I'd say it varies between £600-£900 depending on projects.
Number of housemates: One (boyfriend) plus puppy.
Monthly Expenses
Some of these expenses are split with my boyfriend
Housing costs: None
Loan payments: None
Utilities: The owners of the house cover the electricity, internet and water costs. The gas ran out this week for the first time and a new canister cost £12.15 but this should last between 3-6 months so monthly cost around £3.
Transportation: Petrol for car around £8.50 and motorbike around £3.40 but my boyfriend pays for most of this as I can't drive either vehicle!
Phone bill: It's back to pay-as-you go days for me so depends how much credit I want to put on – usually only around £4 per month.
Health insurance: I paid £166 for a year's travel insurance cover before I left the UK which will expire in October.
Savings: I had saved quite a lot before I left England and had been living off those until recently, when I started to earn again. It's nice to be in a position where I am no longer dipping into those savings but I am currently not putting any earnings aside each month.
Other: We rent out four rooms in the house, each with private bathrooms, so we need to keep the house stocked with soap, toilet paper, air fresheners and bin bags, which comes to around £12 per month. My share is around £6.
We don't have a washing machine and with all the towels and linen from the rooms we do quite a lot of laundry, spending on average £13 per month. My share is around £6.50.
We recently adopted a puppy so spend on average £10 a month on her food plus additional costs in the first few months such as injections, toys and other expenses – roughly £25 per month. My share is around £15.
I stopped my Spotify and Netflix accounts when I left England but use my dad's Netflix log in – cheers, Dad!
Total: £34.50

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