Money Diary: A 23-Year-Old Student In Manchester On 7.5k

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 23-year-old master's student in Manchester. I spent the past four years in London studying and working but couldn’t afford to stay to do my master's there. I moved to Manchester for the course but also to see whether life back in the North could be for me after experiencing how expensive London is and how many hours I had to work just to get by (50-70 hours a week across two part-time jobs after graduating).
I took out the master's student loan for my tuition and am self-funding my living costs through working at the Students' Union in my university. This has proved harder than expected as the hours can vary depending on how much is going on at the SU (I’m on a zero-hour contract). Also, because I worked so much from April to September in London in order to afford the move, I had pretty much used my tax-free allowance by October, so I’m still getting taxed despite not earning much at all.
My overdraft is pretty much my best friend at this point, though I am increasingly worried that each month I’m slipping further towards the limit by about £200 due to my outgoings being too much for my wages. I also want to move back to London with my boyfriend after finishing the master's, but I have no idea how I’ll be able to afford this as things are."
Industry: Student
Age: 23
Location: Manchester
Salary: Don’t really have one anymore?
Paycheque amount: £600 – £800, but usually towards the lower end
Number of housemates: Two (my boyfriend and flatmate – we’re all students)
Monthly Expenses
Rent: £225 (my half of £450 for our room, boyfriend pays the other half)
Loan payments: Hilarious. Despite having around £60k (without the interest accrued on top of that) in student loans, I haven’t started paying that back yet as never earned over £21k. I also pay £40 a month to pay off my credit card (I got it when I was switching jobs and had a seven-week gap in pay in London).
Utilities: Approx £35 – £50 a month for electricity (no gas in the building so depends on what season it is), £20 for water and £8 for internet.
Transportation: £16 weekly for my bus pass. Manchester travel is unbelievably extortionate for a terrible service, but unavoidable unfortunately.
Phone bill: I’m lucky that my dad gets this for me as he got a good deal for a family set and knows how skint I usually am so said not to worry about it for now.
Savings? I have a Plum account (really recommend to anyone who is not good at saving – it calculates what you won't notice coming out of your account, e.g. price of a latte and puts it into a separate saving pot for you) with about £270 in, but can’t touch this as it’s my Glastonbury ticket money – also not adding to it as I’m too far into my overdraft atm. I also saved up six months of rent from working to death over the summer in London in my savings account, of which I still have two months left. I have an automatic transfer of £10 a week going into this account hence why it's lasted longer than it should have.
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