Money Diary: A 22-Year-Old Living In Amsterdam On €40k

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 on a graduate scheme and started work in September. I moved to Amsterdam for the role, which was a bit of a shock but I am loving it – although I do feel homesick from time to time. I am expecting to leave Amsterdam in September so at the moment I am trying to enjoy everything that the city can offer me.
It was hard when I first moved as I didn’t know anyone, and I ended up spending lots of money going out for drinks or meals as I slowly made friends. I also have a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend who lives in the UK, and we aim to see each other at least every three weeks. It’s been hard but we have made it work. However, this has not helped my finances. We split the cost of flights and travel each time one of us visits so it doesn’t feel too expensive at the time, but it has meant I haven’t been able to save as much as I’d like. However, I am pretty young and feel quite proud that I’m just out of uni and supporting myself living abroad.
I generally feel quite stressed about money, even though I am on a comfortable salary. Tax rates are high here and there are lots of hidden costs I wasn’t aware of before I moved, such as waste taxes, water taxes, mandatory health insurance, etc. I use BUNQ, which is very similar to Monzo and helps me track my spending. However, my student loan repayments leave my English bank account (and are super high since I live abroad), which has slowly dwindled my savings account since moving out of the country. I am looking forward to moving back and hopefully spending less money flying back to visit friends/boyfriend/family."
Industry: FMCG Marketing
Age: 22
Location: Amsterdam
Salary: €40,000 (£35,8340) although there is a very high tax rate and high living costs in the Netherlands, which is why my salary might have been upweighted.
Paycheque amount: €2,500 (£2,240)
Number of housemates: One
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: €1,050 (£940) each, Amsterdam is expensive!
Loan payments: £150 a month – not taken from salary and paid out of my UK bank account.
Utilities: €50 (£44.80)
Mandatory healthcare: €140 (£125.43) a month. This is compulsory for everyone in the Netherlands…painful when you’re not used to it.
Transportation: €15 (£13.44) a month – I rent my bike and pay monthly. Maybe €15 (£13.44) on public transport every now and then.
Phone bill: £22 – I don’t use my UK phone very often so keep it ticking over on a low contract. My Dutch phone is paid for by work and I tend to use it day to day.
Savings? I have £1,000 in my UK bank account but as I said, my student loan repayments get taken from this account. Need to start saving properly soon.
Other: I just paid €160 (£143.35) for waste tax, €160 (£143.35) water tax, and last week paid €150 (£134.39) for my expat insurance. I love it when all the bills come at once! Spotify: £4.99 (still on my student subscription as I finished my master’s last September). Netflix: My parents very kindly let me (and my younger brother) use the family account, so £0!

More from Work & Money