Money Diary: A 24-Year-Old Mental Health Worker On 29k

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: "Hey everyone! I’m a 24-year-old psychological wellbeing practitioner living in London. A psychological wellbeing practitioner is an NHS mental health therapist role (it’s a fairly new position and a lot of people haven’t heard of us before). I provide assessments and treatment for people with 'common mental health problems' (depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, stress etc.). I enjoy my role but it’s definitely challenging. 
I spent the first three months of lockdown at home in Essex with my family (mum, stepdad, younger brother) as all of our work became remote delivery (e.g. over telephone or video call), but I recently moved back to my houseshare in London.
I’m single and live with three other housemates who I met through SpareRoom (one other girl, two guys). We get on really well but are all normally quite busy so we don’t always hang out. I’m currently trying to balance working from home and the impact that is having on my mental health while also working within the mental health field. I’m also currently adjusting to living alone (although with housemates) back in London after living with my family for three months (which is the longest I’ve lived with them since being 18). I definitely enjoy my own space though so it’s good to be back..." 
Industry: NHS mental health 
Age: 24
Location: London 
Salary: £29,888
Paycheque amount: £1,745 take-home pay
Number of housemates: Three
Monthly Expenses 
Housing costs: £657 a month for rent, plus about £60 for bills. I also normally pay an extra £20 a month for a weekly cleaner who obviously hasn’t been able to come round recently but she’s hopefully coming back in the next couple of weeks. When I was living with my family my mum also asked that I contribute £30 a week for the food shopping but since being back in London I obviously no longer pay that!
Loan payments: £20 for undergraduate, £40 for postgraduate. 
Transportation: Very lucky to be able to walk to work (when we were in the office) and now I make the big commute from my bed to my desk every day which costs a grand total of £0.
Phone bill: £34 a month. 
Savings? £1,950 in a Help To Buy ISA, £1,100 in an easy access savings account. I used to have a lot more in savings but last year I bought a car, went on some great holidays and moved to London, which pretty much wiped my savings. I’ve been trying to save at least £200 a month since moving to London, some months with more success than others. 
Other: I have a car which includes all the (very) expensive running costs, about £97 a month for my car insurance which covers having my younger brother on the insurance (we’re car sharing this year so I can mostly keep my car in Essex to bring down my insurance costs. He paid his half of the yearly insurance at the start of the year, which was great then but means I’m still paying out a lot each month), £6 a month for car tax (halved with my brother), £3 a month for Netflix (halved with my brother), £7.99 a month for laptop repair cover (would really recommend as it’s saved me hundreds of pounds in repairs).
If you are interested in writing your own Money Diary, please do drop us an email with a bit of information about yourself at moneydiary@refinery29.uk

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