Money Diary: A 29-Year-Old Mum & Incident Manager On £400/d

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 29 years old and living in the Midlands. I have a 2-year-old daughter and got married last year before COVID kicked off. Since the beginning of the pandemic, me and my husband have transitioned to working from home and have made the third bedroom into our office. Overall, working from home has been great for our work-life balance and we enjoy the time together, the only downside is when we both have meetings at the same time! As it looks like working from home will be a significant part of our futures we are planning on converting the garage into an office as we want another child in a few years so will need the bedroom back for that.
My parents have always been very open about finances and instilled in me the importance of saving. This has been both a blessing and a curse as I feel very secure with my savings but also have a tendency to get obsessive with them and experience some anxiety about buying things that are purely for me – I’m getting better at this though!
Last year I found out that, due to COVID, my rolling fixed-term contract would not be renewed as expected. I spent a few stressful months searching for a new job and it looked like I was going to have to take a £7k pay cut due to the slow job market and working in quite a niche area. Out of the blue I got a call from a recruiter about a six-month contractor position. While the lack of security worried me, it was over double my wage. My husband encouraged me to take the risk and I started at the beginning of the year. So far it’s been an amazing experience and I have been extended until the end of this year, after that we’ll see where I end up."
Occupation: Incident manager
Industry: Public sector
Age: 29
Location: Midlands
Salary: £400/day
Paycheque amount (weekly): £1,130
Number of housemates: Two. I live with my husband (H) and our toddler (T).
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Mortgage is £640, we jointly overpay by £100. I also do an additional overpayment of £500 a month towards the mortgage.
Loan payments: Student loan £434 per month.
Utilities: Water, gas and electricity, council tax and internet comes to £280, this comes out of the joint account.
Phone bill: £25
Transportation: Pre-COVID was around £100 a month to fuel my car up, since COVID it's more like £20 a month. Car insurance is paid yearly and there is no tax for my car.
Savings? All joint with husband: £23,000 savings, £3,200 savings account for toddler and a holiday fund of £3,300. All joint monthly expenses are paid for out of our joint account – I pay £1,100 into it every month, husband pays £400.
Other: Childminder £500 a month (government top-up of £125 gets added), husband pays for this. A gym membership that I don't use and have been meaning to cancel £30, Amazon Prime (paid yearly), a six-month subscription to Birchbox (pre-paid until July), T's ballet class £18.50, we use family log-ins for Netflix and Disney+ which me and H contribute £50 a year for.

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