Money Diary: A 27-Year-Old Mum & Administrator In NE Scotland

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 a relatively new mum trying to navigate the ups and downs of motherhood during a global pandemic, while also trying to learn a new job after being made redundant at the end of January. Being made redundant is difficult at the best of times but throw in a pandemic and a 1-year-old and I will admit I was STRESSED. However, I was very lucky to secure a new job (albeit full-time) before my final day at the charity I used to work for, and I have now been in the post for a month.
I am enjoying the new job role as it’s working for my local authority and it is a new challenge which I’m hoping will give me career progression as I have felt a little stuck lately. I am really missing spending time with my 16-month-old son though as my original plan was to work part-time. He is such a hilarious and headstrong boy and being a mum has absolutely made me. We live in a two-bedroom council flat in a small town and know we are very lucky to have this flat as housing is sparse! My boyfriend and I earn around the same so split things down the middle usually but when you’ve been together 10 years things do get a little blended. I hope my diary can resonate with the other twentysomethings who don’t have a lot of spare money or who don’t have their life together. I am all of those things and I am absolutely winging it but somehow, I’m making it work. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to save money and buy a house or invest but for now I’m living month to month and trying to enjoy what I have."
 
Industry: Administration
Age: 27
Location: Northeast Scotland
Salary: £21,339
Paycheque amount: Exact figure unknown as I am yet to receive a full month's pay but I earned similar at my previous role so can guesstimate £1,450.
Number of housemates: Three: boyfriend S, toddler A, and needy cat R.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £291.20 split with S. 
Loan payments: I have a loan for our TV as our last one broke. It's £17p/m which S gives me half for. I also pay back £55 towards a loan I took out a few years ago when I was really struggling financially.
Utilities: £123 council tax, £9 home insurance. We have a pre-pay gas and electric meter so over winter I’ve been spending about £120 a month on this but it will reduce significantly now that better weather is coming. £47.99 BT which covers BT TV including sport and internet, £13.37 TV licence, £8.99 Netflix and Spotify Duo for £12.99. This is all split with S but I additionally have £7.99 Amazon Prime, £11.99 Now TV Movies and £9.99 Now TV Entertainment pass. S pays for our membership to Disney+ which I think is £5.99.
Transportation: We have a car on finance that we pay £235 for and have car insurance at £25 and £18 road tax. On top of this we are spending about £40 a month on fuel as we aren’t using the car as much due to COVID.
Phone bill: £49
Savings? I actually have £2,500 in my savings account and this is the remainder of my redundancy payment I was given in February. I have never had savings before in my life so it feels very strange to have an emergency fund to fall back on. I am a self-confessed spender and I am trying my utmost not to spend it but I really want to make some improvements to our flat. We’ve lived here for almost two years, almost all of our furniture is mismatched and secondhand (and not in the mid-century, boho chic kind of way) and we don’t have flooring in our bathroom.
Other: We have another big expense which is CHILDCARE. No one prepared me for the cost of nursery and it makes me ill when I transfer over £740 every month. The childcare bill was lower when I was working part-time but I needed to work and decided it was better to have the childcare cost and be working full-time than not be working at all. The only other big expense we have is food shopping. I try my best to shop around but I am a bit of a brand snob when it comes to certain things (Lurpak butter, am I right?) and I do end up spending a small fortune in Asda.

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