Money Diary: An Aspiring Musical Theatre Actress Living In Buckinghamshire

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 we're with a 23-year-old who has moved close to London to pursue a musical theatre career...
"I’m originally from Yorkshire but have lived in Buckinghamshire since graduating from dance college four years ago, to be close to London for auditions. I’m hoping to achieve a full-time career in musical theatre but I’ve only had a handful of short performance contracts so far. As well as doing odd bits of performing and teaching work, I’m currently working full-time in an office role at a museum, which I fell into after starting there as a temp. I’m super lucky that the museum supports my goals; they’ve allowed me to take unpaid leave to do performing jobs and attend auditions, after I used up most of my annual leave doing a part-time musical theatre course this year. It can be really tricky to juggle my time and my budget – especially when I take unpaid leave to do performance work that pays less per day than I would normally earn – however I’ve just signed with a new agent so I’m hoping things will work out for me soon."
Industry: Performing Arts / Museums
Age: 23
Location: Buckinghamshire
Salary: £20,412 (give or take, depending on performance work and/or unpaid leave)
Paycheque amount: £1,438.72 after tax. This is my standard paycheque from the museum, but again this can vary.
Number of housemates: None
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £363.65 for rent and service charges. I have a shared ownership flat; my parents helped me buy a 25% share, so I pay rent on the 75% I don’t own. It was a big decision to do this rather than rent normally, but I think it’ll work out best in the long run. When I sell, we’ll split the money between me and my sister, so we’ll each have some money we can use as a deposit for our own places.
Loan payments: £80 by direct debit to my parents each month to pay back money I borrowed for course fees, and a minimum payment of £25 for my credit card (plus whatever else I can afford to pay off in chunks to both). I do have a student loan, but I don’t earn enough to pay it off yet.
Utilities: £66 council tax, £15 water, £46 electricity, £12.37 TV licence, £7.98 contents insurance and £17 broadband (which I signed up for a couple of years ago after realising I was spending more on coffee while using the free Wi-Fi in Costa).
Transportation: £186.40 a month for my annual travel card for work, which gets deducted from my salary as part of a loan scheme (over 10 months rather than 12, so I won’t have to pay in November or December), plus any extra travel into London for auditions and stuff, which really varies month to month (but thankfully is claimable as expenses against tax… Yay for being self-employed!).
Phone bill: £43.68
Savings? None
Other: £15.99 for the gym, £4.99 for Apple Music and £0.79 for extra iCloud storage. I use my parents' Netflix for free.
Total: £884.85

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