Money Diary: An NHS Manager In Belfast On 40k & Training For A Marathon

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 32-year-old NHS manager living and working in Belfast. I qualified and got my first graduate job 10 years ago. I moved back home with my parents for two years after university, which meant I was lucky enough to be able to save a house deposit. I bought my first home aged 24 when house prices were a little bit lower, and still live here. 
 
Reduced outgoings during the pandemic allowed me to get on top of my finances, paying off some credit card debt, my car loan and finally getting some savings behind me. The challenge for me will be keeping up with my new good habits and sticking to a realistic budget as lockdown restrictions are lifted. I hope to use some of my savings for home improvements such as a new bathroom and eventually a new kitchen, and then start to save for the longer term." 
 
Industry: Healthcare 
Age: 32
Location: Belfast 
Salary: £40,894
Paycheque amount: £2,360
Number of housemates: None, just me. 
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £405 mortgage.
Loan payments: None. I paid my student loan off in January this year.
Utilities: £40 gas, £30 electricity, £25 internet, £90 rates (the NI equivalent of council tax, which includes water), £18 property maintenance fee.
Transportation: £60-100 on petrol. £30 car insurance (I set this aside each month and pay annually to avoid interest). 
Phone bill: £18 SIM only.
Savings? I separate my savings into Monzo pots. £600 to a 'home improvements' fund. £75 towards Christmas. £75 towards holidays. £100 towards a new car. £100 invested into a stocks and shares ISA. £35 into Premium Bonds (just for fun).
Other: £52 gym membership. £38 private health insurance. While I work for and love the NHS, I feel it will be a long time before it recovers from the pandemic so for me the reassurance of private health insurance is worth the monthly fee. Plus it comes with perks such as a free coffee each week from Caffè Nero and free cinema tickets! £10 Spotify. £12 contact lenses.

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