Money Diary: A Nurse In Nottingham On 23k With A 7-Year-Old Daughter

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 moved to Nottingham three days before Christmas (just to make things as stressful as possible) with my 7-year-old daughter, to live with my girlfriend. After struggling financially throughout my daughter's life and racking up credit card debt when I just couldn't make ends meet, I'm now in a much more comfortable position where I can start paying it back and start saving."
Industry: Nursing
Age: 31
Location: Nottingham
Salary: £23,023 wages plus £20.80 per week child benefit
Paycheque amount: Around £1,500 all in
Number of housemates: Two: girlfriend and daughter
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: My girlfriend (GF) pays the mortgage as it's her house. When I'm in a better position and have cleared my debt, we'll buy a place together.
Loan payments: £200 to my credit card plus anything else I can put towards it at the end of the month. My student loan repayment comes out of my pay before tax, it's around £45.
Utilities: GF pays for gas and electric as she makes more than me. I pay for food and school fees.
Transportation: We take it in turns to fill the car up, my share is £50 a month. I spend about £30 on buses.
Phone bill: £10
Savings? About £120 into my pension, pre-tax. £50 into a LISA, £40 into an instant access savings account for any unforeseen bills. Once I've finished paying off my credit card I'll put that £200 into my LISA as well. I only got a pension aged 29 so I'm quite worried about saving for retirement. I squirrel away little bits into various "pots" so that when school uniform, holiday clubs, etc need paying for it's not too much of a stretch.
Other: £250 for all our food, cleaning products and household bits and pieces. £20 to charity. £54 for one-to-one swimming lessons for small girl (SG). £870 for school fees. SG was recently diagnosed as autistic and was really struggling in her last school. We made the decision to send her to a private school with much smaller class sizes as she struggles with crowds and lots of noise. It's a huge stretch financially but so far she's settling in well, so I'm happy.

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