Money Diary: A 29-Year-Old PA With A Side Hustle Making Candles On 35k

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’m 29, have lived in London my whole life and have just moved to a small village in Surrey. My boyfriend and I bought our first flat together just before lockdown with the majority of the deposit coming from my dad (I appreciate how fortunate I was to get this). I’ve been in my job as a PA for just over seven years now and although I could do my job in my sleep and don’t feel particularly challenged, I love working with such a fantastic group of people and genuinely love going into work on Monday mornings. Very grateful to still be in full-time employment this year."
Industry: Property
Age: 29
Location: Surrey
Salary: £35,000 with a bonus of around £10,000 annually.
Paycheque amount: £2,020 after pension, NI and student loan deductions.
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend, A. All bills/mortgage are split equally between us.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Mortgage £510
Utilities: Circa £200 each
Loan payments: £139
Transport: Used to be free but now have to split fuel costs with A as we commute together, circa £40 for fuel and circa £120 for buses and Tubes.
Phone bill: My mum pays, don’t @ me.
Other: Spotify £4.99, gym £35, Netflix: I sponge off my sister’s account. She always used to steal my clothes so when she drunkenly told me her password one evening, I jumped straight on that.
Savings? Currently back to £3,000 after using savings to go towards the flat deposit.
Laser hair removal: I have £120 left on the balance which will be payable after my fourth session. I’m seriously impressed with the results already and I’m still trying to convince my boyfriend to pay for half as he’s the one who gets to enjoy it.
Online PT: £120. I used to be a keen gym-goer but since gyms reopened I’ve felt uneasy about going in them, even with the reduced numbers. Somehow I can see germs crawling all over the equipment! I’ve kept my membership up though as I currently alternate one week on, one week off. My online PT is fab, we do weekly check-ins and she keeps me on track and accountable for my diet and fitness, and I’m really impressed with the results so far.
Credit card: Currently £500 on my Amex. I started making soy wax candles at home a few weeks ago to sell in an attempt to save more money and my supplies arrived two weeks ago. I’m hoping the initial hit of money will be made back within the next few weeks, I have already made £100 in sales in the last few days so keeping everything crossed.
Are you interested in doing your own (paid) money diary? Drop us an email with a bit of information about yourself to We are especially looking for students. Apologies in advance but we aren't able to respond to all emails.

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