Money Diary: A Mum Working Part-Time On 25.5k In London

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 31-year-old working part-time as an editor after having a child.
"Since buying our house together and having a baby, mine and my other half’s finances have become a lot more fluid. He’s always earned more than me but since reducing my hours following maternity leave, we’ve realised it doesn’t really matter which bank account purchases come out of. Having said that, we still have our separate accounts and pay into our joint account to cover shared household costs. We weight it at about a 60/40 split. This suits me because I think I would feel guilty spending money on myself if we just pooled it all into a joint account. And OH is fine to add more money into the joint account if things are looking tight or just pay outright for stuff as a treat.
It’s been quite tough adjusting to having a child, both financially and socially. We’ve always been sensible because we spent years saving for our house deposit, but we used to eat out quite a bit. As we don’t have any family within a four-hour drive, these days it’s mainly just a takeaway treat once a week. We go out separately, but don’t get to enjoy just each other’s company that often anymore. It’s like a huge game of Tetris making sure we don’t double-book ourselves and that someone is always there to pick up/drop off the child.
And just to add to the stress, we’re also in the process of extending our one-bedroom flat to two bedrooms, which has cost so much money it makes me weep. But I’m very much looking forward to having the child sleeping in another room soon (and a shiny new kitchen)!"
Industry: Content editor for a travel website
Age: 31
Location: London (very very southwest London)
Salary: £25,500 – I work 28 hours a week. OH is on £53,000.
Paycheque amount: £1,535. OH gets £2,790. This accounts for tax, NI, student loans and childcare vouchers being deducted.
Number of housemates: Two, OH and the toddler child.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Our mortgage is £720 a month, but we make overpayments. So £1,000 a month.
Loan payments: I always have a 0% interest credit card on the go, which is mostly used for household purchases (food shopping and booking holidays) and we have a standing order from our joint account for £150 paying things off every month. I then cover ad-hoc purchases I make for myself from my own account. OH also has a credit card, which he predominantly uses for work purposes. We’ve also borrowed some money from my dad to help with the building costs. This will be paid back once we’ve sold the house. Very grateful to him as it means we don’t have to worry about the interest on a loan.
Utilities: £300 (council tax, gas, electric, water, internet, TV licence).
Transportation: I do pay as you go. My daily cap is £11.60, which I reach on the days I work. It means I spend around £180 a month. Car tax and insurance is £45 a month.
Phone bill: £15.50 a month (SIM only).
Savings? I try to put away £200 a month, but often have to dip back into it by about £50 each month. Definitely two steps forward and one step back. OH is in the process of spending all his savings on the building work. I pay nothing towards my pension, so I just get my employer contribution money. Very scary.
Other? Approximately £800 on nursery fees for the child (£486 is paid by our childcare vouchers, and the rest is paid out of our joint account). Also £48 on the gym. I really weighed up this decision as I can only use it three times a week maximum due to my working hours. But it does really motivate me to actually exercise at lunch. We use OH’s parents’ login for Netflix.

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