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Money Diary: A Performer & Acting Teacher On £35,000

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last penny.
This week: “I’m a 31-year-old performer (mainly theatre) and I also teach acting and voice. I’ve created a business where I teach group workshops or individuals in person and online and I absolutely love it. It’s a great way to make sure my bills are paid as a freelance artist. I also work as a performer and do auditions for various different projects — I work both as an actor and a singer and have been really lucky to travel the world a lot. I love yoga, fitness, food and travel and that’s what I spend my money on, if it isn’t on the arts (going to the theatre or the cinema). I really enjoy teaching and don’t feel like I’m missing out whenever I do it more full time. I would love to own a home and have a family one day, but not right now as I have some awesome people in my life and love hanging out with them.”
Occupation: Performer and acting teacher 
Industry: Theatre and the arts
Age: 31
Location: London
Salary: £35,000 (on average)
Paycheque Amount: £3,000 (This is an average as I am self-employed and project based, so it is changeable.) 
Number of housemates: One flatmate
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £800 rent
Loan payments: £55 on student maintenance loan.
Savings?: £20,000. I was only able to save this due to moving back to my parents' house for a couple of years while working during the pandemic.
Pension? No, I currently do not — it’s trickier when self-employed. 
Utilities: My half: £90 council tax; £20 internet; £40 gas; £25 electricity; £25 water. 
All other monthly payments: £44.10 Worldwide Data Plan (I travel lots for work); £37.50 paying off new iPhone; £21.99 gym; £14.50 professional performers membership; £40.68 car insurance. 
Subscriptions: None
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? Yes — a bachelor’s degree where I was awarded a full tuition-fee scholarship and got a maintenance loan. I then did a master’s degree — I got a little inheritance from a grandparent and I worked every day I was not at school to pay for it. I got very good at making Tupperware lunches during those times!
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My mother has a great mentality when it comes to money. We never had lots growing up as she was a single mum, but she often says “Money comes and goes”. She grafted to provide for us but I never felt like I was not able to do something. She empowered me to make me feel like I was always able to earn. Most of my family are self-employed, so the conversations were always about navigating that. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
I moved out when I went to drama school at 19, but then many years later I came back for a few years (many of my mates did the same in lockdown, which made me feel a bit better about it). Thankfully, I am now back living London life again. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I was helped a bit through my degrees but I always worked before and during studying. Then at around 24 I was paying my way in London — but I knew if I needed help with something unexpected, it was there. I would say at about 28 I started earning better and was able to cover everything. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was as a waitress at 14 years old. I did my work experience there and then got a weekend job. My mum wanted us to learn the value of money — and we did not get pocket money — so that was my spending money.
Do you worry about money now?
Yes and no. I know I am able to earn enough for life but as I am self-employed things could get cancelled at the last minute. And that worries me, as I don’t know for certain how much is coming in every month. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
I got that little lump sum to help towards my degree as mentioned above, but other than that, no.