Money Diary: A Podcast Co-Host & Marketing Manager 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 a 26-year-old content and engagement manager within the beauty industry, living in London with my partner, N. I also co-host and produce an independent podcast.
Since moving to London four years ago, my salary has climbed from a yearlong £18,000 internship to a recent manager on £35,000. The first year in London, my budget was so impossibly tight that every salary since feels like an amazing amount of money. I was always a saver growing up, which was encouraged by my parents who’ve always been amazing with money. I’m the kind of person who will hesitate over a 30p difference in pasta prices.
I currently have a lot of savings and this summer I’m planning on making some decisions on what I’m going to do with them. Some of it comes from the fact I used to work a lot of part-time jobs in sixth form and university and saved a lot of my paycheques (I used to work as a cleaner cash in hand and also had a per-hour job so I’d spend the cash at the weekend and save the paycheques from the other one), some of it comes from my parents who very kindly put around £3,000 in premium bonds for me when I was a baby, some of it comes from recently having lost two grandparents who both left me some money and a surprising amount of it comes from the last year. I’ve been very lucky in COVID not only to keep my job but to get promoted and with my outgoings falling dramatically I was able to save £500-800 a month for a year.
Our podcast also earns some money – roughly £6,000 a year between myself and my co-host – however we don’t ‘take’ any of it. We have a business bank account for the podcast's regular expenses, are in the process of sorting our taxes, and save the rest of it for future podcast events (we were meant to travel to the US for a convention in 2020 but for obvious reasons that didn’t happen and it doesn’t look like it’s going to in 2021). This means we just keep saving the money until we can finally do all the events we want to do!"
Industry: Beauty
Age: 26
Location: London
Salary: £35,000
Paycheque amount: £2,145.35
Number of housemates: 1.5: my partner, N, and our very large adopted cat, Big M.
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £600 (my half of the rent).
Loan payments: Currently £44 a month is paid straight from my salary to my student loan. This does not even cover a quarter of the interest each month – joy.
Utilities: Council tax £70 (my half monthly), electricity and gas £30 (my half monthly), water is paid biannually but I put away £10 a month to cover my half, Wi-Fi £12 (my half monthly), TV licence £79.50 (my half for the year).
Transportation: No fixed amount anymore as I’m working from home.
Phone bill: £10 a month SIM-only.
Savings? £28,000 in premium bonds and £2,000 in a Help To Buy ISA. I need to make some decisions this summer as to what I want to do with my savings. I put a minimum of £200 a month into premium bonds but in the last year this has varied massively and is often a lot more.
Other: Spotify £7, Google Storage £1.79, Amazon Prime £20 for the year for my quarter (shared with N and his parents), Netflix £0 (we sponge off mine and N’s parents). Because Big M has FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), pet insurance was crazy expensive so after doing a lot of research we each put away £10 a month into an emergency pot for him instead. Contact lenses £0 this year as my mum very kindly bought them for me when she was getting hers over xmas, contents insurance £36.96 (my half for the year).

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