Money Diary: A Sales Manager In London On 40k

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 28-year-old London girl. I have worked in various jobs across media and am in my first sales role for a famous magazine group (yes, I did buy a new wardrobe before I started, in a very Devil Wears Prada moment – only it was more Zara, less Prada). I bought a flat with my sister who lives out of town, so I live there with my boyfriend, T. I was incredibly lucky to have had a lot of help buying the flat when my mum sold our family home but taking on such a grown-up responsibility at 23 on an entry-level media job (read: earning pennies) led me to slip into credit card debt (who knew bathrooms were so troublesome and expensive to fix?) which I have taken around four years to get out of, going up and down in the process. The day I paid it off in summer I shed a little happy tear in the office bathroom. I have now vowed to overhaul my finances and be one of those people who is on top of life. It's a work in progress but I’m trying!  
Working in sales means that I often have quite a lot of expenses on my card (which I pay off every. Single. Month. I am a changed woman!). It always gives the illusion that I have no money as I rack up the next month’s expenses while waiting for previous expenses to hit my account – it gives me slight heart palpitations whenever I log in to my online banking. I am convinced that constantly feeling like I have no money makes me spend less overall…although after this week, I am about to find out in black and white if that's true!"
Industry: Publishing
Age: 28
Location: London
Salary: £40,000 (plus the odd commission payment, this has totalled an extra £2,121 (after tax) across 12 months, which I used to pay off the majority of my debt).
Paycheque amount: £2,286.42
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend (T).
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £796 (half the mortgage + half the service charge).
Loan payments: £139 student loan. T and his friends are Scottish and don’t have student loans, which makes this payment painful. Only approx 12 more years until it’s paid off (trying to think positively)...
Utilities: We pay £130 each for half of gas and electric, water, internet, TV licence and council tax.
Transportation: £130ish. This changes each week as I am often visiting other companies. I like to walk across the park to the train station to get a bit of exercise in but if I’m tired or want to save some money I get the bus all the way home – takes forever but that’s what podcasts are for, right?
Phone bill: £46. I thought this was pretty good as I am paying for the phone as well but I seem to get judged a lot for this, so I am second-guessing myself. 
Savings? I got a big tax rebate this year (£2,368.80) as the taxman apparently didn’t give me a tax-free allowance last year. However, I’ve convinced myself that they are going to ask for it back so I have put it in savings until a safe amount of time has passed. One of my best friends is getting married in a very beautiful but very long-haul location next year so I have been putting money aside each month and so far have about £520 in the kitty for spending money. I have £330 in an emergency flat fund to pay for all those plumbers/boilermen/white goods engineers/carpet cleaners (never get cream carpets!). I have £600 saved that I got for my 21st to learn how to drive. Seven years later and I still cannot drive but at least I have not spent the money – it is on my to-do list, I promise! Finally, I have a high-interest savings account which I can put a max of £300 in per month but I am not allowed to touch it for a year. In light of trying to be sensible, I am putting the money I used to use to pay off my debt into this account. I only set it up last month, so it has £300 in it.
Other: Extra iCloud storage because doesn’t everyone? £0.79. Monthly contact lens (I only need one contact lens…long story) £7.50. Netflix £8.99 – I am the family provider on this and I stand superior until I remember that my mum buys me a V&A membership card every year. Finally, my gym membership – ha! Jokes, I don’t do that.

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