Money Diary: A Social Worker Living In London On 47k

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 manage a social work team in central London, and love my job. I went back to uni in my mid 20s to retrain (I used to work in marketing) and while I don’t regret it at all, I do feel like it set me back financially for years. My job is fulfilling but I sometimes find myself envious of friends who have less stress but a much higher salary plus savings under their belt. I have zero savings although not much debt (I have just finished paying off my student loan, and after years of living off credit cards and an overdraft, I paid off my other debt about four years ago, and have managed to keep it to a minimum since).
"I definitely prioritise travel and experiences over savings or clothes/things… Juggling quality of life vs planning for my financial future is a constant battle, especially as I watch friends buy property and settle down (usually with family help, which isn't an option for me, as much as my mum would love to if she could).
"For my professional status and age, I feel financially behind, but am also aware that I have a great time compared to a lot of people and have chosen to prioritise fun. I'm also proud of how I've managed to build a financially independent life that is also fulfilling. The only time it panics me is when I picture being 40, still single and renting with a housemate while all my friends are in homes they have purchased for themselves."
Industry: Social work
Age: 34
Location: London
Salary: £47.5k
Paycheque amount: About £2,500 after deductions (although after this month it will be £2,700 as no more student loan repayments).
Number of housemates: One
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £875 rent.
Loan payments: I officially finished paying back my student loan last month. I have about £1,800 in credit card debt from holidays over the last few months that I’m trying to pay off at about £300 a month. I’m owed a rebate of about £900 on my student loan as I overpaid, which will go straight towards paying this off.
Utilities: About £100 a month on average.
Transportation: I got a subsidised Oyster annual season ticket through work. £80 a month comes out of my salary and that covers all Tube/bus travel.
Phone bill: £55 (pretty sure I’m getting ripped off as I don’t get unlimited data so frequently have to buy add-ons, but am stuck in a contract).
Savings? Errrr…zero. I did have about £1,500 but spent it all on furniture when I moved flats a few months ago. I have a public sector pension that takes about £340 out of my salary every month.
Other: Spotify £10, Netflix £7.99, Now TV £7.99 (only got this to watch Game of Thrones and keep meaning to cancel!), charity donations £25, gym £115.

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