Money Diary: A PhD Student & Writer On 19.5k Living In London

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing millennials: money. We're asking a cross-section of people 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 freelance journalist, PhD student and, usually, a pretty sensible spender. He has spent the last few months travelling and working in who knows how many cafés across east and southeast Asia, but is now settled back in east London where he shares a house with four others.
He grew up in South Yorkshire with a single mum who taught him how to save, stretch cash and make enough spaghetti Bolognese on barely any ingredients to feed a small army (a life skill!) but he can often be tempted not to work from home and to blow extortionate amounts of money per week on fancy coffees he could really do without. He also admits to being "distinctly millennial", which means he's been guilty on more than one occasion of dropping a tenner on avocado toast. As Whitney sang, "It’s not right… but it’s okay"...right?
Currently, the post-Christmas pinch is settling in. He's spent way too much money over the last few weeks – doing the routine catch-ups with friends when he was back home and spending more than he should on booze – so he's trying to save. New year, new, thriftier him. Or so he hopes…
Industry: Freelance journalist
Age: 24
Location: Hackney, London
Salary: My average this year (first full year freelancing) is £19,500
Paycheque amount: It varies – between £1,000 and £2,500
Number of housemates: 4
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £580
Loan payments: N/A
Utilities: Included in rent
Transportation: Because I’m in and out of London often I don’t have a pass, so pay daily. Average £100 per month
Phone bill: £20 per month
Savings? I have £2,000 in an ISA but it’s to pay PhD fees (part-time) and the dreaded upcoming tax return.
Other: Netflix, £5.99
Total: £705.99

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