Money Diary: A 26-Year-Old Farmer Living In Wales 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 26 and live in Wales, working in the agricultural sector. I’ve been working in the industry since graduating and really enjoy the variety and the opportunities, although it is still very male-dominated and this can be difficult. I freelance for a couple of companies in my spare time, and also work (unpaid) on my boyfriend’s farm. I bought a house two years ago (my parents helped me with a deposit), which I still live in although I spent all of the MD week at my boyfriend’s. He’s a dairy farm manager and lives on site in rented accommodation."
Industry: Agriculture
Age: 26
Location: Wales
Salary: Between my salary and freelance work I should bring in around £40k before tax in this financial year.
Paycheque amount: Around £2,500 a month between my salaried pay (after tax, NI and student loan payments) and freelance work (I pay the tax on this annually through self assessment).
Number of housemates: My house none, but I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend and his dog at his house, so 1.5?
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Mortgage £248 (Welsh house prices!), house insurance £24.
Loan payments: Car hire purchase £91.43. My student loan is deducted from my paycheque before I receive it, so I only notice how much I pay when I fill in my self assessment. I got a credit card when I was looking to buy a house to build a credit score, I still have it and use it a couple of times a month – it’s paid off automatically the next month by direct debit from my current account, so I don’t pay any interest on it.
Utilities: Electricity £18, broadband £18.99, council tax £85, water £25.
Transportation: I use my car for work (I do about 1,000 business miles a month) and have a monthly petrol cost of around £200. I probably claim half of that back in expenses, and I also get tax relief on the difference between what my employer gives me per mile and the standard HMRC amount. This shaves a little off my freelancer tax bill.
Phone bill: £42. I really need to sort this out as it seems excessive (especially as I have poor signal in a big part of the area I cover) but I keep putting it off.
Savings? I transfer £700 a month into an ISA (I will pull money out of this occasionally if I’m running short for things like birthday presents or car repairs; if I do that I lose a month’s interest) and £50 to a general savings account. I try to run the latter as an emergency/holiday account and not touch the former unless I have to. I also transfer any freelancer income into one of these accounts or make a mortgage overpayment – minus the third I stash in a 'tax account'.
Other: My horse costs me £185-240 a month depending on whether he is in and eating hay or out in the field grazing (spring/summer/early autumn). I also pay £75 a month insurance for my car and horsey stuff, and £20 professional liability.
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