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 25-year-old restaurant manager and as of last week I’m jobless.
I moved to London straight after university for a graduate job in a global marketing agency. It was a very fun, young industry, with hundreds of perks. Nonetheless I wasn’t paid much and found my role rather unfulfilling. I realised my only real passion was for food and eventually quit my job, deciding to take a break. I used up a lot of my savings to travel around New Zealand for a month and got a job in a restaurant as a waitress for when I returned. I panicked before heading off on my trip that I would come back broke, so secured the first thing I could find. I’d never worked in hospitality before and reckoned this would be the best place to start. Obviously the pay was low but I was used to this in marketing so assured myself that things would improve, slowly but surely. And they had, until now…
I’ve houseshared ever since I moved to London. Living in Hackney means that in certain pockets you can find lowish rent, and generally I spend most of my disposable income eating and drinking out. Each month I usually splurge a little on clothes/shoes to treat myself. Recently I’ve become more aware of saving and spending less on unnecessary items, thinking about the long term, as one day soon I want to be a homeowner. But it’s hard, as I do like to live a somewhat lavish lifestyle.
The last Friday of the month is usually when I get paid, so my weekly spending budget starts every Friday. I like this system as it gives me a weekly payday – via Monzo, where I add my spending allowance – and it generally works. When it doesn’t, and I want to buy something out of budget, I use my credit card.”
Industry: Hospitality Age: 25 Location: Hackney Salary: £30k Paycheque amount: £1,900 Number of housemates: Three
Housing costs: £700 inc. council tax, water and Wi-Fi (a double bed in a spacious shared house). Loan payments: The tiny amount of student loan I pay back every month is already taken out of my paycheque. Utilities: Included in rent. Transportation: £150. I top up my Oyster every week with £30 and leave the rest of my budget for cabs. My boyfriend and I have all the taxi apps that exist and use whichever has the best offer in the moment when we need it. My current favourite is Kapten. Phone bill: £50 (an overpriced contract that finally ends next month). Savings? I put £250 a month into a long-term savings account which is invested, which I set up about six months ago. However, with the recent market downturn I’ve so far lost around £150 and will probably lose more in the coming months so I’m looking to reduce my contribution. I also have a savings pot in another bank account where I gather money for my LISA. My parents help contribute to that, which is a godsend that I’m extremely grateful for. Other: Phone insurance £16, Spotify £10, Netflix £6, cleaner £15 (she comes twice a month and cleans all our communal areas), contact lenses £20 (I could probably find a cheaper option, as I’m always seeing ads on the Tube, but I’ve used Boots for years and I’m too lazy to change).
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