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 am a 33-year-old civil servant living in Sheffield, where three and a half years ago I bought a house in the village I grew up in. I am perpetually single and live alone in my three-bedroom semi with my cat for company, with my parents living just a couple of minutes away. This works out especially well for me, as they are close when I need them but as we both live on culs-de-sac, they have no reason to just drop in as they ‘pass by’.
I have been working from home since mid March and am lucky that neither my job nor my earnings has been affected by the current situation, although my motivation has definitely taken a hit. As a civil servant I am classed as a critical worker but in reality I am working on business as usual tasks and have no involvement in any frontline response. I’m incredibly grateful to be in a stable job at the moment but it does make me feel guilty when I complain that I am not happy in my role.”
Industry: Civil Service
Salary: £23,800 (standard salary for my grade)
Take-home pay: £1,532 after tax, national insurance, pension, student loan deductions
Housing costs: £320 mortgage. I was very lucky to have some inheritance from my grandma that went towards the 10% deposit, although the majority was my own savings. My earnings were quite a bit lower when I purchased the house, so my mortgage period is 30 years, which I hope to reduce when my fixed term is up at the end of the year.
Utilities: £83 council tax, £36 gas and electricity, £15 water, £52 Sky TV package including sports channels, line rental and broadband.
All other monthly expenses: £12 home insurance, £11 life and critical illness cover, £9 pet insurance, £20 mobile phone, £5.99 Netflix, £10 Specsavers contact lenses. Transport pre-lockdown was £40 a month petrol and £40 tram pass. During lockdown this is more like £10 a month petrol and no tram costs as I’m working from home.
Annual expenses: £200 car insurance, £20 car tax.
Savings? £5,700. Currently trying to rebuild my savings in an instant access ISA after wiping them all out with the house move, followed by a full bathroom renovation last year. Pre-lockdown I would aim to transfer around £200 into my savings at the end of the month. The last couple of months this has been £600, making me wonder what on earth I usually spend so much money on!
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