Money Diary: A 28-Year-Old Starting Life Over In Leicester On 25k

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 28-year-old who has very recently come out of an abusive marriage and am going through the process of a divorce. It took me a long time to gather the courage to admit the reality of my situation and decide to start my life over on my own terms and in my own space. I’ve never really lived alone before as I lived at home throughout my degree and beyond, then rent-free with my ex-husband who owned the house, so this is a very new venture for me and I’m still learning the ropes of financial independence. I was put on furlough leave in March this year and then my contract wasn’t renewed in July. However, I realise I’m very lucky to have only been out of work for a month and secured a new (permanent!) contract in August, especially given my commitment (stubbornness) to working only in the third or education sector. The 18-year-old social justice warrior in me lives on!"
 
Industry: Higher education
Age: 28
Location: Leicester, East Midlands 
Salary: £25,217 
Paycheque amount: £1,732
Number of housemates:
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £490. I managed to knock down a tiny discount on a one-bed with allocated parking. Very proud of myself for this.
Council tax: £86 with single person discount.
Loan payments: £0. I took out a personal loan from a family member to pay for my tuition fees and finally paid off the full amount of £10,125 earlier this year.
Utilities: £30-40 gas and electric, £20 for internet. Not sure how much I will pay for water as I haven’t been here long enough to get a water bill just yet but not looking forward to that one…
Transportation: £411 annual car insurance. £68.75 biannual road tax. Usually around £40 per month on petrol depending on how far I’m travelling for social purposes. I would walk to work but currently WFH until 2021. I own my car outright. 
Phone bill: £9 SIM only. I bought my phone outright earlier this year. 
Savings? I had saved up a decent amount at the start of the year which took a hit when I paid off the remainder of my student loan, then took an even further hit as I moved out and got my own place. Currently I have £1,788 in an instant saver, £201.06 in a ‘save the change’ pot and £430 in an emergency pot which I may or may not eventually use for dental braces or a holiday. Trying very hard to build up my savings with the view of purchasing a house within the next five years. Yes, part of my five-year plan, ha. 
Other: £23 for contact lenses. £10 to charity. £40 per therapy session – I usually have around 1-2 sessions per month. Netflix: use my sister's. Amazon Prime: use my cousins' (thank God for brilliant family). I sell some of my clothes on Depop and Facebook Marketplace which usually brings in between £10-30 some months – not a lot but certainly helped me treat myself to a coffee when I was out of work.

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