Money Diary: Aspiring Author In London On 30k

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, a writer who recently quit their salaried day job to work on a first book. Income comes from odd writing jobs for magazines and brands. Living with parents, friends and other family while looking for something more permanent. Supposed to be saving money but failing. Most of it goes on alcohol and Ubers... old habits (from full-time employment) die hard.


Industry: Journalism and publishing
Age: 25
Location: London
Salary: No fixed salary because I’m currently freelancing four days a week, but I think it would work out at about 30k before tax. So far, companies rarely seem to pay on time, so it’s quite hard to keep track of exact income, despite my best efforts.
Paycheque amount: £2,650 last month, £650 of which I put aside for tax.
Number of roommates: 0

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: Currently nothing, although will look at getting a new place in February or March.
Loan payments: Student loan? Will figure out how much I need to pay when I do my tax return. That’s when you pay it, right? They should teach this stuff in PHSE.
Utilities: Currently nothing
Transportation: £38 per week for a travel card (I pay extra for Zone 3).
Phone bill: This month it was £95.07!! I was away for two weeks last month and kept forgetting to turn off my data roaming. Usually about £45.
Health insurance: I don’t have this but I have worldwide travel cover that I bought for the whole year at £50.
Savings: At the start of the month I transfer my mum about £500 in savings and then usually ask for half of it back in week three when I’ve run out of money.