Money Diary: A Comedian In London On 35k

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 we're with a comedian who makes her living doing that and lots of different bits and bobs, and is currently doing something to do with freelance social media on the side. She lives in London, always takes too much on, and is consistently chasing invoices. Sometimes she says she is very good with money and then sometimes, like last month, she drunk-bought £200 of expensive moisturiser.

Industry: Writer/comedian
Age: 29
Location: London
Salary: £35,000
Paycheque amount per month: I don't ever get paid on time, literally ever. It's usually between £1,500-£3,500. This month it's £250 because everybody decided to pay me late.
Number of housemates: 2

Monthly Expenses

Housing costs: £579 for rent and council tax (I am living in my sister's flat and the landlord doesn't know)
Loan payments: £0 (I haven't paid my student loan in ages OOPS)
Utilities: £50 covers water, electricity and gas
Transportation: £250 a month
Phone bill: £27
Other: I put 20% of my earnings in a tax account which I use to pay, er, tax. It's the most sensible thing I do and would recommend it to all freelancers. I also pay £150 a month to my dad, because he paid for my MA which was £10k. I also pay £65 a week to a therapist because I have anxiety issues.

Day One

9.25am: I am not used to rush hour because I'm a freelancer, so I buy a second breakfast at Pret despite having eaten porridge at home. It's more porridge, and some fruit. Vow not to do this again. £7.95

12.50pm: I bought one of those reusable water bottles and lost it so need to buy water bottle at the gym. I lost the reusable water bottle five months ago. Probably should sort this. £1

6pm: I have a meeting after work with my director who is directing a live show I'm doing. He buys me a wine, which I hate, because it means I have to buy him a wine. I buy him a wine. £6.95

8pm: I am doing a friend's gig, as I do live comedy, and I can't afford to buy dinner until I'm paid tomorrow so I buy some cashews to keep me going. £3

Total: £18.90
Day Two

10am: I am moving house and need to buy my rabbit a new hutch because I sat on it when drunk and it broke. All hutches are expensive, so get my flatmate, who is really handy, to make one. Just have to buy all the wood and hinges and stuff I don't understand online. Nobody has paid me today, so I feel sick and am in my overdraft. £147.56

6pm: Seeing Queens of the Stone Age. Meet up with friends beforehand at TGI Friday (?) and everyone orders cocktails. I forget nobody has paid me and buy two Pornstar Martinis and some chips because I am high on life. £24

7pm: I realise what I have done and am so annoyed at myself I buy another glass of wine at the venue bar, which is A TENNER. I feel ill. £10

Total: £181.56
Day Three

2pm: I have the day off from my job to do freelance stuff, so I pack a lunch. I forget the lunch. I buy some of those lentil crisps that look healthy but aren't and starve for the day as can't afford food. I really want to name all the places who haven't paid me on Twitter, but I don't. I just glower. £2

6pm: I cave and have a burrito because forgot I was doing a friend's gig which means I will not be able to eat until about 10pm and I'm shaking. I do not enjoy the burrito. I call my dad and have a little cry. £5.95

10.30pm: I do a shop at Tesco Extra (pasta, tomato sauce, porridge oats, raisins to make the porridge less sad) on way back from gig because I haven't had time to do a proper online shop. Also, I'm not in for the slots. I leave at 7am and am back at 11pm. Tesco Extra is so much more expensive than online Tesco. £16

Total: £23.95
Day Four

12.25pm: Yes, I still haven't bought a reusable water bottle, so buy another cheap one at the gym. £1

3pm: I pay my accountant. She has done my tax return for me and I can't thank her enough, what an absolutely wonderful human. £125

7pm: I haven't seen my boyfriend for a week, so we have a date night. I like Zizzi and I'm not ashamed, it does really good pizza. I refuse to let him pay for me even though he earns three times the amount I do. Feminism or stupidity? You decide. £25

8pm: We go on the Thames Clipper rather than take the Tube. It's a lot nicer than the Tube. £4.50

Total: £155.50
Day Five

9.30am: Two water guns. I am doing marketing for a new live show I'm working on and would like the image to be me spraying water everywhere. I have left it to the last moment to buy them so have to sign up for Prime and then put a note in diary to cancel Prime. £9.99

12.25pm: I STILL haven't been paid. I am too panicky to go to the gym so sit in a café and have lunch by myself so people at work don't see me cry. £5.99

1.30pm: Get message from flatmate. The moisturiser I bought when drunk a month ago because they said they would help my chronic IBS have arrived and he just had to pay £30 custom charges as they came over from the US. I forgot I'd bought them. I chase all my invoices again, and transfer him the money. £30

Total: £45.98
Day Six

11am: I buy food for a breakfast and lunch as I need to make packed ones and don't have anything in the kitchen that can reasonably be packed and eaten cold. £24

2pm: I have to pay a share of the rehearsal room I'm, er, rehearsing in. £10

7pm: I am doing a show that I'm really nervous about, so I have a glass of wine. That's allowed. IT'S ALLOWED. £6

11.30pm: I get an Uber home because the gig was awful, it ran on incredibly late, nobody cared or laughed and my boyfriend's much more attractive ex was also on and was really good. £11

11.30pm: OK fine I had three more glasses of wine. £18

Total: £69
Day Seven

10am: I'm writing at a friend's house all day and we are pooling resources for lunch. I buy a meat thing (actual sausage) to go with my not-meat thing (vegetarian sausage) so we can both have the same meal (sausage and mash). £5.47

4pm: How is nothing in my kitchen an actual meal, when I've been buying bits and bobs all week? I buy hummus, loads of salad stuff, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pesto. £18.99

5pm: Walking past a charity shop I see a warm winter coat! I don't have one! I'm so cold! I also see some shoes that I definitely do have, but want. It's a charity shop, right? So it's fine?! £23.99

7pm: As a flat, we sort out money we all owe each other from food shops, when someone hasn't had their card, etc. I get off quite lightly but still have to pay £65. God.

Total: £113.45
The Breakdown

Food/Drink: £181.30
Entertainment: £0
Home Supplies: £65
Clothes/Beauty: £23.99
Travel: £15.50
Other: £322.55

Total: £608.34
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