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Money Diary: A Criminology Student & Part-Time Carer In Leicester

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 21-year-old full-time final-year criminology with psychology student and a part-time carer. I work full-time over the summer and then part-time during term. I currently live at my boyfriend’s parents’ house so that we are able to start saving for our own house once I have finished uni. Before COVID, we split our time between my parents’ and N’s parents’ but had to choose one to stay with once the first lockdown began. It isn’t ideal and I miss my family but I’m grateful that they allow me to stay.”Industry: Healthcare/StudentAge: 21Location: Leicester Salary: £9 per hour part-time job (£13.50 at weekends) plus £3,400 student loan annually.Paycheque amount: Changes monthly depending on how much I work but roughly £500.Number of housemates: Three: my boyfriend, N, and his parents. Monthly ExpensesHousing costs: I pay £50 in board to N’s parents, I always feel like this is not enough but N pays more and this allows me to save. Loan payments: £0. I haven’t started paying my student loan back yet as I am still receiving it.Utilities: £0Transportation: I pay £500 for my car insurance but this is yearly. At the moment I am probably spending around £70 on petrol a month as I am only working part-time. Phone bill: £18.50Savings? £4,400 in Help to Buy ISA. £1,500 in another savings account. Other: Netflix £8.99.Day One9am: Woken up to a cup of tea in bed from N, my favourite way to start the day. Sit in bed scrolling on social media for a bit before getting up and getting ready. Decide to actually put makeup on as my skin is disgusting at the moment and I have a Zoom call today. 10.30am: Three-hour work training via Zoom. Only three of us in the meeting so I actually have to pay attention. 1.30pm: Training meeting is finally over! Realise I haven’t eaten yet so quickly grab a bagel before getting on with my dissertation work. 3pm: Scroll on Instagram and make myself feel sad from comparing myself to other people. Decide to delete Instagram. Also decide to nip to the Co-op to get Mini Eggs, cookies and Kopparberg to make me feel better. £64pm: N is home from work. Sit and watch trashy TV together for a little while. 5pm: We have decided that none of us can be bothered to cook tonight. Order a McDonald’s. N’s parents kindly pay for us. 6pm: Spend the rest of the evening watching Pretty Little Liars and scrolling aimlessly on my phone while N plays his game with his friends. This is how most of my evenings seem to go at the moment due to lockdown. I have also re-downloaded Instagram, can’t seem to stay off it for too long. 9pm: Come across a brand that allows you to customise your own shampoo and conditioner. I fill out the whole survey, get to the checkout and decide I probably shouldn’t spend £39 on shampoo and conditioner while I am only working part-time. 11.30pm: Time for bed. Spray some lavender spray that I got for Christmas and pass out straightaway. Total: £6 Day Two9am: Woken up by N’s dad knocking on the door. N works with his dad so uses him as an alarm so this usually wakes me up too. I don’t mind because I should probably be awake by 9am anyway.9.30am: N brings me a cup of tea and they go off to work. I drink my cup of tea while planning out my day. I like to write a to-do list every morning as I find it makes me more productive. 9.45am: I don’t have any Zoom calls today so I don’t bother getting ready properly. I have a shower and leave my hair to dry by itself. My hair was bleached up until a couple of months ago so I am trying to get it back into better condition, difficult when I can’t get a haircut. 10am: Start getting on with my dissertation. Work on it for about 10 minutes before deciding I’m hungry and taking a break to get food. 11am: My first seminar of the day. I really do not enjoy online uni and miss going in and seeing people but it doesn’t look like I will ever get to do that again as I am in my final year. Lecturer tells us that there are technical difficulties today so she cannot do the session properly. Reason 13712936 why I hate online uni!12pm: Seminar over and time for food. I eat food from in the house so doesn’t cost me anything. Watch some YouTube videos while eating and end up stressing myself out about trying to get a graduate job after I finish uni. Look at jobs instead of doing the work I need to do and panic that I’m still not sure what I want to go into. 3pm: Online uni is finished for the day and N is back from work. To be completely honest, I had a meltdown thinking about the current situation and struggled to pull myself out of it. 5pm: Still feeling down and can’t seem to take my mind off how I’m feeling. N suggests going to the shop. Spend £7 on snacks at the corner shop. When we’re paying, we spot a bottle of cherry vodka which we also decide to buy, £20 but we pay half each. 6pm: Starting to feel a bit better. N’s mum has made us dinner and N and I watch some TV together. Watch an episode of Explained on Netflix about animal intelligence while we eat. 7pm: Decide to do a face mask with N, for some reason we choose to do Christmas face masks even though it is definitely not Christmas anymore. Mine is an elf and N’s is Santa. Start watching Irreplaceable You on Netflix, it’s a sad film but it has made me put my feelings into perspective as someone else always has it worse. 10.30pm: Have an early night, crying for half the day must have tired me out. Total: £17Day Three10am: Wake up and realise it’s 10am. Forgot that N and his dad aren’t at work today so I haven’t been woken up. Grab my laptop and begin working on my dissertation. 11am: Bring N a cup of tea in bed and sit chatting for a bit. We both seem to be having really strange, vivid dreams at the moment so we discuss these for a while. 12pm: N suggests making a full English breakfast, he says he will cook if I buy the food. Go to the Co-op and spend £6.25 (we already had some of the stuff we needed). It’s times like these when, pre-COVID, we would have gone out for food and spent a lot more. N makes brunch which we sit and eat together while watching Explained on Netflix. 3pm: Leave for work. I’m actually excited to go to work and have a catch-up with my lovely clients, even if it is through a mask and face visor. It’s nice to see some different faces. I work as a carer for the elderly and, especially at the moment, I am often the only person they have seen that day. 6.50pm: I’m running 10 minutes early to my next call so I quickly get some petrol (£29.54) and grab a drink while I’m at the petrol station (£1.20). I usually bring a drink with me but I forgot today. 8.15pm: Finish work and ring N to ask if he wants me to get anything on the way home.8.40pm: Go to the local Co-op (again!) and pick up ice cream for N (I don’t like ice cream, I know I’m weird), cookies, Pot Noodles and crisps. £78.45pm: Finally home. Make a Pot Noodle for dinner and a cup of tea. Spend the rest of the evening watching Pretty Little Liars on BBC iPlayer. Total: £43.99Day Four8.30am: Woken up by N’s dad as usual. Lie around in bed and struggle to wake up properly.9am: N brings me a cup of tea and I write my to-do list while I drink it.12pm: Have been doing uni work all morning. At the moment I am writing a witness report for a made-up case as part of one of my psychology modules so I am enjoying it much more than an essay. Grab food from in the house. 1pm: N is home from work. I suggest starting Couch to 5k and N agrees. I am so unfit and was trying to get into the gym before COVID so I need to do something to be a bit more fit but also to get me out of the house.2pm: Shattered from the first run, I decide to make an iced coffee. Go downstairs to find there is no milk. Go to the shop, buy milk and bread (£3). Make myself a coffee. 5pm: Have been doing more uni work this afternoon but now I’m hungry. Make dinner for N and me, we have spicy pasta with a pesto and mozzarella bake. As usual, we decide that we are now world-class chefs. Watch an episode of Explained on Netflix about billionaires while we eat. The episodes are the perfect length to watch over dinner. 6pm: Wash up and tidy the kitchen before settling down for the evening. 11.30pm: Decide I should probably go to bed after falling asleep watching trashy TV. Total: £3Day Five8am: Wake up and grab a cup of tea. 8.30am: Start tidying up and cleaning the bedroom. I’m in the same room pretty much constantly so I get distracted if it isn’t perfectly clean and tidy. I don’t feel like doing uni work at the moment so put the TV on. I have become quite accustomed to a bit of daytime TV!11am: First productive thing of the day: meeting with my dissertation tutor. These meetings help to motivate me so much so I really enjoy them. 11.30am: Start doing the work that my dissertation tutor suggested but then N gets home and I’m distracted. Decide I’m hungry and want soup. We don’t have any in the house so, as always, nip to the local Co-op and buy some (£3). Proud of myself for resisting getting any snacks while in there. 1pm: Last online lecture of the week. My course only has about eight hours contact time which feels like even less now it is all online so I do try to go to all of them.3pm: Parcel arrives from N. He has bought me a personalised bottle of watermelon vodka that says “Cheer up mardy bum” on it. He ordered it when I had a meltdown a few days ago!4pm: Decide I cannot be bothered to do any more work today so I switch my laptop off. Start a new series on Netflix called Spinning Out. For some reason, I’m really into ice skating programmes at the moment. 6pm: As it is Friday, we decide to treat ourselves to a takeaway. Last year we would order way too many takeaways so have now limited ourselves to ordering once a week in order to save money. Decide on Chinese, my turn to pay. £24 7pm: Chinese comes and we decide it isn’t even that good and we could have made a nicer dinner ourselves. Oh well, you live and you learn!8pm: Spend the rest of the evening watching Spinning Out.10pm: Early night because N has an early start at work tomorrow morning. Total: £27Day Six6.20am: Woken up by N’s alarm. He used to be a carpet fitter before working with his dad so often has jobs on at the weekend. I usually work on Saturday too but did not get a shift this week. Go back to sleep.9.30am: Wake back up and get ready for the day. Grab a cup of tea to take out with me.10am: Drive to meet my mum for a walk. My parents got a puppy at the end of last year and I have barely been able to see him. Pick up some flowers for Mum on the way. £5 1pm: Back from my walk and eat some lunch. Sit and watch the rest of Spinning Out on Netflix. 5pm: Decide to make dinner for N and I as I am hungry. N is not back yet but he can reheat his when he is. Make pasta with veg and chicken from things already in the house. 5.30pm: Still watching TV, it’s all I seem to do at the moment. Carry on watching Pretty Little Liars. 9.30pm: N finally back from work! Catch up on each other’s days (not that I have anything to catch him up on because I haven’t done much). Eat some cake that my mum gave me earlier and have an early night.Total: £5Day Seven10.30am: Just woken up, I love a Sunday lie-in!11am: Bring N a cup of tea in bed and discuss our dreams. We both keep having quite vivid dreams about the most random stuff so it’s interesting to discuss them. Eat cake for breakfast because why not.1pm: N has just got back from quoting a carpet job he is doing next week and we are going for our next Couch to 5k walk/run. 1.30pm: Back from the run, sit downstairs talking to N’s parents for a bit before making everyone a cup of tea and a sausage sandwich. 2pm: Tidy up and clean N’s room. Not sure how it gets so messy when we don’t even do anything.3.30pm: Back to watching Netflix. In normal times I don’t watch TV as much but I cannot do anything else and lack motivation to do anything productive. 5.30pm: N’s mum makes us dinner which is lovely. Watch Explained on Netflix while we eat, this episode is about the global water crisis. 6pm: Time for Dancing on Ice, my fave programme at the moment! Watch this while drinking a Bailey’s hot chocolate and watching it start to snow outside. 8.30pm: Plan out what I want to get done in the coming week with my uni work. This is the only way I end up being productive. 11pm: Do my skincare and time for sleep. Total: £0The BreakdownFood/Drink: £67.45Entertainment: £0Clothes/Beauty: £0Travel: £29.54Other: £5Total: £101.99Conclusion “I think this week I spent a lot more on food than I should have done and did too many separate trips. I should have done a weekly shop and included snacks in that to stop me nipping to the shop. Other costs are pretty average. I don’t often spend money on clothes or beauty. I am trying to work through all my beauty products because I have way too many as it is. I also very rarely buy clothes. I think if I had done this pre-COVID I would have spent money on entertainment for nights out, cinema trips and restaurants. I have also learned from this week that I need to be more productive as all I seem to do is watch Netflix!” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: A 26-Year-Old In Hong Kong On 30kMoney Diary: 25-Year-Old Nurse On 27kMoney Diary: A TV Producer On £300/d In London