The third Bridget Jones film was released on iTunes this week. How does her lifestyle stack up today?
The holiday season is finally over. For some, a time of joy, celebration, love and excitement. For others, a time of military-style family interrogations about your love life. For either, once you've finally escaped, reality can hit hard.
Luckily, there’s always Bridget Jones to assure you you're definitely not alone. (And if that fails, there’s always Chaka Khan). In fact there are approximately 846,600 single women between the age of 30-34 living in England and Wales.
The third film in the Bridget Jones franchise was released on iTunes this week, and although it has been a full 16 years (yep!) since the first film was released, the struggles of a single girl in the big city are still real. After watching the original for the 10, 000th time, you can't help but wonder: Could a single woman in her mid-30s afford Bridget’s lifestyle in London today?
So, in the interests of science, let's get our facts together...
Bridget lived on her own in a small flat in Borough,in London’s Zone 1 (lucky!). If she was renting, today’s prices would mean a monthly expense of roughly £1500 to £2000.
Having an immoderate drinking and smoking habit isn’t cheap either. Let’s assume Bridget was smoking two packets of cigarettes a week and drinking two glasses of wine around four times a week, that would come to a conservative total of £352 a month.
Everyone's favourite singleton was also a regular takeaway enthusiast. If she was ordering nowadays through a delivery app, she would need to spend at least the minimum order value of around £10 per meal. If she had her food delivered twice a week, It would cost her around £80 per month.
A monthly travel card to travel for zones 1-2 of London costs £126.80 while the average household food spend is £58.80 per week (£235.20 per month).
Bridget had a fairly junior role in publishing house. The average salary for a publishing assistant, according to Glassdoor is £19,750. If you factor in tax and student loan repayments, she would take home around £1366 per month. That is a monthly overspend of over £900. There isn't a bank in the world that would be cool with that.
Bridget in 2017
There is no way she would be able to afford this lifestyle in this day and age– and we totally feel her pain. The general rule for budgeting is to split outgoings using a 50/30/20 method. So 50% of her income would go towards necessities, 30% towards rent and 20% for savings. Seems pretty unrealistic.
So if Bridget was in her mid-30s in 2017, she would need to get budgeting and change her lifestyle drastically, lose the pricey flat, start negotiating her wage and move to a more reasonable house-share somewhere in zone 2 or 3, surrounded by her friends and crying over Darcy or Daniel (or her latest Tinder disaster) with a glass of cheap wine. Takeaways would be luxury and food shopping would happen at Lidl – until she gave in to the lure of Whole Foods.
One things for sure though, 16 years and three films on, Bridget's appeal is still as strong. Fast-forward to the third film and her financial situation is very different. Maybe she can be an inspiration to us all! Happy watching!