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'm a 24-year-old chartered surveyor living in London. I’ve been in the same job since graduating, recently finishing the graduate scheme and gaining my membership into the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. I’ve spent the past few months revising for the final interview, and now that I have passed, I am looking forward to taking advantage of everything London has to offer! I would definitely say I am a saver not a spender. My savings have come from regular saving, and minimal expenditure. I haven’t inherited any money or been given any large payouts at work. However, I am very good at putting bonuses into my savings straight away (these tend to be £500 - £1,000). In my industry, once you have reached chartership you normally move jobs, and I won’t lie, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since I passed! There is a potential work relocation for my boyfriend and since I have always wanted to move abroad, I am going to stick where I am for the next few months and then move with him. I will start looking for new positions in that country in the coming months. I am very lucky that I won’t need to worry about a visa as my mum has enabled me to get quite a few different passports!"
Occupation: Chartered Surveyor Industry: Real Estate Age: 24 Location: London Salary: £46,750 Paycheque Amount: £2,900 Number of housemates: Two Pronouns: She/her
Housing costs: £795 per month rent. I live in a house share with my two best friends in zone 2. We got a good deal as we signed during Covid, but we are all leaving at the end of the year and the next tenants are paying considerably more than we are now. Loan payments: No loans. Pension?: It currently has £5,943 in it. I pay in 3% (£150 per month), and my employer 5% (£187.50 per month). Savings?: I currently have about £35,000 saved in two savings accounts and a Help to Buy ISA. I put £200 a month into my ISA by standing order, £200 a month into my savings by standing order, and then transfer whatever I have left over at the end of the month into this as well. Utilities: £100 for bills. All other monthly payments: £42 phone bill. Subscriptions: Spotify £10 per month, Apple iCloud £2.49 per month.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I have an undergraduate degree and a masters degree. My parents funded my undergraduate degree (which I will forever be grateful for) so I don't have any student loans. I know I'm extremely fortunate and this isn't the norm. As for my masters, this was required as part of my graduate scheme. My work organised this and the cost was covered 60% by my company, 40% by me, taken out of my salary and spread out during the time I was studying. I will get this 40% back if I stay at my company for another six months, however if I leave then I will have to repay the 60% my company paid.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? My siblings and I were each given debit cards when we were 16 and my parents gave us money each month to manage ourselves. I've always been quite good with money, so they kind of let me figure it out myself, helping when I asked. I was taught the importance of credit cards when I was at uni, so I now use them like debit cards and pay for everything with them, ensuring to pay them off each month of course. Because of this I have a great credit score!
If you have, when did you move out of your parents/guardians house? I went to boarding school from age 16, so I haven’t really lived at home full time since then. After A-Levels I went straight to uni, and then I moved to London and started working.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? 21. I started my first job out of uni a couple of months after graduating, and I have been entirely self sufficient since then. My parents have taken me on a few holidays however, and will take me for lunch when they happen to be in London. My mum recently paid £400 for me to see a specialist about my heart and I use my family’s Netflix subscription.
What was your first job and why did you get it? I started babysitting aged 14, this was just for extra spending money. I worked throughout sixth form and uni holidays in various jobs (at Boots, kids activity camps, etc), again just for extra cash.
Do you worry about money now? No, I don't. If anything I worry about inflation, increased cost of living, house prices, etc. I am one of those people who can sit on RightMove all day, and I know everything and anything that's selling in my area. I am desperate to own my own property, but I've come to terms that it won't happen for a long while yet. I have built up a good safety net in my savings, and I know my parents will always be there to help out should I need it.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? No.
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