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 30 years old and work in the charity sector as an events and training manager. I have always had a strong work ethic and had numerous jobs while at school and university. When I left university and moved to London, I started working in sales and although I was able to make a lot of money (which I ended up putting into savings), it was extremely stressful. The company I worked for was quite ruthless if you didn't hit targets so I always felt like I would be out the door if I ever slipped up. I have been at my current job for about three years. I initially had to take a pay cut but I'm so much happier for doing so. I only recently started earning my current salary and I’m hoping to continue to be prudent with my spending. My partner B and I moved into our unfurnished flat in October 2021 and we've been having a lot of fun picking things out together and making the place our own."
Occupation: Events and training manager Industry: Charity Age: 30 Location: London Salary: £36k Paycheque amount: £2,138 Number of housemates: One (my boyfriend, B) Pronouns: She/her
Housing costs: £750 is my share (going up next month to £825). Loan payments: My student loan averages around £110 in repayments. Savings? I have 8k in a LISA and another 18k in my savings account, which I have been saving for our future house deposit. Pension? I have a pension which I pay 3% of my earnings into and then my employer matches this. I have thought about increasing my contributions since my salary has increased but the ongoing uncertainty of living costs has stopped me from doing so. Utilities: Water is included. Electric via direct debit is £65 each. All other monthly payments: Phone contract is £41 for unlimited data/calls. Subscriptions: Netflix £10.99, ClassPass £15, Prime £7.99.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I went to university and took out a student loan in full. I was lucky to be able to go to university in the final year of £3k fees so the interest payments remain lower than those on £9k fees.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? I feel we talked about money quite openly and I was aware we were in a good position. When my parents got divorced my dad cut off all contact with my mum and would send his childcare payments into my account, which I would then transfer to my mum. It was annoyingly complicated but it made me appreciate the cost of things and how much we needed to live comfortably.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I fully moved out in 2016 to move down to London. My family home is up north but I had lots of friends from university living in London so I took the plunge and never looked back!
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? I would say fully independent by the time I was about 24/25 when I was able to make the move to London on my own. I’m very fortunate that there’s always space for me when I do come home.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was working in a department store on weekends as a retail assistant at 16. I wanted to be able to buy my own clothes and be more independent. Since then I have always done some kind of work during summer months off university or even temps jobs while at university.
Do you worry about money now?
I don’t necessarily worry about money as I have been able to save up over the years and feel like I have something to fall back on if I lost my job. However I worry that regardless of the money we have built up so far, we will still be priced out of the housing market.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No I haven’t.
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