A Week In Manchester On A 130K Sales Salary

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.

Today, we hear from a 25-year-old in Manchester making 130k a year from her sales job. She told Refinery29:
"When asked to do this I was a little apprehensive as I'm pretty sure none of my friends know my salary (I tell them I'm on £50,000!) But after having read previous Money Diaries on Refinery29 I have realised that my salary shouldn't be a taboo; I've worked hard to earn it."

Industry: Sales
Age: 25
Location: Manchester
Salary: £130,000
Paycheck Amount: I get around £6,500-7,500 after tax each month. I don't have a set figure because about 70% of my salary is based on commission.
No. of housemates: 1

Monthly Expenses

Student Loan:
Mortgage: £375
Council Tax: £57.50
Ground Rent: £125
Service Charge: £60
Electricity: £24
Water: £16.50
Internet: £10
Gym membership: £27
Parking: £35
Cleaner: £50
Food shop: £100
Savings: £4000


Day One

7am: I get up and walk to work. It's a 15 minute walk. The good thing about living in Manchester is that things are usually walking distance.
7.30am: Monday is a cheat breakfast day which entails a chocolate croissant and soya cappuccino from Pret for £4.75.

8am: Work starts so I need a caffeine kick. I use to have coffee every morning but soon added up my coffee spending to about £70 a month – or even worse £840 a year! – which is plain stupid. Holidays are far more important than that.

1pm: For lunch I normally have leftover food I bought over the weekend. However, I'm feeling lazy and hungover, so sushi for lunch it is – £4.50 from Nudo. Another great thing about living up North is how much cheaper you can get a beautiful selection of sashimi for.

7.30pm: Dinner... this is all at home ready and waiting for me, cooked by my amazing boyfriend. We have a monthly food budget of £200, split between us, which covers us during the week. On weekends we tend to go out or treat each other, depending on what our accounts allow us.

Daily Total: £9.25

Day Two

7.30am: I make a protein shake consisting of almond milk, cinnamon, one banana and vanilla protein powder. It fills me up and stops the chocolate croissant craving.

1pm: I didn't quite make it to do a weekly food shop so I opted for some soup and rice cakes: £5.73

6.30pm: I leave work and head over to the gym for a class. They're included in my £27 a month membership. The gym is great– it has a steam room, sauna and pool too!

7:30pm: Again dinner is served by my boyfriend (lamb chops and sweet potato mash) and I do the washing up and cleaning in exchange.

Daily Total: £5.73

Day Three

7.30am: Yes, you guessed it, back on the protein shake. It's my favourite breakfast. Then off to work.
1pm: I book my boyfriend and me a spa day for a date day on Sunday morning for £100 each, as I'm feeling tense and we haven't had a date day/ night for two weeks. I thought £200 was OK for two people as I have recently decided not to opt for my first designer bag... it was a beautiful Prada bag with an ugly price tag of £2500. I left my lunch at home again, so it's soup and a small chicken snack for £5.17

7pm: Dinner comes out of our food budget. On tonight's menu is fish cakes and steamed veg.

Daily Total: £205.17

Day Four

7am: Breakfast is served. My protein powder is running out so I order a new one for £40

12pm: At lunchtime I go home ill from work so pick up some comfort food, Horlicks and items for my boyfriend to make a spicy Thai red curry soup with sweet potatoes. The shop costs me £15.63. My boyfriend's been ill for two days. Being ill together is not great: we lie in bed sweating and taking it in turns to have coughing fits and make up Lemsip drinks.

3pm: I have an Amazon Prime voucher so we decide to spend it. We split it; I choose cleaning products for the house and a scented candle. We mutually agree on chocolate biscuits and my boyfriend wants to buy a set of Nerf guns. Of course his gun is the one that is better and has a roulette function for 6 bullets at a time. Mine, you have to load a bullet after each shot. This comes to a total of £13.31

6.30pm: For dinner we share the comfort food I bought earlier at Sainsbury's, a Taste The Difference pizza, and then devour the biscuits.

8pm: I'm back in bed.

Daily Total: £68.94

Day Five

8.30am: Yes, protein shake. I'm feeling much better.

1pm: For lunch I have some sushi: £5.62. I have a half day at work so I pop into French Connection on the way home and buy a top in the sale for £21. I very rarely buy anything full price; I live for sales and eBay. I've got too many clothes so this is the only thing I'll buy this month.

7.30pm: Off to celebrate my boyfriend's sister's graduation in Newcastle. I bought her a card and champagne when she found out she passed about a month ago so no present this time. Their parents kindly take us all out for dinner and we share a rented apartment.

Daily Total: £26.62

Day Six

10am: The apartment provides us with croissants and cereal so nothing spent on breakfast.

2pm: For lunch I bought a packet of crisps and a small popcorn chicken from services on the way back down to Manchester: £4.79

7pm: We go out for a friend's birthday in Altrincham. The tram return cost is £4.20. My boyfriend buys a round before dinner and I buy another one for us and the birthday boy after for £18.12. Dinner is incredible! Beautiful authentic southern Italian food. We share three bottles of wine between six and share two starters and have a main each. Dinner comes to £30 each. Everyone else has a drink afterwards at a bar. I'm too full and dehydrated so I opt for tap water. We get the tram back home and literally roll into bed happy and ready for the spa tomorrow.

Daily Total: £57.11

Day Seven

10am: We start the day with a full body massage. It's great! I feel amazing but I wish it could have lasted longer.

11am: We enjoy the steam room etc. but it's quite small so we get changed and go and grab brunch. Brunch consists of three coffees, one full English and one avocado and poached eggs. I get it – £35 including tips. I haven't thought twice about getting us this spa day and brunch because I recently realised that earning money was great, but what was even better was having someone to share your successes with and goals. With the change in mindset I've been enjoying my spare time more and have started to go on more casual dates with the other half, like a dinner at Wagamamas or midweek cocktails. This is something he has to budget for and think about as he earns a considerable amount less than me. That said, he does spoil me when he can.

6pm: We get home exhausted and relaxed and have a nap.

9pm: For dinner we roast up a chicken from the freezer. I prepare the leftovers as Monday lunches and make a stock for risotto for Monday's dinner.

Daily Total: £35


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