Money Diary: A 28-Year-Old Assistant Brand Manager In Reading On 38.7k

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 people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
As every person's financial situation is unique, going forward we're asking diarists to complete a series of financial-based questions to provide readers with more context to their relationship with money. Please remember before commenting that the diarists are from a range of backgrounds and cultures and their experience, education and mental relationship with money might be very different from yours. Money Diaries are designed to provide readers with diverse experiences of spending, saving and asking for more in the hope that by learning from each other, we can build a more positive financial future together.
This week: "I'm an assistant brand manager, working in London and living in Reading. From a young age I've worked lots of different jobs in retail or hospitality, so I consider myself pretty independent, especially when it comes to money and saving. I joined my current company during the pandemic and I go into the office in London once or twice a week. I have been living with my sister, T, in Reading and we share a house together where we split everything equally. During the pandemic, I have been mostly working from home which has meant I've been able to save on travelling costs which would normally be spent on commuting and put this into a savings account which I will use for the future."
Occupation: Assistant brand manager
Industry: FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods)
Age: 28
Location: Reading
Salary: £38,750
Paycheque amount: £2,327
Number of housemates: Two
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £427.50
Loan payments: My student loan repayment is £49 a month, which is taken directly from my paycheque.
Savings? £6,500
Pension status: I have a pension which I pay 5% of my monthly income into, which is around £162.
All other monthly expenses: Phone bill £2 (this is a SIM-only deal which I managed to get as an add on as part of our broadband package). The energy bill is £51, the water bill is roughly £24.16, Wi-Fi is £29, council tax is £200 and £100 for home insurance which is paid yearly. All housing costs are split equally between T and I. My travel for one trip into the London office per week costs £24.50 for a return train ticket and £4.80 on TfL. Subscriptions: Netflix £5.99 and Spotify £9.99.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? We always discussed attending higher education at home, so that was the only option I considered. Looking back now, I wish I looked at an apprenticeship with one study day at university or online courses. To fund my time at university I took out a student loan and grants that were available to me. 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Money conversations with my family have always been positive and open. When I was in my teens, I remember my dad taking me to Nationwide to open a savings account so I could put some of my wages in and start building it up. He advised me to spend 40% and save 60%, which has always stuck with me, even to this day.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house? I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 22, after graduating from university and getting my first grad job. I haven’t lived with my parents since then. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? I became financially responsible for myself when I got a grad job and moved into a house share. I rented a room for £450 a month, including all bills, and the rest went on food, outgoings and savings.
What was your first job and why did you get it? My first job was working in a fish and chip shop. I really wanted to earn my own money so I could spend it on whatever I liked without having to rely on my parents constantly. 
Do you worry about money now? Occasionally, but I am comfortable in the position I am currently in. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain. No.

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