Money Diary: A 23 Year Old Assistant Project Manager On 33k

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 23-year-old assistant project manager living in Birmingham. I live with my family: my parents and two (out of five) siblings. I work from home 100% of the time as my team is based in another city. Originally I was planning on moving but every team member works from home 95% of the time so I didn’t see the point in moving five hours away to see my team one day every few weeks.
With regards to money, I'm a saver rather than a spender. I only tend to spend money on experiences, like holidays. I do treat myself occasionally, mainly with books or decor for my bedroom. But on the whole I tend not to touch most of my money as I am on the path to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). I am focusing more on the FI bit rather than the retiring early part for now so cutting down costs and saving and investing more is top of my list. I am striving to be able to take mini breaks from my career every few years. This may change but I can cope with the idea of working for the next 40 years of my life."
Occupation: Assistant project manager
Industry: Rail/construction
Age: 23
Location: Birmingham
Salary: £33,000
Paycheque amount: £2,056
Number of housemates: Four: my mum, dad and two siblings.
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £300 (including bills)
Loan payments: £0
Savings? Overall I have £13,400 in an ISA. This is held in stocks, mostly index funds and some individual ones. I have just over £16,000 in savings. I would like to buy a buy-to-let property and rent this out but I’m apprehensive about the big 20/25% deposit that needs to be put down.
Pension? I pay the maximum, which is 4% of my salary, and my employer matches that. They reduced it during COVID so hopefully this will rise soon, and I will match up to the maximum.
Utilities: I have no idea how much of my share of the ‘rent’ covers the bills but I pay £300 every month towards the cost of living. The sibling who works earns more than me so her share of the ‘rent’ is more.
All other monthly expenses: £5 monthly phone plan (I am on a SIM-only contract). Subscriptions: £2.50 Netflix (I share with three of my siblings). 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
As my parents immigrated here, they did have an expectation of us to go to university in order to get a good job. But when my sister introduced me to apprenticeships, I knew they were the right thing for me. My parents were more than happy for me to go as it was a better path than going to university, as I had already scored that ‘good job’ and the career progression that came with it.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
We had very open and frank conversations about money. I know what all my siblings earn and even how much they have in savings, which is apparently odd in some families. We do argue about money, more in the sense of we collectively need to make a decision about things when it is regarding the family house.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out at 18 and was gone for two years for my apprenticeship. Then I left for a further few months to go travelling. But I have been living at home since and plan to do so for quite some time.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
Since I was 18. I didn't want it any other way, especially considering I was earning money and did not want to be a tax on my parents anymore.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was my apprenticeship. I did not have any prior work experience, only a few things I’d done in school. I hated the idea of going to school for another three years so decided to earn and learn.
Do you worry about money now?
I most definitely think about money. I wouldn’t say ‘worry’ because I am quite comfortable financially and do not have any debts. I am constantly comparing myself against my peers, which is not a rabbit hole I like to find myself in but one I am in quite often. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No.

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