Money Diary: An NHS Commissioning & Contract Manager On 47k

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 27-year-old commissioning and contract manager working for the NHS and living in Wiltshire. My role is very all-encompassing, I do a mix of project management, research and analysis, stakeholder engagement and contract management. I’ve worked in public commissioning roles for six years now and I really enjoy the variety in the work that I do. I have just started an MBA apprenticeship through my employer in business management and I feel very grateful to be given this opportunity but as someone who has not had significant experience of academic learning, the process has been overwhelming at times. I live with my partner, L, and our dog, T. We bought our house in November 2018. L is much more frugal than I am and his behaviours and values have definitely rubbed off on me. We try to save our money to put towards holidays and decorating our house. We are probably significantly more frugal in comparison to our friends and because of this we try to prioritise the events and plans we commit to. This is much more challenging for me than for L as I am very much a yes person and love to sign us both up to plans."
Occupation: Commissioning and contract manager
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 27
Location: Wiltshire
Salary: £47,126 (+ approx £7,200 in independent work. This amount fluctuates but is from the independent work I do on non-working days/annual leave and when it is available).
Paycheque amount: £2,713.15 after tax, NI and pension contributions.
Number of housemates: Two: My partner, L, and dog, T.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £400 for my half of the mortgage, this is rounded up to include a small overpayment.
Loan payments: £0
Savings? £8,000 in an investments ISA which I consider my longer term savings and then £2,000 in different pots for our upcoming holiday, Christmas, birthday, car expenses, etc.  
Pension? Yes, I pay 9.3% (£359.75 from my last paycheque).
Utilities: My half of the joint bills are: £70 home insurance, £180 council tax, £67 TV and internet package, £42 water, £135 gas and electric.
All other monthly payments: £9 SIM only phone contract. £18 life insurance. £36 pet insurance. Subscriptions: £14 Spotify Premium, £149 per year for retainers.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? 
After I passed my GCSEs I struggled with considering further education and worked in a supermarket for a while. I then decided to enrol on a remote Level 3 business course and then went on to a Level 5 business course. Since joining the NHS I have been given the opportunity to complete an MBA through the government’s apprenticeship scheme. I feel hugely privileged to have been offered this opportunity as without it I’m not sure I would have been able to fund a university course.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I grew up in a household with alcohol and drug misuse. My mum has never worked and my dad always gave the impression of having no money problems. However, as I got older I realised that my dad would spend all of his money each month and would rely on credit cards to tide him over. I didn’t have any direct financial education from my parents. Since moving out, my dad has reached a payment plan regarding his debt but he definitely still has a spend mindset. My parents are both in recovery and my relationship with them is much better now.  
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
My partner and I moved out in 2018.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I would say I became financially responsible once I moved out. Although I worked full-time while living at home and would contribute towards the household, this was a subsidised amount.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?  
My first job was working on the shop floor in a supermarket. I really enjoyed this job. I got it because I didn’t feel ready to commit to a further education course and I was keen to begin earning money.
 
Do you worry about money now?
Yes, as I worry about the rising cost of living. I am more of a saver than a spender but I have been known to make some spontaneous expenditures. I really struggle with the ever-present internal conflict of trying to save while trying to enjoy my 20s. I am also aware that my parents don’t have a pension and I will likely need to support them both in the future. 
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
I received £500 in an ISA from my grandparents when I turned 17. I put this towards my first car.
Refinery29 is currently looking for someone who has a NatWest ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ card to take part in a paid opportunity around R29's Money Diaries. This person would need to be a conscious spender and saving up for or considering making a large purchase (£500 and under). If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please do send a bit of information about yourself and your financial situation to moneydiary@refinery29.uk.

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