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Money Diary: A Communications Specialist On £52,000

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last penny.
This week: “I’m a 35-year-old communications specialist living in Bedfordshire, working a hybrid role for local government based in London. I have recently been promoted and I’m really happy with my current role, but I haven’t ruled out a further upward move. This isn’t because I necessarily want more responsibility but because I feel I need the money to continue to live comfortably. I live with my partner, S, and I own the home that we live in as I purchased it before S and I met. We are looking to buy a larger house together and have recently started to both actively save for this. However, houses where we live are very expensive and we are toying with the idea of moving further up north to get “more bang for our buck”. However, that would mean a longer commute for us both to work which isn’t ideal. With moving as our next financial goal we have made a conscious effort to rein in our spending on socialising, but we do find it hard not to book little city breaks and weekends away as we love travel and feel we are generally quite consistent in our saving.”
Occupation: Communications 
Industry: Local government 
Age: 35 
Location: Bedfordshire 
Salary: £52,000 
Paycheque Amount: £2,961 (four weekly) 
Number of housemates: One — my partner, S.  
Pronouns: She/her 
Monthly Expenses 
Housing costs: £600 mortgage payment
Loan payments: £200 (paying off a £700 credit card balance)
Savings: £500 in an easy-access ISA; £700 in an easy-access savings account for property management fees to be paid quarterly; £4,000 in investments; £6,000 in a fixed-term ISA.
Pension? I pay 6.8% annually. 
Utilities: Household bills (energy, TV and internet) are covered by my partner.
All other monthly payments: £11 phone; £200 towards quarterly property management and annual ground rent; £35 gym membership; £10 annual yoga app membership; £600 to savings account monthly. Subscriptions: £26.99 vitamin and wellness subscription.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? 
I have an undergraduate and a master’s degree, both of which were paid for with a mix of student loans and support from my parents. Both of these loans have been paid off a long time ago. I also worked every summer in between years at uni and took a year off between my undergrad and master’s to work to earn money towards paying for it. 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My parents were very careful and sensible with money, and always impressed on my sister and I the importance of saving and not getting into debt. We were given weekly pocket money but were expected to work for it with chores around the house. Our parents always made it clear that although they would support us at university, we were expected to also work to support ourselves. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
At 18 for my undergrad, then I moved back for short periods in between uni courses and living with boyfriends, et cetera. My parents have always made it clear we are always welcome back at home if we ever need it, which I am very grateful for.
Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? 
My partner S moved into the property that I had purchased before we met and I pay for the mortgage and property management, and he contributes by paying for bills and food. It works for us! We are looking to purchase a property together and the bills and mortgage for that will be split 50/50 when the time comes. 
What was your first job and why did you get it? 
My first job was waitressing at 16 in a local café to earn extra money to go out with my friends and go towards things like driving lessons. I was really keen to work and my parents very much encouraged it. 
Do you worry about money now? 
Yes — I want to buy a property with my partner and I worry about the rising housing costs. I worry about having children and being able to give them a comfortable life. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
My parents paid considerably towards both my degrees which meant I took out smaller student loans, which I am immensely grateful for. They are very generous and now often treat my sister and I to meals, gifts, and so on. They are amazing!