Money Diary: A Customer Service Manager In Yorkshire On 24.5k

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 26-year-old single woman living in Yorkshire. I've recently bought my first home and have been spending time and money making it my own. It's so far resulted in a growing obsession with houseplants and candles! In terms of my career, I have worked in customer service pretty much my entire working life but I became a manager a few years ago. I have 20 people that line into me at the moment, which can be quite hectic at times just from an admin/HR perspective. I'm currently looking at switching roles (hopefully in the same company) to find a better work/life balance. I work long hours in shifts and it doesn't make it easy to have a social life or meet new people."
Occupation: Customer service manager
Industry: Retail
Age: 26
Location: Yorkshire
Salary: £24,500
Paycheque amount: £1,800 roughly depending on how my shifts fall in the month.
Number of housemates: None
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £300 mortgage payment.
Loan payments: £0
Savings? £20,000
Utilities: I pay £120 for gas and electricity. This is way more than I normally use but with the recent increases in energy costs, I'm conscious my bill could be much higher than normal, especially over winter. I pay roughly £20 for water, £20 for Wi-Fi and £90 for council tax.
All other monthly payments: My phone bill is £12. Subscriptions: I pay for Spotify Premium at £9.99. I made the mistake of doing a trial on Premium a few years ago and never looked back. Trust me, no ads will change your life! 
Pension? I pay about £80 a month into it but I have no idea how much is in it in total. I probably need to check this.
 
Did you participate in any form of higher education?
I went to university to study biology and really enjoyed it. I picked a subject that I knew would interest me and I'm glad I did! I got the standard student loan for the three years I was there and my parents were very generous to cover housing costs. The majority of my spending money was saved outside of term time with part-time/summer jobs. Some notable enterprises included car boot salesperson, planting potatoes and as an elf in Santa’s grotto.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My parents have always been very open that they had a working class upbringing and didn't have the same opportunities that I have today. They worked very hard for what they have but it was a struggle at the beginning. I am not sure I realised if money was tight when I was younger. My childhood was a happy one and we did caravan holidays in Cornwall most years which were always a brilliant time. My parents gave us everything we needed but we were never spoiled. They taught us the value of hard work and to always have some money saved for a rainy day.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I skipped off happily to university at 18 and slouched home at 21 once I graduated. I flew the nest again at 25 after I saved for my own place.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I would probably say 25. I paid my parents some rent while I was living there but I realise it might not have covered the true cost of me eating all the biscuits and taking hourlong showers. In hindsight I flinch at the wild abandon I had, ramping up the heating every five seconds. What was I thinking?
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first paid role was at 16. I worked eight hours every weekend in a Nike outlet store. Despite my inexperience I remember impressing the interviewers with my oddly confident presentation on running shoes – it involved a lot of lunges for some reason.
 
Do you worry about money now?
Yes and no. I have the luxury of not worrying about it day to day and I think that's a highly privileged position to be in, especially at the moment with rising costs. I was very meticulous in saving towards a house, with budget plans and expenses spreadsheets, so now I'm trying to be slightly more relaxed. That being said, as a single pringle I have no one to share the burden of rising living costs with. I have to rely on myself so I can't get too spendy all at once.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No.

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