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Money Diary: A Customer Success Manager On £65,000

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 28-year-old customer success manager living in London. I moved to London right after uni, mostly because that’s where all my friends were headed, and never left! I absolutely love this city, for all its flaws, and can’t see myself moving anywhere else anytime soon. I haven’t always had the best relationship with money, and spent most of my early and mid 20s working low-paying jobs while trying to keep up with my better-off friends. I also used to be a big partier, with the majority of my income being spent on nights out. This caused me to get into some debt with a big ol’ overdraft and a credit card. I consolidated that debt onto a couple of 0% interest credit cards in order to pay it down with the least additional cost. Thankfully, I have found more balance over the last few years. I don’t worry about surviving until the end of the month like I used to, but I do worry about not having enough money for big purchases and emergencies. I’m in the process of moving in with my partner, and I’m worried about the cost of finding a new place together (although excited to be able to split bills and grocery costs after several years of living the single life on my own).”
Occupation: Customer success manager
Industry: Technology
Age: 28
Location: London
Salary: £65,000
Paycheque Amount: £3,566.90 plus a £60 a month wellbeing allowance.
Number of housemates: One, my kitten (S), although my partner F will be officially moved in as of this month.
Pronouns: They/them
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £1,050 for a one-bed flat.
Loan payments: £188 towards one credit card and £25 towards the other (I have £2,950 of debt spread across two 0% interest credit cards which I used to consolidate other debt). £282 toward my student loan is taken automatically out of my salary as well — I don’t think I’ll ever pay that baby off.
Pension?: Yes, I pay £183.45 and my employer matches this contribution.
Savings?: £1,900 Monzo savings pot. I’m going to use this for my half of a deposit and moving expenses, as F is temporarily moving into my flat while we search for a new place of our own to rent. When I get my deposit back from my current flat, I intend to use that to replenish the savings account and start aggressively saving once we’re settled, in order to build up a rainy day fund.
Utilities: £99.82 council tax; £51 electricity; £17 water (F has started contributing to these as of this month, but does not contribute towards the rent yet).
All other monthly payments: £19.52 renter’s insurance; £9.98 pet insurance; £9.49 phone insurance; £36.22 phone bill; £100 family support to my mum; £41 quarterly TV licence; £112 yearly Picturehouse membership. Subscriptions: £10.99 Spotify; £15.98 Netflix; £2.99 NowTV; £3.25 Mubi; £59.99 ClassPass; £53.75 Untamed Cat food subscription; £53.75 Who Gives a Crap toilet paper; £38 Smol cleaning products (every six months).
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Neither of my parents went to university, but both really wanted me to get at least an undergraduate degree. I got a BA from a Russell Group university, and generally really enjoyed my time there. Everything was paid for with student loans, and I also got the highest amount of maintenance loan and maintenance grant, as well as access to a hardship fund my university had.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I knew we couldn’t afford a lot of things, so the conversations I do remember were more about setting my expectations for what school trips we could or couldn’t afford, what school clothes we could afford and so on. My mum also had an ex who took out loans in her name, so she talked about not letting a partner do that, being careful about combining finances with someone, and not getting into credit card debt. I don’t remember my dad talking about money, and he was unemployed for a large stretch of my childhood.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
I moved out at age 18 for university. I came back during the holidays, but never moved back for a long stretch after this, although I lived with other family members (with subsidised rent) for about three months during an internship after I graduated.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
Probably not until I was 23 or 24. My mum sent me quite a lot of money during uni and for a few years after I graduated when I was working very low paying jobs. My first full-time job after uni only paid £15,000 a year which is not enough to live on in London (I was also extremely irresponsible with money during this time). She helped with rental deposits, bought me a laptop, and bailed me out on more than one occasion when I hit my overdraft limit. This is why I send her money every month: partly to pay her back (although we never kept proper track of the money she gave me, and neither of us consider it an official “loan”) and partly because I want to help her out now that I am in a better financial position.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I was an assistant art technician employed by my school for minimum wage aged 16. I got it because I wanted some additional spending money (to spend on Topshop skinny jeans and cigarettes probably) and was friendly with the art teachers.
Do you worry about money now?
All the time. I know I’m not the best with money — in fact I’m hyper aware and critical of myself about this. I’m trying to get better about impulsive spending and build up my savings, but I do feel “behind” compared to other friends my age who are putting down house deposits or going on expensive holidays. I’m getting better about not comparing myself, especially as a lot of my friends come from very different financial backgrounds to me. All of that being said, I’m in a much better financial position than I could have ever dreamed of growing up and am very grateful for this.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
When my great grandad passed away, all the great grandkids received £10,000. I intended to save this, but ended up using it to subsidise my living in London when I was on a low salary. I regret this as I would love to have this safety net now.