Money Diary: A Disability Advisor On 32k

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 24 years old and I work full-time as a disability advisor in the higher education sector. I moved to London and started this job just less than three months ago. I am also self-employed and work assisting with autism assessments, which tends to make me an additional £15,000-£20,000 per year. I’m very lucky to have this self-employed work as it’s allowed me to build my savings. I’ve always really enjoyed saving. I had multiple jobs throughout my time at university and continue to have two jobs now. I try to bulk-cook, shop at the cheapest supermarkets and make use of coupons and freebies. My friends would refer to me as frugal. My partner and I are currently living in a flat for one month between our tenancies and after that I’ll be moving into a rented property with two friends."
Occupation: Disability advisor 
Industry: Higher education 
Age: 24 
Location: London 
Salary: £32,000 as a disability advisor, £15,000 for self-employed work. 
Paycheque amount: Roughly £2,000 (I have recently started my job so I'm unsure exactly).
Number of housemates: Two
Pronouns: She/her 
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: I'm currently living with my partner between housing contracts and my half of the rent is £375. I'm moving into a rented house with two friends next week, which will cost £700 each.
Loan payments: Approximately £70 student loan. 
Pension? I don’t currently pay into my pension. My employer contributes to my pension after three months so I’ll start paying into it after that. 
Savings? I have roughly £44,500 in savings. This includes £5,500 in a Help to Buy ISA, £9,000 in an emergency fund and £30,000 in investments.
Utilities: Currently included in my rent.
All other monthly payments: £6 phone contract (SIM only).
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I did an undergraduate and a master's degree, both at the same uni. For my undergrad degree, I used a student finance loan to cover my tuition fees and received the minimum maintenance loan. I was lucky that my parents helped me out when needed but I also worked basically full-time every summer and had five part-time jobs (like student ambassador/cleaner/tutor/bar staff) over the course of my degree. I took a loan out for my master's and received a discount on tuition fees because I did it at the same uni. I also did four part-time jobs, which included teaching first-year students, student ambassador work, blogging etc. As well as this, I was really lucky to be able to start self-employed work as an assistant psychologist during my master's, which has ended up earning me about £15,000-£20,000 per year for the past three years. Because of this (and the pandemic meaning I had very little to no social life), I actually ended up saving quite a lot of money during my master's year. 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I remember when I was around 14, my parents set me up a little NatWest bank account which only allowed me to get cash out from an ATM, rather than pay using the card. They would pay me £40 per month pocket money into this account and we definitely spoke about how to budget etc. I was encouraged to get a job as soon as I was legally able to and I think that also really helped me understand the value of money and how to manage it.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house? 
I moved out when I was 18 to go to university. I moved back home for my placement year of my undergraduate degree.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects  of your financial life?
I'd say after leaving uni I became completely financially independent but I'm really lucky that my parents would be able and willing to step in financially if I ever needed them to. 
What was your first job and why did you get it? 
I started working as a sales assistant in a shoe shop just after I turned 16. My older siblings all got jobs as soon as they turned 16 so it was very much expected that I would as well. I also remember being really keen to get a job so I could have more money to spend than my pocket money. 
Do you worry about money now? 
I don't. I'm very lucky to have two incomes which add up to a good annual salary. I'm also very frugal so even though I could probably afford to spend more money, I like to save wherever I can. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No I haven't. 

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