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Money Diary: A Doctor On £36,900

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 24-year-old foundation doctor in the South East. I’ve lived here for eight months since graduating from medical school last summer. I moved into a flat in the town centre and a few months later my partner of five years, T, moved in. He works in finance in London and commutes to the office twice a week. I was lucky enough to secure my first-choice job, so this is the first time in five years that I have been able to choose where I live. I really love it here and I’ll be incredibly sad to leave after a year, as I need to move to a different Trust for my training.
My average work week is 47 hours but depending on the rotation (we move departments every four months) I can work anywhere between 47-70 hours per week. We get paid for out-of-hours and on-call shifts on top of our base salary and some jobs have more out-of-hours work than others. My last job was very busy with long hours and I was pretty much always at the hospital. My current job is less busy and is normally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with on-call shifts weekly.
At the moment, T and I are both enjoying living together and having salaries rather than living off student finance. We are hoping to buy a property in the next five years as T earns significantly more than me so this will be helpful when it comes to saving for a deposit. I am enjoying this stage of my life and the freedom that it brings. Having a salary means I can afford to try new hobbies, I have been more creative with music and painting. At medical school I didn’t really have any hobbies other than fitness and gaming, so it is fun to experiment with new activities.”
Occupation: Doctor
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 24
Location South East
Salary £32,400 base salary, actual salary £36,900 (pre-tax)
Paycheque Amount: £2,300-£3,100 depending on the job (post-tax)
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend, T
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £435 for my half of the rent
Loan payments: £100 for my car (to a family member). Around £200-£350 to my mum, who leant me money. I have not started repaying my student loan yet.
Pension?: NHS pension, £240.
Savings?: I currently have £150 saved for Christmas and £150 for my mum’s birthday this year, as it’s a big one. I have £100 saved to go towards transport for my holiday, too.
Utilities: £18 water, £38 gas and electricity, £11 wifi.
All other monthly payments: £8.85 SIM-only contract, £7 SIM-only Apple watch, £21.99 gym, £10.08 BMA, £15 contact lenses, £7.50 Spotify. Subscriptions: £9.95 FFS razors, £13.50 Grind coffee.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I have a medical degree that I thankfully received grants for, alongside tuition and maintenance loans.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
We were comfortable until the financial crash in 2008, when my dad unfortunately had to close his business. I remember there being conversations that things were different, and we had to be more careful with our money. My parents definitely instilled in me the importance of only buying things that you can afford. I am very risk averse as a result. I use credit cards to build credit and essentially as an extension of my debit card. I will sometimes use them to spread the cost of things, but only for things I can afford. They have definitely put me off the idea of financing things like phones and cars. Wherever possible I try to buy things outright.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
At 18, for university.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
Around age 15, when I got my first job. At the moment I occasionally rely on my partner financially, but I always pay him back. I also help him when he needs it. I no longer rely on my parents, but I know they would help me if I needed it, and if they were able to. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
A sales assistant in a retail chain that has since sadly gone into administration. I wanted to be able to go out with my friends and get coffee or go to the cinema, and I didn’t like having to ask my parents for money.
Do you worry about money now?
For the most part no. I am fortunate to receive a decent salary (obviously with the junior doctor strikes this is a heated issue) and while I think I should be paid more for the work that I do, I am very aware that I earn more than many people in the UK, and certainly many families survive on a combined income of less than this (as my family did). My worries stem from the significant amount that I owe my parents and the fact that my partner and I would like to buy a property in the next five years. I worry that I won’t be able to save as much as I would like towards this and the fact that house prices in the South East are extortionate. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
I received £500 at 18 when my grandmother passed away, which I put towards Interrailing.