Money Diary: An Environmental Policy Officer On 30k

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 22 years old and working at my first big girl job in London. I graduated from university last summer and after spending most of my final year panicking about what to do (does anyone know?!), I fell into this role after a referral from my internship manager. I got the job in February and moved to London from Ireland. I have always had a huge interest in politics and shaping the very thing that determines the world around us. This is partly why my current role feels like such a let-down, as it doesn’t feel like the organisation truly wants to enact structural and systematic change, and it can feel like I’m working to achieve nothing. I’m in a time of my life where I feel like I’m at a huge transition stage, navigating a new city, relationships and figuring myself out. It’s been a stressful time but has definitely been one of immense growth."
Occupation: Policy officer
Industry: Sustainable development
Age: 22
Location: London 
Salary: £30,180
Paycheque amount: £1,900 roughly after tax 
Number of housemates: Two
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: I just moved into a new flat with friends that’s around £700 a month (at the time of writing I was paying £900).
Loan payments: £100 (ish) to student finance.
Pension? No clue.
Savings? £3,000 (these took a hit with my move and my family dog’s vet bills. I’m hoping to start investing my money soon). 
Utilities: £50 water, £25 gas, £10 each for Wi-Fi and electric.
All other monthly payments: £15 phone. Subscriptions: None! My flatmate has everything and I cancelled Amazon Prime to save money (and to spite Jeff). 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I utilised the standard route through the student loan system that most working class families do. I received the maximum grants and finance, and worked part-time to support myself.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
We never grew up having detailed conversations to educate us around financial literacy but the concept of money was prominent throughout our childhood. I was born and raised in New York City and my parents lived through the financial crash while going through a nasty and costly divorce. I grew up with quite a toxic relationship with money as my father was the main breadwinner and money was often utilised as a form of control. After the divorce my mother moved back to Ireland and I began to contribute to our finances at around 16.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out for university at 18 and then to London at 22.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I would say I became largely financially responsible for myself at 18. As a very close and small family we are financially dependent on each other. I know that my mum and sister would help me out in any way they could if I needed it and vice versa.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I got my first job just before I turned 16, working at a café. 
 
Do you worry about money now?
Absolutely. Since I grew up having money utilised as a form of manipulation and control, it has definitely impacted my relationship with money now. On the one hand I am a shopaholic and love to be able to have my own money and treat myself with no strings but at the same time I’m conscious that I should have money tucked away in case I need to support myself or my family.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No.

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