Money Diary: A Fundraising Officer In Nottingham On 29k

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: "Since January I have been working two jobs to help with bills and to pay down debt. I was made redundant from my full-time job in February completely out of the blue, which really disrupted our financial plans. Thankfully, I was able to pull myself out of this dark place to find another job quickly so I didn’t have a loss in income. I even got my redundancy pay and my bonus, which was due to be paid later in the year. I am now on a higher salary, although I do have a longer commute so the increase is negligible. We moved out of the city last year as I had lived in flats for 10 years and wanted to be on the ground!"
Occupation: Fundraising officer (full-time) and online tutor (part-time)
Industry: Charity sector and education
Age: 28
Location: Nottinghamshire
Salary: £29,500 + £2,352 (before tax)
Paycheque amount: £1,850 + £200-£300 (depends on my shifts)
Number of housemates: My husband, H, and our cat
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £575 for my share of the rent (the total is £895 and we pay proportionally to our salaries).
Loan payments: £80 student loans.
Savings? Everything goes to paying off debt now, although I do have £500 in a Help to Buy ISA. I have also started a small pot in Moneybox, which has £161.17 so far in a Stocks & Shares ISA.
Pension? I contribute 10% of my salary to a work pension which they match. I have collected many pensions from various jobs as well.
Utilities: Council tax £157, water £28, gas £40, electricity £40.
All other monthly payments: Phone and Apple watch £80, charity donations £10, £200 to my husband to pay his commuter club card each month as it was part of the negotiations when moving out of the city. £176.99 direct debit to pay down my credit card, which I then top up as much as I can during the month. £180 for my commutes to London (I decided to go into the office once a fortnight instead of once a week to keep costs down and my work is very flexible). Subscriptions: Spotify Duo £9.99.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
 
Yes. I received a grant from my late father’s company (long story) and I got a £1k scholarship for my high grades. Sadly, I dropped out after a few years due to mental health problems and decided to work in a different sector. Since the pandemic I was able to start a part-time course at the Open University alongside my full-time job as quitting uni is one of my biggest regrets. This new course is still covered by student loans so I will be repaying that some day.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
 
We were comfortable. My mum stayed at home with me after I was born and my father worked as an engineer earning a good salary. He died suddenly when I was 9 years old. His work paid out, which covered the mortgage on the house so my mum, older sister and I never had to worry about money. We didn’t talk about money too much; Mum would get us whatever we needed and wanted. We went on nice holidays abroad and tried to create happy experiences for ourselves. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
 
I moved out for uni then moved back in for my mental health crisis. I moved out again six months later once I got a full-time job in another city. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I wouldn’t say I am completely financially responsible. For example, we couldn’t afford a new car once ours failed the MOT so my mum helped us to get one. For the most part we do our best to keep things going but for big expenses like that we need help. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
 
My first job was at 14 (I don’t think that is legal now!) as a Saturday girl at a local pharmacy. As an avid feminist, I sincerely hope that is no longer a job title. I earned £3.75 an hour, which was great at the time.
 
Do you worry about money now?
 
Constantly. This doesn’t mean I am good at managing money. I am in £8k credit card debt and live in my overdraft. I took out the credit card to pay for things for our very low-key wedding four years ago. I actually paid it off at the end of 2019 and then started spending on it again at the start of the pandemic. I still don’t know how it got to this level. It’s stressful and I am doing everything I can to get out of this vicious cycle. It’s a source of constant anxiety for me. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
Yes. My grandparents have given us £6k in premium bonds for a house deposit in the future. We are apprehensive to take that step as our credit scores aren’t that good. My husband’s family did not have a good relationship with money or each other, which resulted in a lot of debt that they are still trying to deal with. 

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