Money Diary: A 31-Year-Old Head Of Marketing In Private Healthcare On 76k

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 people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
As every person's financial situation is unique, going forward we're asking diarists to complete a series of financial-based questions to provide readers with more context to their relationship with money. Please remember before commenting that the diarists are from a range of backgrounds and cultures and their experience, education and mental relationship with money might be very different from yours. Money Diaries are designed to provide readers with diverse experiences of spending, saving and asking for more in the hope that by learning from each other, we can build a more positive financial future together.
This week: "I’m a 31-year-old head of marketing, working in private healthcare in London. I’ve been in my current role for a couple of years, after moving from the public sector. My salary is double what I used to earn (previously I was a marketing manager on £42k after being in the organisation for five years). My role now is more senior and I have a significant amount more responsibility so I do feel like I earn my money. Moving roles and increasing my salary enabled me to bolster my savings to the point that I was able to buy my own flat last month. Because of the pandemic, as devastating as it was for so many, the money I would have spent on holidays abroad and eating or drinking out went into my savings. At one point I was saving almost £2k a month as I was literally only paying for my rent, bills and a bit of food. So as boring as it was, it did install some good savings habits in me.
Although I’m proud to have bought my flat on my own, it was quite stressful and I was nervous spending so much of my savings. Until I decided to buy, it was comforting knowing I had them to fall back on if I needed. However, I’m really pleased that I’ve done it and I know I’m in a very privileged position."
Occupation: Head of marketing
Industry: Private healthcare
Age: 31
Location: London
Salary: £76,600 (plus yearly bonus based on business and personal performance. It varies but last year it was £8k).
Paycheque amount: £3,700 after tax and pension deductions.
Number of housemates: None (previously I lived in a shared flat with one other).
Pronouns: She/Her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: My mortgage payment is £1,300.
Utilities: I’m yet to have a full month in the flat so I’m not 100% sure what my bills will be but I think utilities will be approximately £27 for water and £35 for gas. Council tax is about £100 (with single person discount). 
Loan payments: £425 a month for my student loan, which comes out after I’ve been paid via direct debit. This should be paid off sometime in the next 12 months.
Savings? £100 a month into a sinking fund for flat maintenance, £200 a month into a holiday fund for trips away and £400 a month into a cash ISA. When my student loan is paid off, that extra £400 I plan to save into a stocks and shares ISA. 
Pension? I pay £250 a month into my workplace pension and an additional voluntary £250, so £500 total. This comes out of my salary before I’m paid. 
All other monthly expenses: My phone bill is £33, my internet and TV package is £27 and my gym membership is £100. Subscriptions: Spotify £9.99, Netflix £9.99, The Economist £2.41 (£29 for the year). 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I did an undergrad degree straight after A levels. I had a student loan for my tuition fees and a maintenance loan for living for three years. I worked weekends at a local shop throughout the three years to help supplement the maintenance loan, as it wasn’t quite enough.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? My dad is very sensible with money and often talked to me about the importance of saving, especially around contributing to a pension. He is a hard worker and has always instilled the importance of working to ensure financial security. Growing up, my friends' financial situations were all similar to mine, which I think is good. Nowadays, we’re quite good at talking about money, though I still have a couple of friends who don’t share what they earn (I expect because it’s more than others). 
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house? I moved out to attend university aged 18 and then moved to London straight after graduating. I rented a flat with my boyfriend at the time, who was on a well-paying grad scheme (I leeched off him for a couple of months until I found my first job). 
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? After graduating and moving to London. I lived with my boyfriend for six months and contributed to our joint rent but he paid the lion’s share. When we broke up after six months I moved into a house share and at that point I became fully financially responsible for myself. 
 
Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? No.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it? My very first job was aged about 14, as a waitress in a local restaurant. I got it to pay for the things I wanted to do with my friends (shopping trips, cinema, some school trips etc.). My parents still paid for some things but as previously mentioned, they were keen that I learn the value of work from an early age. 
 
Do you worry about money now? I hadn’t worried about money for a couple of years until I bought my flat recently. Now I sometimes worry about paying my mortgage if I lose my job and can’t find another one, or have to take one that is lower paid. 
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? No.

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