Money Diary: A 34-Year-Old HR Exec On 64k

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 a single, 34-year-old woman living in London. I bought my current house 10 years ago with my then husband. When we got divorced I bought him out of his share. I am really settled here, with great neighbours. However I love all the entertainment, socialising and restaurants that London has to offer so I am considering moving nearer to the city centre within the next few years. I’ve worked for my employer for 12 years and have had lots of different roles during that period. I’m currently responsible for a small HR team and work from home the majority of the time."
Occupation: HR professional
Industry: Government
Age: 34
Location: Greater London
Salary: £64,500
Paycheque amount: £3,600 (after tax, NI, pension contribution)
Number of housemates: 0
Pronouns: She/ her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £1,130 mortgage
Loan payments: £0
Savings? I currently have £23,000 saved in premium bonds. I will cash in approximately £12,000 in 2022 so that I can overpay on my mortgage (I can overpay 10% each year without any penalties).
Pension? I pay £395 each month. 
Utilities: Gas and electricity £55, water £22, council tax £129, internet £19.
All other monthly expenses: £10 phone bill, charity direct debit £15. Subscriptions: Les Mills online workouts £8.25 (I haven’t renewed my pre-pandemic gym membership as I bought a treadmill during lockdown and I've got used to exercising at home each morning).
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Originally I planned to be a lawyer but ended up becoming a public servant instead. My parents and grandparents supported me through university, I had a part-time job (full-time during the summer holidays) and I had a student loan of £9,000. Thankfully, when I went to university (2005-8) tuition fees were much lower than they are now.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I grew up in a middle class family. My dad commuted into London for work and my mum was a housewife. I've always been lucky to not have to worry about money but my parents were careful with spending. We had quite a lot of conversations about finances growing up as my dad taught me and my sister about different ways of investing and encouraged us to be savvy with our savings. I also studied economics A-level at school which gave me more confidence in understanding how the stock market, exchange rates etc. work.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out when I went to university. 
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I met my (now ex) husband at university. We moved in together after graduation and always paid 50/50 housing, holiday etc. costs. We split up two years ago, when I was 32, and that was the first time that I lived on my own and became solely responsible for all of the mortgage, bills, etc. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I got a Saturday job at Debenhams when I was 16 to help pay for driving lessons. I didn't pass my driving test until the fourth attempt so it was an expensive pursuit!
Do you worry about money now?
No. I have a stable, enjoyable career and I hope to have paid off my mortgage within the next five years. My finances suffered when I got divorced two years ago but due to saving on commuting/holidays/socialising during the pandemic I started rebuilding my savings and am now in a comfortable position.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
Not inheritance exactly but growing up I received around £1,000 a year from my grandparents. My parents gave me £30,000 when I got engaged, which we put towards our wedding costs and a house deposit. My ex-husband inherited some money so we also put that towards the house. When I got divorced eight years later, I needed to buy my ex-husband’s share of the house. My auntie gave me £25,000 and I covered the rest by cashing in my savings and getting a mortgage.

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