Money Diary: A 24-Year-Old Junior Doctor On 38k

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 24-year-old who recently moved to the southwest to start my first job as a junior doctor. I graduated in the summer after a six-year degree in London and I'm slowly trying to transition from being a student to an 'adult'. I have been with my boyfriend for five years but due to long university degrees we were committed to separate cities until this year. Amazingly, he was offered a postdoctoral research job in the southwest so we are finally able to live together, which is a dream."
Occupation: Junior doctor
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 24
Location: Southwest England 
Salary: £38,000
Paycheque amount: Still a bit variable due to incorrect tax codes but I think it will be around £2,100.
Number of housemates: One: my boyfriend, D.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £507.50 (my 50% share of our two-bedroom flat).
Loan payments: I have over £40,000 of student loans but as I only graduated this year, I won't have any deductions until next April. My degree was six years and I only took a tuition fee loan. The NHS very kindly covers the tuition fees for the final two years so my student loan is four years of tuition loans plus six years of interest. I refuse to log in to look at the actual total…
Savings? £5,500 in current account, £4,000 in Help To Buy ISA, £1,200 in a monthly saver, £2,500 in a 'university living' account my family set up for me while I was growing up. I move £200 into both my ISA and monthly saver every month to try to boost my savings.
Pension? I pay 9.3% into the NHS pension scheme. I’m not sure how much I have paid in/where I can find this out/what the NHS pension entitles you to so this is definitely something for me to educate myself about.
Utilities: D and I earn similar salaries so split all bills equally. We pay a few bills each, which we document on Splitwise to keep track of everything. My monthly contributions are: £70 council tax, £14 Wi-Fi, £16.75 water, £6.60 TV licence, £50 electricity and gas.
All other monthly expenses: My phone is still on my family plan and I share streaming platforms with siblings. D works in the office about once a week and we split his train cost as I am able to cycle to the hospital so £20 a month. He also has a car which we now share. We rarely use it so petrol is about £10 a month. Gym membership £40.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I have two sisters and we all ended up going to university. Our parents generously saved about £6,500 for each of us during our childhood to help with university fees. I went to university in London, which is where my family live, and lived at home for two of my six years studying so I saved on rent money during those years. I didn’t have a maintenance loan while at university and paid for my living costs with the savings from my family, money I had saved up while at school and also from working while at university. I had a part-time job for the whole time and worked full-time during most of the summers, which paid for most of my needs.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
We always had enough money for everything we needed but not for additional luxuries. My mum grew up under communist rule in eastern Europe and therefore had very little as a child. Her attitudes to money have been shaped by this and she remains very frugal and hates wasting money, which has definitely rubbed off on me!
If you have, when did you move out of your parents' house?
I lived away from home for four years during university but only properly moved out a few months ago when I started my job. I love my family and loved living at home, and really appreciate the time I was able to spend with my parents and sisters.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
A few months ago when I moved out and started working as a doctor (although my parents still pay for my phone). No one else covers any aspects of my financial life but I know if something disastrous happened my family would always offer to support me, which is something I am very grateful for.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I started teaching swimming when I was 13 or 14, mostly because my sister did it and we were both competitive swimmers so it was a fun job. I taught swimming all through my school years and for many years at university.
Do you worry about money now?
Yes and no. This is the first time I’ve had a full-time income on a permanent basis so I’m grateful not to have to worry about paying for things like bills and my weekly food shop. However, money scares me and I have no idea how I am ever supposed to save enough money to buy a house or have children.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
My parents generously gave me about £6,500 to help with university costs.

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