Money Diary: A Junior Producer In London On 42k

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 junior producer living and working in London. I work from home but I’m in the office around twice a week if I’m not on set. I want to carry on working in production but I don’t see myself as a producer long-term, at least not in corporate content. I’ve been living with one flatmate for a few months in a gorgeous flat in a great location after nightmare sublets and struggling to find a place after leaving my old tenancy. I’m definitely paying more in rent than I would’ve ever thought but I love it so I swallow the fact that it’s overpriced.
When I got my first proper job at 19 I lived at home for three years, which is how I managed to save so much despite earning a much lower salary than I do now. My mum has always encouraged me to save so I paid no rent and only covered a few bills. I’m insanely grateful for this and understand that it was a privilege to have a home in London. I wasn’t a super social person a few years ago and was very strict with my spending as I wanted to buy a property before 30 but I’m more relaxed now and my mindset has changed. I’m more into enjoying my 20s, travelling and treating myself. I’ll dip into my savings occasionally to buy things like concert tickets but I’m curbing this new bad habit!"
Occupation: Junior producer
Industry: Corporate video production
Age: 24
Location: London
Salary: £42,000
Paycheque amount: £2,530.98
Number of housemates: One (flatmate, R)
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £980 for my half of the rent.
Loan payments: £103 student loans. This leaves my paycheque before I see it.
Savings? £11,000 between an easy access savings account, a Nutmeg investment account and a fixed term, high interest savings account. I try to save anywhere between £300 and £450 every month.
Pension? I pay £76 a month and my employer matches this by 8%. I have about £4,500 across two/three different pensions, which I need to sort and consolidate.
Utilities: £16 water, £15 Wi-Fi, £77 gas and electric, £102 council tax. This is all for my half.
All other monthly payments: £39 pay monthly phone. Subscriptions: £10 Netflix (the premium option – my sisters pay £3 each), Spotify £9.99, Amazon Prime Student £3.99, Disney+ £7.99, gym membership £90, Monzo Plus £5, Microsoft £7.99.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I went to university for one year to study film production before dropping out. I was in a rush to leave home and London as soon as possible and I made a rash decision by putting myself into clearing and just picking any uni. I wasn’t happy there and dropping out was the best thing I ever did. My mum and dad had just split up so I was coming from a single low-income household. I got the maximum loans from student finance.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I thought we were comfortable but when I was a teenager I started to realise we did struggle at times and things were tight. My mum worked full-time as a nurse on the NHS and my dad as a private hire driver. I was always taught to be grateful for what I had and to save, save, save, no matter how small. We were given £5 a week for lunch money (upped to £10 in my last few years of school) and it was essentially up to us if we used it as lunch money or saved it and packed a lunch to bring to school.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out for uni at 18 then back in when I dropped out. I didn’t move out again properly until I was 22. I had always thought I would stay at home as long as possible to save as much as possible, considering the fact that we lived in London, but I couldn’t hack it! My mum never asked for or expected rent but I paid monthly for the food shop (for myself, my two sisters and my mum) and the Wi-Fi. This is definitely why I’ve been able to save as much as I have even though my income used to be much lower and I know it's a privilege to have a home I can always go to in London.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
Officially at 22 when I moved out properly but I’ve covered all other aspects of my financial life since I was about 18.
What was your first job and why did you get it?

I’ve always wanted to be in control of my own life/money so have had odd jobs since I was 13. My first job was working for the church office doing general admin. It was every other Saturday but paid £30 for a few hours' work. As a 13-year-old I thought I was rich! My first proper job was at 16 when I started working at Waitrose part-time.
Do you worry about money now?
A little. I used to worry a lot more about whether I’d ever be able to buy a house, about what I’d do if I lose my job or can’t work for any reason but having a decent-ish amount saved has generally made me less worried. I sometimes worry about my mum and her debt but I help her out whenever I can. I’m a little worried about the insane increase in bills that's coming soon.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
Despite money being tight, my mum set up a standing order to put away little sums of money into a credit union while we were growing up. I haven’t checked it in a while but there's likely about £500 in there.
If you’d like to submit your own money diary then please do send a bit of information about you and your situation to moneydiary@refinery29.uk. We pay £100 for each published diary. Apologies but we’re not able to reply to every email.

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