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Money Diary: A Management Consultant On £64,950

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last penny.
This week: “I’m a 32-year-old management consultant in Birmingham, living alone in a little house I bought two years ago. I work in the infrastructure industry (notoriously male-dominated) which I have been working hard to crack and my hard work is finally starting to pay off. I recently changed companies which resulted in quite a big pay rise and quite a big confidence boost: My new employer thought I was worth the high salary and my new team are giving me great feedback on my work. Despite having a great new salary, I’m trying to avoid lifestyle creep and instead use my extra earnings to fund experiences rather than a fancy car/phone. I’m also trying to build up my savings which were drained when I bought my house.”
Occupation: Management consultant
Industry: Infrastructure
Age: 32
Location: Birmingham
Salary: £64,950
Paycheque Amount: £3,520
Number of housemates: 0
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £650
Loan payments: £300 each month to my student loan repayment.
Savings?: £5,000 in an easy-access account, £20,000 in a savings account and around £10,000 in shares, plus £2,000 in a travel fund.
Pension? Yes, I pay 3% and my employer pays 5%. This will increase once I pass my probation period and I will qualify for other benefits (i.e. GAYE, healthcare, et cetera). I have about £45,000 in my pension.
Utilities: £650 mortgage, £105 council tax, £40 TV and broadband (including Netflix), £18 water, £100 gas and electricity. Home insurance, car insurance, tax, and so on are paid annually.
All other monthly payments: £10 SIM-only contract. Subscriptions: £25 gym membership. £10 blades (razor and dermaplaning). Amazon Prime, paid annually.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I did an undergraduate degree paid for through student loans. I got a small scholarship (based on my A-level grades) in my first year which helped to cover my living expenses alongside my loan. I didn’t get this in my second and third year, so my parents gave me £20 a week towards living costs. I also worked during the holidays to build up some funds. 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I’m from a working class background where my dad worked in construction and my mum stayed at home to look after us. While we never wanted for anything, we didn’t go on fancy holidays or have an expensive car. I was also conscious that money was sometimes tight especially during times when the construction industry wasn’t thriving (i.e. during the recession). My mum is a spender while my dad is a saver, so we got quite conflicting advice about finances. I think I definitely follow more in my dad’s footsteps.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
I moved out for uni and then rented in another city in my early 20s before moving back to my home town in my mid 20s and in with my parents (at their request). The plan was to save for a house deposit for a couple of years and then buy my own place when I was about 28... Then COVID-19 hit. I ended up living with them longer than expected which enabled me to save up more and buy a house instead of a flat. I ended up moving out officially at 30.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
Once I graduated from uni at 21, I became financially responsible for myself and never asked for anything from my parents. However, I did live with them rent-free for a couple of years, so they were technically covering my living arrangements. At present, no one covers any aspect of my financial life. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I started babysitting for family friends from around the age of 13, for spending money. As soon as I turned 16, I got a job in retail which I had until I left for uni. I worked during the uni summer holidays and started my graduate job straight after graduating. 
Do you worry about money now?
I don’t worry day to day as I have a good income which affords me a comfortable lifestyle. I’m conscious of the single tax however, and that taking on a mortgage alone means that I have no one to fall back on if the worst was to happen. While my industry pays well, it would be heavily impacted by a recession. I try to alleviate my worries by saving and investing where I can. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No. But as mentioned, my parents allowed me to live at home rent-free for periods during my 20s.