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Money Diary: A Marketing Account Manager On £37,500

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.
Trigger warning: Reference to infant loss.
This week: “I’m 36 years old and currently two months into my maternity leave (on statutory maternity pay). Me and my husband, R, moved into our home five years ago and we got very lucky as we remortgaged on a five-year fixed rate in 2020 when interest rates were super low. We’ve been together for 12 years, and married for four. We’ve had a rollercoaster few years of pregnancies, losses and finally bringing home our rainbow baby. Because of all this, career and pay progression hasn’t been a priority for me at all. My salary has stayed the same for over five years, although I did drop to a four-day week a couple of years ago for the same monthly pay. I do occasionally worry I’ve fallen behind with my career, and I think I’ll have a bit of a career focus after my maternity leave has finished. But for now, I am just really enjoying my leave and our lovely, lovely baby."
Occupation: Account manager
Industry: Marketing
Age: 36
Location: Buckinghamshire
Salary: £37,500 (for a four day week)
Paycheque Amount: £2,225
Number of housemates: two (my husband R and our baby L)
Pronouns: she/ her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £460 for my half of our mortgage.
Loan payments: None
Savings?: £1,700 (but I’m giving myself £200 a month to supplement my maternity pay so this is rapidly decreasing!)
Utilities: £41 internet, £200 gas and electric, £20 building and contents insurance, £13 TV licence, £118 life and critical illness insurance (although have just removed the critical illness part of this, so it’ll be going down to £22 next month). These are all paid from our joint account. R pays separately for our council tax and water. Then I pay £30 pet insurance.
Pension? Yep, a few different ones from various past jobs that I occasionally try and fail to merge! I put in 3% and my employer puts in 5%. I worry a lot about my pension.
All other monthly payments: £45 phone bill, £3.49 Ring doorbell, £15 car tax.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I did a degree in marketing. My student loan covered my tuition, and my parents very kindly paid my rent. I worked part time in my final year. 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I wouldn’t say we spoke about a lot, but we’ve always been encouraged to save. I had a comfortable upbringing, my parents didn’t have loads of money when we were young but we never noticed, and we loved the camping holidays!
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
At 18 to go to uni, then again properly at 24 when I bought my first home. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
Age 24. My husband is obviously contributing a lot more financially at the moment while I am on maternity pay. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
A retail job in 16. I loved it! I used the money for clothes, nights out and holidays.
Do you worry about money now?
Yes, a lot. I feel really lucky to be on the housing ladder and able to afford nice food, but I worry a lot about the future and retirement. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
My parents gifted me £10,000 as a deposit towards my first home. I honestly don’t know how I’d have ever bought without their help. I also received £12,000 when my grandparents passed away, with instructions to use it on the house. We replaced our old, tired bathroom and did our driveway.