Money Diary: A Marketing & Communications Manager In Norwich On 32k

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 25-year-old marketing and communications manager living in Norwich. I moved here for university and met my partner early on during our studies. After graduating we both moved into creative roles and saved together for our first house, which we were delighted to secure this year. It was a massive achievement for us to put down our deposit without any help from friends or family, and this is something we’re really proud to have achieved together.
I'm a saver but definitely have a tendency to splurge to pick myself up every now and then. Growing up we didn’t have much, and the luxury of having a little bit of extra money in my back pocket to spend on clothes, food and days out can be too hard for me to resist sometimes. However, as we’re planning on getting married this year – and hoping to do some renovations to our home – I’m trying to curb the habit and get back to saving more seriously."
Occupation: Marketing and communications manager
Industry: Technology
Age: 25
Location: Norwich 
Salary: £32,000
Paycheque amount: £525 a week after tax, national insurance and student loan
Number of housemates: One (my fiancé)
Pronouns: She/her
 
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £650 mortgage. My fiancé and I went for a 30+ year mortgage term after a lot of soul-searching as it minimised our monthly payments. While it means we will be paying the mortgage for a longer period, it gives us more flexibility month to month because costs are reduced, and it means that we could have slightly more freedom when it comes to making big decisions like moving jobs.
Loan payments: My student loan is around £35,000 and I pay back less than £100 a month.
Pension? £100 a month.
Savings? £7,000 in savings, with half ownership of a city-centre, two-bedroom house. My partner and I split all of our bills and regular payments equally (with a complete 50/50 divide) but we each have our own savings accounts that we pay into each month for ourselves.
Utilities: £150 council tax, £100 gas and electricity, £20+ contents insurance, £10+ house insurance, £160 annual TV licence.
All other monthly payments: £9 data and calls contract. £10 monthly charity donations (including charity lotteries). Subscriptions: £10 Netflix, £5 Spotify Premium (split between two).
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I studied for a bachelor's degree and was awarded a bursary for my stay for each of the three years of my course. I also had a student loan to cover housing costs, which were quite a considerable amount for my university. Since then I have also studied career-related online courses but fortunately my workplace has paid for these.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I am from a very large family and from a very young age I was aware that our finances were stretched. Although we never went hungry and really never struggled for anything, we never had anything 'new'. We always wore secondhand clothes, played with secondhand toys and were cost-conscious about everything we did. Both of my parents worked, with my mum working zero-hour contracts as a cleaner to fit work around picking us up from school and taking us to after-school classes. Money was spoken about openly and I think that being exposed to that level of financial transparency from an early age made me really conscious of the value of money and made me appreciate what we had more than other children around me did.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out of my parents' house when I moved to university. I didn’t ever move back after I graduated as my fiancé (then boyfriend) and I saved all we could to move straight into a small rented flat.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I moved out of the house when I was 18 and have been financially responsible for myself since then. I am sure that my parents would step in and support me financially if I needed it but their savings are really limited and realistically wouldn't sustain me for long with regular payments for loans such as my mortgage.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I worked as a babysitter for much of my early teenage years but my first paycheque came from the job I took as a bakery assistant in my local town. I was 16 and was eager to save for new clothes and days out with my friends, who were given allowances by their parents.
 
Do you worry about money now?
Definitely. In many ways I'm more comfortable than I have ever been but big commitments like my mortgage and student loan do hang over my head and at times I worry that I've lost some flexibility in tying myself down financially in such a way. My partner and I have just got engaged and we are actively saving for the big day but in some ways it is another financial worry for us. Fortunately, we're both really keen to elope in London and have a micro wedding with just the two of us, but we do hope to splash out on a fancy hotel and meal for us both.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
I've never received any inherited income. I'm from a working-class family and finances were limited but I did receive objects and heirlooms from my family that I really cherish and value.

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