Money Diary: A 24-Year-Old Marketing Executive On 26k

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 people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
As every person's financial situation is unique, going forward we're asking diarists to complete a series of financial-based questions to provide readers with more context to their relationship with money. Please remember before commenting that the diarists are from a range of backgrounds and cultures and their experience, education and mental relationship with money might be very different from yours. Money Diaries are designed to provide readers with diverse experiences of spending, saving and asking for more in the hope that by learning from each other, we can build a more positive financial future together.
This week: "I’m a 24-year-old marketing executive living in London. I’ve lived in London since I was a kid but moved away for university a few years ago and then moved back in 2020. After a few months I found a marketing job in the midst of the pandemic and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. I do a lot of self-studying in my spare time as I’m thinking about doing a master's, some sort of course or even switching careers down the line. At the moment I’m immersing myself in learning as much as I can. Before I had this job, I was working in social media at an agency in a small town outside London. It could be quite lonely and isolating there, which meant that moving back to London was quite a big shock for me. It also made me realise how ridiculously expensive London is, hence why I am currently living at home with my family so I can save up to buy my own place. I’ve become a very big saver as a result and over the last few months become very disciplined with both my time and money."
Occupation: Marketing executive 
Industry: Hospitality 
Age: 24 
Location: London 
Salary: £26,000 
Paycheque amount: Around £1,700 
Number of housemates: Two, my parents.
Monthly Expenses 
Housing costs: £0. I understand how fortunate I am to live at home with no costs. I moved back to London at the end of last year and haven’t quite figured out where I’d like to go next so being at home really helps that. Also within my culture, it’s not really the norm or ‘accepted’ to contribute financially, however I do help around the house a lot and contribute to other things like groceries and dinners out.
Loan payments: My student loans haven’t started being deducted yet as I'm not at the salary threshold.
Savings? £700 in my ISA monthly. I have around £5,000 in my ISA savings, with £10k as my target by the end of this year. I’m planning to save £5,000 towards a house deposit and either invest the remainder, travel or put it towards further education. I also put aside £200-300 in a separate Monzo pot that goes towards my yoga teacher training fund. 
Pension status: Around £70 of my paycheque gets deducted automatically every month.
All other monthly expenses: Phone bill £36. £50 for Wi-Fi. Driving lessons are roughly £100 a month. Subscriptions: £5.99 Netflix, £10 Spotify, £0.79 iCloud storage.
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I was never forced to attend university but I pushed myself to go. I didn’t know any other routes at the time. I had grants and bursaries due to my household income.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? I was never educated about finances at all. There have been a lot of money-related issues in my household ever since I was a kid, which has always been tough. I think this is where my frugal mindset has stemmed from. I’m trying to break it as much as possible though as sometimes it can be unhealthy. I’ve taught myself over the past few years to save anything I possibly can, buy necessities and then enjoy a very occasional splurge. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parent or guardian's house? I moved out at 18 for university and moved back at 24. I have been here for almost a year now. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? My family did help me where they could when I first started university but that’s when I started working at my first job as I felt really guilty. Right now, my housing costs are covered by my family.
What was your first job and why did you get it? My first ever job was working at a supermarket during my university degree. I was never told by my family to get a job; they never really pushed me. I really had to learn the ‘adult world’ by myself and I knew the grants and bursaries were simply not enough to sustain myself.
Do you worry about money now? 
Yes. I try to save everything I possibly can because I don’t have anything to lean back on. I’m not really on my own two feet at the moment due to living at home so that has been a massive help in terms of saving for a house deposit. However, I might potentially move out soon which would significantly change how much I would be able to save.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? No.

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