Money Diary: A Marketing Executive In London On 27k

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 executive living in London. I moved here last autumn when I got my dream job in publishing. I love my job and I’m really keen to progress but I'm new to the industry and have lots to learn. I live with my best friend from uni, K, who got a job here at the same time as me. London is only temporary as I want to settle down back home one day so we’re working through our list of fun activities, ranked from free to bougie. I’ve always been a saver and try to live pretty frugally, with the goal of eventually buying a house. However I recently lost a loved one, which has filled me with a desire to live life to the fullest. I’m trying to enjoy myself without feeling guilty about spending, saving on the little things where I can."
Occupation: Marketing executive 
Industry: Publishing 
Age: 25 
Location: London 
Salary: £27,000 
Paycheque amount: £1,769 
Number of housemates: One: K.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses 
  
Housing costs: £825 rent. 
Loan payments: My student loan is deducted from my salary before I get my paycheque. It varies month by month, most recently £15.  
Savings? Around £15,000 in an ISA, £1,900 in a holiday fund and £5,000 for emergencies.
Pension? My employer pays 4% and I match this. I have been meaning to talk to my financial advisor about consolidating my pots from past jobs. 
Utilities: £35 council tax, £19.96 water, £79.74 gas and electricity, £14.99 Wi-Fi. 
All other monthly payments: £19.99 phone bill (including insurance), £5 to Bowel Cancer UK, £47 for an outdoor exercise group membership and £35.52 for life and critical illness insurance. Subscriptions: £5.99 Deezer.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? 
I’m Scottish and got my degree in Scotland so the Scottish government paid my tuition fees (thanks, Nicky). I got the maximum student loan to help pay my living costs, roughly £17,000 over four years. My parents covered the rest of my costs in first year and then I got a part-time job and paid summer  internships. 
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My parents didn’t have loads of money but they were very sensible with it, which they definitely passed on to me. They made sure I never went without and I was kept unaware when things were tight. They’ve been seeing a financial advisor since they first married and they sent me to her as soon as I started earning. I even did extra work experience in her office. I took saving so seriously that my granny used to nag me to treat myself. 
  
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out for uni when I was 17 and lived with my parents for four months after graduating. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? 
When I got my part-time job, after my first year of uni, I stopped taking money from my parents. My dad paid my phone bill until I got a grad job at 21.  
What was your first job and why did you get it? 
I inherited my sister’s paper round when I was 15. After four weeks the company went bust and I got a £40 bonus. I remember being thrilled! 
Do you worry about money now? 
Yes. I’m a natural worrier and money is no exception. In 2020 I was furloughed and eventually made redundant, which forced me to live off my savings for a while. I got really into frugal living and still read up on it a lot, even though I could probably afford to relax a bit. I’m trying to worry less but don’t want to take my eye completely off the ball. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
I received £1,500 when my gran died a few years ago. I was left a piano by a neighbour over 10 years ago, which I recently sold for £450. This money has all gone into my ISA.  

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series