Money Diary: A Marketing Manager On Merseyside On 35k

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 28-year old marketing manager living in northwest England with my partner (A) and cat (C). I’m originally from Germany and went to university there, then moved to the UK right after finishing my degree. Since moving over, I’ve been slowly progressing in my career and getting my life together and I’m now at a point where I’m pretty happy with where I’m at in life. I do sometimes wonder whether moving to the UK was the right decision, especially post-Brexit, with the recent cost of living crisis and the struggles within the NHS. However, I think I would have ended up regretting it if I’d not at least tried. I plan on staying in the UK for the long term but it’s good to know I could always move back to Germany if things got worse.
I have a monthly budget and a long-term savings plan, and I definitely need to feel secure about my finances. Because my partner is working a minimum wage role, I feel more responsible for ensuring we have a buffer in case of things like the fridge breaking (which has happened to us way more times than you’d think). I sometimes stress about spending on fun things but ultimately think I’ve struck a good balance between responsible saving and not getting too hung up on every little expense."
Occupation: Marketing manager
Industry: B2B electronics
Age: 28
Location: Merseyside
Salary: £35k
Paycheque amount: £2,153 after taxes, NI and pension contribution.
Number of housemates: One: my partner, A. We also live with our cat, C.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £600 rent for a two-bedroom, semi-detached house with a garden. A pays half of this but doesn’t contribute to the utilities as he is on minimum wage.
Loan payments: None.
Savings? I have £7k saved in premium bonds as an emergency fund. I also have £15k in a LISA to hopefully buy a house this year, plus another £5k ready to contribute the maximum amount to my LISA for the next tax year in April and for unexpected purchases.
Pension? I’m auto-enrolled in my work pension scheme where work pays 5% and I pay 10%. I upped this contribution a few years ago when I got a pay rise so I never missed the extra money. There’s currently £14.7k in this pot. I also have two pots from old jobs.
Utilities: £153 council tax paid over 10 months, £134 gas and electricity, £27.65 water, £30.50 internet.
All other monthly payments: £8 phone contract, £5.01 Patreon, £11 C’s vet health plan, £81 train flexi season ticket. Subscriptions: £12.50 contact lenses, £8 my half of C’s cat food subscription, £0.79 iCloud storage, £3.99 Audible.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I went to university in Germany and got a BA. I received a local student loan (only 50% of it is repayable) for the first three years of my degree, which fully funded my living expenses and tuition. German student loans start being repayable five years after you graduate, at which point you get the opportunity to pay them off in a lump sum for a slight discount. I saved up to pay off my student loan in full at this point and don’t owe anything on it anymore.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I don’t remember having any discussions about money with my parents. We were comfortable when I was growing up and went on a beach holiday on a German island every year. I had an allowance (I think it was about €20 a month) and always knew I could ask my parents for a little extra if I wanted to do something like go to the cinema with my friends, though I generally didn’t need to.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out when I started university at 17 and moved into student housing in my uni city, where I continued to live for the duration of my degree. I stayed at my parents’ during one semester break as I was doing an internship in my hometown but haven’t moved back since.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I was financially responsible for myself as soon as I moved out for university but I have had periods of support from my parents since then. When I moved to the UK to live with my ex-girlfriend after university, my parents continued to support me while I was looking for a job for a few months.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I did some tutoring through a school-run programme on and off from around 15 to 17. I had a job one summer around the same time, planting trees in our local forest. I got those jobs to get some experience working and pay for any extra luxuries I wanted.
Do you worry about money now?
Not really. I feel pretty secure since I have built up a decent emergency fund and know I would be able to deal with most things with this money. It was really important to me to build this up after my breakup with my ex caught me off guard and I had almost no savings. I do worry a bit about wanting to buy a house as the mortgage rates have risen so significantly recently. If they don’t come down a little, buying a house is out of the question this year.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?