Money Diary: A 24-Year-Old Operations Manager on 42k

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 Operations Manager, working for a London-based tech company and living in York. I moved up here a few months ago with my long-term partner T, who got a great job opportunity. I joined my current company during the pandemic, after being furloughed, meaning I’ve never entered the physical office, and have only met a handful of colleagues in real life. When the office in London reopens I’m planning to spend three or four days a month there and spend the majority of my time up in York. As well as working, I’m studying for a masters in a business-related field. My company is paying for this, although if I leave the company within two years of completing it I’d have to pay part of it back. I started it towards the end of 2020 and I'm now approaching my last few months."
 
Occupation: Operations Manager
Industry: Tech
Age: 24
Location: York
Salary: £42,000
Paycheque amount: Varies depending on expenses (each paycheque contains the expenses from two months before), but around £2,500.
Number of housemates: 1, my partner T.
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £1,200 for our rental house, which we pay from the joint account.
Loan payments: Just one final car payment in September. My partner and I bought my parent's 10-year-old car, and have paid £600 a month for the last two months.
Savings?: £20,000 in a Marcus account. I put £600 in from my paycheque each month.
Pension status: I have a couple of pension pots from different employers. Currently, I pay 3% of my salary into my pot.
All other monthly expenses: Phone bill £30 (paying off a phone plan as well as my data contract). Utilities come out of the joint account (which I put £1,300 into and T puts £1,100 in a month). WiFi, car insurance, and council tax come to roughly £300. Bird & Blend Tea Co. subscription costing £11.95. Heights supplement subscription costing £20. Disney+ subscription which works out to roughly £4.16 a month (we paid a lump sum for the year). Contact lenses costing £30. I also give £50 to charity each month, but I tend to vary which one; I often support ones that help people with the same chronic conditions I have.
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? 
Not going to uni wasn't an option. I never really heard about or researched alternatives. I went to Oxbridge for a three year humanities undergrad. I took out a student loan for it but this was paid in my grandparents' will after they passed away. I’m currently studying for an MA in a business-related discipline, which my employer is paying for. 
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My parents were huge advocates of saving, and also figuring out what you value spending your money on. For them, they love to splash out on a nice restaurant meal but see no point in getting a fancy car. It helped me understand that being able to afford expensive things doesn’t mean you necessarily should buy them.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents or guardians house?
I moved out after university when I was 21, however, I did move back in with them due to the pandemic and then moved out again in May this year.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I became fully financially responsible for myself after I graduated from uni. Nobody covers any aspects of my financial life at present. My partner and I share expenses but I pay a higher proportion of them as I make more.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first real job was in consulting. I did an internship at the consultancy after my second year of uni, which I applied for directly through their website. It went well and I was offered a full-time job there upon graduating. 
 
Do you worry about money now?
I do. My partner and I are comfortable financially but I find myself stressed about money all the time. The last year has shown me how unpredictable life is, which makes me scared to make big financial commitments like buying a house. However, I’m worried about making poor financial decisions by not doing this.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
When my grandparents passed away they left some money which is in a savings account. This is what paid for my brother and my student loans.

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