Money Diary: A Performance & Project Assistant On 18.3k

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 30-year-old, married mother of two living in Essex. I’ve always lived here and first moved out aged 23, when my husband and I bought our first little house together. We’re now in our second home, which we moved into during the pandemic (and secured an amazing mortgage rate on). I work for the police and my husband is a manager in a glazing firm. I have Crohn's disease and was too poorly to attend university so I ended up doing a business administration apprenticeship at the local council and secured a role in the police at the end of that. I’ve now served 10 years with the force and I’m so grateful for the flexibility and support the organisation gives me as a chronically ill person with childcare and health issues.
I’ve always tried to be a saver but this has become increasingly difficult since going part-time and having an entire family to run. I get severe anxiety about money so I try to get all our bills out within the first week of the month so we are fully aware of what we have left to spend."
Occupation: Performance and project assistant
Industry: Policing
Location: Essex
Age: 30
Salary: £18,376 before deductions (I work 22.5 hours a week).
Paycheque amount: £1,518 before deductions. We also receive as a family £145 child tax credit as well as £130 towards childcare costs from my mother. 
Number of housemates: My husband (S), our 4-year-old (A) and our 20-month-old (E), with a dog and a cat too!
Pronouns: She/her 
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: My 50% share of the mortgage is £247. We secured a five-year mortgage in April 2021 so I am incredibly grateful for our low payments right now.
Loan payments: £0
Savings? £5k in an easy access saver for emergencies and £1,700 in various Monzo pots for holidays, car maintenance, insurance etc. We recently invested £6k in replacing our double glazing so we saw a big dip in our savings. 
Pension? I contribute 5.8% and my employer matches contributions. I pay roughly £90 a month.
Utilities: My 50% share is £98 gas and electric, £17.50 water, £11 internet, £75 council tax, £5 house and contents insurance, £20 TV licence (quarterly).
All other monthly payments: £9 SIM only phone contract. £16 car insurance, £2.79 Apple storage, £25 pet insurance and vet plan, £250 childcare. Subscriptions: £6 Netflix, £6 Spotify, £31 gym membership. I also put £25 into each child’s bank account and roughly £350 into monthly savings. 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Sadly I did not. I was too poorly to attend from sixth form so I undertook an NVQ apprenticeship in business administration instead.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I come from separated parents but both are very present in my life. Attitudes differed between houses, with my mum footing most costs for me and my dad paying for school trips, holidays, extracurriculars etc. I was never told to spend but also never told to save. I recall seeing red letters coming through the door and a significant number of cereal dinners. As soon as I started earning at 14, I would do 50% to spend and 50% to save, and have tried to save a fair lump each month ever since. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out of Mum's and into Dad's when I was 19. I paid menial rent each month just to cover the difference in his council tax bill. I officially moved out at 23 when my now-husband and I bought our first home.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I covered all my own expenses when I lived at Dad’s but he paid all the bills. Since moving in with my husband, we have shared every single cost since day one. If we were to divorce, we would have to sell the house as I couldn’t cover the costs alone.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I was 14 and worked in a men’s tailors. It was £20 for four hours' work and I wanted the money to pay for the bus to visit friends. After that, I continued to have weekday evening and weekend jobs right up until I got my first full-time job at 19 (which paid worse because it was an apprenticeship wage).
Do you worry about money now?
Every. Single. Day. It never feels comfortable and the cost of living crisis is playing serious havoc with my nighttime dreams. 
Do you or have you received any passive or inherited income?
Yes. When my grandfather passed away I inherited £20,000, which paid for the deposit on our first home and the solicitor fees. Last year, my husband’s grandmother passed away and he inherited £25,000, which we have used to pay off the car loan, refit our kitchen, fill our emergency fund and replace all our double glazing. We realise how truly lucky we are to have had this foot-up so early on in our lives.