Money Diary: A 28-Year-Old Police Officer In South London On 32.8k

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.
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 28-year-old police officer working in a very busy borough in south London. I started the job just over a year ago and as hard and as tiring as it is, I can honestly say that I love it. I've recently come out of a long-term relationship and have moved back home. We were together for two years and were saving up to buy our own place together. We moved in together nearly two months ago but after only two and a half weeks in our dream flat, he told me he couldn’t see a future with me. I moved out straightaway and went back to live with my parents, which I feel extremely lucky to have been able to do. I am now planning on moving in with one of my very good friends from work and I’m so excited for this to happen.
With regards to money, I am a lot more conscious about what I spend now and what I’m saving. Since the pandemic hit and since starting my new job, I have been able to save a little bit more and it’s really spurred me on seeing those numbers go up. I feel like I’m a lot stingier with money now and will often opt for the cheaper version of something if I can."

Police officer
Industry: Emergency services
Age: 28
Location: South London
Salary: £32,808
Paycheque amount: £1,860 after tax and deductions. This varies very slightly every month depending on if I’ve done any overtime.
Number of housemates: Three: mum (V), dad (K) and brother (B).
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: I only paid one month's rent for the flat I shared with my ex and that was £750. Now that I am home, I am fortunate that my parents only ask for £150.
Loan payments: I pay about £44 a month to pay back my student loan.
Savings? I have £4,600 in a normal savings account and £1,310 in a Help to Buy ISA.
All other monthly expenses: Phone bill £25 for SIM only. £45.15 to my mum for my car insurance as she paid upfront for the year for me. £24.09 for car tax. I pay for a number of things through work and they come straight out of my pay, including £17.99 for group and travel insurance. I also pay £11.79 to a federation. Subscriptions: £9.99 for Netflix and £13.99 for Spotify Duo as I pay for my dad as well.
Pension? Yes, I pay about £300 into it a month.

Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I went to university straight from college. I took out a tuition fee loan to pay for it and I got a maintenance loan to live. As I was coming from a home where both my parents were high earners, I got the lowest amount of maintenance loan. My parents were amazing if I did need money but I also worked part-time for the whole three years I was there.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? My mum and dad have worked hard all my life. My dad is in the army and we have moved every three years, meaning my mum has had to find work each time but she’s always managed it and I’ve never heard her complain. My brother and I had a very comfortable upbringing and as far as I know, money was never too much of an issue.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house? I haven't yet moved out of my family home. I moved out for university and I did a year in New Zealand by myself when I was 22 but came back to England and moved home when it was over. My brief stint in my own flat was amazing and I’m very excited for the next move.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? As I still live at home, I’m very lucky to be able to eat the food in the house and not pay bills. I will become financially responsible for myself when I move out, hopefully just before I turn 29 next month.
What was your first job and why did you get it? I grew up as an army kid in Germany and my first job was in the big English shop on the army camp. I got it for a bit of extra spending money while I was still at school.
Do you worry about money now? My concern is that I don’t have a lot in savings, considering how long I have been at home and my age. I worry that it’s going to take me a long time to be able to buy but I realise a lot of people are probably worrying about the same thing in London. I’m incredibly grateful that my parents are so generous and I know that if I ever were in a position where I couldn’t pay for something, they would help me out.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? No.

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