Money Diary: A Pricing Analyst On £34,000

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We’re asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last penny.

This week: "
I'm a 33-year-old pricing analyst, living in Leicester with my husband and one-year-old son. I’m now back at work after taking a year out for maternity leave, and even though it was difficult at first we are getting used to our new routine. We bought our first home five years ago and while we would love to move to a bigger space eventually, we are happy where we are at the moment. I’ve been in my current job for a while now so I think it might be time for me to start looking for a new opportunity and hopefully get a pay rise. I am generally quite careful with money now as our expenditure has increased since having a child. While our day-to-day spending is covered by our salaries, there is definitely less left over at the end of the month than we’d like. I’ve learned from my past mistakes of getting into credit card debt so I try to look for voucher codes and make purchases via cashback sites where I can."
Occupation: Pricing Analyst 
Industry: Scientific Research
Age: 33
Location: Leicester
Salary: £34,265
Paycheque Amount: £2,100
Number of housemates: Two – my husband D, and our son R.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: My half of our mortgage payment is £500.
Loan payments: £205 car loan, £425 personal loan (paying off previous credit card debt and money for house improvements we made).
Savings?: £2,000 in an ISA and we have opened up a savings account for R, which we deposit his child benefit into. I'm building up our savings pot again as it really took a hammering during my maternity leave.
Pension?: I currently pay in 4% salary (via salary sacrifice) and the company puts in 8%.
Utilities: The following is split equally with my husband: £160 gas/electricity, £35 water, £38 broadband, £24 Sky, £70 life insurance, £175 council tax.
All other monthly payments: £12 sim card, £18 contact lenses. Subscriptions: £10.99 Netflix £10.99, £8.99 Amazon Prime.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I did a Bachelor's degree and paid for it using maintenance grants and loans. I also received a bursary. I think I will pay them off eventually but it won't be for a while yet.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
When I was growing up we didn’t talk about money in my house. I know my parents worked hard to provide for me and my siblings, and we were comfortable but we didn’t have too many extravagances or big holidays abroad. We were encouraged to get part time jobs alongside our studies if we could.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out when I went to university. Once I graduated, I moved into rented accommodation and started working.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
When I moved into my rented flat after graduating. I had to learn how to budget my salary to cover rent, bills, food etc. I didn’t do a great job at first and managed to build up significant credit card debt but I'm paying that off with a loan now. Nowadays, I split all costs for running the house, childcare and bills with my husband. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was in a kitchen as a kitchen assistant (glorified pot washer) and I got it to have some spending money during my A-level studies.

Do you worry about money now?

All of the time. Our day-to-day costs have gone up so much and I constantly worry about providing for our son even though we are doing okay at the moment. I worry if I'm doing the right thing by going back to work and putting him in nursery for a few days or if I should take the income hit by reducing my hours and then being able to spend more time with him.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
My grandparents gifted us £7,000 towards our house deposit, which made up half of the deposit in the end. We were really grateful for that contribution as it allowed us to buy earlier than we would have done without it.