Money Diary: A Probation Officer In The Midlands On 30k

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 we're with a probation officer, her dog, her partner and their joint account...
"I work for the civil service and manage a caseload within the community. My work life is stressful and our salaries have only very recently seen an increase after an eight-year pay freeze. We often say we are the forgotten service!
A few months ago, I completed on the purchase of a 50% share of a new-build, two-bedroom semi-detached house. Although I could afford the mortgage of 100%, I didn’t have the deposit and couldn’t borrow more than 4.5x my training income when I reserved the property, eight months ago.
I pay rent on the other 50%, which is well below market value, and a service charge which includes a gardener and home insurance. I’m hoping to staircase to 75% within two years. So far, it’s been great and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to get onto the housing ladder. It’s not my forever home and I plan on buying a bigger property with my boyfriend in 3-4 years, but for me the house is stability while earning equity, so a win-win.
I have one dog, and a boyfriend of nearly four years. He owns his own house and is planning on renting it out in the very near future. For the time being, he spends most of his time at my place, so pays for half of the utility bills and we split the food shopping / eating out through our joint account. He puts slightly more into the account as he earns more.
I reserved my house when we were 'on a break' – yes, one of those! However, I wouldn’t change anything as it’s made me a lot more independent and I now see it as a great financial asset that we’ll both own homes when we want to buy one together in a few years.
I graduated from uni 18 months ago with £5,000 of overdraft and credit card debt. Although I worked two jobs and volunteered while completing my degree, I got stuck into the student debt trap, trying to keep up with my peers from more affluent families and who had more financial support (hindsight is a great thing). I’ve managed to get the debt down to £3,000 and currently repay £160 a month. I’ll be debt-free by March 2021. I like to think I’m now quite good with money – I’ve worked hard to get to where I am in my career and think about what I’m spending a lot more. I organise my money with the jam jar method: one account for bills, one for pure spending money and a third (the joint account) for all things food- and dog-related. Hopefully this money diary can offer some insight into my spending and help me pay off the debt quicker. Or tile my new kitchen, either will do."
Industry: Civil Service
Age: 25
Location: Midlands
Salary: £30,000
Paycheque amount: £1,886 salary, £100-£150 in expenses, £120 from boyfriend for bills
Total in: £2,156
Number of housemates: One dog and half a boyfriend
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £322 mortgage, £149 rent, £31 service charge
Loan payments: £160 towards credit card/overdraft debt
Utilities: £210
Transportation: £150 car loan. Fuel/insurance is covered by my expenses
Phone bill: £14
Savings? £200
Joint account: £200. BF puts in £300, this pays for food shop, takeaways and eating out. Also pays for dog walker (£64), and pet insurance (£17.50)
Other: £7 Netflix, £5 Apple Music

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