Money Diary: A Project Manager With A Joint Income Of 300k

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 32-year-old project manager living in London. I’ve lived here for nearly 10 years now, which is absolutely crazy. My partner of four years, P, and I recently bought a four-bedroom house in Zone 2. We were mostly able to do this as his salary is around four times mine (I recognise that my salary is already very good!). P’s income means he often covers a lot of our expenses and our current DINK (dual income, no kids) status means we often live a fairly bougie lifestyle. Next on the agenda for us is marriage and children (probably within the next two years) so we’re both trying to rebuild our savings a bit. I am generally okay with money. I tend to live within my means and never go into my overdraft but I definitely let money slip away sometimes without really thinking about what I’m spending on."
Occupation: Project manager
Industry: Higher education
Age: 32
Location: London 
Salary: £58,005
Paycheque amount: £2,972 after tax, pension and student loans are removed.
Number of housemates: One: my boyfriend, P.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £563 for my share of the mortgage on our four-bedroom house. As P’s salary is so much more than mine, we split the mortgage proportional to our incomes. 
Loan payments: £240 for my student loans, which is automatically taken out of my salary. I’ve got about £7,500 left so (all being well) these should be paid off within the next three years.
Pension? My workplace pension is fantastic. I pay in 9.8% of my salary (£470 p/m) and my employer pays a whopping 21% (£1,044 p/m). This is one of the major perks of working in higher education!
Savings? I transfer roughly £500 to savings per month but this varies a lot depending on what else is going on. Buying the house has decimated my savings so I’m on a bit of a mission to rebuild these. 
Utilities: £45 for Sky TV and internet. P actually currently pays all our bills. We are in the process of sorting a joint account but P hasn’t pushed it and neither have I.
All other monthly payments: £23 for a SIM-only deal (including Disney+). Subscriptions: £79 per year Amazon Prime, £6.99 Netflix (which I should cancel, as I always use P’s account), £20 Naked Wines, £4.99 Apple TV. £15 each to Mind and Friends of the Earth. 
 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I have an undergraduate degree, which I paid for with government student loans. All my maintenance costs were grants. I also worked full-time in an office in all of my university summers and saved this money to help pay my costs throughout the year.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My parents divorced when I was in secondary school and my dad was very generous with child maintenance payments, which enabled my mum to work part-time and be there for us as we grew up. We didn’t go on holidays every year and we always had to wait for birthdays and Christmas for larger items we wanted but we never went without. I didn’t really have any sort of financial education other than being instructed to never spend beyond my means.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out for university at 19, then back for about 18 months after graduation. I moved out completely at 23. 
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I became completely financially independent at 23, when I moved out, and I have never had help with my rent/ bills/ mortgage since. That said, in my first couple of years in London (when I was on a low salary) my mum would occasionally do a food shop for me. Some of my financial life is definitely covered by P but I could and would be fully independent if something were to happen to our relationship. I would have to move though. 
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
When I was 13, I got a job in the local newsagent. I think I made £3.60 an hour? I got the job because my brothers had paper rounds and I wanted to have extra spending money like they did! I’ve always had a job since.
 
Do you worry about money now?
Yes and no. On a day-to-day basis I don’t worry and I know P and I are incredibly privileged. That said, our lifestyle is heavily dependent on his job and our mortgage is more than my salary. We’re both careful about spending money cleverly e.g. I won’t make an online purchase without looking for a discount code, and we love a good bargain. I do sometimes worry about being able to keep up as a lot of our friends make a considerable amount more than I do (lots of them work in law, tech and finance) so we can end up doing quite expensive things. 
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
A few years ago my dad gave me £15,000 as a kind of pre-inheritance. This is currently sitting in a generic savings account doing nothing, which is probably a bit stupid but I feel so weird about him giving me this much money that I feel almost like I shouldn’t put it to work. Once a year or so, my maternal grandparents will give me, my siblings and my cousins £500-£1,000 each, which always comes out of the blue and I’m always very grateful for. I also received £1,000 when my paternal grandfather passed away about five years ago.

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