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Money Diary: A Project Manager With A Joint Income Of £70,000

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 32-year-old project manager living in South Wales and working remotely. I moved here three years ago with my partner as he is from this area. I feel really grateful to be able to live in a small town and work internationally. I was elected to the local town council a few years ago. I also stood as a county councillor but missed out. I got involved in politics in the last six years because it felt like we had a run of elections in the UK which didn’t go in the direction I think we need to, so I decided to try and do something about that. My partner and I combined our incomes when we bought our house. We’ve been together for eight years and it’s important to us to live our politics domestically too — we contribute proportionally to earnings, try and give away 10% after tax (though I realised by doing this exercise that we are a
bit short on that and currently around 7%), and spend money locally, because we can afford to pay a bit extra to do so. We’ve received a lot of passive income and are very grateful to be in that position, and aware of how much easier this has made our lives and affects our current choices today.”
Occupation: Project manager 
Industry: International consultancy 
Age: 32 
Location: South Wales 
Salary: Joint income of £70,000. I earn £40,800. J earns £28,000 and we get paid to our joint account. I also get £200 a year for being a town councillor.
Paycheque Amount: £2,422 
Number of housemates: One; my partner, J. 
Pronouns: She/her 
Monthly Expenses 
Housing costs: Our mortgage is £592. As I earn more, I contribute more, but as everything is paid from our joint account, I don’t know my actual percentage contribution. 
Loan payments: £0 
Savings?: We have £19,000 in a joint savings account — this is for some work on the house, and we contribute to it monthly. I also have £4,000 in a personal LISA and £2,000 in an easy-access saver.
Pension? I put in 5% and my company puts in 3%. Not sure on exact numbers. I know this is low from my work and so I increased my contribution by 2% recently.
Utilities: £86 for gas and electric; £180 council tax; £57 water; £38 internet; £11 private dentist.
All other monthly payments: £8 SIM-only deal; £16 trade union payment; £10 political party membership; £300 to charities (currently split between medical aid for Palestinians and the local food bank). 
Subscriptions: £14 for Netflix; £13.25 TV licence
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? 
Yes, I went to do an undergraduate degree. My grandmother paid my tuition fees — she is well off and in her own words “wanted to see me enjoy my inheritance.” My parents paid me a monthly allowance for my living expenses and I worked several part-time jobs.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
We had conversations about money from a young age. I knew that my parents had saved some money for me that I would get when I was 18, and through my teens, my mum educated me on interest rates and moving money around to get the best deal. I asked for new clothes when I was 12, as I saw my classmates had nice clothes (all ours came from hand-me-downs or charity shops). After a few conversations, my parents decided to give me a monthly allowance which I used to buy my own clothes, among other things. This started at £30 a month. Every year we would sit down together and decide what I would buy and what they would buy. It started with them buying things like shoes, coats, and school things, and me paying for clothes and hobbies. The amount increased by about £10 a month every year, and so the amount of things I was responsible for also increased. This meant I learned to budget from a young age. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house? Age 18. 

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? 

When I finished uni aged 23, but as below, my parents still give me money.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I babysat for families in my village from age 12, and at 16 started working in a local shop. Babysitting was good money, and I enjoyed it because it topped up my allowance and gave me freedom to do more things with my friends. 
Do you worry about money now? 
I don’t worry about money, but I do think about it quite a bit; in terms of earning, spending and saving, and making sure those feel in good balance. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
My parents gave me £10,000 when I was 18 and I was responsible for looking after this and spending it responsibly. I saved it and added to it and put it towards my house deposit a few years ago. When I came to buying the house, they also gave me £40,000 for the deposit and renovations. My grandmother also gave me £10k for the deposit. I recognise how privileged I am to receive this money and how much easier it has made my adult life so far.