Money Diary: A 27-Year-Old Property Manager In Birmingham On 25k

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 people 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 am 27 years old and currently living in Birmingham. I have done so for the past seven years, immigrating from France to finish my degree in languages. I have been living with S ever since we met on Instagram in 2014; soon after, we adopted our two cats and are considering adding a dog to the madhouse. I have been working in a letting agency for a few years now and I absolutely love my job, I am hoping to become a landlord myself in the near future. I also have a side passion project of becoming a yoga teacher. After years of going to classes religiously, and after five months of intensive training, I have recently passed my 200 hours qualification. I am currently navigating the muddy waters of setting up my own business and figuring out how to add value to people’s lives.
When it comes to money, I would say that I am a saver rather than a spender. I am working towards building some income-generating assets so that I don’t have to work for money anymore. S and I have been working hard and saved as much as we could to buy our first apartment, which we completed on just before the first lockdown.”
 
Occupation: Property manager
Industry: Real estate
Age: 27
Location: Birmingham
Salary: £25,000 
Paycheque amount: £1,729.53
Number of housemates: One partner, S, and two cats, L and P.
 
Monthly Expenses
(All below are my share only. All bills are split equally between S and I and taken from our joint account on a monthly basis, we transfer £700 at the start of the month for this.)
 
Housing costs: £333.64 mortgage
Loan payments: None, I went to university in Paris and my undergrad degree was free.
Savings? I save around £600 a month into my different savings accounts, the rest is split between my Monzo card for fun money and our joint account. Current account balances are: £4,398.19 emergency fund, £6,478.80 Stocks and Shares ISA, £3,100 NS&I, £2,506.31 Lifetime ISA and £44,642.46 apartment equity.
Utilities/phone: £10 goody bag with Giffgaff, I own my phone outright. £9 water, £30 electricity, £82 council tax, £90 service charge, £2.50 Asda groceries delivery.
Subscriptions: £69 unlimited hot yoga classes with my local studio, £4.99 Netflix (split with S), £4.34 NSPCC weekly lottery.
Pension? £6,518.12 held with NEST pension. I contribute the minimum amount into it every month and so does my employer.
 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I always knew that I wanted to leave France to come to the UK so I made sure that I had the best grades I could to be selected for the Erasmus programme. I feel very lucky when I reflect on the fact that university in France is free… There was an expectation from my parents to go to uni but I was fine with it as it aligned with my future plans.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? My parents never talked about money. The bills were paid when due and big purchases such as a car or appliances were budgeted for and paid in full when it was time for replacement. My parents never sat with me to explain how to use money as a tool to build wealth and I started educating myself when I started earning a steady paycheque.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house? I left France when I was 20 years old to come to the UK and never looked back! I really enjoyed the freedom that comes with living on your own but also leaving everything behind to start fresh in a new country. It was hard at times but looking back, it made me stronger and very resourceful. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life? I started working during the summer months when I was 16 and then worked part-time jobs in restaurants from 18 onwards so my parents stopped providing me with extras around that time but I was still living at home rent-free and only contributing to groceries sporadically. I became 100% financially responsible for myself when I was 20 years old.
What was your first job and why did you get it? My first job was working at an outdoor swimming pool during the summer. It was very close to my parents' house so I could walk over for my shift but could also use the swimming pool and steam room after hours. This was my first customer-focused job, which I really enjoyed.
Do you worry about money now? I am a perfectionist at heart and worry a lot about money. I have an irrational fear of being broke, however I am trying to shift my mindset to a more abundant outlook. 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? I have never inherited money. 

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