Money Diary: A 27-Year-Old Recruiter In London On 23k

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 27-year-old recruitment consultant living in London with my partner. I've lived in London for seven years, having moved from my hometown in Essex to study journalism at university. I ended up in recruitment three years ago after realising how much I love talking to people. While my job is stressful, I find it really rewarding and enjoyable as my sector recruits to mental health charities.
A year ago me and my partner moved into a one-bedroom flat in London. I am extremely lucky as my partner's mother put a hefty deposit down for us along with other relations of his who wanted to see us on the property ladder. I was on furlough for almost a year during the height of the pandemic and this really affected my mental health (and, of course, my paycheque). I have bounced back in the past six months and I'm enjoying work again but would like to make as much as my colleagues (some get £4,000 in their paycheque!). Recruiters can make a hefty uncapped commission and I’m hoping to see growth in the next few years."
 
Occupation: Recruitment consultant
Industry: Sales
Age: 27
Location: London 
Salary: £23,000 plus commission
Paycheque amount: £1,500 plus, depending on commission
Number of housemates: One, my boyfriend
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £340 mortgage payment (this is £700 total and we are on a five-year fixed payment plan).
Loan payments: £15 student loan if I earn over a certain amount of commission.
Savings? £250
Pension? £75
Utilities: Council tax £60, gas and electricity £35, water £22.
All other monthly payments: Phone bill £20. Subscriptions: Everyman £25, PureGym £49.99, Amazon £7.99, Deliveroo Plus £7.99, London Air Ambulance £5.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I was the first in my family to go to university. I studied journalism and took out a student loan which seems impossible to pay back.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
We had a healthy attitude towards money as a family. My parents aren’t particularly wealthy but we never struggled. We follow the idea that life is too short not to treat yourself now and again.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out at 18 when I started university in London.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I've worked since the age of 18. At university I worked 16 hours in retail at the weekends so I could afford nice things on the side. My student loan left me with a bit of money for spending but I wanted to ensure I didn’t have to worry while I was studying and could save for something nice if I wanted.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was in retail aged 18. I kept this role for six years part-time until I had finished my studies and got a full-time role elsewhere.
 
Do you worry about money now?
Yes, I struggle with anxiety and often find myself worrying a little too much about money. I would like to be able to save more but being in London I also want to enjoy myself.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
I am extremely lucky that my partner's parents put money towards a deposit for a flat. My parents didn’t have any money to gift so I am incredibly grateful to be on the property ladder at such a young age. Without my partner, I expect I would have been renting forever.

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