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Money Diary: A Sales Executive In Edinburgh On £21,700

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 23-year-old sales executive who just got engaged to my partner, H. We recently bought a house out in a more rural area after living in the city for the last three years. I also recently left a job with a much higher salary due to poor working conditions that really ruined my mental health. For a month we were living with a family member, as our home was not yet ready and due to the rising cost of living in the city. I didn’t work during this time as the thought made me sick and I would have panic attacks due to what happened in my previous job. I used to work within the education and childcare sector as a room head for a private nursery and while it is my area of passion, the 12-hour days, constant berating from managers and less and less money being spent on the resources for the children was too much. I now work in sales and marketing, but still within childcare, so I feel like I’m still doing something with my experience. Now H and I are getting our home sorted out, I’m feeling more social again so I’m seeing friends more often, which is making it a little harder to save and recoup what I lost when I quit my job. My goal by the end of the year is to have a small emergency fund and then next year will be for clearing any credit cards.”
Occupation: Sales executive
Industry: Early years
Age: 23
Location: Edinburgh
Salary: £21,700
Paycheque Amount: Roughly £1,500 after tax.
Number of housemates: One, my partner H.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: I pay £600 monthly, this includes my portion of utilities. My partner H pays slightly more as he earns a large amount more than me.
Loan payments: I have two credit cards that I pay £100 into each month (I’d prefer to put in more but I’m working on building my savings up again).
Savings?: These have been depleted recently after I suddenly left my previous job and wasn’t in the mental headspace to find another straight away. I think I have roughly £100 in my savings account at the moment, definitely a big hit.
Pension?: At my previous job I was paying 6% into my pension, and as I’ve just started my current job I still haven’t sorted my new plan out but I will do roughly the same.
Utilities: My split works out roughly to be £100 for electricity, internet and council tax.
All other monthly payments: £20 phone;£54 car insurance. Subscriptions: £16.99 for cinema; £9.99 for Spotify.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?: I went to college to study childhood practice. Luckily because I live in Scotland I was able to get this for free. I also got a bursary so I don’t need to pay that back either.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
Growing up I was always unaware of the financial situation in the house. My parents never really taught me how to save money and because of this I do struggle with my relationship with my finances. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
I moved out when I was 21 and got my first full-time job.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I’d say I’ve been financially responsible for myself since I was around 18. I didn’t have to pay “rent” to my parents while I lived at home, but any other aspect of my life was paid for by me. 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I worked in a clothes shop at 16/17 to be able to buy myself bits and pieces. When I turned 18 I also used that money to pay for things like petrol for my car.
Do you worry about money now? Definitely. I recently had to quit my previous job after months of being made mentally and physically unwell by the environment. I left without any real plan. That might sound foolish, but I knew that if I didn’t then things would only become worse. I ended up using most of my savings to stay afloat for a couple of months while I looked for a job. I’m now earning a lot less than I was previously, so money has certainly become a worry again, especially in the current climate.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
My grandparents set up a savings account for me when I was a baby and I gained access to that on my 18th birthday, I used the money to get myself a car.