Money Diary: A Senior Marketing Executive On 32.5k

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 31-year-old living near Liverpool and working in the travel industry. Until the pandemic, travelling was definitely my biggest priority and expense. I was lucky enough to go backpacking when I was younger and I’d rarely turn down the opportunity for a city break as I'm a pro at finding good deals. Lockdown forced me to take my goal of buying a house more seriously and I was lucky enough to do so about 18 months ago. It’s a big project that’ll take a few more years to complete (I’m still getting used to saving for flooring over flights) but I’m extremely grateful to have made that jump. I live with my partner of two years, P."
Occupation: Marketing executive
Industry: Travel
Age: 31
Location: Merseyside
Salary: £32,500
Paycheque amount: £1,999
Number of housemates: One: my partner, P.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £409.68 mortgage including £50 overpayment.
Loan payments: £78 student loan (taken out before my paycheque).
Savings? Just under £6k in an instant-access savings account (this is going on the next stage of home renovations soon). I also put £50 per month in a Vanguard stocks and shares ISA and a further £210 per month in Chase savings split between travel, gifts and car expenses. These sinking funds are a fairly recent addition to help me feel more in control of my expenses.
Pension? I salary sacrifice 5% into my workplace pension scheme (about £135 per month pre-tax), which my employer matches.
Utilities: £172 council tax, £71.71 gas and electric (currently reduced by about 50% from normal due to building up £400 credit over summer), £29.49 water, £21.95 internet. P contributes £300 monthly towards utilities and things like the weekly shops as I tend to do most of them.
All other monthly payments: £10 giffgaff contract, £22.50 life insurance, £4 bank fee, £10 phone bill, £0.79 iCloud storage, £23.99 gym membership. Subscriptions: £9.99 Spotify premium.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I went to university, which was funded through student loans, a maintenance grant and working as much as possible. I also received a university scholarship of £4,000 per year, which I was able to save through living at home.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
Honestly, I don’t remember having many conversations about money when I was younger. Funds were tight when I was small as my dad’s an immigrant who worked nights while he trained and studied in the day. Since then, my parents have generally been in a comfortable position but it wasn’t until more recently that we started discussing finances in more detail.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I was lucky enough to be able to live at home until my mid 20s, which helped me save towards travelling for a year and my house deposit. When I returned, I moved to Liverpool and had a wonderful few years renting in the city centre before buying a house.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I’ve been financially responsible for myself since I moved out of my parents' house. However, I know they’re there as a safety net and they contributed towards my house deposit, which I’m self-conscious about but also extremely grateful for.
What was your first job and why did you get it?

I got my first part-time job when I’d just turned 18 to pay for my first car and going out with friends.
Do you worry about money now?
Since becoming a homeowner, I’ve become pretty anxious about money. I’ve had a decent pay rise over the last 18 months but the rising cost of living and renovations does weigh on my mind a lot. I use a Chase current account to get 1% cashback on my day-to-day spending and track my finances pretty meticulously but I'm always guilty of FOMO so I can’t help saying yes to that extra drink, meal out… You get the picture!
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
My parents loaned me £20k towards my house deposit as I didn’t earn enough to mortgage the amount I needed at the time. I didn’t expect this would ever be possible so I was completely blown away by the offer. I plan to pay it back by remortgaging once renovations are completed in the future.