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Money Diary: A Senior Quality Improvement Manager On £58,000

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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 31-year-old NHS manager living in Bristol. I’ve lived here for the last four years after moving here from London after a bad breakup. I bought my first house with my partner at the end of 2022 in a chaotic and expensive housing market. I’ve worked for the NHS for almost 10 years, but I’m starting to think about leaving for a project/programme management role with a better salary and benefits for my level of responsibility. I started out adulthood with a really bad attitude to money and spent most of university and my first year after graduation in my overdraft. Once my student overdraft ended, I took control of my finances and took out a graduate loan to pay off my overdraft. I probably managed to save for a house deposit a little bit faster due to COVID-19, despite paying steep rent at the time and not having any family help. We have now been in the house for a year and I am trying to build my savings back up to pay for renovations and have an emergency fund again. I use Monzo pots to manage my spending and generally stay within my budget, although I definitely treat myself more often than might still be considered a treat!”
Occupation: Senior quality improvement manager
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 31
Location: Bristol
Salary: £58,972
Paycheque Amount: £2,985.77
Number of housemates: Four (my partner M, dog D, and cats S and S)
Pronouns: she/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £920.84 for my half of our mortgage payment.
Loan payments: £224.68 to Wren for our kitchen (we took out finance for our new kitchen earlier this year and I pay for this while M pays for the finance on our new windows and radiators); £277 to my student loan. 
Savings: £1,000 in an emergency fund; £834 in a Monzo pot for holidays (about to be emptied!); £825 in a Monzo pot for driving lessons; £1,327 in a shared savings account with M (for house-related costs). 
Utilities: We split bills 50/50. I pay: £21 for water; £90 for gas/electric; £76 for council tax. 
Pension?: I pay 11.6% into my pension, which currently comes to £570. I believe this is matched by my employer.
All other monthly payments: £15.94 pet insurance; £23.37 life/mortgage insurance; £14.50 internet; £50 pet food; £2.49 Apple storage; £45.65 aerial hoop classes; £20.99 gym membership; £57.82 phone.
Subscriptions: I share subscriptions with my siblings and M. I pay £8.99 for Amazon and £5.99 for Disney+. 
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? I did an undergraduate and a master’s degree and paid for both with student loans. As my parents separated in my first year, I qualified for the maximum loan amount but that still never seemed to be enough to cover all my expenses. This is probably more due to my poor money management skills at the time rather than it not actually being enough, and I spent a lot of time in my overdraft.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I don’t really remember having specific conversations about money or any education. I remember being given an allowance and spending it all every month rather than saving any of it, and I don’t remember being advised not to do that. In retrospect I can see that money was a big issue in our household, and probably one of the main reasons my parents got divorced, but I don’t think any of this was communicated to us particularly well and I only became aware of how complicated it was later on. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
When I was 18, for university. 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I would say when I left university at 21, as during those years my Dad was still paying for my phone and my Mum gave me £50 a month for food shopping. I do benefit from splitting all my expenses with my partner now, but we split everything 50/50 so I would say I am completely financially responsible for myself.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
Working in a restaurant when I was 15. I wanted to get a job to have extra spending money as soon as I was legally allowed, but I was absolutely terrible at the job! I worked various serving jobs in restaurants/cafés until I went to university.
Do you worry about money now?
All the time. A year ago we took on a larger mortgage than we had planned, and the house has required more work than we expected, so this combined with the cost of everything going up means that I still worry about money constantly. With the way costs continue to rise it feels as if no matter how much I make I will always need to worry about money.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No. I believe my Mum is planning to give us some money towards an extension on the house, which would be instead of receiving an inheritance when she dies, but I’m not sure how much this will be yet. Other than this I do not expect to receive any inheritance. 
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