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Money Diary: A Solicitor In Glasgow On £45,000

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 26-year-old solicitor based in Glasgow. I moved here from Edinburgh around 18 months ago when I qualified. In one week, I qualified as a solicitor, moved companies, moved cities and moved in with my partner. It was a busy time! My partner owns the flat that we share and has done for a few years before I moved in. Our current arrangement means he pays his mortgage while I pay almost all of our bills. We agreed to this to allow me to save hard towards a deposit. We are currently planning on buying a new flat together in around six months’ time and have started to get the wheels in motion on that (i.e. I spend too much time searching around property websites!). We split all of our other expenses equally and use an app to input expenses to see who owes who what (which we use as if it was a competitive game). Despite the hard saving I do spend money on enjoying myself (trips, concerts, football matches) as this is the first time I have had a good amount of “fun” money. My current splurge is a 12-day trip to Germany for the European Championships in June with my partner — we have already booked/paid for most of the costs (travel, accommodation, tickets), and are now in the fun stages of planning activities for when we are there.”
Occupation: Solicitor
Industry: Legal
Age: 26
Location: Glasgow
Salary: £45,000 pa
Paycheque Amount: £2,663.27
Number of housemates: One, my partner, R
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £300 (This is the payment I make to cover the vast majority of our bills.)
Loan payments: £130 student loan
Savings?: £17,100 in a savings account; £1,600 in a Help to Buy ISA; £200 in a holiday savings pot.
Pension? I pay in £187.50 (5%). My employer pays in 4%.
Utilities: Covered by my £300 monthly payment.
All other monthly payments: £20.95 phone bill; £45 counselling; £20 Community Benefit Society. Subscriptions: £7.99 Netflix; £10.99 Spotify; £8.99 Amazon Prime; £19.99 Gym.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Yes. I have an undergraduate degree in law and a post-graduate diploma in professional legal practice. As a Scottish student studying at a Scottish university, I did not have to pay fees for my undergraduate degree. I was also very fortunate that the firm I did my traineeship with covered the fees for my post-graduate. I took out the highest maintenance loan I could while at university but this didn’t even cover my rent so I worked during my degree to cover the rest of my bills and spending money.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
Both of my parents worked throughout my childhood. We were not extremely well off but we were always comfortable. Both of my parents work in unionised industries and I have strong memories of my dad being on strike and that causing financial worries in the house. My mum also had cancer when I was younger and was off sick for around a year which caused some financial strain. I was around 12 at the time and I feel that the worry of that time still impacts me. Thankfully, my mum is fully recovered now and has been cancer free for over 10 years. I feel I have a similar attitude towards money as my parents. I live within my means but definitely use my money to enjoy myself.
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
I moved out first at 18 when I went to university. I moved back home for a couple of months after a bad breakup when I was 23. I feel really fortunate that I was able to stay with my parents during that time and have their support.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
When I started my traineeship at 22, I covered all of my own costs. When I was still a student, my parents would help me out here and there if needed, but I worked throughout my degrees to support myself.
I moved in with my partner around 18 months ago, and our arrangement means that I can save a lot more than I would have done if I had been living alone.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
At 16 I worked on a jewellery counter in a department store. I wanted extra money to spend on fun things, like trips with friends.
Do you worry about money now?
Yes and no. I have a good job that I love and that pays me well. I have built good savings since I started. However, I have a residual anxiety about my finances. The thought of spending the majority of my savings on a deposit scares me as I won’t have that security net there if something were to go really wrong. I am hoping to build up my savings to leave me with enough left over should something bad happen.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?