Money Diary: A Solicitor In The Midlands On 85k

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 28-year-old lawyer living in the Midlands with my husband, J. I work in the City so I travel down to London once a week for a few days and stay there. The rest of the time I work from home. My firm is super flexible so some weeks I work from home completely. I did live in London as a trainee solicitor but after COVID J and I decided to move back to the Midlands to be close to family. Although we miss living in London sometimes, it was definitely the right decision for us. I am more of a spender than my husband (he says) but we both love travelling and this is a priority for us so we spend a lot on holidays and staycations. J and I share finances so we get paid into the same account and then just share everything."
 
Occupation: Litigation lawyer 
Industry: Law
Age: 28
Location: Midlands
My salary: £85,000 + bonus 
My husband’s salary: £52,000
My paycheque amount: £3,800 (bonus is paid separately in one go at year end, up to 20% of salary).
My husband’s paycheque amount: £2,900
Number of housemates: One: my husband, J.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: £940 mortgage. 
Loan payments: £172 car loan. £750 student loan repayments for my undergrad and postgrad degrees. This is taken out of my salary so not deducted from my paycheque amount.
Pension? I pay in 3.5% and my employer pays in 4%. We also have the option to bonus sacrifice.
Savings? £10,000 (building this back up following our wedding and buying a house).
Utilities: £166 council tax, £100 gas and electricity, £41 water. £147 house insurance and £126 boiler check (paid yearly).
All other monthly payments: £41 phone bill for me, £13 TV licence, £86 Sky, £44 car insurance, £13 window cleaner, £60 cleaner, £2.49 iCloud storage. Subscriptions: £700 in investments. £74 income protection, £60 life insurance and critical illness cover for both of us. £13.99 Spotify and £150 for a couple’s gym membership (this is done through work so comes out of my salary prior to receiving my paycheque). £120 Soho Friends membership, £80 Amazon, £300 MOT and service (all paid yearly).  
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I took a student loan for my undergraduate law degree and a student loan for the legal practice course (LPC) and master's. My parents were not in a position to pay for my further education so I had to fund it through student loans.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
I come from a single-parent household so I did not hear my mum discussing finances with another adult. She made all the household financial decisions alone and she did not really discuss financial matters with my siblings and me. We never struggled so I always assumed my mum was good with money and I assumed the same of my dad. Both my parents always encouraged me to save for security but they also felt that money provides opportunities and that is something I still really believe today. 
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I moved out at 18 for university. I briefly moved back for a placement year (age 20-21) and to do the LPC before moving to London to start my training contract at 23.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I became financially independent at 18 and no one covers any of my finances now.
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I was a tutor at the age of 16 and did this up until going to university. I did this so I could support myself as my parents encouraged my siblings and I to get jobs as soon as possible to learn to manage our own money and our own time. I tutored three times a week while doing my A-levels.
 
Do you worry about money now?
In general no as my salary is enough to do the things I want, invest and save. I do worry about the recession and inflation though as it affects everyone and our money won’t go as far.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No.

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