Money Diary: A Pharmaceutical Scientist In Southampton On 38k

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 am a 24-year-old medical regulatory scientist and recently bought my first house in Southampton with my partner.
My family moved abroad a lot when I was growing up. We moved to the US and were surrounded by this huge wealth in the LA area. It was then that I really started having conversations with my parents about money, the value of it, what we could afford, etc. I really enjoyed being involved in the finances.
When I was studying for my bachelor's degree, I didn't qualify for any maintenance loans (negatives of moving around a lot!) so I worked all three years of my degree to fund my living and daily costs. This was incredibly hard and I have so much respect for people who manage numerous jobs and balance studying. I think my frugal years as a student have resulted in a permanent money-saving mentality. I love apps like Olio and Too Good To Go; I also love sewing and crafting and try to save money like this wherever possible – I have made all my Christmas presents this year! I do find it hard to treat myself (especially since buying a house) and sometimes have to remind myself to let my hair down and that spending money is not something to feel guilty about.
Please note that Southampton was in tier 2 during the writing of this diary, moving to full lockdown on Boxing Day. Both my brother, D, and my friend, A, who have been struggling with their mental health, are going to be staying with us for the foreseeable future."
Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 24
Location: Southampton
Salary: £38,880
Paycheque amount: £2,221
Number of housemates: Two: my fiancé (G) and my doggo (J).
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: Mortgage £1,400 (including a £500 overpayment).
Loan payments: £80
All other monthly expenses: My half of our bills: electric and gas approx £25, Wi-Fi £12.50, still awaiting our first water bill! Gym membership £40, Netflix – my parents upgraded their account so my siblings and I are all on the same account, Amazon Prime £3.50, phone bill £3.50 SIM only (G), phone bill £6 SIM only, SimplyCook £4, The Times £3, The Guardian £6, Audible (2x) £7. We don't have a set amount we save at the moment. Having just bought the house, our savings each month are being invested in doing it up.
Savings? We've just bought our first house and have been in the process of doing renovations over the COVID-19 period. All our purchases and bills are equally spent from our joint account. We have £15,000 in a joint account from which we do our daily spending and all our credit cards are paid. We bulk this up equally every month from our current and saving accounts. We have £30,000 in easy access savings for any emergencies or unexpected circumstances alongside some separate savings and investment accounts, with £50,000 invested (mainly in stocks and shares). Being a woman, I am always reminded of the importance of having separate saving accounts and maintaining financial independence.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series