Money Diary: A 27-Year-Old Trainee Teacher On A 26k Bursary In Hampshire

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 we're with a trainee teacher.
"Last summer I gave up a well-paid job with perks like a company car in order to pursue a new career in teaching. I have spent the past year as a student training to be a secondary school teacher. Although I wasn’t paid a salary during my studies, I did receive a government grant of £26,000 as there is a recruitment shortage for the subject I teach. I treated the bursary like a salary and I would not have been able to retrain if not for this generous amount – I feel indebted and very grateful!
I live with my husband, who is self-employed, and my sister, who is currently living in our spare room and paying us £300 a month. We use this to help pay the mortgage. My sister is like my best friend and the three of us share the same group of friends. She’s very sociable and often away for the weekends so we also get alone time!
Taking the plunge and giving up the security of my job to start over in the career I knew I wanted was a big decision. It also came only a year after my husband gave up his job to become self-employed. While a lot of our friends of a similar age are seemingly becoming more settled financially, it feels like we are starting again in many ways. The experience has made us braver, more willing to take risks and has been an exciting start to our marriage as I feel our relationship has become stronger. I feel fortunate that I have such a supportive husband, and that we were able to buy our first home together (thanks to the generosity of our parents)."
Occupation: Student teacher
Age: 27
Location: Hampshire
Salary: £0. I receive a (much-needed!) £26k tax-free bursary paid into our joint account
Paycheque: Varies only slightly according to when the bursary is sent out, but usually quite even at £2k a month
Roommates: Husband and sister (and dog!)
Husband and I have a joint account which our salaries are paid into. Husband also has a separate business bank account. As he is just starting up he pays himself a minimal salary to help us keep going.
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: £999 (split between my husband and me)
Utilities: Water/electricity/gas (split between husband and me): £100
Phone bill: Two mobile phones, Wi-Fi and internet in one package shared with my husband: £60
Council tax: £120
Credit card: We only use this for big ticket items and when we want added security. We tend to pay this off each month, usually £100
Student loan: Currently on hold while I am a student, as well as my pension
Savings? £300 + anything else we don’t spend in the month
Other: Pet insurance, healthy pet club, Netflix, life insurance etc: £100

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