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Money Diary: A Tech Consultant On £46,000

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 22-year-old tech consultant in Bristol. I moved here two and a half years ago with my boyfriend, O, for a software development apprenticeship scheme with our old employer. A year ago, I used that experience to pivot my career away from technical delivery into consultancy, where my skills are used to help solve problems for technical people. With that move came a substantial salary increase, from £32,000 to £46,000, where I am now. I’m now staring down a promotion in the next two months that will take my salary to £60,000 base. With O making a very comparable wage, we’ve found ourselves in a strong position for people our age and have been trying to buy a house together for well over a year now. I now make more than my parents have ever made — and have supported them in the past when times were difficult, such as buying them a new car. Considering their lack of savings, or eligibility for the state pension, this makes me worried about the future and how I can support them while achieving my own financial goals. With regards to money, I am definitely a saver. I am very cautious of lifestyle creep, especially considering the rate at which my salary is growing and my age, but at the same time I want to enjoy the money that I work for.”
Occupation: Consultant
Industry: Tech
Age: 22
Location: Bristol
Salary: £46,000
Paycheque Amount: £2,852
Number of housemates: Two, my boyfriend O and cat A.
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: £650 for my half of the rent, O and I split it equally. 
Loan payments: None.
Savings: £4,000 in instant access accounts; £29,000 in a LISA; and £12,000 in a S&S ISA. Most of this money is to go towards a house deposit, and some is for a holiday later this year.
Pension? I have a workplace pension where I pay in 4.5% and my employer matches my contribution. As my salary increases, I plan to increase my contributions for tax purposes, but until then, since my employer’s scheme isn’t especially generous, I’m not very worried about it.
Utilities: All utilities are split 50/50 with O, where my half is: £70 council tax; £32 electricity; £10 water; £18 wifi; £6.50 contents insurance; £25 gas.
All other monthly payments: £7 phone bill; £85 chiropractor and physiotherapist; £25 charity payments; £7 for my half of pet insurance; and £9 for my half of A’s vet subscription. Subscriptions: £4 streaming service; £25 gym subscription; £70 aesthetician “beauty club”, where I get one facial a month.
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I did not go to university — I grew up overseas and moved back to the UK right at uni age. So I didn’t qualify for student finance, and my family definitely didn’t have the money to put me through education without it. I did an apprenticeship a few years ago in software development, which was sponsored through the company. This means I didn’t pay for the apprenticeship, and was a salaried employee through to its completion.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
My parents don’t come from a privileged background and didn’t have any family to rely on for support either. My parents were never in a position to build savings, so their attitude towards money is more “it’s nice when you have it”. They gave me some basic financial advice, such as the importance of taking out a credit card to build a credit score, but I had to teach myself about things such as investing and saving money. 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents’/guardians’ house?
I moved out when I turned 20 as I needed to move away from home for an apprenticeship position. O and I moved in together as friends/housemates (he was also on the apprenticeship scheme and moving to the area) and a month in we were regretting spending the money to rent a two-bed apartment! Luckily, it’s continuing to work out, though my parents were definitely raising a few eyebrows when I told them we were together.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I was responsible for all my own purchases and made contributions to the household from the age of 17, but I started paying all my own bills when I moved out at 20. O and I split all housing costs and household bills 50/50, and I cover all my personal spending decisions past that.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I got my first job the second I turned 16. I was a maths tutor at a local tuition centre. I was desperate to get a job because I knew that I was going to have trouble going to university, and I wanted to try and save up enough money to pay for it myself. I was a little naïve as to the amount I would need, but that work ethic and savings built the ground work for my current financial situation.
Do you worry about money now?
I’m lucky enough to say that I don’t worry about money day to day, and don’t really think about my purchases or budget.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
Nope, nor do I expect to. My mum doesn’t have a state or private pension, and my dad only has a partial one since we lived overseas, and they used his overseas pension money to afford moving back to the UK.