Money Diary: A Tech Consultant In London On 60.5k

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 25-year-old tech consultant, working and living in London. I have lived with my parents in suburban London since I was 7 and I did my undergraduate degree at a London uni, continuing to live at home to save money. I got a graduate role at my current company straight after uni and have been promoted twice since joining so my role has progressed to a consultant level role. I’m keen to move out now but I'm looking to do an MBA abroad in the next year or so and I have decided to focus on saving for this instead.
I would say that I'm very money-conscious. I pay myself first every month when my paycheque comes in so I put a good portion into my savings. I think I have a fair amount of savings for my age, though I sometimes feel it's not enough. My worst spending habit would be eating out as it's sort of a hobby and I enjoy using it as a pick-me-up but I am trying to rein it in!"
Occupation: Tech consultant
Industry: Consulting
Age: 25
Location: London
Salary: £60,500
Paycheque amount: £2,800 after NI, tax, student loans, pension and company stock contributions.
Number of housemates: Two (my parents)
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
 
Housing costs: I pay £700 to my parents as rent and general upkeep.
Loan payments: I did a three-year degree and graduated in 2018 so around £200 is taken directly out of my salary every month (the interest is ridiculous though so I still owe about £40,000). I had eye surgery last year to correct my vision and I pay that off at around £191 monthly with 0% interest rate. I still have £2,000 left to pay.
Savings? I have £21,500 in a stocks and shares ISA for my long-term investments, £5,000 in different pots for general saving/future travels/rainy days, and around £15,000 in company stocks.
Pension? I pay in 2% and my employer pays in 6%. I have around £14,000 in it.
Utilities: Included in my house payment.
All other monthly payments: My contract for my phone comes to about £62 a month. I have a prepaid monthly travelcard which is about £212. Subscriptions: £5.99 Netflix, £9.99 Spotify, £79 Amazon Prime (yearly).
Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
I did a three-year undergraduate degree in maths and computer science. I paid for it through Student Finance England so I'm still paying off the loan but this is taken directly from my paycheque.
 
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money?
As immigrants, my parents had a particularly frugal mindset while I was growing up. That being said, they still always provided me with everything I needed. They definitely would have open conversations about finances and how to spend mindfully, and they helped me set up my first savings account when I was a teenager. I try to remain humble by reminding myself that for most of my childhood, my parents managed to raise me on less than my starting salary. I’d say our most problematic spending habit as a household has always been eating out. We enjoy it quite a lot and use it as an excuse to treat ourselves too often.
 
If you have, when did you move out of your parents'/guardians' house?
I still live with my parents and I am very lucky that I have a great relationship with them but I do want to move out and feel fully independent. The pandemic sort of dashed my hopes as I was really keen to move out in 2019/2020. Now, while I want to move out, I also want to save so I can get a postgraduate degree abroad and travel, so it's about prioritisation.
 
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself? Does anyone else cover any aspects of your financial life?
I pay for everything myself but often feel bad as I definitely pay a lot less because I live with my parents. While I pay rent, I know they are more likely to be saving it than using it. 
 
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job is my current job, which I got straight out of uni at 21 (all my prior jobs were voluntary work). It seemed like the natural next step. I wanted to go down the traditional academic route when I started uni but by the end of it I was so exhausted by education that I decided that I would work for a bit and then go back. I will go back eventually but I really enjoy what I am doing currently. I should also mention that when I started, my graduate pay was about 31.5k. I have been promoted twice in the last four years so my salary has been adjusted a couple of times since starting.
 
Do you worry about money now?
Slightly, as I want to save for travelling, an MBA (to fulfil my dream of going back to study) and, of course, for housing and a family eventually. I’m sure I’ll be fine but I always try to be a bit careful and mindful about my spending so I can align with my future goals.
 
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income?
No, I have not.

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