What On Earth Are We Doing With Our Money?

Advertising Manager. London. 37.png

You may already know Refinery29’s Money Diaries… this is our own version of it! We’ve put together a few questions to understand what women are doing with their money. Let’s break the taboo and talk more about finances!

It’s short, snappy, fun and anonymous.


Advertising Manager. London. 37. Single and would love a dog!

💭 Financial goals:

Short term (1-5 years): Paying off my credit card and building my savings. A resolution for the past two years but this year the reality of my financial situation hit home when our department was restructured. I was ok but I realised I would have been in trouble had I lost my job. I want to invest in my training to be a celebrant and do this next year.

Medium term (5-10 years): I'm hoping to invest in some training to become a wedding celebrant. I'd like to sell my current flat and find somewhere I can do up, have a garden for the future dog and a bathroom with a bath!

Long term (10 years +): I'd love to own a seaside abode or be able to 'winter' in a warmer climate.

🌟 Best buy ever: My visa's to live in the UK. It cost me £14,000 for the visa's and citizenship, and £7,000 for my masters degree (a requirement of the visa) and worth every penny to be a citizen here.

😳 Worst buy ever: So many clothes and homewares and bits of tat over the years. I was a keen consumer but as I've gotten older I've realised having five perfumes doesn't make me happy and having the credit card debt is too stressful.

👀 Things you spend the most money on: My living expenses, mortgage, service charge, water, electricity, insurance etc is 43% of my take home salary. As I am single I carry all the financial burden and responsibility and I have honestly struggled recently to view this as a positive. I am now the person who switches their providers every year to get the best deal. It only takes a few minutes online and I often find the savings are about half of the proposed increased cost. My food bill is the next biggest expense. I am great at batch booking and this year have made all but two of lunches for work which has saved me approx £80 a month.

💸 Salary / Income: £62,000 per annum

💰 Net worth (what you own vs what you owe, or your assets minus your debts): Wow! I've never done this exercise. I can't wait to tell my dad, he will be so proud! £116,000. This is mainly because I have bought two flats in my life, the first was very rundown and being sold cheap at auction. The second was in an area that has regenerated.

💻 Any side hustles: I make pottery and sell what I make on the side to cover my studio time. I hope to become a wedding celebrant and have this as a side hustle too.

👛 Savings: None. I find this really stressful as my current job only has a one month notice period. I live month to month and if I lost my job my financial stress would be overwhelming. Once I pay off the credit cards (end of this year) I have a budget for next year is very detailed and will allow me to save a significant amount.

🏠 Home: I have two properties. I would like to sell my current one and move into something that I could do up that has a garden. I need to have some savings for stamp duty and moving fees first!

🔦 Debt: I just paid of my student loan as it was called in (£9k). Hugely stressful! The government it was with gave a years notice that they would enforce repayments if you met a certain criteria which I did. I always planned to pay it off but suddenly having to find 10% of my wage was stressful. I have £2500 on a credit card that I just moved with a 0% balance transfer as this is the only way I can get on top of this debt. Two mortgages, getting the first one is scary but like anything once you have done it you are a pro! I didn't know for years about remortgaging with my first one and when I did it the offer was so much better!

📈 Investing: I have some crypto currency shares (£500) that I am watching. It was a first foray into shares that had a risk and I'm patiently waiting to recover the money! I also put in £100 seed money for an online business that may or may not pay out. Both were ways to rip off the bandaid and try something knowing that I will likely lose the money. Now I have done it and have more confidence I am researching other shares and investments for next year.

😌 Pension: I have two pension pots worth a total £30,000 which I have been paying into for 20 years. I've just been thinking how small that is and technically I can retire in another 30 years but will I have enough retirement money? I don't think so! I now work for a business that offers final pension salaries (very rare now) and I might just stay here the 20 years to make the most of this benefit!

🔮 Insurances: I have insurance for my flats; contents and renters. I also have life insurance mainly to help my family pay off debts and for my cremation if I pass. I also have income protection insurance after watching my aunt being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and having to work until she passed this month (5 years). She had no savings or partner and had to continue to work to pay for rent, food and even some of her medical treatments. The NHS system is good but it doesn't cover everything. I researched the income protection insurance and pay £40 a month which high, however the one I have pays 90% of my salary for two years if I become ill.

What is money for you? Freedom. I've observed so many people in my life have to make tough choices because of their lack of finances. Including medical care or staying in a job where they are being harassed. This has really struck a cord within me to make sure I have choice.

🚀 What is financial independence for you? I want to be able to wake up one day without an alarm. Get up and enjoy my home, write a chapter of my latest book, head to the pottery studio or a lunch with friends.


THANK YOU!

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