Women reveal the truth behind their spending habits and debts

How much do other women earn? What do they spend their money on? Clothes? Champagne? Debt? We asked three women to reveal their monthly incomings and outgoings

Interviews by Caroline Corcoran and Rosie Benson

Tamsin Ivy

The starter salary
Tamsin Ivy, 25, from London, recently launched an online jewellery rental business. The company doesn’t make money yet, but she earns £10,140 a year as a freelance jewellery consultant. She lives with five flatmates and shares a room with her boyfriend

Monthly income:
Take-home salary: £870

Monthly outgoings:
Rent: £375.50
Bills: £75.99
Food/household: £165
‘I always make packed lunches in the week – that way I feel like I can reward myself with a night out at the weekend.’
Socialising: £95
‘One major thing is that I barely drink alcohol any more. I’d much rather invest in a meal out instead.’
Repaying business loan to parents: £50
Travel: £80
Clothes: £25
‘I mostly live in black basics, so that people won’t notice if I wear the same thing. Then 
I let myself spend more on jewellery and shoes to accessorise. If I buy anything online, I’ll look for a discount code first.’
Savings: £0
Total: £866.49
Debt: £10,000 owed to her parents from their loan to help kick-start her business. She doesn’t have a credit card or overdraft.
Total savings: £1,000. She had £4,000, but put £3,000 into her business (alongside the £10k from her parents) and kept £1,000 as a buffer. ‘My friends are always posting pictures of their holidays on Instagram, and I hate missing out because of money. But I can’t justify unnecessary spending after borrowing money from Mum and Dad. I was reluctant, but they convinced me it was better than a high-interest loan. The sacrifices won’t be forever and will be worth it one day.’
Tamsin Ivy is the founder of glitzbox.co.uk

Laura Pitchford money diaries

The career climber
Laura Pitchford, 31, lives in London with one housemate and works in e-commerce as a fashion editor. She earns £45,000 a year, plus a £3,000 bonus

Monthly income:
Take-home salary: £2,500
eBay sales of old clothes: £60

Monthly outgoings:
Rent: £650
‘I find London prices ridiculous and don’t think I’ll ever buy a house here; it’s not worth it to me for what you get.’
Bills: £150
‘I try to move money over to my savings account at the start of every month, but often I take it back and spend it! However, I always transfer anything that’s left the night before payday – that’s my rule.’
Student loan: £190
Charity contributions: £10
Pension: £20
Phone bill: £60
Food, inc takeaways and 
coffees/lunch at work: £230
Travel: £150 + £50 on Uber taxis
Credit card: £100
Clothes: £100
Gym: £33
Cleaner: £30
Socialising: £350
‘I have a “value for money” barometer, which I check stuff against before I spend. I’d rather save £20 for a glass of champagne somewhere incredible than four G&Ts down the pub. More Instagrammable too, right?’
Savings (aka The Holiday Fund): £100
Total: £2,223
Debt: £12,500 (including £12k left on student loan and £500 on credit card)
Total savings: £4,000
‘I work hard for my money and I’m going to enjoy it; I love travelling and eating out, and value life experiences much more than material things. My parents are accountants and will say to me, “Why haven’t you bought a house yet?” But right now I still feel young and being tied to a huge expense isn’t my priority.’

The high earner
Anna*, 30, lives in London and rents an apartment with her partner. She works as an IT consultant and earns £150,000 a year

Monthly income:
Take-home salary: £9,500

Monthly outgoings:
Rent: £1,550
‘I wanted to buy a house, but Brexit stopped me – I’m waiting to see what happens. I will buy a property in the future, for my children, that’s something I’m saving for. But I had 
a mortgage once before and having a no-strings life is good!’
Bills: £150
Pension: £500
Phone bill: £20
Food, inc takeaways and coffees/lunch at work: £200
‘I love expensive wine and restaurants, socialising in stylish places and going to hotel spas – I don’t mind spending money on anything that makes me happy in the short-term.’
Travel: £200 (city breaks – at least one a month, plus £4,000 on longer holidays twice a year)
Credit card: £1,500
Clothes: £100
‘I don’t like clothes shopping – I do it out of necessity and it’s mostly boring work stuff. I go on the occasional spree and might spend between £200 and £300 on an outfit, but then I feel guilty and send half of it back!’
Gym: £57 per month
‘I used to spend £200 a month on a gym membership. Now, I’m cutting back by trying to run outside more. Recently, I’ve stopped eating sugar and carbs, and I’d rather spend money on healthy food and ingredients than a gym membership.’
Socialising: £300
Savings: around £4,500
Total: £9,077-£11,377
Total debt: 0 ‘Growing up, I saw my parents struggle so that I could study in a big city, therefore I saw how much every penny was worth. I think my careful attitude to money comes from that. I always thought, “When I’m a contractor, I will have all these designer handbags…” 
but I got there and it turns out that I didn’t really need them.’

Total savings: £100,000 ‘I worked in a bank before I went into IT and I studied investment banking, 
so I’ve always had money invested in the stock exchange.’
Confession: ‘I actually use all those secret sales offers – like outlet websites and discount codes. Especially when I travel – I don’t remember the last time I went on an all-inclusive holiday without a voucher code! I feel really stupid when I overpay for anything. My biggest splurge is always Christmas – I like to spoil my family and boyfriend, so that’s when I go big. I invest the rest of my money on the stock exchange (mostly in funds and shares) and I have a property in Poland that I rent out.’

*Name has been changed

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