22.01.2022

I love my £22.5k a year broadcasting job, but both my best friends earn a *lot* more than me

I’m a runner in broadcasting in London, and renting a two-bed flat with a friend. A big chunk of my income goes on rent, which is annoying. But I’d never have gotten this job if I’d stayed living with my parents miles from anywhere, so I’m seeing it as an investment in my career.

After uni I was so excited to get this job in media, and am really enjoying it. But two of my best friends got graduate jobs in banks and are already earning loads more than me. I really enjoy my job and would be so bored doing theirs, so I’m not jealous. It just makes it difficult when we go out together – I’m always the one ordering the cheapest meal or drink, and having to work out the bill at the end when they’re happy to ‘just split it’.

They don’t do it to be horrible, I just think they’ve gotten used to having lots of disposable income so they don’t think about it.

We’re now planning a girls’ trip next summer and I really want to be able to go and enjoy it fully without stressing about money. I have plenty of time, so I need to set up a savings plan, and maybe a budget for the holiday that I can get us all to agree to in advance?

Beyond the holiday, I need to get into good savings habits for life in general. I’m hopefully going to be earning a bit more in the next few years, but I’m starting from such a low base and would love to get to the point where I have a buffer.

MY ACCOUNTS

Current account: £302
Savings account: £267

MY INCOMINGS

Annual salary: £22,500 pre-tax; £18,964
Monthly wage: £1,875 pre-tax; £1,580 post-tax
Any other incoming payments: £0

MY OUTGOINGS

Rent: £750
Bills: £120
Other: Gym membership, weekly food shop, Netflix etc = £85
Splurges: I recently bought a new handbag, it wasn’t designer but it was £110, which is more than I’d usually spend on myself!
Weekly budget: Don’t have one but definitely need one.

MY DEBTS

Just my student debt.

MY MONEY THOUGHTS

My worst money habit: Eating out, I love going for a nice meal and drinks with my friends.
My biggest money worry: Always being the one who can’t afford to keep up.
My financial hopes for the future: I want to do well in my career – I know I’ll never be a millionaire, but I want to earn enough to own my own place one day.
Current money mood: 🕵️‍♀️ 🙏 🤷🏼

1. Financial FOMO is real
Even though you know you love your job, there’s a little part of us all that really struggles with the idea of not having quite as much money as our peers. It’s awkward feeling like the only one who’s anxious at the ordering of yet another round of espresso martinis. It’s worth being aware that this is something nearly all of us feel – for some, happiness is quite literally about out-earning everyone you know (I do not recommend this). It sounds like for you, this is a practical question of enjoying life and not feeling the pressure to ‘keep up’ with your mates.

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