I'm a senior account manager on £45k, but living in London is swallowing *all* my savings – should I move?

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London Is Too Expensive  How Do I Start Saving Money

Welcome to Money Matters: GLAMOUR’s weekly dive into the world of finance. We’re chatting all things personal finance, from contracting rights in the workplace to expert mortgage advice and saving for your first home, to ISAs and dealing with debt, to help empower you to make better choices. Now more than ever, it's important to understand our money, but so many of us feel as if we don't have a handle on it – or worse, feel anxious and scared about money.

So each week, a woman in a unique situation will give us an honest breakdown of her finances, and our expert will give her easy tips on how to tackle it.

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Maxine is a 37-year-old senior account manager for a PR consultancy specialising in luxury fashion. She earns £45k per annum and loves her job.
However, living and working in London makes it basically impossible to save. She's aware that people will think she sounds “very privileged,” but she's always struggled with saving since she started on a 21k salary over 10 years ago.
Her partner stays at home to look after their 6-year-old girl, which means the pressure is on Maxine to keep earning. She's desperate to spend more time with her little girl but doesn't know what her options are... Can she take a sabbatical without stalling her career?
She's also worried that if she takes a sabbatical and her partner gets a new job, he might not want to return to childcare duties when she goes back to work.


Current account: £2000
Savings account: £3000


Annual salary pre-tax: £45,000
Annual salary post-tax: £33,861
Monthly wage pre-tax: £3,750
Monthly wage post-tax: £2822
Other incoming payments: £0


Rent/mortgage: £1800
Bills: £250
Splurges: £300
Other: £0
Any student loan/credit cards/overdrafts etc: I've got £2000 worth of credit card debt.


My worst money habit: Splurging on toys and clothes for my daughter.

My biggest money worry: Falling behind on mortgage repayments.

My financial hopes for the future: Being financially secure enough to take a sabbatical.

Current money mood: 👶👚😟


Makala Green is a multi-award-winning Chartered Financial Adviser at Schroders Personal Wealth and has over 18 years of experience in the financial industry. She understands managing money can be complicated and confusing, which is why she is passionate about making financial planning more accessible for all. She is also the Author of The Money Edit; a no shame no blame guide to taking control of your money.

Start saving

Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is getting started. With a strategy you can stick to, it can be easier to commit to saving. First, list your expenses on paper or an Excel spreadsheet and see what you can comfortably save each month. Next, consider any short, medium or long-term goals and identify how long it will take to achieve them. Lastly, learn to prioritise to give you a clear idea of how to proportionate your savings. Think about what's more important to you clothes, toys or future financial security. It also helps to explore something you can regularly sacrifice for saving.

Factor savings into your budget

In an ideal world, your savings should come before your spending, but it's the reverse too often. Including your savings amount in your budget will help you remain committed to saving a consistent amount. Try setting up a standing order from your current account into a separate savings account. Ideally, this should be the same day or day after payday. You can start with an affordable monthly amount and gradually increase it over time.

Separate your savings

One of the best ways to save money is to set goals. Start by thinking about what you want to save for—both in the short-medium term (one to four years), which should include saving an emergency fund (at least 3-6 months of income) and the long-term (five years plus), such as your child's future and retirement. You may explore instant access accounts for your short-term savings and a pension or investments such as a Junior ISA for your daughter for longer-term savings. Separating your savings into different pots will give you more financial confidence for your future and peace of mind.

Slash spending

If you can't save as much as you'd like, it might be time to cut back on expenses. Make a separate list of all nonessentials, such as socialising, eating out, clothes, and entertainment and see if there is scope to spend less. Review household bills such as utilities, mobile phones, car insurance, and even outstanding debt to see if there are options to shop around for cheaper deals or reduce interest. It's also worth reviewing any recurring expenses and cancelling any unwanted subscriptions. Lastly, when shopping for clothes or toys, try adopting a waiting period before buying, such as a 24–48-hour rule. It will help reduce impulse purchases and will ensure the item is not just a want but worthwhile.

Stick with your savings

There is little point in saving if you're going to spend it shortly after. We've all been there, but you want your savings to help you achieve your future goals and be financially secure, which will also reduce financial worry and stress. You can review your budget and check your progress regularly but avoid being tempted to touch it. To help you stick with your savings, make a vision board to remind you of the future you plan to achieve; this may inspire you to find more ways to save and hit your goals faster.

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