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I have been recruiting for law firms since February. This is my first “proper” job in London, previously I earned cash by telling fabricated stories to tourists as I punted them up and down the River Cam.
I graduated with an upper second-class honours in a humanities degree from a non-Russell Group university, which is yet to come in handy.
Feeling pretty lost on which career direction to pursue, I fell into recruitment. This seems to be a common theme of recruiting to recruitment.
My job is pretty easy. As I dictate my workload, I don’t do much. It gives me the freedom to invest my time into other pursuits, such as article writing.
Having worked in London for eight months now, I have decided to work towards an application for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
I have concerns about sleepwalking into a career, and the Army offers a fantastic opportunity to those of us who still crave a structured lifestyle. Admittedly, a graduate scheme would offer this, too – and come with less sleeping in puddles.
Since leaving university in summer 2022, I have not received financial support from my parents other than for things such as car insurance and my mobile phone bill, because I’m 24.
Due to the nature of a commission salary, some months are more “lean” than others. This can make budgeting quite troublesome, as I’m not someone who is very good at exercising self-control.
£25k (excluding commission 7.5pc of billed revenue paid quarterly)
Repayments vary greatly
£900 (five-bedroom house share in Clapham) including monthly costings
Spotify Premium for £9.99
Travel to work
£10.99 for a 120-minute Lime bike pass
Day 1: Monday
I work from home on Mondays, as I am a bit of a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday office drone. It suits me down to the ground. Working from home allows me to brazenly get away with avoiding work, as in the office you obviously have to act like you’re working. Pretending to type is far more tiring than wiggling a mouse once an hour.
I’m cooking for the house tomorrow, so I braved Asda to pick up a loaf of bread (£2.38). I rummaged around the communal cupboards for the rest of the supplies. The great benefit of living with three housemates is that you can always blame someone else.
In the evening, I went to Northcote Road for a drink with a mate from home and his girlfriend. He’s just started university in London, so it was heartwarming to see the innocent, glistening eyes of someone who has recently moved to the city. He looked on in disbelief as I forked out £29.89 on one round.
Total spend: £32.27
Day 2: Tuesday
Payday! Except it doesn’t doesn’t feel like payday, because the last working day of the month means paying off my credit card bill. Lured in by the promise of Avios points, each month begins with me wondering how many pints I will need to buy before I can fly to Granada.
I also pay £900 towards rent and bills for my house, which I keep being reassured is a good deal – but surrendering 50pc of my monthly income doesn’t necessarily feel like a good deal. I also paid £100 into my Isa, which remains a somewhat unlikely bastion of financial sensibility in my otherwise frenetic spending pattern.
I scrimped on just a meal deal today (£3.50). Good thing too, because I’m supposed to be heading up to Scotland next month, and train tickets are an eye watering £180. Perhaps it’s time to rehearse the old “dog ate my Railcard” line.
Total cost: £1,003.50
Day 3: Wednesday
A Lime bike two-hour pass costs £10.99, which I use as my main form of transport. Lime charged me £5 for parking my bike incorrectly today, which I considered inconsiderate. Spotify also took my money today (£9.99). Though such setbacks can make me feel like a helpless pawn in a big corporation’s world, I find some solace in leeching off other people for Netflix and Disney+.
I ventured to the big Asda again to pick up trusty bread (£2.75). Later, I purchased two tickets to Top Secret Comedy Club (£6) for a date with my girlfriend next week. People say the best way to get a girl to like you is to make them laugh, so I thought I’d better find someone to do that for me.
In the evening, I went out for supper with my house (£37) to Maiella Worth (an Italian restaurant). We discussed the current oppression from the cost of living on our purses and deliberated if there is any point saving money in your 20s. We came to the conclusion that you might as well spend it all and make vast amounts in your 30s.
Total cost: £71.73
Day 4: Thursday
Using my Lime pass, I cycled into the office, doing my best to resist the temptation of crashing into oblivious tourists. Cycling means that I do not have to fold myself into the Tube at rush hour and it is by far the quickest way to travel from where I live.
After a day of work, which won’t even go down as a footnote, I took the Tube (£3.40) to the Trinity Arms in Brixton for a drink with my housemate. Nestled neatly in residential streets, this is my pick of the pubs in the area. I bought two pints (£12.90) and proceeded to the Clapham Grand with 700 other publicly educated 20-somethings to watch comedian Josh Berry.
My housemate got the tickets for free, so I splashed out on a bottle of rosé for us (£22). Those in our row did not take kindly to being accidentally splashed by said rosé as we struggled to reach our seats. I picked up and later tucked into a chicken tikka masala made by the renowned chef Charlie Bigham (£7.50).
Total cost: £45.80
Day 5: Friday
This Friday passed like any other when blessed with good weather; sunbathing in the garden while half-heartedly attempting to operate a molten laptop. After making the decision to pursue a career in the Army, I have found it harder to motivate myself in my current line of work. My housemate cooked me lunch.
I’m going out to a club called Venue MOT tonight. Lying in the shadow of Millwall’s football stadium, the club takes pride of place in one of the area’s more upmarket industrial estates. Being my first venture into deepest darkest Deptford, I opted for a litre of vodka (£22.30) and headed to pre-drinks with a couple mates. I bought a few drinks in the club (£40) and retreated home as the sun came up.
Total cost: £62.30
Day 6: Saturday
After a suboptimal three-hour night sleep and wondering if I could do with an MOT of my own, I took the Tube to Caledonian Road to meet my girlfriend and her friends for lunch. For breakfast on-the-go, I bought an energy drink and a Lion bar (£2.40).
Tardily grasping the importance of needing to make a good first impression, I forked out £8 for a bottle of Cava from the local corner shop. Lunch went well, given the circumstances. An Uber back home came to £8.20, and the doghouse was surprisingly comfortable.
Total cost: £18.60
Day 7: Sunday
After a fruit-based breakfast, my girlfriend and I took a walk in the sunshine back from her place to mine, dropping in at a pub on the way for a £13.60 reconciliation round. Feeling peckish, we stopped at the local Co-op to pick up some snacks (£8) and a bottle of wine (£13).
Not everyone is as thrilled by the prospect of a 30-minute cycle on London roads as I am, so we opted for an Uber to a friend’s house in Camberwell to watch the F1 (£11).
Total cost: £45.60
Total weekly cost: £1,279.80 (excluding rent: £379.80)
As told to Samuel Montgomery.