Congratulations! You have finally achieved your dream and are now a fully employed fashion workie. But, after the excitement and celebratory cocktails wear off, the hangover begins and the reality of your entry-level salary sets in.
The average entry-level salary in the fashion industry is £18,000 p.a. (doesn’t seem too painful after your student days) but when your taxes and troublesome student loans are deducted your monthly earnings are reduced to an average of £1250 per month and £278 per week. So here is PYT’s guide to surviving on your beginners budget:
STEP ONE: Keep track of your monthly outgoings
The first step is to make a list of all your monthly outgoings. Start with the obvious and most essential: rent, travel costs, groceries and household bills. Always remember to prioritise these over your luxuries. We recommend you try and arrange your rent and bill contracts to leave your account the day after your paycheck arrives. If the money isn’t there you can’t spend it!
And yes, adult ‘maintenance’ costs go in the budget too…
Then, make a list of non-essential spending including your restaurant and café bills, personal maintenance (hair, nails, brows, waxes) and other luxuries like social activities.
Don’t be alarmed, your list may now be similar in length to the line outside Selfridges on boxing day, but to be honest there’s no point pretending you aren’t paying £15 a month on Netflix. Knowing exactly how much comes out of your account every month ensures they won’t be any nasty surprises!
Avoid using contactless payments
It’s easy to lose track of your spending when it takes under 5 seconds to make the payment. Instead, once you have decided on your weekly expenditure take the cash out of your account and use this as a constant visual reminder of your budget. Once that crisp £50 turns into 2 £5 notes and some coins, you’ll know it’s time to re-consider your night outs and start bringing your own lunch and instant coffee to work.
Step 2: Find out what your employer can do for you
Most employers offer benefits to their employees and these can be the ultimate money saving hack! Don’t be afraid to ask HR or a colleague to fill you in. They may even offer free lunches or exercise class and usually, there are associated discounts including deals for local restaurants, beauty spots and money off electronics required for work.
PYT top secret budgeting hack!
If you’re lucky (and trusted) enough to own a work phone, purchase a sim-only contract for personal use and simply pop this into your work handset to curb those phone bills significantly!
Step 3: Everyone deserves ‘treat yo self’ moments
Living on an entry-level salary does not mean you can’t treat yourself. Don’t let money worries control your happiness and more importantly, your social life! Everyone deserves a little luxury in their life. Always look out for free events in the capital along with making happy hour your priority. When your friend asks if you want to share a bottle, it’s okay to say you’d rather not and just get a glass. If you live or work in the SW1 postcode the Victoria card offers a range of restaurant discounts only available to cardholders. Other areas offer similar offers so check yours out.
Don’t be concerned there’s still room for your shopping addiction
Our rule is simple, if you want to buy something, you have to sell something first. Sign up to a selling app, Depop and eBay are our recommendations, and raid your wardrobe for barely worn items you can sell to cover the cost of your new purchases. This way your new pair of shoes will ‘essentially’ pay for themselves.
So trust us when we tell you, it might be an adjustment, but it is possible to survive!