My last placement was unbanded. No long days, no weekends and no nights meant more free time but less money. I started F1 on a rotation where I was on the on call rota and so moving from my first placement to my second placement meant I saw a huge drop in my income. As a result, I spent less. I shopped less and I kept my canteen lunches to a minimum. I didn’t cut back completely though because I started some art classes (I wanted to put all my free time to good use). But even with all the cutting back I realised by the time the next pay day arrived, I’d spent nearly all of the month’s salary.
I could have stopped the standing order I had to my savings account which was roughly 15% off my monthly income. The thought didn’t occur to me at the time, but I doubt I would have done it. I love saving. It makes me feel like I’m in control. At this point I don’t know whether it’s my rainy-day fund or whether it’s for a crazy gap year, I haven’t made up my mind. Whatever it is, it gives me options.
I don’t think I’d have been able to save as much if I’d moved out. Though, when people learn that I live at home, they’re always quick to assume that I’m saving loads more money. I imagine they must think I’m sitting on a growing pile of cash on the basis that I must not have to pay for anything. The truth is yes, I am saving money, but I’ve also got responsibilities that take a huge chunk of my salary. Initially it made me, not resentful but slightly envious of others who could actually live at home and didn’t have to pay for anything. But now I’m grateful that I can afford to help. I don’t try to explain my situation when people ask, I don’t feel like I really want to.
Not to mention the F1 salary isn’t great. The £500 drop from my first job to my second one was a little saddening. I don’t know how the other F1s managed with the drop. When people say don’t do medicine for the money, those four months were a great example of cutting back to pay for the necessary.