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Money Matters: I Work In A Dessert Shop & I Can’t Afford Healthcare

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 tell her easy tips on exactly how to tackle it. So, take a seat, and let’s talk about money…

To submit your own anonymous money diary and get top expert tips tailored to you, simply fill out the form at the bottom of this page. And don’t forget to join GLAMOUR’s new Facebook group, Money Matters, for more exclusive finance content.

Faith* is a 26-year-old dessert shop worker from Warwickshire who is currently living at home with her parents. She lives in one of the most deprived towns in England and is earning £95 a week. 

Having completed an MSc, Faith is trying to find a job to utilise it, but the job market in her area crashed during the pandemic and has been stagnant ever since. She is currently priced out of renting or buying her own place and doesn’t have enough savings for a deposit. 

Faith is not eligible for Universal Credit and is struggling to cover the cost of prescriptions, dental work, and eye tests as she can’t afford them on her wage and not entitled to anything on the NHS Help With Health Costs scheme.

Here, she shares her money diary…


Current account: £20.56
Savings account: £0


Annual salary pre-tax: £7200
Annual salary post-tax: £7200
Monthly wage pre-tax: £451
Monthly wage post-tax: £451
Other incoming payments: £0


Rent/mortgage: £100
Bills: £263
Splurges: £0
Other: £318
Any student loan/credit cards/overdrafts etc:  I have a student loan for both my BSc and MSc. 


My worst money habit: Choosing which items on my prescription to get (what will make me less ill if I go without), because I can’t afford them all, and a lot aren’t covered by the prepayment scheme.
My biggest money worry: Not being able to eat or afford medicine.
My financial hopes for the future: Start being able to save, as it feels like I’m drowning at the moment.
Current money mood: 😭😭😭


I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having to choose between medicine – nobody should find themselves in this position. I’m going to suggest a few ideas below, some of which you may have tried, and some you might not have. Whilse you may not be eligible for UC, have you checked if you’re eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance? There are a few requirements but the most relevant to you is that you need to be working less than 16 hours per week on average (you should tick this box) and you’ve paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions, usually in the two full tax years before the year you’re claiming in. 

If you’re 25 and over, it’s up to £77.00 a week which will nearly double your current earnings. If you haven’t already double check your eligibility here.

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