June started teaching last September at a comprehensive in Staffordshire. She has had to abandon plans to buy her own home and a new car is out of the question. The increase in mortgage rates has meant that investing in a tiny Pounds 40,000 terraced house is too much of a risk on her salary.
She knows that friends who opted for a career in business will be earning far more than her in a few years' time. With their fast-track promotion prospects their purchasing power will soon be out of her league.
After five months in the job June still feels dedicated to her chosen profession but she can already see why colleagues are thinking about giving it up. She is on point two of the pay spine, earning Pounds 14,463, and when all the bills arrive at once she feels the panic rising. The phased pay increase means that she will lose Pounds 21.75 a month.
June feels luckier than some. At 24 she doesn't yet have the responsibility of a family to support.
She would have liked her pay increase to ensure she could buy a better, safer car. But she is resigned to the fact that her clapped-out old banger will have to make do for another few years.