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What My Salary Gets Me: A 21-year-old student with a full-time job on $66,000 a year.

Mamamia’s What My Salary Gets Me asks Australians to record a week in their financial lives. Kind of like a sex diary but with money. So not like a sex diary at all. We still find out the best kept secrets though. We discover what women are really spending their hard-earned cash on. Nothing is too outrageous or too sacred. This week, a 21-year-old uni student and full-time worker from Marsfield, NSW shares her story.

Age: 21

Job: University Student and Client Services Executive

Salary: $66,000 (inc Super)

Housing: Renting with flatmates.

Regular expenses (monthly):

Rent: $648

Phone: $70

Transport: $300 approx ($220 public transport, petrol varies)

Utilities: Included in rent

Stan: $17 (family log in) Dad covers Netflix and I pay Stan, it’s somewhat a trade.

Spotify: $5.99 – student discount

Debt: HECS – comes out of my pay – I feel it :(

Savings: $3.5k. My goal is to save for a big Europe trip like most my age but my dad thinks I should save for a house deposit. We will see.

Assets: Car

Coffee: This is a regular everyday purchase that I cannot ignore- $200 approx (writing this makes me feel guilty).

MM Confessions: The fashion items we’ve blown too much money on. Post continues after video. 

Video by Mamamia

Monday – Day One

On Mondays, I wake up a little bit earlier because I have to leave work earlier to get to my evening uni classes. I get a train at 7:50am.

Once I get to work I settle in and then at 10ish I get a large long black and some breaky which costs about $10

Then I grab rice paper rolls from the place down the road for lunch ($7.00) and go back to work because I need to leave early. I leave at 4pm to get to class and then get home at 7ish.

For dinner I just make a sandwich with bread, cheese and tomato… whatever is in my fridge. I don’t cook much. The train cost me $10.30 to and from work.

Daily Total: $27.30

Tuesday – Day Two

I get to work a little earlier than normal and settle in. At 10am, I grab a coffee which costs $3.50.

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At lunch, I go for a walk. I find a bookstore and decided to look around and end up buying a new book for $45. I was meant to be trying to save, oops!

I’m on a roll now, so on the way back I grab an Acai bowl for $16.00. Once I get home I just make myself a salad with halloumi, I didn’t have to go to the shops because I bought the ingredients on the weekend. The train costs me $10.40.

Daily Total: $74.90

Wednesday – Day Three

I have uni again today so I get up earlier and arrive at work at 8.30am. On the way, I buy some blueberries for $2.50 and grab a juice from the cafe next to work, $7. 

At lunch, I splurge a bit because I’m so hungry. I buy a mega cookie for $4 and a salad for $11. On the way back to the office I get an ice block, $3.20.

Lunch is brief and then I leave work at 4pm. I have a presentation at uni today so I grab some lollies on the way to the station to give out at the end, $10. I finish my presentation at 6pm and stop by the library for a coffee ($3.50) then go home. I drink coffee at night but I can still sleep. Train, as usual, $10.30.

Daily Total: $51.50

Thursday – Day Four

An Afterpay payment came out this morning. It was $27.80 :(

On the way to work, I grab a coffee and sandwich which costs $10. Then I get another coffee at 11am, $3.50. For lunch I get rice paper rolls $7.00 and go for a walk. 

I grab a pack of gum on the way back to the office, $2.50. I get another coffee in the arvo (it was needed) $3.50.

I leave work and on the way back home I stop by Woolies and get stuff for dinner. I buy the ingredients for a pasta dish which costs me $18 (I snuck biscuits in). Train to and from work: $10.30. 

Daily Total: $72.10

Friday – Day Five

I get to work and grab a coffee at 9.30am for $3.50. Then for lunch, I grab a salad and a cold brew at a cafe with a friend, $19.

I pay the rent today, which is $324.

For dinner, I just eat leftover pasta. I get ready to go out and get an Uber to the station $12. I meet my friends in the city and spent just over $100 on drinks… I got my boyfriend to pick me up from the city at 12.30am – free!

Daily Total: $439.50

Saturday – Day six

I sleep in and then my boyfriend and I drive to a cafe to get breaky, hangover food = $25 (we split the cost). Then I fill up on petrol on the way back $30, drop my boyfriend home and go to uni to do an assignment.

I get a coffee for $3.50 while I am there and print off some readings: $5.

For dinner, we get Thai food. My dish was $12.

Daily Total: $70.50

Sunday – Day seven

Me and my boyfriend go to the city to have a picnic. We spend around $40 on food and drinks, including lots of cheese.

For dinner, we just eat sandwiches – I already have the bread and fillings at home. I also make some quesadilla (tortilla, cheese and leftover pasta sauce).

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Daily Total: $40

Weekly Total: $775.80

Reflection.

If I’m being honest, most weeks I have more splurges. I tend to go to the shops and buy clothes. I also eat out and go for drinks more than once a week. This week was quieter simply because I had a lot of assignments due. I do definitely think if I could cut down on the coffee I could save a lot of money, but it’s so hard – I always want morning coffee! I definitely recognise that I need to save more of my money but at the moment I struggle with that.

I think I need to find a better way to keep track of my spending but I am happy at the end of the day with what I buy.

Please note: The feature image used is a stock photo.

Mamamia’s What My Salary Gets Me series drops every Thursday. Want to share a week in the life of your bank account with us (anonymously of course, no judgement here)? Send us your Money Diary to [email protected]

For more What My Salary Gets Me:

What My Salary Gets Me: A 29-year-old business analyst with a $100,000 salary.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 22-year-old disability worker who spends $1117.75 on pay day alone.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 24-year-old accountant on $70,000 a year, who spends $1500 a month on rent.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 29-year-old on $108,000 a year, with $455,000 in savings.

What My Salary Gets Me: The 36-year-old project manager who spent $3,795 in one week.

What My Salary Gets Me: A Sales Director on $120,000 a year, who refuses to cook.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 34-year-old on $21,400 a year, who has hardly any daily expenses.

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