What My Salary Gets Me: A 32-year-old homeowner with $70,000 in savings.

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 32-year-old senior clinical trial coordinator shares her money diary. 

Age: 32

Job: Senior clinical trial co-ordinator

Income: $88,000

Savings: Around $70,000

HECs: Around $65,000

Mortgage $296 per week

Phone bill:$48 per month

Private health insurance: $19.75 per month

Apple music: $6 per month

Petrol:  Around $50 per month

Monday – Day one

I have my usual weekday breakfast of cereal with milk before catching two trains to work ($8.80 daily trip). My partner has made me an egg and salad roll for lunch and I bring my usual snacks of a banana and apple to tide me over for the rest of the work day. We eat last night’s leftovers of Shakshuka for dinner.

Daily total: $8.80

Tuesday – Day two

I catch the train to a work appointment before heading back home for lunch, which is the last of Sunday night’s leftovers. I then catch the train to the office ($8.80). This week I am training a new group of staff who have flown in for the week so we go out to dinner where I order gnocchi ($24) and a sneaky weeknight red wine ($13).

Daily total: $45.80

Wednesday – Day three

I have my usual breakfast and make a quick salad sandwich before rushing for the train ($8.80). I visit my nan for dinner. She has made me soup and we have pancakes for dessert. I then head off to netball which is $12 for the game.

Daily total: $20.80

Thursday – Day four

Usual breakfast and then train to work ($8.80). I scrape together some Ryvitas and salad ingredients for lunch. I agreed to fill in for a netball match ($10) and when I get back home, inspired by my dinner out earlier in the week, I make broccoli pesto gnocchi for dinner.

Daily total: $18.80

Friday – Day five

Train to work ($8.80). I take leftover gnocchi for lunch. It’s a colleague’s last day today so we head to a local bar after work to farewell them. I have a few drinks, shout my colleague a drink and line my stomach with some wedges ($51.35). I walk to the station but surprise, surprise buses are replacing trains tonight so instead a colleague and I jump in an Ola to the city ($9.50) before catching a train the rest of the way home.

Daily total: $69.65

Saturday – Day six

I have a catch up with some friends at one of their houses mid morning. I drop past the post office on my way there to pick up a couple of pairs of shoes ordered online (last weekend so doesn’t count). I also go to the bakery to pick up a few treats to take with me ($12.90). Driving home, it’s a couple of hours before shops close so I decide to stop by a factory outlet and pick up some new bathers for an upcoming holiday to South Africa next month ($30). My partner and I have a night in watching Netflix (family account so $0. Thanks, Mum and Dad!) We finish the remainder of the gnocchi for dinner.


Daily total: $42.90

Sunday – Day seven

I make French toast with raspberries for breakfast. My partner and I then go for a walk where my partner picks up some sweets to take for dinner at my family’s tonight for Father’s Day. We then head to my partner’s parents’ place where I catch up with his mum while watching netball finals on TV together. I’ve taken a separate car so I stop by our local shopping centre on the way home and pick up some fruit and veg for the week ahead ($18.70) as well as a few groceries at Aldi ($13.10). My mum has won a Father’s Day hamper at work which saves my sister and I some money on buying the usual chocolates and golf balls for Father’s Day.

Daily total: $31.80

Watch: The optimal salary for happiness. Post continues after video. 

Video by MMC

Weekly total: $238.55


This week is a fairly typical week for me. I try to save money by bringing food to work and home cooking but by the same token, am happy to relax more when it comes to social events or the occasional shopping splurge. My expenses are kept low in part by my partner living with me and contributing by paying all of the bills that come in. We roughly split the grocery shopping and this is relatively low due to me being vegetarian. I’m currently saving with my partner to purchase a house sometime in the future. I purchased the one bedroom unit we live in around four-and-a-half years ago but eventually moving to somewhere more spacious would be great.

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 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.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 54-year-old community worker who lives in public housing.

What My Salary Gets Me: A part-time physiotherapist who spent almost $2000 in a day.

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