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 37-year-old single mother of two from Brisbane, Qld, shares her story.
Annual earnings: Around $37,000 after tax (plus approximately $12,000 in Family Tax Benefits)
Housing: New homeowner in the (very) outer suburbs of Brisbane
Child support: $0
Housing (mortgage + strata fees + council rates + home and contents insurance): $1546
Utilities (electricity + gas + water): $300
School costs (school fees + excursions + uniforms + stationery for one high school child and one primary school child): $500
Transport: Car (petrol + insurance + rego + maintenance) and public transport: $245
Mobile phones (mine and daughter’s): $43
Internet: $0 (no home internet connection – we use data from mobile phones)
After-school activities: $60
Groceries: $400 (this covers our meals – we rarely go out to eat)
Debt: HECS – Around $20,000
Assets: Home ($380,000 – have paid off half) and car (own outright – approximate value of $7,000).
WATCH: Simple budgeting with a banana. Post continues below.
I’ve been a good saver all my life, but brushes with unemployment, homelessness, domestic violence and associated legal costs have made me an extra good saver.
Fortunately I’ve had some well-paying jobs in the past (albeit part time) plus a few lucky investments. This has allowed me to put down a decent deposit on our new home.
Nonetheless, as a single parent with no financial support and earning much less than what I’m used to, I need to be as careful as possible.