finance

'I'm a millennial from Brisbane, with a $50k salary. This is how I spend my money.'

This is the second installment of Mamamia’s Money Diaries, where we investigate what millennial women are spending their hard-earned cash on. Nothing is too outrageous or too sacred. We continue this series with the spending practices of a millennial from Brisbane, also known as Brisvegas. (Thanks to Refinery29 for the inspiration.)

Industry: Marketing

Age: 25

Salary: $50,000 + Super

Housing: Living in an apartment with my boyfriend, rent is $300 a week each (I tell myself where I live is worth the cost).

Regular expenses:

• Car & Health Insurance = $18/week
• Phone Bill: $40/month (Pre-paid)
• Groceries approx: $75/week
• Petrol: $20/week
• Road Tolls: $50/week
• Rent: $300/week (YOU’RE SO LUCKY IF YOU LIVE AT HOME!)

Savings: I try and contribute 10% of my income a fortnight to my savings.

Debt: Credit Card Debt (undisclosed holiday debt, oh the shame!). I can proudly say I contribute 30% of my income to debt.

Assets: A Toyota and the furniture in my apartment.

DAY 1

8:00am – Okay, yes I did wake up at this time. I don’t always do this, but somehow I have managed the art of being ready in 15 minutes and be out the door to work. Sure, I could get up earlier and be less rushed but why would I waste the opportunity to sleep?

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8:15am – I have, yet again, been successful in my 15 minute getting ready practice and drive to work. I live in Teneriffe in Brisbane, which is quite close to the city and would be convenient for most. However, I work on the other side of Brisbane, and this means only one thing: tolls. If you haven’t been to Brisbane lately, then I forewarn you of the continuous cycle of tunnels being built. When they open the tunnel the tolls start off relatively cheap but then, right before your eyes, I am paying almost $5 to go one way. Thanks very much, Queensland Toll.

8:45am – Arrive at work and I should say that my work is a kind of a perfect place for food. There is a never ending supply of food that you can just eat and by the next day, it’s back again. So, toast for breakfast (thanks, Work, you’re the best).

1:00pm – I wasn’t particularly diligent today at packing my own lunch and so bought Vietnamese Bahn Mit Thi for $7. It was delicious and totally worth it.

5:00pm – Left work and once again made the drive through the tunnel and spent $5 on tolls.

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7:00pm – Today, I did decide to be a gourmet genius (no exaggeration, I promise) and prepare a meal for my boyfriend, who was going away for a week. I made a Roast Chicken with Chorizo and Chickpea Stuffing. Very fancy, I know. It cost $25 to create this bad boy, which was absolutely worth the mess and clean up.

Daily Spend: $51.40 (including my health insurance I paid, and not including the petrol I used to get to work.

DAY 2

8:00am – Standard wake up time. Usual routine, which I nailed again.

8:15am – Drive to work and suffer the tolls. $5.

8:45am – Decided today I deserved a morning coffee from the little café down the street. $3.50. They also deliver, which is a massive bonus. Breakfast from work again. Yay.

1:00pm – One glorious BLT from the same shop. $6.50.

5:30pm – Left the office and drove home. $5 for tolls.

7:30pm – Pho soup for dinner, nothing particularly eventful. $13.50.

Daily Spend: $33.50. Good job, me.

" One glorious BLT for $6.50." Image via iStock.

DAY 3

8:00am – Just your typical morning and I still manage to get out the door in time for work. I’m basically a magician.

8:15am – Tolls (I’m going to keep mentioning them because it irritates me so much). $5.

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8:45am – Decided to be a really good money saver and rather than buying a drink from the coffee shop, I would make some tea at work. Excellent idea, if I do say so myself.

1:00pm – So, you know how I was trying to be a good money saver? Well, by lunch that kind of went out the window, and I thought it was an equally good idea to buy some Thai Fried Rice. $13.50 (it was scrumptious, so don’t judge me).

5:15pm – Bye, bye work. TOLLS. $5.

6:30pm – After a particularly good week, I organised for my best friends to come over for wine and cheese. It was very much a Girls Night (making the most of it while my boyfriend’s away). We bought enough wine, cheese and crackers for eight, and you’ll be pleased to know that the three of us ate all of it. $35.

10:30pm – We head out into the wild night and have what was going to be one cocktail, but turned into three. Let’s just say that cost $40.

3:00am – I don’t know if this should spill over into Day 4 but this day just kept going. Like any night out with your girlfriends, it HAS to end with an extra-large pizza from New York Slice (and also two drunk girlfriends sleeping on your couch). Pizza: $10. Taxi: $10 (I know, cheap).

Daily/Nightly Spend: $118.50 (Shiiiiiiiit).

DAY 4

NotSure am - Sometime in the morning - Okay, I can’t quite remember what time I actually woke up because of, ahem, the past night’s adventures. Nonetheless, I decided I needed something healthy to counteract somehow the unhealthy evening of cheese and more cheese (that works, right?)

10:00am – Thus, for breakfast I bought an Acai Bowl from a café in the Fortitude Valley. I can honest to goodness promise it was the absolute best Acai Bowl I’ve ever eaten. $14 + $4 coffee = $18.

1:30pm – I took the leap and went to see ‘Me Before You’ at the movies. I don’t know if you can put a value on the 1000 tears I shed, but gosh darn it, my heart is still recovering. $10 movie ticket + $6 popcorn (to emotionally cope) = $16.

7:00pm – Tonight was far less eventful than last night, so I settled for a $10 chicken Caesar wrap for dinner. Good choices.

Daily Spend: $44 (plus the unquantifiable emotional loss from the movie.)

"I had cocktails. Let’s just say that cost $40." Image via iStock.
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DAY 5

8:30am- Up early to clean the house from the devastation that my friends had left. Quickly ate some corn flakes and out the door to see friends!

1:30pm – Lunch was very different and spend $13 on some Guzman y Gomez. Delicious. Always worth it. Shared my Mexican lunch with 50 pigeons in South Bank. It was scary, they had the last laugh.

2:30pm – As EVERY PERSON ACROSS THE STATE WOULD KNOW: the weather has been terrible. Actually, I lie. Not just terrible but the rain so torrential that I was forced to spend my Sunday hiding from the rain. Where else would I do other than back to the movies to see Finding Dory (along with 500 other children)? Can I just say that I think there should be some sessions with age limits so people, like me, who were actually children when Finding Nemo first came out can reminisce and enjoy this movie? Rant over and back to the cost. Movie ticket: $8.50 + $5 snacks = $13.50.

8:30pm – The rain was forcing me to hide for the rest of the day, so I ordered a Chai Thai Green Curry right to my doorstep #noshame. $26.50.

Daily Spend: $53

DAY 6

7:45am – Back to work, and I know you are surprised that I am up EARLY. Well, early for me.

8:15am – Oh, hello tolls. I had not missed you over the weekend. But we meet again. $5.

9:00am – Treated me to a $3.50 coffee for my good work on getting up early. Also, got some free yoghurt and muesli from work (it’s really cool, at morning tea one of the guys comes around with his ‘Snack Cart’ and we can pick anything on it. Honestly, it’s the best and saves me most days).

1:00pm – Not to boast or anything, but I brought in my curry from the night before so technically I was saving money. A big thumbs up.

5:30pm – Didn’t plan on eating much for dinner so I bought a $5 V energy drink. Also, I’ll just mention the delightful tolls again. $5. You can just have my soul, you tunnels.

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6:30pm – So, my plan to not eat much dinner was scrapped when my lovely friend, Taylen, invited me over for ravioli. That meant it was a free meal and an endless stream of gossip.

Daily Spend: $13.50

"Rent is $300 a week each." Image via iStock.

DAY 7

8:00am – Wake up. Get ready. Run out of the door.

8:15am – Drive to work. $5.

8:45am – Morning coffee (I just had to), $3.50. Plus, a free fruit salad from work (the snack cart came again!)

12:30pm – If you don’t know this, then Tuesdays are $2 tacos at Salsas, so I naturally bought myself three. Guac was extra, TYPICAL! $8.

5:00pm – Left work and went shopping to cook myself a delightful Tarragon Chicken with mushrooms. $25 + $5 (tolls). I should add that my groceries also included the ingredients to make a cherry almond strudel, but I will have to acquire some German cooking skills for this before my boyfriend gets home.

Fuel for my car: $20

Daily spend: $66.50

Total spend for the week: $380.40

ARGHH. I have to admit that I am feeling very guilty right now and that this was an expensive week. My weekends aren’t usually this expensive (hopefully).

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