What My Salary Gets Me: A single mum living in Brisbane with three-year-old twins.


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 40-year-old mum tells all. 

Age: 40.

Industry: Government (middle management).

Salary: $1,250 per week plus $250 child support.

In total: $1500 a week.

Housing: Single mum living in Inner City Brisbane with my three-year-old twins (who go to daycare four days a week). I was really lucky – my inheritance helped me buy me a house in Melbourne when I was in my early twenties and it made a huge profit when I sold it a few years ago. It’s the only reason I am in such a good financial position now as a single parent.

Regular expenses including annual costs on a weekly basis:

  • Gym membership – $17
  • Private Health Insurance – $51.50
  • Home and Contents insurance – $15
  • Groceries – $100
  • Electricity – $25
  • Water – $22
  • Petrol – $30
  • Gas – $5
  • Car insurance – $9.50
  • Car registration – $14
  • Car service – $29
  • Daycare – $250
  • Mobile and internet – $25
  • Mortgage – $400

Total costs per week: $993.

Savings:  I have $60,000 in my offset account, and around $2000 in mojo.

Debt: I owe $82,000 on my mortgage. I’m paying interest on $22K. The aim is to pay the house off in two years if I pay $400 a week.

Assets: House worth $650,000.

Saturday June 8.

I take the kids out for breakfast with a friend which costs $58. This is not a common occurrence, often we do play dates at the park, but it’s my friends birthday.


I also let the kids buy a toy each at the shops for ($15) with their birthday money.

It’s my kid free night and I always try and be social which ends up being expensive.

I host the girls for a few pre-drinks (they bring booze) so I shout everyone Uber Eats sushi ($88).

I also buy a round of drinks for ($28) and pay for a cab ($14).

Gym membership comes out ($17).

Total amount spent: $220

Sunday June 9.

Rest day! I do some study (I’m studying at the moment in addition to full-time work) and buy the kids McDonalds for dinner ($12).

Total amount spent: $12

Monday June 10.

Kids have gymnastics and we have to leave by 8:30am.

I pay $4.00 for lollies for kids post gymnastics. (I should buy these from the supermarket!)

I pay $18 per child for gymnastics ($36).

Then we go grocery shopping and spend $64. Following this, I meal prep ten meals for my lunches and dinners throughout the week.

Total amount spent: $104

Tuesday 11 June.

Pay day!

Mortgage comes out (covered in weekly expenses) and $10 per child goes into their savings account.

I take my lunch to work as per usual. I make a coffee at home every work day morning.


Total amount spent: $20

Wed 13 June.

Work today.

Travel card comes out – covered in weekly costs!

Child care also comes out.

Total amount spent: $0 (not including regular expenses).

Thursday 14 June.

Off to the dentist but lucky it’s all covered by my health fund.

I resist the EOFY sales in the city… but spend $6 on a coffee for my colleague and I and $24 at the chemist on some essential toiletries I forgot at the supermarket.

Total amount spent: $30

Friday 15 June.

A work day. I take my lunch and made a coffee at home, to avoid spending anything. I hit the gym at lunchtime.

I have organised a quiet night in. A couple of friends swing by to watch the footy on the couch and the kids enjoy a DVD.

Total amount spent: $0. Winning!

Total amount spent: $386. This figure doesn’t include my regularly weekly bills. Including those, it’s $1379.

No wonder I can’t save any money! Luckily, I pay more off my mortgage than I have to.

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