What My Salary Gets Me: A 32-year-old tradie on $75,000 a year, who's paying off debt.

Mamamia’s What My Salary Gets Me series 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 tradie shares her money diary.

Age: 32

Job: Tradie, civil construction

Income: $75,000 per year

Housing: I live in a shared apartment with one housemate. I have a slightly larger room and my share of the rent is $255 per week.

Watch: Simple Budgeting with a banana. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Regular expenses (monthly): 

Rent: $1020

Health insurance: $35

Phone: $116

Savings: $1000

Credit Card: $7000 

Assets: Car $3500

Netflix and Stan: $30

Spotify: $11 (family plan) 

Monday - Day One

Today I finally paid off my $28,000 loan. I've been paying it off for seven years and the last payment was $500. Before moving into construction recently I was on a much smaller salary and took a long time to get my budgeting butt into gear. 

In my job I work away, and I'm currently travelling all around QLD. I still pay rent but my expenses are low on the road and I only pay for food and leisure. Today I spent $10 on a coffee round, and $15 on lunch. 

My boss bought us dinner today which is a huge bonus!

Daily total: $525

Tuesday - Day Two

Again, I  only paid for my food today. I spent $15 on lunch but I repaid my boss' generosity and bought dinner. I got us sushi and it cost $35 for both of us. 

It was hot today and you build up a strong thirst working on the tools so I took advantage of the servo deal, two Powerades for $5. 

Daily total: $55

Wednesday - Day Three

I wanted a healthy lunch and dinner today so I grabbed some salad bowls and roast chicken from Coles, $18.50.


My boss and I split the money for dinner which was salad and a couple of steaks, $34 ($17 each).

I paid my phone bill today $115. I've just switched phone companies and got a new phone so it was a little more than what I used to pay but the service is great, especially when working in rural locations! 

Daily total: $167.50

Thursday - Day Four

Today was a good day! It's the day before pay day so my boss bought lunch and dinner - he's a good egg. 

I shouted the coffee, which was $10. 

No other expenses so more pennies in the bank!

Daily total: $10 

Friday - Day Five

Pay Day! Woohoo! But also rent day. My rent including my share of the bills comes to $546. 

My rego is coming up so to I put aside $300 to have that ready (nothing worse than getting a big bill you haven’t covered yourself for!) 

I also paid $150 off my never ending credit card debt and sent my mum $150 for a bit of coin that I owe her.

Daily Total: $1146

Saturday - Day Six 

I knocked off early and went to the pub. I had a delicious, juicy steak, chips with salad ($24)and washed it down with some schooners. 

I'm not sure how many we had, but by the time we left I was feeling pretty slippery so I’d say between shouts I spent roughly $70 on beer for the both of us!

I also spent $45 on a packet of cigarettes. (I’ll quit soon I promise!) 

Daily total: $139

Sunday - Day Seven

Today was a sabbath day and we rested - mainly to nurse our heads after the pub shenanigans! I spent the day laying on the couch, ordered pizza, my shout using the Dominos three pizza deal for $35.99. 

Daily total: $35.99

Weekly total: $2,078.49


This week was a bit higher in expenses as it was the fortnightly rent week. 

My boss and I share a lot of expenses so there’s a good balance of savings there, especially when he’s feeling generous.

My main focus this year was to pay off all my debt and build up my savings to $5000 by December.

So far my goal is on track for success! 

I’m paying sh*t off, saving cash and have plenty of play money left over. The new job and the pay increase has definitely helped improve that but as long as I stick to my “non-negotiables” plan of bills, rent, debt payoff and savings, finances are looking pretty good. 

You can catch up on our previous What My Salary Gets Me series here:

Feature Image: Getty