What My Salary Gets Me: A 24-year-old journalist who earns $55,000 a year.


Mamamia’s Money Diaries 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 24-year-old journalist tells all. 

Age: 24

Industry: Journalism (Full-Time Editorial Assistant)

Salary: $55,000

Housing: Renting with two flatmates in Sydney’s Inner West.

Regular expenses (monthly):

Rent – $1200

Train and bus transport – $40 (not including Uber)

Internet – $20

Electricity – $33

Savings: $1000


  • HECS Debt (a lot)

Assets: Zero. Literally nothing.

Simple Budgeting with a Banana. Post continues after video. 

Monday – Day One.

I stayed home sick from work and was unable to do a whole lot (which includes spending money). I made breakfast with ingredients I bought earlier in the week. I managed to get a $20 sick note from the pharmacy across the road. Whilst out I bought a $4 hot chocolate. My housemate (bless her) made me soup for lunch and dad (bless him) brought me dinner.


Total amount spent: $20.

Tuesday – Day Two.

Back at work! I treated myself to a coffee ($3.50) and packed soup I made over the weekend for lunch. My office has free toast so I was able to treat myself to that too! Dad was still in town for a conference so bought me dinner. My sister and I decided on our way home that we needed wanted an Oliver Brown hot chocolate ($5.80) since it was raining. I referred my sister to download Ola, meaning we could both get a free ride home.

Total amount spent: $9.30

Wednesday – Day Three.

My alarm didn’t go off and I woke up late, so I bought muesli ($8) and a small coffee ($3.50) from a cafe next to my work in a rush. I also forgot to pack lunch so bought some pumpkin soup with toast ($10). After work some colleagues and I got dumplings ($12). I had a rehearsal in another suburb that ended late so I got an Ola home – since I got $20 for referring my sister it was only $7 and was easy to justify.

Total amount spent: $40.50

Thursday – Day Four.

I made breakfast with ingredients I bought earlier in the week, and bought a coffee when I got to work ($3.50). I was still a little bit hungry, so snacked on a piece of free fruit in the office (win!). For lunch I had packed some broccoli and carrot soup but it predictably tasted terrible and it was rainy miserable weather, so I head out during lunch with a colleague to buy a mini schnitzel roll ($4.50). Since it’s a Thursday night my sister and I decided to go shopping for an event on Saturday. I spent $130 on a pair of new pants, and bought a mini burrito when we were at the shopping centre for dinner, I added guacamole because I’m not an animal ($10.60). I also treated myself to a new book ($20).


Total amount spent: $168.60

Friday – Day Five.

Woohoo, my day off! I went shopping for more food for the week ($20 for breakfast stuff and bread), from which I made a brunch toastie. I realised I eat out more often than one should, but there was no stopping me. It was my birthday so I went to the pub and got a burger with chips ($23) and several drinks, but my loyal friends bought me drinks so I only paid for three wines ($27).

Total amount spent: $70.

Saturday – Day Six.

Since I was working the next day, my roommates and I decided to do a celebratory birthday brunch a day early. We bought croissants, Nutella, over-priced strawberries, some Yellow champagne and orange juice ($7 each). My housemates and I had paid for tickets to a catered function ($55 each) for the day. We then decided it would be easiest to Uber to the event ($10 each), but once we got there food and drinks were included. At 7:30pm I devoured some McDonalds with my partner, he paid. He also paid for the 11pm pizzas. When it was time to go home we got the train as far as we could ($3) and I paid for a taxi the rest of the way home ($15).

Total amount spent: $90.

Sunday – Day Seven.

My birthday! My housemates and I went to brunch at a nearby park ($27), and I settled in for an evening of work. My housemates made me delicious nachos for dinner, and also a brownie cake – which they both paid for.

Total amount spent: $27.

How much I spent the whole week: $425.40. And that doesn’t even include monthly expenses. Ouch.

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