What My Salary Gets Me: A 23-year-old student pharmacist who earns $51,000 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 23-year-old student pharmacist tells all. 

Age: 23

Industry: Pharmacy (student pharmacist)

Salary: $51,000 (plus bonuses)

Housing: Living with parents.

Regular expenses:

– Spotify $17.99
– Foxtel $25
– Netflix $13.99
– Car loans $510

Savings: About $40,000 across a house deposit account and a wedding account.

Assets: Two cars, a dog and more indoor plants than I’d care to count.

We currently live with my parents so we can save for a house deposit and our wedding while I’m a (kind of) full time uni student. I spread my full-time load over 3 trimesters instead of 2 semesters so I can still work 4 days a week and save as much as possible.

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My partner is a full-time restaurant manager who luckily gets tips and often bonuses as well. Our biggest savings goal is our house deposit which we put $2000 a month towards. We try to stick tightly to a budget where each account is given a certain amount each fortnight. We have three savings account, house, wedding and expenses (for things like rego and insurance that always seem to creep up!) Every fortnight we each get a certain amount of “pocket money” in cash and TRY to use this for everything that isn’t considered a living expense.


Day One – Wednesday:

My day off. I’m booked in to get my nails and eyebrows done (both WELL overdue). I’ve saved up my “pocket money” for this so luckily it doesn’t count towards my expenses! I stop to get some groceries for my work lunches and dinners during the week ($32) and fill up my car. While I’m at the servo I remember how filthy my car is and splurge on the $16 car wash. I decide to give blood on my way home which scores me a free milkshake and muffin. At home I do some uni work until bedtime.

Daily spend: $48

Day Two – Thursday:

No breakfast but at work I put my $5 in for the coffee run. I brought lunch from home today. I head straight home after work to do some study. For dinner I make a bacon and egg toastie with the food I bought on Wednesday.

Daily spend: $5

Day Three – Friday:

Same as yesterday; no breakfast, $5 for coffee. We had a free coffee on our work loyalty card, so we all get $2 back. I decide to get some hot chips for lunch from the kebab shop near work and as always, regret it. ($5) I bring a tea bag from home to get me through the afternoon slump and pick at the communal lolly jar. Again, same as yesterday, bacon and egg toastie for dinner.

Daily spend: $8

Day Four – Saturday:

Two coffees today! I remember to eat my rice and tuna for lunch so no spending there. Grab some grapes and cherry tomatoes to snack on tomorrow (about $6). My dad makes dinner. I should be doing exam revision but I’m feeling a bit under the weather so I relax and watch TV instead.


Daily spend: About $16

Day Five – Sunday:

Day off for me and my partner. Lounge in bed and binge watch the whole season one of The Society. Sunday is usually family dinner night but my granddad couldn’t make it so dad made a stir fry.

Daily spend: $0

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Day Six – Monday:

On Mondays I spend a lot of my day at work doing deliveries of medications and other pharmacy items to nursing homes and customer’s houses. $5 for coffee and rice and tuna for lunch again. I buy a bag of corn chips ($2.20) to snack on while I spend my afternoon driving around. I have a reusable water bottle at work, so I never have to buy it. I grab a few packets of popcorn for the Game of Thrones finale, which we don’t even end up eating because my dad made yesterday’s Sunday roast for dinner. I grab some food for my lunches for the next few days of studying at home and find a cute pair of pyjama pants while I’m there.

Daily spend: $47.05

Day Seven – Tuesday:

My day off again! I have a good sleep in then spend the morning studying at home, so my coffee is free and I make wraps for lunch using the groceries I bought on Monday. I remember I said I’d make lasagne for dinner, so I duck to the shops again to pick up the ingredients I don’t already have in the fridge (around $25 worth). I pop into the $2 shop and find a cute pot that I KNOW will go perfectly with my bathroom fern, so I grab that too ($11.99). I head back home to make dinner.

Daily spend: $36.99

Total spend: $161.04

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