finance

The Money Diaries: A week in the wallet of a 24-year-old researcher from Perth.

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 we take a look at a 24-year-old research assistant living in Perth.

Industry: Research (Research Assistant)

Age: 24

Pay: $58 000

Monthly Expenses:

Electricity – $ 33.75

Gas -$20

Phone – $40

Petrol -$80

Spotify – $11.99

Netflix – $8.99

Internet -$35

Rent (with Bf and Housemate) -$590

HECS debt – $27000 and rising ( ½ way through my master’s degree studying at night time)

Assets: A car that is older than me, 10k worth of surfcraft and my two dogs…

Savings: $28000

I made the move to the beach from my parent’s inner city home last year (as soon as I got my first full-time real job) with my boyfriend and we recently got a housemate to help out with rental costs. Perth is the city where you routinely pay $12 for a smoothie and $22 for eggs on toast so it’s been approximately one year since I last brunched ( when I was living at home with Mum and Dad).

I’m going to Europe for four weeks in July and somewhere with waves or snow over Christmas so I’m constantly saving for trips. So aside from the occasional swimwear spree, my online shopping is very tame and sadly limited to tax return time.

This will be me in around three months. (Image: iStock)
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Monday - Day One

Wake up at 5am and go for a run along the coast with my dogs. At 6.45am I ride 20km along the coast and up (flat) Perth’s most evil hill into the CBD for work. I eat my breakfast of Sultana Bran with free office milk from the coffee machine (score!). I then eat my salad from home that was meant to be lunch. At 10am decide that my health kick is over and that I need to buy a second lunch because my stomach is grumbling. Walk to West Perth and buy rice paper rolls with Avocado for $6.50 (I’m a millennial-it’s a food group) and put in group fridge so I don’t eat them until lunch time.

By 1pm, I'm very tired due to extreme exercise this morning and go crazy and buy a diet coke for $1.50 at work vending machine. I ride home from work and am excited that it's my housemate’s night to make dinner (we share meals between the three of us - so I scored a delicious chicken stir-fry that I didn’t have to make).

Daily Spend: $8

Tuesday - Day Two

Wake up at 5am and proceed to get dragged by very energetic dogs along the coast, notice there is a bump at my local break, now drag my dogs home and a very excited me grabs board and runs out for a play. This makes me very late; very very late – I don’t shower and drive to work. Park in free three hour zone. Breaky is Sultana Brana and free milk again, and lunch is a packed salad of tuna and avo.

At lunchtime, I run outside as I forgot to check car, luckily not marked with chalk or ticketed, so I leave it illegally there because even if I get a ticket, it is cheaper to get one ticket a week than pay for parking every day.

After work, I go to a fancy grocer on way home buy two jars of gourmet satay sauce, two avocados, eggs, milk and coconut milk, which totals $28.

For dinner, I make satay for bf and housemates with one jar of expensive sauce and leftover vegetables from last week’s shop.

Daily spend: $28

"The best thing about housemates is not having to cook dinner every night!" (Image: iStock)
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Wednesday - Day Three

This morning, I go for light jog along coast as the repairman is "expected" to show up at 7am. I enjoy my fancy avocado on fresh loaf of ciabatta that bf bought this morning as I am working from home today to let repairman in. Repairman finally shows up and announces I can’t use the kitchen, skulk back up to study.

In the afternoon, I walk to the shops as I’m starving and I need to do a vegetable and necessities shop - zucchini, capsicum, pumpkin, onions, spinach, canned tomato (home brand), spices, almond meal, dark chocolate, canned tuna (home brand), flour (home brand)  canned coconut milk (home brand), butter (home brand) and kumbucha - $29.95. Tonight, bf makes tuna bake and I make brownies.

Daily spend: $29.95

Thursday - Day Four

I decide to ride to work to work off last night's brownies and eat my standard Sultana Bran breaky. As I'm putting my lunch in the communal fridge, I end up buying fruit at the tea station, which is $1. Lunch is leftover satay, and after riding home from work, my bf and I talk about Europe and watch an Italian video clip on YouTube over fresh pasta and meatballs I make from half a pack of frozen mince from last week’s shop. Enjoy leftover brownies.

Daily spend: $1

"I'm in savings mode to get to this moment." (Image: iStock)
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Friday - Day Five

My dogs walk me this morning, but I score a Hot Cross bun for breakfast as payment for driving bf to the bakery on the way to work. It's Free Lunch Friday at work, and have dinner at a friend's house, so it really is a Friday Funday.

Daily Spend: $0

Saturday - Day Six

This morning I get lift up to far up north (Wedge) to surf with two friends, and spend the whole day surfing! We drive back to Perth to watch a surf film at 6.30pm at our local bar. It's free entry before 6pm. We get there at 5.59pm. Buy friends a drink each for driving me to Wedge, which thanks to Perth prices costs $28.95. I walk home afterwards to save on an uber.

Daily Spend: $28.95

living in perth
Where I spend my weekends. (Image: iStock)

Sunday - Day Seven

Today I lounge in bed until 7.30am, walk my dogs and eat avocado on ciabatta for breakfast. Second breakfast is a grilled cheese sandwich. I watch some uni lectures and start an essay, then go for a run in park with friend who is training for half marathon.

Sunday nights are for life admin - I wash my clothes, but accidentally shut an expensive pair of Lululemon shorts in the washing machine door. Shorts are now crotch-less, so look online at replacement pair. The responsible adult in me decides to leave it until next pay day as I only have money in a savings account, and I'll lose interest if I withdraw it.

Daily spend: $0 (but lost a $69 worth of Lululemon)

Weekly spend- $95.90

If you've got some financial laundry that need airing, we'd love to hear from you. The Money Diaries is open to anyone and everyone, and nothing is too outrageous! Send your submission to [email protected]

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