finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 32-year-old media worker on $95,000 a year.

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 who works in media in Sydney, NSW, shares her money diary. 

Age: 32

Job: Working in media

Income: $95,000

Housing: Renting a one bedroom apartment in Sydney with partner, $520 per week. 

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


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Regular expenses:

Internet: $60 per month

Gas/electricity: About $400 quarterly

Groceries: We don't do a weekly shop, we just buy things as and when we need them (which probably ends up costing way more now I think of it)

Phone: $70 per month

Subscriptions: Netflix, $10 per month, Stan $10 per month

Gym: $70 per fortnight

Health insurance: $125 per month

Savings: $20,000

Assets: None.

Monday - Day One

I've been lucky enough to keep my job in COVID and have been working from home since around the end of March. Although this has been tough, it's definitely helped me cut down on my mindless, day to day spending.

Before I log on, I go for a morning walk, then grab a coffee on the way back, $4.10.

After my first Zoom call of the day, I make scrambled egg on toast with ingredients I already had in the house from one of my many mini grocery shops last week. Lunch is chicken salad, also from ingredients already in the fridge. 

As we're now free to travel within the state, my partner and I book a weekend away for a couple of week's time, accommodation comes to $300 each. I do a booze order - a box of six bottles of wine for $57. We will take half of that away with us, and keep the rest in the wine rack. My boyfriend will drive and we'll split petrol and food costs on the way up. 

Daily total: $361.10

Tuesday - Day Two 

Again, I grab a morning coffee, $4.10 and then eat breakfast and lunch at home. On my break, I wonder to Coles and buy a chocolate-flavoured protein bar, $1.45. It would be cheaper if I bought a 20 pack but I don't trust myself having them in the house!

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My partner and I decide to go for a quick drink before dinner this evening, $16 for two glasses of wine. We then have pasta that was already in the house and watch a movie. 

Daily total: $25.55

Wednesday - Day Three 

I grab my usual coffee before work, $4.10. The fridge is looking pretty bare so I buy eggs, bread, some veggies, salmon and chicken to see us through meals for the next couple of days, $36.

I have a friend's birthday this coming weekend and she's having it catered with a cocktail waiter as our group lunch was cancelled due to COVID. I transfer her $48 to cover my share of food and drink. 

Daily total: $88.10

Thursday - Day Four 

After buying my morning coffee, $4.10, all my meals are eaten at home and I walk to the gym after I finish work, which keeps me out of trouble!

Daily total: $4.10

Friday - Day Five 

Morning coffee, $4.10, then eggs for breakfast and salmon for lunch at home. I meet my boyfriend at the pub after work - we share a bottle of wine and order burgers, $84. We walk home, saving us the cost of an Uber. 

Daily total: $88.10

Saturday - Day Six

I grab a coffee, $4.10 and a banana, 50 cents, which I eat on the way to the gym. I work out, walk home then start getting ready for the birthday party. On the way over, I pick up a bottle of sparkling wine as the cocktails won't last the entire evening, $20. 

I drink too much, walk home and order a late night Maccas - oops. My order comes to $23.59 and I don't even eat it all. 

Daily total: $48.19

Sunday - Day Seven

I make a hangover egg and bacon roll with ingredients I have at home. The best I can manage for physical activity is a walk around the park with a coffee, $4.10. After that, I hang out with my boyfriend. He's also dusty after a night out with his friends, so we end up ordering a pizza to share. His shout! We watch Netflix and get an early night. 

Daily total: $4.10

Weekly total: $619.24

Reflection: 

If my boyfriend and I were more organised, we'd make a weekly shopping list, plan meals and stick to a budget. But we're... not.

I'm not going to beat myself up too much, though - we are living through a pandemic after all. When I was going into the office every day I'd buy breakfast and lunch out, so at least I'm not doing that anymore. The rest of my spending was pretty much on enjoying myself and have no issues with that in the current climate!

Mamamia’s What My Salary Gets Me series drops every Thursday. 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 [email protected] with ‘Money Diary’ in the subject line.  

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

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