The Money Diaries: How a mum and dad with a combined income of $88,400 spend their money.

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 26-year-old mum tells all. 

My partner (30) and I (26) have had shared finances for quite some time now.

Seeing as when we had our son, I wasn’t entitled to maternity leave (full-time student problems) and we lived off only his wage, so it just made more sense to combine our finances, especially once we purchased a house.

If there is money in the account, I can be certain to spend every cent, but I do think we effectively save well while still living the lifestyle we enjoy.I do Family Day Care as my job, so our son is at home with me at no cost just lost income. Once he is in school I’ll return to full time work in my qualified field where my wage will at least double, and my MIL will do before/after school care for him as needed as she is retired, so financially we will be in a better position then.

Combined yearly income: $88,400 (I only work part time #mumlife!)

Weekly expenses:

  • Mortgage $400
  • Bills $200
    • Gas and electricity $55
    • Phones $40
    • Rates $30
    • Internet $15
    • Insurance and rego $60
  • Credit card debt (oops!) $50
  • Car loan $135
  • Savings $200

Total: $985

Monday - Day One

Today is payday, so I straight away transfer all the necessary money out of our accounts where they belong. We keep our money aside for bills with our savings in our offset account, which probably isn't the most effective method (because they are all together) but it seems to work so far.


Monday is my day off which means I do the groceries. I meal plan every week and we do meat free Mondays to keep costs down. We are out of nappies and toilet paper which adds to the cost, and I can't resist throwing in a few $1 chocolates because we deserve treats. I do try to save money though, so I do the bulk of the shopping at Aldi and grab the last few things in Woolworths. I remember we have some meat in the freezer at home, so decide to use that to save some money.

Groceries set us back $157.80 for the week for the three of us which I'm happy with. I then take our son to swimming lessons which is $30 (but so worth it!) and we sneak downtown for a coffee and milkshake taking another $10.

Total: $197.80

Tuesday - Day Two

Working today which means I don't spend much money. I realise I need a couple of resources for work and order them online costing $25. I have hockey training tonight and realise I'm low on petrol so fill the car while I don't have a child in tow - $57.

Total: $82

Wednesday - Day Three

Working again today and don't spend a cent. My partner is tired on his commute home (drives nearly two hours) so buys himself a bottle of coke and packet of chips at the servo.

Total: $5.50

Thursday - Day Four

Late night shopping here today and I duck downtown to get my son some tracksuit pants. Winter is nearly over so I take advantage of the sales and get two pairs for $5. I see a cute top I like on sale and decide I can wear it this weekend and spend another $20.


Total: $25

Friday - Day Five

Lazy day at home today and getting housework done. My friend comes around for coffee which means we don't have to pay for it out - winning! My partner and I watch a few episodes of suits on Netflix (which my brother pays for) so we don't spend a cent today.

Total: $0

Saturday - Say Six

We have a function tonight which means mum is in town to babysit. We take our son to the park with coffees I make at home instead of buying them. Walk past our banks ATM and decide to get $250 cash out for the night so that we don't have to pay pesky ATM fees. Buy dinner and drinks and a taxi home that night and we've only got a handful of coins left over.

Total: $244

Cult following: The barefoot investor book. Post continues...


Sunday - Day Seven

We love going out for a family brunch every Sunday - it's our little indulgence of overspending. Mum decides to shout and refuses to have it any other way, which means we save $60 for our portion!

Total: $0

Weekly spend total: $554.30

We have $160.70 left over so I transfer $150 into our offset account to add to our savings efforts. This is a pretty typical weekly spend for us, while we don't often go out there is usually something that eats into our money just as easily!

What are your tips and tricks for saving money?