finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 22-year-old office assistant with $60,000 in savings.

Mamamia’s What My Salary Gets Me 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 22-year-old office assistant, from Mebourne, Vic, shares her money diary. 

Age: 22

Job: Production Assistant

Income: $50,000

Housing: Renting in Melbourne, $300 p/w

Regular expenses (monthly):

Groceries: $120p/m I’m super lucky as I have parents who are really into cooking and feeding me so they send me food quite regularly.

Transport: $45.25p/m I walk everywhere including to and from work and don’t own a car. I catch the train on some weekends to visit my parents. Majority of the cost comes from Ubers which I CANNOT live without.

Internet/electricity/gas: $95p/m

Phone: $104p/m my job is my phone and I am obsessed with having the latest iPhone at all times.

Subscriptions: $0 (I’m still on my parents account, whoops)

Charities: $100p/m (donation to orphanages)

Savings: $60,000

Assets: None.

Debts: $25,000 in HECS (very slowly paying it back)

Watch: Mamamia Confessions – My debt is… Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Monday – Day One 

I’M LATE TO WORK! I get ready in 15 minutes, grab my handbag and basically run to. What usually takes me 20 minutes I do in 15. Success. By the time I get to work I’m starving so I buy a (well deserved) avocado on toast and an oat flat white coffee ($10.20).

Because I rushed out of the house I didn’t pack any lunch either. It was pouring down outside and really didn’t feel like heading out. Luckily my co-worker told me that she was going to get herself a wrap via UberEats. Enthusiastically I jumped on the UberEats bandwagon ($18.30) which my bank account did not appreciate.

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Luckily by 5pm, the rain had stopped. I went out for a cheeky wine with a few work friends. One of my friends owed me a drink from before so I didn’t spend anything. I had a leisurely walk back home and ended up eating some leftovers from the weekend before.

Daily spend: $28.50

Tuesday – Day Two

Today I woke up on time so I was able to enjoy my coffee at home before heading to work. I was, however, craving a toasted sandwich which I sadly didn’t have at home. When I got to work I popped out for my sandwich ($15.10) and didn’t regret it one bit. I didn’t pack my lunch again because I am extremely forgetful but was feeling pretty sick (probably from the sandwich) so I bought a juice ($5) instead. I then saw one of my co-workers drinking a soda that I suddenly craved and gave that as well ($5). I skipped dinner that night because my stomach was done with dealing with my antics.

Daily spend: $25.10

Wednesday – Day Three 

Another day, another bought breakfast. I can’t help myself. This time I told myself that it didn’t count because it was a coffee/toast combo meal ($7.50). So if anything… I’m saving money? I buy a poke bowl for lunch because I’m trying to be a better person. It tasted horrible so I’m never trying that again. One of my friends was in meetings all day today so I bought her a poke bowl as well ($20 for both). I was so close to buying a snack in the afternoon to get rid of the poke bowl memories but I restrained myself and that will probably be my proudest moment of the month.

Daily spend: $27.50

Thursday – Day Four

I decided to be a proper adult today and eat the Weet-bix I keep at work. I quickly fall into old habits and buy a sandwich for lunch ($7.50). When I get home I realise that I haven’t had a vegetable in a few days. I wasn’t really hungry so I decided to make myself a green juice with apple, spinach, kale and coconut water. It’s literally the easiest way to eat my greens.

Daily spend: $7.50 (WOO HOO)

Friday – Day Five 

Uh oh. This one is… not great. It’s treat-yo-self Friday so as you can imagine it’s going to be a big day. I start the day with another bought coffee and avocado toast #noregrets ($10.20). At around midday, a few people from work and myself head to a pub for lunch. I order a burger and sneaky rosé ($32.50). At around 5.30pm I suddenly remember that I am meant to be meeting a friend for a drink after work. I take an Uber home ($12.15) so I have enough time to shower and change and walk to the bar. That one drink turns into five and a few snacks were also involved ($32). I was able to walk home (I know, shocking) and of course the minute I got through my front door I was craving a pizza. Dominos delivery was my saviour that night ($17).

Daily spend: $103.85

Saturday – Day Six 

I roll out of bed at around 11.30am. My theory is that the longer you sleep in, the less time you have to deal with your hangover. I invited a few friends to hang out at my place in the afternoon so I HAD to get out of bed. I ate some leftover pizza (don’t judge me) and just watched some movies before they arrived. At around 1pm I was craving some orange juice so I popped into local IGA ($3.25). When my friends got to my place we did a collective UberEats order ($20.62, my share) of which there were plenty of leftovers. I ate so much in the afternoon that I skipped dinner.

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Daily spend: $23.87

Sunday – Day Seven

SELF PITY DAY. I spend the whole day at home doing chores, snacking and watching re-runs of The Office. I contemplate going grocery shopping but decide that it’s a problem for future me.

Daily spend: $0

Weekly total: $216.32

Reflection:

It seems like shutting myself out from the world is the only way to get me to not spend any money. I definitely spend more than what I need to but I really enjoy my lifestyle. I know that not every week is like this but I do love going out all the time. I hardly ever buy materialistic goods such as clothes or makeup so I’m sure that makes up for it, right?

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo from Getty.

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]

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