What My Salary Gets Me: A part-time physiotherapist who spent almost $2000 in a day.

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 29-year-old physiotherapist shares her weekly budget.

Age: 29

Job: Physio

Salary: $80,000, part-time

Housing: Renting with my partner and son in Brisbane

Regular expenses (weekly):

Rent: $265

Health insurance: $130

Car repayment: $140

Daycare: $63

Fuel: $50

Food: around $200

Watch: The optimal salary for happiness. Post continues after video.



HECS – which I largely ignore


Credit card

Saturday – Day One

I work the morning (don’t have to pay daycare fees when my partner can stay home with our son) which saves us eating out for breakfast. We live about 1km from my workplace so I don’t have far to go but take the car out of sheer laziness.

I get home and realise we have NOTHING for lunch – so make a quick trip to Hungry boJangles and $25 later we have food. I have a largely lazy afternoon with a work function planned for the night. Take some cash from my partner’s wallet to pay for dinner and drinks at the work party.

Total cost: $25

Sunday – Day Two

I wake up with a horrid hangover and entertain the in-laws who’ve come down to mind our son for the night whilst I was out. They leave and I make the last minute decision to take my son to Disney on Ice (front row seat $105). I save money by getting a single seat and having him on my lap. Drive to the entertainment centre ($15 parking), it’s lunch time so get some snacks ($18 at candy bar) and popcorn ($8). Little one wants a toy story figure ($27) and we take our seats.

It’s intermission and the guy with light up swords and wands comes past. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place as he stops and starts selling right in front of us. My son starts putting on a fuss because he wants one of the Moana fish hooks. I figure I didn’t pay for his seat, and it won’t be that expensive, right? WRONG. It’s $42 and about 3 minutes entertainment. So a total waste of coin. But it looks cool and he might use it for a dress up prop one day? After the show we head home and have home cooked tea.


Total cost: $215

Monday – Day Three

Workday. Phew. Workdays usually are quite cheap for me. Do the daycare drop off early then head to work. Fortunately, daycare provide a coffee so that saves money. At lunch I realise I forgot my food – eat an assortment of leftover biscuits I find around the staff room and have about 6 coffees. Spend a couple of hours in the afternoon at the gym with some of my clients. Go home to leftovers for dinner from the weekend and have a quiet night in watching movies.

Total cost: $0

Tuesday – Day Four

Ahh payday. The most glorious of weekdays. My parents are staying in the city this week so I meet my mum at Westfield whilst she looks for something to wear to my brother’s engagement party. My little man is in tow, and he starts getting hungry whilst we are out and has finished his snacks. I buy him a $3.50 macaron at the closest cafe.

My mum finishes up her shopping and we get coffee and cake ($23) for morning tea. On our way from the shopping centre into the city my mum’s runs over a huge bolt and we get a punctured tyre so drive to the nearest tyre shop. Whilst waiting for the puncture repair we get sushi for lunch ($34). We finish up getting her car fixed then head to James St in the valley for some shopping. I find some boots and work shoes at an outlet store ($170) and some linen ($65) for my son’s bed. We drop my mum off and head home (used more fuel than usual running around, out another $20 in the tank).



Listen: What women are spending crazy money on. Post continues after audio.

Swimming lessons this afternoon for little man and the monthly bill is due ($80). All our usual bills are transferred out of my account and I pay the remaining $830 of my wages off my credit card. Tonight our invoice for our upcoming wedding comes through from the venue, so I pay a further $500 off that.

Total cost: $1725.50

Wednesday – Day Five

Yet another work day. Forget my lunch again, so Macca’s it is – I get a chicken caesar wrap meal and a muffin ($16). I finish up at work and head home. Can’t be bothered cooking, so spend ($31.95) on pizza. I browse online for cheap coffee beans as we’ve just got a new machine at home, and wind up spending $90 on 2kg of beans online.

Total cost: $137.95

Thursday – Day Six

Slept in this morning. Forgot to eat breakfast, then went to DFO to find something to wear for my brother’s engagement party this coming weekend. Find a cute blazer I can wear with jeans ($30), then find an even nicer dress ($99). Parking comes in at $4 because it’s easier to get a park undercover rather than battle the hordes of people in the free parking.

Head home and spend hours figuring out seating plans for the wedding. Have leftover pizza for lunch. After attempting to get my son to take a nap (highly unsuccessful) we head to the grocery store where I spend $146.95 on the weekly shop – which is only enough for four dinners. We’ve just stopped doing meal kit orders and I’m struggling to adjust back to having to decide on what to cook each night. I splurge on some beef cheeks to slow cook over the weekend. On the way out of the shops I’m lured by the toy sale signs at Big W – we end up spending $23 on new PJs for my son and a new bath toy. I go home, unpack groceries, eat, watch some movies, and am in bed by 6:30pm.


Total cost: $302.95

Friday – Day Seven

My final work day of the week. I’m determined not to spend anything today. I take my lunch (leftover stirfry) and between consultations, hydrotherapy and gym sessions with my clients I sit in the staffroom resolutely avoiding online shopping. I pick up my son from daycare, get home, make dinner (stirfry again, lots of leftovers) and head to bed. Yay! I’ve made it through the day! I browse online, I remember I need to order place cards for our wedding. I put an order in for them ($80). DAMN!

Oh well, there’s always next week.

Total spent: $80

Weekly total: $2486.40 excluding the normal bills


Zoinks. That’s quite a bit. The majority of what was paid off my credit card was immediately put back onto it. Savings are non-existent currently. I might need to start reconsidering my priorities!

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

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