finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 35-year-old in PR earning over $100,000 a year.

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. In this series we discover what women are really spending their hard-earned cash on, and nothing is too outrageous or too sacred. This week, a 35-year-old PR consult shares her daily money diary.

Age: 35 

Job: PR Consult - I consult with agencies and also have some clients of my own.

Salary: $100,000 +

Housing: I am currently renting a two-bedroom house in Sydney by myself.

Watch: Five money lessons your parents told you that you should probably forget. Post continues after video.


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Monthly expenses: 

Rent and or mortgage: My mortgage on my house in Canberra is covered by the current tenants (thankfully) and my rent in Sydney is $360 a week.

Health insurance: None! Which reminds me I need to renew.

Phone: $120 a month.

Gym: $139 a year subscription to The Pilates Class - well worth it as I try to do it four days a week.

Savings: $25,000 (it used to be $30,000) but I just left a long-term relationship, moved out by myself and went to Paris, Milan and Lake Como for a holiday so my savings took a hit.

Assets: One house in Canberra, looking to buy in Sydney with the help of my dad.

Netflix and Stan: I use my brother’s Netflix (thanks Ben) and pay for Stan $14 a month.

World Vision Child Sponsorship: $48 a month - I am a big believer in giving back.

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Afterpay$157.25 owing  - I only use Afterpay when I can’t be bothered getting up and getting my card.

French Class: $470 for 10 lessons - J’adore francaise.

Monday.

I get paid from one of my clients and immediately have my dad, who also acts as my accountant (thanks Angelo!) take $500 out for savings. I am really diligent with savings as I think it’s so important for women to be financially stable and to never ever have to rely on a man.  

I then start the day with a soy latte (found $5 cash in my bag so used that) and get an Uber into work because it's pouring ($22.06). 

We have a media meeting/lunch with a beauty editor friend (the agency that I am currently contracting for pays for it) then spend the day snacking on Cruskits and celery that I steal from the office fridge.

It's still raining so I Uber home ($33.57). Stan charges me ($14), I do a Pilates Class workout, eat a frozen meal and head to bed.

My ex took the car so I am currently in the process of looking for one - Ubers are probably my greatest expense at the moment. However, I only usually go into the office two days a week. 

Daily total: $74.63.

Tuesday.

It's still raining - I'm not even going to bother to catch public transport - so I Uber into work for a higher fare ($37.34). I manage to get a refund for a dress I bought that didn’t arrive in time (+$74.96).

After another media meeting this morning with a beauty editor (work pays), I catch a ride into the office with one of the girls. Lunch is another media meeting (I swear, it’s not like this every week, promise! Work pays again).

Every Tuesday night I have French class and tonight I resist the urge to Uber there and catch a train instead (baby steps - $2.56).

I stock up on cheese and crackers, lift and snacks for dinner (health is wealth - $6.85) and walked past Nutrition Station where some gym junkie guy sells me on an Acai smoothie ($7).

I then fill in time pre-French class by buying stuff I don’t need from Chemist Warehouse ($36.45) and a classmate drives me home.

Daily total: $90.20.

Wednesday.

You’re going to hate me but I have another media meeting this morning. I Uber there and back as it's in the city (work kindly pays).

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Wednesdays are my fave as I normally work from home, which means hair up, bra off and stained track pants on my bean bag (still don’t have a couch, the glamour of PR).

I get an email about the RSCPA Million Paws Walk so sign up to that - I am big on charity; I am incredibly aware of my privilege and try to give back whenever I can ($15.66).

I get my booster shot at lunch, arm hurts, treat myself to overpriced peanut butter on toast and fruit salad to make myself feel better ($10).

I had the option to go to a new restaurant launch my friend was doing the PR for but was feeling a little weak from my booster so cancelled.

My ex drops over some soup and orange juice for dinner, I do a quick Pilates Class workout and off to bed.

Daily total: $25.66.

Listen to What The Finance, Mamamia's podcast all about money. Post continues after audio.

Thursday.

WFH day again today. I walk my dog to the local coffee shop for a weak soy latte, equals ($5.05). 

My dad who is much better with money than me told me 'if you have coffee every day at home by the time you retire you could afford a boat'. Luckily for me, I hate boats so I will take an overpriced coffee any day. 

Lunch and dinner is a frozen meal - I don’t cook and only use the kitchen for the garbage bin - then it's Pilates class and bed (still feeling off).

Daily total: $5.05.

Friday.

WFH again. I wake up feeling a bit better so I go on another coffee shop walk. I am almost up to my free coffee ($5.05). I get paid from another client ($1,000) and put it straight into savings.

Lunch ($12.63) - couldn’t even tell you what I had. Then I pop into the pharmacy to fill up a script and buy some teeth whitening strips ($59.80).

My rent comes out every Friday ($360). 

Friday night my neighbour and I usually go for drinks (edit: I don’t drink). We Uber to drinks (I pay for the Uber - $25.05), she pays for drinks and dinner (when I say drinks I had lemonade, maybe the odd red wine and lemonade) and I pay for Uber home ($23.92).

Daily total: $486.45.

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Saturday.

I take my dog for a walk to the newsagent - even though I get magazines for free from work, I like to buy a couple to support my friends who work in the industry. I also grab an Up&Go for breakfast because I can’t be bothered eating ($13). 

I have a quick matcha latte with a friend at a coffee shop down the road ($5.30) then get a mani/pedi ($85) and my eyelashes tinted ($15) - it honestly costs a lot to look this cheap.

Then I do a pilates boxing class so I can have McDonald's for dinner - once a week I order McDonald's (medium cheeseburger meal, no meat, no cheese - $18.34).

My friend picks me up and we have a movie night at his house.

Daily total: $136.64.

Sunday.

I start the morning off by going to Pancakes on the Rocks to treat my friend to breakfast ($35.30). Then I stop at the petrol station on the way home, get a drink (I only allow myself Coke on weekends) and the Sunday papers ($12.45).

I then do a grocery shop for the week ahead - I always like to go on a Sunday and do a big shop ($50).

I'm going on a girl's night next Saturday night (we only really go out every couple of months) so of course, I had to spend $639.45 on a new dress.

Then I download a new book on Apple ($8.49)

Daily total: $745.69.

Reflection:

Well, that was an interesting exercise. 

I am trying to find the balance between enjoying life and saving money. I took a big chunk of money out recently so I am trying to quickly save that back as I have a wedding in New York in June. 

I am incredibly aware of how lucky I am and always try to give back where I can, and in a twist of fate/God's way of saying you don’t need a dress that expensive, the company who made the $600 dress ended up refunding me as it sold out in my size (a blessing in disguise).

Now I'm off to The Iconic to shop for something much cheaper.

Want to contribute your own anonymous money diary for What My Salary Gets Me? Email [email protected] to get involved.

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

Feature image: Mamamia/Canva.

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