finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 25-year-old in PR who earns $59,500 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. 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 25-year-old in PR shares her weekly budget.

Age: 25

Industry: Communications/PR

Salary: $59, 500 per year which works out to $1766 per fortnight after tax

Housing: Renting a two bedroom unit which I share with my sister

Assets: My car (Hyundai i30 because I am basic)

Debt: $32, 465 of HECS

Regular expenses:

Rent: $800 per month

Spotify: $11.99 per month

Netflix: $0, I use my boyfriend’s account

Stan: $10 per month

Raiz investment app: $40 per month plus auto roundups

Internet: $30 per month for my share

Gym: $14.95 (per week, so about $60 per month)

Watch: The fashion items we’ve spent too much money on. Post continues after video.

Food and workout app: $19.95 per month

Cancer Council charity donation: $20

Credit card repayment: Depends how much I owe at the time; I usually just use my credit card for big ticket items like plane flights or unplanned emergencies (i.e it’s the end of the fortnight and I have run out of money, lol). Most fortnights I have around $200 to pay off.

Other less regular expenses:

Car: I own my car outright, and spend about $700 on insurance per year (I pay as one lump sum, which works out to be cheaper). I pay registration every six months and it’s about $370 each time. The amount I spend on petrol varies each week.

Electricity: We get our bills quarterly but only moved into this unit recently, so haven’t had a bill yet.

Go Card: Varies depending on how much I use it (usually only around $20/month)

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Savings:

Main savings account: $1000 per month

Holiday fund: $100 per month

Fire extinguisher: $100 per month

Thursday – Day One

I landed at Brisbane airport at 5.30am. My boyfriend and I are doing long distance at the moment, and I’ve been visiting him for the past week! My sister picked me up and we decided to go out for breakfast since we a) both had the day off and b) had no food in the house. I got a huge fancy breakfast muffin and a double shot soy cappuccino, and it came to $12. I spent the rest of the day getting unpacked, snacking on random food, doing washing, watching Netflix and going to the gym. I also made an online Woolworths order, but I had credit from a voucher so there was no out of pocket cost, woohoo! For dinner I made myself pumpkin soup and ate it with fresh sourdough bread. YUM.

Daily total: $12

Friday – Day Two

I got up early to go to the gym before work and was then overtired all day. I brought leftover soup for lunch at work (with sourdough bread, because of course) and we all left the office a little early because Friday! I had drinks with my TRL (touch rugby league) team at a friend’s house and my sister dropped me off AND picked me because she is an angel. To drink, I brought gin that I already had at home and had it with soda water from Woolworths, which was free again because I used my gift card credit. We spent the night eating, and playing drinking games and didn’t end up leaving the host’s house, which is my favourite kind of night out!

Daily total: $0

Saturday – Day Three

My body clock woke me up at 6.30, ugh. I made oats with berries for breakfast at home and then headed out to meet a friend for a long overdue coffee catchup. I caught the bus and paid using my prepaid Go Card, so there was no cost. My lovely friend paid for coffee for us both and wouldn’t let me pay her back, so I made a mental note to get her one next time I see her. After hanging out for a couple of hours I walked to the gym, did a workout and got the bus home. My Go Card annoyingly ran out of money, so I had to spend $4.80 on a ticket (this seems OBSCENE to me??). I had leftover soup again for lunch at home, then packed my bag to stay at my parents’ place after our family dinner tonight. I drove my sister and I to the restaurant and we stopped on the way to get some chocolate and flowers for our parents. She paid for the flowers and I got the chocolates, which were $9. We ate a FEAST of Greek food and Dad paid. Bless him.

Daily total: $13.80

Listen: Young women are spending crazy money on… vacuum cleaners. Post continues after audio.

Sunday – Day Four

We had breakfast bright and early at Mum and Dad’s and spent the morning kayaking on the water near their place. Later, we headed to a cafe and I got a $4 macchiato. My sister and I left around the middle of the day and stopped in at IKEA since it’s on the way home! We recently moved into a new apartment and still had a few little bits and pieces to pick up. We split lunch while we were there and got a kids meal, hot chips, peas, and a cinnamon bun all for $7.95. I paid. I also picked up a new bedspread, pillow, vase, and fake plant. It came to $63.95 all together, and I also paid $4 for parking on the way out.

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Daily total: $79.90

Monday – Day Five

Ugh, Monday. My alarm woke me up at 6.45 and I actually went to the effort of properly making my bed rather than my usual slapdash job of lazily pulling the quilt up over the crumpled sheets. It’s strangely satisfying. After work, I went to the gym and it was packed (as per usual for a Monday) so I just did a quick upper body workout and then headed home to make a lentil burger with homemade sweet potato fries for dinner, followed by a bowl of cereal because I’m an adult and I can. I was supposed to have a late game of TRL tonight, but it was cancelled after wet weather on the weekend! Great news – I love playing the game, but starting at 9.10 pm is just way past my bedtime. Instead I spent the evening talking on the phone with my boyfriend, watched a bit of the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral and read before going to bed.

Daily total: $0

Tuesday – Day Six

My alarm went off again at 6.45 and I made myself an extravagant breakfast of coffee, a protein shake and a poached egg on toast. On my lunch break at work I had the same salad as yesterday while browsing on Depop for some new jeans which I am in desperate need of. There are a lot that look good, but I didn’t buy any. After work I went to the gym, had an early dinner at home (leftovers from last night), baked some healthy banana muffins and then headed out for my Tuesday night TRL game at 8.25. Afterwards I foam rolled my legs and stretched, showered, then packed my bag for the next day and texted with my boyfriend a little before going to bed.

Daily total: $0

Wednesday – Day Seven

I got up early at 5.45 to meet a friend for a Booty Barre class at the gym. This class BURNS and everything hurts, but I love it. After class I showered and dressed at the gym, then headed to work and ate my packed breakfast of overnight oats at my desk. While eating, I pulled the trigger on a pair of jeans from Depop. $18. I ate my salad again (the last serving of it and thank goodness too – it’s not an exciting meal) and snacked on a banana, protein bar, and some random popcorn I had leftover that I made on the weekend. After work I headed home and journaled for a while, researched holidays in Asia, and then met some friends for dinner near the city. I put $10 on my GoCard, and paid $19 for my dinner.

Daily total: $47

Weekly total: $152.70

Reflection: I was pretty happy with this week of spending. I was able to do a few social things, buy a few things, and not spend much at all. Looking back this is definitely a cheaper week than usual as I didn’t have any bills or major expenses, which is a little unusual. I was also lucky enough to have the gift card, which saved me about $60 on groceries. All in all though I am fairly happy with my spending habits this week – I don’t think I really wasted any money, have saved a decent amount as always and am still managed to have a fun and social week, which is definitely NOT always the case!

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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