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What My Salary Gets Me: A 23-year-old tech consultant on $120,000 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 23-year-old tech consultant living in Melbourne shares her daily money diary.

Age: 23.

Job: Technology consultant.

Income: $120,000 from full-time work, $20,000 from investments.

Housing: I rent in Melbourne CBD with one housemate. I also own an investment property in Melbourne. 

Watch: Four money-saving hacks that don't cut out your daily cup of coffee. Post continues after video.


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Monthly expenses: 

Rent: $1,130.

Mortgage: $2,400.

Health insurance: $20. (It's really basic but has all I need for now and means I save over $1,000 in Medicare levy surcharges due to my income. I plan on getting more comprehensive health insurance before I turn 25.)

Phone: $15 per month (work pays half).

Wi-Fi$0 (work pays).

Public transport and petrol: $50. I don’t drive my car much and live in the free tram zone.

Health and wellbeing: $200-$300 per month. (I don’t go to the gym but I do spend $50-75 a week on dance classes which I LOVE. It's a splurge, but it’s worth every cent.)

Savings: $14,000 (the house deposit wiped out most of my savings so I’m planning to build this back up).

Salary sacrifices: $1,000 into super every month. Okay, it’s not an expense. But it feels like it at the moment! 

Streaming services: $0, thanks to my partner and friends for letting me be a parasite!

Monday.

The week begins! I roll out of bed at 8.30am because it’s a work from home day and I’ve had a massive weekend that’s left me more tired than reinvigorated. I make breakfast (eggs on avocado toast) and coffee using my coffee machine in the kitchen. I only log on at 9.20am, but luckily nobody notices.

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Lunch is a container I had prepped the night before (I meal prep every two to three days). I chuck it in the microwave to heat up. 

For dinner, I make a couple servings of braised eggplant and tofu on rice for meal prep and eat one serving for dinner.

Daily total: $0.

Tuesday.

Another work from home day, so it’s rinse and repeat Monday 2.0 for most of the day. I am glued to my desk until 6.30pm - a habit I’m trying to kick. I need to take more breaks.

After dinner (meal prep), I go to dance class which is amazing and sweaty as always. I book next week’s class immediately online ($22). 

Daily total: $22.

Wednesday.

Finally, an office day! I take the tram to our CBD office. It’s in the free tram zone so I don’t have to pay. Then I grab coffee with some colleagues ($6.75). 

We go to our favourite laneway to grab some lunch. I get some takeaway ($16) and wash it down with a free can of kombucha which are regularly stocked in the office fridge. I often contemplate taking a few home when nobody is looking.

A couple of us stay back to have drinks in the office, which is very convenient because the office keeps a fully stocked minibar for this exact purpose. I have two Four Pillars G&Ts and leave around 10pm.

I haven’t eaten yet, so I have dinner (meal prep) at home before knocking off.

Daily total: $22.75.

Thursday.

It’s another work from home day a.k.a. Monday 3.0. Dad drops by to say hello on my lunch break, and we grab a quick bite at a cafe near my apartment. He pays - thanks, Dad!

I’ve got an appointment for my COVID booster shot in the late afternoon, so I leave work a bit earlier to get to the clinic on time. 

For dinner, I make Japanese chicken curry with rice for my housemate plus some extra for meal prep. We take a stroll and pick up boba bubble tea on the way home ($8.20).

Then I remember to buy a gift online for a friend’s upcoming birthday ($157). 

Daily total: $165.20.

Friday.

I took the day off to recover from the booster and used that downtime to also get my hair done at the salon in the morning (peak efficiency). I get a colour and cut ($234). 

I go home to eat lunch (meal prep), then promptly fall fast asleep because the booster side effects make going outside so exhausting. 

I’m supposed to have dinner with a friend tonight, but I rescheduled it because I literally feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. I make a bit of miso soup at home instead. 

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To make myself feel better, I go online shopping on Target and spend $50. I discover that this didn’t actually make me feel any better, so I have a cry about how pathetic I'm feeling. My housemate feels sorry for me, so she orders some cake for us on Uber Eats.

Daily total: $284.

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Saturday.

I have brunch with my housemate and one other friend on the other side of the CBD. We share a couple of dishes so it’s $34.60 each.

I go shopping and pick up some bathroom essentials from the chemist and a new jacket from Uniqlo ($141.50). My partner comes over to my apartment and we order Uber Eats - he pays.

Daily total: $176.10.

Sunday.

I broke my coffee machine somehow (*cries*) so we go to a cafe nearby in the morning. I buy coffee for my partner, housemate and myself ($16.90).

For lunch, I make curry and miso soup for the three of us. My partner goes back home, while I go grocery shopping with my housemate. 

I spend $35.50 at Woolies - I eat pretty simple, but always fresh produce. I buy some veggies, fruit, frozen seafood and chicken. I don’t really 'snack' so it brings the grocery bill down. 

I go to a dance class in the afternoon ($25) and then cook dinner - Basa fish with veggies and rice. 

Daily total: $77.40.

Reflection:

Overall, I spent $747.45 this week. Besides the hair salon appointment and my friend’s birthday gift (doesn’t happen every week), this is a pretty accurate reflection of my weekly spending habits.

I know I’m really lucky to cut a lot of costs most people will have to foot - such as my phone and internet bills, and even alcohol (which can really add up!) because of work perks. I’m also lucky that I enjoy cooking, so I save a lot of money on takeout during the week. 

Despite earning an 'above average' income for my age, I’m conscious that lifestyle creep can mean that I’m still only saving the same amount as I did when I was earning $60,000 only less than a year ago, so I’m trying to not pick up any expensive habits!

My goal is to build up my savings over the next few years and purchase my next property.

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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