The Money Diaries: What a Melbourne receptionist and dance teacher spends in a week.

Mamamia’s Money Diaries 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 31-year-old receptionist tells all.

Industry: Receptionist moonlighting as a dance teacher

Age: 31

City: Melbourne

Salary: $60,000

Housing: Renting with a housemate

Monthly expenses:

  • Rent $800
  • Netflix $8.99
  • Myki $80
  • Phone $105
  • Health Insurance $72
  • Interweb $25
  • Adult braces (Invisalign) $320

Assets: Washing machine from the 70s and an iPod

Savings: I can barely spell this word

Thursday – Day One

8.15am – I stayed at my boyfriends last night and even though I try and avoid the cafe near his building I’m less than successful and get a coffee…also accidentally order a toastie, $11.

11am – Check my Facebook and realise I have to transfer $40 cash for a hen’s day I’m going to in a few weeks.

12.50pm – Grab a sandwich for lunch, costs $8.90 (Literally just a turkey and dust sandwich – nothing else).

1pm – I’ve ventured into the city during my lunch break because I’m interviewing for a new job (which I end up getting!) but I need to get back to work ASAP and I can’t wait for Uber. So I get a taxi instead, $12.

7pm – Go for drinks after work with my mate, $12 (Thank god it’s still happy hour!).

Daily spend: $83.90

Friday – Day Two

8.30am – Grab a coffee on the way into work, $4 (Go to the good place as I’m a Melbourne coffee snob).

12.30pm – Go across the road from work and stare at the food options for almost five minutes before deciding on sushi. Almost die when it comes to $17.00 (I should have just got a $10 souvlaki!).

7pm – A few months after I turned 30 I found out I was allergic to wine! Well, I’m allergic to sulfites in wine and I can only drink organic wine. Tonight I’m going to spend the night with the boyfriend and his mates watching the footy so I’ll need to have a drink…  And it’s only pre season! I get a bottle of bubbly (jam packed with sulfites) for $12.

7.30pm – We arrive at the boyfriend’s mate’s house where we are watching the footy and they’ve already ordered pizza. Thanks guys!

11.30pm – On the way home the boyfriend and I get an ice cream each from the 7/11 for $8.

Daily spend: $41

Saturday – Day Three

8am – I’m able to persuade the boyfriend to walk to town rather than run and grab a coffee afterwards. He agrees and also shouts the coffee.

12pm – I’m determined to pack my lunch for work all next week. So I venture to the supermarket to get ingredients for avocado on toast, tuna salad and almond meal zucchini fritters. Like an idiot I get everything from the organic section of the supermarket and it adds up to $41.

the money diaries
Is an Uber public transport?(Image via iStock.)

12.45pm - On the way home from the supermarket realise I’ve locked my keys in the house. My housemate is currently overseas so have to call a locksmith. Pay $120 for the privilege of getting into my own flat.

3pm - Transfer $100 cash for another hen’s night.

7pm - Have a dance teacher gig at White Night Melbourne. I spend the night (like actually the whole night 7pm – 6am) in the city working. Thankfully the Melbourne City Council happily supply us with coffee. My sister comes along and we go for a walk at 3.30am to stay awake. We get calamari sliders from a food truck (Absolutely DELISH!). I shout my sister, but eat her share of the chips, which comes to $16.

Daily spend: $277

Sunday - Day Four

6.30am - On the way home from White Night I go to Maccas, and I’m devastated when I discover they are only serving breakfast (I just wanted nuggets!). Never mind. I get an Aussie breaky burger instead… and two hash browns for $11.

7am to 2pm - Sleep all day and don’t leave the house spend $0 doing so (YES!).

4.30pm - Go to the boyfriend’s for dinner and stop by the fancy wine shop on the way. I’m mindful of my allergies today so I get the organic wine for $18.

Daily Spend: $29

Monday - Day Five

5.30am - Wake up after a nine hour sleep feeling refreshed and go to yoga… but forget to bring a towel, mat, or water. Pay for class and hire of items for $28.

8.30am - Get a coffee on the way to work (get soy because I’m still pretending to be a flexitarian) $4.50.

11.30am - Need another coffee because I woke up at 5.30am to go to yoga $4.50.

12.30pm - Spend my lunch break online shopping because I NEED new white t-shirt as I spilt olive oil on the one I just bought so have a quick look at ASOS… $46 later (I justify this as I’m eating zucchini fritters that I made myself and brought from home!).


10pm - I teach dancing in Yarraville after work which is across the Westgate bridge and I do not want to get PT home. I order an Uber and even take the toll road home $23.

Daily spend: $106

Tuesday - Day Six

7.30am -Transfer money out of everyday account into my savings so I don’t spend my rent money. But I forget health insurance and Interweb is coming out so I’m whacked an overdrawn account fee $15 (… it used to be $9!).

8.30am - The usual coffee on the way to work routine $4.50 – I have considered giving up coffee but I hardly eat meat so I’m not giving up coffee as well!

the money diaries
"Soy milk is becoming too expensive. Have to drink normal milk."(Image via iStock.)

12.30pm - Tuna salad for lunch which I brought from home. I also brought dinner to have on the train on the way to teaching! #adulting.

10pm - I’m teaching dancing in Yarraville again. Obviously will be getting an Uber home $21.

Daily spend: $40.50

Wednesday - Day Seven

8.30am - I go to my usual coffee shop and realise that they have put up the prices and soy is now $5.00. So I  just get a skinny flat white $4.50.

12.30pm - Go for a walk on my lunch break. I fight the urge to get a Diet Coke… but I end up getting one anyway, it’s only $2.50.

6pm - Consider making myself a naughty carb fuelled dinner because my boyfriend is away for a few days with work. I go to supermarket and end up spending $48. I get a bottle of organic wine as well but I finally sign up to Dan Murphy’s club card so I feel less guilty for doing so $12.

Daily spend: $67

Total Weekly Spend $644.40

Tags: finance-2 , money , saving , themoneydiaries
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