finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 34-year-old mum of two who earns $88,000.

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 34-year-old Marketing and Communications Officer from Melbourne, Vic. 

Age: 34

Job: Part- time Marketing and Communications Officer and Freelance Writer

Salary: $88,000 

Housing: My partner and I live with our two children on an acreage property

Regular Expenses (monthly): Our children’s sports (swimming and gymnastics) $830 total per term for both (cost split with my husband).

Monthly Mortgage (including additional payments) & Rates: $2350 (split with my husband)

Utilities: $550 per month (average – split with my husband)

Insurance: $166 per month for home and contents (split between my husband and I) and Health Insurance – $466 per month (all the family)

Transport: $100 per fortnight on petrol 

Groceries and household expenses: $400 which covers food – for the entire family, coffee and my animals’ food and other supplies (split with my husband)

Subscriptions: $10 Stan, $13.99 Netflix, $8.99 Disney + and  $25 Foxtel per month (split with my husband)

Splurge (clothes, makeup, movies, cafes, weekends away, gifts etc): $1000 on Christmas gifts for family and friends and paid $1500 for summer holiday accommodation

Monthly income allocated to savings: $1,500 (approximately)

Assets: $8,000 in savings, $25,000 in furniture and jewellery, $30,000 car

Debt: $550,000 mortgage, $28,000 HECS.

Long-term planning: We would like renovate the interior of our house and plan a USA road trip with our children and entire family in two years’ time.

MM Confessions: The fashion items we’ve blown too much money on. Post continues after video. 

Video by MMC

Monday – Day 1

I make breakfast at home for myself and my two children (as well as my grade one child’s lunch). We generally eat the same menu for breakfast most days – muesli for myself, cereal or toast and fruit for my children.

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I order a coffee via Skip on the way to school drop off from the local café which costs $4.50 (coffee is my weakness).

The rest of the day is spent with my youngest child who will be off to school next year. We go to the playground (free) and then to do some Christmas shopping for family we haven’t yet bought for ($103.71).

After we pick my eldest up from school we decide to celebrate the first actual warm day of the Victorian summer by going to the local pool. $5 per child, plus three ice creams upon exit: $12 (and worth every cent).

Dinner was at home, a home-cooked meal of chicken breast and vegies.

Daily spend: $130.21

Tuesday – Day 2

The same routine as Monday but this time my Skip order also includes two hot chocolates for my daughters ($12.50).

Today is my youngest daughter’s primary school orientation, and while I am child free I meet up with some friends for a long lunch at a local café. Naturally, this includes a vino and more coffee. Between the beverages and my poached eggs with bacon on toast it adds up to $32.20.

Dinner that night was some fish and vegetables that had been a part of the weekly grocery shop.

Daily spend: $44.70

Wednesday – Day 3

Wednesday is the first day of my part-time work week which involves a lot of home preparation for the day ahead both in terms of my daughters and myself. 

Breakfast is the same, but lunch prep involves organising lunchboxes for both my daughters (school and kinder) which are pre-made at home by me in the morning. I also take my own lunch (just a salad sandwich) and snacks (fruit) for the day ahead.

En-route to work I order my daily coffee for $4.20 (from a different café).

Wednesdays are a low spend day because I rarely spend money while at work and then am usually straight home for a home-cooked dinner at the end of the day.

Daily spend: $4.20

Thursday – Day 4

Thursday –the same as normal breakfast-wise but this week it is my staff celebration lunch so no lunch prep for myself and my youngest isn’t at kinder so no lunch for her either. 

My mother watches her the days I am at work so I am fortunate to no longer have to pay the exorbitant day care costs.

After my staff Christmas lunch I head out of town to see a friend of mine who is having a post-chemo haircut. I have paid for her to have this done ($50) and her mother and I also arranged some wine and a fruit and cheese platter to make it the celebratory event that it is ($35).

That night I go home for a light dinner, just some leftover vegetables from the rest of the family’s meal because I am still pretty full!

Daily spend: $85.00

Friday – Day 5

Friday I am working from home because my eldest is sick. This means only one lunchbox for today for my youngest at kinder.

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On the way to taking her, I visit my local coffee for my hit as per usual, $4.50.

Lunch for my daughter and I is just some soup and toast that we have at home. 

Daily spend: $4.50

Saturday – Day 6

Saturday is super busy and costly. We have my daughter’s gymnastics and then swimming lessons all before lunch time.

We eat lunch out – rice paper rolls for all, apart from my youngest who decides chips are her only suitable option – totals $42.70 with drinks. 

The afternoon is spent finishing our Christmas shopping which totals about $350 for the gift vouchers, bottles of wine and a FitBit.

That evening my husband and I have a few wines ($19.70 bottle) and rent The Nightingale on Amazon Prime ($5.99) to watch.

Daily spend: $418.39

Sunday – Day 7

Sunday is our grocery delivery day. Although we technically ordered and paid for them Saturday afternoon, I count today as grocery day. 

This week it totalled $234.71 but did also include some Christmas supplies (napkins and bon bons).

We also spent $40 on extra pet supplies.

Daily total: 274.71

Weekly total: $961.71

Reflection: 

I actually spent more than I thought I did when I added it all up. Coffee, although a small purchase, adds up. However I don’t think I’m going to change this.

Because of Christmas it was hard to really evaluate the other costs because they aren’t the norm – gifts and catch-ups add up and I wouldn’t normally spend so much on them.

The feature image used is a stock photo. Image: Getty.

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]

For more What My Salary Gets Me:

What My Salary Gets Me: A 30-year-old lawyer on $92,000, who owns an investment property.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 22-year-old disability worker who spends $1117.75 on pay day alone.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 24-year-old accountant on $70,000 a year, who spends $1500 a month on rent.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 29-year-old on $108,000 a year, with $455,000 in savings.

What My Salary Gets Me: The 36-year-old project manager who spent $3,795 in one week.

What My Salary Gets Me: A Sales Director on $120,000 a year, who refuses to cook.

What My Salary Gets Me: A 34-year-old on $21,400 a year, who has hardly any daily expenses.

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