finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 24-year-old on $85,000, living in regional Victoria.

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 single 24-year-old who lives in Victoria, shares all.

Age: 24

Salary: $85k (currently on short-term contract)

Housing: Pay rent for a unit in Melbourne, living at home in regional Victoria.

Watch: Simple Budgeting with a Banana. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $920

Petrol: $60

HECS: $450

Groceries: $450

Bootcamp: $60

Monday - Day One

I’m working from home in my mother’s back room - no commute, no MYKI. COVID has changed some things for the better. 

Zucchini slice for breakfast that I made last week, unsure how long this lasts in the fridge, make mental note to ask Mum. 

I’m living at home for the next few months so I’ve signed up for a short-term bootcamp program. 

I pay $30 for 2 weeks. Petrol light is on for the third day straight, I wonder how far I could actually get with the light still on, but decide now is not the best time to test the theory. 

Bank account is running low so top up with a quarter tank of petrol, $15.

Quick stop by the supermarket on the way home: steak and roast veggies for dinner. $15.

Daily total: $60 

Tuesday - Day Two

My ‘we’re dating but not really and I better not call it official’ person is moving house, I offer to make him lasagna for dinner. It’s international chocolate day, so I buy a block for me and block for him. 

He also brings me chocolate. Winner! Dang lasagna ingredients are expensive! $45. No other expenses today. Not bad. 

Daily total: $45

Wednesday - Day Three

PAYDAY BABY. Pay Phone bill $30, put $400 into savings. Pay rent for unit I’m not living in $230. 

Zucchini slice for lunch again, leftover lasagna for dinner. Need wine, duck to BWS to buy sparkling with biggest discount, because I’m basic but not goonbag basic. $18. 

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Afterpay payment comes out for new glasses because I broke the last ones after too much sparkling. I attempt to rationalise this by saying I’m bolstering my Afterpay shares. $34. 

Daily total: $312

Thursday - Day Four

Audible subscription payment. $16. I’ve never used it and have been paying for like a year. Make mental note to unsubscribe, knowing full well I will forget and do the same thing for the next 12 months, you’re welcome Bezos. 

Daily total: $16

Friday - Day Five

Central Victoria ain’t on lockdown, baby. Dinner with a friend. I tell her I’ll ‘only have one’. I have three $24. 

Calamari for dinner $18, I shout garlic bread $9. Benefits of living at home: pub is just a stumble home, no Uber required.

Daily total: $51

Saturday - Day Six

Afternoon drive to the countryside for an afternoon tea with a friend. I get overexcited at Coles and buy Pringles, biscuits and wine $30, cinnamon scrolls look good at the bakery, another $10.

I head to dad’s place for dinner. Fish and Chips $20, he’d usually pay me back for it but I trade it for 2 bottles of sparkling wine. A very fair trade off (for me anyway, sorry Dad, ya sucker). 

Meet ‘we’re dating but not really and I better not call it official’ person and drink wine, didn’t have to pay, winner winner.

Daily total: $60

Sunday - Day Seven

Drive to a local gallery to meet a friend for coffee. I ate before I left so wouldn’t need food but my friend orders breakfast so I do too, because it’d be rude not to. $30. Gallery is free!

Meet Grandma and Grandpa at pub for lunch. I shout drinks $33, they shout lunch. 

Head to shops and buy Body Shop moisturiser because #treatyourself. $18.

Head to ‘we’re dating but not really and I better not call it official’ place with Mcflurry’s, $10.

Daily total: $91

Reflection:

I have a spreadsheet in which I track all my expenses/purchases, but it’s not until you actually write out what you did and what you brought that you realise how much it all adds up. 

I’m working in a contract role at the moment with an above average wage and know that I likely won’t make this amount of money again for a few years so I'm trying to save as much as I can in the meantime. 

It's super frustrating paying for a place I can’t live in, but also nice to be home during lockdown with freedom, even if this does come with spending more money! COVID has ruined my plans for six months in South East Asia that was supposed to begin this month, but on the plus side my contract got extended and it means I’ll be able to buy a house about four years earlier than planned. Yay?

Feature Image: Getty.

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