finance

What My Salary Gets Me: A 26-year-old producer on $62,000 who spent $2792 in a week.

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 26-year-old producer from Brisbane, QLD shares her diary.

Age: 26

Job: Producer

Income: $62,000

Housing: I rent a two bedroom apartment with a housemate – $300 p/w

Regular expenses (monthly): Gym membership – $116 ($29 per week), Pilates – additional $150, electricity and gas is roughly $150 a month, split equally with my housemate (water is included in our rent).

Groceries: I try to keep this to a minimum, and I eat a plant-based diet which can much cheaper than people think. I shop at Harris Farm, which is more expensive but worth it to me. I get my fresh fruit and veggies there which can cost around $35 a week, and then I go to Woolies to get the essentials and that might be another $30. 

Transport: I fill up the car around once every five weeks, $55 roughly. I live in the heart of the city, so I only really need to drive when I’m visiting family, other than that I walk everywhere. I have been known to get a sneaky Uber pool here and there, but this would be less than $50 a month.

Subscriptions: Hayu (this reminds me that I need to unsubscribe) $6.99, Amazon Prime $6.99, Stan $14.00.

Internet: Wifi is $60 a month, split with housemate equally.

Insurance: Car – $43.31 monthly

Assets: Car (not a great one, but hey… it’s mine)

Current savings: $6000 (this was about $12,000 not too long ago, but I recently had a significant life change and there were a lot of things to purchase).

Debt: None.

Long-term planning: I’d love to visit family in the UK this year, and I really need to replace the previously mentioned car.

Watch: Mamamia Confessions – My debt is… Post continues below. 

Video by Mamamia

Monday – Day One

I went to pilates this morning, came home and had a protein shake, and then made myself a coffee. I like my coffee a certain way, which helps as I never purchase one when I’m out. I took some leftovers for lunch. 

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Today started off pretty cheap, but I ended up catching up with friends for drinks after work, $30.

Daily total: $30

Tuesday – Day Two

I went to the gym this morning. I’ve recently become a morning workout kind of person (which is shocking – believe me) but I feel like it’s the only way I can guarantee that I’ll actually get to the gym. Same old protein shake and coffee when I got home. 

I didn’t get to the supermarket yesterday which sets off the spiral of buying lunches, so I grabbed a salad from one of my favourite local spots – $17 (I know, I KNOW). 

I had a date tonight (being single is expensive FYI) and there was no vibe, so we split the bill – $30 each (cries).

Daily total: $47

Wednesday – Day Three

Pilates again today. It’s an expensive habit but I really enjoy lying down while I exercise.

If there is one thing I’m willing to invest in, it’s exercise that I actually enjoy. Like, I know that running is free… but no. 

You guessed it, shake and coffee. Today I also had a small bowl of granola with a mango (two for $4 at Harris Farm, huge win). 

I refused to let myself buy lunch today so I ate a completely random combination of corn thins, cashews, and watermelon. Upsetting, but fine.

On my way home, I went to the store and got some ingredients for some salads to see me through the week.

Cucumbers, various green leaves, falafels (on special, woo!), hummus and some other bits and pieces. It came to around $18. So I made my salad for dinner, and then I went online shopping.

I ended up spending around $400 on various pieces. I am in the midst of a style overhaul and am on the hunt for great quality basics to mix and match. I am also a serial returner, so I will likely send some of it back if I’m not in love.

Daily total: $422

Thursday – Day Four

You guessed it; pilates,  shake, coffee, the other mango, and falafel salad. I am a creature of habit. 

Now, today is really going to tip me over the edge. I have somehow become the responsible one of the group involved in a hens party, and I had to book the accommodation…$1400. Ouch.

Of course, everyone will send through their share, but we all know this will take 7-10 business days, and approximately three polite reminders before one final more assertive demand.

So my wallet hurts a little today. 

Daily total: $1400

Friday – Day Five

TGIF! Quite literally, I feel like I’m barely scraping through this week. 

I went out with my team at work for lunch, $30. Then I met up with some girlfriends for dinner and drinks at one of our favourite restaurants, $60. 

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Daily total: $90

Saturday – Day Six

This is going to hurt. I bought a new phone, outright. $2100. I KNOW, ok? In my defence, I saved every cent of this and my old phone was on its last legs. 

I had a chilled night at home with my housemate and just ate whatever was in the fridge.

Daily total: $2100

Sunday – Day Seven

I went to pilates, and on the way home stopped in at the health food store (every time I go in there, I prepare myself to spend $50 on like…quinoa), but I showed some restraint and walked out with a few goodies for the week ahead, $25.

I was planning on a quiet night, but last minute a couple of friends asked to come over, we made some cocktails and ordered in, $18. My best friend also got engaged today, so I sent off for some flowers to arrive at her desk tomorrow, $60.

Daily total: $103

Weekly total: $2792 (once I get paid back from the hen party accomodation) 

Reflection:

We go through phases in our lives where we are the best at saving, never eat out, never buy new things and I love that thrill of seeing my bank balance rise, but it comes in waves and I never make myself feel bad for spending within my means, even if it is a little more than I ‘should’.

I work hard, and I enjoy spending money on myself. As a single girl, those drinks and dinners with my friends are what bring me the greatest joy. 

It’s not every week that I buy a new phone (maybe once every three years), and book a weekend away for six people. Next week I might spend $100.

I have to say though, this really has made me reconsider some of my habits and bring awareness to the things I’m paying for that I’m not using (hayu…). 

Feature 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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