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A Week In Wolli Creek, Sydney, As An Accountant on $70,000

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Today: an accountant on $70,000 spends some of her money on bubble tea.
Occupation: Accountant 
Industry: Accounting
Age: 25 
Location: Wolli Creek, Sydney
Salary: $70,000 
Net Worth: Our combined net worth is $255,478, including $202,000 in savings, around $5,000 in checking, $34,500 in superannuation, $11,978 in shares, and $2,000 in cryptocurrency. My partner of seven years, H, and I have a joint account for rent and general living expenses, and we both contribute to it. We don't strictly split 50/50 on everything, as we think it will even out at the end of the day. We also have our own spending and savings accounts. H works for a charity so we try to max out his salary packaging every FBT (Fringe Benefit Tax) year.
Debt: We don't have any debt.
Paycheque amount (Monthly): Our monthly combined income is $9,901 and we both get paid weekly.
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses

Rent: We live in a one bedroom apartment that we pay $2,535 a month for. The rent situation has been wild lately, thanks to the ever-increasing interest rate! Our rent increased by 25% when we renewed our lease this year. But we love living in Wolli Creek — the location is convenient, with easy access to pools, gyms, shops, public transport, restaurants, and parks.
Internet: $65 
Gas & Electricity: $140
Phone Bill: $15 just for my phone as H’s work pays for his. 
iCloud: $1.49 
Streaming services: $28 — this includes Binge, Prime Video & Netflix.
Opal Card: $200 
Health Insurance: $129 
Apple Music: $6.99  
Savings: $2,500. Our savings vary each month, but we try to save at least $2,500 every month. This amount then can be used to invest in shares if we find the share price is good or we just leave it in our savings accounts. I created a monthly cashflow spreadsheet so we can keep track of how much cash we've saved and how our share investment performs.

Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? 

I did a Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy, which I completed in 2019. I got a 50% scholarship and around $150 each semester to buy textbooks. As an international student, I did not have access to HECS/HELP, so I was very grateful for my parents' financial support throughout my studies. They covered my tuition, rent and food. I also worked part-time jobs for extra money to buy what I wanted and so I was able to start saving.
After graduating from uni, I did my CPA course (finished last year, yay!) and I paid for the course myself.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?

We didn't really talk about money but by observing my parents' spending habits, I learned how to be frugal and save money for bigger goals in life. They also let me keep some lucky money from Lunar New Year, so I would not ask for more pocket money during the year.
I had to plan how to use the (limited) funds wisely (mostly on books) so I didn't run out of money too quickly. My parents are more savers than investors, so I've mostly learned about investing from the Internet. 

What was your first job and why did you get it?

I got my first job when I moved to Australia at 18. It was at a small convenience store. They let me study during slow times at the store. However, the shifts were boring and exhausting as they only had one staff member rostered on at a time.

Did you worry about money growing up?

Not really. Our family doesn't have a lavish lifestyle or go on overseas holidays, but my parents always make sure we have good food on the table and a good education. I could say I had a comfortable upbringing.

Do you worry about money now?

Yes and no. I’m not too worried about my day-to-day expenses since I have a job and some savings. However, I’m still far from being able to afford a house or have children. As I don't have my family here in Australia, I'm also worried my savings will run out if an emergency arises.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?

I moved out of home when I was 18 to study in Australia. At 21, after I graduated and got my first job, I became fully financially independent. 
I know my parents will always be there for me if I need them, but I try to avoid it as much as I can because they have already sacrificed so much for me. Plus, they need to save for their retirement and take care of my 15-year-old brother. 

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.

Yes, I receive a small amount of dividends from my investments and interest income from savings. I have savings with two different banks which give young people higher interest rates if you follow certain conditions.

Day 1 

10.00am: Rise and shine! I love sleeping in on the weekends. H and I cuddle for a bit before getting up.
10.14am: We recently bought a multi-juicer (non-brand) on Amazon Prime Day ($103.92 when we got it) and we’re very excited to try different juice recipes. This morning, we make some apple, pear and strawberry juice. It's so fresh and sweet!
12.02pm: H heats up lunch while listening to Elton John. We’re having leftovers from dinner last night — crispy crackling pork roast, bread and pickles. H prepared the pork the night before roasting it — I'm so lucky to have an amazing home cook as my partner. 
12.15pm: The pork is so fatty and flavourful, and the skin is crispy. We watch The Office while we eat lunch, and agree that Jim and Pam are good together. 
2.02pm: We hurry to the train station to go see Barbie at the cinemas. We paid for the tickets last week. 
4.47pm: We loved the movie — it was fun, colourful and empowering. We bump into our friend P on our way out of the cinema. We have a quick chat before P heads to the cinema to watch Barbie. H and I then stroll around World Square, check out the shops and think about where to have dinner. 
5.15pm: I decide to try hot pot at a well-known restaurant I've been wanting to go to. Unfortunately, we didn't make a reservation and have to wait a little while. Despite it only being just past 5pm, the place is incredibly busy.
6.00pm: The waiter shows us to our table. We order three different kinds of soup with marbled beef, marinated beef, fish ball, crispy tofu skin, sweet potato noodle and veggies. The server mistakenly brings us two incorrect soups. Despite the mistake, the staff goes above and beyond by offering us all the soups for free and promptly replacing the incorrect soup. The final bill comes to $58.40 for the entire meal. — $58.40
7.45pm: We take a brief stroll around Darling Square, people-watch, and then decide to indulge in a delicious dessert at Meetfresh. We opt for the Taro Ice Ball, which costs $13.00, and share the bowl as we're still full from our dinner. — $13.00
8.30pm: We head home. I take a quick shower before following my skincare routine. This includes Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, The History of Whoo Balancer, emulsion, and moisturiser.
12.00am: I've been scrolling through my phone and lost track of time. I should go to sleep now.
Daily Total: $71.40

Day 2 

11.30am: I ended up watching Buying Beverly Hills until late last night so I sleep in again. 
1.30pm: We have lunch which includes leftover pork roast and instant noodles. H and I then prepare a grocery list for next week.  
During the weekend, we usually plan our meals for the upcoming week and make a shopping list with all the necessary ingredients. We carefully consider which items we need to purchase from each store, even if it means visiting multiple locations. We consider it a form of exercise as they are within walking distance. This not only helps us avoid wasting food, but it also saves us the hassle of deciding what to eat each day. As H works from home most days, he can prepare the meals based on our list.
3.18pm: We go to Aldi to buy onion, chia seeds and carrots ($16.80). Then we head to Woolies to buy a box of pork mince, a frying pan, some chocolate, bread for breakfast and chicken thigh fillets ($69.12). Lastly, we walk to the Asian grocer to buy pork spareribs from the butcher ($13.40), bean sprouts, rice vermicelli, taro, green onion, frozen sliced beef, mushrooms, and green vegetables ($57.28) — $156.60.
4.30pm: Today we are preparing a big batch of Vietnamese fried spring rolls (Nem) for dinner and freezing some to eat during the week. It takes us three hours to prepare the ingredients, make the rolls and fry them.
19.45: I'm exhausted, but the satisfaction of eating my homemade spring rolls with sweet and sour fish sauce makes it all worthwhile.
22.30: H is watching an anime movie while I'm talking to my family on the phone. My parents just returned from a weekend trip with their friends and are excited to show me their photos.
23.12: Lights out.
Daily Total: $156.60

Day 3 

8.15am: It’s so hard to roll out of bed when it’s raining and gloomy outside.
8.45am: I hop on the train to work. It only takes 15 minutes on the train from Wolli Creek to Town Hall where my office is. 
9.12am: I arrive at work, say hello to my colleagues, and toast my croissant to enjoy at my desk. Things have been relatively calm lately, so I take the opportunity to unwind and mentally prepare myself for the upcoming busy season.
1.45pm: I finalise two tax returns and lodge two BAS (Business Activity Statements). It's time for lunch! I have the spring rolls from yesterday and catch up with my lunch buddies. We talk about our weekends and our upcoming travel plans. Lately, I've been looking at different destinations and dreaming about travelling around the world in the hopefully not-too-distant future. 
6.00pm: I finish work and head home. The train is busy this afternoon but luckily I still manage to find a seat. 
9.00pm: I finish my daily routine — eat dinner, clean up, take a shower, do my skincare, and go to bed. H and I quickly watch a Youtube video on a pork stew recipe that we're going to make tomorrow. After that, H continues with his coding study. H is an accountant like me, but he's interested in data and has been enrolling in online courses. I watch Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain. I want to read his book, Kitchen Confidential, so I think watching this documentary is a good start. 
11.30pm: Lights out!
Daily Total: $0

Day 4 

8.15am: I wake up early and get ready for work.
9.15am: I toast my bread and eat at my desk while working. Today will be a busy day for me as some ad-hoc tasks have come up.
2.30pm: I have lunch alone today as it's late now and all my lunch buddies have eaten. I browse through pink clothes online since I'm so obsessed with Barbie at the moment.  
2.50pm: I head back to my desk and continue with work.
6.30pm: I log off and go home. I'm tempted to get some Portuguese egg tarts from a pop-up shop near the train station but convince myself not to do it.
7.00pm: H is already cooking dinner when I arrive home. I put my bags on the shelves and help H make the pork spareribs stew with vegetables and we catch up on our day. The soup's really yummy and hearty with hot steamed rice. We enjoy our meal while watching more of The Office
8.00pm: I do a load of laundry, and while waiting we binge-watch The Office and nibble on our chocolate. I suddenly remember that we want to watch Oppenheimer this weekend so we should book the tickets before it's all sold out. We buy two VMax tickets with recliner chairs. — $70.30
10.00pm: I get into bed. I turn on my electric blanket and complete a one hour CPA complimentary course. As a CPA, it’s important to keep up with our CPD hours to maintain our membership.
11.00pm: I curl up with my book, The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. As a child, I loved reading and collecting books and dreamt of owning a bookshop. The book is hilarious, but at the same time, it sheds light on the struggle that small bookshop owners face in the current market.
11.50pm: I chat with my cousin for a bit before going to sleep.
Daily Total: $70.30

Day 5 

8.15am: I wake up and get ready.
9.15am: I eat breakfast at my desk and start working. It’s another hectic day. 
1.30pm: I get so caught up in my work, I lose track of time. My lunch buddies remind me it's lunch time. I heat up my food in the office kitchen.
14.00: My lunch buddy, A, asks me to join her for a short walk after lunch since it's a beautiful day. We walk into the Queen Victoria Building and A is kind enough to treat us to bubble tea from Gong Cha. I order Taro Milk Tea and A goes for Brown Sugar Milk Tea. 
14.30: I'm back at my desk and I continue preparing our clients' accounts and tax returns. I answer a few phone calls and emails from clients. 
18.30: I pack my bag and head home.
19.00: H is cooking chicken teriyaki and steamed vegetables with rice for dinner tonight. The chicken is delicious, but the kitchen is so dirty as oil splashes everywhere. After the meal, I do some research about oil splatter screens.
21.45: I log into myGov to quickly check my tax position for this year but will lodge it at a later date. Due to the end of the low and middle-income tax offset, we'll get a smaller tax refund than before, but something is better than nothing, isn't it?
11.00pm: I read some more of The Diary of A Bookseller before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day 6 

8.05am: It’s Friday Eve! I dress up a bit more formally today as we have a client coming into the office. H comes to his office today too, so we leave the house together.
9.30am: I was determined to come to work earlier today but the train system is down due to urgent repairs (typical Sydney trains!) so I arrive at work even later than usual.
11.00am: Remember when I mentioned earlier that our work had slowed down? I'd like to take that back as lots of work has since come in and it's now piling up on my desk.
1.45pm: I have lunch in the kitchen with my lunch buddies.
3.12pm: My manager gives me her favourite tea bags and 15 minutes later another manager gives me a big berry muffin. It makes for a delightful unofficial afternoon tea!
5.30pm: H rings me to check if there's anything else I want to buy as he's at the grocery store to get cooking oil and rice vermicelli ($9.50). — $9.50
6.53pm: I turn my laptop off and head home. It's Thursday night so the atmosphere is much more vibrant than the other days. I check out the shops in QVB on my way to the train station.
9.00pm: I complete my nightly routine and get into bed and text my friends to catch up. 
10.45pm: I read some more of The Diary of A Bookseller before falling asleep with the book still in my hand. H puts it away for me and kisses me goodnight.
Daily Total: $9.50

Day 7 

7.15am: I wake up to text messages from my co-worker, A, about some work for our clients. I can’t go back to sleep now as I realise I have a lot to do today, so I answer A's queries and get out of bed.
8.45am: I arrive at Town Hall Station. It's Friday so I treat myself. I go to Breadtop to buy my favourite ham and cheese sandwich and butterfly cookies ($10.40) — $10.40
9.00am: I have a busy morning today as it's the end of the month, so I need to finish some important tasks for our clients.
1.40pm: A and I head to The Galeries to buy lunch. I get my favourite Tokyo Ramen ($13.90) from Ichi-Ban Boshi Express while A has chips from Oporto. We chat about the latest office gossip from the past week. — $13.90
2.30pm: We get Starbucks after lunch. I order Ultra Caramel Frappuccino and A gets a Cookies & Cream Frappuccino. A pays and I transfer her my share ($8.30). On our way back to the office, I stop by Victoria's Basement and buy an oil splatter screen ($19.90). I keep my fingers crossed that this will make cleaning easier. — $28.20
2.42pm: Back to work. H texts me that he just bought a bag of rice (10kg) from the Asian grocer downstairs where we live ($40.40). I love short-grain rice, so we usually buy Japanese rice. — $40.40
4.30pm: Our office manager announces that we have a system update today, so all of us have to log off early. What else can I ask for — it's a perfect Friday! I say goodbye to my manager and walk with A to the train station.
5.30pm: When I arrive home H is cutting his hair in the bathroom. H's hairstyle is fairly simple and he's confident with his haircutting skills, so he always cuts his own hair. This helps us save a lot of money in the long run.
6.00pm: I lie on my bed and don't feel like doing anything right now. I play music on the speaker and look at some holiday options on the Internet. We don't know when we can travel yet but it's good to have some ideas. 
8.00pm: I don't feel hungry at all thanks to my big lunch. H defrosts and fries some spring rolls for dinner. I do a quick clean-up of our apartment and take a shower.
10.30pm: I do some light exercises before going to bed. 
10.45pm: I watch Buying Beverly Hills in bed. I love this show because it combines my love for drama with my passion for beautiful houses.
11.45pm: Go to sleep. I'm very excited for Oppenheimer tomorrow morning.  
Daily Total: $92.90
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