Money Diaries

A Week In Coolangatta, Gold Coast, As A Digital Marketing Specialist On $60,000

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we tackle the ever-present taboo that is money. We ask real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we track every last dollar.
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Today: a digital marketing specialist who makes $60,000 a year heads to a Hungarian festival and spends some of her money on chimney cakes.
Occupation: Digital Marketing Specialist
Industry: Aged Care and Disability
Age: 26
Location: Coolangatta, Gold Coast
Salary: $60,000
Net Worth: $105,242 ($80,000 in savings and $25,242 in super)
Debt: $0! I paid off my HECS debt at the end of the last financial year and I’ve never had a credit card, used Afterpay, or taken out a loan.
Paycheque Amount (Fortnightly): $1,967.50 goes into my bank account and $101.92 onto a salary-packaged meals and entertainment card. I also get paid varying amounts for my freelance jobs. At the moment, that means $400/fortnight from one job, $50/fortnight from another, and an average of $300/fortnight from the third.
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses

Rent: $940, split evenly with my boyfriend. We live in a two-bedroom apartment unit.
Loans: $0
Spotify: $0. My brother pays for a family account that I use too.
Streaming: $0. We use my boyfriend’s parents’ Netflix account. Are we basically shameless freeloaders? I do sign up to other streaming platforms from time to time when there’s something good on, but I usually cancel them as soon as I’m done watching whatever I signed up for. 
Kill Your Darlings Subscription: $49.95/year
Books+Publishing Subscription: $16.95
Good Pair Days Wine Delivery Subscription: $25
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gym Membership: $160. I started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu three years ago. Previously, I’d been paying $20/week for a regular gym membership, but I cancelled this when I signed up for BJJ as I thought $60/week for exercise was just too expensive.
Internet: $0. We don’t have WiFi at home and just take turns hotspotting the TV to watch Netflix.
Phone: $68
Electricity: $85, split evenly with my boyfriend. 
Petrol: $65

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

Yes. I did a Bachelor of Arts and graduated in 2018. I’d taken out a HECS loan to pay for it. I decided to pay off the remainder of the loan at the end of the 21/22 financial year, so I’m now free from the shackles of higher education. It feels good!

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

I grew up extremely privileged in Hungary, where I’m from. My parents were very well off, so I never had to worry about money. Because of this, I don’t think we ever had proper conversations about it either — although I do remember my dad starting the ‘Dad Bank'. It was his way of teaching us how leaving our pocket money in the 'bank' (aka his wallet) would garner interest and mean more money in the future, as opposed to getting it in cash every week, which was also an option. He had a nice little Excel spreadsheet going, where he would show us how saving worked. In hindsight, what a great idea! But really, we never had to rely on that money anyway, as my parents were always happy to give us spending money when we went out with friends.

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

My first job was as a kitchen hand at a small cafe in a Gold Coast shopping centre. It was tough and gross and I hated it, but I wanted to make my own money to pay my soccer fees. And I did! And it felt great! I only spent long enough at this cafe to pay the seasonal fee (which, I still remember, was around $350), but this stint was followed by 6 years in hospitality while I studied at high school and then uni.

Did you worry about money growing up?

I never worried about money as a kid — it just wasn’t on my radar. I’m extremely grateful to my parents for giving us the best childhood ever. The first time I remember thinking, “Oh my god, are we in trouble?” was sometime after the 2008 economic crisis, when I was around 14. My dad was a civil engineer who built office buildings, and with no new jobs to speak of, no one wanted new office buildings built anymore. At this point, my parents started to be more transparent about money with my brother and me. We kind of had to know about it, especially as their solution was to move to Australia (which we did in 2012). But that was the only time I remember financial strain being a part of our lives. Even then, it was so inconsequential that it didn’t affect my brother or me in any big way (other than moving halfway across the world, obviously).

Do you worry about money now?

Not really. While my parents were well off, they never taught us how to get to that point. It really wasn’t until I met my boyfriend (who’s a super financially savvy person) that I started to save real money and feel secure in my own financial position. Thanks, baby! 
The only thing I do think about from time to time is that I’ll probably never be able to afford to give my future kids the childhood I had. Kind of a bummer, but I know that happy children are not a byproduct of money, so I try not to waste too much time thinking about this.

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

I would say at the age of 22. This was when I moved out of home and in with my boyfriend. My financial safety net is my savings, and I know that if anything was ever to happen, both my parents and my boyfriend’s parents would be happy to help us out in any way.

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

Not in terms of cash in hand, no. The only thing I can think of is cars. My first car was bought for me by my parents. It was a used 2010 Holden Barina, and cost around $5,000 if I remember correctly. I was driving that car until very recently, when my parents relocated to the Northern Territory. They had to buy a new car and as their Subaru XV was pretty hail-damaged, they left it for me to use instead of selling it. I know that cars are a big-ticket item and I do not care what sort of car I drive, so I’m very grateful that I haven’t had to spend significant money on this. I know I’m super lucky.

Day 1

6:30am — My alarm goes off — happy Monday! Like every day, I snooze for five minutes before starting my day in the most wholesome way possible — scrolling on my phone for a good ten minutes. 
6:45am — I finally drag myself out of bed and get ready for the day. I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed not long ago, so I’m still in a transitional period between liquid foods and normal foods. So today's breakfast is a smoothie. I get dressed, put some very minimal makeup on, and leave the house at 7:50am. I start work at 8:00am, but live an eight-minute drive from the office, so I like to live life on the edge and leave at the last minute. 
8:00am — As soon as I get to the Tweed Heads office, I get a call from my manager — he’s checking that I’m aware we have a 9:30am meeting at the other office, in Coolangatta. I am not, and now I’m mad cause I could’ve ridden my bike to work if I’d known. Damn it! Not a great start to a Monday. On the upside, I leave my coffee order with him (well, I wouldn’t call it a coffee order — it's a chai latte with oat milk), so that I have a drink awaiting me when I make it to the other office. Free drinks are more like it! 
9:00am — We start each day with a stand-up meeting — could you have guessed that I work in digital marketing? Today’s meeting ends up being completely side-tracked, as my manager informs me that he is actually leaving the company in three weeks. I’m shocked but also unsurprised, if that’s possible. I’ve had three managers in four years, and they have all quit for the same reason. Still, this is massive! How am I supposed to concentrate on anything today?
9:30am — Well, I gotta manage somehow because it’s meeting time. 
12:00pm — Meeting is finished and I’m starving. I had packed lunch — a creamy broccoli and cheddar soup, the remnants of another wisdom-teeth-friendly meal — but purposefully left it at the Tweed Heads office so I can have it tomorrow. I don’t work from the Coolangatta office very often, and the food options are much better around here than my normal office, so I opt for a crispy lamb mince super salad instead ($17.16). It’s delicious (and very easily chewable)! $17.16
I usually either read or work on freelance stuff during my lunch breaks. Today, it’s a book by a contemporary Hungarian author. I’ve been actively trying to read more Hungarian literature, and as I visited Hungary recently, I picked up a bunch of physical copies by my favourite authors. This one is a goodun! 
12:45pm — Back to work. I spend the afternoon tying up a couple of things that I didn’t finish last week so that the rest of this week doesn’t feel so rushed. 
4:00pm — Finished for the day. I get home just as my boyfriend B. does. We head to a surf club to meet up with his best mate who's visiting from Melbourne and some of their other friends. One of the guys buys the first round for the three of us — I have an alcoholic ginger beer, which is my choice of drink when everyone else is having beers. It comes to $21, but it’s free so I just enjoy it. I buy the next round — the boys try a different beer, and I get the same one ($19.90). B. then buys us some garlic bread to share. It’s hard not to grab a pub feed like everyone else, but we have SO MUCH food waiting for us at home. I’d feel bad. $19.90
7:00pm — Home time, showers, pyjamas. We like to get comfy. Dinner is leftover Thai fish with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes. We’d made it the previous week but it’s still super yummy. While we eat, we watch the second half of Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know. It makes me feel incredibly dumb and useless. Just what you want to finish your day off. 
8:55pm — TV is off and it’s time to wash up, tidy and start getting ready for bed. We go to bed around 10pm pretty consistently, but we’re both feeling knackered for some reason, so we’re in bed by 9:30pm tonight.
9:45pm — A bit of tandem scrolling and we’re off to sleep.
Daily Total: $37.06

Day 2

6:30am — Another day, another five-minute snooze. 
7:00am — Breakfast is soft white bread with avocado, tomatoes, salt and pepper. I absolutely cannot wait to be able to chew delicious crusty bread again. I miss sourdough! 
7:15am — I check my bank account and see that my Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym membership has been taken out ($79.55). It comes out fortnightly. I've had two weeks off after getting my wisdom teeth removed, but I forgot to tell them in time so I still got charged for the fortnight — not to worry, I won’t have to pay for the next fortnight because they’re lovely like that. $79.55
After breakfast, I get ready and make it to the office with ten minutes to spare. Which is just as well, as we end up spending a good half an hour of our morning talking about psychics, tarot readings, and other spiritual experiences. I’ve had none of those, but still get goosebumps listening to other people's stories. 
8:30am — Alright, time to actually work! On a daily basis, I schedule social media posts, write, build, and send out newsletters and EDMs, liaise with our agencies to launch or optimise paid ad campaigns, and manage topical projects. I do a bit of everything this morning.
11:55am — I duck off to Bakers Delight and buy a cheese and bacon roll ($3.40) to go with my broccoli and cheddar soup for lunch. While I eat, I finish up an interview piece I've done with a well-known children’s author for one of my freelance gigs. I send it off just as I finish my lunch. $3.40
12:30pm — Back to (my full-time) work. This afternoon is more of the same as always — trying to solve problems quicker than new ones pop up, intercepted with half an apple and some yoghurt as an arvo pick-me-up snack.
4:15pm — I finish work and head home. I scroll aimlessly on Instagram for half an hour before getting ready for jiu-jitsu. 
5:30pm — I leave for jiu-jitsu. The gym is only a 15-minute drive away so it’s pretty convenient. I love this sport for a variety of reasons, but just to sum it up (and to sneak in a bit of martial arts promo), not only does it teach you self-defence skills — which I think are essential for everyone to know, but especially if you’re a woman — but you also learn a lot about yourself in the process too. 
6:00pm — It’s my first time training since the whole wisdom teeth debacle, so I’m taking it easy for two reasons. 1) I haven’t done any physical exercise in two weeks and so I’m incredibly unfit, and 2) I don’t want someone socking me in the jaw by accident. So I only stay for one class today — I usually stay for two hours on Tuesdays. I’m sufficiently dead by the end of the first hour anyway, so I don’t feel too bad about bailing. 
7:30pm — As I’m home earlier than usual, I have some time to work on another freelance content piece after showering. 
8:30pm — B. gets home from his training (he does both judo and jiu-jitsu; tonight, it was judo). By the time he showers, I finish my writing, and we make some melted cheese toasts in the oven, it's already 9pm.
9:00pm — Dinner is another soup — yay... It’s a very cheesy/soupy day. I have some leftover tomato and thyme soup and B. has some leftover broccoli and cheddar soup, both with a side of cheesy toast. As either one or both of us trains every afternoon during the week, we often end up having dinner around this time. No Netflix tonight — instead we talk about the Optus personal data breach. Fun topic! 
9:45pm — My skincare routine leaves a lot to be desired, but as I just spent an hour rolling around in other people’s sweat, I make sure to cleanse properly. I’ve been trying out some Fenty Skin products and am really loving the Total Cleans’r. I can’t tell if it’s actually working or if I’ve been influenced by the celebrity name, but my skin is looking great, so I don’t really care.
10:00 — Bedtime!
Daily Total: $82.95

Day 3

6:30am — You know the drill. Snooze, scroll, get up. 
6:45am — Breakfast is egg and avocado on toast, with a quarter of an apple. I get ready, pack my lunch (it’s the last of the broccoli soup, hallelujah!), and get to work at 8am on the dot. Now that’s more like me!
8:00am — It’s much quieter in the office today with many of our team working from home, so I think it will be a productive day. 
10:15am — I have a banana as a snack. I have already smashed out a bunch of tasks. I have also spent a good ten minutes booking my car in for two separate services — apparently, I need to get a new CV shaft which will set me back $600, and I also need to get my auto transmission checked out. The latter can be booked in for tomorrow morning, but the CV shaft won’t arrive for two weeks, so I book my car in for then too. Success!
11:55am — I pop over to Woolworths and buy a couple of things we’re missing for dinner — two bunches of asparagus and some flaked almonds — as well as some croutons to jazz up my broccoli soup again. $11.70
12:00pm — I have my lunch at my desk, but no freelance work for me today — instead, I’m prepping for a very exciting non-work meeting tomorrow. I will be starting a mentorship, but here’s the twist: I’m the mentor! I often forget that I have been working in marketing for over five years now, and that I might know more than some other people. I was asked by an ex-colleague if I wanted to take on the opportunity of mentoring one of her team members. I know, right? Major impostor syndrome incoming! I said yes because I think it’ll be a great experience for me too. Our first meeting is tomorrow, and while I’m sure it’ll be mostly just getting to know one another, I’m both nervous and excited to potentially help someone professionally. I dot down some questions I’ll ask her to start with.
12:30pm — Back to work. 
4:00pm — This afternoon is so busy, it completely gets away from me. Luckily, I manage to tick off a lot of my to-do list. I pack up and head home before my brain has a chance to explode. 
4:20pm — I’m just now realising that today is basically an exact replica of yesterday. I destress by scrolling on my phone on the couch for a bit, before getting ready for jiu-jitsu again. 
5:15pm — B. calls to let me know that he won’t be able to make it to training, so I’m going without him again. It’s a shame because we don’t often get to train together. Plus, I was looking forward to blowing off some steam with him.
6:00pm — Tonight’s class is an hour and a half, and I know straight away that it’s going to be a killer just by who’s taking the class. The warmup itself is a 30-minute full-body HIIT workout, and I’m very close to throwing up before the actual class has even started. But I don’t, of course, because that would be embarrassing.
7:45pm — We stay and chat for a good 15 minutes afterwards, so I don’t get home until 8pm. 
8:00pm — B. has made dinner! It’s gnocchi with creamy gorgonzola sauce, some toasted walnuts and truffle oil on top, with a side of almond asparagus. It is as divine as it sounds. I quickly shower and wash my hair, then we have dinner and talk about our days. 
9:30pm — After dinner, we watch a couple of episodes of Chicken Shop Date, which is one of my favourite things on the internet at the moment. 
10:00pm — Brush teeth, cleanse face, apply moisturiser, get in bed. 
10:30pm — After the day I've had, I’m ready to sleep!
Daily Total: $11.70

Day 4

6:30am — My alarm goes off but as I work from home on Thursdays, I keep snoozing it until 7am. 
7:00am — It’s time to get up. I make a smoothie for breakfast and watch some YouTube videos while I drink it. Normally on Thursdays, I have the luxury of wearing no makeup, comfy clothes, and working from the couch, but I need to drop my car off to a mechanic nearby and I have my mentorship meeting at lunch, so it’s easier to just get ready now. 
7:50am — I drive my car to the mechanic that’s literally just down the road. The guy takes it for a ride and then tells me that he doesn’t think anything is wrong with the transmission. That’s great news, but now I’m confused as to why the other place had told me that there was. Oh well — at least it doesn’t cost me anything. 
8:15am — I’m a bit late to work after the mechanic, but as long as I make up for it, they don’t mind. I work from home all morning, but really all I can think about is this mentorship catch-up. Very excited about it! 
10:00am — I get back a book review I’d written with edits, so I quickly take a look while I snack on some strawberries. 
11:45am — Mentoring time, wish me luck! 
12:00pm — We meet at one of my favourite bakeries, and I get an iced chai latte while I wait for her ($5.08). The meeting goes really well and I think there’s heaps of knowledge I can pass onto her, which is a good feeling. We agree to catch up again in a couple of weeks’ time. $5.08
12:45pm — Once she’s gone, I also buy myself a pie for lunch ($8.53). This bakery does THE BEST pies and I’m super hungry by the time I get back home and tuck into it. $8.53 
1:00pm — With the mentoring over, I have the brain capacity to focus on work again, so I smash out a bunch of tasks over the afternoon. 
4:15pm — I finish up work and start getting ready for jiu-jitsu. On Thursdays, I go to a women’s class and it starts at 5pm instead of 6pm. 
6:00pm — I sometimes stay for the class after too, but I feel super sore today, so I decide to give it a miss. I’d rather ease back into it slowly than not be able to move all weekend. After class, some of us organise to go for tacos next Tuesday. I can’t wait!
6:30pm — Home, shower, pyjamas. I settle on the couch with a book. At any one time, I usually have three books going — one that I read for fun, one that needs to be reviewed, and one that’s by a Hungarian author. This one will be reviewed, so I take pictures of quotes I’ll want to use as I read. 
7:00pm — B. is home, so we chat for a bit before heating up more leftovers for dinner: marinated pork scotch fillets and parmesan-crusted potatoes. I make a salad to go with it while B. showers. If it seems like we eat a lot of leftover food, that’s because we do. We usually cook dinner three times a week and make enough of each to last at least two, if not three dinners. This week is a bit of an anomaly, as we’d prepared way too much soup the week before, so we just have a lot of leftover food. We rarely order takeout, and while we do love to eat out, it’s more likely to happen on the weekends or for special occasions. At the risk of not sounding humble at all, we’re pretty good cooks, and so if we do go out, it has to be better than what we could make at home. Yes, I know, we are annoying. 
7:45pm — While we eat, we start watching Money Heist on Netflix. I’d seen the first couple of episodes, but only in Spanish, and even that was ages ago. We need a new show after we finished a couple of good ones recently, so this could be it. 
9:30pm — We wash up, brush our teeth and get ready for bed. We chat for a while, then scroll on our phones for a bit before it’s lights out for these grannies.
Daily Total: $13.61

Day 5

6:30am — The usual — I’m a creature of habit. 
6:45am — I decide to have the same thing B. is having for breakfast, which is a breakfast wrap with a fried egg, a hash brown, avocado, spinach, cheese, and tomato relish. It’s super yummy, but it’s a lot of food for me. 
7:15am — I get ready and get to work at exactly 8am. 
8:00am — It’s another quiet day in the office, which is fine by me. I have a meeting and a couple of things happening over the long weekend that I need to schedule, so I have plenty to do. As it’s the end of the month, I also send out two freelance invoices. 
1:00pm — I’m having lunch with my ex-manager. Not the one that just quit, but the one before that. I loved working with her and we still keep in touch, so when she messaged me to see if I wanted to have lunch with her, I said yes straight away. We’re going to a sushi place near my office that we used to frequent when she still worked here. It’s great to catch up and to hear about her new endeavours. I get four plates of sushi and a Cascade ginger beer (the absolute BEST ginger beer if you ask me). $22.72
2:00pm — I get swamped before the long weekend. Friday afternoons should be chilled, instead, I feel like a headless chicken as I try to get everything done in time.
4:15pm — I close my laptop and pack up. I pop over to BWS and buy a bottle of Pinot Noir for tonight. $26
4:30pm — At home, I check our mailbox and am delighted to see that I’ve been very kindly sent a copy of This Devastating Fever by the lovely people at Ultimo Press. Very excited to read it! I have about 30 minutes to chill before I need to get back in my car again. My parents are coming to visit from Katherine, Northern Territory, and I’m picking them up from Brisbane airport this afternoon. I’m already pre-stressed about traffic, but excited to see my parents again as I haven’t seen them since June. 
5:00pm — Brisbane bound! The GPS is saying 1 hour 45 minutes, which I’m not too stoked about. I'll probably just listen to podcasts on the way. 
7:20pm — Well, the drive up is an actual joke, with the long weekend traffic made worse by an accident. Fortunately, I had the good foresight to bring a snack with me, so I munch away at some Pringles the whole time — all two hours and 20 minutes of it. By the time I get to the airport, my butt is numb, but luckily my parents also have to wait for their luggage, so they’re not waiting around too long for me. We head to their friends’ place back on the Gold Coast, where they’ll be staying for the long weekend. 
8:30pm — My parents’ friends have all come over, and there’s food and drinks, hence the wine I bought earlier. Everyone is very happy to see my parents, and we spend the evening catching up. 
10:50pm — I decide to head home, as I still have a 40-minute drive ahead of me and I’m super tired. 
11:30pm — I stop at a petrol station near home — B. had told me that petrol prices will be going up tomorrow. After a whole day of driving, I need to fill up half a tank and would rather pay less. $60.88
11:45pm — Finally home! B. is already asleep so I get ready for bed as quietly and quickly as possible before collapsing into bed.
Daily Total: $109.60

Day 6

7:30am — My alarm is set for 7:30am, which is a pretty normal weekend wake-up time, but it’s made infinitely harder by the fact that I went to bed two hours later than usual. It takes me a while to wake up, but I need to get cracking because I have plans with my family all weekend. 
8:00am — I finally get up and ready, and head over to where my parents are staying. My brother meets us there too and we have breakfast together. 
11:00am — After breakfast, we decide to drive up to Mount Tamborine. It’s a rainy day, but surprisingly the weather app is predicting it to be less wet up there, so we’re hopeful. I drive to spare my parents having to drive their borrowed car. 
11:45am — Well, the weather app is wrong. It’s cold and miserable up on the mountain, but we try and make the best of it. We start with hot drinks to warm us up — a chai latte with oat milk for me. $5.50
12:15pm — After our warm drinks, we walk around the different shops. My parents buy a Christmas tablecloth from one of them, and some French Vanilla coffee beans from their favourite coffee shop. We even run into a fellow Hungarian — we’re browsing a nursery when the owner of the shop realises we are from Hungary too, so we’re stuck there for a good 15 minutes chatting to her. 
1:30pm — We decide to have lunch, partly because we’re hungry, and partly to get inside. The first place we choose has the longest line queuing up to order food, so we change plans and run to another place in the pouring rain. It’s a Thai restaurant, and I order a Pad Thai and a ginger beer — my parents’ shout. It’s pretty hard to pay for anything when they’re around — I think it’s a combination of Hungarian culture, their generosity as people, and the fact that we don’t often see each other anymore. 
2:45pm — After lunch, we head back to my car and I drive us back to my parents’ place. 
3:45pm — The apartment block they’re staying at is pretty great — it has a whole communal area with an indoor and an outdoor pool, a sauna, steam room, gym, and game room. The weather is miserable and we’re pretty cold, so we opt for the sauna and the steam room, intercepted by swims in the pool. 
6:00pm — For dinner, we have sandwiches from the groceries my parents’ friends have left behind for them while they’re away on a long weekend holiday. 
7:45pm — After dinner, we head back down and play four rounds of pool — my mum and I beat my dad and my brother three times, so we’re pretty happy.
10:00pm — It’s time for me to head home. 
10:40pm — I haven’t driven this much in months, so I’m knackered by the time I get home. B. is already asleep, as is J., his mate from Melbourne, who's staying on our couch. They’d been drinking the whole day and are getting up early tomorrow. B. is dropping J. off at the airport. 
11:30pm — Bedtime!
Daily Total: $5.50

Day 7

4:00am — I can hear J.’s alarm going off in our living room. Not my problem, so I drift back off to sleep. 
4:30am — J. knocks on our door to let B. know that his flight had been cancelled so he doesn’t need to be dropped off. B. is very happy, and we both go back to sleep. 
7:30am — My alarm goes off. B. is slightly hungover and I’m just tired in general. I have plans to meet my family (again), but not until 10:30. I just want to make sure my morning isn’t too rushed today, so we enjoy 30 minutes of lying around and catching up on the previous day.
8:30am — We chat with J. about his flight — he is pretty stressed as he’ll be missing a day of work. There’s not much he can do, but the boys are hungry, so we all start getting ready for the day. 
9:30am — The boys head out to have breakfast in Coolangatta, and I head up to Broadbeach to have breakfast with my fam. 
10:00am — We meet at a cafe I recommended and have to wait 15 minutes for a table. The weather is pretty average again. We’re finally seated outside, but the wind is absolutely freezing! Our warm drinks are very welcome.
10:30am — I get a chai latte with oat (surprise, surprise) and a tempura fried eggplant pita. It’s delicious! We chat about plans for the rest of the day, as our options are somewhat limited by the weather. Incidentally, there’s a Hungarian festival on this weekend, and while it’s not something I’ve been to before, we decide to check it out. Breakfast is my brother’s shout. This is our best chance at paying for anything — by offering straight up to pay for everyone, as opposed to trying to split the bill. I will be buying lunch tomorrow. 
11:20am — There’s a market on in Broadbeach, so we walk around there first before heading to Nerang for the festival. 
12:00pm — Hungarofest time! The place is packed, and there are a lot more people than what I was expecting. Entry fee is $10 per person, but we get lucky as an organiser spots my mum and invites us in through the back door. Score! We try to walk around but get stopped every two metres by people my parents know. Everyone is so happy to see them and everyone is either asking if they have finally moved back, or straight up telling them to do so. 
In the meantime, my brother and I scout the different stalls and decide to get a chimney cake each. I’m bummed because 1) they don’t have my favourite flavour (hazelnut), 2) the guy selling them doesn’t even speak Hungarian (would you trust someone selling a Hungarian delicacy who isn’t even Hungarian, I ask you?!), 3) he gives us two of the same instead of the two different ones we order, and 4) they’re actually pretty average. $12
My brother wants a langos (fried dough with sour cream and cheese on top) but the line is easily a hundred metres long and apparently the wait is an hour, so he decides against it. Instead, we end up queuing up for another dessert, zserbo — this one is finally delicious! $4
2:15pm — My parents have had enough of chatting with everyone, so we take our leave. We have plans for dinner tonight as an early birthday celebration for my brother, but there’s still some time until then, so we decide to go back to my parents’ place again and play some more pool. 
3:30pm — This time around, my brother and I play against my parents twice and lose twice. That’s enough losing for me, so I head home to finally see my boyfriend, and to get ready for dinner. 
5:00pm — We have two hours to debrief about our days, chill for a bit together, shower, and get dressed. B. offers to drive, both so I can drink and as I’ve been driving a lot over the past three days. I very happily accept. 
7:00pm — We leave for Broadbeach — for the second time today.
7:30pm — Dinner is at a very fancy-looking restaurant that my brother has picked. My parents are very happy to see my boyfriend, and there’s a lot of catching up. Especially as this is the first time he’s seeing them after our trip to Hungary — my mum wants to know his opinion on everything. 
8:00pm — For dinner, we order three entrees, three mains, and three desserts to share. They’re all absolutely divine — one of those experiences where you really can’t fault anything at all. We start with a round of cocktails and then get a bottle of Shiraz for the table as well. 
It's overall a great dinner, and as a birthday present for my brother and my boyfriend (who’d had his birthday just a couple of weeks prior), my parents offer to pay for the whole thing. We try to contribute but to no avail. Instead, B. and I offer for everyone to come over to our place for dinner the next night, which everyone happily agrees on. Plus, as I’ve mentioned, I’ll be shouting lunch tomorrow. 
10:00pm — They’re closing at 10pm so we reluctantly leave. We make plans for the next day — a hike to Natural Bridge, then lunch at Hinze Dam, and go our separate ways. B. drives us home. 
10:40pm — We are very full and tired, so we crash shortly after getting home. It’s been a long week!
Daily Total: $16

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A normal week for us includes a weekly grocery shop, which usually comes to an average of $170. This week was an outlier as we did our shopping on the next Monday, as it was a public holiday. Our schedule was also different due to my parents being here — we normally spend much more time together on weekends, which is when we’d see our friends or do our chores as well.
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