Money Diaries

A Week In Inner North Melbourne, As A Learning And Development Exec On $110,000

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Today: a learning and development executive who makes $110,000 a year and spends some of her money this week on her work's FIFA Women’s World Cup sweepstake.
Occupation: Learning and Development Executive
Industry: Education and Training
Age: 40
Location: Inner North Melbourne
Salary: $110,000
Net Worth: $167,000 (An apartment worth $385,000 (bought 13 months ago on a fixed interest rate until May 2024), $90,000 in super, $10,000 in shares portfolio in the UK, $15,000 in savings, and a car worth $3,000). I have a partner but as we’ve only been together for nine months, we don’t share any finances. We tend to take turns paying for things, assuming that it all balances out eventually.
Debt: $330,000 remaining on my mortgage and $6,000 on an interest-free credit card, which I use for implementing split systems when I bought my apartment.
Paycheque Amount (Monthly): $6,100
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage: My mortgage is $1,650 each month, but I pay $1,850. I live alone in a two-bedroom apartment. At some point, my partner and I plan to live together but we're undecided as to where or when.
Debt: I pay $200 towards my interest-free credit card
Electricity: $80
Gym: $180
Internet: $70
Health Insurance: $155
Home Insurance: $200 (Annually)
Car Rego: $800 (Annually)
Car Insurance: $500 (Annually)
Car Service: $200 (Annually)
Netflix: $17. I share my Netflix with my parents in the UK (still waiting on the Netflix crackdown!). In return, I get Disney+ from them.
Binge: $14 (Which I just cancelled)
Amazon Prime: $10 (I'm considering cancelling this one too as I don't really have time for all these streaming services)
Spotify: I’m on a family account that I don’t contribute to
Water: $250/quarter
Body Corp: $430/quarter
Council Rates: $350/quarter

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

I went to uni in the UK where everyone's first degree is free so I am debt-free from education. Thanks, UK! I also lived at home throughout uni and worked part-time in a local supermarket – it may have been the time when I was richest!

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

My siblings and I were encouraged to save part of our pocket money every week, usually with a holiday in sight where we’d like to buy clothes, toys and books (like most British families, we holidayed in Florida regularly so the shopping options were extensive!). Ironically, I now hate shopping! However, I do enjoy browsing online, putting things in my cart and then never checking out.

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

I started delivering newspapers with my best friend when I was around 14. We really earned a £9 (around $15 AUD) weekly paycheque and got up at 5am in the freezing Scottish winter (and spring, summer and autumn...) six days a week. I always worked to supplement the allowance my parents gave me — whether it was by babysitting or working as a checkout chick at a supermarket during uni. I loved the financial freedom it gave me to spend and save whatever I wanted.

Did you worry about money growing up?

I don’t think so. We felt pretty comfortable when I was growing up but looking back, I think money was tight for them in the early days. My mum didn’t work until I was in high school but my dad is quite money savvy. We went on a lot of overseas holidays growing up and travel is definitely my biggest vice. My parents didn’t buy a lot of things so we never had the newest cars but we travelled a lot. My dad got a big fancy job when I left uni and my parents really started to enjoy themselves which was lovely to see. I (along with my two siblings) don’t expect any inheritance from my parents — I fully hope that they spend it enjoying themselves. My dad is really into the stock market and the shares I have in the UK are his doing (he bought them but with my money). It’s something I always mean to get into properly, but sadly, it just doesn’t interest me and seems like a massive effort.

Do you worry about money now?

Yup. The stress of owning a place just replaces the stress of trying to buy somewhere. I am thankful to be out of the rental market and I got a good deal on my apartment, but all the bills and rising cost of living means that I don’t get to save much these days. I also spend too much on holidays, which is definitely a learned behaviour from my parents. I've always put travel ahead of making improvements to my apartment.

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

I moved out of home and to London when I was 24, where I became financially responsible for myself. I wasn’t particularly responsible with my money at that time because I was having too much fun and not earning a great wage. I know I could ask my parents for help if I really need to, but I hate taking money from them. I like being financially independent.

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


Day 1

7:30am — My partner, K., stayed last night and as he works shifts, we went to bed later than I would like (which is usually the case when he's around). I sneak out of bed, trying not to wake him, and head to the kitchen to make a coffee before settling in the living room and turning on the split system. It's a chilly Melbourne morning, brrr. I turn on my work laptop and sit and do my Wordle followed by some browsing on — I'm looking at options for Byron Bay for when my parents come over in summer. So exxy!
9:00am — Make myself some porridge with sliced banana, chopped dates and a spoonful of tahini. Yum. Porridge obsessed here!
10:00am — K. wakes up and we make a coffee together before my 10:30am meeting.
11:30am — K. heads home and I get some work done before heating up some leek and potato soup which I made yesterday. I also whip up a cheese, ham, mustard and pickle toastie. After eating, I go for a quick walk around the local park in the winter sun.
3:00pm — The work day is ticking along nicely. I take a brief break to pay $10 to work's FIFA Women’s World Cup sweepstake ($10.50 including platform fee). I got China and South Korea in the draw so I'm not holding out much hope for a return on my investment! Also top up my Myki ($50) for going out tonight. I don't use public transport a huge amount as I try to cycle where possible, so every now and then, I chuck $50 on it. $60.50
4:30pm — Finish up work, have a quick shower, dress in warm clothes and drive to pick up K. before heading to the train station to get the train to the Women's World Cup match. Germany VS Morocco. Jump on the train, tap on my Myki and head to AAMI Park.
6:00pm — Buy us each a beer at the stadium (horrible beer choices) for $21 and head to our seats for the 6:30pm kickoff. It's not as cold as expected. $21
7:30pm — Half time and Germany are 2-0 but it's been an entertaining first half. Head to get food and drinks. I queue for food and by the time I finally get to the front, there's no food left! Wait around for a bit and finally grab the only options — one hot chips and two hot dogs ($22). K. gets the drinks but I end up giving him most of my very average beer to finish. The hot dogs are extremely gross! I can't believe the food and drink options are so bad — it's 2023! I was considering getting into the Melbourne soccer scene but now I might have to reconsider. $22
8:30pm — Germany has smashed Morocco 6-0. It kinda killed the second-half buzz. We catch the train and I drop K. at his place as we both need a decent sleep and I have an early gym class.
10:30pm — Try to read a bit of my current book, I'm Glad My Mom Died, but just want to sleep. Alarm set for 6:30am, lights out.
Daily Total: $103.50

Day 2

6:30am — Alarm goes off and I snooze it twice before jumping out of bed and race around to try and make my gym class on time. Got a decent sleep, thankfully. Class is good and there's lots of nice chatter.
8:15am — Home, make coffee, do Wordle, put on two loads of laundry and log on to work.
9:30am — Breakfast of porridge with grated carrot, raisins and a dash of allspice. Yum!
12:00pm — Was supposed to have lunch with a friend today but she's cancelled because her child is sick. Works for me as I could do with a lowkey day.
12:30pm — Heat up some leek and potato soup and have it with two slices of olive sourdough and butter. I also chug decaf tea all day (every day!). Have an orange and some freckle choccies mid-arvo while developing content for a couple of online courses.
3:30pm — The Kiwis World Cup match against the Philippines starts so I put it on in the background. Go Kiwis! Sadly, they lose 1-0.
5:00pm — I log off, grab my book, run a bath and make myself a G&T.
6:00pm — Bath done, hair washed, book nearly finished (already overdue at the library) but I need to finish it by next Thursday for book club. Boil some fresh spaghetti that I bought on the weekend and mix it with some kale pesto that I made two weeks ago and froze. Settle in to watch Switzerland VS Norway match.
8:00pm — Ends 0-0. I watch an ep of Gilmore Girls before getting into bed early and finishing my book. Yay! I'm usually stress reading an hour before book club starts. This was a very easy read!
10:00pm — Bedtime. Set my alarm for 6:30am as tomorrow is an office day.
Daily Total: $0

Day 3

6:30am — Alarm goes off and I only snooze for 10 minutes, thereby giving myself plenty of time to get ready for the office (very unusual for me). Usually, I cycle to work and shower/change there, but tonight I'm going with some workmates to see Barbie straight from the office, so I shower and get ready at home. Make a coffee to sip while I get ready.
8:00am — Catch the tram. It takes slightly longer than cycling but lets me get back to my pre-book club book — Toxic by Richard Flanagan. No more Tassie salmon for me!
9:00am — Work offers subsidised barista coffees which are usually $2, but the coffees are free this week because our big system upgrade is happening. I overindulge and have two. It's a novelty! I whip up a hearty bowl of porridge courtesy of a packet of quick oats and some frozen blueberries.
12:00pm — Stop for lunch. I've brought some leftover mushroom risotto from home for lunch — there are lots of food options around the office but I find them expensive and of average quality. I'll save my money for snacks and wine at Gold Class tonight.
2:00pm — I recently switched over my electricity supplier and as my old account was in credit, I'm due a refund. See it has come through (+$105).
4:15pm — We leave the office to head to the cinema. I order two small glasses of pinot noir (one for now and one for halfway through the film) and the beef tacos (very average — this is not shaping up to be a good food week!) which cost $48 altogether. We bought the cinema tix last week through RACV so got them for a reasonable price. $48
7:30pm — Barbie was fab. We leave the cinema and head home separately. Tram for me.
8:30pm — Make scrambled eggs on sourdough because the tacos were tiny and didn't fill me up at all. Check football scores — it's the first day I haven't watched any matches. The last one is at 10pm and I'll definitely be in bed.
10:00pm — Watch a couple of eps of Gilmore Girls before heading to bed. Lights out.
Daily Total: $48

Day 4

7:00am — Wake up and get myself out of bed to go for a morning walk. I do my usual 25-minute loop around the neighbourhood while listening to some music. I normally use the walk to listen to an audiobook but I'm between audiobooks at the moment and the last few I've tried to get into haven't grabbed my attention — not sure if it's me or them!
8:00am — Home and make coffee, do Wordle, check football scores and make porridge with sliced banana, peanut butter and honey before a 9:30am meeting. Make my second coffee (a double shot! It's a slippery slope!) before settling in to review some course content in advance of a late morning supplier meeting.
12:30pm — Quick lunch break to eat more leek and potato soup with a tuna and cheese toastie before a quick walk to the library to return two books.
2:00pm — Weekly catch-up with my manager. There's not much to discuss as I saw her yesterday and we've been in a couple of meetings together this morning.
3:30pm — Duck out for 30 minutes to get a bikini wax at a local salon ($50). It's a beautiful sunny winter day for a short walk. $50
5:15pm — Leave home and drive to the gym for a one-hour yoga class. Very stretchy!
6:30pm — Rush home, shower, change and get on my bike to cycle to the pub for the Matildas VS Nigeria match.
7:30pm — Meet K. at the pub. My friend S. will be here shortly. Buy K. a pint of porter and I get a pot ($22). Find our table and I order the Thursday special of parm and another pot ($22). K. and S. buy the next couple of rounds. $44
10:00pm — The Matildas have lost :(. K. and I cycle back to my place and head to bed.
Daily Total: $94

Day 5

7:30am — Wake up just before my alarm but stay in bed for a bit before getting up to make coffee. Didn't get a great sleep after having a few beers last night — I'm definitely old!
9:00am — Log on to work while K. makes us porridge with grated apple, cinnamon and nutmeg.
10:30am — K. heads off for a haircut and to pick up groceries for tonight. My friend J. is coming over later to stay the night in advance of us heading to the hot springs tomorrow. She and K. haven't met yet but they are both into board games so tonight is games night. I said I would cook but K. has (thankfully) taken over on that front as he fancies a fish dish. Before he left we browsed my RecipeTinEats cookbook (bible) and settled on crispy skin fish with bean ragu. I have the basics and K. says he'll pick up the rest.
12:30pm — I break for lunch, have a quick soup and toastie before heading out on some errands. I go to the big IGA to get some snacks for tonight (fancy chips, Tony's chocolate, a tub of Connoisseur ice cream in a new chunky peanut butter flavour, a loaf of sourdough and a 1kg bag of frozen blueberries for my porridge) for $48. IGA is never cheap but I can't resist all the nice things! On the way home, I stop to top up my petrol ($41 using RACV 4c voucher). That's only for half a tank! I also blow up my tyres because I think I'm driving us to the hot springs tomorrow. $89
4:00pm — Log off from work as K. has arrived and J. is on her way. I make us G&Ts. I had messaged K. saying I'd bought snacks but he read it as me asking him to buy snacks, so we have lots of chips and choc. J. arrives with more chips! We open chips, pour some pinot noir and settle in to play Cascadia — one of my faves!
7:30pm — Finish the game (and one bottle of wine) and K. and I start cooking. Should be 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cooking. Takes us 40 minutes... not bad. Food is delish. Quick tidy-up before we start the next game — Pandemic. Too soon? It's a new one for me. Open the next bottle of red.
10:30pm — We save the world and J. decides to head to bed. She's on my sofa bed tonight. I set her bed up and K. and I play three games of Santorini while sharing a whisky.
12:30am — K. and I head to bed. Later than I planned as I have to be up at 7:30am.
Daily Total: $89

Day 6

7:30am — Wake up just before my alarm. I'm feeling a bit dusty after two nights of drinking and some not-great quality sleep. Leave K. in bed and get up to make J. and I a coffee each. Double shot, please! I make some porridge with frozen blueberries and J. has some spinach bread she brought. J. is going to drive because I drove us to the hot springs last time. Leave K. sleeping.
10:00am — Make good time (we took the toll roads so that's going to hurt J.'s eTag balance!), head into the hot springs (paid for last month) and I buy us both a coffee ($10). We spend a glorious four hours chilling, chatting, soaking and taking the odd cold plunge $10
2:30pm — We leave the hotties to drive to Rare Hare wine store for the lunch I booked. I've been a couple of times before and it is fab. We're starving by the time we arrive and order three little dishes each, some bigger things to share and a glass of their pinot noir each. I pay ($162) but J. will transfer me half. $162
5:00pm — We head home.
6:30pm — J. drops me home. I make a G&T and settle down to watch Sweden smash Italy in the football. Eat some choc from last night and make another G&T. Watch France beat Brazil before calling it a night around 11pm.
Daily Total: $172

Day 7

8:00am — Wake up after a good sleep. Check my sleep score and am pretty happy with it. Make a coffee and take it back to bed. Start my new book — Jonathan Franzen's Crossroads. Lounge in bed reading, scrolling, doing my Wordle and making a second coffee. Try to meal plan for the week but I'm struggling. Focus on what I have in the fridge that needs to be used up — fennel and kale from Friday night. Consider going to a morning yoga class but CBF. I've had colds/viruses recently and my exercise motivation has defo suffered. Tell myself to relax, it will be back!
10:30am — Get myself out of bed and make two poached eggs on sourdough with Vegemite and avo.
11:30am — Head to Coles. Get some fruit and veggies (make a mental note to try the fruit and veggie market that K. always talks about), some lamb mince for shepherd's pie, cheese, oats, tonic water and a hand wash refill ($58). Pop into Liquorland to get some wine for tonight and pick up a cheapish pinot noir ($16) that I haven't seen before. Then I check out the gins. I need a cheaper 'everyday' gin. See Patient Wolf’s Summer Thyme gin on sale for $55 and pick that up too. Apparently it's cheap because the store is reducing their gin selection, not because it's crap! $129
1:00pm — Home, unpack shopping, mop bathroom and laundry floors, then have some porridge with frozen blueberries and coconut.
2:00pm — Head out to join another local library as they have the book I need for my September book club. Cycle three kilometres to the library, get a card, have a browse but only pick up one book. A first for me!
3:30pm — Home and watch the second half of the Morocco VS South Korea game before starting to cook my shepherd's pie meat base. I use the fennel in the base but I might have to roast the kale as I’m out of kale ideas.
4:40pm — Have a bath with my book and a G&T using my new gin. Yum, so savoury! Meat base is in the fridge till tomorrow when I'll do the potato top. K. is coming around tomorrow to watch the Matildas game and hopefully for a quick game of Pandemic (my new obsession).
5:00pm — Sit down to watch the Kiwis game. Parents call during it (we speak at this time every week) so I mute the match and just keep an eye on it in the background.
7:00pm — Call over, Kiwis lost and are out. I heat up some of the leftover bean ragu from Friday and have it with some couscous. Pour a glass of wine and settle in to watch Germany VS Colombia. It's my dad's birthday in a couple of days so I order him a birthday card from Moonpig ($9). My sister is putting together a hamper for him from us and my brother so I'll transfer money to her tomorrow. Best check my Scottish bank account and see if I have enough there or if I need to do a Wise transfer. $9
7:30pm — Watch the very exciting Germany VS Colombia match. Such a great performance from the Colombians. Hopefully they can go far in the tournament.
10:30pm — Head to bed and read a bit of Crossroads before lights out.
Daily Total: $138

Anything else you'd like to add or flag?

My weeknights are usually much quieter than this week — I don't generally eat out or drink during the week and usually go to the gym more, but I;m sick and my exercise motivation is very low. I mostly blame the novelty of the Women's World Cup and also Barbie being in the cinema. Both of which I am more than happy to support with my time and money!
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