Money Diariese

A Week In Maribyrnong, Melbourne As A Media Manager On $95,000

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.
Anyone can write a Money Diary! Want to see yours here? Here's how. If your diary is published, you'll receive $200.
Today: a media and communications manager who makes $95,000 a year and spends some of her money this week on vitamins to help her with egg freezing.
Occupation: Media and Communications Manager 
Industry: Not-For-Profit
Age: 33
Location: Maribyrnong, Melbourne
Salary: $95,000, plus $8,400 a year from renting out my second bedroom. 
Net Worth: $132,927 (A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Maribyrnong that's worth about $530,000, $12,127 in an emergency savings account, $439 in a fun savings account, $233 in a housing expenses savings account (i.e. OC fees and council rates), $40,000 in superannuation.)
Debt: $406,000 on my mortgage, $42,752 in HECS, and a $1,120 Latitude Finance loan.
Paycheque Amount (Fortnightly): $2,532 per fortnight, plus $700 per month in rental income.
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage: $1,556. I pay the mortgage on my own and use the income I get from renting out the second bedroom to pay for OC fees, council rates, my annual mortgage home loan fee and to make additional repayments on the home loan. At the moment, I’m renting out the second bedroom to an international student from Colombia. 
OC Fees and Council Rates: $550 
Internet: $38 (Unlimited Wi-Fi, my share) 
Bills (Electricity and Water): $100 on average (gas is included in my OC fees) 
Contents Insurance: $30
Latitude Finance Loan: $40 (the minimum is $30, but I pay a bit extra to be ahead of payments) 
HECS Debt: $579
Streaming Services (Netflix and Disney+): $22 
Gym: $80 
Charity Donations: $45 (I sponsor the education of a Cambodian girl through Free To Shine) 
Patreon Subscription: $1 (I subscribe to the Patreon of a YouTuber I really like for bonus content) 
Spinning Wheel App: $1.65 (an app that tracks my menstrual cycle, the lunar cycle and the seasons e.g. equinoxes and solstices) 
Total Tarot Magazine Subscription: $34
Public Transport: $15 (I drive to work due to having free parking, so my public transport costs are very low. I typically only use it to get around the city on weekends.) 
Car Expenses: $0 (I’m fortunate to have a fully paid company car as part of my job, which includes any personal petrol and toll costs) 
Mobile: $75 
Health Insurance (Hospital): $61.85
Health Insurance (Extras): $27.42
Savings Contributions: $1,370 

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

Yes, I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree at Monash University, which was paid for with HECS. I also completed a Health Science pathway through LaTrobe University (using FEE-HELP) and completed a Graduate Diploma of Health Promotion through Deakin University, which was also either through HECs or FEE-HELP, I can’t remember which one. 

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

Money was something that was talked about openly at home. My parents split when I was young and I was predominantly raised by my mum. When my mum became a single mum, she had to be very frugal, although I think budgeting and personal finance is something she enjoys. I remember whenever I got some birthday or Christmas money, I always had to save some of it, buy something that I needed, and buy something fun. I think that was a really good way to approach money in a balanced way. She has a sister who is unfortunately very bad with money, who married a man who was also very bad with money. So there were often conversations around my aunty and uncle having their phone cut off because they didn't pay their bills, or that they didn't have enough money to buy groceries before payday.
I’m fortunate that although my mum was a single mum on a low income, we were never in that position because she budgeted very well. She also managed to buy a house for us despite being on a low income. I always felt I never wanted to be like my aunt and uncle who were always struggling. By contrast, my dad worked his way up the corporate ladder and ended up on a high income. He talked more about investing and building wealth. Unlike my mum, his high income allowed him to invest in shares and property. He would often talk to me about getting on the property ladder as soon as I could and the younger I could do it, the better. 

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

I got my first job the week I turned 15 as a casual register operator at Target. I wanted a casual after-school job so I could have money for socialising with friends and to buy a Dolly magazine every month — all the typical teenage girl things. 

Did you worry about money growing up?

I did initially when my parents split. Although I was young, I definitely noticed a shift in financial status. I observed my mum adjusting to not having my dad’s income anymore. She had been a stay-at-home mum for ten years and when she got divorced was on a single parent's pension for a year before she got a job in retail. Although we always had a comfortable home and never went without, we always had birthday parties and Christmas gifts and food on the table. I always sensed my mum never felt financially comfortable, probably because she was just getting by every month. I knew growing up I wanted to have a career where I could earn good money, so I wouldn’t only just get by but so I wouldn’t have to worry about money, especially if I ever experienced a relationship breakdown. 

Do you worry about money now? 

I likely worry about it more than I need to. Although I have a healthy emergency savings account, I can feel guilty or stressed if an expense comes up and I need to withdraw from it — even though I know that is what the savings are for. If I have less than $10,000 in emergency savings, I feel anxious. I worry about something going wrong and not being able to pay for it. 

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

I moved into a sharehouse at the age of 22 after finishing my Bachelor's degree and working in France as an English-language assistant for nine months. I have lived independently ever since. I consider my emergency savings account my safety net. I aim to build it to $15,000 which would allow me to live on it for several months if I lost my job or couldn’t work. I’m also in the process of getting sufficient income protection, TPD, life and trauma insurance in place. My parents would always help me out financially if I was really stuck but I pride myself on being self-made. So many people my age only got on the property ladder because they got money from family. I’m so proud I can say I saved every dollar of my house deposit and bought my apartment on my own. 

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

I used to receive a small dividend from some shares I purchased. However, I recently sold them to pay for egg freezing. 

Day 1

7:15am — My alarm goes off and I have a slow morning as I get ready for work. I’m working from home today due to a plumber coming around to inspect my hot water service. I make a milky English breakfast tea before throwing on some casual clothes and getting into my usual morning routine. At the moment, this includes swallowing one x Ubiquinol and 1000mg of Vitamin C. 
Like a lot of single women in their thirties, I’ve been thinking about egg freezing to extend my fertility. This year, I took the plunge and completed one round in May and got 13 mature eggs, which was a great result. But it’s recommended to get at least 20 in order to have a 90%+ chance of one live birth, so I’ll be having another round in October. In preparation, I saw a fertility dietitian to create a supplement plan to make my eggs as healthy as possible. Therefore, I’ve been swallowing nine supplements daily since December last year. This is one of the most expensive aspects of egg freezing and IVF, but I decided before I went ahead that if I was going to do this, I was going to do everything in my power to maximise my chances of success. 
8:00am — Log onto my laptop to begin the working day. I work from 8am to 4pm. Being a morning person, I love getting to finish work at four. I scan my emails, do a media review and create my jobs list for the day before making another English breakfast tea with milk. 
9:00am — I’m starting to feel hungry so I make breakfast. I make creamy honey quick oats, melt one dark chocolate square into it and add a tablespoon of chia seeds, plus a handful of blueberries. The chia seeds were an idea from my fertility dietitian. Since I don’t eat a lot of fish, chia seeds in my oats are a good way to add some plant-based Omega-3 into my daily diet. I have a Vitamin D supplement too, again for egg health. Once I’m finished, I make another milky English breakfast tea to wash it down. 
10:30am Get a mid-morning snack of 20g packet of sea salt popcorn and a glass of water. 
11:30am — Make a rooibos vanilla tea with milk and honey. 
12:00pm — The plumber arrives to inspect my hot water system which has been playing up. I moved into my apartment 18 months ago and discovered the hot water system dates back to 2002. Honestly, I’m impressed it’s lasted this long. 
1:15pm — The plumber hands me his quote. The cost of the unit replacement is $3,600, but with his additional recommendations, I’m looking at $5,800. Ouch. It’s only one quote, but I may have to wait until my tax return comes through before I book the job. I pay him $55 for the callout fee and will have to think about it. $55
1:30pm Time for lunch! I heat up a bowl of pumpkin and goat's cheese risotto that I made last night. I also have half a red apple, a glass of water and two preconception multivitamins for my egg health. 
1:35pm — Time for a lunchtime walk. It’s unseasonably warm this week for Melbourne in July. I’ll walk to the library and return my library book. 
1:45pm — Have a wander through the library and borrow two recent issues of Money Magazine. A frugal Instagram account I follow pointed out libraries allow you to borrow magazines for free. Being a millennial, I still enjoy print magazines and Money is one I regularly buy. I’m happy to see the library has the latest issues.
2:15pm — Back to my desk. I finish off the apple I had with lunch. 
2:50pm — Make myself another rooibos vanilla tea with milk and honey, plus a square of milk chocolate Turkish delight. I’m getting through a tedious admin task so need a bit of chocolate to get me through it. 
3:30pm — Finally finish my tedious admin task! It’s half an hour until I finish the work day, but I think I’ll finish working and just keep an eye on my inbox until four. 
4:00pm — Shut down the computer and move to the couch to read my novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I read while eating a trail mix of raw walnuts, roasted pistachios, dark chocolate chips and dried cranberries. I’m on the last 50 pages.
5:15pm — Finished my novel. Oh my god, what a twist! It was a great ending and every other loose end in the story fell into place perfectly. Such a powerful story. I give it five stars. 
5:30pm — Head to Coles to buy some ingredients for dinner tonight and snacks for the week. I typically do my big grocery shop at Aldi, but I do my midweek grocery shop at Coles. I purchase yoghurt-covered rice cakes, chocolate-dipped almonds, roasted chickpeas and small sea salt popcorn bags for snacks for the week. I also buy a punnet of blueberries and 70% Lindt dark chocolate block for my breakfast. For dinner tonight, I buy a can of red kidney beans, a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese and a packet of tortilla wraps. $42.85
5:50pm — Home from Coles. Time to start making dinner, which will be minestrone soup with cheesy tortilla strips (this is a tortilla, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven until it’s melted). Before I start cooking, I text the guy I’m currently dating... we’ll call him The Psychologist, due to his profession. I start cooking while House Hunters International plays in the background. It’s my favourite easy-to-watch reality show. 
7:30pm — Dinner is ready. I have a bowl of soup with a cheesy tortilla and a glass of red wine (plus swallow one iron supplement, again, for my eggs). I don’t normally drink at home, but I’m feeling a bit tense… I’m probably due for a holiday but now have the potential cost of replacing my hot water system and need to think about my next egg-freezing cycle, which will cost about $5,000 too…. 
8:45pm — After having a shower, I sit down to watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Disney+. It’s a classic TV show I never watched and I’ve almost finished Season Two.
9:30pm — Time to clean up the kitchen and start my evening routine, which includes an Omega 3 supplement and two melatonin tablets (egg health supplements again), some basic skincare and reading in bed until it’s lights out. 
Daily Total: $97.85 

Day 2

7:15am — Wake up and do my usual morning routine, but this time I put on make-up as I’ll be going into the office today. 
8:30am — Have the same breakfast as yesterday, with my usual supplements. I’m taking annual leave this morning to have a session with my romantic relationship counsellor. I do quarterly sessions with her to talk about my current dating life. I feel we all want to be married for decades to our ideal partner, but don’t invest a lot of time into learning how to date and relate well.
8:45am — Make a milky English breakfast tea ahead of my session. 
10:55am — Arrive at the office, feeling refreshed and upbeat after my session. I quickly eat a packet of dark chocolate almonds before my 11am meeting as I’m getting the mid-morning munchies. 
12:30pm — Time for lunch. I quickly check my internet banking — our finance manager has sent through my payslip. Depending on when he does it, sometimes my pay hits my account around lunchtime. Log in — no salary yet. But I do see that my contents insurance ($30.64) has come out, as well as the subscription to my Spinning Wheels app ($1.49) — both covered in my monthly expenses. I head to the kitchen to heat up some leftover minestrone soup for lunch with a glass of water. 
1:45pm — Back to the office. I make myself a decaf English breakfast tea with milk and get a packet of cheese and crackers to munch on to get me through my work for the afternoon. 
3:00pm — I snack on the trail mix I made yesterday to get through the 3pm-itis. 
4:45pm — Back home from work. I put the kettle on and quickly eat a small pack of sea salt popcorn. Once the kettle is boiled, I make a rooibos vanilla tea with milk and honey, plus grab a square of milk chocolate Turkish delight to enjoy on the couch while I read the issue of Money Magazine I borrowed from the library. 
5:45pm — Get ready for the gym and make my pre-workout snack, which is four cheese and crackers with dates on top. This was a recommendation from my dietitian. I find with this snack, I get enough protein and carbs so I don’t feel light-headed during my workout, but I don’t get a stitch either. 
7:30pm —  Back home after my body pump class. I turn the oven on to preheat it and jump in the shower. 
8:00pm — Dinner is leftover minestrone soup, cheesy tortilla strips and a glass of water. I go to get my iron supplement but the packet is empty. Oops — forgot to restock. Will need to go to the pharmacy tomorrow. 
8:45pm — Time to chill and relax until I head to bed around 10:30pm.
Daily Total: $0

Day 3 

6:15am — Alarm goes off and I do my typical morning routine. I leave at 7:15am to drive to the office. Once I hit Royal Parade, traffic is fucked. 
8:10am — Finally get into the office. Typically it only takes half an hour to drive in, but today it was double that. Traffic sucks with all the roadworks going on in the city at the moment. I quickly make a cup of English breakfast tea with milk and my usual chocolate oats.
10:00am — Get off a one-hour meeting with a philanthropy magazine based in New York. The charity I work for is considering doing some sponsored editorial to get in front of American philanthropic foundations. The meeting with the sponsorship manager goes well but after an hour-long meeting, I need a tea break. I make myself a milky English breakfast tea before getting onto other tasks. 
10:35am — Mid-morning snack of roasted and salted fava beans to get me through until lunchtime.
12:00pm — Head out to buy lunch today. On the way, I get a call from a distant cousin who is also a plumber to get his thoughts on the $6,000 quote for my hot water service. He is gobsmacked they would charge that much for a 160 litre unit and tells me I’m definitely being ripped off and to send him the quote so he can review it. I end the call feeling so much lighter. I was feeling really down about that $6,000 quote and although I had a suspicion it was excessive, I couldn’t be sure without getting a second opinion. 
12:15pm — Purchase a Mexicana chicken salad from Blue Bag Fresh ($15), with tap water for lunch. I don’t typically like salads as meals, but these salads are so tasty and satisfying. $15
12:55pm — Back in the office. I make myself a decaf milky English breakfast tea before starting work again. 
2:00pm — Grab a small packet of sea salt popcorn for a snack and a mini Freddo Frog for an afternoon sugar hit. 
4:45pm — Arrive home and head straight to the local shopping centre to pick up some ingredients for dinner tonight. I seriously cannot be fucked cooking, so decide I’ll make a pork bolognese as it’s the one meal I can make without really thinking about it. On the way, I stop at the Chemist Warehouse and pick up a packet of iron supplements and Cereve Moisturising Cream as I’ve run out ($46.48). I then go to Coles for some lean pork mince and grab the latest issue of Marie Claire ($16.99). Once home, I boil the kettle and make a rooibos vanilla tea with milk and honey, while I sit on the couch and flip through my Marie Claire$63.47
5:45pm — Time to start cooking. I fry up onion and garlic, then brown the pork mince before making my own bolognese sauce of passata, red wine, honey, grated carrot and a bunch of herbs and spices. It’s so much cheaper to make your own sauce and the premade versions are often full of added sugar and salt. I put on the penne to boil and put a loaf of garlic bread in the oven. 
7:00pm — Have a bowl of penne pork bolognese with a few slices of garlic bread and water.
8:00pm — Do some evening household chores that include putting on a load of washing, emptying and packing the dishwasher as well as cleaning up the kitchen. 
8:30pm — Finally get to relax on the couch. I text The Psychologist and finish off another book, Heartbake - A Bittersweet Memoir by Charlotte Ree and I love it. Another five-star read. 
Daily Total: $78.47 

Day 4 

6:00am — Alarm goes off a bit earlier to get the train to work this morning. I’ve decided the roadworks aren't making it worth driving at the moment. I do my usual morning routine before leaving the house at 6:55am. 
7:10am — Tram to Footscray Station, where I update my Myki card. I recently received an email that my Myki would expire so I updated to a new one. I’m told at the customer service desk that my auto top-up feature is not automatically transferred, so I’ll need to log into my portal and reset that. I get on the Cityloop train and read my Money Magazine until I arrive at Parliament station. 
7:55am — Arrive in the office, time to make a tea and start work for the day. 
8:40am — Go to make breakfast and realise… I forgot to pack my oats this morning! D’oh! I walk to the local cafe and purchase a bircher muesli. $7 
8:50am — Back to the office. I make a milky English breakfast tea to have with my muesli. 
9:30am — Have a quieter day today, so I will use the morning to allocate my salary that came through this week. I log on and notice that my health insurance extras cover ($27.42) has come out, as well as my gym membership ($40.50), both covered under my monthly expenses. The first thing I do is transfer $778 to the bank account my mortgage is deducted from. Then I transfer $685 to my emergency savings account and pay $20 towards my Latitude Finance loan. Then I make a $40.48 Afterpay payment (I purchased a gorgeous doona cover on sale recently). I then pay my ‘future funds,’ which is $25 on water, $60 on electricity, transfer $35 to a savings account for my hair colour and $42 to savings for giving/Christmas season. By paying every payroll towards my quarterly bills, I find I don’t experience bill shock as much. $40.48
I check my direct debits that will come up this week, then divide the remaining money in two and move half ($426) into a separate bank account. This is my ‘week two’ money — for the week I don’t get paid. My aim is to not touch my eeek two money until seven days from now. 
I calculate that the only remaining direct debit that should come out this week is my hospital cover, so that leaves me $365 to live on for the next seven days. My only real expenses will be my big grocery shop and my date with The Psychologist this weekend. 
Next, I pay for my relationship counselling session, using money from my ‘fun savings’ account ($275) and sign up for a Patreon that one of my favourite authors has recently launched ($5.50). I’ll trial it for a few months and then I can cancel if I don’t feel it’s good value. Now that’s done, I make myself a decaf milky English breakfast tea and grab a packet of dark chocolate roasted almonds as a snack. $280.50
11:00am — Phone call from my distant cousin plumber. He can do the job for half the price the first plumber quoted me. He’ll write up a quote for me and we can go from there. 
11:10am — Feeling a bit peckish, so have a small bag of sea salt popcorn. 
12:00pm — Head out to the local cafe for lunch. I order a lamb borek, which comes with a side salad and tzatziki dip and have it with tap water ($9.50). Afterwards, I walk to another cafe and order a Nutella hot chocolate as a treat ($6). I have it in the cafe, while reading my Marie Claire. $15.50
1:00pm — Back to the office and get back to work for the afternoon. 

2:00pm — I remember I’m due to purchase another lot of my egg health vitamins. I order enough Omega 3, Ubiquinol and preconception multivitamins to last me for the next two months. It comes to $298.06. I transfer money from my emergency savings account to pay for it.  $298.06

3:00pm — Grab a chocolate biscuit from the office kitchen. There was a board meeting this morning and there’s leftover catering. Score!  
4:30pm — Arrive at Footscray station and decide to top up my Myki. It’s been so long since I took the train to work every day, I don’t even remember how much a weekly ticket costs. I put on $30 and will see how long it lasts. $30
5:00pm — Arrive home and have a shower, before making my cheesy tortilla strips as a snack. 
7:15pm — Dinner time! Tonight is leftover pork bolognese and a few slices of garlic bread. Water for drink. 
7:45pm — Time to chill on the couch with my laptop with another episode of House Hunters International.
8:30pm — Get in my PJs and decide to put a load of towels in the washing machine. Make myself a warm milk with sugar-free hot chocolate powder and relax on the couch. 
Daily Total: $671.54

Day 5

6:00am — Alarm goes off and I know I cannot get out of bed. I was up half the night with reflux and indigestion. I don’t know what triggered it but I had no medication for it so just put up with it until it passed. I fall back asleep. 
8:30am — Wake up again and text my boss and colleague that I was unwell last night and won’t be in today. Maybe a day off is what I need. I’ve been feeling burnt out lately, I likely need a lazy day to recuperate. Plus, it’s Friday so it’s good timing. I make myself a milky English breakfast tea and have it in bed while watching YouTube clips. 
9:30am — Tummy’s starting to rumble. Decide I’m gonna make pancakes (Shake'n'Bake mix) as that’s my go-to lazy day breakfast. 
10:00am — Have five mini pancakes cooked in butter, with lemon juice, sugar and blueberries on top, washed down with a milky English breakfast tea. 
11:00am — Spend the rest of my morning pottering around with a few household tasks. Once that’s done, I make a milky English breakfast tea and sit down with a new book The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall, still in my pyjamas. I remind myself that if I needed this day to rest, to not feel guilty about not spending the whole day doing household chores and life admin. 
12:30pm — Feel like getting out of my pyjamas for the first time today. I get changed into my trackies and put on the kettle to boil. I’ll have leftover pork bolognese again for lunch. 
12:50pm — Check my internet banking and notice that my hospital cover ($61.85, covered in my monthly expenses) has come out, along with two $10 transactions from Myki ($20). I also got an email yesterday saying ‘auto top-up’ had been applied to my Myki — but I was told I had to set up the auto top-up again… huh? I log into my Myki account and see I still need to set up auto top-up for my new card, which charges $1 to my account. But the extra $10 auto top-up transactions have gone through… this doesn’t make sense. I set up the auto top-up, but it seems like the old Myki auto top-up was triggered yesterday, despite me cancelling my old one? Fuck Myki. I hope this is not a glitch that keeps being triggered. $21
2:00pm — More sitting on the couch reading magazines and books time…
5:00pm — Decide I’ll make a chicken stir-fry for dinner tonight so I head to the local Coles to get the remaining ingredients I need. I get a packet of Hokkien noodles, chicken stir-fry strips, snow peas and a red capsicum. $16.85
6:30pm — Time to start cooking dinner. I pop on an episode of Charmed to have on in the background. Charmed is my favourite TV show (the original, though).
8:00pm — Decide to chill with a movie tonight. After browsing my watchlist I decide on Don’t Worry Darling on Netflix. I grab a Bulla double crunch chocolate ice cream from the freezer to enjoy while I watch it. 
11:00pm — Finish Don’t Worry Darling. I feel it’s a film you either love or hate — I fall into the ‘I love it’ camp. I do my nighttime routine and read in bed until it's lights out. 
Daily Total: $37.85

Day 6

8:30am — Wake up naturally and have a lazy morning with a cup of milky English breakfast tea on the couch. I’d like to have another lazy day, but I need to meal plan and do a proper grocery shop for the week. 
9:15am — Get dressed and write out my shopping list. I noticed I’m low on a lot of kitchen and household staples, so this will be a big shop. I also plan my meals for the week. I aim to cook three to four meals each week and ensure there is one lean red meat, one white meat and one vegetarian dish in my meal plan. I already have the leftovers from the chicken stir-fry, so add a teriyaki beef stir-fry with rice, baked lentils with feta and a honey-glazed salmon dish to my menu for the week. 
9:45am — Have my chocolate oats breakfast with a cup of tea.
10:30am — Head to Aldi. I transfer $100 from my ‘week two salary’ account to have extra money for it. I purchase carbohydrates (microwavable packets of jasmine rice, quick oats), dairy (lactose-free fresh and long life milk, spreadable butter, feta, block butter, Greek yoghurt, cheese and crackers packs), tinned vegetables and legumes (diced canned tomatoes, passata, brown lentils), sweet treats (chocolate cream bars and dark chocolate), herbs and spices (bay leaves), hygiene items (toilet paper), vegetables and fruit (broccolini, snow peas, sweet potato, blueberries), nuts (walnuts) and a couple of frozen convenience meals. Total is $115.94. There are a couple of items I couldn’t find or were sold out, so I’ll need to go to Coles on my way back for the rest. Typically I find I have three to five items on my list that I can’t get at Aldi when I do a big shop, but the savings are worth it. $115.94
11:00am — Drive to Coles. I buy grass-fed beef stir-fry strips, one red chill, decaf black tea and a pack of bake-at-home white bread dinner rolls. $22.98
11:30am — Home from grocery shopping. I put the kettle on to make myself a rooibos vanilla tea with milk and honey, while I chill on the couch reading my Marie Claire.
12:30pm — Heat up some leftover chicken stir-fry for lunch, with a glass of water. Return to the couch to read Total Tarot magazine. 
2:00pm — Afternoon snack of one chocolate cream bar and a small packet of sea salt popcorn. 
4:00pm — Start getting ready for my date tonight with The Psychologist. He’s picking me up, so that will save on taxi costs! I offered to pay for the ride in kisses and he happily agreed. We’re going to do a dinner and ghost tour in Williamstown. 
5:45pm — The Psychologist picks me and we head to the pub for our dinner. 
6:30pm — Arrive at the hotel. I’ve paid for the dinner and tour in advance. He paid for our first two dates, so I offered to pay for our third. I order the chicken massaman curry for main and the chocolate mousse with Baileys cream for dessert. I also order a mulled cider to try. Throughout our two-hour dinner, I also order a Bacardi and Coke, which I don’t get to finish as we need to leave for the ghost tour. We head to the bar to pay for our drink ($32), which The Psychologist pays for, so $0 for me. 
8:20pm — We arrive at the meeting place and surprisingly, there’s a lot of people here! We wondered who would want to do a ghost tour in Williamstown on a Saturday night and assumed we’d be the only two people doing it. Nope, there are at least a dozen people here. The tour is actually quite interesting. I’m a bit of a history nerd so I find it fascinating learning about life in the 1800s.
10:30pm — The tour ends and alas, we didn’t spot any ghosts. The Psychologist and I hang back and the tour guides try to get the ghosts to speak to us by setting off the ghost-hunting equipment. They insist the ghosts were really active two hours before the tour, but they’ve gone shy it seems... nevermind. It was definitely a fun date and since it was really cold wandering around Williamstown at night, The Psychologist had a good excuse to wrap his arms around me to keep me warm. 
11:00pm — We walk back to the hotel we had dinner at for a drink to warm up. I order another mulled cider, this time with a shot of brandy ($10) but The Psychologist declines a drink as he’s the designated driver tonight. $10
12:00am — The Psychologist drives me back home and we have a good makeout session in his car. I’m not ready to invite him up to my place yet and I can tell he’s too much of a gentleman to ask. So we leave it at that and when I get back in he texts me letting me know he had a great time. I text back saying I did too. 
1:00am — Bed time.
Daily Total: $148.92

Day 7

8:00am — Wake up feeling slightly dehydrated. I make a milky English breakfast tea and chill on the couch watching YouTube clips and reading news websites. 
9:00am — Make my chocolate oats for breakfast and another cup of tea.
10:40am — After getting dressed, I head to High Point Shopping Centre. I’m fortunate to live within walking distance, so as long as it’s not rainy and miserable (BOM is saying Melbourne has a 0% chance of rain today), I take my granny trolley and walk, which means no need to find a park.  
10:50am — Head to Hush Puppies to purchase some work shoes. I get an annual work uniform allowance and I want some shoes that I’ll feel comfortable in all day, especially if I’m going to be commuting via public transport for a while. My boss has approved two pairs as part of my allowance. I choose a loafer and a round-toe platform style ($270). I put it on my credit card as I’ll be reimbursed next payroll. The lady lets me know if I join the loyalty program I’ll get a free shoe care product since I’m spending more than $250. I agree and get a leather cleaner for free. $270
11:55am — Starting to feel hungry so head back home for lunch. On the way out, I spot a candle holder that’s on sale at my favourite homewares store. The store is closing down at the end of this month, so all their stock is on sale. The candle holder has been catching my eye for weeks now. I figure since I still want it just go ahead and buy it. The cashier informs me there’s a 60 cent surcharge for paying by card. Jeez, who charges a fee for debit card purchases these days? But as usual, I don’t have any cash so I cop the fee. $17.10 
12:05pm — Back home from work and reheat the last serving of leftover chicken stir-fry, which I have with a glass of water while watching YouTube videos. 
12:30pm — Go to chill on the couch watching YouTube videos and reading magazines before I get stuck into some Sunday chores. 
4:00pm — Afternoon of several loads of washing and getting through my ironing basket while watching a few episodes of Buffy. I then have an afternoon snack of a small packet of sea salt popcorn and a cream chocolate bar. 
5:50pm — Start cooking a teriyaki beef stir-fry with jasmine rice. I put The Kardashians on in the background while I’m cooking. 
10:30pm — Head to bed after watching Location, Location, Location Australia
Daily Total: $17.10 

Anything else to add? 

I had a lot more trips to the supermarket and a few more meals out than usual due to not doing my weekend grocery shop. Probably had a bit more alcohol than usual due to my date on Saturday night. Other than that, this was a pretty typical week for me. 
Money Diaries are meant to reflect an individual's experience and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behaviour. You should always obtain your own independent advice before making any financial decisions.
For many of us, money can be a major source of stress. But it doesn’t have to be. Become more confident with our beginner's guide to managing your money.
Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it here.

More from Work & Money