A Week In Melbourne As A Risk & Compliance Consultant On $130,000

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Today, we meet a diarist with severe endometriosis and adenomyosis who spends $9,796 on fertility treatments and egg freezing, finishes four books and visits her mum daily for hot chocolate and shared meals.
Occupation: Risk and Compliance Consultant
Industry: NFP
Age: 35
Location: Glen Iris, Melbourne
Pronouns: She/Her
Net Worth: $20,977.45. This is comprised of a bunch of different accounts for separate things: $11,975.91 – house deposit, $120.96 – emergency savings (this was wiped out recently and is being slowly built back up), $278.62 – gifts, $7950.99 – health, $2,753.76 – bills, $120.04 – transport, $355.62 – splurge, $906.67 – ST goals. 
Debt: $39,984.36 total. $32,927.61 in HECS/HELP and $7056.75 on credit card. I balance transferred this at the start of last year with a 0% interest rate so I can pay it off over time. 
Paycheque Amount (Fortnightly): $2,859.84 

Monthly Expenses 

Rent: $2,173 for a two-bedroom apartment I live in solo.
Debt Repayments: $165 per fortnight to credit card and around $169 weekly to HECS.
Internet: $85
Gas: $30
Electricity: $66
Water: $12
Apple Storage: $4.50
Health Insurance: $517.51 (this is going up to $533.58 in the next week or so)
Subscriptions: $66 (I share all of these and have basically everything including Disney+, Prime Video, Binge, Apple TV/Music, Kindle Unlimited, Stan, Netflix, Paramount+ (I forgot to cancel this), Britbox)
Home Insurance: $676 annually
Phone: $320 prepaid annual sim
Car: $3,500 (this is not the exact cost but I budget around this to cover rego, insurance and service costs as last year after I inherited the car I was hit with nearly $2K on the service)
Clinical Pilates: $630 (this covers a 10-pack and at the end, I can claim around $167 back from health insurance, this is usually held in the health savings fund until it is due)
Deposit Savings: $400
Health Savings: $500
Splurge: $330
Gifts: $30
Transport: $200
ST Goals: $100
Woolworths Extra (annually): $59

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

Yes, I have a Bachelor of Science and a Master's of Business both paid for by HECS/HELP and neither have much application to my current role.

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

I was incredibly naive about money. I am a natural spender and my parents spent a long time trying to teach me about the value of money. They even went to the extent of giving me a budget when I was about 14 and "pocket money" but I needed to pay all my expenses out of it – this included any sports club fees and associated gear, clothes, shoes, hair costs and outings with friends. Sadly, I would be the first to admit that this didn't work and I continued to be pretty naive.

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

My first job was around 14 and I babysat for some of the younger children at my school. It was advertised by the school, they interviewed me and then recommended me and a couple of others. The other job I had around the same time was as a medical receptionist at a family friend's practice. I worked there for a bit during the school holidays for extra money after having done work experience there.

Did you worry about money growing up?

No, but I really should have. My parents had a hard time with money when I was young and I do remember being told I couldn't have things, but I never really noticed us struggling. I always had food and clothes and was able to do the things I wanted to do for the most part.
My brother was older when my parents went through the rough patch financially, and he's a massive saver, maybe because he understood more of what was happening.

Do you worry about money now?

ALL THE TIME. I have severe endometriosis and adenomyosis. I was diagnosed with the endo at 14 but in the last few years found out about the adenomyosis when I had a massive flare-up. The result of this has been a lot of medical costs involving surgeries, associated treatments, pain medications etc. 
I also had to look into egg freezing as the endometriosis affected my fertility levels. I got tested at my doctor's recommendation last year and found my levels were very low. As I've always wanted to have children, this has meant I needed to act quickly. 
I started undergoing fertility treatments for egg freezing a month or two ago. The cost is enormous and there have been a lot of expenses in the lead-up to it (hundreds of dollars in drugs to try to increase egg reserves monthly). 
I'm also stressed about the cost of living and rental crises. If I wanted to have a child in the current market I would want to have a property I owned as rentals are so sparse and single mothers are often weighted against when trying to secure a rental. Because of this, I've been desperately trying to save a deposit to get in on the first homebuyer scheme, but I worry about actually achieving this and the potential hidden costs. 

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

I moved out of home at 18 and lived at Uni, but my parents mostly supported me while I was there so I was extremely fortunate. I had a part-time job on the weekend but didn't need to rely on it for living costs. It was only when I failed one of my subjects in my final year and needed to retake it the following year that they told me I needed to stand on my own. 
This meant getting other work that would fit around Uni, paying for my rental and the associated costs. Having said this, my dad worried about me financially a lot and would occasionally get me things I needed if he felt I was struggling.

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

Yes, I received $10,000 which my parents had invested in shares for me at 18. I proceeded to blow this on a month-long trip to Japan during Uni.

Day 1

8am — My alarm goes off and I don't want to be awake. It's a weekend and I'm not sure why I did this to myself. While moving to snooze it I remember I set to check if my period had started. I've been symptomatic the last few days and was sure it would arrive, but the previous fertility cycle throws off your next one. And yep, it's here, which means I need to rush to the pathology centre to get some blood taken. I do a quick change and head straight out. I email the nurses to let them know it's day one.
9am — There was a bit of a wait at the centre, but the nurse was lovely, she's a fertility nurse for her day job so we were chatting about this while she took my blood. After this I head to mum's house, she'd messaged me while I was waiting to let me know her puppy was sick and asked if I could bring my Bissell cleaner to clean the mess but I was already out. When I arrive she makes me a coffee, I take some pain meds, and I sit and cuddle the pup who is very sooky as he's not feeling well.
10:30am — This week is a big restock week. So I head to the shops. Since my dad passed last year, I buy most of the groceries for Mum and I and drop it off at our respective homes. We both contribute $215 a fortnight towards this. The car is filthy (it was last washed during its service around nine months ago) so I leave it at the car wash at the shopping centre while I shop. I head to the greengrocer and get salad and vegetables ($55.90), and Baker's Delight for bread and a choc croissant ($14.33). I browsed the other stores for a bit to make sure they had enough time to clean the car. I get back five minutes early and eat the croissant while I wait. $70.23
11:15am — Head to the Woolworths nearby. There is a Dan Murphy's there too. Mum wants some Asahi which is on sale, and I want some more Marsala wine as I cook with it ($74 but Mum will pay $54 for the beer as it's outside of the budget). I head to Woolworths next to stock up on some groceries. I normally Click and Collect but I recently discovered that my 10% discount works online and again in-store. I also have a big Coles pick-up order later today which was paid for last night. $20
12:30pm — Get back to mum’s and I'm really struggling with pain at this point. We unpack her groceries and she puts them away before making me a piece of toast that she forces me to eat before I have more painkillers. I often lose my appetite during periods. I head home for a nap straight after this.
3:30pm — I spent my attempted sleep time stressing about having heard nothing from the clinic yet. The nurse finally calls to let me know the lab had a problem with their machine so couldn't get the results. She says to start the new medication which is a spray first thing in the morning.
5pm — Head to pick up my Coles order and take it all to Mum’s. We take the pup for a quick walk and since I feel terrible we decide to get Grill'd burgers and small chips for dinner ($34.70). We pick up to save the delivery fee. After this, we watch some TV with hot chocolate and Easter eggs. $34.70
9pm — Get to my place and put away my share of the groceries (I do most of the cooking at Mum’s but some here too). I get changed for bed and do my skincare. I've had a massive breakout from all the hormones so I'm trying to be more religious with this and use my LED mask twice a day. I read for a while before bed and finish my book, Kit McBride Gets a Bride.
Daily Total: $124.93

Day 2

7:45am — I snooze my alarm a few times until I realise I'm meant to be up to take my spray. I'm not sure if this one needs to be taken at a consistent time or not (like the other meds) so I make a mental note to check tomorrow. Once taken I have some painkillers, breakfast which is a bagel with butter and Vegemite and a Moka Pot coffee which I drink while reading my next book, Marrying off Morgan McBride.
10am — Now that my pain feels manageable, I get up and do some chores. I strip and change the bedsheets (love fresh sheets), put some washing on and the dishwasher, take down the recycling to the bins and vacuum. The last is essential as I have the pup staying tonight and he hates the vacuum sounds, so need to get it done before he arrives. I take breaks as I need based on my pain levels. The apartment looks cleaner though it's still a bit of a mess. I have been going through everything I own and pulling out the things I don't use or want to either sell or donate. I haven't gone through them to choose what is going where yet though. I really need to do this as I'm hoping to get some extra income to bulk up my savings.
11:30am — I head to my mum's. She's doing a roast eye fillet for lunch with veggies and potatoes. We chat for a while and play with the pup while it's cooking. After lunch we have hot chocolate and some Easter eggs then the pup and I head home so Mum can get her own vacuuming done.
4:45pm — Pup and I wake up from a decent nap (does anyone else love a nap on the weekend), just in time for his dinner. He's very excited to let me know this. We get up and I feed him and read for a bit while it digests before taking him for a walk.
6pm — I give the bathroom a clean when we get back and then decide to lay back down with Pup, my heat pack and painkillers. I read for a while, finishing my book and starting another, Ana Maria And The Fox.

9pm — Get back up to take my spray, do my skincare and brush my teeth. I read for a bit longer until pup hears one of my neighbours get home — he adores them and it's entirely mutual. He goes and cries at the door until I let him out to say hello to the neighbours. They give him treats and cuddles and play with him for a bit before we go back inside and go back to bed. I finish my book and start another. The Maidens.
Daily Total: $0

Day 3

7am — It's Monday and my alarm has been going off for 30 minutes. I know I'm terrible at getting up with it and true to form I've been hitting snooze consistently and somehow the pup has been ignoring it too. I get up to take my spray medication. I'm not sure whether I'm meant to start my injections or not. I um and ah about it for a bit before finally taking it as the nurse had said I'd have a day on the first med and then start the injections. I make breakfast which is a bagel with butter and Vegemite and a coffee and scroll through my emails while I eat. I have an email from Medicare telling me my claim for the anaesthetist for my last egg collection has finally been paid ($466). Depressingly, I only got $134 back from Medicare from the $600 fee. I'll have to check with my private health to see if it will cover anything else. $466
8am — I hop up, have a quick shower and wash my hair, then take the pup for a walk. He has a great time sniffing everything. We get back just in time for me to log on. I didn't blow dry my hair before I left so it has unfortunately dried naturally in a frizz ball.
9:45am — I'm scrolling Amazon at the end of a meeting as Coles cancelled Mum's toilet paper off the order, so I'm ordering her some more. They have a sale on and I browse this for a bit before telling myself just to get what I need which is the toilet paper and a pair of sink plugs that are meant to be universal. I have spent so much money unsuccessfully trying to get a plug for my kitchen sink so fingers crossed this one is a winner. ($31.40). As I check out I realise that two books I'd wanted sitting at the top of my 'saved for later' list are 50% off. I have a credit on Amazon which should cover this so even though I've been trying to avoid buying things I don't need I feel ok about the purchase. After purchasing, I realise there is missing credit on my account and chat to Amazon who resolve this. I end up with $14.96 left in credit after the full amount of $50 for the order is covered). $34.40
12pm — I have half of a freezer pizza for lunch. I'm feeling quite nauseous (thanks hormones) and although this helps a little I decide to have a laydown after eating. The puppy is extremely happy with this turn of events. He refuses to leave the bed for another 30 minutes after I get back up.
3pm — The nurse calls to let me know the lab lost my blood test. We chat about the process and she says I wasn't meant to start the injection just yet but it's not a big worry. She consults with the doctor and they decide I can continue on as I've been going. We lock in another blood test and scan for Saturday. I also find out I should use the spray every 12 hours, but as long as it's 10-12 hours apart, it's ok.
5:15pm — Finish a late meeting and head to Mum's. We feed the pup and take him for a walk to the park. Once back home I make a salad while Mum uses the leftover roast beef to make some steak sandwiches, we have oven fries with this. I remember I got a text reminder earlier that my fertility fee is to be deducted today. I transfer $9,235 from various accounts to my everyday account in preparation. $9,235
8pm — After an episode of Criminal Record and some hot chocolate and Easter Eggs I head home. I forgot to take my spray with me today, so I take this as soon as I get home. I do a bit more vacuuming of the rug which seems to catch everything.
10pm — I finish my book just before 10pm which is good because I needed to know the ending and would have stayed up even later to read it. I spend a few minutes scrolling before doing my skincare and going to sleep. 
Daily Total: $9,735

Day 4

6:55am — I only snooze my alarm for another 25 minutes today which is an improvement. I get up, take my various meds, have breakfast and coffee and then get ready for work. I'm in the office today so more prep is required. I take the train in ($5.30) but this is prepaid on my Myki.
8:30am — Get into the office at the same time as my manager. We chat in the lift on the way up and then I get stuck into work. We have a quarterly team meeting at 10am so I decide to get a coffee beforehand. My manager comes with me and we get a free hot cross bun as a work perk ($5.40). I don't love original hot cross buns, but this one is pretty nice. $5.40
12pm — After our meeting, I head out to get lunch before my next meeting. I grab a chicken toasted sandwich at the coffee shop nearby which is nice but reminds me why I try to bring lunch ($13). My manager, colleague and I sit in the courtyard chatting for a while before heading back in for our meeting. $13
4pm — I head off slightly earlier to try and miss the rush. I'm feeling quite nauseous and have a headache which is likely the hormones. I struggle through the 45-minute tram ride back to Mum's and thankfully make it without incident ($5.30 prepaid). Once home, we forgo the walk as mum also has a headache and instead share a ginger beer to settle my stomach. After this I get up to make dinner, tonight it's chicken fajitas with fresh guacamole, which is a fave of ours and generally leaves plenty of leftovers. I manage to finish just in time to log back on to set up for a late meeting with someone overseas.
7:30pm — After a debrief with my manager I log off for the night. Mum makes us a hot chocolate and I have an easter egg while we watch an episode of Criminal Record before she drops me and the pup back home. She's in the office tomorrow again so the pup is staying with me.
9pm — After cleaning the kitchen and dishes (my plug works which is so exciting) and doing my night routine, I head to bed and read until I'm ready to sleep. I continue on with the book I started on the commute home, Children of Blood and Bone. I only got a few pages in on the train.
10:10pm — Pup gets up thinking he's heard the neighbours come home. He cries and scratches at the door for a few minutes before realising they're not available and returning to bed.
Daily Total: $18.40

Day 5

7am — Wake up, take my meds, feed the pup and make breakfast. This morning it's an English Muffin with Peanut Butter and banana, and a coffee. I am feeling bloated and nauseous which isn't ideal. I play YouTube videos in the background instead of reading.
8am — Take pup for a big walk, made longer by his meet and greet with the other pups outside. We get back a little later than expected so I log on 10 minutes later than usual. While the computer is starting up I take the fertility tablets I forgot earlier and put a pot of coffee on.
12pm — Break for lunch. The nausea has been bad today. I realise I forgot to take leftovers from the fajitas home with me from Mum's, and my leftover chocolate hot cross buns. I eat the other half of the underwhelming pizza instead and Pup decides it is play time, growling and barking at me when I don't get the hint to throw his ball.
2pm — I finish early for the day. I'm feeling extremely nauseous and decide to try and just sleep it off. We go back to bed which the pup is pleased about. I make sure to set my alarm to get up in enough time to drop him off and get to my Pilates class.
3:40pm — Alarm goes off, I take the pup back to Mum in really poor traffic. When we get there I sit for a few minutes and drink half a ginger beer before class, as I'm feeling poorly. Pup is not happy about being left.
5pm — I manage to get through roughly half the class before having to bail as the movement exacerbated the nausea. My friend D. was meant to come over for dinner and a movie but I message her to cancel and explain why. She promises to call me later. I crash on the spare bed back at Mum's while the pup tries to remind me it's dinner time and he hasn't been fed. I wait until Mum gets back and we feed him before forcing down some leftover fajitas for dinner. Mum asks me to walk him with her after as she needs some milk from the metro and someone needs to stay outside with him while she goes into the shop. We get the milk and some chocolate. $9.15
7:30pm — After an episode of our show, I drink some milk to try and help the nausea and head home. I call D. back when I get there and we chat for about an hour. Somehow I forgot to tell her I was starting another cycle straight after my first. She says she'll check in tomorrow to see how I'm feeling.
9pm — I get ready for bed and do my night routine. Once in bed, I scroll on my phone for a bit as I'm too tired to read. My phone crashes three times while I try to browse new books on the Big W site. This is possibly a sign I don't need to buy any more books (a serious weakness of mine), or that I should be sleeping. I'm pretty hopeful it will be ok tomorrow as I don't want to buy a new phone right now.
Daily Total: $9.15

Day 6

6:55am — Get up, have my morning meds, make breakfast and have a coffee. I linger for a bit trying to decide whether or not I should head into the office today given I'm still feeling pretty average. I decide to go in in the end as I can always leave if I need to, but I'm now running a little behind. Because I'm running late, I nearly forget my lunch, and then drop the pot of guac. The lid comes off and half of it sprays all over the floor and fridge. I clean this before I leave.
8:10am — My Myki is out so I top it up ($30), usually I'd put $50 on but I know I need to get petrol this weekend too and I get paid next week so this will more than cover me. I catch the train in ($5.30 from the balance). $30
11am — I've been in meetings all morning and they're finally done. We have a morning tea at 11.30am and I have the start of a migraine coming on so I decide to head out now to get a coffee. Before I leave, I check the work app to see if I can get a free hot cross bun, it has been fully redeemed for the day so I decide rather than spending the money, I'll make a coffee from the machine in the kitchen. It's not bad, it's just not as good as a barista-made.
11:30am — Head up for the morning tea. This takes a lot longer than expected as I forgot they like to do speeches at the start which go for about 30 minutes. I stock up on some goodies but don't feel like eating most of them yet. I take them back to my desk for later and decide I should eat lunch. I eat my leftover fajitas and they are delicious. I'm too full to have the treats now so I pack them up in my cleaned tupperware to eat later. I contact my doctor's office to let them know I've run out of some of the medications and ask for something I can take for nausea and hormone-induced headaches. I also contact my fertility clinic nurses to share updates, and then head back to work.
4pm — After more meetings to assess a new system, and chasing up some information, I head off. I'll log back on when I get home for a bit to check if the outstanding information has come in. Get the tram back to Mum's ($5.30 off balance). We take the pup for a walk and smell rotisserie chicken cooking so decide to get some for dinner as I don't feel well enough to cook. On the way back we stop at Chemist Warehouse for Mum to pick up some items. I haven't heard back from my doctor yet.
6:30pm — We're finishing up dinner of chicken, chips and coleslaw that mum paid for, as there wasn't enough left in the budget, when my gynaecologist calls. She has sent a bunch of scripts through but is in a rush so can't discuss anything further. I head back out to the chemist (fortunately it's a five-minute walk) and pick them all up along with another batch of my iron tabs. $95.18
8:30pm — Mum drops the pup and I home as she is going to be out tomorrow morning so asked if I wanted to take him (always a yes!). I do my night routine and read and scroll for a bit. Pup hears the neighbours get back and has to go say hello for some extra attention. We head back to bed after.
Daily Total: $95.18

Day 7

6:30am — On the one day I can snooze, I of course wake up properly after the first alarm. Pup also wants to be up so I get up and feed him and let him out. We head back to bed and I scroll until nearly 7am when I get up to take my meds. I go back to bed after this.
8am — Pup decides it is time for us to be awake. Despite trying to convince him it is sleep time, he resists. I make a coffee and put on some YouTube videos while he proceeds to plant himself on my lap and go back to sleep. Why couldn't we stay in bed?
10am — My friend G. messages to ask if I want to go for a walk today. I basically haven't left the couch yet and I'm out from 1.30pm, so we agree to meet around 4.30pm. My neighbour messages to ask if the pup is still home, I tell her I need to shower so they're welcome to take him for 20 minutes. I manage to shower, wash and dry my hair (pup hates the dryer) before collecting pup and heading to Mum's.
11am — We take the pup for a decent walk and then chat for a bit before having some sandwiches using the leftover chicken, coleslaw and avocado. I sit and have a coffee with Mum after lunch and we watch the end of an episode of a show we didn't finish the night before. I head home after this and try to sneak a 20-minute nap before we leave.
1:27pm — My neighbour knocks three minutes early so I'm not quite ready. I grab my shoes and notice her water bottle, which reminds me to refill and bring mine. We meet her husband at the car and head to the VR centre where another of their friends meets us. I realise on the way there I forgot to transfer money for the ticket and do this now. $59
2:45pm — After finishing the VR game we decide to hang around at the arcade next door and play some games and then play a round of bowling. $30
4:30 — Head to meet my friend after we get back and I'm given a chocolate Hokkaido cheese tart for later. G. and I go for roughly an hour-long walk and just catch up which is lovely. I stop in at her place for a cup of tea after before heading off to Mum's where she'd taken some bolognese out of the freezer to defrost for dinner that I'd made previously.
9pm — Get home and do my night routine and try reading for a bit but end up scrolling instead before heading to bed.
Daily Total: $89

Anything else you'd like to add?

This is not a typical week given the fertility costs paid out. For those who might be looking into this, the $9,235 doesn't include everything, there is also $1,020 for egg freezing costs (not including the ongoing fees), $600 for the anaesthetist for the collection, hospital costs (thankfully my health insurance covers) and around $95 for the fertility drugs themselves.
It's also important to point out that I withdrew money from my Super to fund the fertility treatment. I received enough to cover the fertility and freezing fees for a single cycle ($10,255) but as mine is medically necessitated, I get back roughly $5,000 from Medicare, so this thankfully is covering most of both cycles.
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