Money Diaries

A Week In Regional Victoria On A $222,000 Joint Income

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 team lead who makes $72,000 and spends some of her money this week on bagels and cream cheese.
Occupation: Team Lead
Industry: Healthcare Admin
Age: 33
Location: South West Victoria
My Salary: $72,000
My Husband's Salary: $150,000, plus super (So about $165,000 total, plus a car and phone. He salary sacrifices the highest percentage so it substantially drops his net salary).
Net Worth: $1.1 million (My home is currently valued at $1.1m (we bought it for just under $800,000 two years ago — house prices in Australia are insane), $120,000 in joint shares, $15,000 in personal shares, $85,000 in my superannuation, $150,000 in my husband's superannuation, $5,000 in my savings account, and a car valued at $45,000.)
Debt: $407,000 remaining on my mortgage.
My Paycheque Amount (Fortnightly): $1.925. I put a $250 each paycheque towards additional super contributions.
My Husband's Paycheque Amount (Weekly): $1,900. He contributes the maximum amount of superannuation, which is $27,000 a year.
Pronouns: She/Her
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Monthly Expenses

Mortgage Repayment: $1,620. We live in a four-bed, three-bath split level home.
Utilities: Approximately $215 a month for water, gas and electricity.
Council Tax: $620 per quarter
Childcare: $560 for one child/four days a week. We receive an 80% subsidy from the government.
Before School Care: $112. This is for three mornings each week. We receive a 50% subsidy from the government.
School Fees (Annually): $300. Thanks, great local public education!
Netflix, Paramount, Kayo, Stan: $15. We pay for one of these and share with the family in return for their login.
Cleaner: $180 for two three-hour sessions.
Swimming Lessons: $400 each term (for one weekly lesson per child).
Health Insurance: $175 for mid-level family hospital cover.
Soccer Registration For My Child: $220 per year
Spotify: $18, shared with my husband.
Phone: $200 a year, prepaid.
Gym: $1,800 a year. I try to attend four to seven classes a week at my bougie gym, so this feels like a steal.
My Husband's Golf Membership: $2,000 a year
Insurance (Home and Car): $2,300 a year
Car Registration: $700 a year
We pay for almost everything on our credit card because we want airline reward points, but we pay this off every month. We have never paid anything in interest, and this system works well for us.

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

I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's degree in Data Science. My Master's vaguely helped in my role, but I think I would have been promoted without it. My degrees were funded through HECS.
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I work in healthcare administration despite not having a healthcare background, which is why I believe that I could have achieved this position without my Master's degree. I had a fantastic time at university and travelled internationally every year. As a poor uni student, I'd often have two or three jobs going at once, in addition to Youth Allowance. I have no regrets! My husband studied a trade so he has no debt there.

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

My mother raised five kids as a single parent on a part-time wage. She had little to no child support, so it goes without saying that I was raised without a lot of money. I have memories of our house always being in a state of disrepair and all six of us sharing one bathroom. But we were raised with an abundance of love and support — to me, that's far more valuable. We were always taught that happiness, mental health, and peace of mind were more important than dollars and cents. To that end, we were taught not to have credit cards or loans — the only good debt was a mortgage.
My mother is now retired and owns her house outright (although it is still in a state of disrepair). She spends her day pottering around in the garden, but she's the happiest she's ever been.

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

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As soon as I turned the legal working age, I started working at a cafe. Since then, I always held at least one job, usually in hospitality. It wasn't until I graduated from university when I was 23 that I got my first real career job.

Did you worry about money growing up?

Yes, but it was mainly worrying about whether I'd have money to go to a party on the weekend or get lunch with my friends. I was never worried about having a roof over my head, even though I knew money was tight. Luckily, Australia's welfare system provided a great safety net, as well as decent public education and free healthcare.

Do you worry about money now?

Yes and no. I have more money and assets than I ever dreamed possible when I was younger. But I also feel a lot of pressure and worry about whether we’re making the best possible financial decisions. My husband has only recently moved to a larger salary, so while we're in a good position on paper, we're still more asset-rich than cash-rich. Knowing we have very little debt while still raising a young family and me working part-time causes me less stress. 
I do worry about what kind of future my two children will face with property prices being where they are. We have put a deposit on a block of land which took out a fair chunk of our savings ($40,000). We plan on building an investment property and using this asset to help out our children in future.
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My husband, M., and I merged bank accounts when we first moved in together. He has always outearned me, but we've always seen it as 'our' money. We currently try to live off his income and save mine, however, we’ve had a few big-ticket items that have emptied our savings over the past few years. In the last five years, we've moved three times, bought land, invested heavily in shares (over $100,000), and bought a dog at the start of this year ($3,000). As such, our savings account is looking pretty depleted, but we’re hoping this will pick up again soon.

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

I became financially responsible for myself when I graduated from university at 22. I lived on-residence during university, only moving back home during the holidays. My mother would always let me and my family move back into the family home in a worst-case scenario.
My in-laws are in the upper-middle class and would definitely offer to help financially if we needed it, but we would really have to be in dire straits to ask for any sort of financial help from our parents.

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

No.

Day 1

5:45am — My alarm goes off for my boxing class at the gym. I aim to go to six classes a week — boxing is my favourite class to start the week with! Because I set out my clothes last night, I quickly get ready in the dark and pick up my bag. I drive 10 minutes to the class, getting there in time for my 6:15am start.
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7:15am — I sneak in back home so I don’t alert my two children, F. (five years old) and S. (almost three years old). I quickly shower and throw on some old jeans and a comfy jumper. I double cleanse my sweaty face with The Ordinary Squalane Solution and Endota Spa face wash. Once I’m out of the shower, I chuck on Go-To's Much Brighter Skin Vitamin C serum, an Endota moisturiser and Mecca’s To Save Face sunscreen. M. gets the kids up, dressed, and breakfasted, and makes F.'s lunch. He leaves with S. and does daycare drop off on the way.
8:00am — I log on for work later than usual. I manage a team of specialist healthcare administrators. It’s a very niche area — I don't have a healthcare background, just exceptional administrative and data skills. I'm underpaid for my role, but as you’ll see this week, I have great flexibility and a supportive team. To me, this is worth more than a bump in salary. We moved to a hybrid schedule during the pandemic, so I work two days a week from home and two in the office. I currently work an eight-day fortnight, which gives me one day at home with S. It's a nice balance. I make a coffee and toast a bagel with cream cheese while reading over emails and seeing what’s ahead for the day. 
8:45am — I do the school drop off for F., then it's back to work! I have a few Monday morning status check-ins and some training sessions to organise. 
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12:00pm — Take our two dogs for a lunchtime run around the lake, which is a few minutes from our house. I have a quick lunch of heated up chilli pesto pasta from the night before.
12:45pm — Back to it! Half of my team has been out with actual influenza (my own personal bugbear is people saying they have 'the flu' when all they really have is a bad cold) and Covid cases are going crazy, so I text my manager and let her know I’ll be working from home this week. I do not want those germs. I work on pulling some reports and cleaning up some data before building a story around the results for my senior leadership team. 
3:30pm — Leave for school and daycare pick up. My work is extremely flexible in terms of work/life balance, and my team is all made up of working mothers with young children. We are all very supportive of the 'family first, work second' mantra, while still ensuring we get all our work done. I’m definitely a 'quality over quantity' manager. 
4:00pm — I get home, unpack the bags, and clean lunchboxes. I change F. and S. into warm clothes and bundle the dogs for another chilly walk around the lake. We stomp in mud, find sticks and generally just meander around for a bit. 
5:00pm — Head home. The kids watch some TV while I prep dinner for them and fold some laundry. I'm a very low maintenance cook, and I keep it simple and easy for them. We used to have family dinner every night, but the constant battles about what they wanted to eat versus what the adults wanted to eat wore me down. We've gone back to two separate dinners. They have pasta with some defrosted sauce from the freezer — a Jamie Oliver seven vegetable sauce with mince and lentils that M. batch cooked awhile back. He tends to try and batch cook meals at the weekend to freeze and reheat during the week — things like lasagne, meatballs and quiches. It's his way of pitching in when he can’t be at home. 
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6:00pm — M. gets home and plays with the kids and does their bathtime while I tidy the house and prep some vegetables for our dinner. He started a new role this financial year which was a significant step up in salary, but it also means that there are higher expectations about how many hours he needs to work. He was hesitant about taking the role as it meant I would have to put more hours in with the kids and the house, but we talked it through and decided we'd see how it went. We would not have gone for it if my work was not so flexible. 
7:00pm — Book and bedtime for F. and S. I read them three stories and give them a kiss goodnight. M. starts dinner for us — a fish stir fry from our Marley Spoon box. When M. got his promotion, one of the first things to go was shopping for groceries and meal planning. Now, we order from either Marley Spoon or HelloFresh for four dinners a week. Deciding what to eat for dinner and doing the shopping was the bane of my existence, so I'm happy to outsource that to someone else. I fold more laundry while we chat about our day, and then settle in for our nightly viewing of The Last Kingdom (destiny is all!). We really like watching shows together, but really struggle to find something we both enjoy, so we’re very happy to come across this drama. 
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10:30pm — I check on the kids while M. takes the dogs out for one last quick walk. I do my nighttime routine which is a lactic cleanser, hyaluronic acid serum and a face oil. Brush my teeth, jump into bed, and I'm asleep by 11pm.
Daily Total: $0

Day 2

6:15am — Kids are up and about. M. gets up, showers and leaves for an early start as it’s my day at home with S. 
7:00am — Breakfast for me and the kids — cereal for them, a bagel and coffee for me. Then they get dressed and ready while I jump in the shower. As I didn’t work out this morning, I just rinse my face with warm water and then follow on with my vitamin C serum, moisturiser and sunscreen combo. I chuck on some old jeans and a gym long sleeve shirt. The kids watch a bit of TV before school while I stack the dishwasher, feed the dogs, and pack F.’s lunch. 
8:45am — Out the door to drop F off at school. While we're there, S. plays on the school playground.
9:15am — Head to Kmart. S. is in that awkward stage in between sizes so we need some new clothes and winter gear for daycare. F. also needs some new socks, pyjamas, and winter gear. We're normally quite good at keeping hand-me-downs for S., but we have nothing in their size. I end up spending $195 on clothes, gumboots, and socks for them. $195
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10:00am — Head to the supermarket for a top-up of milk, sourdough,  toothpaste, chicken nuggets and some frozen fish. I also grab some avocados and apples. $26
10:45am — Get home and realise we are running late for S.’s swimming lessons, so I quickly get changed and drive five minutes to the pool.
11:30am — Swimming is done! I have a nice chat to the other mums while we're standing in the water singing songs and blowing some bubbles. 
12:00pm — I head home and have a quick shower with S. I make him some lunch and pop on Peppa Pig for a few minutes while I tidy the house and empty the dishwasher. My mum pops in to say hi on her way out to a lunch, so I make us both a coffee. S. needs a nap after swimming, so I put him down and then make some lunch — smashed avo on toast with balsamic vinegar and bacon. I also order next week's meal kits — $97 for four dinners. I realise that one of my dogs has chewed through both my runners and the remote for the TV, so I order replacements ($230 for the runners, and $22 for the remote). We also need a new water filter for the coffee machine, so I order some of those too ($46). $395
2:30pm — S. is awake! We potter around the house until it's time for school pick up.
3:30pm — School pick up! F. tells me he was kicked in the face while playing footy at school, but seems quite upbeat about it? He wants to play on the playground with some classmates after the bell, and so does S. I end up staying for about an hour chatting with some other parents while they run around.
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4:30pm — I head home and quickly run in to grab coats and the dogs, making our way to the dog park. I run into my younger sister with her two dogs, so we chat about the upcoming election for 20 minutes while the dogs and kids run around like crazy. 
5:00pm — Head home, unpack the bags and clean lunchboxes. I also fill in a form for school, before getting dinner ready for the kids — homemade tomato and basil soup with mashed potato and grated cheese. This was an ultimate comfort meal for me growing up, but my kids are not fans. We get through with a combo of threats and bribes. 
6:30pm — M. gets home and does play and bathtime, getting the kids into their pyjamas and their teeth brushed. I head into their bedroom to read some books and tuck them in while M. feeds the dogs and starts dinner — spicy chicken and rice. We split a few beers to go with the spicy dinner and watch some more episodes of The Last Kingdom
10:30pm — Head up to bed. M. takes the bins out and takes the dogs out for one last sniff around. I pack my bag for the gym, do my skincare and check on the kids. 
Daily Total: $616

Day 3

5:45am — Alarm goes off. I get up and head to the gym for another boxing class. I would normally head into work from the gym and shower there, but I'm working from home in an attempt to avoid the flu cases circling my area. 
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7:00am — Class is done and I head home. M. is still asleep as the kids decided not to wake him when they woke up, and are snuggled on the couch watching TV instead. We have not had to set alarms in almost 5 years but may need to start now. A quick rush around to get everyone dressed, breakfasted and where they need to be. 
8:00am — M. leaves to drop S. at daycare and F. at before-school care. I hop in the shower, have a quick wash and do my skincare routine. I pull on some activewear and a big jumper as it’s freezing outside and I’m cold. I have my usual breakfast of coffee and a toasted bagel with cream cheese and log onto work. I have back-to-back meetings all morning and need to cascade some information to the team, as well as check some results to get some outcomes for next week. 
12:00pm — Take the dogs for a 25-minute run around the lake. Drop dogs home and head out for my payday treat. Growing up, every second Thursday was 'lunch order day' where we could order food from the canteen. This was considered a real luxury in my house, and I continued this trend well into adulthood. Now, I get to buy lunch once a fortnight (well, I try to keep it to once a fortnight). So today I head to my favourite wrap place and grab a chicken and bacon wrap with a side of chips ($17). I text M. for a little bit, then take a pitstop on the way home to buy bread, milk and blu-tack ($14). $31
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1:00pm — Back at work. I get through some boring admin and leadership tasks until I knock off.
3:30pm —  School pick-up time. Then, we head to F.'s swimming lessons. He goes in by himself and there's luckily no swimming for me. While I'm there, I try desperately to avoid eye contact with my high school ex-boyfriend, whose daughter does swimming at the same time. I’m awful at small talk so I ignored him the first time we saw each other, but now we're stuck pretending we don't know who each other is. Oops.
4:30pm — Out of the pool and pop F. into a quick shower. We head home and I chuck on some laundry, do his school reader, and get ready for his soccer practice. M.’s mother picks S. up from daycare and takes him to their house, where he'll have dinner until M. picks him up after work.
5:30pm — Soccer practice for S. 
6:30pm — Practice is finished and we head home. M. has already picked up S. and done his bath, brushed his teeth, and popped him in his pyjamas! F. has a speedy dinner of leftover pasta and has a quick shower before they jump into bed for books and bedtime. They share a room and have bunk beds by choice. We recently went and stayed with family interstate where they slept in bunk beds. They were obsessed and begged us to be able to share a room and have bunks.
7:30pm — I cook up a beef and quinoa salad while M. continues some paperwork. We watch some A-League (soccer) while we eat, and then I read my book, The Atlas Six, while M. catches up on the TV show, Halo
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10:30pm — Nighttime routine and hit the hay.
Daily Total: $31

Day 4

6:00am — Alarm goes off for my Pilates HIIT class, so I get dressed and head to the gym. 
7:00am — M., S. and F. are gone by the time I get home, leaving morning routine debris across the house. I quickly shower and pull on some black leggings and an oversized jumper. I open my laptop and start replying to emails while I make my usual coffee and bagel. I do a quick tidy-up before our cleaner comes for the day. She sweeps and mops the floors, changes the bedsheets, detail cleans the kitchen and bathrooms and folds the laundry.
8:00am — Work, work, work. I text with some friends about a hens party we are throwing soon, and organise a sleepover for F. at his cousin's house next weekend. I work on reconciling some accounts and allocating some workflows. 
12:00pm — Cleaner is gone and I relish the cleanliness of the house for a bit. I take the dogs for a quick lunchtime walk and make the usual avocado on toast for lunch. I also hard boil some eggs for F. and S. to snack on later. 
1:00pm — Back to work. I have to call some doctor's rooms to follow up on outstanding accounts — I’ve been putting it off for too long. I finally get it done, and it's luckily not as tedious as I had anticipated.
3:30pm — I log off and head out for school and kinder pickup. Both kids seem a bit tired, so we skip our afternoon dog walk and chill out at home. We play some 'keepy-uppy' with a balloon (thanks, Bluey), and do some 'floor is lava' games. When 5pm hits, I turn on the TV for them while I prep some pulled pork tacos. I'm heading out tonight, so I keep some aside for M. for when he gets home. 
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6:30pm — M. gets home and inhales his dinner. I hand the kids off to him and jump in the shower to get ready for dinner. I’m celebrating a late Mother’s Day and my sister finishing her degree. I dress in a white lacy dress, a black denim jacket, black tights and black boots. I take them [mum and sister] to one of my favourite restaurants that they’d never been to before. We get the sharing menu and a nice bottle of Pinot Gris. I treat them and pay, it's $250 all up. It’s so nice to be able to treat my mother and my younger sister. As previously mentioned, we didn’t have a lot growing up, so now that I have more of a disposable income, I like being able to buy nice things for my mum and siblings wherever possible. $250
10:30pm — Head home. M. and the dogs are already in bed. I check in on the kids and do a quick nighttime routine, hopping into bed by 11:30pm.
Daily Total: $250

Day 5

6:30am — No gym this morning! I enjoy a bit of a sleep-in before the kids join us. 
7:00am — Up and at 'em! Feed kids breakfast, get them dressed, and make sure everyone has what they need for the day. M. does the daycare and before-school care drop-off. I shower and have my usual breakfast before logging on for work at 7:45am to get started on some development plans for my team. 
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12:00pm — I head off for a quick Pilates reformer session at the gym. I have to pay for parking as it's during the middle of the day. $3.20
1:00pm— I'm out of leftovers and avo toast at home, so on the way back, I pick up a chicken and salad sub from Subway. I also grab two cookies for the kids for pick-up time. $11.60
3:30pm — I work through until school and daycare pickup. When I see my kids, I surprise them with their Subway cookies. They're very happy with them.  
4:00pm — We head home, get changed into warm clothes, and head out to potter around the lake with the dogs. When we get home, I make an early dinner of mac and cheese with a side of frozen peas and corn. After dinner, I pop on Peter Pan for us to watch. M. gets home early and we watch it together as a family, snuggled on the couch. 
7:00pm — Bath and bedtime. We all pile into S.’s bed and read a few books together. 
7:30pm — M. and I crack open a bottle of wine that he bought on his way home from work ($35, plus a case of beer for $45). I peruse the cupboard and work out what to make for the kids' dinner for the next few days. I have a look on Woolies and submit a click-and-collect order for tomorrow. It comes to $168 and includes fruit, milk, bread, cereal, peanut butter, nappies for S., snacks for F.’s school lunch, some frozen vegetables, yoghurt, chicken tenderloins, potatoes, cheese, bagels, and cream cheese. M. cooks dinner for us — our last Marley Spoon recipe. $248
8:00pm — We eat, drink and watch some AFL. M. and I support different teams — mine is going exceptionally well after decades of misery and disappointment. At the same time, M.’s team has experienced amazing success over the past 10 years and is now languishing on the bottom half of the ladder. Ha!
11:00pm — I check the kids, M. takes the dogs outside. We do our little nighttime routine then hit the hay. Goodnight!
Daily Total:

Day 6

7:30am — I get somewhat of a sleep-in on the weekend as M. gets up with the boys. He brings me my usual breakfast in bed before he leaves. 
8:00am — M. leaves for golf and the kids and I talk about what we will do for the day. We potter around for the morning before taking the dogs for a walk around the lake. 
9:30am — We drop the dogs home and hop into the car to visit a playground. We stay there for a while and then get hot chocolates for the kids ($9) on the way home. We pick up the click-and-collect order on the way back. $9
11:30am — The kids have lunch and play some games while I tidy the house and do laundry. Then, I cook some two-minute noodles for myself for lunch. I haven’t had noodles for years until M. grabbed some at the supermarket recently. I read they have zero nutritional value, but they take me back to being a poor uni student, which is nice.
1:00pm — The kids love to make smoothies, so whip out some fruit and make a mess. Then, we pop some popcorn and watch the Paw Patrol movie as it's cold and wet outside.
3:00pm — M. comes home. The weather looks a little better, so he takes the kids outside to mow the lawn, do some gardening and kick some balls around. 
4:00pm — I head to another Pilates HIIT class, picking a friend up on the way. We hang around after class chatting for a bit, which is really lovely.
5:30pm — I stop at the shops to buy some bits for dinner — frozen chips,  brioche buns and some salad items ($14). When I get home, I take a shower and pull on some comfy trackies and ugg boots. $14
6:00pm — M. makes the kids bacon, eggs, baked beans and cheesy toast for dinner. We are firm believers in a good breakfast-for-dinner scenario every so often, and the kids love it. I pop them in their bath and brush their teeth while M. tidies the kitchen and takes the rubbish out.
7:00pm — M. does book and bedtime while I drink some more wine and watch Outlander on the couch. Jamie is my hall pass. 
7:30pm — M. cooks us a burger with chips for dinner. We enjoy it with some wine and a beer (or three), flicking between the AFL and soccer all evening.
11:00pm — I do my usual skincare routine, check on the kids, and take the dogs out, before heading to bed.
Daily Total: $23

Day 7

6:30am — This morning is a lazy one. The kids come in for a cuddle and seem content with keeping quiet for the time being.
7:30am — Up and breakfast time. I have my usual coffee and bagel, while M. cooks poached eggs on toast for himself and the kids.
8:00am — The kids get their bikes and they ride around the lake while M. and I walk with the dogs. S. is still on a balance bike but it speeds up quite easily, so we’re constantly jogging to keep pace. 
9:00am — We head home and get ready for F.'s soccer match. I stop on the way to get oranges for halftime and cut them up at the venue ($6). He plays under 7s and they don’t keep score. He celebrates every goal, even the opposition teams, which is very sweet. $6
11:00am — We drop by M.’s parents' house to say hello. We pick up some bread and snacks from M.’s father's work as he works at a gourmet food shop, which is handy.
12:00pm — We head home with the kids for lunch. I tidy up and have some yoghurt, muesli and fruit for lunch. M. takes them outside to jump on the trampoline. I read more of my book and text some friends about possibly heading away for a girl's weekend in the future. 
2:00pm — We laze around the house for the rest of the afternoon. I try to get ready for the week ahead by checking the calendar for plans, organising the school and daycare bags for Monday, packing soccer and swimming bags, and putting another load of laundry on. Phew.
4:00pm — I put another movie on for the kids — this time, it's Aladdin. M. and I watch a game of AFL and plan our upcoming interstate holiday. We're also running low on coffee beans, so I place an order from a semi-local coffee house — 2kgs of their premium beans delivered express for $90. This will last us about two months. I also place an order for dog food. We buy a giant 20kg of food from Pet Circle as one of our dogs has a wheat allergy. It costs $192, but will last us about three months. $282
5:30pm — I make the kids vegetable fritters and sweet potato wedges for dinner. For dessert, they have some Greek yoghurt with honey and fruit on top. M. does their bath.
7:00pm — Head up to their bedrooms for books and bedtime. M. tidies up the garden and the deck and feeds the dogs. 
7:30pm — I make some simple pizzas for dinner for M. and I — store-bought crust with bocconcini, cherry tomatoes and freshly cut basil from the garden. After they come out fresh from the oven, I sprinkle on some olive oil and fresh chilli flakes. We watch two episodes of The Last Kingdom together. Side note: why is every second character called Athel-something?!
10:30pm — Same nighttime routine — check the kids, M. takes the dogs outside for the last time, skincare, and gym clothes ready for tomorrow morning. Good night!
Daily Total: $288

Anything else you'd like to add or flag?

This was a pretty accurate reflection of our weekly routine. We definitely spend a bit on convenience (such as meal kits and a cleaner), however, these purchases ease my mental load, allowing me to enjoy my free time more. There were some extra purchases such as the winter clothes and new runners, but it’s quite typical that something like that would pop up during the week.
The majority of our assets and wealth came from property development and pure luck with real estate. M. purchased a property on his own in 2014 in a then unloved suburb. It was quite a large block, so we toyed with the idea of subdividing and renovating it. When we eventually took the plunge in 2016, we sold one of the houses and moved into the other for a year, eventually selling that too. We ended up lucking out both times, turning in over $500,000 in profit.
When we bought our current home, we did so with the intention of staying here for at least 10 years, especially due to its proximity to great local public schools. Because we're away from the city, our house value skyrocketed during the pandemic.
While this process was great in hindsight, it was a lot of hard work along the way. We had two children and one miscarriage during all of this. Plus, M. was essentially working two jobs (his actual job and then building the second house). I’m glad we did it though as we've managed to build some real wealth. That being said, we have no plans to repeat the process, other than in our future investment property.
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