Money Diaries

A Week In Perth, Western Australia, On A $290,900 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 penny.
Currency in Australian Dollars.
Occupation: Human Resources
Industry: Mining
Age: 34
Location: Perth, Australia
My Salary: $170,413
Husband's Salary: $120,478
Husband's Annual Bonus: $12,000
My Annual Bonus: $80,318
My Annual Shares Scheme/Long Term Bonus: $53,545
My Paycheque Amount (1x/month): $14,200
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses

Rent: $2,317 (Split with my husband, and I split all the below costs with my husband)
Utilities: $268
Netflix/Amazon Prime/Spotify: $27
Health Insurance: $0 (It's covered by my company)
Internet/Mobile Phones: $190
Superannuation: 3.5% of our salaries (The company contributes 11.5% of base for each of us)
Investment Properties: $1,204
Pilates Membership: $89
Les Mills On Demand App: $11
Security/Alarm: $40
Lawn Mowing/Cleaner: $200
DropBox: $13
Car Insurance (annual): $910
Car Registration (annual): $937

Day One

3:35am — I wake up and walk across to the camp gym. I use the treadmill and watch an episode of Suits on Netflix. I head back to my room, shower and head to the mess (translate from mining speak, the dining hall). All of our meals are supplied up here because we aren't allowed to leave the site or camp, and even if we did, there is nothing around for miles and miles. I pack a salad for lunch, take some fruit and make a coffee, then drive the tiny little distance of about three minutes to the mine site for work. My shift starts at 6 a.m. every day, but I usually get there earlier to attend department pre-shift meetings and chat with night shift workers who are finishing their shift.
6:30am — Eating my breakfast at my desk (bircher muesli I brought from home), I do my online food shopping. I love going grocery shopping in the real world, but I find I always spend so much more when I am confronted with snacks and sales. I shop for me and my husband for the upcoming weekend as we are both home. This week I get all the staples — milk, veggies, fruit, chicken breast, tuna, yogurt, protein balls and bars, oats, dried pigs ears (these are a dog treat!), dishwasher tablets, Twix, and we pay 80 cents per plastic bag now, so whatever amount of them came in the food order. I arrange for it to be delivered Thursday night. $147
12:00pm — Meetings, emails, and discussions for the rest of the day. I break for lunch, which is my packed food from this morning. I usually need something sweet after meals so I head to the charity chocolate box. I avoid keeping chocolate at my desk so if I really want some, I have to go buy some from these boxes. As mentioned, there isn't a shop I can just nip out to, so this is my only option! I buy one for me and one for my coworker (Giant Freddo Frogs, for anyone asking). $0.90
6:00pm — The rest of the day continues like normal, lots of meetings. I leave the site (our shifts are 12 hours) and head back to the village. As a manager, I have a car, but most people catch a bus or walk if it's not too hot (today reached 45 degrees, yesss Aussie summer!). I drive myself and my colleague to our rooms and head to the mess for dinner. I spend the meal discussing the recent food quality at the mess and debating if the dessert bar is worth it tonight (spoiler alert, it is not) before heading to my room about 7:30. I shower then read on my Kindle before bed. I am reading A Beginners Guide to Freefall by Andy Abramowitz and love it!
Daily Total: $147.90

Day Two

3:30am — Repeat of yesterday, except today I do a workout from my Les Mills app, BodyPump, which is an hour-long strength workout with high reps...walking will be tough today! I head back to my room, shower, and I'm out for the day. The best part about my job is that I have to wear specific clothes provided by the workplace, for safety reasons. They are by no means sexy (high visibility yellow long sleeve shirts, navy blue drill pants, steel-capped boots), but I never have to pick what to wear or pay for work clothes! Out the door by 5:20 to get to work.
7:45am — Breakfast is a banana, peanut butter, and protein powder smoothie. I also have a coffee from the machines at work, which aren't amazing but get the job done.
12:30pm — During my lunch "break," I browse Amazon and I buy a new phone case and screen protector since mine are both useless now. I also get distracted and buy a new watch band for my smartwatch. They are so cheap and handy and interchangeable. $37.50
3:30pm — A day of spreadsheets and numbers, so I listen to Spotify off my laptop. I mix it up with Lizzo's album and whatever plays from "Australia's Top Hits." I resist the chocolate box and eat a muesli bar and crackers at my desk that I already have up here.
6:30pm — It's "fly out night" so everyone usually goes to the wet mess, which is the term used for the bar/tavern on the premises of the camp. Drinks are cheap here because the company isn't allowed to make a profit from the sale of alcohol, so I buy four mid-strength beers for me and a coworker to have. I still plan on getting up at the crack of dawn for the gym so only have these two, talk to some colleagues, and head back to my room about 7:30 for bed. $10.70
8:00pm — I have cleverly figured out that rather than hauling my beauty and skincare products to and from work each week, I should just buy doubles of everything. So I have both on-site and at home serums from The Ordinary, Dermalogica, and a few others. I recently started using a dark spot corrector for some pigmentation on my face, but it's really hard up here in the Aussie sun to protect your skin!
Daily Total: $48.20

Day Three

3:45am — I go to the gym for another run and Suits session. If it sounds like I go to the gym nearly every day, I pretty much do because my job is long sedentary hours. I get back to my room and get ready for work. As mentioned, I use a variety of different skincare pieces, day time calls for epic sunscreen. I also wear a small amount of makeup up here. I wear concealer from NYX, mineral powder from Nude By Nature, and mascara. Whatever mascara I happen to have, I am not fussy.
8:30am — Today is "fly-out day," so I'm heading home! It also means the day is shorter as I have a plane to catch. Everything is hectic on these days. Breakfast is slightly later due to people issues (I am in HR, after all, my job is mostly people issues — good and bad), so I have the same smoothie and some dark chocolate. It's dark. It's healthy.
2:30pm — I depart the site for the airport, with 99 other people, on several buses. It's hot, we're all tired, and ready to fly back to life. Even though I've only been up here for four days this swing, some have been here for eight or even 14, so everyone is pretty keen to get back to Perth!
5:30pm — After landing, my husband, R., and I hunt to find wherever I parked my car at 4 a.m. on Monday morning in the giant car park. We pay for parking as we exit. $87
6:00pm — On the drive home we have our fortnightly rituals. Because we both work together, we are allowed to bitch and moan about work for the whole drive home, but not after that. It's a good way to separate work and home life. Another part of the ritual is "The takeaway fight." We drive home while trying to decide what to get to eat. I try to convince R. we should have something healthy like Subway, but somehow we end up with fried chicken and chips. I only eat the chips and never order my own. It also comes with Pepsi that neither of us wants, but will take home for later. $17
6:30pm — The most exciting part of the day — we pick up our dogs from my mum. I miss their stupid wrinkly faces so much when we're away! We get home to our food delivery ordered a few days ago, put that away, and cuddle with the dogs in front of Netflix. We are both always so tired on fly-in night so we watch whatever we land on, and head to bed about 9.
Daily Total: $104

Day Four

7:45am — I head to my Pilates class (included in monthly expenses) and get coffees for R. and me on my way home. One of the things I miss most when I'm at work (aside from the dogs, normal air temperature, and open-toed shoes) is good coffee. I am obsessed with nitro cold brew, so I get one of them and a skinny latte for R. $9.90
10:00am — Friday is both of our "get shit done" day so we can spend the rest of the weekend together doing whatever we want. I head to my local mall and use a gift card at Decjuba for four shirts. Oops. I was supposed to buy a dress for a wedding with that. I then head to Target, buy god knows what for the house (I think I bought another fake plant?), and two new bras. $89.75
12:30pm — Rather than heading home to make lunch, I buy sushi for both R. and me and take that back to eat. Then I take the dogs for a walk. Head home, then, unfortunately, log back into work a bit. It never ends! $14.75
5:00pm — Another of our fun "rituals" is Friday night craft beer and cheese! We head out in the afternoon and get a selection of craft beers we haven't tried and random fancy cheeses and sit and do nothing but chill out. We both work stupid hours and random rosters, so it's good to do nothing! Dinner is also another fun thing we do on lots of Fridays, which is homemade pizzas. We make the dough in the afternoon, let it settle, then roll it out and create whatever we want. I have the classic margarita and R. makes some random spicy meat situation. $80.40
8:00pm — We continue our Festivity of Chill in front of Netflix on the couch with two snoring dogs. We can't agree on what to watch (also, I may have binge-watched anything remotely good without him so have to lie and pretend I don't "feel" like watching You). We rent the Joker movie. It's good, but very intense! $5.35
Daily Total: $200.10

Day Five

8:30am — Up for Pilates. R. does his Saturday long run and comes home sweaty sweaty sweaty. After we both shower and feed the dogs, we head out for brunch. I go through phases of loving brunch and wanting to eat allll the poached eggs on avo toast in the world, to really hating it and its overpriced fanciness and preferring to eat at home. This week, I want me some $20 avo eggs, please. And Coffee. Always nitro cold brew. $30.50
12:00pm— We are in the process of fixing our current house so we can sell it, as we are building our dream forever home. We head to Bunnings to get a bunch of home stuff — paint pots, plants, tools, things that do things that R. swears I don't need to understand, etc. And, we can't leave Bunnings without R. buying a sausage sizzle. I stopped eating red meat about three years ago and only miss three things — my mum's spaghetti bolognese, my dad's spare ribs, and the Great Bunnings Sausage Sizzle. After Bunnings, we head to some display homes to get more ideas for what we want to build. $160.70
4:30pm — Saturday night! Tonight we are going out to our friends' house for dinner, so we buy a bottle of NZ Sav Blanc to take, as well as some nibbles and cheese and dips we already have. Our friends have just had a baby, so we seem to spend lots of time hanging out at people's houses these days. Don't get me wrong, I like their kids, but god, I want a night out dancing and doing shots and eating kebabs on the way home at 4 a.m. I say this now, but give me two white wines and I'll probably have a hangover! $16
7:30pm— We order pizza because there are eight of us and it's the easiest communal food. We all chip in and get a variety delivered from Uber Eats. $14.70
10:30pm — Slightly drunker than either of us want to be, so we catch an Uber home and #insertstandardMDsexstoryhere. $13.40
Daily Total: $235.40

Day Six

9:00am — Slight sleep in and take the dogs to get coffee and to the dog beach. R. opts out of this one. I head home after and have a banana and fruit toast. $15
11:00am — I'm bored on a Sunday so I feel like treating myself and get my nails and eyebrows done. I rarely do this, and it comes out of my splurge account of my own money. R. and I both give ourselves allowances each month of $500 to spend on whatever we want, no questions asked by the other person (thanks, Barefoot Investor!). I usually spend mine on drinks and meals out with friends on weekends he isn't home, botox, clothes, and skincare. I think he spends his on sneakers, fitness gear, and BBQ stuff. Somewhere in the day, I do house chores — several loads of washing, clean up dog poo, tidy the garage that we use as a gym, dishes etc. We have a cleaner that comes twice a month but not a magic fairy that tidies up after us. $60
4:00pm — On Sunday, we often catch up with my parents as they love to socialize and we share custody of the pooches. We head to a local tavern that is dog-friendly and watch live music, drink beers, and eat fried food. Sundays suck for me because I fly out on Monday mornings so it's an early night. We head home about 7 and I shower and go to bed pretty much straight away. I read an MD before forcing myself to sleep by doing a sort of self-meditation. I used to suffer from severe insomnia but a hypnotherapist and anti-anxiety meds have helped me a lot. Wake up time isn't far away! $80.75
Daily Total: $155.75

Day Seven

4:20am — Normally if R. is home he would drive me to the airport but I know he has a big day ahead and we had a busy-ish weekend so I catch an Ola (Australian rideshare) to the airport. I feel like I just left! I check-in and wait in the lounge where we get snacks and coffee. I don't have anything because as soon as I get on the plane I zonk out straight away for the whole flight. $42.15
9:00am — When I've landed, R. messages me to say he bought a hedge trimmer for the evil bamboo taking over our backyard. Cool. I hope that means he will be the one using it and not me! $221
12:00pm — Fly-in day is not fun. I have lunch we picked up from the mess when we landed. Coffee coffee coffee. I have to tell someone they are about to be fired today. This always happens over the weekend and I fly back into Shittown. Not the most fun part of my job but mining is a very hardcore industry focused heavily on safety and standards, so people really need to behave!
7:00pm — I head to my room at the earliest possible time I can finish. After showering and skincare, I browse my Kindle store for a new read, I get Grown Ups by Marian Keyes. That's two non-scary serial killer type books in a row, go me! Magnesium, fish oil, and lights out by 7:35. $16
Daily Total: $279.15
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