Money Diaries

A Week In South East Queensland on a $100,000 AUD 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.
Occupation: Teacher
Industry: Education 
Age: 36
Location: Gatton, South East Queensland
Salary: $100,000 combined ($90,000 teaching salary and approx. $10,000 from my side job)
Net Worth: $229,000 ($70,000 in home equity, $143,000 in super, $9,500 in a dedicated savings account, and $6,600 in another savings account that's earmarked for upcoming expenses).
Debt: No other debt, except my mortgage which has $225k left on it. I finally paid off my HECS loan earlier this year — yay!  I do have a credit card but I transfer money directly into it when I use it. 
Paycheque Amount (fortnightly): $2,504 from teaching. Anywhere from $100 — $700 from my side job.
Pronouns: She/her
Advertisement

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage: $1,047. I transfer $550 each pay. I live alone with five (yes, five!) furry freeloading cats, referred to as C1-C5.
Netflix: $9.99
Gym Membership: $54
Savings: $500
Union Fees: $68
Phone: $105
Internet: $89
Car Expenses (Rego, insurance, etc.): $110
Electricity: I put aside $150 a month to cover this.
Private Health Insurance: $130
Coffee Pod Subscription — Urban Brew: $33
Gin Club Subscription: $99 every two months
Christmas Fund (To help cover gifts, travel and incidental expenses): $40
Lawn Mowing: $60
Safety Net: $40 goes towards my 'fire extinguisher' account for unexpected expenses.
Annual Costs
Home & Contents Insurance: $2,140. I set aside $170 per month to cover the annual cost.
Rates: $3,300. I set aside $300 per month to cover annual costs.

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

Yes. I went to university in my late 20s and studied for a Bachelor of Education. I took advantage of HECS/HELP loans to fund this. I finished paying these off earlier this year. Because I worked full time in a retail job while I was at uni, I was earning enough to begin making payments on my loan. It took 10.5 years to pay off — at the time I felt a bit cheated having to pay off a degree that I wasn't even using yet, but now that it's fully paid off it’s a great feeling. During this time I lived alone and was fortunate that my employer allowed me to be creative with using a mixture of holiday pay and unpaid leave to fill the required practical components of my degree, so budgeting was very important.
Advertisement

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

My parents never had dedicated conversations about money with me, but I picked up pretty good expectations and values from them. They were on a much lower income when I was really young, because we lived predominantly off one wage while each of my parents completed their own university degrees. They are much more comfortable now, having worked in their respective fields for over 20 years. During that time, my mother in particular was very frugal and I think this probably influenced my own propensity towards saving over spending.  I was given pocket money as a kid but never remember spending it on a lot. Even when I was very young, I’d rather save. 

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

My first job was babysitting. I allowed my clients to dictate the rate but always felt like I came out on top. By the time I was 15 I had a pretty good client rotation and a good reputation. I remember wanting to use the money to save up for a television for my room. Ironically I was gifted a secondhand one just as I had reached my savings goal. After finishing high school, I got my first full-time job in a large electrical store. I ended up saving most of the money I earned there because I had limited expenses while living at home. I eventually used the money to move overseas to the UK for 3 years.
Advertisement

Did you worry about money growing up?

No. My parents were always able to provide everything I needed, even if I occasionally missed out on some of the things I wanted. Things like brand-name clothes were important to me as a child, but in hindsight, aren't really important at all. I never missed out on school camps and occasional extracurriculars like drama groups, though.

Do you worry about money now?

Yes and no. I live comfortably within my means, but I would like to be able to pay off my house faster, have a better car, and afford nicer things without worrying. I have champagne tastes, but I also like the look of big numbers in my accounts. So although I’d like to have an exciting, new, fancy car, I’m looking at one that's much older that won't deplete my savings too much. I often hold off on frivolous purchases until I can get a good deal rather than buying unnecessarily. 

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

I always wanted to travel rather than go straight to uni and I managed to save enough to move overseas when I was 20, where I became fully financially responsible for myself. However, I moved back in with my parents when I returned a few years later and lived with them for about 12 months before moving out again for good. Apart from free rent, utilities, and food, I’ve paid all my own expenses since finishing school and getting my first full-time job. 
Advertisement

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

No. 

Day 1

4:55am — Wake up as C1 walks across me and starts making biccies on my belly. I fool about on my phone for a bit and then get up to make tea. I usually use my Nespresso and coffee subscription to make morning coffees, but I’ve reduced my intake recently and have returned to starting my day with a cup of T2 English Breakfast. I make a mental note to pause my Urban Brew coffee subscription.
6:30am — I debate going out for breakfast as I’m craving something savoury and I don’t have any bread at home. I check out the online menus for a few places but decide to pass. Take some bacon out of the freezer and make scrambled eggs with bacon and the last few cherry tomatoes. I’ve been talking with an old colleague that I used to work with about supplements she began taking as she ‘got older’. I figure it can’t hurt to try them out and browse through some supplements from Biovea while I eat. My purse is downstairs in the car so I don’t check out for now. 
9:00am — Hop in the shower and wash my hair. I’m super lazy and fortunate enough to only really need to wash my hair once a week. I like to do it in the mornings so it can fully air dry. After getting out, I put a sheet mask on and chill in front of the TV. Today is going to be a lazy day. 
Advertisement
11:00am — Yup, feeling very lazy today. I haven’t really moved off the couch but I decide to make a cup of bone broth to sip while I watch the CrossFit Rouge Invitational on YouTube. Go TiaClaire — that woman is my idol!!!
12:30pm — After making a raw cookie dough recipe I’ve had saved on my phone all week, a work colleague, N., calls asking if I want to go to one of the nearby wineries for lunch. I’m not super feeling it but know I haven’t been very social lately and figure I should make the effort. I change my dress, then quickly throw on some BB cream, bronzer, highlighter, mascara and gloss. We do a wine tasting and share pizza and a bottle of wine. The total comes to $84 but her new boyfriend kindly pays. I offer to send through my share but he insists. 
3:30pm — We end up back at N.’s place for a glass of Pimms and more chats. I stay for about an hour and then say my goodbyes and walk home. I’m so lucky she lives just down the street. 
4:30pm — I'm home and some final cleaning jobs need doing. I empty all my bins and change out the kitty litter as the rubbish is collected tomorrow. I also mop around the cat trays and mop my kitchen too. Because I have my purse with me from today's adventure, I go ahead and purchase the Biovea supplements I was looking at earlier. I get calcium/magnesium/zinc, omega-3 fish oil, melatonin, l-arginine and l-carnitine. The total comes to $148.25 with free shipping. I use my credit card and transfer money straight across from my fire extinguisher account as I’ve been putting a little extra in there knowing this purchase was coming up. I settle down to chill in front of the TV for the night. $148.25
Advertisement
6:15pm — I pop some party pies in the oven to heat up and some green beans on for steaming. Once they’re ready, I sit down to eat and realise the beans are old and yuck. I probably should go heat some more veggies but I’m not really that hungry so I just eat the pies.
7:00pm — Tidy up the kitchen and shut the house down for the night. Four of my cats sleep in my room with me, but C5 gets the house to himself. Occasionally he follows me to bed if he wants to sleep with everyone, but usually, he stays out. Since I wore makeup today, I do a nighttime skin routine (that I’m very inconsistent with). I use The Ordinary squalane cleanser, Sukin toning mist, The Ordinary hyaluronic acid and Glow Lab nighttime moisturiser. 
7:30pm — I have trouble getting to sleep (hence the melatonin purchase earlier) so always put The Big Bang Theory on to play in the background. I find it helps to have something familiar to listen to so my brain is distracted enough to not begin mulling things over. I’ve tried sleep stories and meditation but often find myself paying too much attention so they’re less effective. Debate reading for a bit, but end up working on this money diary for a while instead. C3 comes and curls onto my lap. She’s not known to be overly affectionate, so I enjoy this little treat and then lights out, watch the end of the current episode and am asleep by 8:05pm. 
Advertisement
Daily Total: $148.25

Day 2

4:30am — I can hear the birds chirping but it doesn’t seem as light as I’d like it to be, so I attempt to lie there with my eyes closed and get some more sleep. I’ve always been a morning person, so this attempt lasts about four minutes before I’m up. Once my brain starts going there’s no turning back. I browse social media for half an hour, then hop up and make my usual morning tea. C5 loves to come for a morning snuggle while I drink it, which is one of my favourite parts of the day. 
6:00am — Time to start getting ready. Hop in the shower and do my skincare when I get out. I use Glow Lab Gel Cleanser, Sukin Toning Spray, The Ordinary Buffet, Mario Badescu Cucumber Hydrating Mist, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, The Ordinary Natural Factors Moisturiser and Mecca To Save Face Sunscreen SPF50+. Hot tip: don’t rub your moisturiser in. Press it onto your face and leave it a little thick; you should still see white. Leave it 5-10 minutes to fully absorb, and voila! My skin has never been so soft. I only recently began a skincare routine after reading other diarists, and originally had no idea where to start. Most of my products come from The Ordinary because they’re so affordable and effective for me. I tend to restock every six months or so.
6:40am — I feed the cats, clean out any old food from the fridge and take the rubbish out. I try to make sure I do this each week as it gives me a chance to see what food I have and what I need to eat. I try to avoid having to throw out too much, but occasionally I'll forget about the last of the spinach in the bag. Pack up some lunch of leftover stir-fry (I freeze two more portions), cookie dough balls, an apple and some crackers. 
Advertisement
7:00am — Out the door. I stop at the local bakery to get a sausage roll for breakfast ($4.90). Five minutes later, I’m at my desk eating while I log on and check emails. The main part of my job is P.E. but I also cover some other teaching tasks, so after I finish eating, I check in with a colleague to see what she would like me to do with her class this morning. We make a game plan and I head off to get organised for the rest of my day. $4.90
11:00am — First break! I’m really hungry again but today is the one day I don’t get to take my time with my lunch. I run around like a madwoman packing stuff up, heating my lunch up and getting out just in time for playground duty. 
1:30pm — Second break. Luckily, this break is much more relaxed. I think back over the lessons I taught today and mentally make some notes for how I need to adjust them for some upcoming classes. Teaching is always about reflecting upon what you do and how you can improve your practice. I finish up the last changes on a note I need to get out today, make all the copies, drop them to their teachers and finally get to sit down again. I spend the last part of my afternoon updating my marking from my paper copies onto my OneNote tool. Prior to this year, I had been an upper primary classroom teacher. When the opportunity came to move into the P.E. role, it took a lot of thinking through, but to be honest, I have loved the change. 
Advertisement
3:00pm — Monday is a wrap! I plan out what I need for tomorrow and do a bit of work cleaning up some shared files. I head out from work around 3:30pm, and stop quickly at the shops to get bread and milk ($5.35). I’m very proud when I’m not seduced by anything else. I have touch football tonight, so I check my game time and have a snack of some chips and toast when I get home. I don’t like eating too close to games and never feel like cooking afterwards, so Mondays are often snacks rather than dinners. $5.35
6:30pm — I head out to my game, but stop by the ATM on the way to get money for our new team shirts ($10). We have a great game and win. Afterwards, I head home, read for a little bit before bed, turn on The Big Bang Theory and fall asleep about 8:40pm. $10
Daily total: $20.25

Day 3

4:30am — I wake up early as usual because I need to pee. I try to put it off for as long as possible because I’m actually feeling pretty tired this morning, but that’s not going to work. I go back to bed and scroll social media before getting up to make my tea. 
6:12am — After finishing my tea, I debate (for the umpteenth morning in a row) whether or not I have enough energy to go for a run. I used to be super fit and exercise quite intensely 5-6 days a week. For the last few years since my best training buddy moved away, I’ve struggled with motivation. But I'm always wishing I could return to the same level of fitness I used to have, not to mention the same size clothes I could fit into. Surprisingly though, I decide that today is a good day for a run. I change quickly and head down to the track where I run. There is a 10km training app my friend has been using so I get the 7-day free trial and head off. It’s a nice quick run and I adjust the pacing to suit my preferences. Overall I end up doing 3km and feel great. 
Advertisement
6:45am — Home, shower, skincare, eggs on toast for breakfast, grab some lunch and off to work. Once there, I look through today's timetable and make a mental game plan. I spend the remainder of the morning setting up equipment for my different classes and catching up with some colleagues. 
8:30am — It’s Melbourne Cup today so I go up to the office to buy some sweeps tickets. I spend $12 on 5 tickets and cross my fingers. Spoiler — I end up winning on one of my tickets and make back $30! It’s payday today, so I also go on to my account and transfer anything left from last week into my savings ($95, but only paid to myself).
11:00am — I finally have my first break. I heat up the homemade lasagne I grabbed out of the fridge and snack on some blueberries and cookie dough from Sunday. Tuesdays are great because I don’t have any playground duty, so I get to use my breaks for actual relaxing. 
1:30pm — Second break time. I just finished with two prep classes and love watching them work through the activities. I make a mental note that the unit I’m doing now might actually be better suited to the beginning of the year. I’m often not hungry at this time, so I use my break to wander around and then get my last few lessons ready. 
3:00pm — School's out, but we have a staff meeting this afternoon. There are a lot of misconceptions about teaching — the pay, the hours, the holidays. Personally, I like the flexibility even if that means I am often doing necessary work outside the time that I'm paid for. During the meeting, I work with another colleague to finalise some marks we need to collaborate on while snacking on cookie dough. We get out at about 4:30pm and I stop at Woolworths to get some salmon, rice, avocado, mayonnaise and ginger for dinner. $25.67
Advertisement
5:15pm — Finally home and I chill out on the couch scrolling through social media to wind down. I start dinner at about 6pm and it’s delicious. I’ve been on a poke bowl kick lately after reading about another diarist's quick version. I use some of the stuff I bought earlier and make a quick dressing of black rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sliced pickled ginger, fresh grated ginger and soy sauce. It’s amazing and I have enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I’m already excited. 
7:00pm — I always get so sleepy and lethargic after dinner. I pack up the kitties, shut down the house and settle in to read a bit before sleep. I’m currently switching between The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk and Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Piccoult. My sister recommended The Body Keeps the Score — it's a bit heavy and I can only read a little bit at a time. However, I love an easy read like Jodi Piccoult's books. Finally, it’s The Big Bang Theory time and I'm asleep by 8 with C3 on my lap again. 
Daily total: $25.67

Day 4

4:55am — Up early again. Social media, tea, and morning snuggles from C5. A note on living with 5 cats: there's hair everywhere, all the time. Your furniture is often scratched and there are trails of kitty litter everywhere. I got C1 and C2 four years ago, followed by C3 and C4 a year later. I was then asked if I’d take in C5 as a friend's baby was having too many allergies. It was supposed to be temporary, but I fell in love with him. Since I got them in little spits and spurts, I've never noticed the cost creeping up on me. It costs about $35 a week for food and litter and I put a little aside into my fire extinguisher fund to cover any unexpected vet bills.
Advertisement
5:45am — Who even am I? I think, as I somehow feel motivated to go for another run. I do the same routine as yesterday but push myself a little harder and manage to run a little further this time. I’m really happy with myself and think I’ll invite N. to do this workout with me soon. I think she’ll enjoy it too. 
6:10am — Home, shower, same morning skincare and avo on toast this time. Pack last night's leftovers for lunch along with some cookie dough, blueberries, and apple and a few lentil chips. I turn my Roomba on to work as I leave. With five cats, you can believe that there is cat hair absolutely everywhere! I try to run the Roomba a couple of times a week to keep on top of things. I get to work at 7:15am and spend the morning organising my equipment for the day and chatting with colleagues. 
11:00am — My first break, and I’m so excited for my lunch. It does not disappoint and is as delicious today as it was last night. I have a good catch-up with some fellow workers and make a plan for a reward activity for one of their classes. I’ve only started teaching P.E. this year, but have loved the change. It’s a highly active job but the continuous changes suit my personality type. I’m fortunate that most students really love P.E. lessons and rarely misbehave, with some even being on their best behaviour for me because of how much they love the activities. I try to develop strong relationships with all the children because I’m a big believer in the idea that students learn best from people they like, and they know when people don’t like them. 
Advertisement
1:30pm — Second break and I have to drop off some equipment from one class to another and then run off to playground duty. Some older students spend the break time walking around with me and catching me up on the latest playground gossip. I love that they feel comfortable enough to include me in these conversations. 
3:00pm — Today is finished — thank goodness! I have two classes today that are much harder because the students have more difficulty concentrating than other groups, so I often finish the day feeling more drained than usual. I pack up my stuff and head home early. I proceed to spend most of the afternoon doing some basic cleaning up and watching The Gentleman — 2/10 would not recommend.  
5:25pm — I check my accounts and notice some direct debits have gone through — Netflix, my private health insurance, Urban Brew coffee subscription (damn, I forgot to cancel that!), and my gin club box. I’m excited to get my gin delivery! Every two months, my subscription sends me a boutique distillery 750mL bottle, matching tonics and snacks. This month's gin is Bass & Flinders Orient New World Australian gin. I'm super excited to try it as it comes with dehydrated orange and cinnamon sticks which sounds like an interesting combination. These amounts are budgeted and come from accounts that have set amounts paid into them to cover recurring costs. $207.05 total, covered in my monthly expenses.
6:10pm — I’m not overly hungry for dinner, but I know I need to eat the salmon I opened last night as it was a two-pack. I pan fry it in some miso dressing and pop a bag of steamed veggies in the microwave. Simple, easy and tasty. I start watching the Australian-British psychological drama The Cry while eating and very quickly become hooked. I get through two episodes before shutting down the house and heading to bed. Once in bed, I read a bit more of my book and then - you guessed it - The Big Bang Theory! I'm asleep by 8:40pm. I don’t have a very exciting nighttime routine these days but enjoy being quiet and having no expectations put on me. 
Advertisement
Daily total: $0

Day 5

5:20am — I sleep in a little later today. I wake around 3am to use the bathroom and have difficulty getting back to sleep. After scrolling on my phone for a bit, I get up for the usual tea and snuggle with C5. I decide to pass on a run today as I just don’t have the energy and my legs are a little sore. 
7:30am — I potter through the rest of my morning routine — shower, skincare, pack a lunch. Breakfast this morning is some toast with relish and a bowl of Froot Loops. I’ve recently bought a box for the first time in 10 years and I’m obsessed. Like most days, once I get to work I spend the morning setting up for my day's activities and catching up with different colleagues. 
11:00am — First break. I heat up the green curry I grabbed from the freezer and snack on blueberries while I wait. Every fortnight or so on a weekend, I try to cook up a big batch of something to freeze for lunches as I enjoy having a hot lunch for work. This also stops me from making too many Subway runs or tuckshop purchases. At the moment I have some lasagne, stir fry and green chicken curry all ready to go. I’ll probably make up something else either this weekend or next, depending on how busy I get. I have some of my cookie dough after I finish. 
Advertisement
1:30pm — Second break! I have a quick duty this break and then head off to rummage for food in my office. I’m actually kind of hungry today and feel annoyed that I didn’t pack more. But rejoice! I find a Kind Bar in my lunchbox that I’d forgotten I put in last minute this morning! I get ready for my last class of the day. 
3:00pm — School’s all finished and I need to get myself packed up quickly because I have a shift at my second job tonight. I started working this second job when a retail outlet I used to work at while studying ended up opening in the town I teach in. I approached the manager and asked if they'd like some casual staff, and have ended up having this job for about two and a half years now. I really enjoy it when I manage to pick up a Thursday shift because it’s only from 4 - 7pm and goes pretty quickly. I used to work most Thursdays, but after a new manager came on 18 months ago, I only get shifts occasionally. I head home to change, and then straight back out to go to this job. 
7:00pm — Finished for the day. Wow! That was a very quiet evening. I pick up a large McChicken meal on the way home. McDonald's has a bunch of deals at the moment and I get 40% off, so my total only comes to $9.60. I’m really happy with this, as cooking is the last thing I want to do after a late shift. After I get home I watch another episode of The Cry while I eat, and then the usual shut down the house, read, Big Bang and asleep by 8:25pm because I’m shattered. $9.60
Daily total: $9.60

Day 6

5:10am — I wake up just before my alarm and feel a little smug. Like most days, I scroll social media while lying in bed before getting up and making my ritual cup of tea.
6:25am — Ready for another run today. Last night I asked N. if she wanted to come along — she said she’d see how she was feeling in the morning which is code for... probably not. I send her a quick text to see if she’s awake and after I get no reply, I head out. I repeat the same run I did earlier this week and manage to go a little further again. Today is shaping up to be a good day. 
7:00am — Home, shower, skincare and some toast with Promite for breakfast. I leave for work and spend my morning as usual, getting set up for my lessons and catching up with people. On Fridays, I don’t run P.E. lessons, but take classes to support some teachers who have taken on extra responsibilities in our school. It’s a nice change and I like that I still get to work on my classroom routines and teaching styles. I didn’t pack lunch this morning so I hop onto our school app and order from the tuckshop. I get a chicken tender wrap and a cheesy garlic bread. $6.30
9:00am — Classes start and my morning is filled with teaching Year 5s and 6s how to make interactive PowerPoints. They work really well. I love autonomous tasks like this at this time of year. I encourage many of them to problem solve and use the instructions I have previously given them to solve the problems they encounter. 
11:00am — I go to collect my lunch order, then head straight out to playground duty. We have some of the best tuckshop volunteers and they always brighten my day when I order lunch. The next part of my day is filled with teaching dance to Year 3. They’re completing a task as a group and I have to give them a talk about teamwork and compromise. I'm impressed at how well they take the feedback on board and adjust their interactions to be much more successful. 
1:30pm — Second break! The week is nearly done and I have my favourite part left — Friday afternoon sport! I’m running a dodgeball game and have so much fun playing along with the kids. It’s awesome for relationship building and it’s a fun way to model the importance of following rules and playing fairly. 
3:00pm — And the week is done!!! I pack up pretty quick and head home early. I consider stopping at the shops on the way home because I know I don’t have anything for dinner, but decide I can’t face that just yet, so instead, I go straight home and spend the next hour on my couch aimlessly scrolling social media. 
4:00pm — Okay, it's time to hit the shops and get food. I debate getting something of sound nutritional value, but instead, I get cheese, cheese and more cheese (just because it's Friday!). I get four different types of cheese, some boar salami (it’s tasty!), tonic water, lime, blueberries, mango and crackers. $33.13 
5:30pm — I figure it’s an acceptable time to make my first Friday night drink. I have a gin and pink tonic with blueberries and lime and it’s amazing. Full disclosure: I tend to do most of my drinking on Friday nights. So I follow up with a second Shiraz gin and the rest of the pink tonic, followed by some wine I put in the fridge last weekend. 
7:00pm — Some ladies from a group chat that I’m part of decide to watch Love Hard tonight. We press play at the same time so we can all chat about it as we watch. I have so much fun watching along with everyone. The movie itself is super cheesy and I do find myself questioning some of the toxic situations that romcoms try to pass off as sweet or endearing. I wonder though whether a realistic movie would have the same effect. Maybe I’m just cynical since my last breakup 18 months ago, but so much that's in romcoms feels like it's just conditioning women to accept toxic behaviours and encouraging men that the same toxic behaviours are acceptable. Don't get me started on shows like You. I love it for the entertainment factor, but you've got to question the content and the way it's portrayed. 
9:00pm — Movie is finished and I shut down the house and hop in bed. As usual, I put The Big Bang Theory on and finally fall asleep about 9:20pm. 
Daily total: $39.43

Day 7

4:35am — Good morning! I wake up to C3 trying to burrow herself under the covers. I have a shift at my second job today so my morning looks very much like every other workday, just a bit slower because I don’t need to start until 9. I think about going for a run, but easily talk myself out of it. So it’s social media, tea, shower, skincare, a breakfast of Froot Loops and off to get dressed for work. I put my dirty clothes from the week in the machine and set the 9hr delay start. I also set my Roomba to work as I leave so I can come home to a semi-clean home. 
7:00am — I’ve noticed my cat food is getting low — they go through two tins a day! — and figure out that now would be a good time to place a grocery order. I’ve become a huge convert to click-and-collect as it mostly stops me from making impulsive purchases and I rarely forget important things. I think through some dinner options for the next week and check my fridge and pantry. I add a bunch of things to my cart, including kitty litter, cat food, chicken drumsticks, mince, salmon, dishwasher cleaner, apples, tomato, carrots, soy sauce, Maldon sea salt, lettuce, sourdough, and probably a few things I’ve forgotten to list. The total comes to $133.27 and should last me a bit over a week. I tend to do three big shops a month or every ten days or so and they’re usually around this same amount. I try not to pick up random stuff too often (as I did on Friday) because I find this blows out my food purchases very quickly. $133.27
8:40am — I set out for work and get a text message from my manager as I’m about to walk in. She’s checking that everything is okay and that I’m good for today’s shift. I find this a bit weird as I saw her Thursday night. When I arrive I check in with her. Whoopsie! I was scheduled to start at 8:30am! My usual shifts start at 9 so I didn’t even think to double-check my start time. Luckily, it hasn't been too busy and we have a laugh. The morning goes by at a glacial pace. I hope this is not a sign of how the whole day will be. 
10:30am — Things start to pick up a little bit and soon enough it’s time for some morning tea. That bowl of Froot Loops wasn't enough to fill me up and I’m now starving. I get a sausage roll from the local bakery ($4.30) and have a debate with my manager about which place sells the best ones. $4.30
1:30pm — Well, the morning picked up a little but not much. It’s been a pretty quiet day. I grab a kebab for lunch ($9.10) and finish it off with... did you guess? Of course — it’s more cookie dough! Nope, I'm not sick of it yet! I spend most of my break eating and reading on my phone, then back to it. $9.10
4:00pm — Unfortunately, the afternoon did not get any busier. In fact, it was super slow. I’m so glad to be finished. I go around to pick up my grocery order and then head home and unpack it straight away. I chuck the last few things in the dishwasher and turn it on, and go and move my clothes from the machine to the dryer. Then I sit down to watch Operation Christmas Drop. I’m definitely starting to get into the Christmas spirit. 
5:45pm — C5 has been meowing at me nonstop for the past 30 minutes, acting like he is about to die from starvation. I finally relent and give them all a half scoop of dry biscuits. I try to feed them predominantly grain-free wet food and fresh meat (think chicken necks, heats, giblets) and I think this contributes to their super soft, shiny coats — however, they do love dry biccies as a treat. Feeding them this way does cost more than dry food alone, but to have happy healthy fur babies is worth the cost in my opinion. 
6:00pm — I pour myself a glass of wine and start cooking Donna Hay’s Sticky Chilli Chicken for dinner. While it simmers I set a timer because this dish can go from perfectly sticky to burnt in minutes. 45 minutes (and 4 timers) later, it’s ready and I sit down with the last of the wine. It’s *chef's kiss* as always. After I finish, I pack up the leftovers for lunches. I freeze two portions with the last of the rice and leave one without, which I’ll cook up with some noodles for lunch or dinner later in the week. I’m already looking forward to it. 
7:30pm — Time to shut the house down and move this party to bed. I love that my cats know what bedtime means and as soon as I turn off the TV and start turning off the lights, they start trotting off to the bedroom. Occasionally they need a gentle reminder, but they’re usually pretty good. Since it’s a Saturday, I decide to turn another Christmas movie on — Christmas with a Prince. I watch until I’m tired enough to drift off about 9:10pm.
Daily total: $146.67
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.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series

Advertisement