A Week In North Queensland, Australia, On A $103,500 Salary

Photographed by Will Styler.
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a locomotive driver who makes $103,500 per year. She spends some of her money this week on a steak sandwich.
Editor's Note: All prices have been converted to the U.S. dollar using conversion figures at the time her diary was submitted. Some text has been adapted to U.S./American English.
Occupation: Locomotive Driver, Class 1
Industry: Primary Services
Age: 40
Location: North Queensland, Australia
Salary: $103,500, plus a longevity bonus of approximately $7,534, pre-tax, per year.
Paycheck (Every Two Weeks): $3,980.76 pre-tax
Monthly Expenses
Housing: My husband and I are paying off a "Queenslander" style home. It is a high-set house and approximately 60 years old — that means lots of renovations and maintenance. Our mortgage repayments are $793 every two weeks, which comes out of our joint account. (My husband earns roughly $96,000 pre-tax per year.)
Rental: I also pay $175 every two weeks for a rental closer to my workplace. I work a 7/4 roster, meaning I spend seven days away from home, and then have four days off. During my seven days at work, I have a somewhat "indicative" pattern, meaning my shift start times should slowly wind back later every day. (For example: Shift 1 would be a 6 a.m. start; shift 2 is a 10 a.m. start, etc. It rarely works like this, however.) My shift lengths are up to 12 hours. Our home is on a quarter-acre block and has views of the ocean and Great Barrier Reef. It is idyllic, with palm trees and tropical flora and fauna.
Loan Payments: $118 every two weeks for a Honda Quadbike/ATV vehicle.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Car Payments: $396 every two weeks for novated leases
Electricity: $793/month over two homes. Electricity prices have risen by over 100% in the last year. We are researching solar panels for our marital home, but we really need a new roof also.
House & Contents Insurance: $95/month
Rates & Water: $2,061 per quarter
Private Health Insurance: About $160/month
Phone & Internet: $95/month
Satellite TV: $90/month. Allows us to watch millions of cooking shows, Live Rugby League, and for me to indulge in countless reality shows.
Netflix: $11.89/month
Spotify Premium: $11.89/month
Audible: $11.89 per month
Mobile Phones: $182/month
Charitable Donations: $96/month
Savings & Emergency Account: $158/every two weeks

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