A Week In Perth, Australia, On A $65,000 Salary

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: an accountant working in finance who makes $65,000 per year and spends some of. her paycheck this week on protein powder. Editor's note: All prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.
Occupation: Accountant
Industry: Finance
Age: 26
Location: Perth, Australia
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,880
Rent: $180 per week. (I live in a three-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend, and he pays $215 per week. We split everything 50/50 since our finances are not combined.)
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Monthly Expenses
Student Loan Payment: $300 from a U.S. savings account
Gym: $205, which includes unlimited classes per month. (Yes, I know it's a lot of money, but I go pretty much every day.)
Energy, Wi-Fi & Gas: ~$70 for my portion
Netflix: $5.50 for my half. (I share an account with my boyfriend.)
Spotify: $14
Phone: $35. (I have a pay-as-you-go monthly plan.)
Watch: $395. (I bought my boyfriend a TAG Heuer watch for Christmas, and I have two more monthly payments for it. I can pay it all off now, but I would rather accrue interest in my savings account and pay monthly.)
Superannuation: My company contributes 12.53% of my pre-tax wage to my retirement fund. (I currently have $35,000 saved.)
Savings: I try to transfer $1,200 to my savings every month.

Day One

7:30 a.m. — Wake up for work and prep my lunch and snacks for the day. I chug a glass of warm water with lime juice and Himalayan pink salt.
8:15 a.m. — Didn't have time to eat breakfast, so I stop by my fave local joint and get a black coffee with an everything bagel and cream cheese. Bagels here are a far cry from American ones, but this is one of the best in this city and I'll take what I can get on a Monday morning. This reminds me of a bagel recipe I found on Pinterest that I want to try soon. $7.11
10 a.m. — Have my morning snack at my desk: protein shake and macadamia nuts. (I have to have five meals per day if it's a training day.)
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12:30 p.m. — It's a slow time of the month at work, so I go for a short walk around the area on my lunch break and read my book. I'm trying to enjoy the summer as much as I can while it lasts.
1 p.m. — Lunch is baked chicken with frozen veggies (biggest life hack is keeping these in the freezer!) at my desk while drinking water. I do my best to drink about four liters a day because of how much I work out. As soon as I started increasing my water intake, my workouts got better.
4 p.m. — Eat my afternoon snack: yogurt, oats, apple, and protein powder mixed together.
5 p.m. — Drive home and quickly change for my HIIT class at 5:30. The gym is around the corner from my apartment, so it only takes five to 10 minutes to get there and back.
6:30 p.m. — I'm buzzing from my workout. When I get home, I tidy the house, do the dishes, and start cooking dinner (with Seinfeld playing in the background) while I wait for my boyfriend, A.*, to come back from his gym session.
8 p.m. — For dinner, we have baked barramundi fish, brown rice, and green beans. Pre-cooked rice is a lifesaver!
8:30 p.m. — I have a phone interview tomorrow morning for a new job, so I research the company and review my résumé and notes. I close out the day with my usual routine: shower, change into PJs, light a candle by my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and apply my serum, moisturizer, face oil, and eye cream. I've been trying to floss more, but often find it hard to remember. (Baby steps.) I'm pretty happy with how strict I've become with my face routine — I used to be horrendous and only washed my face in the shower!
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Daily Total: $7.11

Day Two

7:15 a.m. — Wake up and do my usual routine. I always sleep poorly when I have a lot on my mind and if I don't get my seven to eight hours per night, I'm a zombie.
8 a.m. — I have my phone interview at home and then rush to work. Luckily, my office is a very short drive away!
8:30 a.m. — Eat breakfast at my desk with a cup of black coffee I make at work. I got hooked on these one-cup filter coffees when I recently visited family in Japan. My auntie sends me more when I run out (plus other teas and snacks I love, too).
10:30 a.m. — Usual snack of macadamia nuts and a protein shake.
1 p.m. — I eat leftover baked chicken breast with green beans for lunch, but am still feeling super tired around 2:30. I buy an iced black coffee and a large chocolate chip cookie with pistachios. The comatose feeling after is well worth it! $8.30
5:30 p.m. — Head straight to the gym after work and today I'm feeling strong. I love a good strength training session!
6:30 p.m. — Immediately rush to a Yin yoga class to stretch out my muscles and zone out after a hectic day. A good Shavasana is just what I need. It's my anniversary with the yoga studio today, so my drop-in class is free (instead of $15).
8:30 p.m. — Arrive home to dinner cooked by A. – steak, brown rice, and salad.
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9:30 p.m. — In bed early to read a few pages of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It's a slow read, as it takes me a while to comprehend some of his insights, but it's been sitting on my bookshelf for a year and I finally have the chance to give it a go. I put on Calm app music in the background while I'm reading. I've done Calm meditations before, but I recently discovered that the app also has sleepy time music for adults, and I'm hooked.
Daily Total: $8.30

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — Wake up from a great night's sleep. A. and I cuddle, which leads to other fun activities ... and then it's time to get ready for the day so I'm not late.
8:15 a.m. — I drop my boyfriend off at his work since it's on my way. We try to appreciate just how lucky we are with our current commutes because we know it won't last forever. It's great to have so much extra time for life instead of being stuck on public transport or in a car for long periods of time.
9:30 a.m. — I eat my breakfast at my desk but am still hungry after, so I go next door to the coffee shop and get a black coffee with my morning snack. $2.70
1 p.m. — Eat the same leftover lunch while browsing for an anniversary gift for A. I have a 20% off voucher for a luxury hotel we've been wanting to book. It's five-star and the amenities seem unreal, plus the room comes with a bottle of Champagne and late check-out! I make a reservation for $230, which I will pay upon arrival with my debit card.
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1:15 p.m. — Get a text from A. that says he's secured us a new health insurance through his company. We get a 7% discount and will only have to pay $79 each per month. Our first charge won't be until next month.
3 p.m. — Payday! I recently changed banks and have a system of dividing my money into four separate accounts allocated for spending and saving. I've calculated that if I follow this new method, I'll have an extra $15,000 saved by the end of the year and will be hopefully close to paying off my loans (two of my 2018 goals).
4 p.m. — My partner and I recently became permanent residents of Australia. We're excited, but this visa status comes with a price tag. Luckily, this is my last payment of $250 until we decide to become citizens! My boyfriend owes me money from the prior week's spending, so I only transfer $100 to him and he covers our payments. $100
6:20 p.m. — Take another HIIT workout class and am exhausted afterward. I don't feel like cleaning or cooking, so I do a little bit of journaling and reading while I wait for A. to get home.
7:30 p.m. — Dinner tonight is leftover steak, green beans, and brown rice while watching the Olympics. We prep basa filets and broccoli for the next three days of lunches.
Daily Total: $102.70

Day Four

7:15 a.m. — We hit snooze again, though we had the best intentions of waking early today. We shower, pack lunches, and eat breakfast with the Olympics on in the background.
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8 a.m. — Drive my boyfriend to work again and stop at the post office to pick up a package from my friend in California. She's the best!
10 a.m. — Eat the same snacks. (It may sound boring, but I rotate my foods week to week so I'm never bored.)
12:30 p.m. — I call my parents on my lunch break and we chat for a nice 30 minutes. The time difference is 16 hours, so this is usually the best time. I really miss them and California. I ask for their opinions on how to best pay off my student loans, as I have $7,000 left and need to factor in the currency exchange rate.
1 p.m. — I browse jade rollers online while eating my lunch. They're sold out everywhere I check and seem to be quite the craze these days. I think I'll save the purchase until next month anyway.
4 p.m. — Snack is yogurt, protein powder, apples, and oats. So yummy! I also update my personal finance spreadsheet, which tracks my monthly spending and saving against a budget I created.
5:30 p.m. — Weight day at the gym. I'm feeling tired and my grip strength is not good tonight.
7:15 p.m. — Write out my goals for 2018 — better late than never! I have a monthly goals book that I keep separate from my journal.
8:30 p.m. — I put on my silk face mask and earplugs, which I sleep with most nights. Then I try to read but end up falling asleep super early.
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Daily Total: $0

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — Wake up early and head to the gym for an InBody scan before my morning cardio session. I pay for three scans that I'll use over the next few months. $60
6:30 a.m. — Back home, where I make my warm water concoction and heat up my brekky.
8 a.m. — Walk to work because the weather is stunning (and I'm happy to move my muscles again after this morning's session). I listen to a podcast I just discovered, Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations. All I can say is "Wow!"
9:30 a.m. — After a productive hour at work, I desperately need a coffee. I walk next door and order a flat white while resisting any extra treats. $3.50
12:30 p.m. — Read during my lunch break in a pretty park nearby. One of my goals for 2018 is to read a minimum of one book a month (I read two in January!), so this leaves me with one week to finish this book. I'm determined to read at least 20 pages per day.
1 p.m. — Last day of the basa fillet. Every day with lunch I take fish oil, magnesium, multivitamin, vitamin D3, and vitamin B complex. I also always take a probiotic after my last meal of the day (and sometimes even add in calcium and vitamin D, depending on how I'm feeling).
5 p.m. — It's the weekend! I walk leisurely and get home in about 20 minutes. Perfect amount of time to listen to another podcast, The Daily by The New York Times.
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6 p.m. — Boyfriend is out having work drinks, so I decide to make myself a Dark and Stormy while trying out a new turkey taco recipe. I bake diced sweet potato and zucchini while stir-frying onion, garlic, turkey, corn, herbs, and spices. Then I combine everything and add rice and cheese. It turns out delicious and I will definitely make it again.
8:30 p.m. — I light a lavender candle and put on a face mask while I start to read. I like to keep the Olympics on mute in the background. I'm a sucker for the Olympics. When A. comes home, I make him a cocktail and we chat on the balcony for awhile. I'm going to miss summer evenings.
Daily Total: $63.50

Day Six

7:15 a.m. — Wake up and head to the gym for an amazing sweaty session – best way to kick off the weekend.
9:30 a.m.— A. and I make scrambled eggs, spinach, toast, and eat nectarines for breakfast.
10 a.m. — I only have one flavor of protein powder left (strawberry), so I order more online at a 10% discount. I buy chocolate, vanilla, and mocha, but I get a small size of the mocha one in case I don't like it. $114
11 a.m. — A. and I drive to Port Beach, about 20 kilometers south of the city. The water is crystal blue and so calm. We swim in the ocean and lay out on the soft sand.
1 p.m. — Back home, I reheat last night's leftovers for lunch. I'm exhausted from the beach, so I take a small nap while A. goes into the city to do some shopping.
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7 p.m. — We pick up limes, soda water, beers, and mint leaves at the store, and then two of our friends come over before our dinner reservation. We make gin and elderflower cocktails and Dark and Stormies while chatting on the balcony. $10
8:15 p.m. — We call an Uber to take us to dinner. I'll pay for this ride because I know A. will pay for the one home. $9
8:30 p.m. — Dinner and drinks at Nobu were phenomenal. We had champagne to start and then split two bottles of wine with the meal. We had a Teppanyaki set meal, which I cannot recommend it enough! $135
11 p.m. — We go to a sports bar after dinner and have a drink while watching the Ireland vs. Wales rugby game. My friend and I are so full from the meal that we can only manage one gin and tonic each (bought by our boyfriends). The atmosphere at the bar is great, and Ireland wins with an amazing finish! Around 1 a.m., we catch a taxi back home. (A. pays.)
Daily Total: $268

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Waking up is a struggle this morning! We toss and turn for hours and then finally decide to face the day. I am always famished the morning after I drink. I try to satisfy my cravings by making healthy pancakes topped with banana, peaches, and maple syrup. A. makes his own brekky of eggs, bacon, and toast. While we eat, we watch the Olympics to enjoy the last of the events before the closing ceremony tonight.
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12:30 p.m. — Leave the house to pick up a friend who's in town from Adelaide. We drive to a nearby coffee shop and talk leisurely for hours over coffee and lunch. I order a flat white with lamb bruschetta, A. orders a sandwich, and our friend gets a coffee. By the time we leave, it's 2:30. Quality catch-up time! $16
3 p.m. — We drop off our friend at the airport and stop by the store on the way home to do our food shopping for the week. We buy asparagus, zucchini, red pepper, onion, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, apples, bananas, ground pork, beef, turkey breast, chicken breast, snapper, barramundi, smoked salmon, grass-fed beef steak, Brazil and macadamia nuts, Greek yogurt, feta and cottage cheese, instant brown rice, sparkling water, eggs, and low-carb bread. A. and I split the groceries based on what and how much we eat. $90
7 p.m. — Once we get home from the shop, we lounge around and tidy the house, do laundry, and watch TV. We finally muster the energy to make dinner and A. whips up one phenomenal dish: pad Thai with chicken satay! I'm lucky that he is a such a great cook. After dinner, I know I should meal prep for the week, but my hangover is making me lazy. I decide to wake up early on Monday to prepare lunch instead. After watching Netflix and the closing ceremony, we finally go to bed. I'm going to miss the Olympics, but fingers crossed that I get to go to Tokyo for 2020.
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Daily Total: $106
*Name has been changed for anonymity.
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