Sarah’s a bubbly 23-year-old who works in the media industry. While she rents in the heart of Sydney, she still manages to eat out every night and has been overseas four times in the last 12 months.
And though she’s a big spender, she still manages to set aside some savings.
Sarah* breaks down her budget with Yahoo Finance.
How much do you earn?
I earn $70,000 before tax, which works out to around $4,300 every month.
How much does your rent cost?
My rent costs me $310 per week, and I pay it weekly.
Do you have any other ongoing expenses?
My phone bill is $145 monthly, but I can expense half of it with work. Last month I went over - it was $160.
I don’t have a car, so I don’t pay car insurance or registration.
I pay $11 a month for Spotify, and I have a Stan account I don’t use, which costs me $10 per month. I’m on my sister’s Netflix account though.
I recently cancelled by gym membership with F45. It was costing me $65 a week, but it’s too expensive.
I don’t pay for transport - I live in Redfern so I’m lucky enough to walk to work everyday. If I go out I’ll try and walk home from the city or catch the train.
Do you have any debts?
I have a HECS debt, but I did a fairly cheap degree, and I think I only pay the minimum.
I don’t have a credit card, but I am signed up to Afterpay. I’m trying not to use it as much - I only have $30 left to pay off on it.
How often do you eat out, and how much would food cost you per week?
I’ll eat out pretty much everyday. I’ll use Uber Eats twice a week, but my rule is that I don’t spend more than $15 when I do.
I don’t buy groceries. If I don’t have dinner plans I might go past Woolworths on my way home, but I’ll spend around $9 or $10.
If I go out, I don’t spend a lot. I’m frugal when I go out. I won’t be the person that spends a million dollars when they’ve been drinking.
I’ll buy a coffee everyday, which costs around $4. I try to only have one, and I don’t have a keep cup or anything.
Do you spend money on travel?
I’ve been on four holidays this year. I just came back from America, which probably cost me around $4000 all up.
Before that, I went to Bali. My flights cost me around $600, and I think I only spent around $400. Probably $1,000 in total.
I went to India with my parents as well - I paid $1,000 for my flights but they paid for the rest.
And I lived and worked overseas with my last job for 10 weeks. They paid for my flights and accommodation but I paid to travel around and all the extras.
Do you put any money in savings?
I try to put away around $1,000 from every pay cheque. But, it ends up being around $800.
I do prioritise my savings though, and I try to live by the motto 'save what you don’t spend'. So, if I end up having a little bit more money at the end of the month, I’ll put that away too.
Right now, I have $4,600 in my savings account. I had more before my trip to America, but that’s where it’s at now.
I don’t want to buy a house for another 10 years, I’m not interested in having a mortgage.
Do you receive any financial assistance?
I don’t receive anything from mum or dad or anything. I am on their health insurance, though.
Work has some good arrangements - we get free lunch everyday, and there’s always fruit. In the industry that I’m in, I get to go to an event each week or fortnight, so I make the most of food and drinks there.
What are your tips for getting by?
Obviously everyone’s different, but I think cars are the biggest waste of money. You don’t need one in Sydney - the train system is so good, and I can walk to work.
Your savings should always come first, then you can spend whatever you want.
Be frugal - if your job allows you to go to events or your work has perks with food, you should take advantage of that. And, if you’re going out, don’t act like a millionaire.
* - Name has been changed.
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