A Veggie-Packed Week on $500 Income

Age: 24

Pronouns: she/her

Living situation: In a share house in Hackett and share a room with my boyfriend

Rent: $95 each week

Monthly expenses: $40 for bills (electricity, gas, internet, water) and a $20 phone bill

Employed: part-time in media

Income: $500 each week


Day 1:

7.30am Woke up and ate two slices of toast with Vegemite for brekky. Then showered, dressed and scrolled the internet.

9am Started working from the comfort of my bed. My boss is not fussy about whether we go into the office or not, and I felt like I should stay home and do some laundry throughout the day.

12.30pm Made some pasta with green veggies and pesto for lunch. I was struggling with work, so I ate half a packet of Tim Tams while I powered through a pretty boring task.

5pm I rode my bike to Woolies to go grocery shopping; I bought potatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, orange juice, broccolini, rosemary, coriander, bread and a box of temporary hair dye ($25). I’m a vegetarian, so my grocery bills are generally pretty low, and my boyfriend and I take turns buying them.

7pm For dinner we roasted the vegetables and ate them with broccolini.

8pm Watched a cult documentary on Netflix for a couple of hours.

10pm Bedtime! I sleep a lot.


Day 2:

7.30am I woke up, showered, dressed, and ate eggs, toast and tomatoes for brekky.

9am I worked from home in the morning, even though I don’t technically work today. Gotta love the flexibility of the modern workplace (not).

12pm I ate leftover pasta for lunch.

1pm I went to uni in the afternoon for a two-hour lecture then a tute. The bus fare was $1.57 each way ($3.14).

6pm Went out to dinner with my boyfriend and got a vegetarian burger and cider ($20).

9.30pm More Netflix.

11pm Sleep.


Day 3:

9am Woke up, showered, dressed, ate eggs again.

10am Caught up on some lectures in the morning (on 1.5 speed of course).

1pm Spend $14 at the supermarket buying wraps, lettuce and two beers.

1.15pm Forgot to eat lunch at home so grabbed a banana on my way to the bus stop. I bought sushi ($3.50) on campus and then went to a two-hour lecture and then a tute, before studying a bit in the library. I then caught the bus home ($3.14).

6.30pm Had a work event in the evening: free movie and dinner (veg empanadas).

10pm Home, sleep.


Day 4:

7.30am Woke up, showered, dressed, and ate weetbix with honey for breakfast.

8.20am Caught the bus to work.

9am Start work.

12pm I assembled a burrito at my desk from ingredients I brought from home for lunch and felt very proud of my thriftiness.

6pm Another work event in the evening, a short walk from the office, and free dinner again!

9pm Bus home ($3.14).

10pm Sleep.


Day 5:

7.10am Woke up late, grabbed two pieces of toast and Vegemite.

7.30 Got the bus to uni for 8am tute.

9.30 Caught the bus home ($3.14) and went back to bed for half an hour.

12pm Went back to uni to play soccer — even though I hate team sports — because my boyfriend’s six-a-side team was short a girl.

1.30pm Shared a vegetarian Brod burger and chips ($8.75). Bought lentils, chickpeas, bread, eggs, corn on the cob and milk from Aldi on the way home ($25).

3pm Came home and studied.

7pm Rode my bike to a friend’s house for dinner and a study date. We ate tofu and veggie green curry.


Day 6:

8.30am Woke up, ate eggs for brekky.

10.30am Started studying.

2pm Caught the bus to Dickson and scored some excellent buys at Vinnies ($18).

3pm Caught the bus again, this time to the city ($3.14). I spent $50 on a bra after trying on about 10 different ones because being a woman is expensive.

5pm Grabbed curry paste, green beans and red capsicum on my way home ($10).

7pm Made curry for dinner and watched The Florida Project (so good!)

10pm Sleep!


Day 7:

8am Woke up, ate weetbix for brekky. Spent most of the morning procrastinating.

11am Started working on a freelance project.

1pm Ate leftover burrito beans on toast for lunch while reading a magazine.

2pm Back to work.

4pm Went for a walk up Mt Majura for a gorgeous sunset.

6pm Ate leftover curry for dinner.

10pm Showered and went to bed for an early start on Monday.


Total weekly income: $500

Total weekly expenses: $265.95

While my weekly expenses may seem pretty low, I have very little long-term savings because I tend to spend all my spare money on travelling (oops.)