From our families to how we grew up, the work we do, and experiences we’ve had, lots of different things shape our attitudes to money and how we spend it. In this new series, Money Diaries, we’re asking Qantas Super members to share their money story with us, and let us in on what their relationship with money looks like.

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My money diary: 26 and living at home to save

Monthly expenses
  • Rent/Mortgage: I’m very lucky to be living at home with my parents, which is allowing me to save for a deposit.
  • Subscriptions:
    • TV streaming subscriptions: $17.99 for Netflix. I used to have a Stan subscription then put it on hold when one of the few shows I was using it for wrapped up its last season, and never restarted it. I’ll borrow a friend’s password if I’m desperate to watch something.
    • Music streaming subscriptions: I’m signed up to an $18/month family plan with five other friends, so pay $3/month.
  • Phone: $40/month. I recently upgraded to a new plan so I could get 80GB of data a month, up from 30GB. I didn’t really need the extra 50GB but…the new plan was only $4 more a month.
  • Internet: I halve the bill with my sister, so I pay $30/month.
  • Other monthly expenses: I salary sacrifice $100/month to my super and donate $15/month to a charity
Weekly expenses

It was a light week this week:

  • Food and drink: $173.74
  • Entertainment: $0
  • Home and health: $8.50
  • Clothes and beauty: $0
  • Transport: $31.62
  • Other: $0
Who, or what experiences, have shaped your attitude to money?

My parents have definitely shaped my attitude to money more than anything else. They grew up in the same small town in southern Italy, in tiny houses where all money went to the essentials, in the 50s and 60s, and I think they’ve carried that experience with them since.

There was no such thing as a credit card in my family when I was growing up – if we didn’t have the money, we just didn’t buy something or didn’t do something. That’s not to say we went without, but where my parents chose to spend their money was definitely influenced by how they had grown up.

For example, the most important thing for my parents was building and furnishing our house, and because they spared no expense when it came to making sure it was exactly what they wanted, the money they had went there rather than on, say, holidays or a brand new TV if we didn’t actually need one.

So, with that in mind, I don’t have any credit cards or buy now, pay later accounts. I save up to buy something if I really want it, but even then I spend a lot of time assessing whether I really, absolutely want something. I’m very good at talking myself out of buying things, which makes me a good saver but a boring friend to go shopping with.

What are the most satisfying things you’ve spent your money on?

I went on exchange in France for a year while at university. It was an expensive year but every baguette was worth it! The bad coffee, though, not so much…

My sister and I have also organised and bought a couple of holidays around Australia for my parents, and being able to do that for them has been really satisfying too. I don’t spend big on myself but I love being able to spend on my friends and family.

How would you describe your relationship with money?

It’s not terrible, but it could be better. I’m a good saver, mostly because I’m stingy, but then I also feel that I spend on silly things – I don’t make a lot of big purchases but I’ll buy at least two coffees, if not three, a day. I know it adds up to more than I want to think about over time, but I still do it.

I would also say that I worry about money – I think I’m a good saver because I’m a worrier, and it’s that feeling that makes me put money away, rather than any real informed strategy. I’d like to shift this so I feel empowered instead of worried when I think about money. I want to be empowered that I know what to do with my money to make sure I get the most out of it and it’s working as hard as it can for me.

What are you currently saving up for?

A house! Even with my stingy ways, there’s a lot of saving to go.

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