Bank Balance Confessions: The 23-Year-Old With A Generous Family


Here at The Cusp, we believe that talking about money empowers us to make more informed choices – and that tracking your spending can be revelatory. Here’s the latest instalment in our series exploring the income and expenditure of young Australians. Want to get better with money? We can help you there, too.

I am a 23 year old female, who recently got married and is waiting for the settlement on my first property in Western Sydney. We have already paid the deposit and stamp duty and have our mortgage organised so we don’t have to spend more money except for buying a few appliances and some furniture – we were lucky to get so many things as wedding presents.

When I finished high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I started working full time and after a few weeks realised it was no fun working hard and having nothing to show for it. So I started out by paying about half my salary into an account in my name that my father had control of. Once I got a bit older and knew I could control myself with my money I opened a high interest account and continued on with my savings.

I currently have $70,000 in savings in my bank, but I feel as though I should have more. It is not a greed or a money hungry thing – more or less it is that I am anxious person and I always think of the ‘what if’ situation and like to be prepared for it. I just like to know I have that safety net for a rainy day – as you never know what could happen. I think it comes from having parents who have always been very sensible with their money.

Living at home has helped immensely with my savings.

Living at home has helped immensely with my savings. I think if I had decided to move out and rent while waiting to buy a property it would have had a huge impact on my savings. Having said that, my husband and I are definitely very, very keen to be moving out and into our own place.

We had a huge wedding, which is not what I always thought I would have growing up, but it was more than I could have ever dreamed… and so was the price tag. The total of our wedding came to just over $100,000. Luckily we have very generous parents and only ended up spending about $20,000 out of our own pockets.
It was actually really hard for me when my parents and my in-laws offered to pay for our wedding, and I know that sounds silly, but I am not the best at accepting things. My husband and I had actually saved our own money and intended to pay for the wedding ourselves. We are not naive or oblivious to fact that we are incredible lucky to have everything we have and we will never take that for granted.

We are not naive or oblivious to fact that we are incredible lucky to have everything we have

We decided to treat ourselves to our dream honeymoon in the US, we had the most amazing trip that I will always remember and I don’t regret the $40,000 that it costs us.

I make $949.92 after tax each week and I get paid weekly which I think really assists with budgeting and saving.


  • $25.00 – I live with my parents while I am waiting for the settlement of the property. We have Foxtel in our room, so I set a reminder every month on the 28th in the morning to transfer the money for our Foxtel box to my dad (I hate owing money to people – I always make sure to pay my bills and debts ASAP).  Totally worth it as we spend a lot of time just relaxing watching TV in our room.
  • $14.99– Netflix – this amount is automatically charged to my PayPal account each month, it is such a small amount that half the time I wouldn’t even notice it is gone. I have an account which myself, my husband, my brothers, sister-in-law and best friend all use. I honestly don’t mind that they are all on my account. I think it is pointless for everyone to pay the same amount when we are all using the same thing. I have been offered by all of them many times to split the cost but to be honest if they weren’t on mine I would still pay for it anyway so it doesn’t bother me one bit at all. $15.00 could be easily wasted on snack food in one night so I think it is very cheap and so worth it!
  • $0 – It was a quiet day at work, so I visited my favourite shopping site. They had a sale, like they seem to every day and when I checked my basket I had added over $500 worth of clothes. I had lunch and when I came back I asked myself if I really did need any of these clothes – which I didn’t so I deleted it all from my basket.
  • $10 – Stopped by my beautician on the way home from work to get my eyebrows waxed.




  • $44.30 online on cake decorating supplies – a few cake boards and some new piping tips to play with. I love to cook as a way to destress after a long week of work or procrastinate from doing some uni work. Baking is my favourite.



  • $0 – I have been very good all week and have been eating work lunches that I prepared and packed at home. Felt a bit like a change but it was raining and I couldn’t be bothered to go outside in the rain.
  • $0 – I needed petrol on the way home but it was still raining and the petrol station was crowded – I think I will try and stretch this tank as far as it will go simply because I am too lazy to get out of the car on the way home.

= $0.00


  • +$450.85. Got a refund for a purchase from some online shopping I did last week which I returned. I got a new pair of jeans last month and they are so comfy and I love them so much so I decided to get them in a few more colours. I ordered the same brand, same style number and same size and they didn’t fit! One pair was too small and the other was too big! I just don’t get it! So annoying.
  • $48 – I am going to my cousin’s for dinner. She and her husband have been helping me out as I am currently in the middle of changing careers and they both work in the industry I want to crack into. I know they like red wine so I ring my dad and ask him what to get (I don’t drink). He says Shiraz and just pick your price when you go to the bottle shop. They range from $19.00 to $140.00. $19.00 is too cheap but $140.00 is a bit much so I settle for a $48.00 that I find.

= +$402.85


  • $0 – I am very overdue for a haircut. After my wedding my hairdresser had a baby and I knew she would soon be opening a salon at home. I didn’t trust anyone else with my hair so I have waited for 7 months now and am way overdue for a tidy up. I take along a gift I bought for the baby last year when he was born and as she was so grateful she would not let me pay.
  • I spend the rest of the day at home. For dinner we get burgers from the local chicken shop and my husband pays for it.

= $0.00


  • $0 – I go to visit my grandmother for breakfast with my husband, my brother and my mum. We stop off at the supermarket to get some croissants and hot cross buns for breakfast as well as grabbing some essential groceries for her (chocolate and biscuits to have with her tea). I get my wallet out at the checkout and realise that my mum has already tapped her card.
  • $211.80 – On the way to see my grandmother I see a toy shop and notice a large giraffe toy in the window. I know my sister-in-law has been looking for one for weeks as she is soon to be an auntie/godmother for the first time. On the way home we stop by and get the giraffe as well as while we are in the store I see a few little things for my nephew (I can’t help myself) and a board game I have been wanting.
  • +$150 – Drop the giraffe to my sister-in-law and she gives me the money for it.
  • $110 – My sister-in-law and brother-in-law ask what we are up to. We are all free so we decide to go get lunch. We feel like seafood so we all head into Darling Harbour and go for a nice lunch. When the bill comes it is $309.68. My husband and I have a $100.00 voucher we got given for Christmas. We use the voucher and split the rest of the bill (plus tip).

= $171.80


  • $34.07 – I finally accept that I need to fill up petrol – it was still raining but I went and filled my tank (I have a small car).

= $34.07

Wage                                                                             $949.92


Expenses                                                                    $498.16


Received                                                                     $600.85

Amount at end of week                                                       $1,052.61

$668.50 put straight into my savings account – as it was the end of the month this week and I cannot handle when my savings account is not an even number!