I find a visual is better than anything, I’m pretty proud with how I went with my spending and saving in 2017. In looking back at my previous year of 2016 I didn’t manage to save anything so my spending was pretty extreme. So, to have a closer look of where my money went in 2017 have a read below.

Rent – $13,177.11

From January-July 2017 I was renting a two bedroom, two and a half bathroom townhouse with another friend. Most of the furniture in the place was mine I had collected over time.

From July-December 2017 I sold all of my furniture to board with my friend in her apartment that she owned. I am fine now, but at the time the move and parting with my possessions was difficult. I think this was because it was hard, financially, obtaining my possessions, it was because I always thought I would own a house by the time I was 30 and it was also because there is not really a second hand market like there is in New Zealand with Trademe for second hand goods, this means I was giving away a lot of my goods for free.

This category count at the moment is eating up a lot of my income and has been the main catalyst for why I would like to buy a house.

Holidays – $6675.07

They say it’s not possible to travel and save. I disagree, I have.

By taking a close look at my budget and you can too. In 2017 I went on four overseas trips as well as saving over 30% of my income towards my house deposit.

I flew from Brisbane, Australia to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand for my friend’s wedding in March. I flew from Brisbane, Australia to Scotland, United Kingdom for my friend’s wedding in May. I also travelled to Spain and England while on my trip I flew from Brisbane, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand for my Birthday in July I flew from Brisbane, Australia to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand for Christmas with my family in December 2017

Health – $5,355.84

I have health insurance, pay for meds for my Crohn’s disease, pay for Yoga, have regular skin checks, dentist visits, skin cancer and breast cancer checks and I also see a psychologist.

The lady in the photographs is my Mother, Margaret. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42 and rediagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 55, this year at age 59 she has had more tumours diagnosed. Mum had a patch of bad health July, August and September 2016. During this time I noticed just how poor the information is for people with this disease on the internet and a conversation with her oncologist last week has led me to posting this quick information piece for other lay people: . *What is metastatic breast cancer? *What are the odds? *How do I support my family member? *What do I need to think about? . Metastatic breast cancer is when breast cancer spreads through the body into your bones. The cancer could be in your spine/ribs/hip/etc but it is still breast cancer. . Internet odds are rather grim stating people have a 22% chance of surviving more than 5 years. This is BS. Your life expectancy is based on your mindset. It is important to remain determined and positive and in my Mother’s words, “to learn to stroke the snarling vicious dog that is the cancer.” . Support is being an advocate for that person and supporting them with the disease and not putting your own grief or burden upon them. Speak to them like an individual, provide them with a listening ear and tell them about what’s going on. . As a support person you need to address the elephant in the room. If something is up and they do not want to address it, push harder, read more and be informed. As Bourdieu (1965) famously recognised cultural and social capital are important tools. Used in this case you can draw on your networks and education to push forward and to be an advocate of a person with this disease. It is important that you are informed. For myself that means journalling the medication journey, reading scientific journal articles and writing up various questions and concerns for further exploration with medical specialists. Quite frankly you need to stay informed, keep researching and questioning. Also you need to hold on to hope.

Super – $4,103.21

I’m lucky enough to work for an institution that provides its employees with 17% super as long as the employees put in an additional 4.45% of their money into the scheme.

Restaurants $3,533.27

I spend more at restaurants than I do on groceries. This is something that is important to me, I enjoy meeting friends for brunch and dinners

Groceries $2,695.20

I meal prep most of my food each Sunday. My goal has been to go my groceries for $40 a week, this figure clocks me at $51.83 for 2017. Lets see what I can do in 2018!

Transport $2,677.60

This category covers taxis, Ubers and other transport costs. I was lucky enough to have the use of a friend’s car from February 2016-September 2017 and paid for it to have new tyres, registration, services, petrol and so on. I no longer have a vehicle and Uber, walk or go on the Wai wai highway (cycling, wai wai is legs in Maori).

Clothes $1,790.11

I went to India for work in November 2017 which really opened my eyes to the amount of work that goes into producing clothing. My goal is to now get my clothing repaired or second hand and if I am purchasing new clothing to pay attention to where my new clothing is coming from by using my Good on You ethical shopping app.

Gifts $1,686.08

Giving gifts is important to me and I like to buy things that people would actually like! Whether it is spa vouchers, bracelets, apple ear pods, perfume, manicure vouchers or Champagne.

I sometimes make my gifts too, the below gifts were fun to make, especially the cards.

Alcohol $1,677.05

I go out and have a drink, I’m single so it’s how I meet most people from Tinder and other various dating sites.

Phone $1,634.66

I bought my first every new iPhone in 2017, the second day I had it i dropped it and it skated across the road into the storm water drain. Luckily I managed to squeeze my arm down and grab it!

I found the cheapest prepaid phone plan this year on Lebara for $180 for a year or $15 a month for 4GB data, unlimited Australia calls and texts and unlimited calls to the UK, NZ and Canada (other countries too but for me those are the only ones that matter). The long term plans have since gone up but are still pretty well priced!

Beauty $1,326.32

I get my hair cut every six weeks, get waxing and tinting every four weeks.

Bike $728.66

I have two bicycles, a road bicycle that I use occasionally for recreational cycling and a commuter that I use each day to get to work, get my groceries and generally get around the place.

Charity – $687.29

I give $20 a fortnight to the Queensland University of Technology Learning Potential Fund, this is a scholarship fund to allow people with financial difficulties attend university. This cause is something I feel very strongly about, I believe it is important to grow leaders within communities. I hope in the future this fund will grow as strong as our scholarship funds in New Zealand.

Oxfam is another charity that is close to my heart, I gave $120 to my students in our MBA Program that did the Adaptive Leadership unit through our program (the QUT MBA teams raised the most in Queensland achieving almost $30,000 in donations).

I also gave to an organisation called Polished Man that works towards ending violence towards children and another organisation called Hair Aid where volunteer workers teach those living in poverty stricken areas basic hairdressing skills. After the training program those who participate in the courses can apply for jobs in hairdressing and make money to house and feed them and their families.

Fun – $664.11

This section counts for things like buying books and doing activities such as going to the Polo, going to the Races, going to a Gin cocktail making course.

Coffee – $626.10

Some people talk about cutting coffee as an essential when budgeting but I think you need to keep what is the most important to you. I really, really like bought coffee and it makes me feel really happy so the coffee stayed for me within my budget.

This figure is based on just coffee when bought as alone, it would have been a lot higher if I had counted all the coffees I had purchased alongside by brunch each weekend. All my brunches were categorised in the Restaurant category

Hawthorne Garage in Bulimba does the best coffee

How did your budget go in 2017? What sorts of expenses matter to you?

2017 expenditure break down
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