COVID Money Diaries: What this small business owner spent her money on in Melbourne lockdown

author-avatar By
on June 23, 2021
COVID Money Diaries: What this small business owner spent her money on in Melbourne lockdown

This week: A small business owner in stage four lockdown in Melbourne.

Have you ever wanted to find out how a total stranger spends their money? Same.’s money diaries asks Australians to record a week in the life of their bank account. We want to know exactly what you spend your money on, how much you earn, save, if you invest and what your money goals are.

Industry: Beauty, I am a salon owner.

Salary: Hard to say, the business revenue is around $150k per annum but that’s not exactly going straight into my pocket!

Age: 27

Where do you live? Camberwell, Melbourne.

Housing: Renting with my partner and a friend.

Debt: Car loan of $17,000, credit card debt of about $8,000.

Assets: My business.

Regular monthly expenses:

  • Rent (commercial lease and personal) - $2,215

  • Debt repayment - $900

  • Phone/internet - $230

  • Insurances (car, health, public liability/prof. indemnity) -$463

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market


4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

Savings Account (Amounts < $24k)

    4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

    High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

      4001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

      Online Saver ($1-$100k)

        0500$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

        Reward Saver

          000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

          BU Savings Account

            Rates based on a savings balance of $10,000. Sorted by total interest rates. Refer to providers' websites for bonus rate conditions and for any applicable fees and charges. Rates correct as of May 24, 2022. View disclaimer.


            How much of your income do you save?

            Everything that I earn I reinvest back into my business except for a small amount that I save from not buying coffee. A portion of that is also the “float” which is the base amount of money I always keep for unexpected business costs.

            What are you saving for?

            I am currently putting money aside to open a second salon, for additional advertising and to expand our online presence.

            Do you have a budget?

            I have an extensive budget for myself and for the salon.

            What money habits are you especially proud of?

            I don’t buy my coffee - every day an automatic transfer of $10 goes into my savings account to save the money I would have otherwise spent. I have also worked incredibly hard to pay off old debts this year.

            How would you describe your attitude towards money?

            Money stresses me out. I am constantly worrying about if I am earning enough and how I can earn more, and whether my business is profitable.

            How did you manage your finances during COVID in Melbourne as a small business owner?

            To be honest, this time around it was brutal. In the past lockdowns, we got rental relief from our landlord, I froze my car and credit cards so I didn’t gain any additional interest and took money out of my super.

            This time around, even though lockdown was only two weeks literally none of my bills were able to be stopped or frozen.

            I am fortunate to still have revenue from the online academy so any revenue from that basically kept the salon afloat, and I just cut back my personal spending on groceries, fuel and didn’t have anything left over!


            What do you spend most of your money on? 

            Definitely rent.

            Do you make spending decisions carefully or are you a bit loose with the purse strings?   

            In terms of business costs I am very calculated and thought out. I tend to splurge at social events.

            Do you have any money habits you aren’t especially proud of? 

            My leniency to shouting people drinks and over spending at restaurants and events.

            What’s your favourite thing to spend money on?  

            Anything that makes me money.


            How do you invest? 

            In the past I have dabbled in purchasing and selling shares, and using various investment apps such as Raiz. My current focus is investing in my business.

            What has been your best/worst investment?

            Best – my online training academy. It was my COVID-19 pivot and the only reason we stayed afloat during lockdown. Worst – fortunately I am yet to have a bad investment.

            How much is sitting in your super and do you regularly contribute to it?  

            I withdrew $7,000 from my superannuation which also happened to be pretty much all of it.

            Once I have finished paying off the debts I am focusing on currently, all of that money will go into super from now on.

            How did you learn about money and investing?  

            Most of what I have learnt about money has been from other business owners/entrepreneurs and from my parents.

            In terms of investing in shares I had a friend who has been trading for a very long time and gave me some great advice. I also have learnt a lot through the app that I micro-invest my money through - they give great tips.

            A week in the life of my bank account

            Monday - Day One 

            We are currently in stage four lockdown! This morning I ducked out to buy some things for breakfast ($24.95), plus some medication my partner needed ($12.95).

            I am trying to liven up our house a little so I went online and ordered some prints ($46.70) and frames ($33). I had a craving for burritos for dinner so I went into Woolies in the afternoon and got more groceries ($17.00).

            Daily spend: $101.6

            Tuesday - Day Two

            My partner and I sat down and went through our finances this morning and set up a joint expense account and put $100 in each, then I broke my no buying coffee rule and bought an oat latte ($4.50).

            I also had to pay my phone bill today ($230). I signed up to do Zoom workouts with my friend who owns a gym for the next week ($50).

            Daily spend: $384.50

            Wednesday - Day Three

            One of my favourite lockdown activities is baking! I love baking cookies so I made a batch of choc-coconut cookies which cost me a total of $5.65 for the entire batch! And yes, I did eat the entire batch.

            I put another $50 into my Raiz account today after reading a few articles, I am hoping it grows!

            Daily spend: $55.65

            Thursday - Day Four

            Trying very hard not to spend money today as the last few days have been expensive and I am starting to feel stressed about lockdown being extended. Fortunately I don’t have any payments coming out today and we have plenty of food!

            I did order some more photo prints to hang in some old frames I have at home ($7.50) but that was it! I had my usual at home coffee ($0.70).

            Daily spend: $8.20

            Friday - Day Five

            We had a little “at home dinner date” as we would normally have gone out for regular date night.

            I bought two bottles of pinot noir ($70) and we ordered take away from a local Italian restaurant to try and support them during lockdown ($60).

            Daily spend: $130

            Saturday - Day Six 

            Convinced my partner to let me choose the movie for tonight; yes we watched Cruella (which I paid $34.99 for) and yes, we (I) had an amazing time.

            We also did a board game to pass the time, cost in money $19.99; seeing my partner throw the board across the room when I beat him: priceless.

            Daily spend: $54.98

            Sunday - Day Seven 

            We ordered Uber Eats for breakfast this morning and I went and bought the paper ($34.99).

            Because we are still limited with COVID lockdown restrictions, we took our pup for a very long walk and got him a puppychino - plus some for us too ($12.80).

            Daily spend: $47.79

            Weekly spend: $782.72

            Do you want to record a week in your financial life (anonymously of course)? Send in your submissions to

            Latest Articles

            Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

            Be Savings smart.
            Subscribe for free money newsletters.

            By subscribing you agree
            to the Savings Privacy Policy