Have you ever wanted to find out how a total stranger spends their money? Same. Savings.com.au’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: CaptainFI works in the aviation industry as an international transport pilot flying both passengers and cargo. When he isn’t flying around the world, practicing acrobatics routines or teaching people how to fly as a side hustle, he enjoys gardening, blogging and podcasting about personal finance and his experience flying towards financial independence. He has over 15 years flying experience, and has been blogging about his financial journey for the past two years at CaptainFI.com and on social media.

Salary: $9,300 per month after tax

Age: 30

Where do you live? Sydney

Housing: Renting a one-bedroom apartment

Debt: Investment property mortgage of $370,000 interest only

Assets: $1.2m in investments spread across ETFs, property, managed funds, websites (online businesses), superannuation and a retirement annuity. 

Regular monthly expenses: 

  • Utilities (power, gas, water, internet) - $0 (included in rent)

  • Gym - $0 (have a home gym)

  • Rent - $2,200

  • Petrol - ranges from $0-100 (regularly cycle to work or use public transport)

  • Public transport - Ranges from $0-20 

  • Mobiles - $12.5 ($150 annual prepaid sim)

  • Car insurance - $15 ($180 annual prepaid)

  • Car rego - $55

  • Spotify premium music subscription - $12

  • Food - $200 

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        How much of your income do you save?

        Approx $1,650 per week from my wages, plus anything I can generate from my online businesses or other side hustles.

        This is usually a baseline of 70% savings rate (wages only), however counting extra income from my side hustles and business I can usually get my savings rate to up around 80% or higher.  

        What are you saving for? 

        Financial independence: passive income of $6k per month and a fully paid of hobby farm/acreage to raise my future family (the dream is 25 acres in the hills)

        Do you have a budget?  

        Not any more. I used to budget obsessively but now I just loosely track my expenses using a tracking app. 

        What money habits are you especially proud of?

        Building a $1.2m net worth by age 29, diversifying my income streams and growing an online business whilst working full time as a pilot.


        What do you spend most of your money on? 

        I have a very basic cost of living, and so the rest goes into investments, trying to grow my business or towards supporting my family (both of my parents have terminal cancer and my sisters all have young families). 

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

        Very carefully. I am actually seeing a therapist and a coach who are both helping me to loosen the purse strings. 

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

        Effectively wasting my own time by doing $5 jobs myself and not outsourcing them to try and save money. 

        What’s your favourite thing to spend money on? 



        How do you invest?   

        I invest my money primarily into ETFs and managed funds with a core/satellite investing approach, into an investment property and then finally I invest my time and money into my online businesses (website portfolio). 

        I currently have a core investment portfolio outside of my superannuation in three broadly diversified index tracking ETFs which gives me global market exposure to equities (shares), as well as two globally diversified managed funds which provide exposure to stocks, property, bonds, cash and gold.

        My satellite investments include peer to peer lending, cryptocurrency (BTC+ETH), micro investing as well as a few small speculative ‘gambles’ on individual stocks.    

        Inside of my superannuation I split my investments into Australian index shares and international index shares (50:50), as well as I have an indexed annuity to provide a baseline level of income as a hedge against anything happening to the share component. 

        I blog about my total investment portfolio and every investment I make on my blog CaptainFI.com

        What has been your best/worst investment?

        My best investment has been my online business websites. Whilst not strictly a ‘passive’ investment (I call it semi-passive) it has been able to outperform any income derived from property or shares, and is soon to overtake my earned income (salary).

        Second to my website portfolio has been my index ETFs, which have provided an approx 16.7% annualised return (each year) since I started.

        My worst investment was in an egg farming company that was pitched to me as an eggcellent idea in a stock picking newsletter where I lost half my money - in the end I cut my losses and sold, taking a capital loss and rolled the funds into my index portfolio.

        I guess you could say the *egg* was on my face there!

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

        I currently have about $95,000 directly invested within my super (50:50 index funds Australian and international) and an annuity that will pay out approx $2,000 per month (indexed for inflation) from age 50 onwards.

        I occasionally contribute extra to my super to reduce my tax, however I prefer to invest outside super because of the flexibility it gives me in building passive income which I need to retire early rather than have to keep flying to age 50+. 

        I was able to withdraw money from my super during COVID as I wasn't flying and earning as much, and I chose to take that and reinvest it directly into my ETF portfolio outside of super.

        How did you learn about money and investing? 

        I picked up a copy of every finance book I could find in the library, as well as I may have downloaded as many as I could find online for free (sorry bad karma I know!).

        After I had read as much as I could get my hands on for free, I then immersed myself in every personal finance blog or podcast I could find until I had systematically worked through them all, and optimised each one of my expenses and investments.

        After I had read everything I could for free, I began blogging about my own experiences and my money journey where I would get free critiques on my finances, budget and analysis of my portfolios.

        Finally, I eventually recently resorted to paying for licensed financial advice (just to make sure I was on the right track!)

        A week in the life of my bank account

        This is everything I spent within a week. I was not flying this week as I have recently retired from my current flying position and will soon be moving interstate.

        Bear in mind I am working on being less frugal and loosening the purse strings, so I have come from an attitude of extreme frugality and borderline obsession with saving and investing - this has been one of my most ‘spendy’ weeks yet in terms of convenience/luxury spending. 

        Monday - Day One 

        Today I transferred $1,000 from my bank account into my mortgage offset account which pays interest (interest only investment property loan).

        I did not spend any other money because I stayed at home and watched Netflix/Stan all day because I was hungover from a business networking meeting in the city the night before.

        I indulged in some less than healthy snack foods and a lot of home made fruit smoothies because I had done a big shop the weekend prior. Early night to bed.

        Daily spend: $1,000

        Tuesday - Day Two

        Today I was feeling better and worked on writing for my blog as well as recorded a podcast episode segment in the morning.

        I ate breakfast at home (I meal prep and so had filled the fridge/freezer at home), and then caught a bus into the city ($5 round trip) for a business meeting.

        I got there early so had a quick coffee (decaf almond cap) and an amazing cherry pastry at a nearby cafe for $10 - this was my ‘forced spend’ for the week.

        Lunch was paid for by the company (AMAZING tapas and red wine with a very expensive bill…).

        When I got home I did some more writing, went for a run around the block and then after dinner watched TikTok/Instagram reels/YouTube videos with my girlfriend for longer than I would like to admit.

        The ‘pending’ bills on my account started to settle and I got a bill for $46.50 for a round of beers and a wood fire pizza I had ordered in Circular Quay on Sunday.

        Daily spend: $61.50

        Wednesday - Day Three

        Oh gosh. The drinks bills from The Rocks the weekend prior started settling today, and my bank balance screen was full of transactions of $8.20 here, $15 there etc. It added up to $72.22.

        The day was otherwise spend-free as I used groceries from home to make a packed lunch to take out to the Blue Mountains where a friend and I went for a bush walk to see a waterfall.

        Quick workout at home before dinner then fell asleep reading a new personal finance book I said I would help review.

        I got a $56 cashback refund for a camera I had bought a few weeks ago (to attempt to start making YouTube videos) so that helped offset the cost of the drinks!  

        Daily spend: $72.22

        Thursday - Day Four

        Today my auto-investing feature subtracted $2,000 from my account which gets automatically invested in my ETF portfolio (it bought international shares this time).

        I also decided to buy some cryptocurrency as a gamble because I got sucked into the FOMO/hype - I put an extra $2,000 into my Bitcoin and Ethereum crypto wallet (spoiler alert it went down like right after lol).

        I worked at home writing some more articles for my blog and planning social media posts for the next week, and went for a 10km walk through the local bushlands. Fell asleep watching Netflix with the girl. 

        Daily spend: $4,000

        Friday - Day Five 21

        I had ‘emptied’ my account yesterday so all I had was my $1,000 sinking fund and a few hundred dollars so I decided not to spend anything because I felt poor.

        I worked at home on writing the structure of my book and stayed up late finishing writing copy for my social media posts and then sent the list off to my graphic designer to have the graphics/images drawn up. 

        Daily spend: $0

        Saturday - Day Six 

        Budget blowout day. Spent $47 on odds and ends at the supermarket (needed shoe glue to fix my boots, various unnecessary snacks and also bought fixins to set up a kombucha fermenter at the girlfriend's place).

        Then spent $22 at Subway on a couple of foot longs and some quesadillas which we ate in the sun in the park.

        Then spent $82 on petrol filling up the car for a drive out to Bilpin where we bought a $15 large apple pie and a $27 cooler pack of cider.    

        Daily spend: $193

        Sunday - Day Seven 

        Today was spent at home working on the blog.

        I ran a competition online looking for freelancers to help redesign my logo however I accidentally used my personal card to pay for it instead of the business account which debited $228.59 from my bank account.

        Annoying as I have to now ‘reimburse’ myself from the business account but I will let the accountant do that.

        Daily spend: $228.59

        Weekly spend: $5,555.31