Grow Your Wealth

I’m Shannon, an ex-bouncer with a $2,600 income

This week Shannon's up. Creatures of habit, you're about to relate. Hard.

Text that says 'Money diaries'

I got made redundant during the Covid-19 cull. Before that, I was working as a bouncer 7 days a week and pretty comfortable, nothing to complain about. I’ve been staying with my sister because rent became tough. Unemployment funds didn’t come through for a while, so I had to say goodbye to my apartment. Right now I’m not really budgeting. I’m just trying to get back on my feet. But in the future I’d like to start saving again. One day. Here’s how I spend.


Classic Monday. Did the weekly (it will not be weekly) grocery shop. Cleaned the house. Did some life-admin and sat on the porch with dinner and a cigarette.

Groceries - $20

Cigarettes - $10

Total - $30


Today I spent a good sting applying for jobs at my sisters. Which obviously meant snacks. And cigarettes. So I went to the shops again (see, was not a weekly shop). I also went to meet a friend for ‘lunch’ but swerved the big bill and got a coffee instead.

Snacks – $8.50

Cigarettes – $10

Coffee - $4.50

Total: $23


Alright I’m not saying I’m a creature of habit, but I’m not not a creature of habit. Yes, I got more groceries (HELP) and yeah you guessed it, more cigarettes. I spent most of the day trawling job sites and eventually retreated to my book on the porch. With a smoke. Oh I also ordered a puzzle.

Groceries - $20

Cigarettes - $10

Puzzle - $11.99

Total - $41.99


Today my Amazon Prime and Spotify subscriptions came out. I’d been thinking about cancelling them but imagine this pandemic with no podcasts or Albums on loop. I don’t even want to say it at this point, but I went to the local shop. AGAIN. And then ate chips and listened to my favourite podcast because I realized I should probably be rinsing Spotify for what it’s worth.

Spotify - $9.99

Amazon Prime - $8.99

Groceries - $15

Total - $43.98


Another week of lockdown? Completed it mate. Celebrated with a fresh pack of cigarettes, McDonlad’s and then I did my puzzle which arrived in the AM.

Cigarettes - $10

McDonald’s - $12.99

Total - $22.99

Grand weekly total: $161.96

Cleo’s vibe

Routine QUEEN.

Where you’re killing it

Most places, really. Things are so sh*t at the moment, you’re an 11/10 for having the motivation to do a puzzle. You definitely don’t overspend and you’re allowing yourself a couple of treats in the process – yeah, a treat in 2020 is McDonald’s and a puzzle. It happened.

Where you’re... not killing it

You know it. You’re going to the grocery store. A lot. There’s nothing huge in the amounts that you’re spending each time, but you might find that by buying in bulk and not doing weekly top-ups saves you a bit of money.

Cleo’s advice

Set up a budget. We just updated ours so that it’s weekly – super flexible, cos things change fast right now. You can also do your own custom categories like puzzles. Or cigarettes. You might surprise yourself with a grocery one too, why not try one week buying in bulk and see if you manage to cut some extra costs compared to a week where you do the shopping as and when. The more you’re in the supermarket, the more chance you’ve got to be tempted by Goldfish Crackers x100.

If things are truly tight, our Cleo score now includes badges and challenges. Basically, the more you complete the higher your score gets. The higher your score gets, the more eligible you are for an advance. What you waiting for? Cleo plus time.

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