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SocietyJuly 9, 2024

The cost of being: A 23-year-old with a love of little treats and a ‘severe lack of willpower’

As part of our series exploring how New Zealanders live and our relationship with money, a call centre worker with a nightly Uber Eats habit and dreams of a sugar-daddy-funded future shares how he spends and saves.

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Gender: Male

Age: 23

Ethnicity: Pākehā

Role: Call centre agent.

Salary/income/assets: $780 a week. $150 a week from bank of Mum and Dad. $60 worth of shares in Air NZ (iykyk). Minuscule number of shares in Woolworths Limited. (given to us for working during lockdown).

My living location is: Urban

Rent/mortgage per week: $520 per fortnight. Two of us living in a three-bedroom flat. Third room is more of a loft that has no door.

Student loan or other debt payments per week: Zilch.

Typical weekly food costs

Groceries: $100-150 a week.

Eating out: $0. Hardly ever eat out.

Takeaways: $70 a week. Obsessed with getting a little treat on Uber Eats every night.

Workday lunches: $20 a week. I usually make a sandwich but sometimes I forget.

Cafe coffees/snacks: $15 for coffees.

Other food costs: $0

Savings: $100 a week. Not saving for anything in particular, maybe some travel.

I worry about money: Sometimes.

Three words to describe my financial situation: Coasting, comfortable, appreciative.

My biggest edible indulgence would be: A little treat.

In a typical week my alcohol expenditure would be: $0. Though I do spend $50 a week on… another thing.

In a typical week my transport expenditure would be: Bus – $8 a week. Car – $60 a fortnight.

I estimate in the past year the ballpark amount I spent on my personal clothing (including sleepwear and underwear) was: $700-$800. Everything is thrifted or from H&M.

My most expensive clothing in the past year was: $110 on a cashmere sweater (half price from H&M).

My last pair of shoes cost: $12. Thrifted and haven’t worn once.

My grooming/beauty expenditure in a year is about: $300 a year on skincare products. $200 a year for haircuts. $600 in the past year getting my hair coloured.

My exercise expenditure in a year is about: $0

My last Friday night cost: $0

Most regrettable purchase in the last 12 months was: $120 (including shipping) for henna hair dye, recommended by Freelee the Banana Girl.

Most indulgent purchase (that I don’t regret) in the last 12 months was: $450 for festival tickets.

One area where I’m a bit of a tightwad is: Clothing? I always try to buy secondhand, mostly because it fits my style better.

Five words to describe my financial personality would be: A severe lack of willpower.

I grew up in a house where money was: Not spoken about, not with me at least (baby of the family). But we were always comfortable and had extra things too.

The last time my Eftpos card was declined was: Tuck-shop line. I kept buying my friends sausage rolls and went into overdraft by $74.

In five years, in financial terms, I see myself: More or less the same, hopefully earning more and saving better. Perhaps a sugar daddy or two to pay for all my whims.

I would love to have more money for: Travelling and indulging.

Describe your financial low: Few years ago, I left my job and was living off savings. Took up a few offerings of “rewards” on Grindr, bit demoralising.

I give money away to: Friends and family, if they ever need it.

Keep going!