Dana Pham earns $120,000 a year, but between Canberra's high cost of living and supporting her ageing parents in Sydney, she doesn't have much left over at the end of the pay cycle.
Sonya Tirtajaya takes home half that, through her salary from the small call centre she runs for not-for-profits.
And while both will end up with more money in their hip pocket as a result of the Morrison government's $158 billion tax package, one sees the cuts as "breathing space"; the other as a "Band-Aid solution".
On the numbers, Canberrans will be the big winners of the tax cuts if they're passed in full. Average full-time incomes are $10,000 higher than the rest of the country, at $94,200 a year, compared with the Australian average of $83,500.
That leaves Canberrans pulling ahead in five years' time if Parliament passes the full tax package.
An average Canberran on $94,200 a year is set to gain $467 a year from next week from tax cuts that have already passed Parliament. The new tax cuts, if passed, will add another $487, to a total of $954.
Longer term, the real bonanza kicks in. In five years, the average income earner in Canberra would be better off to the tune of $2032.
That's much better than nationally. On the average Australian full-time income of $83,500, the new tax cuts and the cuts already legislated add up to $1080 next week. In five years, it adds up to $1512.
The figures are from the National Centre for Economic and Social Modelling at the University of Canberra, which has an online calculator.
Centre associate professor Jinjing Li said the Coalition tax package benefited medium to higher earners.
"Canberra benefits more than the average nationwide, that's for sure, given the higher income level and given the type of jobs we have in Canberra," he said.
People on benefits, who were most vulnerable, and the lowest earners, up to about $20,000, paid no tax, so gained nothing. People on the minimum wage benefited very little.
Grattan Institute senior associate Kate Griffiths said Canberrans stood to do better because "the more you earn, the more you stand to gain - but you'll have to be patient".
Grattan modelling shows the top quarter of earners across the country gain an average $7300 each from the full cuts. Canberra incomes are skewed high, so 36 per cent of the adult population fits into that group.
Ms Pham, a member of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance, is in that category, but said because she is taxed so heavily, she does not have much in the way of savings.
"I'm earning six figures but I don't own a BMW or Mercedes, I'm still trying to pay off a Mazda 3," Ms Pham said. "I donate to charity, to my church, I don't spend money on luxuries like jewellery. I haven't even thought about having a holiday."
She will be better off to the tune of $4225 under the full tax cuts in five years - but has just $180 a year coming in the 2019-20 year - $80 of it already legislated.
"[The tax cuts] will maybe help me be in a position to save, save for a deposit to buy my own home and will just give me some breathing space. It's not just me that deserves breathing space," Ms Pham said.
Ms Tirtajaya, who is on a part-time salary of about $60,000, said the proposed tax cuts were "not attractive to me at all". She will already get $530 extra from July 1, and if the cuts are passed that will double to $1080. In five years' she will get $925.
But while the mother-of-two has also struggled with the cost of living in Canberra, she said the $1080 offset was a "Band-Aid solution".
"A thousand dollars doesn't really help you in the long term," she said.
"The society I want to see has education and healthcare prioritised by the government for all people regardless of income.
"That's a problem we don't see fixed through this scheme. It's putting more money in the pockets of people who already have more and putting people on a lower income in a more precarious position."
Public servant Chris Aitchison also worries the tax cuts will mean the government slashes other areas of spending including welfare.
While he earns about $90,000, he had a short stint on Newstart which "really opened my eyes to how difficult it can be to make ends meet".
"I have a family, a wife and two children, and there wasn't enough money to put food on the table, pay rent and meet bills let alone any of the other things that make social participation interesting and worthwhile," Mr Aitchison said.
ACT Council of Social Services executive director Susan Helyar said stage three of the package threatened the funding of essential services.
"In a community with high average income there is not widespread support for tax cuts that increase disposable income for households already doing well at the expense of community services that everyone relies on at key stages of life," she said.
"Reduced revenue because of tax cuts also increases the pressure to cut spending in the public sector. This causes job losses in Canberra and reduced quality and responsiveness of front-line public services all across Australia."