Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a personal trainer and a physical therapist’s combined $144,000 salary

Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a personal trainer and a physical therapist’s combined $144,000 salary
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Our Cash Confessional series, in partnership with Bank of America, takes a personal and anonymous look into how people of all ages and incomes spend their money in the span of seven days.

To see the other installments of Cash Confessional, click here. This series is completely volunteer-based; if you’re interested in keeping track of your own spending and having it featured, email Lauren at or fill out our Survey Monkey.

The basics

Age: She is 40. Her husband is also 40.


Industry: She works in the fitness industry. He works in healthcare.

Position: She’s a personal trainer, he’s a physical therapist.

Salary: She makes about $54,000. He makes $90,000

Additional income: She brings in an additional $17,000 serving as an interpreter/translator. She also earns an extra $3,000/year from a healthcare-related side business.

Are you putting anything into savings? $5,000-$7,000/month into a 401(k), investments and HOA.

Living situation: They live with their two dogs and one foster dog in Waverly.

Mortgage: $0. They paid off their house last year.

Car payment:$0

Student loan debt: $0

Other costs: Netflix: $13.93

Playstation Vue: $53.61

Two gym memberships: $200

House cleaning: $100

Pest control: $79

Utilities: $353.91

The best thing you’ve ever spent money on: Our dogs.

The most frivolous thing you’ve ever spent money on: $500 to tattoo my eyebrows.

What’s one thing in your life you’d like to be able to purchase but haven’t been able to yet: A screened-in porch.

If money was no object, I’d buy: A house in Dilworth.

Would you rather show a friend your savings account or your Google search history? Savings account!

The biggest expense in my life right now is: Annual trip to Asia.

Three financial goals:

  1. Buy a rental property in three years.
  2. Have 3 to 4 rental properties in ten years.
  3. Have a net worth of $1 million before age 50.

Money diary


This is the only day in the week we get to sleep in, so we had a slow morning. I worked out in the garage and then headed to the gym to coach a few private clients. After, I stopped by Lowe’s to pick up charcoal and a lighter so that the husband can grill many many pounds of protein for the week ($9.19). I also got gas ($21.16).

Most of our bills debit from our bank account. Today, we paid for our PlayStation Vue ($53.61) and my gym membership ($51.50).

Total: $135.46


We have the same breakfast at home every morning – coffee, eggs and vegetables. We meal prep on Sunday and pack our meals and snacks, so we rarely eat out during the week. I did not buy anything today, but the pest control bill ($39) and the water bill ($61.74) drafted from our account.

Total: $100.74


I was too busy coaching and interpreting to spend money today. Husband got gas ($23.37) and paid for tolls ($2.02).

Total: $25.39


It was a long day coaching and running around town interpreting. Surprise, surprise, I did not spend money. I paid the medical bill for bloodwork I had to get done for my employer ($78). My husband bought me a little magnet for the dishwasher that indicates whether the dishes are “dirty/clean” ($6.97).

Total: $84.97


This was the busiest day of the year so far! I ran around town like a chicken with its head cut off. Needless to say, I did not do any spending! Husband replaced a battery for his watch ($5.36).

Total: $5.36


It’s payday!!! I was so exhausted from the week, I just went straight home after work and went on a very relaxing 90-minute walk with my husband.

Total: $0


I had to get to the gym early in the morning for work and then lifted weights after. After lunch, my husband and I drove to Uptown to go to the Heroes Convention. I had planned on parking in a parking deck, but found free street parking. Score! We spent about two hours at the Heroes Con ($50) and then decided to walk around Uptown. I’ve been following Coco & The Director’s Instagram page and have been drooling after their kronuts, so we walked to the café and bought the most expensive donut ever ($6.50). I almost didn’t get it. I am cheap as dirt, but it was worth every cent! On our way home, we stopped by Aldi to get our groceries for the week ($158.65).

Total: $215.15

Weekly total spent: $567.07

What I learned

I budget and balance my book every day, so there were no real surprises. Still, I spend less in my mind, so I was surprised at all the daily totals and the bills that came out of our bank account in this given week. I also think this is the most boring money diary. This was a typical week of spending, so what I learned is that it’s OK to spend a little bit more and have some fun.

Build your financial know-how with free tools and information to help you make more confident decisions. Visit the Bank of America Better Money Habits site today.

Need 1:1 guidance on getting your finances in order? Schedule an appointment with a Bank of America specialist today or stop in your local financial center.

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