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.
This week, I spoke with a 30-year-old woman who makes $35,000 a year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie
Yearly salary: $35,000
Extra income: Between $100-$300 a month. It’s contract work, so it varies.
Who do you bank with and why? State Employees Credit Union. I’ve been with them since I started teaching. They offer free online banking, minimal annual fees, awesome interest rates on loans and free savings assistance for 10-month employees.
Savings: Everything I receive from my second job, I try to put into savings. I also contribute 2% of my monthly income (pre-tax) to a 401(k) at work, which is matched by my school.
Number of roommates: 1
Utilities: I don’t pay utilities because I pay for all of our groceries and our storage unit, so $0.
Student loans: None, thanks to my parents and a research assistantship!
Car payments: $287 a month
Car insurance: $75 a month
Transportation costs: About $60 a month
Phone bill: $0. I’m still on the family plan, thanks to my parents. Us poor teachers need all the help we can get!
Renters insurance: $11
Any extra costs not previously mentioned: $97 a month for the storage unit, about $250-$200 for groceries for two and $25 a month (pre-tax) on a benefits card for my health insurance.
Three financial goals:
Save up enough money to contribute to a down payment on a house. My boyfriend and I are buying in 1-2 years.
Build my savings account back up. I unfortunately had to drain it last year due to medical expenses.
Pay off my car early.
Monday Diary: How I spent my money last week
Day one: Sunday
I ate breakfast at home (scrambled eggs and coffee) before church, where I donated $11 to the collection.
$46.77 on meat at Whole Foods. I almost broke the bank with this one – I definitely don’t splurge like this often.
I ate leftovers for lunch at dinner, but spent $9 on wine at Newsies.
Total spent: $66.77
Day two: Monday
The only thing I spent money on today was a package of eggs for breakfast at Providence Produce ($12.66). I ate breakfast at home, had leftovers for lunch and went to a work dinner. $0
Total spent: $12.66
Day three: Tuesday
I ate breakfast at home (toast and coffee, $0), lunch at the Harris Teeter buffet ($6.47) and made dinner at home.
Total spent: $6.47
Day four: Wednesday
I ate scrambled eggs and coffee at home for breakfast ($0) and had leftover dinner for lunch (also $0). For dinner, I treated myself to a Mellow Mushroom salad for $10.46.
While in South Carolina, I topped off on gas – $21.93.
Total spent: $32.39
Day five: Thursday
Got a little fancier with breakfast this morning (still at home!) and had pancakes and coffee. $0
I stopped by Harris Teeter for both lunch and food for tonight’s dinner and spent $31.87.
Total spent: $31.87
Day six: Friday
I ate every meal at home today. Scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast, leftovers for lunch and made some dinner with the groceries I bought this week.
Total spent: $0
Day seven: Saturday
Scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast again and leftovers from dinner for lunch. I did go out with a friend for a birthday at Moo & Brew, though. $14.53
Total spent: $14.53
Total spent: $164.69
Food and drink – $131.76
Transportation – $21.93
Miscellaneous – $11
What I learned:
I learned that I was extra cautious of what I was spending when I was actually paying attention and writing everything down. I also learned that I spend way too much money going out to eat for lunch so I tried not to do that while I was tracking my spending – kind of challenging myself. Finally, I reaffirmed for myself that I am VERY lucky to be in the position I am in because it is almost impossible to live independently in Charlotte on my salary.
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