Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $47,000 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 Kylie at kylie@charlotteagenda.com. This week, I spoke with a 23 year old woman who makes $47,000 per year. Here’s how she spends her money.

The basics:

Industry: Healthcare
Position: Physical Therapist
Salary: $47,000
Savings: I have a method to saving money, which consists of $200-$300 every two weeks going into a savings account that isn’t touched. Also, every time I use my debit card, Wells Fargo puts $1 into my savings.
Age: 23

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $532.50
Number of roommates: One
Neighborhood: Matthews
Utilities: 

Electricity – $45-$90 depending on the season
Water – $6-$12
Cable/internet – $117

Student loans: None, thanks mom and dad 🙂
Car payments: None (see ‘student loans,’ hand-me-down wins)
Car insurance: $86
Transportation: About $100 a month for gas, roughly
Phone bill: $65
Insurance: $14 per month for renters insurance
Sephora Play Box: $10 (makeup-obsessed)
Gym membership: $25

Three financial goals

My main goal each week is to try and spend under $200 a week (minus grocery bill). I do love traveling and doing new things being new(er) to Charlotte, but still make sure to keep enough set away!

My three biggest financial goals are, of course, saving for a house one day, buying a Jeep Wrangler, and continue to travel the world.

Money Diary: How I spent my money this week

Day one: Sunday

The morning started with a $5 donation to church, followed by a very needed Einstein bagel run ($8.09).

Every weekend, I try to make one or two days to play golf, and today’s round cost $25. I realized I needed some bits and bobs for around the apartment, and they cost only $15.36.

I also needed my usual fill up for the week, rounding up at $23.14 (please keep going down).

Groceries: $51.45

Total spent: $128.04

Day two: Monday

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all made at home, which is typical for me during the week (Monday through Thursday).

I did make a Smoothie King run after a gym sesh, of course. $10.80

Total spent: $10.80

Day three: Tuesday

Breakfast and dinner were both made at home, but we had lunch brought in by our drug reps today, which cost me nothing but getting a yummy meal!

Total spent: $0

Day four: Wednesday

As always, breakfast, lunch and dinner were all homemade meals.

Work friends, however, did want to make a Starbucks run, which forced me to refill my card with $10, since $0.61 won’t buy you much but an extra squirt of caramel (eye roll).

two-story-southpark-starbucks

Both renters and car insurance were deducted for a total of $105.55.

Total spent: $115.55

Day five: Thursday

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were made by yours truly, of course. See? I make that grocery bill worth it… 🙂 I did need Greek yogurt for my chicken pitas, though. $2.63

Total spent: $2.63

Day six: Friday

I ate breakfast at home but lunch at Noodles & Co. Their chicken pesto is boooommmb. $9.74

I made a quick Starbucks run afterward (free drink! Thank you, gold status stars) and spent $13.89 at the Vans store for socks. A Target trip had me ending my night with $18.20 in makeup needs.

The Duke Energy bill hit: $35.96

Total spent: $77.79

Day seven: Saturday

Started today with an Ulta run ($24) and grabbed Viva Chicken (the best – $13) before running into Publix for pizza materials. $6.81

I did really well today until I opened a tab at the bar… whoops. Once you split it up, it goes down, right? $81.71

Total spent: $125.52

Total spent: $460.33
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $194.23
Bills – $141.51
Transportation – $23.14
Shopping – $71.45
Miscellaneous – $30

What I learned: What I learned while keeping this was how much during the week I tend to save, and how much it can total up on the weekends!

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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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Kylie Moore
Writer doubling as a travel, wine, and Oxford Comma enthusiast.