Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a combined $850,000 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 couple in their late twenties that make a combined $850,000. Here’s how they spend their money. -Kylie

The basics:

Industry: 

Him – Finance
Her – Legal

Position: 

Him – Manager
Her – Attorney

Yearly salary:

Him – $800,000
Her – $50,000, plus a monthly bonus, which varies.

Extra income: 

Rental properties – We own a few that bring in a total of $36,000 per year.
Flipping houses – We flip a few houses each year, bringing in around $60,000 per year.

Savings: We’re putting away $15,000-$20,000 per month.
Ages:

Him – 29
Her – 30

Monthly expenses:

Mortgage: $1,430
Number of roommates: Each other
Neighborhood: North Charlotte
Utilities: 

Electric – $120
Cable/Internet – $110
Gas – $40
Water – $50

Student loans: None. His are paid off and she was lucky enough to have school paid for by her parents. Thanks, mom and dad!
Car payments: None. His is paid off and her parents paid for her car.
Car Insurance: $150
Phone bill: 

Him – $130
Her – She’s still on her parents’ family plan.

Insurance: $200 combined
Gym membership: $60
Hulu: $12
Apple Music: $10
Spotify: $10
House cleaning: $140
TruGreen: $50

Three financial goals

Pay off all of our rental properties.

Be financially independent from our jobs by 35.

Increase our tithing to church and donations to charity.

Money Diary: How we spent our money last week

Day one: Sunday

Her mom is out of town, so we treated her dad to brunch at 131 Main ($130) and she didn’t have coffee this morning, so we made a stop at Starbucks after brunch ($5.03).

We went to his mom’s house to watch the Panthers game. His mom paid us back $180 for furniture we picked up for her last week and then she gave us a wedding card from his uncle, which contained $150! While we were there, we bought a couple of discount cards from his little sister who is selling them for a school fundraiser. $20

When we got home, she had some work to do so he rented and watched Baby Driver, which he raved about all night. $6

We made a ton of food yesterday when we had people over to watch football so we had the leftovers for dinner tonight.

Total spent: $161.03

Day two: Monday

He didn’t eat breakfast, but he did get gas on the way to work for $49.17.  She got Starbucks ($5.03).

We both had a smoothie for lunch. His was $5.19, and hers was $5.35.

We have a turkey and broccoli casserole in the freezer that her mom made a few weeks ago and we keep forgetting to take it out to thaw before leaving for work. Today we remembered! Paired it with corn and carrots that we already had.

Total spent: $64.74

Day three: Tuesday

He didn’t eat breakfast, and she got Starbucks (yes, this is a common theme). $5.03

She had a meeting at work through lunch that provided lunch and he had a smoothie (this is also a common theme). $5.35

He bought airline tickets for a bachelor party and paid for his ticket and the bachelor’s ($619). He also got his eyebrows waxed ($20).

We went to Merchant & Trade for a few drinks and dinner ($128.25). Due to the horrible parking in Uptown, we parked at her office and took an Uber to and from dinner for $13.50.

The cleaning guy came today ($70).

Total spent: $861.13

Day four: Wednesday

He didn’t eat breakfast and she earned a free drink at Starbucks (rightfully so). $0

He had a smoothie for lunch for $5.35. She only had about 15 minutes for lunch, so she tried to go to Wendy’s, but the line was wrapped around the building. She ended up running into target and grabbing a pack of yogurt and a few meat and cheese snack pack. She had one of each and saved the rest. $11.03

He got a haircut ($40).

She made lasagna a few weeks ago and made an extra to put in the freezer. We remembered to take it out of the freezer before work so we could have it for dinner (remembering to do this twice in one week is very impressive for us). On the way home from work, he picked up stuff for a salad to go with the lasagna, plus a few bars of soap because we were out. $17

Total spent: $73.38

Day five: Thursday

Again, he didn’t eat and she got coffee from Starbucks. $5.03

She stopped to get gas on the way to work and filled up for $55.09. While she was waiting for the gas to pump, she ran in and grabbed water, gum and a bag of almonds that she randomly saw and decided she needed. $5.05

She didn’t have time to leave work for lunch, so she had a yogurt she bought yesterday at Target and a pack of almonds (thank goodness for the strange almond purchase this morning). He took the employees at his branch out for lunch, which was reimbursed by his work.

He can’t find his nail clippers (and suspects she used them and lost them… possible), so he bought another pair. $4.82

They went to dinner at Firebird’s. $65.08

Total spent: $135.07

Day six: Friday

He didn’t eat breakfast and she got Starbucks. $5.03

He bought wrapping paper and had a gift wrapped for someone’s birthday for $9.64. He stopped to get gas again ($45).

She ate another yogurt and meat and cheese snack pack for lunch.

They went to dinner at Stagioni (and highly recommend the Black Truffle Arancini). $153.41

Total spent: $213.08

Day seven: Saturday

She went to Target to get deodorant and a new dog collar, but somehow got distracted and ended up buying random Christmas decor, clothes and shoes ($98).

We went to Hobby Lobby to pick out cabinet knobs for a house we are flipping, and, again, got distracted by the Christmas decor. $57

He got a massage, which was free due to our Massage Envy membership, but he did leave a $40 tip.

He got a smoothie for lunch ($5.19) and she ate leftovers from dinner last night.

We went to a friend’s house for a dinner party and brought the host a bottle of whiskey. $35

Total spent: $235.19

Total spent: $1,743.62
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $596.40
Transportation – $162.76
Travel – $619
Shopping – $164.64
Miscellaneous – $200.82

What we learned: That she spends too much money on Starbucks (which she already knew), that he drinks way too many smoothies and that we spend way too much money on food in general.

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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.