Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a combined $184,000 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 mid-thirties that makes a combined $184,000 per year. Here’s how they spend their money.

The basics:

Industry: 

Her – Healthcare
Him – Logistics

Position:

Her – Manager
Him – Manager

Yearly salary:

Her – $84,000
Him – $100,000

Savings: 

Her – 6% of her salary is contributed to a 401(k), 3% contributed to a T Rowe Price Roth IRA and 6% contributed to a UBS Roth IRA.
Him – 12% of his salary is contributed to a 401(k) and 3% contributed to a T Rowe Price Roth IRA.

 

Monthly expenses:

Mortgage and HOA: $1,464
Neighborhood: Uptown
Utilities: $278 (this includes electric, gas, phone bills, cable and internet)
Car Payment: $400
Car and home insurance: $245
Amazon Prime: $8
Netflix: $11
House cleaning: $160
Gym membership: $300
LifeLock: $54

Three financial goals

Reduce unnecessary spending.

Increase retirement contribution to 20%.

Save for a down payment on a new home.

How we spent our money last week

Day 1: Sunday

We did some meal planning for the week and spent $91 on groceries that we needed for those meals, $32 on brunch at The Flying Biscuit, $62 on wine at Total Wine & More and $110 on Christmas gifts at J. Crew Mercantile.

We made a pizza from scratch for dinner.

Total spent: $295

Day 2: Monday

He spent $12 for lunch at Bahn Thai and $3 on crushed tomatoes that we forgot to pickup when we were grocery shopping on Sunday. He also spent $18 on prescriptions at CVS and she spent $32 on Christmas gifts on Amazon.

We made chili for dinner.

Total spent: $65

Day 3: Tuesday

She spent $2 on hot tea for breakfast while he had coffee made at home. She ate leftover pizza and a salad for lunch and he had leftover chili.

She spent $54 at Target on Christmas decorations and candy.

We made chicken lettuce wraps for dinner.

Total spent: $56

Day 4: Wednesday

He spent $3 on a honey bun and Coke Zero for breakfast and she spent $2 on hot tea. She ate leftover lettuce wraps for lunch and he had a vendor-paid lunch at Midwood Smokehouse.

He got a car wash at Autobell for $33, and we spent $32 at Harris Teeter on gouda cheese, scallops and cookies for dinner and dessert.

Total spent: $70

Day 5: Thursday

He spent $3 on another honey bun and Coke Zero for breakfast. She got lunch at her office cafeteria for $7 and he snagged a chopped salad with BBQ chicken for lunch at Midwood Smokehouse ($13).

Together, we cooked hamburger steak for dinner.

Total spent: $23

Day 6: Friday

We ate breakfast bars we had at home so we didn’t spend anything on breakfast on Friday.

He spent $15 on chicken tenders and french fries for lunch, plus $55 on Christmas gifts. She ate leftovers.

We went out for dinner and drinks at Roosters which cost $90. We did a little bar hopping after dinner that cost us $60.

Total spent: $220

Day 7: Saturday

We spent $15 on breakfast at Rhino Market, a friend bought us lunch and we ate leftovers for dinner.

She went out with girlfriends and spent $90 on drinks and food and $7 on Uber to get home.

Total spent: $112

Total spent: $841
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $532
Shopping – $251
Transportation – $7
Miscellaneous – $51

What we learned: We spend entirely too much money on food and drinks, but otherwise we’re not doing too badly. We believe that we can cut our food and drink spending by half and commit that money to savings.

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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.