Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $48,000 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 30-year-old woman that makes $48,000 a year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie

The basics:

Industry: Mental Health
Position: Therapist
Yearly salary: $48,000
Extra income: $100-200 for consults
Savings: I put $100 per paycheck away, so $200 per month.
Age: 30

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $812
Number of roommates: 0
Neighborhood: Dilworth
Utilities: Around $85 for cable and internet, plus around $35 for electricity
Student loans: $10,000 left
Car payments: $400 per month with $2,000 left
Car Insurance: $82
Transportation costs: I’d say around $60 for gas and Uber
Phone bill: $42. I’m still part of our family plan since it doesn’t end until 2022.
Insurance: Covered by my work
Medical bills: $200 left. This number was originally $5,000.

Three financial goals

Pay off my car.

Save for my next licensure.

Pay off my student loans.

How I spent my money last week

Day one: Monday

I woke up and headed to work. On my way out, I grabbed a boiled egg, a coffee and leftover tacos for lunch.

I was too tired to eat dinner, so I ended up just passing out after work.

Total spent: $0

Day two: Tuesday

I grabbed oatmeal, yogurt and a K-Cup for breakfast as I left the house.

For lunch, I packed a salad with stuff I had at home. I needed to get gas and run errands at Target during my break.

After work, I headed to yoga at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.

Total spent: $31

Day three: Wednesday

I grabbed my usual boiled egg, yogurt and granola, along with leftovers from the night before for lunch. I’m really big on bringing my lunch at least 4 days a week and I’m pretty loyal to it.

After work, I went for a run with my girlfriend and when we got back, we cooked dinner – empanadas and french fries.

Total spent: $0

Day four: Thursday

I know this is a boring way to live, butttt… I grabbed my usual breakfast and a salad that I made the night before. I’m typically in zombie mode in the morning, so I always try to pack the night before so I don’t give myself any excuses.

A friend wanted to grab dinner after work so we headed to Bulgogi Box. I got my usual: Beef bulgogi with dumplings and two drinks.

Total spent: $34.79

Day five: Friday

As I’m leaving for work, my apartment complex is giving out free breakfast in the form of an off-brand sausage biscuit. Well, I shouldn’t say off brand. Maybe it was Jimmy Dean, but it was definitely definitely not Bojangles’.

I was working in Rock Hill for the day, so for lunch, I stopped at NC Noodle bar since it’s near the hospital. I ordered the pineapple fried rice with veggies and it was amazing.

After work, I headed home. We decided to stay in tonight, make falafel wraps with hummus sauce and watch Christmas movies.

Total spent: $10

Day six: Saturday

I woke up around 8 a.m. and made coffee before realizing that I was hungover and went back to bed.

We again woke up at 3:30, and decided to eat the leftovers from last night. I decided to do Christmas and New Year’s Eve shopping today since Kohl’s sent me a coupon.

What I wanted for my grandfather was on backorder (boo), but I did, however, find a dress for me to wear on New Year’s Eve. I also paid rent while I was online.

We decided to go out with friends, and went to a couple of bars later that night. My girlfriend was nice enough to pick up the tab tonight.

Total spent: $868

Day seven: Sunday

We hiked Crowders Mountain and snacked on food my girlfriend brought us once we got to the top.

After we got home, we decided to break out some of the leftover wine and made tacos to watch the Eagles game.

Total spent: $24.19

Total spent: $967.98
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $68
Shopping – $55
Miscellaneous – $15

What I learned: Overall, this was such a cool experience. I’m usually pretty good at keeping track of my money but not this in depth. It help me realize it’s not as bad as I thought, pretty much could be worse.

This week was pretty representative of an average week of spending for me too! I’ll definitely be keeping track like this more in depth now and continue to ask myself, do I really need this?

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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.