Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $50,000 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 $50,000 a year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie

The basics:

Industry: Beer
Position: Sales
Yearly salary: $50,000
Extra income: I get a bonus once a year, and it’s anywhere from $1,000-$5,000.
Savings: I put $200 in a savings account every month, and 6% of pretax income goes to a 401(k) (my employer matches up to 4%).
Age: 30

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,050
Number of roommates: 0
Neighborhood: Dilworth
Utilities: $35 for electric. Everything else is included in my rent.
Student loans: $290
Car payments: $301
Car Insurance: $110
Transportation costs: Just Uber and gas. If there’s anything for work, I can expense it.
Phone bill: $0 – work covers it.
Insurance: $66 for dental, vision and medical through work.
Furniture: I just purchased a new bed and financed it because beds are expensive, so $75
Netflix: $8
Weight Watchers: $45

Three financial goals

Pay off my car this year. This will for sure happen by end of summer, and after it’s paid off, I plan on continuing the payment, but into my savings account.

Double what I put into savings every month.

Have 3 months’ worth of paychecks in savings by the end of the year. I feel like it’s doable, I just need to put the money aside and not touch it.

Money Diary: How I spent my money last week

Day one: Monday

I was in Raleigh for New Year’s Eve, so I drove back today. I grabbed some gas ($16.43) and stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for a turkey Wake Up Wrap and iced coffee ($4.28), then cleaned up around my apartment for the rest of the day.

I went on a date at Cowfish and got the Fusion Bento Box. Highly recommend it, and since it was a date, he treated.

I also Venmo-ed my friend money for the Uber-ing he did while we were in Raleigh ($35). The surcharge was super high because of the holiday.

Total spent: $55.71

Day two: Tuesday

I worked from home today, so I made breakfast out of coffee, eggs and turkey sausage.

I split up my larger bills throughout the month instead of just dropping the full amount at once. It helps to spread them out in my opinion, so today I paid part of my car bill ($100), Netflix ($8) and Weight Watchers ($45).

Total spent: $153

Day three: Wednesday

I am a creature of habit and make breakfast from home almost every single day, so today I made coffee, eggs, turkey sausage and cinnamon toast.

I did some computer work and then out the door I went. I grabbed a tea at Coco and the Director and then was on my way ($3.20).

Since I was running around, I didn’t have time to grab lunch, but after work I headed to the grocery store. I’ve been traveling a lot for work, so I knew this shopping trip was going to be pricy ($122.40).

I got home, made dinner and did some work.

Total spent: $125.60

Day four: Thursday

Made breakfast at home and then headed out and about around town for work today. I had lunch at an account and was able to write that off for work.

I have plans to meet up with friends for trivia at NoDa Brewing tonight, so I headed home after work to get ready. At trivia, I grabbed a beer ($5) and then headed out to the Tin Kitchen food truck to grab some tacos ($8.58). I was kind of tired from the day, so I only had 1 drink and then headed home after trivia, where I watched some Netflix and then passed out.

Total spent: $13.58

Day five: Friday

I’ll be working from home today since I have a work webinar this morning and a work event this afternoon. The work event included food and drinks so I tried to make it my Friday night. Once I headed home, it was pretty late so I crashed.

Today ended up turning into a No Spend Day, which is exciting!

Total spent: $0

Day six: Saturday

I’m heading to a friend’s for dinner and game night, and I don’t like showing up empty handed, so I decided on wine and a charcuterie plate. So off to Total Wine I went, and ended up leaving with wine for dinner and a bottle from Portugal that I couldn’t pass on. $34.30

I went into Harris Teeter with a plan, so I bought some bread, meat and cheese that paired with the wine and back home I went to get ready. $13.55

Total spent: $47.85

Day seven: Sunday

Today was supposed to be all about cleaning, but the mall was calling my name, so I decided to head over. I gave myself a max spend of $100 and I did well.

I got a new necklace and birthday card at Altar’d State ($64.28) and some half-off holiday goodies at Papyrus ($26.59).

Finally, I headed home and started adulting with some cleaning.

Total spent: $90.87

Total spent: $486.61
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $191.31
Bills – $153
Transportation – $51.43
Shopping – $90.87

What I learned: I’m confident that I’m good with my money, but because I’m trying to save even more this year, I need to really ask myself if certain purchases are worth it. There were also some bills tossed into this week so that caused the total to rise.

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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.