Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $180,000 salary

Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $180,000 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 This week, I spoke with a 24-year-old woman that makes $180,000 a year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie

The basics:

Industry: Healthcare
Position: Sales Representative
Salary: $180,000
Extra income: $650 annually from reinvested investment dividends
Savings: I’m maxing out the 401(k) limit ($18,500) and saving $2,000-3,000 a month
Age: 24

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,080
Number of roommates: 0
Neighborhood: Ballantyne area


Electric/gas – About $50/month
Water – About $10/month
Hulu and Netflix – $50
Internet – Paid for by my company

Student loans: The balance is $11,000, but I’m purposely not paying it off so I can keep the account open for credit score purposes. The monthly payment is $300.
Car payments: None
Car insurance: Around $110
Transportation costs: Paid for by my company
Phone bill: Two phones – one is paid for by my company, and the other is around $55 per month

Renters – $10
Health – Around $250 per month

Gym membership: $45
Spa membership(s): $130
Apple Music: $10
Microsoft Office: $11

Three financial goals

Give away more than 10% of my gross income.

To save $3,000 per month.

To live below my means.

Money Diary: How I spent my money last week

Editor’s note: A purchase marked with a * denotes an expense paid for by the participant’s company.

Day one: Sunday

Sundays are very busy for me, as I have church activities in the morning and evening while the afternoon is usually spent preparing for the week.

I travel for work and usually fly out Monday morning, so I file my expense report and make a packing list.

Today I was catching up on some to-do’s and ordered a birthday present online for my friends birthday ($48.65).

Total spent: $48.65

Day two: Monday

Today I have to travel to Baltimore/D.C. for a few days. I usually wake up early to read and go to the gym, and after that I come home to pack.

I place an order for a bottle of wine from a vineyard in Napa ($58.60 total), as my boss will send me specials for high-end wines.

I take an Uber to the airport ($31.42*).When I get there, I buy a couple bottles of water and some snacks ($7.49*). I don’t like to eat large meals when traveling so I usually sub snacks for meals, and I pick up another snack when I land in Baltimore ($6.16*).

When I get back to the hotel I have some yogurt and a chicken salad for dinner, which I charge to the room.

Total spent: $58.60

Day three: Tuesday

I have an early morning client meeting, so I grab a granola bar from the concierge lounge and check out of my Baltimore hotel ($273.69*).

After my appointment, I stop by Target for protein shakes and snacks ($31.35*), and I also make a few personal purchases of birthday cards for friends and some travel toiletries ($21.64).

I have a rare break in my day, and an old friend happens to be in D.C. for a conference, so I check in to my hotel for the next couple days and since it’s snowing, catch an Uber to DC ($24.99) and get a late lunch with my friend. He pays since I got the cab fare ($8.55). Later, I take an Uber back to my hotel ($23.02).

Total spent: $78.20

Day four: Wednesday

All of my meetings are cancelled because of a winter storm, and it’s snowing like crazy, so I’m stuck working in my hotel for the day.

I order room service for lunch and dinner and charge it to my room.

Total spent: $0

Day five: Thursday

I check out of my hotel ($461.02*), fill up the rental car with gas ($10.05*) and check it back in to the airport ($301.51*).

I feel a cold coming on so I buy a water, Dayquil and cough drops from the airport ($16.65).

After I take an uber home ($30.53*), I grab some groceries ($18.77) and rest all day.

Total spent: $35.42

Day six: Friday

Today, I have to get ready for a work event that runs Saturday – Tuesday. I normally don’t travel on weekends, but this is for a special event.

I have my regular hair appointment in the morning ($110) and I get my nails done for the event ($84). I also have my apartment cleaned bi-weekly, so the cleaners come today ($88.95).

I spend the rest of the day packing and getting ready for my work trip. I order Dominos for dinner, ($25.66 with delivery and tip).

Total spent: $308.61

Day seven: Saturday

Saturday morning I catch an Uber to the airport ($28.36*), then grab a water in the airport ($4.39*). I check my bag in with the sky hop ($5*).

Total spent: $0

Total spent: $529.48
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $103.03
Transportation – $56.56
Health – $16.65
Shopping – $70.29
Miscellaneous – $282.95

What I learned: I definitely didn’t realize the random purchases I make that add up quickly. I should be more careful in not buying things on a whim.

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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