Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a $90,000 salary

Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a $90,000 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 26-year-old woman that makes $90,000 a year. Here’s how she spends her money.

The basics:

Industry: Financial Technology
Position: Associate Business Development Manager
Salary: $90,000
Savings: $600 per month into a savings account, plus $375 per month into a 401(k)
Age: 26

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,543
Neighborhood: Uptown
Number of roommates: 0


Electric – $45
Cable – None. Streaming is life.
Internet – $60
Water – $25

Student loans: None yet
Car payments: $360
Car insurance: $110
Transportation: $0. Although rent is high, living in Uptown is great because I can walk to work and rarely have to drive anywhere.
Phone bill: $57
Insurance: $91 for health, $7 for dental
YMCA: $70
Hulu: $8
Spotify: $10
Vitamin subscription: $70-$110

Three financial goals

Invest more in stocks and bonds and broaden my investment portfolio.

Increase my retirement contributions. I’m currently contributing 10%, but would like to increase that consecutively every year.

Pay off my car loan.

Money Diary: How I spent my money last week

Day one: Sunday

I wake up, make a protein shake and go straight to the pool. Laid out and read a book until about 12 p.m. Walked to Whole Foods (this is my exercise for the day) to pick up lunch and a few items that I needed for cooking – avocados, cinnamon, tuna salad wrap, juice and chips. Total came to $19.77. Side note: I live very close to the new Whole Foods and I love it so don’t judge how many trips I make there. Whole Foods will further be denoted as WF.

Walked back to my apartment and meal prepped lunch and dinner for the week. I made chicken creole, turkey burrito bowls and salt & vinegar potato salad.

Went back to the pool to meet a friend and lounged until about 5, then headed to Kid Cashew for dinner. We ordered the Summer Feast special for two (hummus and crab dip with pita, brussels sprouts with bacon, rotisserie chicken, trout, mac and cheese and an avocado stuffed with quinoa). I also ordered a glass of cab, because why not? The total came to $43.

Total spent: $62.77

Day two: Monday

I ate hard-boiled eggs in the morning for breakfast and drank free coffee at work. Ate my chicken creole for lunch and after work, ate my turkey burrito bowl for dinner before walking to the Y to take a strength class.

My $110 car insurance payment and $44 Duke Energy payment both came out today, and I was also charged $7 for a Lyft I took on Saturday night.

Total spent: $161

Day three: Tuesday

I ate hard-boiled eggs in the morning for breakfast and drank free coffee at work, then ate my chicken creole for lunch and turkey burrito bowl for dinner. I also made another trip to WF to pick up some blueberries, salami, more avocados and juice for $16.

My boyfriend and I drove to Concord after work to help my mom move some furniture that she purchased at a model home auction, which was loads of fun. But hey, she bought us a decorative lounge chair for my boyfriend’s new house, so it as well worth the trip.

Headed to WF with the BF for dinner. I got the hot bar (brisket and kale salad) and he ordered a panini. I paid for the meal because he was so helpful with the furniture move. $21

Paid my rent today ($1,543), and a $46 doctor bill came out as well. I was also charged $7 for another Lyft I took on Saturday night.

Total spent: $1,633

Day four: Wednesday

I ate eggs in the morning and brewed coffee in my Keurig at home. I ate my chicken creole for lunch and turkey burrito bowl for dinner.

One of my good friends is a yoga teacher, so I headed to her yoga studio for a free class after work. She regretted to inform me that the class was hot yoga, which was quite the experience. But I must say, I’m a fan.

Received $27 for the Lilly Pulitzer dress I sold on eBay, then bought a new sleep mask on Amazon for $15 since mine was falling apart. I also paid my phone bill today ($57) and donated to my friend’s birthday charity fund on Facebook ($10).

Total spent: $82

Day five: Thursday

Ate eggs in the morning, brewed coffee in my Keurig and worked from home today. Feeling very #blessed that my company lets me work from home sometimes.

I made a run to WF to pick up groceries for meal prepping. It pains me to say that I spent $85, but I bought enough ingredients to last me for over a week! I also purchased some vitamins on Amazon for $21. Went to the Y for a power class.

Total spent: $106

Day six: Friday

I ate eggs in the morning and brewed coffee at work, plus picked up a free juice from Green Brothers, which was in the office (yummm).

I went to Berrybrook Farm after work. I’d never been to this place before and was told I needed to go, and it was well worth the trip! I bought some tea, CBD oil and juice for $44.

I filled up my gas tank for $37 and headed over to the BF’s house for a glorious night of absolutely nothing except for a trip to Harris Teeter for a snack (chips, $5) and Leroy Fox for those amazing brussels sprouts (free – BF paid).

Total spent: $86

Day seven: Saturday

I woke up around 7 to go to a class at the Y, then spent the day cooking up a storm with the groceries I bought on Thursday. Headed to the usual, WF, to pick up a few items for the BF’s barbeque (pasta salad, broccoli slaw, zucchini, limes and seltzer water) for a total of $43. Spent the rest of the day at the BF’s house cleaning, grilling out and watching The Sinner on Netflix.

Total spent: $43

Total spent: $2,173.77
The breakdown:

Bills – $1,800
Food and drink – $276.77
Transportation – $51
Shopping – $36
Miscellaneous – $10

What I learned:  Wow. I spend a lot of money on food. This weekend was very low-key compared to my usual weekend, as I usually eat out A LOT more, so I can only imagine how much I spend on other weekends.

I love to cook and spent a lot of money at WF this week because of that hobby. I’m proud of myself for actually eating my cooked meals instead of going out to eat. I’m not sure if I saved money by buying so much at WF and not eating out, because WF is so expensive. Uptown is chock full of fancy restaurants, so I have a feeling that I would spend much more if I went out to eat all the time. Lesson learned: hit up the Food Lion every once in a while for staple items and stick to WF only when absolutely necessary.

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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