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 Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our Survey Monkey.
Job: ICU Registered Nurse
Compensation: $23.13 per hour base pay, plus an additional $3 per hour shift differential for weekends, so it varies. Last year I made about $51,000 before taxes. My spouse and I have separate bank accounts for the time being.
Extra income: Any overtime shifts I pick up (1.5x pay). I usually pick up 1-2/week.
Are you putting anything in savings?
$50 per paycheck, plus I use the Digit app, which I highly recommend for savings you don’t have to “think” about.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever spent money on?
What’s the most frivolous thing you’ve ever spent money on?
Also my honeymoon
Would you rather show a friend your savings account or your Google search history
Three financial goals
- Get out of credit card debt
- Stop living paycheck to paycheck
- Better understand how to budget and stick to it!
Mortgage: $1,789.95 per month
Roommates: 2 adults (me and my husband) and 2 cats
Neighborhood: Windsor Park/Plaza Midwood
Credit card debt: $1,749.81
Student loans: None right now, but I’m starting school again in March (degree #3!) and will have to take out loans then.
Car payment: $316.39 per month
Money diary: How I spent my money last week
Finally a day off! Grabbed some gas for the car ($11.25), got my raggedy nails done at my new favorite spot, Tiptoe Nails ($60 including tip), and then got a snack at Wendy’s ($4.33). Roasting Company for dinner ($24.76).
Another day off! Started by purchasing tickets to the Queen City Brewer’s Fest ($108.90 for two tickets, ouch). Then went out for lunch and beer with my husband. Sandwich Max ($8.52) and Resident Culture ($7.50). We also want to cut back on our eating out costs, so we decided to try Hello Fresh meal delivery. I had a coupon code, so my first week’s box set me back ($33.94). And then, because we were too lazy for the grocery store, we had Ho Ho Cherry House for dinner ($18.80). Also decided to hunker down and do my taxes, which cost $79.98 to do myself. Cheaper than a CPA, but still highway robbery in my opinion.
Back to work today, so a Panera charge for lunch at the hospital ($13.18) and dinner at Pizza Peel ($22.80), because I was tired and knew I needed to get up at 5:30 am for work the next day. As I look through my statement, I also see another charge from Hello Fresh ($11.98) and I’m not sure why. I’ll have to investigate why I got charged again.
Work again today, so spending is significantly less. Stopped for gas ($23.52), and grabbed Panera at the hospital for lunch ($9.45). Anyone else think Panera is overpriced and overrated? I also stopped by Trader Joe’s on my way home from work so I could cook at home more. Food (and a few bottles of wine…) set me back $79.84. Yafo on the way home for dinner ($14.07).
Another day at work. Brought my lunch (thanks, TJ!) and then met my hubby for a beer after work at Common Market (he bought) and then we went to the Diamond for dinner ($17.80).
YAY a day off! I stayed in all day, knowing I would be going out that night with some friends from work. On my way to dinner, I stopped and got Juul pods because I’m the worst (judge away) which set me back $17.15. Dinner and drinks ended up being covered by a friend, which was a nice surprise. So I managed to just get away with a $27.07 bar tab at Rosemont, and then my Uber home ($12.76).
Holy hangover, Batman. I tried so hard for this NOT to happen, but here we are. I am carless from last night and feel certain I might die if I leave the house, so I pony up $14.67 for some lovely angel at DoorDash to bring me Wendy’s. I spend all day in bed until my husband comes home from work, because we have to go to the QC Brewer’s Festival. Exactly what I want…more beer. But I suck it up because I paid $55 for those tickets, damnit. My husband and I split Ubers both ways ($13.56/$6.63), and then I made a $10 donation at the event. Luckily all the beer and food at the event was covered in the ticket cost, so I didn’t spend anything else!
Total spent: $652.46
What I learned
Okay, so I spent more money than I thought I was in a week. Mostly eating out (which I figured), but I also had a few unusual expenses (QC Brew Fest tickets, taxes).
Hopefully with our Hello Fresh subscription, we will be eating out less in the upcoming weeks.
I feel pretty good about where my savings are, but I still would like to pay down some of my credit card debt.
For now, my husband and I have separate bank accounts, but we have since decided to combine our incomes and see if that gives our financial lives some clarity.
We have also started using a budgeting software (YNAB) to obtain a better understanding of where our money is going.
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.
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 Lauren at email@example.com.