Cash Confessional: A week of spending on 27-year-old financial consultant’s $124,800 salary as she pays off over $100k in debt

Cash Confessional: A week of spending on 27-year-old financial consultant’s $124,800 salary as she pays off over $100k in debt
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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.

NEW! Want to be featured? Go take this new 28 question, anonymous survey. We’ve recently redone the survey to give participants more freedom to showcase their financial decisions and personality — without having to track weekly expenses. To see the other installments of Cash Confessional, click here


The basics

Who:

27-year-old female working as a financial services consultant

Income:

$124,800

Rent:

Living alone Uptown, paying $1,460

Credit card debt:

$730.24

Student loan debt:

$110,000

Car payment:

$349 a month

Most frivolous thing you’ve ever spent money on?

$110 wig. Or Postmates from Capital Grille when I literally live across the street from it.

Best thing you’ve ever spent money on?

Can’t pick just one, so I’d say any money spent on travel. I believe in experiences. I can always make more money.

I can already foresee the salty and triggered saying I can afford to travel because of what I make – and false. I traveled when I made nowhere near what I was making – it’s all about priorities. I’ll take a few more years of debt if it means living my best life and traveling the world.

One thing you’d love to buy but can’t afford yet?

Freedom from my student loan company. Or the BMW i8.

If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

Pay off my student loans and buy an i8. And a horse. Then I’d pay off my mom’s nursing school debt and pay for what remains of my younger cousins’ college tuitions.

If you had to show a friend the amount of money currently in your checking account, you’d you feel?

Embarrassed because of the fact that it’s in triple digits. But that said, the week prior, I just paid off a student loan in full, paid to fix my car, and needed to take care of my dog’s visit to the vet. Valid reasons if I say so myself.

What’s one thing that the average American probably spends too much money on?

Food. And booze.


How I spent my money this week

Monday

Took the day off. I had family in town who insisted on purchasing meats, sides, and the like so that we could make dinner at home. I spent nothing on food/beverage.

It was an extremely chill day, and after a long weekend, I went to bed early.

I also had a meeting for one of my nonprofits that day.

My autopay shows my insurance and Orange Theory membership was paid ($109 and $148.94).

Total cost: $257.94

Tuesday

Grabbed free coffee from my building, ate the lunch I packed from home, and bought a soda for $1.35.

After work, I got a haircut and spent $80. It was much needed, since I maybe cut my hair once or twice a year.

After that, talked on the phone with a friend and hit the hay.

Total spent: $81.35

Wednesday

Today I bought nothing!

I grabbed free coffee from my building for breakfast in the morning.

For lunch I made myself a prosciutto, brie, and ham sandwich (from home).

Dinner I made the same and ate some leftover cheesecake I had from the weekend.

I had to work late, so I just worked from home.

Then I took my dog for a walk and I binge-watched Netflix.

Total spent: $0

Thursday

Same routine – grabbed free coffee, ate lunch food I brought from home.

What I’ll do is prepare pounds of chicken in a slow cooker over the weekend, then once it’s done I’ll place it into separate baggies and freeze. As I need, I’ll thaw out the amount of chicken I need for recipes/meals. Today was that chicken with some rice and curry sauce I had on hand already. I also bought a soda from the vending machine ($1.35). 

Tonight I met up with a few friends in South End and grabbed a drink. I’ve decided to significantly cut down on my drinking shenanigans, so this has been a huge cutback to my regular spending. One drink, $6.

Total spent: $7.35

Friday

Work was rinse, wash, and repeat as far as spending goes (so yet again, food from home and a trip to the vending machine where I spent $1.35).

I went out to dinner with a girlfriend to grab some Futo Buta. We split the sashimi rice crispy squares (required of a South End Basic Bitch date there), then I got ramen and a soda.

I wasn’t feeling well so I called it a night after that.

Total spent: $30.85

rice cripsy squares and futo buta

Rice Crispy Squares at Futo Buta. Agenda related guide: 13 places you can find ramen in Charlotte this winter

Saturday

I went to the gym ($0), and spent my day fundraising for one of my near and dear causes.

I organized my closet because it’s a hot f***ing mess and I can’t find s*** in there.

I went to a friend’s party and drank complimentary drinks, spending $0.

A few of us then went to Let’s Meat/Seoul and ate, drank, and hung out ($43.18).

Total spent: $43.18

Sunday

I spent the day planning my next international trips for the year (they’re already paid for).

I attempted round two of tackling my closet, because it’s still a raging black hole of stuff.

I hung out at a friend’s, brought my dog to Lucky Dog, and since I got paid Friday, paid off my credit card debt ($730.24).

I also threw $1,000 into my savings (I’m obviously not counting this as spending).

Total spent: $730.24

Weekly total spent: $1,150.91


What I learned about my spending

$420.67 is what my spending for the week would have been if I had not paid off my credit card debt.

What’s crazy to me is how both of those numbers seem like a “low spend week“ for me.

I’m out of control with my credit card use and need to cut down on the impulse dinner/drinks, concerts, and online shopping that normally occur when I’m not in a “low spend” week.

There are full-blown families making a fraction of what I make, who have better self-control and more financial freedom than I do. I have zero excuse.

But then again, I’m also having a ton of fun. Whatever. Trade-offs. I’ll grow up some day.


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.

NEW! Want to be featured? Go take this new 28 question, anonymous survey. We’ve recently redone the survey to give participants more freedom to showcase their financial decisions and personality — without having to track weekly expenses. To see the other installments of Cash Confessional, click here

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