Our Cash Confessional series takes a personal and anonymous look into how people of all ages and incomes spend their money in the span of seven days.
This week, I spoke with a 36-year-old male who makes $74,000 a year. Here’s how he spends his money. -Kylie
Industry: Real Estate/Mortgage
Occupation: Wholesale Underwriter
Bank: SunTrust and AMEX. I was frustrated with the big banks’ policies, fees, etc. I received an offer in the mail to open an account at SunTrust and get $100 for doing so, so that’s what I did. I use my AMEX account primarily for an expense account for variable expenses. I have $200 from my paycheck deposited directly in that account every two weeks.
Neighborhood: South Charlotte/Ballantyne
Number of Roommates: 0
Utilities: $90 for things like electricity, water, etc. Instead of paying $200 for a traditional cable/internet bundle for channels I never watch with a slower internet speed, I decided to get all my services separately. It saves me $68/month but I have 5 bills instead of 1. Everything is auto-drafted, so: $70 for Uverse internet, cable/tv; streaming service through PS4 for $29.99; Netflix for $8.99; HBONow for $14.99 and Hulu for $7.99. $221.96 total.
Student Loans: $155
Car payments: $300
Car insurance: $74
Phone bill: $60
Panthers PSL payment: $83.33
I’m a spender. You can’t take it with you when you’re gone. I value using my money for the things/experiences I want now rather than waiting until I’m 65. I know saving is important, so it works best for me if the money is gone before I get it. The majority of my savings goes to my 401K. I contribute 7% of my salary to get the full 50% company match my employer offers. I’m thinking about increasing that to 10% in the very near future. I keep $1,000-$2,000 in a savings account for an emergency fund.
Money Diary: How I spent my money last week
Day one: Sunday
$104.10 at Firebirds for a late dinner with my girlfriend and her mom on Saturday night, then drinks afterwards that carried over into Sunday morning. The tradeoff is my girlfriend’s mom is cooking a big Dominican lunch Sunday afternoon, so I’ll have food the rest of the week!
I spent $4.28 at Starbucks and $28.03 at Target – the kid and I need breakfast necessities.
Day two: Monday
The first of the month means expenses. The rent is due ($950), the Panthers want their money for season tickets – these payments are only for 6 months – ($219.08), and I top off my gas ($30). $1,199.08
Breakfast: cinnamon toast crunch, coffee at work. $0
Lunch: leftovers from Firebirds. $0
Dinner: leftovers from Sunday’s lunch. $0
Day three: Tuesday
I worked from home today, so my spending was minimal.
Breakfast: cinnamon and raisin toast and bacon. $0
Lunch: This Dominican rice and beans meal that I cannot name (Moro de habichuelas), but it’s amazing and its free! Like I said before I have food for most of the week. $0
Dinner: I was still full from lunch, so I didn’t eat. $0
Auto draft for PS4 streaming TV service: $29.99
Day four: Wednesday
Breakfast is a blueberry muffin from Panera and a complimentary coffee. $2.70
Lunch is leftovers (the last of them) from Sunday. $0
I worked late Wednesday night and skipped dinner. $0
Another Target run for Mother’s Day cards for my mom and other family members, and other miscellaneous items for $29.73.
I also paid a bill for a family member that’s in between jobs at the moment for $24.46.
Day five: Thursday
I had a quarterly divisional meeting at work so breakfast and lunch was provided. $0
Dinner was at Monterrey Mexican Restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. $30
Day six: Friday
Breakfast was at Chick-fil-a for $4.93 and I didn’t eat lunch. $4.93
I ate the grilled octopus and white beans at Kid Cashew, but it was my girlfriend’s turn to pay. $0
Went out for hookah and drinks later that night. $74.05
I’m a member of Dollar Shave Club, so they aut0-drafted $6.
Day 7: Saturday
Started off strong for breakfast at Bojangles’. Girlfriend buys again. $0
I had BBQ with my family for lunch, so $0. While in Greensboro, I bought a gift for my niece at Target. $16
I also stopped at Starbucks ($6.93) and Wal-Mart ($10.71), and got gas on the way home ($33.01). $50.11
Dinner was pizza at home. $0
Total spent: $1,624.00
Food and drink – $255.02
Transportation – $63.01
Bills – $1,229.53
Miscellaneous – $76.44
What I learned: Overall I gained a greater sense of awareness and gratefulness after a review of my spending this week. Writing down EVERYTHING I spend money on monthly and then tracking where every cent goes daily was overwhelming because it’s not something I really think about consciously every day (swiping that card is too easy) — but I’m grateful I’m able to work/earn to afford the things I need and/or want. My spending spikes on the weekend so maybe I should commit to 1-2 weekends a month where I don’t go out at all or if I do go out find something that’s free.