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.
This week, I spoke with a 22-year-old woman who makes $56,500 a year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie
Industry: Environmental Engineering
Position: Assistant Engineer
Yearly salary: $56,500
Who do you bank with and why? Bank of America. I’ve been with them since I was 16 and they’ve always been good to me. Plus I love having it linked up to Merrill Edge for my investments.
Savings: I try to save between $800-$1,000 a month for my general savings fund. I also put 7% of my salary in my 401k and put the maximum ($5,500) in my Roth IRA each year.
Rent: $775 (my half)
Number of roommates: 1
Utilities (electric, gas, cable, water, internet, etc.): Around $200
Student loans (if applicable): None (thank you, thank you, thank you, Mom and Dad)
Car payments: None
Car insurance: $55
Transportation costs: About $80 in gas a month. I wish I could walk to work.
Phone bill: I’m still on my family plan, but I pay my mom $40 a month for my share.
Insurance: Renters is $15. When it comes to health insurance, I’m still on my parents (again, thanks, big time).
Three financial goals:
Be contributing 15% to my 401(k) by the age of 25.
Be a homeowner by 30.
Figure out how to make a significant amount of extra income.
Money Diary: How I spent my money last week
Day one: Sunday
I’m at the beach for a long weekend staying with my friend and her family. Luckily I was a guest so it wasn’t a big spending weekend for me. However, I threw them $20 for groceries.
8 a.m. Bagel with cream cheese. Healthy! But it’s vacation, so it doesn’t count. $0.
1 p.m. Salad! Cancels out breakfast right? $0.
6 p.m. It’s our night to cook dinner so we make Mexican tacos for all 15 people. All the food we used was from groceries that had already been bought. $0.
Total spent: $20
Day two: Monday
8 a.m. It’s my best friend’s birthday, so her mom cooks us Monkey Bread for breakfast. (Here’s the recipe… this stuff is amazing, very healthy too.) $0
1 p.m. I’m packing up and grab a cheese sandwich and a Sprite from the house for my longggg drive back to Charlotte. $0
2 p.m. Stop to fill up on gas. $24.90
8 p.m. Made it all the way home without stopping for a snack. Bojangles’ billboards didn’t win this time. Cooked a quick Trader Joe’s frozen Indian meal for dinner. $0.
Total spent: $24.90
Day three: Tuesday
7 a.m. Trader Joe’s fiber cereal and almond milk for breakfast. Mmmmm. $0
12 p.m. My boss and I went to lunch at a Mexican buffet after a meeting. Surprisingly good. My boss paid because he is a saint. $0
3 p.m. Remembered I’m going to the Swansea vs. Charlotte Independence soccer game tomorrow and need to figure out transportation. Friends suggest Bus-n-Brew, which includes round trip transportation and three beers. SOLD. $21.99
8 p.m. I cooked a quinoa pesto pasta dish with ingredients I had and ingredients that my boyfriend kindly brought over. Lots of leftovers! $0.
Total spent: $21.99
Day four: Wednesday
7 a.m. TJ’s cereal again. You’ll notice a trend. $0.
12 p.m. Go out for lunch with all the ladies in the office (huge party of 4) at Chopt. So. Good. $9.49
5 p.m. Eat leftover pasta and head to the soccer game. $0
7 p.m. Grab the three beers my ticket for the Bus-n-Brew gets me. $0
8 p.m. I’m dying of heat, thirst and dehydration. Give in and buy a water. $3
Total spent: $12.49
Day five: Thursday
7 a.m. The usual. $0
12 p.m. Today is our Lunch and Learn day! The company brings in Panera. $0
5 p.m. Pick up some yummies from Publix for a friend’s BBQ. Judge me for my veggie dogs, but they’re great. $12.32
Total spent: $12.32
Day six: Friday
6 a.m. Again, the usual. $0
8 a.m. Stop for gas and coffee on my way to Winston-Salem for work. I’m going to be up there all weekend, so another tank to come. $30.53
12 p.m. Granola bar I brought from home for lunch. Yes, I was still hungry. $0
3 p.m. Get home early from work at pick up some more yummies from the King Street farmer’s market! The corn always gets me. $10.07
7 p.m. Finally go to see “Me Before You” with a pal and pick up some candy beforehand at Rite Aid. $3.75
7:30 p.m. Buy my ticket. Was kinda disappointed in the movie… $10.61
9:30 p.m. Some leftover pasta before bed. Early work tomorrow. $0
Total spent: $54.96
Day seven: Saturday
8 a.m. Breakfast of champions: Trader Joe’s cereal. $0
12 p.m. I’m in Winston-Salem on-site (this is my first time working on the weekend) and those Bojangles’ billboards finally won. I got a Cheddar Bo and seasoned fries. Mmmmm. $3.83
7 p.m. Back home. Leftover pasta again! Still good. I convinced my boyfriend to bring over raspberries and ginger for some homemade kombucha that is ready to be flavored. $3.21
Total spent: $7.04
Total spent: $153.70
Food and drink – $65.67
Transportation – $77.42
Miscellaneous – $10.61
What I learned:
I learned that when I’m tracking what I’m spending, I spend less, which is really great. This wasn’t the most usual week for me. I usually bring lunch to work every single day but this week wasn’t the case. Also, I have never worked a weekend before, and if I had been home, I think I would have spent a lot more on food and alcohol, but it was a nice weekend of spending less. Overall, I think I am doing alright in the spending/saving department but am so happy I participated in this! Being aware and conscious of what I’m buying is something I needed to work on and this has been very helpful.
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