Nov 9, 2016 - Money

Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on an $80,000 salary

km skyline romare bearden cash confessional

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 [email protected].

This week, I spoke with a 28-year-old woman who makes $80,000 per year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie

The basics:

Industry: Chemical
Position: Sales Manager
Yearly salary: $80,000
Extra income: $24,000 bonus
Who you bank with and why: USAA. My fiancé was in the military so it’s easier to have everything at one bank.
Savings: Between $1,500 and $2,300 a month.
Age: 28
Gender: Female

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,800 a month. I pay $200 a month, and my fiancé covers the rest.
Number of roommates: One, my fiancé
Neighborhood: Steele Creek
Utilities: Around $500 a month. I pay $20, my fiancé covers the rest.
Student loans: $81
Car payment: $560
Transportation: It’s embarrassing to actually type this, but my parents still pay for my gas. $0
Phone bill: Paid for by work
Insurance: Paid for by work
Gym membership: $169

Three financial goals:

We’re getting married in May, so we want to put $1,500 a month into our joint savings account. This will be for our honeymoon and miscellaneous wedding costs.

Continue to put $1,000+ into savings each month after the wedding.

Continue to stay debt-free on credit cards.

Money Diary: How I spent my money last week

Day one: Saturday

I had French toast casserole from my new go to place, Clean Eatz, where they have pre-prepped healthy meals. I bought it last week, so it cost $0 for today!

Went grocery shopping and spent $105 out of our joint account, so not totally from me. I stocked up on food for dinner for the whole week.

Lunch was left over steak and brown rice. $0

Tonight was date night, so we went to see Girl on the Train and had dinner at Chopt. My fiancé paid for the movie and I picked up dinner, which, with his military discount, came out to $17.

Total spent: $122

Day two: Sunday

Had eggs for breakfast at home ($0) and went for our cheat meal (pizza!) after church at Libretto’s in the EpiCentre. My fiancé paid again, so I spent $0.

I did stop at Amelie’s after lunch to pick up some treats for $14.04, but they were so good!

For dinner, I made nachos with the food we picked up from the grocery store yesterday. $0

Total spent: $14.04

Day three: Monday

Had coffee at home and breakfast was catered by Chick-fil-A at work. $0

Work decided to spoil us today and catered lunch, too. $0

I did pick up some more meals from Clean Eatz for my breakfasts and lunches for the week ($56) and mailed a package to my parents for their 35 wedding anniversary ($6.45).

I also had to stop at the vet and pick up dog food for $86.

Made dinner at home with stuff I’d bought at the grocery store. $0

Total spent: $148.45

Day four: Tuesday

I had the Clean Eatz meals I bought yesterday for breakfast and lunch ($0) and stopped at CVS to pick my boss up a Boss’ Day card (a day late… whoops!) and some other items. $8.50.

Ordered two dresses online for a wedding we have in Punta Cana in December for $85.

Made dinner at home again for $0.

Total spent: $93.50

Day five: Wednesday

Had Clean Eatz’s Smores French Toast for breakfast and coffee at home ($0). Lunch was another pre-prepped meal purchased Monday ($0).

Our cleaning lady came today, which meant the dogs went to daycare. I paid the $167 out of our joint account, so it wasn’t all my money.

Total spent: $167

Day six: Thursday

Breakfast was at home again ($0) before I met a friend for lunch at Viva Chicken in Ballantyne and stopped at Starbucks after for $12.60. I had some time to kill so I picked stopped at CVS to pick some things up for $14.57.

Last month, I bought my super crazy dog Mom a dog sweatshirt for Christmas. Mine came in the mail, my fiancé saw it and had to have one of his own so I ordered it as a Christmas present for $34.

We had leftovers for dinner again ($0).

Total spent: $61.17

Day seven: Friday

Clean Eatz’s Smores French toast was breakfast again. It’s really that good! $0

Had to stock up on more pre-prepped meals at lunch for $32.

Booked a wine and design night for December when my Mom is in town. My Grandma is coming as well, so all 3 were $52.50.

Made a crockpot dinner with groceries we bought on Saturday. $0

Total spent: $84.50

Total spent: $690.66
The breakdown:
Food and drink – $236.64
Shopping – $148.52
Miscellaneous – $305.50

What I learned: Tracking my spending this week, I learned I spend a lot of money on food. I could probably make more of it at home myself and save some but I love the convenience. I only bought 2-3 things I didn’t really need (dresses, Christmas gifts so early) but for me this is really good! I used to shop at least 3 times a week but since going on a budget in May, I’ve tried to really cut back.

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.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more