May 23, 2018 - Things to Do

Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a combined $108,000 salary



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 couple in their mid-twenties making a combined $108,000. Here’s how they spent their money.

The basics:


Him – Finance
Her – Publishing


Him – Senior Analyst
Her – Procurement Specialist


Him – $58,000
Her – $50,000

Savings: $100 from each paycheck goes into respective savings accounts

Him – 24
Her – 26

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,638
Number of roommates: 1 adorable puppy (okay, she’s almost 3, but a puppy to us!)
Neighborhood: Uptown
Student loans: 

Him – None
Her – Thanks, mom and dad! And the Hope Scholarship – go Dawgs!

Car payments:

Him – Nope. The car was a graduation gift from mom and dad.
Her – None. Luckily, I’ve always had hand-me-downs from family.

Car insurance:

Him – $300 every six months
Her – $61.50 each month

Transportation costs:

Him – I drive to work and fill up my tank roughly once every other week for about $35.
Her – Luckily I can walk to work, so I barely ever drive my car. I fill up my tank roughly once a month.

Phone bill: 

Her – Still on my parents’ plan (I know! But they haven’t kicked me off yet, so I’m riding this wave).
Him – Ditto!

Parking: $30
Water: $10
Trash: $15
Duke Energy: $70
AT&T: $120
Home Chef: $240
Netflix: $9
Spotify: $5.35
Amazon Music: $5.35
Puppy Vet: $45.45
Bark Box: $21

Three financial goals

Begin a combined account that we put $100 from each paycheck into for our future home.

Him: To put $200 into savings while still staying under budget (read: not spending more than I make).

Her: Be able to buy a new car by the end of the year.

Money Diary: How we spent our money last week

Day one: Monday

Side note – on Sunday, we went shopping for groceries for the week. A lot of lunches and snacks came from this trip.

Him: Woke up at 5, got ready, took the puppy out and grabbed a yogurt to eat in the office for breakfast. I usually have a banana as well, but they weren’t ripe yet! $0

Venmoed her for my share of a Target run we made this weekend. We needed new throw pillows! $25

The office heard that the Jimmy John’s near their building was giving away free sandwiches today, but when I tried to place an order, they said that you had to come to the physical store and I was too swamped. Ate some carrots and grapes that I brought to snack on instead.

Her: Woke up at 7, got ready and grabbed coffee downstairs in our apartment building (such a luxury, we have a Starbucks machine free to use for residents and their guests).  Grabbed a granola bar from our vending machine at work for breakfast for $1.

I bought tickets for the Wells Fargo championship for both of us ($130 total). We made a deal that he’ll pay for beer and snacks there!

Also saw that a copay was due for a past doctor visit (their credit card machine had been down), so I went ahead and paid that. $30

I made a sandwich from the groceries we purchased on Sunday for lunch.

Ran out of steam around 2:15 and went to Caribou for an iced green tea. I’ve stopped drinking soda, so I justified the tea since it was the “healthier” choice. $2.80

Them: We ate a Home Chef meal that he cooked for dinner. Ginger beef and red peppers. Delicious! $0

She ordered a pair of bathing suit bottoms she had wanted that were on major sale (blame the glass of merlot she was drinking). $7.50

He also made a late night purchase – some polo shorts for $30. A steal!

Total spent: $226.30 

Day two: Tuesday

Him: Woke up at 5, grabbed a banana and a yogurt (you’ll see a pattern here) and dropped the puppy off at daycare. I buy a package every couple of months, so this didn’t cost anything.

Paid my share of rent today. She paid hers early when she got her paycheck, so now we’re all settled. $1,638

Ate the sandwich I made this morning with groceries we bought on Sunday.

Her: Woke up and grabbed a coffee (another pattern).

When I got to work, I had some cereal with almond milk (I keep cereal at my desk just in case I forget to bring breakfast, which happens often…).

I might as well go ahead and spill the beans here… I’m a shopaholic and I know which days stores start sales if they’re having them. Tuesday is the day for J. Crew, so I hopped on the site only to see that a top I’ve been wanting was now 50% off, so I got it. $17

BECAUSE of this knowledge, however, I was able to call and get price adjustments on several items I had previously ordered (like those bikini bottoms from last night!).

I know, I really do have a problem.

Also got my monthly Home Chef charge from my lovely roommate ($120), so I paid that. Guys, you caught us at an expensive time! $240 total with his half.

I ate the sandwich I made this morning but ran to the grocery store at lunch to grab smoothie supplies. I want to start making my own breakfast smoothies and I also wanted to get out of the office! $16.90

I had to return something to J. Crew after an appointment and wound up buying a pair of shorts to wear to the Wells Fargo tournament on Saturday. With the return and purchase, I wound up getting some money back.

I parked at Belk and walked by the sale section on my way back to my car, where I saw a sweater I had purchased at full price a few months back in another color for 90% off, so I had to pull the trigger… $10.

Them: We both somehow had doctors appointments this afternoon, so that’s another two copays. $45 for her and $20 for him.

He made Home Chef for dinner again (it was AMAZING!) and we watched John Mulaney’s new comedy special on Netflix.

Total spent: $1,986.90

Day three: Wednesday

Him: Woke up and grabbed the usual banana/yogurt combo, and ate another sandwich I had made this morning, along with some fruit and carrots.

Grabbed a few beers after a long day at the office with some friends ($35) and was too tired to cook when I got home, so ordered pizza in. $22

Her: Woke up and made my first smoothie, and also grabbed a coffee from downstairs.

I HAVE to stop getting on store websites when I know they’re having a sale and I’m trying to save – I saw another top I’ve been eyeing on J.Crew for $13.10. I promise this post is not sponsored by them…

Ran home on lunch (luxury of working close by) for a quick workout and to make a sandwich to bring back to the office.

My mid-afternoon slump hit again around 3:30, so I ran downstairs for an iced green tea ($3.75).

I went to Craft with a friend for $6 cheese board night. We went with one cheese and one charcuterie and it was the perfect choice! Also had a glass or two of rosé because, you know, springtime! $22.50

Total spent: $96.35

Day four: Thursday

Another breakfast of yogurt and a banana for him and a smoothie and coffee for her.

Him: Grabbed some guacamole and chips from Qdoba to accompany my sandwich and avocado ($3.50).

Ate leftover pizza from the night before for dinner.

The BarkBox subscription hit, so $21 was drafted out of my account. I also had to grab a prescription from CVS, which was $4.45.

Her: I almost didn’t include this out of embarrassment, but I fell into the J. Crew sale trap once again. Another top, another BRB, blocking the site on my computer. $10

Went home and made another sandwich for lunch, and treated myself to a handful of mint M&M’s after. $0

I’m going to a friends birthday party tonight, so I bought her a card and a gift card. $20

Ate a frozen meal for dinner and got ready for drinks. I took an uber to City Lights ($6) and stayed way too late enjoying cocktails with friends ($42) before Ubering home ($6).

Total spent: $112.95

Day five: Friday

We had our usual breakfasts of a yogurt and banana for him and a coffee and a smoothie for her.

Him: I picked up a sandwich from a place near my office ($10) and Spotify drafted out of my account ($5.35).

Her: Over lunch, I ran to get my nails done ($25) and on my way back to the office, grabbed a burrito bowl from Chipotle for $10.71.

One of my favorite pair of earrings broke, so I ran to Walgreens after work and got some super glue to fix them. $3.71

Them: It was so nice out after work that we decided to have dinner outside at one of our favorite neighborhood spots, Poplar Tapas. $80

Total spent: $134.77

Day six: Saturday

Them: It’s the morning of the Wells Fargo Championship, so while he took the puppy to daycare (prepaid, $0), she ran downstairs to the coffee shop in our building for some breakfast and a coffee. $15

Him: Stopped by Harris Teeter on my way back home for some pre-tournament prosecco ($12) and we Ubered to Quail Hollow for ($31.59)

During the day, I bought various drinks and food (as promised, since she bought the tickets) for a total of $116. I also stopped by the merchandise tent and bought myself a polo and some pint glasses ($118).

Her: I bought two t-shirts (they were running a BOGO deal!) for $20 and a pint glass for my dad for $12.

Them: After the tournament, we rode the light rail back into Uptown and picked up the puppy from daycare ($4.40) and grabbed a King of Pops for $6. Were too tired to walk back to the light rail station so we Ubered home. $8.60

When we got home we were exhausted from the day and ordered in for dinner. $60

Total spent: $403.59

Day seven: Sunday

Him: Woke up and did some Amazon shopping. Bought a six pack of cedar shoe trees ($80) and some cufflinks for her dad for Father’s Day ($20).

Her: Nothing!

Total spent: $100

Total spent: $3,060.86
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $699.16
Transportation – $56.59
Bills – $1,759.35
Shopping – $382.60
Miscellaneous – $163.16

What we learned: We are OUT OF CONTROL!!!!! We both took a moment of silence after totaling our week for just how crazy our spending is. Although a large chunk of this weeks spending came from rent and the golf tournament on Saturday, we definitely spend way too much on food and drinks, as well as shopping. This definitely helped put things into perspective for us but we know that we like spending the money that we make on having fun and making memories.

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.


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