May 30, 2018 - Things to Do

Cash Confessional: A week of spending in Charlotte on a $70,000 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 24-year-old woman that makes $70,000 a year. Here’s how she spends her money. -Kylie

The basics:

Industry: Banking
Position: Analyst
Salary: $70,000
Savings: $400 monthly
Age: 24

Monthly expenses:

Rent: $1,200 – this includes utilities, garage parking, WiFi and cable.
Number of roommates: 0
Neighborhood: Uptown
Car payments: None. It’s paid off, thanks to a great deal on Craigslist.
Car insurance: $130
Renters insurance: $30. I cover my parents’ property, too.
Phone bill: $100. I pay for both my phone and my mom’s.
Transportation: $40 per month in gas. I live close enough to work, so I don’t pay for Uptown parking or drive every day.
Hubble: $30
Netflix: $11.67
Amazon: $99
TSA Pre-Check: $80, because that means no more almost missing connecting flights!
Yoga: $99 for 5 classes every month

Three financial goals

Pay toward my student loans more aggressively.

Save as much as possible.

Limit unnecessary spending, like spontaneous Amazon purchases…

Money Diary: How I spent my money last week

Day one: Monday

This weekend, Honeycrisp apples were on sale, goodie! Had an apple while I started the day at work, it was a busy morning so I didn’t eat anything else until lunch. I brought some brown rice from home and sprinkled on top some Furikake (Japanese rice seasonings).

I worked through dinner, so I went out and grabbed a small egg drop soup ($5) and headed back to work.

Paid my phone bill ($100) and my Netflix subscription got drafted today ($11.76).

Total spent: $116.76

Day two: Tuesday

I started the day again with an apple and a cup of iced water and had Kimchi fried rice for lunch (leftovers from this past weekend).

I made a trip to Walgreens to get some ladies’ essentials ($19.95), and also stopped by Not Just Coffee for a little pick me up ($3.79).

Bae and I stopped by Yamazaru on the way back from work and I got me some salmon fix ($20)!

Total spent: $43.74

Day three: Wednesday

Another busy day, so no time for breakfast. I just got a bottle of water ($1.15) from the vending machine instead.

Lunch is once again brown rice from home and Furikake (I am addicted to this stuff).

Dinner is corn on the cob and some crackers with country pâté (I already had everything at home).

Total spent: $1.15

Day four: Thursday

Breakfast was an apple. OK, I must admit my breakfast usually consists of a nice butter croissant or breakfast farm plate from Showmars. But I’ve been trying to cut down on eating out at work and I hadn’t had time to step out of the office.

Lunch is leftover Kimchi fried rice from Choi’s China Wing, which I definitely recommend for good Korean food!

Dinner is a nice warm bowl of pho at Pho Hoa ($18).

My student loans got drafted today ($400).

Total spent: $418

Day five: Friday

No more apples today. I went and got a bag of popcorn from the vending machine before an early meeting ($1.80).

Mid-morning, I felt like falling asleep, so I took a break and got me a refreshing Nimbu Pani (Indian style lemonade with cumin seeds) and a samosa ($5.25). I had another Nimbu Pani for supper and a chutney and cheese croissant (yum). $5.50

I went to yoga after work and used one of my passes that I had bought earlier in the month. I try to go twice a week, and it has helped me tremendously with keeping my stress level in check.

I took my mom for an early Mother’s Day dinner at Choi’s China Wing ($49).

Also, Jesse McCartney’s concert tickets went on sale today and I owe it to my teenage girl’s self to go ($35).

Total spent: $96.55

Day six: Saturday

Just a slow morning hike with bae and a stop at Cracker Barrel for some brunch ($15).

We met up with some friends later and had a nice Dim Sum dinner ($15.49).

I got on Amazon (uh-oh) and got Numi Jasmine tea and Vitamins ($47.32).

Total spent: $77.81

Day seven: Sunday

Slept in this beautiful Sunday morning.

Bae and I went looking for something light and healthy lunch… but somehow ended up at Pollo Campero and had a lot of fried chicken ($9.50).

We ended the day with a trip to Trader Joe’s, where I got enough groceries for the next two weeks ($25.51).

Total spent: $35.01

Total spent: $789.02
The breakdown:

Food and drink – $174.99
Bills – $511.76
Miscellaneous – $102.27

What I learned: I have got to admit, being a big foodie, I love to make plans to eat out. I intend to keep bringing lunch to work and I should probably try to eat at home more during weekends. My goal in the next couple of years is to save up enough for at least 3 months’ worth of my current salary, pay off a nice chunk of my student loans and start saving up towards a house down-payment. I would love to be able to shoulder some of my parents’ monthly expenses like health insurance – not because they need, it but I just want to be of help somehow.

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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