It can be a serious challenge keeping track of every dollar earned and spent, which is why we’re asking real working women to give us the lowdown on their spending habits over the course of a month. This time, we’re getting inspired by a 26-year-old senior financial analyst in New York City. Read on to learn all the ways she spends…and saves.
Annual salary: $95,000, plus an annual bonus
Annual bonus in 2015: $25,000
Monthly take-home pay: $5,320
$2,150. It’s a lot, but I live in a rent-stabilized studio apartment in the West Village, so I consider it a steal.
Approximately $120. I don’t have cable (just Internet), so Time Warner is $60 per month and my electric and gas bill fluctuates between $50 and $70. I just bought an A/C unit this month, so I anticipate this cost will go up quite a bit.
I actually don’t put in anything from my monthly take-home salary. My bonus is taxed at a higher rate (around 50 percent), so I contribute from that, pretax. Last year, I contributed $5,000, which amounts to just over $400 a month.
None. I was fortunate enough to graduate from college without any student loans.
$175. The cost of my monthly unlimited subway card is $116.50. I spend the rest on taxis or Ubers here and there, mainly when I am out at night.
$100. I only get my hair cut twice a year and each appointment costs me $120, but I have the Barfly membership at Drybar ($80 a month), which includes two blowouts a month.
$100. I am the worst cook, so my groceries consist primarily of eggs and English muffins.
$440. Food is where the bulk of my money goes. I pick up lunch every day at work ($200 a month) and usually pick up takeout for dinner ($240 a month). I try to avoid using Seamless because between delivery charges, tip and minimums, I end up spending a lot more than I need to.
$75. I don’t have monthly medical expenses, but this covers the cost for birth control and visiting a physician, gynecologist and dentist throughout the year, plus little things like buying Band-Aids and Aleve.
It depends. Sometimes, next to nothing. I work with all men. One time I wore a shirt two days in a row and on the second day was asked—not sarcastically—if the shirt I was wearing was new. The dress code in my office is business professional, so a few staple items (black dress, pencil skirt) go a long way. Still, this past month, I had a wedding, so I spent around $400 on a new dress.
$200. My boyfriend and I love exploring new restaurants and usually eat out once a week. I justify the money spent because it is a hobby we enjoy doing together, the same way other couples go to concerts or Broadway shows.
Going Out with Friends
$80. This covers about one or two dinners a month.
$50. My friends and I usually do dinners for birthdays, which in NYC, no matter where you go, is inevitably at least $50 each. My sister and I don’t buy each other gifts, and if it’s a parent’s birthday, we split the cost.
This fluctuates. For example, this month I booked a weekend trip to Toronto for $280. The flight was $140 and I’m spending $140 total for two nights at an Airbnb.
$100. I’m still on my parents' family plan with AT&T because we’re grandfathered in for data.
$20 for Netflix and Apple Music. I also still use my ex-boyfriend’s Hulu and HBO Goaccounts.
$175, which is alarming because my go-to bottle is $14.
$450. I just bought an A/C unit for my apartment after going two summers without having one. I bought it just before the two weeks of consistent 90-degree weather, so it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.
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