Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today for Money Diaries Month: an executive assistant who makes $90,000 per year and spends some of it on a Tumi wallet for her stepdad.
Occupation: Executive Assistant & Weekend Receptionist
Industry: Tech Start-up
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Side Hustle: About $150-$295 (varies on weekends worked)
Paycheck (2x/month): $2,458.48 from my full-time job, after health insurance, dental, vision, flexible savings account, and taxes are taken out
Housing: $1,461 my share of the rent (including $50/ month pet rent) and I have one roommate
Personal Loan: $442.03 — I took out a personal loan to pay down my credit cards, which was seriously one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done because interest is 24%. Thank god I only have eight more payments.
Student Loans: $197.89
Other Monthly Expenses
Storage Unit: $99 I pay for this and share the space with my parents, they pay for my cell phone
Utilities: About $90 for my share
Car Insurance: About $200 because I added my little brother’s car to my account while he is in grad school
Renter's Insurance: $5
Pet Insurance: $96 for my dog and my parents' puppy
Car Payment: $385.47
LearnVest: $19. It's the best way for me to track my money! A financial planner helped me set up my budget, and we check in with each other at least once a year. My planner helps me focus on long-term financial goals, such as paying off debt.
Sink Fund: $225 for things like hair appointments, doggy daycare, trips to the vet, gifts, car maintenance. These are infrequent and aren't monthly. I pull this amount from my main checking account every month and deposit it into a separate checking account.
Credit Card Payments: $360 minimum. I learned my lesson and am still paying off my credit cards balances. Now, I pay the minimum that's due every month and then throw extra payments on top of that after I get paid from my side hustle. I should be completely debt free by October 2018. (Editor's Note: The diarist has paid off $10,000 of debt so far, per her comment below.)
Flex Spending: $650 (or about $150 per week). Covers groceries, gas, household goods, shopping, dog food, eating out — really anything I might spend during the week. My goal this year is to watch every single dollar and get hyper-focused on paying down my debt.