I recently started my first full time job, and while I don’t love everything about it, I do definitely enjoy the pay. It’s easily double what I used to make at my old, part time job, and it’s been helping immensely with the bills.
There is a slight chance I get carried away with my newfound paychecks sometimes though. There are some purchases I make now that make me think I sometimes spend money just to spend money. To test that theory out, I decided to track my purchases for an entire week and see what regrets I have after all is said is done.
First, a little background on me:
Occupation: Customer service agent in a call center
Take home pay each week: ~$450
My monthly expenses:
Phone bill: $95
Credit cards: $200
Student loans: $0 (I’m still within my six-month grace period, thank the lord)
Rent: $0 (Still living with my parents, who choose to not charge me rent)
Apple Music: $9.99
Now for my week…
10:00 AM – I wake up a little late and start rushing around to get ready for the day. I pour myself a quick bowl and cereal and run out the door to go to work.
2:30 PM – I brought string bean salad for lunch, but my co-workers are ordering and ask if I want anything. Will power fails and I end up ordering a side of French fries with them. $5
7:00 PM – My parents treated me to dinner at a local diner, which was super nice. Who doesn’t like free food? I come home and end up preordering Mario Kart for me and my brother. $105.75
Regrets – Looking back, my brother and I could have definitely just bought one game and split it. This was a tough call for me because technically the game was his birthday present. It just seems like a hefty price for a video game.
9:30 AM – I stop at a gas station to fill up my tank, and start my way to work. $20
4:00 PM – I brought lunch from home, I have some food allergies so this ends up being easier then ordering out most days. Plus, it’s a real money saver.
7:30 PM – Stop by the store on the way home and pick up some spinach to make a salad for dinner. $2.50
Regrets – I can’t say I regret anything for this day, because all these purchases were totally necessary. Not a totally bad day for my wallet.
10:00 AM – Another day where I’m running late. Pour myself some more cereal, which I’m so bored of, and head out the door.
3:00PM – Today is actually my Friday, because my weekend falls in the middle of the week. To celebrate, I order lunch with my coworkers (so much for saving money!). I get a salad with mushrooms, avocado and olives and a lemon Snapple. $9.50
7:30PM – My boyfriend and I hang out later that night and run to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries for the week. $14.93
Regrets – I only half regret ordering lunch with my co-workers that day. Was it a waste of money? Maybe. I could have easily made a salad similar to the one I ordered, plus had leftovers for the next day at that price. But on the other hand, it’s Friday and it’s hard to turn down the takeout menu sometimes.
11:00 AM – Getting my nails done today. I get the powder gel, maybe once every three or four weeks. It’s a little more expensive but it lasts a while, so it’s worth the extra money. I put this on a gift card from my birthday a month ago, so all I cover is the tip. $8
2:30 PM – Driving my boyfriend and a friend of his to the airport. They’re headed to Orlando for the weekend, for the Star Wars Celebration. I put some money on my EZ Pass to cover the tolls and take my brother’s girlfriend with me because I’m hopeless with directions. $30
4:00 PM – Having a late lunch with my brother’s girlfriend at Chipotle. I treated as a thank you for taking the trip to the airport with me. $29.78
Regrets – I don’t regret anything from this day either – and I know, you’re looking right at that high price for Chipotle. In my head though, that lunch served a dual purpose: it fed my brother’s girlfriend and I when we were absolutely starving and it served as a thank you for her giving up a chunk of her day to sit in a car with me. When it serves a purpose, I don’t mind spending money like that.
2:00 PM – I go to the hair salon to get my hair dyed. I dyed my hair platinum blonde about two years ago and I love it so much. The only downside is the upkeep. I come to the salon about once every two months to get my roots touched up, but I usually try to stretch it a little longer than that. $52.25
3:30 PM – My mom, grandma, brother and my brother’s girlfriend decide to take a quick trip out to a local candy store for Easter candy and I tag along. I end up picking up some things for my boyfriend, who is addicted to chocolate. $11.76
6:00 PM – It’s my friend’s birthday this weekend, so my group of friends have been plotting a birthday gift for her. I transfer my share of money to my friend Danielle for buying the present. $24
Regrets – I probably could have stretched my hair another week or two, but honestly it’s the same price whenever I go. At this point, I just kind of budget my touch up into my bills but it would be so much easier and cheaper if I went back to my natural color.
9:45 AM: Today is Friday and we’re going out to Brooklyn for my friend’s birthday tonight. I hit the ATM before work and take out $80 for the night.
3:00 PM – Bought lunch from home again today in an effort to save money, especially because we’re probably taking an uber to Brooklyn tonight and I know that might cost a good amount.
10:30PM – We’ve made it to Brooklyn and without an uber! Two friends volunteered to drive, bless their souls. I buy a drink when we get there. $12
12:05 AM – Decide to do a shot but the bartender notices a large group of pretty girls and gives it to us for free. I’m not one to turn down free alcohol, so I happily oblige.
1:45 AM – I don’t want to interrupt the celebration, but it’s getting late and I have work tomorrow. Two of the girls are ready to leave as well, so I call an uber and we head home. It hits my debit card, but the girls promise to pay my back during the week. $81.71
Regrets – I wasn’t thrilled we had to take an uber home, but it was getting late and I needed to get some sleep for work. Maybe next time, I would drive myself but I can’t deny that ubers are super convenient when you need them. You just have to pay the price! Also, I do regret taking that much money out at the ATM. I hate carrying cash on me, I think I spend it way too fast.
9:45 AM – I wake up to get ready for work and I’m actually surprised how little money I spent last night. I had planned on a lot more, considering transportation and drinking. I consider it a win and continue on my day.
4:00 PM – During lunch, I get an email reminding me to pay my credit card bill. I usually pay ~$200 (included in the monthly expenses), because I have multiple cards to spread the wealth to. I decide to add a little more on top and pay the entire balance off right now. $60
7:30 PM – Browsing the internet while I’m eating dinner and I see Twitter talking a lot about a book that recently came out. I haven’t had anything good to read in a while so I order it off amazon. $11.76
Regrets – I think I actually spent my money responsibly today! Bills and new reading material. Not the worst purchases to finish out the week!