Welcome to our newest series, “Adulting at the Bank.” Inspired by Refinery 29’s awesome Money Diaries series, we wanted to do the opposite. As poor, struggling 20-somethings, we spend a lot of money we shouldn’t every day. BUT we are also growing up and are learning to be better with our bank accounts and refrain from making too many stupid purchases each week. That’s why we’re tracking the opposite — All the things we convinced ourselves NOT to spend money on each week and how much it saves us to hopefully show people how little things you save on here and there can certainly add up! Then, we’re patting ourselves on the back and buying Dom Perignon to celebrate. Just kidding. That would literally cost more than all the money we’re saving.
Here is our first week, tracked by a 24-year-old marketing professional who lives in sunny Florida. Hope you enjoy!
Industry – Marketing
Location – South Florida
Salary – $35,000
Age – 24
Monthly expenses: $1200
(Includes rent, utilities, cell phone, cable, tolls)
Day 1: Monday
I didn’t purchase my coffee before work this morning! This is huge for a Monday morning. I recently changed the auto-reload for my Starbucks card to go to my debit card so I am trying to be more conscious of frivolous money spent there. Plus the coffee creamer flavors in my office have been super yummy lately!
Total Saved: $7.00
Day 2: Tuesday
This morning I had my annual gynecologist appointment. Since it is my annual exam it was FO’ FREE. I am counting that as saving money. I also just switched to a generic birth control prescription so that will save me $50 a month. I also worked late today and still resisted the urge to go out and get an afternoon pick-me-up.
Total Saved: $83 ($75 on the gyno/birth control and $8 on the coffee)
Day 3: Wednesday
My lunch today was a free Chipotle burrito. I had texted a number and got a coupon from when they closed their store for 2 hours a couple weeks ago. I cashed in right before mine expired! On the way home from work, traffic was good so I took a non-toll road home. Although I only saved $2 on this trip, it can add up at the end of the month.
Total Saved: $10 ($8 on Chipotle and $2 on tolls)
Day 4: Thursday
Although I bought my coffee in the morning, I downsized from a Venti to a Grande and got a skinny caramel latte instead of my custom specialty.
Total Saved: $2.50
Day 5: Friday
I got paid today and I love going to lunch on Fridays to #treatmyself so I was prepared to spend at an expensive organic lunch place, but by the time I got there it was closed. Last time I went I spent $22 on a smoothie, side salad, and sweet potato with tuna salad (it was incredible I swear). This time, I went to a salad chain nearby and got a grain bowl.
Total Saved: $10
Day 6: Saturday
I woke up and had a text from my bank that I already got back my tax rebate and I just filed my taxes on Tuesday! I reallllly wanted to online shop but I decided to be responsible and budget my money so I could save for a plane ticket to visit my best friend in California (finally). At night, I met my friend for early-ish dinner and drinks at 5pm so we got happy hour pricing. We stayed out until 10 pm and cut our cost almost in half with the 2 drinks for the price of 1 drink special.
Total Saved: $1230 ($1200 on not spending my tax refund and $30 on happy hour)
Day 7: Sunday
What’s a lazy weekend morning without a trip to Target? Although I carried 5 tops into the dressing room with me (both for work and not for work) and wandered down every aisle, I ended up leaving empty handed which is always a huge accomplishment. I probably saved about $70, if not more. It always adds up when I shop at Target. Then, since I already ate out for brunch that morning, I decided not to get Menchies after dinner. I already had Girl Scout cookies at home so my sweet tooth was satisfied.
Total Saved: $76 (~$70 at Target and $6 on dinner)
Overall Savings: $1490.50
Overall Savings NOT INCLUDING the tax refund I got that I put right into savings: $290
Most Proud Of: Trying to be more responsible with my coffee purchases. It is terrible that Starbucks owns such a large piece of my soul. It’s also great to see that even small choices can add up at the end of the week.
Regret(s): Passing on online shopping. There are a few things I have been waiting to buy, but I am trying to picture sunny California instead.