A Philadelphia Researcher's Money Habits

  • SALARY: I'd rather not share my salary - I'm not sure where I stand contractually in terms of discussing my salary publicly and I don't want to risk anything. Erring on the side of caution here!
  • SAVINGS: I currently have $2,500 is in my savings account. I try to contribute $400 per month, but it varies. I recently withdrew about $1000 as a payment for my new apartment. I also contribute to a 401K. I contribute 8% of my income to my retirement fund.
  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I spend $600 monthly on rent and $100 more on utilities. I pay $10 for Spotify and split a $10 Netflix subscription with my significant other. I pay $7 per month for a New York Times subscription and $350 per month for student loans. I spend $50 per month on a gym membership. I get reimbursed 75% of my "health expenses" by my company. I hate going to the gym, so I'm about to cancel this and pay for (more expensive) barre classes instead. My credit card bill fluctuates, but usually, I pay off in full. I only use my credit card for clothes, makeup and skincare purchases. Several expenses are deducted from my paycheck in pretax dollars. This includes $100 for my bus pass and $80 per month for healthcare. 
  • DEBT: I have about ~$27,000 debt from student loans. My payments of $350 per momth are more than what is recommended for me to pay off the debt ($275 is what the system recommended). At the rate I'm going, I should be done paying it off in six and a half years. 
  • SPENDING VICTORY: The best thing I ever spent money on was the security deposit on my new apartment. I'm moving in with my boyfriend this summer! :)
  • SPENDING REGRET: Glossier products - It was one long descent into acne hell. :( By the time I figured it out I was passed the 30-day return deadline.
  • CHARITY: The last charity I contributed to was the White Helmets. I spend approximately $50 per month on charitable donations. 
  • GOALS:  My near term money goal is to save enough to travel. I would like to be able to afford travel abroad twice a year - and I'm willing to forego some comfort for it. I won't be able to afford a car for a few years, even with raises, if I prioritize international travel. I'm planning on opening a credit card with travel points to help out with that. My savings account is also very important to me. I need to feel like I can pick up and change my life at a moment's notice (it's a thing). Right now, I'm at about $2500 because I just had to pay for my new apartment (woo!) but my long term goal is to always have a base of $4000 with extra money on top for travel - this seems likely to be possible by next summer, since I hopefully won't be paying moving expenses again. Near term, my goal is to have a base of $2000 with extra on top for travel. My overall long-term goal is to be able to live comfortably - have a car, travel and pay off my loans. Additionally, I'm interested in investing, but it scares me tbh - I don't understand the risks involved, and the jargon is confusing. So until I understand better, I'll keep plugging away at my savings account.

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She Spends Issue #2