How a 27-year-old Washington, D.C.-based sales and business development manager at a startup spends:

  • SALARY: I make a $60,000 base salary as a manager of sales and business development at a startup based in Washington, D.C. I also have income incentives based on team performance. I have asked for a raise before. My current salary and comp structure is the result of a raise negotiation. My company is really small and pre-Series A financing, which means money can be tight. Instead of asking for my market rate value, I asked for a small base salary bump and came up with the commission structure to make up the difference. I now get a percentage of overall sales each month, which can range between $700 and $1,500 per month. It took about a month to negotiate but I'm glad I pushed and didn't let the conversation slide. I stayed on top of my boss (our CEO) until I got him to sit back down and finalize the pay structure. 
  • SAVINGS: I have $35,000 in my savings account. I worked two jobs for the first two and a half years out of college to build up a safety net and contribute a small percentage of my salary. All of my commission and bonus payments go directly to savings. 
  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I spend $1,605 per month on rent, although I signed my lease this year and am benefiting from a promotion which brings it to $1,538. All of my utilities are included. I don’t yet contribute to a 401(k) but I do pay for my health insurance. I pay about $9 a month for Hulu, $55 a month for internet (necessity), $15 for Hungry Harvest, a rejected vegetable delivery service, and I have two gym memberships that cost $250 a  month. The gym is what keeps me sane, though, and I wouldn't trade that expense for anything. 
  • INVESTING: I have not started investing yet. 
  • DEBT: I graduated school with about $30,000 in debt. I've managed to pay it down so there’s only about $4,500 left and I'm ahead of my payments by about three years. I typically contribute about $200 a month toward paying that off, but on tight months I am able to skip it, which is a nice cushion. I'm thinking about just paying off the rest in bulk from savings in the next few months just to be done with it. 
  • SPENDING VICTORY: Travel! I made a commitment to myself to cross one country off my bucket list ever year. So far I've been to Thailand and Colombia, and I'm headed to Peru in about two weeks to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I usually spend between $1,500 to $3,000 per 10 day trip. I can honestly say it's been worth it every time. 
  • SPENDING REGRET: I don't really have any. I spend a lot of money on doing stuff with friends, but honestly I think that's what money is for -- to be able to afford experiences, particularly good food, good drinks and good friends. 
  • CHARITY: I most recently donated to a friend's GoFundMe campaign for medical expenses. A friend of a friend from college was in a terrible accident while traveling so I contributed to the fund to help get him medical transport home. 
  • SIDE HUSTLE: My friend and I are working on building out our consulting practice on the side.

- She Spends Issue #36

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