How a 23-year-old Chicago-based public relations practitioner spends:

  • SALARY: I make $45,000 each year as a public relations practitioner. I have not yet asked for a raise. 
    SAVINGS: I have $4,194.54 in my savings account right now. 
    MONTHLY EXPENSES: I pay $1,145 for rent, and my utilities even out to about $150. I contribute to a 401(k), and my company covers almost all of my health care plan. I also pay for Netflix ($11), Spotify ($11) and a gym membership ($27) each month. 
    DEBT: I am in debt. I have student loans that I pay $400/month, but the minimum payment is $316. I overpay so I can be done in six years rather than 10. I also have some credit card debt, but I am paying that off quickly in large chunks each month.
    INVESTING: I use M1 Finance because I did PR for them for a while and loved them and it’s free, so I can invest without paying fees. I have almost $3,000 saved in my investment account now.
    SPENDING VICTORY: Last year I decided to put money toward experiences rather than things. I didn't buy any new clothes, shoes or other fun things, but rather I would go to shows or do an escape room with friends. It was amazing. 
    SPENDING REGRET: January was tough because I needed to dip into my savings to buy a new phone when mine broke. This happened one week after I purchased a plane ticket to visit my best friend in Denver. I ended up being sick the whole weekend and didn't do anything fun in Denver, and now I have to pay off the ticket on my credit card. I should have waited until I had more money to visit.
    CHARITY: The last charity I donated to was the Red Cross (I volunteered there for about six months).
    IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I'm boring. I'd pay off my credit card and then put the rest toward student loans and rent. If anything is left over, maybe I’d spend a bit to buy some new shoes. 
    GOALS: I want to build up my savings and potentially buy a condo with my long-term boyfriend next year. 

- She Spends / Issue #53