How a 28-year-old Virginia-based associate director of admissions verification at a university spends:

  • SALARY:  I make $40,000 per year as the associate director of admissions verification at a university in Virginia. I have not asked for a raise yet because my employer has a very standardized annual review/performance-based pay increase schedule. I have earned an appropriate pay increase at each new position I have worked over the last three years.
  • SAVINGS: I have $2,000 in savings, plus roughly $3,500 in a separate account that we consider an emergency fund.
  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: My husband and I have a base mortgage payment of $515 per month, but we pay $740 per month in an effort to pay it off sooner. I do not contribute to a 401(k) but I do pay for health insurance. We use family members' Hulu/Netflix passwords. We subscribe to Amazon Prime and use that for video occasionally. We spend roughly $350/month on utilities, cell service and Dish service (my husband is very attached to his DVR, but it will be the first to go if money ever tightens up).
  • DEBT: Excluding our mortgage, our debt is in student loans. We have roughly $4,000 remaining to pay off, and make payments of about $500 a month.
  • INVESTING:  I have not started investing yet.
  • SPENDING VICTORY:  We recently paid off the Prius that we bought new in 2013, and paid it off four months early. It has been an incredible investment and permitted us to spend less on fuel when traveling to visit my family in the south and my husband's in the midwest, as well as some vacations.
  • SPENDING REGRET: My regret is more of a wish that we began investing sooner. We were broke when we got married six years ago, though, and we simply weren't looking ahead. Now that we're older and wiser, we don't know where to begin!
  • CHARITY: We give monthly at our church (usually a little more than 10% of our salaries).
  • IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I would pay off our home and student debt, then call up a financial planner friend to help us start investing! (I know, definitely a boring married person response.)
  • GOALS: We need to begin investing, but something always seems to hold us back (such as a necessary repair on our second vehicle, moving, etc.), in addition to simply not knowing where to begin. I would also like to live simpler by cutting some unnecessary spending (such as our Dish service) so that we can throw more at our student debt.

- She Spends Issue #59