How a 29-year-old Salt Lake City-based product designer spends:

  • SALARY:  I make $90,000 per year as a product designer based in Salt Lake City. I have asked for a raise. I was surprised it went really well. I asked for more of a "cost of living" sort of raise but my manager went above and beyond. I was hired by another person and started at a lower rate, my new manager saw that I was paid less and fought to give me a significant increase.

  • SAVINGS: I have $24,000 in savings right now. Some of it is straight emergency cash, other is savings for my husband's school expenses.

  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I lucked out and only pay $800 for rent, utilities are about $60 to $70 per month. I contribute to a 401(k), and our insurance is paid for by my employer! I pay for Netflix, iTunes, and Audible. I have a gym membership that runs about $70 a month but my work reimburses $50 per month.

  • DEBT: I am in debt. I have a car loan and my monthly payments are $250. I have a decent interest rate of 3.99% so since I first took out the loan I have been paying more to try and cut the interest down. I believe it is a six-year car loan but I hope to pay it off in five. Currently, after two years, it is down to half what I originally paid. My husband has accrued student loans but we don't currently pay on those. He should graduate later next year and we hope that we can just take whatever income he has to pay them down before the six-month mark. Since we live off of my income alone, his additional income (after graduation) could go toward his loan repayment and, frankly, my car loan too.

  • INVESTING: Well, I invest in my 401(k) plan, where my employer matches 3%, and I recently started investing through my company's ESPP plan. With that being said, I plan on doing same day sales and then putting my increase into my savings. After talking to two different financial advisors they said to build my savings up even more before I start to invest more heavily. However, I am really interested in Ellevest and might just put $100 dollars (or something like that) in there to just start.

  • SPENDING VICTORY: My husband and I saved up and went for a 10-day trip to England. I had once lived there so we visited a bunch of my old friends and people I consider my second family. They were so kind to us and offered to have us stay with them or have dinner with them. We didn't stay with friends the whole time we were there but we did for about half of the trip and it saved us loads of money. Plus, my husband got to see England more through a local's eye. It was the best. We can't wait to go back!

  • SPENDING REGRET: Frivolous things or impulse buying. Every once in a blue moon, I just get really bored and want to go shopping and end up buying things I don't actually need. I often end up returning things but sometimes I just keep them because I like them. As I have gotten older I have become much better about identifying these moods but truly every now and then it still occurs (although more rarely).

  • SIDE HUSTLE: I do freelance work (in graphic/product/UX/UI design or lettering) occasionally. Ideally, I would like to do one big project a year but it probably turns out to be one medium sized one and a couple small things. I make an extra $2000 a year and put that income towards something fun like a trip.

  • CHARITY: I don't know about charity but I donate 10% of my gross income to my church. My church takes those donations and uses it in many ways. They have a huge humanitarian relief fund and an education fund (to help those who can't afford it), but it can also go to building new meetinghouses or purchasing more supplies like hymn books etc.

  • IF I WON THE LOTTERY: If I came into a lot of money fast, I would probably invest it after paying off whatever debt I have. Due to life circumstances I just barely started to invest in anything so I feel like I need to catch up.

  • GOALS: I would really like to have a deeper investment and have a stronger emergency fund. Right now, my emergency fund is like three months lush living and six barely scraping through. Ideally, I would like 6 months lush living and a decent "personal" savings too. Personal savings meaning to buy a house or adopt a child kind of thing.