How a 26-year-old Phoenix, Arizona-based physician assistant spends

  • SALARY: I make about $110,000 per year as a physician assistant based in Phoenix, Arizona. I have asked for a raise before. I was offered an $8000 salary bump when changing jobs this year. My mom always told me "a man would never think twice about asking for more" so I simply asked, and got another $7000, plus a sign on bonus. Thanks, Mom!  

  • SAVINGS: I have $30,000 in savings that is split between a Roth, a 401(k) and an online savings account (Barclays, for the interest rates).

  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I pay $1384 each month to rent a spacious one bedroom apartment in downtown Phoenix. I contribute to my 401(k) and I pay for my own health insurance. I got Hulu (with commercials) for $0.99 a month on Black Friday! I pay $40 a month for a wine club (that averages to about 12 bottles every 2 months). My monthly internet bill is $43 and my water bill is $35. 

  • DEBT: I am not in debt. 

  • INVESTING: I have invested by myself in the past, but now that I have some more money to play around with, I have established with a financial advisor. He is helping me save for a down payment on a house, max out my retirement allocations, and invest. I was nervous about getting a financial adviser, but he took the time to work through my priorities with me and seems to genuinely have my best interests at heart. 

  • SPENDING VICTORY:  The best thing I ever spent money on was a long beach weekend away with my boyfriend, two cases of canned sparkling rose and every bottomless mimosa brunch we could find. We had both been way overworked and stressed and those three days are the nicest memory of the whole year! 

  • SPENDING REGRET: This is reaching wayyy back, but my limo on prom night. It cost about $150 each and was not a special experience. I think about it every so often when my spending is growing and I could be using the money for things that truly matter. 

  • CHARITY: I contribute regularly to various charities including St. Jude, the Arizona Humane Society, a food bank near me and I just spent a bunch buying an underprivileged family Christmas gifts. That was my favorite Christmas shopping this year!  

  • IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I would pay off my boyfriend's and best friend's student loans, and then buy my mom the beautiful lake house with a wraparound porch that she has always wanted. 

  • GOALS: I am saving toward a down payment on a house and for retirement. And to help my mom move closer to me!