How a 21-year-old Washington, D.C.-based intern spends

  • SALARY: I make $23 per hour working as a public policy intern. That totals $22,080 per year because I work part-time while going to school. I asked for a raise at a company I had interned at for three years because I had received one in the past. I went about it the wrong way and asked my recruiter instead of asking my direct supervisors! My recruiter said no, and I decided to leave after that interaction. I now make twice was I was making there. 

  • SAVINGS: I have about $6,259.53 in my "savings account" and $283 in checking. I have another $500+ on a debit card but all of this is going toward/food rent for the next year. 

  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I share a one bedroom apartment that costs $2,300 a month, but I live in the "living room" and pay $1,000 a month. I don't contribute to a 401(k), and I'm still on my parents' healthcare plan. I mainly spend money on groceries, rent and clothing. My work has a gym and my sister (an engineer who got a full ride to college) pays all the Netflix/Hulu stuff. I only pay for Apple Music and it's about $5 a month.

  • DEBT: I am in debt. I am not even sure how much my monthly payments will be because my parents "misplaced" the login information for my student loan websites. This is a major point of stress for me because I am about to graduate and want to plan ahead, but I have no idea how much debt I am in. I am guessing it will be around $200,000. 

  • SIDE HUSTLE: I occasionally babysit and sell clothes on Poshmark when I feel guilty about spending a lot of money on dinner or drinks. I don't make a lot of money from doing it. I would guess that I make around $70 per month on my side hustles. 

  • SPENDING VICTORY:  The best thing I've ever spent money on was Ponds moisturizer.

  • SPENDING REGRET: I worked all throughout high school and randomly bought a Canada Goose raincoat one day for around $375 (it was on sale). I used to feel really bad about this but I wore it for 3+ years and recently sold it on Poshmark for around $200 so I don't feel as bad anymore. Also, I once spent $100 to get to the Swiss Alps and I kinda regret that. 

  • IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I would invest, buy two properties in Washington, D.C. and one in New York. 

  • CHARITY: I volunteer my time at an organization called Reading Partners, not in a position to give money right now but hope to someday!

  • GOALS: I want to pay off my student loan debt ASAP. As soon as I graduate I will aggressively pay down my loans. Right now, I am working on building my credit so I can find a good place to live after graduation. I just got my first credit card and make very small purchases every now and again but in general, the idea of money/credit/debt freaks me out because my parents never really talked about it and are very bad with money. The credit card has raised my score about 100 points so I am happy about that! I also hope to open a Vanguard account at some point so that I can work toward early retirement.