We are sharing the spending secrets of one reader each week -- completely anonymously. Fill out the money diaries survey to have your voice heard!
SALARY: I make $47,000 as an educator for a college-access nonprofit based in Colorado. I have not asked for a raise before.
SAVINGS: I have $300 in my savings account.
MONTHLY EXPENSES: I spend about $725 per month on rent. I contribute to my 401(k) and I pay for my own health insurance. I pay for Hulu ($11.99), NYT Digital ($15), Bitch magazine ($9), Apple ($3) and Spotify Premium ($10) each month.
INVESTING: I invested through the 401k my previous employer offered.
DEBT: I cashed out that first 401k and will use what’s left after taxes to pay off the debt I am still in.
SPENDING VICTORY: I never regret spending on travel or experiences. These included a six-week road trip around the eastern US when I left NYC and a weeklong end of semester “don’t anyone try to contact me” vacation to south Florida. Also Hamilton tickets in NYC and London.
SPENDING REGRET: Rather than practicing fiscal restraint in my 20s I spent more than I had and I did so using credit cards.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I would buy property.
CHARITY: I contributed most recently to a GoFundMe for a graduating senior who’d been shot 11 times and somehow survived. The money he was going to use for a summer bridge program and his first-year tuition was now needed for medical expenses.
GOALS: I want to no longer be ashamed of my failures with money. This means learning from those mistakes and forging a healthier relationship with money, my spending, my consumption of goods and making more prudent and strategic decisions.