Bread, cash, moolah, paper, dollars, money. No matter what you call it, we all know money talks but it’s also a topic that’s often avoided – until now.
Money Talks* is a Slice of Culture series where we ask real people in Hudson County not only how they make their money, but also how they spend it, specifically during a seven day period.
Occupation: Target Associate
Location: Jersey City
Paycheck Amount: ~$900 bi-weekly
Rent: $800 (my portion)
Apple Music: $5
Wifi: $90 (my portion)
Baby Expenses: $100
Did your family expect you to attend higher education? Did you attend? If so, how did you pay for it?
Yes. It was paid for through scholarships/financial aid. Parents paid for the rest.
Growing up did you worry about money? Were there conversations about money in your household?
Yes. Money was a huge issue. I didn’t grow up in a wealthy household so saving money and budgeting was a big thing for us.
At what age did you learn how to manage your finances? Who taught you about finances?
I had to learn from other people or educate myself. The schools I went to didn’t teach it.
Do you have a savings account? If so, when did you open it?
I recently just opened one last year.
What was your first job? What prompted you to begin working?
My first job was at the mall and I was a senior in high school. I wanted to work to get what I needed and wanted without asking people.
When did you become fully responsible for yourself? Do you worry about money?
This year I moved into my own apartment with my daughter so I worry about money all the time now. I want to make sure I’m able to provide for her so I try to be good with it and never short.
Do you have a financial safety net? Have you ever inherited income? If yes, explain.
No, I don’t have a safety net and have not inherited any income.
I honestly could not even tell you what I did today, the day was such a blur.
But I didn’t leave my apartment or spend any money.
Daily Total: $0
Since it’s the beginning of the month, I had most of my bills due.
I paid my portion of the rent. $800
And wifi. $90
Daily Total: $890
I worked this morning so I took the bus there and back. $2.25
I bought my lunch at work. $6
When I got home, I paid my phone bill as well. $113
Daily Total: $121.25
Another day at work means taking the bus ($2.25) and picking up lunch. $6
Later in the day, I paid for dinner for myself and someone else. $20
Daily Total: $28.25
I didn’t have work today, thankfully.
So most of my day was just spent at home taking care of my daughter, watching tv, and switching through apps on my phone.
I didn’t spend anything.
Daily Total: $0
I needed to pick up a few things at the grocery store ($35) so I took the bus there and back. $2.25
Daily Total: $37.25
I had an amazing opportunity to get certified as a lash tech so I had to put down a deposit for that today. $200
I also took the bus ($2.25) to pick up a bunch of baby supplies for my daughter; it should last me a few weeks, if not the whole month. $100
Daily Total: $302.25
Is this what a typical week of spending looks like for you?
Yes, right now this is what a week typically looks like for me due to the pandemic. There isn’t much for me to do besides go to work and be home.
*Disclaimer: This series and questions were inspired by Refinery 29’s Money Diaries.