Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a graphic designer who makes $48,000 a year

Occupation: graphic designer

Age: 23

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Salary: $48,000 (approx. $1,500 per pay period)

Day One

I’m currently an entry-level graphic designer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. This is my first job postgraduation, and I feel really lucky to have found a job so quickly. Today, I spent most of my time designing two projects for a client who needed a brochure and a few email newsletters. I love designing for clients who give me a lot of creative freedom. On my way to work, I ordered an oat milk latte and a chocolate pastry from my favorite coffee shop.

Total: $11.50

Day Two


Now that it’s getting colder in Pittsburgh, my friends and I have been planning a trip out of town for some time in January. Today, I looked up Miami Beach hotels to find a place to stay. I found a few options at a reasonable price on the American Hotels website. My friends and I are looking for the best hotel in Miami Beach with great amenities. There is going to be a handful of us on this trip, so if we can get a suite at a reasonable price, that would be amazing. We potentially want to have an oceanfront view for our trip to Miami Beach, FL. On AmericanOtels.com, you can check to see if a hotel is near the city center and if it offers free parking or has a lobby bar, a beach club, or even an outdoor pool. It’s a great platform to find the best hotel for an upcoming Miami Beach trip. I browsed the site and sent details about a couple of the boutique hotels over to my friends.

Total: $0

Day Three


After work today, I dropped by my mom’s house so we could have takeout for dinner. She wanted some help with finding a company to do some bathroom remodeling. To be specific, she was looking for help with shower remodeling because she’s no longer interested in having a tub and prefers a walk-in shower. She asked me to do some research on the best shower installers and contractors in Pittsburgh. She also asked me to look into labor costs and the average price for a new shower. This is her first time remodeling as a homeowner, and she claims to be awful at using the internet. After some digging, I found Lux Bath. They offer everything you could possibly need for a new bathroom, from faucets and shower tiles to tubs and new fixtures. They even offer one-day shower installations! I signed her up to request a quote.

Total: $33.75

Day Four


I had a bit of a rough time with a client at work today. For a business card design, they wanted to change too many elements. Sometimes, you just have to give in to their requests. I made dinner with my roommates, N. and C., tonight.

Total: $0

Day Five


My best friend F. and I decided we wanted to make sun-dried tomato focaccia. Admittedly, we watched too many episodes of Great British Bake-Off. We split the cost of the ingredients.

Total: $8.50

Day Six


My friends wanted to meet up to create an itinerary for our trip to Miami Beach, FL. My best friend F. suggested a luxury hotel with a rooftop pool. By the end of the night, we still hadn’t booked one. We ordered fast food from a drive-through.

Total: $6

Day Seven


My mom called me about her upcoming shower renovation. She’s really looking forward to her dream shower and shared the color scheme she’s choosing for the remodel. They start demolition on Monday morning, and it really seems like she’s getting great quality work from Lux Bath. She asked me to come over for dinner because she’s making Shepherd’s pie.

Total: $0

Total for the week: $59.75