Ever wondered what your salary and shopping habits are like in comparison to your peers? Money Talks is a new column by CLEO that takes an honest look at how young Millennial and Gen Z women spend their money. If you would like to submit a money diary anonymously, click here.
In today’s column, we speak to a 30-year old creative director who went over budget with her spending over the Christmas season.
Occupation: Creative Director
Education level: High School Diploma
Salary: Around $10,000 – $12,000 per month
Phone Bill: $100 (For two people)
Entertainment: $100 (Netflix, Spotify and Disney+ subscriptions)
Allowance for Parents: $3,000 (Both her parents are retired and she covers their bills)
How much she thinks she spends: About $200 – $800
How much she actually spent: $2,624.98
On how she shops:
“My beauty items are my most costly items when it comes to shopping. My creams and potions generally retail between $100 and $500, and a laser treatment package that I recently bought which was just under $3,000. Clothing and accessories are where I get savvy—I tend to only shop during sales for my basics and I only buy secondhand for my designer options. On average I would say I spend about $50 to $200 on basics or about $500 to $1,200 on pre-loved designer items (bags and shoes my main weakness).
Recently, I placed upon myself a personal goal of becoming a ‘conscious shopper’, so I try to be mindful about reducing my consumer habits that negatively affect the planet. In general, I definitely spend a lot less than I used to on clothes and particulalrly, fast-fashion. I now choose to make more dedicated choices and would rather spend on one quality item rather than a number of items.
I have this habit of ‘online window-shopping’ and putting everything into my wishlists, so it’s definitely a form of weekend therapy for me. However, I wait till those items go on sale before I hit the check-out button, but that can be a huge bummer as by the time that happens, I tend to miss out on pieces that I really love due to them selling out. Beauty shopping is solely whenever I need to re-stock—it really is my most expensive habit!”
On her relationship with money:
“I’m a mixed bag when it comes to money. I would describe myself as frugal in terms of every-day living, but for a big-ticket item I deem worthy, I could drop a large sum of money and not think twice about it. However, I will always ensure that I put money aside first into my savings, and then whatever is left in my ‘main wallet’ account, I’m OK to spend as long as it feels justified.
While I do feel that, overall, I do have a good relationship with money, I still feel a bit behind in terms of monetary security for later in life. While I’m good at saving, I don’t own any long-term investments. Although having said that, I don’t have any debt to my name, which I think is a fairly great achievement too. My latest goal is to become a home owner and start putting additional money aside to start a family. When I consider these two items, I feel like I should be doing more to earn more and provide greater security for myself and future family.”
On her feelings towards her savings:
“I was always raised on the principle of putting money aside for ‘rainy days’ and I have always been a good saver in general. On average I save at least 20 to 30% of my income. My savings have taken a few big hits over the years though, dipping into it for big-ticket costs such a medical expenses and holidays. More recently, my partner and I used our savings to pay for our wedding. So truthfully, it’s looking pretty dismal now, compared to recent years.
There are days where I regret my spending habits and feel that I should definitely tap in less into my savings. In hindsight, perhaps an $8,000 trip to Japan could have been spent more wisely and I shouldn’t have used such a large amount of money for a holiday. But then again, life is short and what’s the point in working hard for the money you might never get to spend. I’ve witnessed friends pass away young, so I truly believe it.”