Money To Live

February 11, 2009

Changes in Spending Habits

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

On a short trip back to NJ, a friend asked how my spending habits have changed since getting a new job, which pays much better than my former grad student salary.

  1. I save a lot more money in absolute terms, but not much more as a percentage of my income; now I save 25-30% of my pretax income, while before I saved 20-25%.
  2. I have a more expensive apartment in absolute terms, but less as a percentage of my income; now I spend 18% of my income on rent, while before I paid 40-50%. Most financial experts would say I spent too much of my income on housing before. I am a real homebody and like to live in a place that feels like home. No matter what I did after grad school, I was nearly guaranteed to make more money. It was a temporary situation to spend such a large percentage of my income on housing, and I incurred no debt in the process.
  3. I pay for cabs and garage parking with much less angst. For example, while in NYC recently, I spent $20 on cab fare in order to spend an extra hour with some friends who I rarely see. The extra transportation expenses total $20-50/month.
  4. I am a member of a fancy gym that charges $130/month. Though it seems expensive, I do not consider it an extravagance because I would easily spend that in a month on yoga classes, and there is a good yoga studio in the gym.
  5. This is a real big deal for me – I got a cleaning lady. She came and spent 6 hours on my 1000 sq foot apartment for $100. She’ll come back once a month for $80.
    I love what some friends say about their cleaning: “we outsource our cleaning to no one.” That is what I was doing before hiring Myra.
  6. I spend more money on clothes, and my threshold for “expensive clothing” is higher. I used to mostly buy clothes on sale with prices under $20 or so. Now, I am comfortable spending $50 on one piece of clothing.


  1. Well, soon I will hopefully have an income higher than my grad school one!!!

    I have a reader’s question… I don’t keep track of my spending. I used to — I was very diligent, recording every item I spent money on, and then periodically adding it up in categories to see what I was spending it on and what I could save on. Although the information was interesting and sometimes very useful, at some point I decided that it was finicky and that I would rather spend my time doing something else. So I stopped keeping records and now I just spend as I please, as long as I stay within my means. What are your Money To Live thoughts on record keeping (and to what level of detail) or not?

    Comment by Anita — February 15, 2009 @ 12:00 am |Reply

  2. […] since I wrote “Changes in Spending Habits” on February 11, my spending habits have changed […]

    Pingback by Money To Live - Changes in Spending Habits, Part 2 — April 8, 2009 @ 5:20 am |Reply

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