Where It All Goes – Spending Diaries

• Lawyer

50, male, married with two kids, Newton
Salary: $240,000

Eyeglasses, LensCrafters: $474.50
“Went for the 35 percent discount I get through my health insurance, thereby contributing to the decline of the local optician."

New mattress and box spring, Jordan’s Furniture: $2,929.31. “A neighbor told my wife about some new foam mattress that’s really great—turns out the damn thing costs twice as much as a regular mattress."

One hour court time, Sportsmen’s Tennis Club: $25

Temple dues: $1,202. “Bevakasha."

Groceries, Stop & Shop: $172.02

Gas: $35.11

Textbook for wife’s graduate degree program, Amazon.com: $107.48

Tolls, Mass. Pike: $4. “I think $4, anyway. By using FastLane I lose all consciousness of the impact of toll booths on the monthly budget."

Tall dark-roast coffee, Starbucks: $2

Lunch for the kids, Five Guys Burgers and Fries: $15.37

Legal textbook, Amazon.com: $106.13

Life insurance payment: $60.38. “With all I pay for life insurance, I’d better predecease my wife."

Son’s college tuition payment: $4,250. “Total is about $50,000 for the year."

Tall dark-roast coffee, Starbucks: $3. “Extra dollar tip, because the barista was pretty."

Therapist: $225

Speeding ticket: $100

Fed Ex: $16.38

Groceries: $22.97

Pillows, Brookstone: $341.58. “When you’ve spent $3,000 for a new mattress, you really can’t use your old pillows, right?"

Three dozen doughnuts, Dunkin’ Donuts: $19.47

Gift cards for staff: $600

Textbook for wife, Amazon.com: $14.50

NewsLibrary.com: $6.95

Credit card bill: $500

Groceries: $122.02

Tuition payment for wife’s graduate studies: $8,240. “Total will be about $24,000 for the year."

College applications: $160. “Three last-minute ones for my child who is a high school senior. Still more applications to go."

Glue and pens, Staples: $38.86

Bar tab: $75. “Neighbor has a 50th birthday party with a cash bar.  I have just a glass of red wine and a gin and tonic, but also buy drinks for friends."

Copy of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Amazon.com: $10.95. “A New Year’s resolution to, as the saying goes, brush up my Shakespeare."

TOTAL: $19,879.98

  • Devin

    Thanks for this article Boston Magazine and thanks to the 3 participants.

    Mayor Menino and the City of Boston have a program called ONEin3 Money that is devoted to helping young people manage their money while living in Boston. We’d love to have readers from here join the conversation at http://www.onein3money.org. Our local bloggers are great, as is our partnership with Mint.com.

    Devin Cole
    Manager, ONEin3 Boston and ONEin3 Money