Career & Money

A 25-Year-Old Banker Shares His Money Diary

My spending habits aren’t great. It’s a constant battle between my checking account, credit card bill and having an insane case of FOMO. Things haven’t gotten totally out of hand yet, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few close calls in the few years since I moved to Manhattan after college. I turned 25 this year and with the age brought self-awareness, if not self-control. It’s all about awareness, right? Below, a week of my terrifying spending diary. Thank you in advance for being kind. I have already grounded myself.

I quit my old job at a big bank at the start of the summer and recently began my new job at a smaller bank. The hours are just as long and I frequently work weekends. Because of this, the weekends sort of happen when they can. I left work late and headed to my favorite karaoke bar in Soho, Baby Grand. Saturday turned into Sunday while I was there, hence the charge above. This may as well be a recurring weekly expense; the bartenders are so used me that they no longer ask what I want to drink anymore (straight gin) or even what I want to sing (“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis). I took a cab home, woke up a few hours later and miraculously did nothing that cost money until a Sunday date at Bar Sardine. Bought a few cans of rosé to lubricate the four-hour-long performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream in the park that followed. An expensive Sunday…but at least it felt like summer.

This is how I’d prefer every day to look. I spent a couple dollars on a CLIF bar, save for the trip to the DMV. I unfortunately lost my license (I know I’m going to f-ing find it) and got pretty sick of taking my passport everywhere. The coffee is an easy place to cut out, but we all have our vices, right? One of mine is definitely cold brew. (Another one is “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis.) One thing about working late: my job pays for dinner past a certain hour. The evening was pretty uneventful. I just hung out and looked at the moon, wondering about when we’ll finally make it there.

Another good day except that I ran late to work and took a cab rather than the subway, which is pretty preventable. It’s just so loud on the subway.

Trying hard not to hear, but they talk so loud. Their piercing sounds fill my ears, try to fill me with doubt…you cut me open and I…

$29 at Caliente Cab ended up biting me in the ass with some pretty brutal food poisoning. Don’t go to Caliente Cab on Bleeker at 7th Avenue. It’s a trap!

This one is a wallet dagger. I bought concert tickets to a Joshua Radin concert day-of. Couldn’t help myself. We all had angsty moments driving home from our high school musical rehearsal, right?! I took a friend, bought drinks, only cried a little when he played “I’d Rather Be With You.” I had to go back to work in my emotional state, then finished the night with a couple more drinks at a bar in the West Village. Honestly, the drinking train had left the tracks, so I’m not going to apologize for that. Had a great night chatting with my friends about old movie footage, special effects and whatnot.

I promised myself this morning I would go to work, come home, look through my telescope, go to bed. Did I? No. Another day, another lunch at Chop’t. I get the Santa Fe with grilled chicken and Mexican Caesar, highly recommend it. I walked 30 blocks toward home tonight to enjoy a rare humidity-free evening and got caught by a familiar foe, the Nike store. I think I blacked out for a second and walked out with new running shoes (I’m running the Chicago Marathon) and $25 dollar compression socks. Who the eff knows how these help, but if it’s not about the gear then I don’t want to know what it is about. Drank with friends who picked up the tab later and eventually ended the night with a friend, a couple olive-laden martinis, and a grilled cheese/tomato soup at Slowly Shirley. Shout out to my boy, mixologist Sean. Great soup.

THE WEEKEND! It’s here! For real this time! For a Friday, it brought some incredible relief to my wallet: CLIF bar, cab to work, coffee (albeit a very basic Starbucks), the salad, the moon, and a train ticket to Connecticut for a friend’s law school graduation celebration weekend. Because I was with my friend’s family, it meant dinner, desserts, Leona Lewis, wine and cars were all gratis. I was thankful.

Made a trip to the gym while I was in CT and a woman spoke to me for the entirety of the five miles I ran on the treadmill. She didn’t let me put my earphones in and asked specific questions throughout, including, but not limited to: “You don’t feed your dog ANY human food?!” And, “You’re telling me you wouldn’t sleep with Bill Clinton?” I can’t say she wasn’t a little entertaining, but she’s keeping me from “Bleeding Love!” Anyway, I bought some ice for the graduation party and had a smoothie, great day.

Time to look to the big scoreboard and see what the damage was.

OKAY I KNOW. The process was painful at times, especially because I knew I would be sharing my life with the incredible MR followership. This exercise definitely made me rethink the amount of taxis in my life and my alcohol habits. Probably some easy places to cut. As for my girl Leona, she stays. Just don’t let her read this.

Follow the no-longer-anonymous author Marshall Sandman on Instagram @marshallsandman!

Photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

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