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Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

A Week in Georgia on a $58,000 Salary

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

Today: an HR specialist who makes $58,000

Occupation: Human Resources Specialist

Age: 26

Location: Adel, GA

Salary: $58,000 (approx. $2,231 per pay period)

Day One

Our monthly mortgage payment is due today, so I quickly log in to get that out of the way while I wait for my first cup of coffee of the morning to brew. It’s a hot one, like most days in Georgia, so I turn on the air conditioning right away, too. Wondering what benefits a ductless mini-split provides your Adel, GA, home? A ductless mini is not just easy to install and beautifully compact, but it’s flexible and effective, too. Then, knowing the family will be comfortable despite the heat, I get myself ready for work and head into the office. It’s a busy day of paperwork and meetings, so I pick up a pizza on the way home, much to the kids’ delight. 

Total: $1450

Day Two

As I take a sip of cold coffee, I think my family could be a visual aid in a presentation about the top kitchen amenities for busy families. Our gadgets, appliances, and other amenities get a record-worthy amount of use every day! As I put my mug in the microwave, my husband adjusts the air conditioner (a constant task in our Georgia humidity). Our daughter is reaching into the fridge for her water bottle. I pass my son a breakfast pastry, moments out of the toaster. Like most busy families, we go through a lot of food, and this week is no exception. After work, my husband, G., and I head to the grocery store to restock our refrigerator. 

Total: $146

Day Three

Today, I’m working to help onboard a new hire moving from Boston to our Atlanta headquarters. We’ve scheduled a video call to discuss some logistics, but we end up talking at length about tips for moving to the South instead. As it turns out, New York City is the southern-most place she’s visited! We talk about some clothing must-haves, potential culture shocks, and a few places she simply has to check out in the surrounding areas. On the way home, I treat myself to an iced tea to-go before heading home, cooking dinner, and tidying up before getting the kids to bed. 

Total: $4.50

Day Four

Another workday, filled with a lot of paperwork. G. texts in the early afternoon, letting me know that our son was home sick from daycare. I offer to pick up some sick day essentials on the way home, and, after work, I pick up some crackers, soup, and electrolyte solution to help soothe E.’s upset stomach. I make some homemade soup for the rest of the family and offer a silent prayer of thanks that G. is home during the day to take care of crises like this. 

Total: $33

Day Five

We’re celebrating a staff birthday at work today, and I’m in charge of bringing chips—and forgot until 7 a.m. So, I rush through my morning routine, then stop by the nearest store for a few bags of snacks. Plain potato chips, wavy, barbecue, and a pack of pretzels later, I arrive at the office just in time and put the bags with the other treats waiting in the break room. My colleague, S., seems happy with the celebration, and I’m excited to enjoy a slice of cake and a plate full of snacks. At home, I make dinner and watch the news with G. Then we watch a movie. E. isn’t feeling 100% yet, but he’s much better than yesterday!

Total: $11

Day Six

Today, my first task is to pay our utility bill. I can hardly imagine the energy costs a larger family would face! Afterward, I do an assortment of chores for the bulk of the day. Then, come evening, we take the kids to a movie we’ve promised them we’d see. The new animated film is cute, and the little ones love it! 

Total: $216

Day Seven 

I’m hoping for a lazy Sunday today, so I put on a Lifetime movie marathon while folding laundry. The rest of the day consists of watching those films and doing the bare minimum at home. Sometimes you just need a do-nothing day! We order a pizza for dinner and head to bed, preparing for what will hopefully be a great week ahead. 

Total: $61

Total for the week: $1860.50

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