A Week in Houston on a $70,000 Salary

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

Today: an IT consultant who makes $70,000 a year

Occupation: IT consultant

Age: 30

Location: Houston, TX

Salary: $70,000 (approx. $2,300 per pay period)

Day One


As a senior IT consultant, I tend to partner up with clients and advise them on any technological needs for their business. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and my job requires a lot of analytical skills. Once in a while, I have to travel for work, but it’s always fun and exciting to go on business trips. I resolved a few project issues at work today, then went home and made dinner.

Total: $0

Day Two


My friends J. and P. are getting married this weekend. I am attending the wedding with my best friend A. as my wedding date. We are all mutual friends. She mentioned that I need to buy a nice tie. I have one regular tie, and it’s dark grey. It’s a nice accessory that I never really use. I decided to listen to A. and shop for bespoke ties online at Tie Deals. A nice tie has always been on my wishlist. I was considering a slate blue or burgundy tie but ultimately chose one with a jacquard pattern. I figured it would be fun. I sent a photo to A., and she gave it her approval.

Total: $85

Day Three


I went to an early morning workout class with my friend J. We talked about the rehearsal dinner this weekend over breakfast. Then, I went to work and had to answer some emails and plan a few timelines for a project. I looked over some project status reports.

Total: $32

Day Four


While I’ve been with my company for a few years, I’ve been thinking about my professional development and where to go from here. I have been considering getting a PMP certification in Houston. A lot of higher-paying IT jobs actually prefer candidates with PMP certification on top of IT certification. So, I’m thinking that I could potentially take some online courses. I decided to browse online for accredited programs.

Total: $0

Day Five


Work went by quickly today, and I had lunch with my coworker P. We had hamburgers, which was a nice change for me. I’ve been trying to eat healthy lately, so having a cheese-filled hamburger felt like a real treat. After work, A. came over to my place with snacks. We watched a horror movie and played Scrabble. She told me she is looking into new career opportunities for the new year. Later, we made a late-night trip to the grocery store for ice cream.

Total: $6.75

Day Six


Tonight is the wedding rehearsal for J. and P. At noon, I had lunch with A., and we just went to the park and hung out until we had to get ready for the rehearsal. The rehearsal was a lot of fun and made me excited for the actual ceremony the next day.

Total: $17

Day Seven


In the morning, I just did some grocery shopping. I also FaceTimed with my mom and sister. We caught up on the latest. Around three o’clock, I started getting ready for the ceremony because it was going to be around five. I figured that was plenty of time for me to get ready, pick up A., and head to the venue. The ceremony took place outdoors under a big arch, but the reception was indoors. I wore my new tie and had a great time with friends. A. and I were very happy for J. and P.

Total: $38

Total for the week: $178.75