A Week in Pennsylvania on a $90,000 Salary

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

Today: a construction manager who makes $90,000 a year

Occupation: construction manager

Age: 46

Location: Pennsylvania

Salary: $90,000 (approx. $2,700 per pay period)

Day One


I’ve been working as a construction manager for over a decade now. I mostly work on commercial projects. So, when I’m in need of a new roof or want to get my gutters cleaned, I definitely don’t bother with doing anything myself. I know how tempting it can be to do any kind of housework on your own to save a couple of bucks. But over the years, I’ve learned not to bother if it takes way too much time or money. I brought my own lunch to work today, so I didn’t spend any money. I spent most of my day on-site at our current project.

Total: $0

Day Two


Today, I decided to contact a local roofing company in Wexford for roof repairs. It’s been a while since my last gutter cleaning, and since I’m getting roof repairs, I might as well get a gutter cleaning, too. Buccos Roofing has high ratings for customer satisfaction. So, I figured I’d try them out. They had an online form on the Buccos Roofing website to get a free quote. I bought lunch.

Total: $8

Day Three


My wife, B., loves yoga and asked about putting in some soundproof tiles for her yoga room. The ones I found were from a company called Felt Right. They’re meant to help with noise reduction or just any general unwanted noise. The acoustic panels are made of felt, so they’re easy to apply. She is really big on acoustics when it comes to her sessions and wants to use wall panels so she doesn’t hear as much noise. I work in construction, so I’m used to noise. But the tiles are worth looking into for the room. I ordered some samples.

Total: $25

Day Four


It was another day at work where I bought lunch. Today, a few of the contractors dropped by to see how things were coming along. I picked up Chinese food for takeout on the way home. My wife, B., and kids, T. and S., love eating takeout because it means we don’t have to do any cleanup for dinner. I totally get it. I don’t know any kids who like cleaning. B. and I take turns. If she cooks, I clean, and vice versa. The kids have the task of putting away dishes or drying them by hand. Needless to say, takeout makes everyone happy. We had a lot of leftovers for the next day.

Total: $56

Day Five


B. pulled me aside to talk about T.’s birthday party. We decided to buy him a digital piano as a gift. He has been asking for a new one with the full 88 keys. Our current keyboard has only 81, and it just doesn’t feel the same. B. sent me a link, and I ordered it online.

Total: $679.99

Day Six


Tonight is my friend O.’s dinner celebration. He quit his job to retire early, and he invited us to celebrate with him. O. is planning on moving to Florida to retire and invest in other properties down South. We went to a Sri Lankan restaurant and ate outdoors.

Total: $33

Day Seven


I have to go to the office today to do some paperwork for a new project. As a construction manager, I mainly work out in the field to supervise. But I do have an actual office that I need to go to once in a while. Then, I have to meet with stakeholders. But after that, I am free to enjoy the rest of my day and get back to the site I’m working out of in the morning.

Total: $0

Total for the week: $801.99