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

Today: a quality assurance manager who makes $75,000 a year

Occupation: quality assurance manager

Age: 38

Location: Washington

Salary: $75,000 (approx. $2,400 per pay period)

Day One


For the last six years, I’ve been working as a quality assurance manager for a tech company here in Washington. Most days, I am developing policies for the company to follow and also conducting in-house audits. I look into testing products to ensure they meet safety standards. Anything that has to do with safety procedures, quality control, and inventory documentation is all within my wheelhouse. After work today, my wife, Y., and I had dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant. We absolutely love Indian food because of how comforting the flavors are and didn’t hesitate to order a bunch of sides.

Total: $46

Day Two


I had lunch with my best friend J. He’s been helping me work on my finances and make smarter investments. Today, I decided to look into Alamos Gold. It’s a gold miner based in Canada with great third-quarter results. Alamos Gold Inc. is a public company on NASDAQ. And if I do decide to invest in AGI, I can sign up for additional alert options in case anything changes.

Total: $9

Day Three


I took my daughter S. to a local cafe after work. We shared a giant chocolate chip cookie. S. picked out a blueberry streusel muffin for Y. The cafe also sold coffee beans, so I decided to pick that up, too. Our espresso machine at home has a built-in grinder. So, our coffee always tastes fresh.

Total: $26.50

Day Four


To streamline our workflow, I’ve been looking into a compliance platform called Workiva. It’s a leading cloud platform that allows teams to connect their data and documents. It’s a great way to do our jobs with greater transparency and less risk. Because it’s intuitive, Workiva can improve any work environment and make it more efficient. Being a quality assurance manager is all about maximizing productivity.

Total: $0

Day Five


Tonight was the rehearsal dinner for my friends’ wedding, U. and R. They’re getting married on Saturday and having their reception at a local restaurant. They wanted their ceremony to be small and intimate. There are only going to be 30 of us total. I told Y. that I would get a new tie for the event after work tonight. So, I stopped by a department store and asked the closest salesperson for help. I ended up with one in a light purple shade. After the rehearsal dinner, my friend C. came along with us to have drinks at a bar. We had a great time catching up. Last year, C. moved to another state, and it was nice to see them again.

Total: $41

Day Six


We went to U. and R.’s wedding. It was an adults-only wedding, so we took S. to stay over at my mother-in-law’s, G.’s, house. It was nice for me and Y. to hang out with all of our friends. We’ve missed going out with them, but everyone’s schedules have been pretty hectic. That’s just how it is as you get older. The wedding was picturesque. The open bar was only for a limited time, so I ended up buying my own drink toward the end of the night.

Total: $8

Day Seven


To make the most of my off-day, we slept in. G. came by around noon to drop off S., and we asked if she wanted to do anything. She mentioned wanting to see flowers. Y. and I had no idea where to take her, so we decided that going to a nursery would suffice. S. picked a succulent and named it “Spinny.”

Total: $6

Total for the week: $136.50