HOW WE SPEND IT

Three brave souls with income to spare expose where all their money goes.

PAM GRIMES
MOM/FREELANCE WRITER
HOUSEHOLD INCOME: $85,000

 

WHEN YOU SPEND your day ferrying around three kids attending three different schools and participating in three different activities (not to mention the trips to youth group and the grocery store), you need caffeine. As in a daily, heavy jolt of it. And fast food starts to look like an excellent dinner option. Pam Grimes, a freelance writer and full-time mom who lives in Tanasbourne, is the quintessential woman on the go (specifically in her white, Town & Country minivan); as such, she’s forced to make snap decisions about her spending en route to her next appointment and can’t get bogged down in the minutiae of her accounts. “My mother-in-law worked for a bank, and she’ll spend a whole afternoon balancing her bank account down to the penny. If I’m within $50, I’m pretty happy,” says Grimes, who recently added hot pink streaks to her hair “just to mess with” her teenaged son. Firm believers in charity, the Grimeses donate about $2,500 per year to a micro-lending program that funds small-business projects in Africa—and while major indulgences are few in her family, Grimes does like to drink great wine (chardonnay is her favorite) and wear great lingerie, even when she chooses not to bring home any bacon for dinner to fry up in a pan for her brood.

‘I REALLY LIKE PROVIDING FOR MY FAMILY, BUT I THINK SUBWAY CAN DO IT JUST AS WELL AS I CAN.’

SPENDING DIARY

12/09/07-12/15/07

SUNDAY

$6 – 2 x venti americano, Starbucks
$57 – Christmas tree
$30 – Hamburger dinner for five, Burgerville

MONDAY

$6 – 2 x venti americano, Starbucks
$6 – Sandwich lunch, River City Saloon
$8 – School lunches
$30 – Groceries

TUESDAY

$3 – Venti americano, Starbucks
$9 – Chicken salad, Bugatti’s
$13 – Hair products, Victoria’s Secret
$175 – Charitable donation, Kiva
$17 – Photos with Santa
$49 – Hamburger dinner for five, Mark Lindsay’s Rock & Roll Café

WEDNESDAY

$6 – 2 x venti americano, Starbucks
$44 – Gas
$742 – Holiday gifts; Amazon, Target, Starbucks and Nike
$65 – Four pounds of cheese, Washington State University Creamery
$62 – Groceries
$7 – Dry cleaning
$30 – Guitar lesson for son

THURSDAY

$3 – Venti americano, Starbucks

FRIDAY

$3 – Venti americano, Starbucks
$99 – Groceries
$26 – Taco and burrito dinner for five, Chipotle

SATURDAY

$16 – 2 x venti americano and pastries, Starbucks
$84 – Computer class for son
$24 – Holiday gifts for family dog, Petco
$93 – Groceries

TOTAL
$1,713

BREAKDOWN

GROCERIES $316
CHARITY $175
DRY CLEANING $7
BEAUTY $13
GAS $44
STARBUCKS $43
CLASSES $114
EATING OUT $128

Amount that Oregonians spent on liquor in 2000: $231,500,000

Amount that we spent on liquor in 2007: $380,500,000