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

Today: an artist who makes $50,000

Occupation: artist

Age: 27

Location: Hammond, IN

Salary: $50,000 (approx. $1,923 per pay period)

Day One

Spend A Week in Indiana

I’m a freelance artist, which means I’m basically making all my childhood dreams come true! I work fewer hours than I would at a “real job,” as my mom so lovingly calls it, but I make more money, and I’m so much happier. I just love when I’m surrounded by papers, canvases, and art supplies, and my workspace offers just that every day. And, of course, there are days like today, where I take a trip to the art store for even more supplies. 

Total: $53

Day Two

Spend A Week in Indiana

Lately, I’ve noticed my air conditioner is making some strange sounds. It still keeps the temperature pretty steady, but I sit down to Google “heating and cooling in Northwest Indiana” before diving into today’s projects. This way, I’ll have an HVAC technician’s contact information ready if the air conditioning issue gets any worse! Otherwise, I spend most of the day painting, besides paying my water bill and whipping up a bite to eat. 

Total: $173

Day Three

Spend A Week in Indiana

I’m dealing with some nasty creative block today. Of course, this makes it a little extra challenging to get work done. So, I head online to seek out inspiration. I come across an assortment of table plants, of all things, that manages to catch my eye. I grab a sketchbook and scribble down a succulent and some other houseplants. The curves of these leaves stand out, in particular, and I make a note to invest in a few indoor plants for my desk. It can’t hurt to have something inspiring nearby while I work! In the meantime, I pop to the supermarket a few blocks away and pick out a bouquet to add some color to my workspace.

Total: $12.50

Day Four

Spend A Week in Indiana

Today, I spend my working hours on the marketing side of my business. The actual creation process is my favorite part, by far, but the more business-y pieces of the job are necessary. I invest in some social media ads and schedule some posts to go up during the next few weeks. 

Total: $98

Day Five

Spend A Week in Indiana

I start my day by renewing my website’s domain name and hosting package, then photograph a few of my more recent pieces. A painting I completed earlier this week is ready to ship, so I take that to the post office next. Then, I grab a pizza since I’m out and about anyway. 

Total: $241

Day Six

Spend A Week in Indiana

The plan is to spend the weekend painting and sketching, so I decide to take a walk in the park before setting up in the studio. Sketchbook in hand, I wander through the foliage and scratch out some rough drawings of an older gentleman walking his dog and a small family playing in the grass. On the way home, I pass a yard sale and spot a beautiful plant stand for sale. Since I’m planning to add a few plants to my workspace, this seems like fate!

Total: $30

Day Seven 

Spend A Week in Indiana

After yesterday’s adventure, I’m feeling energized and ready to create. First, I make an art store run for some fresh pencils. Back at home, I work on a few commissions, then start a new project that’s just for me. In this new sketch, a woman is standing in a room, wrapped in a gentle, low light. Before her, there’s a dark corner. And yet, that darkness is home to a small plant that’s undoubtedly been there for a long time before she arrived and likely will be long after she’s gone. 

Total: $22

Total for the week: $629.50