A Week in Chapel Hill on a $100,000 Salary

a city with a red sky

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

Today: a real estate investor who makes $100,000 a year

Occupation: real estate investor

Age: 24

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Salary: $100,000 (approx. $30,000 per house flipped)

Day One


Since I’m my own boss, my weeks don’t stick to a strict schedule, and every day’s a little different. I do try to create one unifying goal for each week, though. For this week? Connect with the professionals I’ll have to depend on to finish this next project. I’ve been flipping houses for a few years now, but I’m new to Chapel Hill, which calls for finding new contractors and technicians. After heading downtown for some lunch, I get myself organized. For instance, a friend recommended I call Labor Panes Durham Chapel Hill to discuss window cleaning, pressure washing, and other exterior tasks. They have years of experience and a track record of great service and customer satisfaction, and their online reviews speak for themselves! Fortunately, that’s one task scratched off my list before I even get started.

Total: $16

Day Two


Today, my first goal is to find a roofer near me. Ideally, I’ll have one company I can work with through the entire process, one that meets all my roofing needs. And I can tell this one’s going to need a lot of work! One particular well-reviewed roofer catches my eye, and I go ahead and schedule a free service consultation for early next week. Then, I head to the store to grab some cleaning supplies and work on the interior a bit more—I’d like to have some of the dust and debris swept away before starting to renovate the space. I grab some food on the way back, then get to work until long after the sun’s gone down.

Total: $34.50

Day Three


It’s another day of cleaning, and a friend, K., drives in to help me tackle the project more efficiently. After a few hours and plenty of time spent catching up in addition to cleaning, they go pick up a pizza and drinks while I make sure we have a space to eat it. Then, we help ourselves to a good meal and get back to the project at hand. By the end of the day, I can honestly say we’ve done a great job!

Total: $27.50

Day Four


I’m back to researching contractors today, trying to make sure I’ve got people on hand for all the necessary repairs. I’m grateful for the internet and how easy it makes it to find not just technicians but reviews of them, too! I decide on Mexican food for dinner and take it back to my apartment. I won’t be doing any hands-on work at the house this weekend, so I can enjoy a relatively cleaner space.

Total: $11

Day Five


Remember me saying my apartment was cleaner than the house? I might have exaggerated. My long weekend at home starts with doing some cleaning here, too, or tidying, to be more accurate. I spend some time scrolling through social media after, catching up with my friends after a busy couple of workdays. Then, I make some macaroni and cheese and go over my schedule for the renovation before bed.

Total: $0

Day Six


I’ve got a credit card payment due today, so I pay that first thing. It’s the only way I know I won’t forget! I treat myself to a pretty generous fast-food breakfast as a sort of “brunch.” Afterward, I call a few different contractors for potential estimates and to discuss the project I’ve got on my hands. With a few leads, I give myself an easy evening in with a microwave dinner and some mindless TV.

Total: $97.50

Day Seven


The past several weeks were absolute chaos between my own move, getting the house, and starting the flip, so I decide to continue taking it easy while I can—today’s another quiet day at home. Besides ordering a birthday present for my dad, I spend most of the day on the couch, turning my attention from online videos to Netflix.

Total: $72

Total for the week: $258.50