Elissa Voris is a senior manager of cloud media solutions engineering at Dolby.
Voris earns enough income to pay her bills and have extra money for things she enjoys.
She said her video game subscription is one thing she’d never cut back on — even during a recession.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Elissa Voris, a 39-year-old senior manager at Dolby, from Enumclaw, Washington. It has been edited for length and clarity.
My career kicked off 17 years ago at a Los Angeles startup and I’ve been working as an engineer ever since. In 2021, Dolby hired me as a full-time contract solutions engineer then I got promoted to senior manager of cloud media solutions engineering in 2022. Now, I have a $169,000 salary.
My 6-figure job offers me enough income to pay all of my bills and have extra money for things I enjoy, but I also set aside money and follow a budget. Since recessions are uncontrollable, I tend not to stress about the possibility of one, but there are things I’ll always spend money on no matter what.
Therapy is a non-negotiable for me to tackle my ADHD.
My professional life was unmanageable in 2021 and I was struggling mentally. Therapy helps me understand how to maneuver everything in my professional life smoothly and favorably. I spend about $124 a month on therapy.
I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2022 and within a year I’ve witnessed significant positive changes in my work and personal life because of therapy. It makes it easier to achieve and sustain goals, and consequently advances my career.
2. Grocery app and grocery store subscription
Instacart and my Costco membership helps me save lots of money each month. Instacart costs me about $110 a year and the Costco membership costs $120 a year.
Buying a home together with my husband made me realize the importance of spending consciously. I used to spend a lot on DoorDash and UberEats every month so I decided to opt for an Instacart subscription and Costco membership.
Our lifestyle has upgraded because we don’t just feed ourselves with healthier foods now, but the memberships also allow us to take vital breaks during the day to eat properly and unwind.
3. Coffee subscription
I have a coffee subscription to pump me up in the morning.
I don’t see myself not drinking cold-brewed coffee every morning. I have freshly roasted coffee beans delivered to my door twice a week from YES PLZ. I love to support small-businesses and feel grateful when I’m able to do so, especially during a recession, even if it means spending a few more dollars. So I pay $50 a month for my coffee subscription.
Coffee is my side-kick and it’s always there with me whether I’m running late in the morning or getting the ball rolling on my work. I consider it my morning highlight.
4. Annual property maintenance
Property maintenance is essential throughout the year.
I work remotely so my home is also my office. This means I need to keep my house top notch when it comes to cleaning every nook and corner. So I invest in property and home maintenance services. I have an annual maintenance plan that includes gutter cleaning and pest control. The fee is a little over $215 a month.
I know it may seem like that this is something I could do myself, and I absolutely can, but I want to spend my energy and efforts on other housework with my husband.
5. Skincare and health supplements
Skincare and health supplements help me feel happy on the outside and inside.
I’ve only recently found some skincare products that treat my skin flawlessly. My skin is dry and I’ve struggled with keeping it happy and healthy. Three years ago, I discovered products that work really well for my skin. So it’s something I can’t neglect.
The total monthly expense for my skincare is $125. My money also goes toward health supplements like multivitamins and other prescribed medications. I’m a health-oriented person so I’ll always be indifferent to spending on health and fitness-related requirements, even during a recession.
6. Fitness app membership
Apple Fitness+ is needed to compensate for my sedentary lifestyle.
I stopped going to the gym after the pandemic hit everyone. My husband and I were weightlifters and would frequently go three to five times a week. Saying goodbye to the gym was difficult so an alternative was necessary.
Apple Fitness+ benefited us in maintaining a portion of that routine. It’s pretty obvious it’s not the same as lifting weights but it helps with my work-life balance and is super convenient to practically use anywhere any time. I shell out $32.95 per month for the Apple One subscription, which includes the Apple Fitness+ premier plan.
I either do my workouts in between my breaks or after I finish working.
7. Video game subscription
The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate helps to soothe my mind.
To preserve my work-life balance I play video games. Video games get a bad rep but everything in moderation, or in the quantities that won’t disrupt your work-life balance, can be helpful.
My brain needs a task after work where I can focus and engage before I can truly relax. Video games assist with that and are also a terrific option to de-stress after work. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs me about $16 a month.
That’s how me and my husband also meet and greet with our friends from across the country. It’s a fun and affordable way to catch up with friends, and to keep the momentum of our social self going.
Besides these things, I also pay for standard insurances and a CPA for my taxes. If a recession ever hits and forces me to alter my spending, I’d cut back on things based on its aftermath. So, if I want to save a little money, I’d stick to a smaller grocery budget instead of cutting back on a specific product or service.
But the above mentioned services and products are my lifelines and I’d splurge on them even in a recession.
Do you earn six figures and want to share your recession-proof spending habits? Email Manseen Logan at [email protected].
Read the original article on Business Insider