Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.
Today: a director working in healthcare who makes $100,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on iced green tea.
Occupation: Director, Business Development
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $100,000 (guaranteed bonus of $20,000 after 18 months of employment)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,259.49 after taxes and 401(k) deduction
Gender Identity: Woman
Student Loans: $0 (Thank you, Mom and Dad!)
401(k): $769, plus $154 from employer — I’m hoping to increase my contribution to make up for lost time (after SEVERAL years of making $30,000-45,000 annually)
Health & Dental Insurance: $100 for the lowest plans available
Netflix: $0 (TY to my brother.)
Spotify Premium: $0 (TY to my brother’s gf; it’s not weird.)
Internet: $49.99 (expensed through work, since I work remotely 100%)
Electricity: $30-$100+ in the stanky NYC humidity
Phone: $0 (I’m still on my dad’s family plan. I’ve offered to pay, but he always refuses.)
Church Donations: $50-$150, depending on how often I attend
Savings: $500 at minimum into high-yield savings account
Amazon Prime: $119 per year
6:30 a.m. — Wake up and head to Central Park for three miles in the cool but humid weather. I’m training for the NYC marathon, and I’m in week three of my 18-week training program. Come home, shower, and do my normal morning skin-care routine: a K-beauty face wash, fresh rose-water toner, TJ’s antioxidant serum, First Aid Beauty eye cream (not a huge fan), and Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker face cream with SPF.
9 a.m. — Breakfast time, which is a homemade smoothie (almond milk, strawberries, half a banana, chia seeds, vanilla plant-protein powder). I also have a homemade whole-wheat pumpkin-spice muffin that I made a batch of this past weekend.
10:30 a.m. — I make an iced green tea at home. So refreshing!
1 p.m. — Make a taco salad for lunch with spinach, ground beef, tomatoes, onion, crushed plantain chips from TJ’s, and TJ’s Green Goddess dressing. Yum!
3 p.m. — Meet my friend to do work at a nearby café. Order an iced green tea. I literally see the barista straight up microwave a cup of water, steep the teabag, and then pour it over ice. Oh well, I’m here for the company. $3.21
5 p.m. — I had plans to meet one of my mentors for happy hour in the West Village, but he reschedules on me. Bummed but also happy to save a couple of bucks. Proceed to watch two episodes of Queer Eye season four (and shed some tears). I start to get hangry and have a peach and almonds as a snack.
8:30 p.m. — I meet my boyfriend, B., for dinner at a dive bar. I order a Moscow Mule to start. B. does, too. We both instantly regret our decisions when we take our first sips; they’re so, so bad. For dinner, we split a fish taco wrap and chicken fingers — we’re both surprised by how good the food is, given the divey feel of the bar. B. proceeds to drink three more beers, and two for me. He probably pays for 60% of our shared expenses. He picks up the tab.
10:30 p.m. — Come back to my apartment and have a glass of prosecco while B. drinks a beer and finishes a task for work. Meanwhile, I ask him questions from an online article called “Everything to Ask Your Partner for an Instantly Deeper Bond.” I melt a little (a lot) when he says marrying me and starting a family is in his ten-year plan; I ask about his career (he’s very career-oriented), and he says that will come but that having a supportive relationship is more important. He also gets offended when I say our sex life is a little “vanilla,” so he makes up for it later. 😉
Daily Total: $3.21
6:30 a.m. — B.’s alarm goes off, since he actually has to commute to work. We share some time together in bed before he leaves.
10:30 a.m. — After being v. questionably productive at home, I go to Starbucks and knock out a few hours of work. I bring a PB Perfect Bar protein bar from home for breakfast and order an almond milk latte with a double shot. I pay with my preloaded card on my app ($5.93).
2:30 p.m. — Come home for lunch, which is a homemade quinoa and cauliflower rice veggie stir-fry with edamame. It’s such a lazy and easy meal to make; it’s my go-to at least twice per week. I always use my lunch break to catch up on Money Diaries.
5 p.m. — Snack on an apple with almond butter before I attempt 11 miles, which is my long run for the week. I have plans tomorrow morning, which is normally when I would do my long run, so I resort to this after-work option. Woof.
7:30 p.m. — The run takes me about an hour and half, and I surprise myself by not really needing any water or supplements during it. I come home and just want to shower and lie in bed, as I have to get up at 5 a.m. tomorrow. I make a smoothie (almond milk, vanilla plant-protein powder, chia seeds, blueberries, half a banana, and spinach) for dinner, because I’m basically dead and don’t feel like eating or cooking anything else.
9 p.m. — Eat some ice cream while I watch some of the TBT Basketball Tournament on ESPN’s online streaming service (which I access through my mom’s cable account). I’m a huge college basketball fan.
11 p.m. — Normal night skin-care routine before bed: cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, Tula antioxidant face cream. Already dreaming of iced coffee for tomorrow morning…
Daily Total: $0
5 a.m. — Whyyyy?! I drink some water and get ready to be a medical volunteer at a race. It’s one of the requirements to qualify for the NYC marathon for 2020. I take the subway on my preloaded MetroCard.
10 a.m. — Volunteering is over; it went by relatively quickly, and I think I met a new running buddy who lives a couple of blocks from me. As we wrap up, I eat an apple that they provide for volunteers.
11 a.m. — I walk three miles through Central Park and grab coffee and cornbread at Whole Foods while I kill time before my yoga class. I text my mom a picture, because she randomly loves their cornbread. She responds with a picture of her coffee and cornbread that she’s coincidentally eating at the exact same time! This makes me smile and miss her. She lives in NJ; I see her on average about twice a month. $4.14
12 p.m. — I signed up for a free yoga class through my running-club membership. This hour is exactly what my body needed after 11 miles yesterday and being on my feet all morning. I’m inspired by a blind man in front of me who is taking the class.
2 p.m. — I decide to take the subway home instead of walking two miles back — I’m way too tired. I have enough on my MetroCard for one more ride, but load $20 because I know I’ll use it soon. $20
3 p.m. — I really want pizza, because I always crave salty foods after long runs. I decide against it and make a cheese quesadilla and roasted Brussels sprouts at home. I shower and lie in bed while watching some more TBT Basketball and browsing the internet.
3:30 p.m. — I see that Aerie is having a 10-for-$30 underwear sale and decide that I could use some new pairs. I also buy a bralette — hopefully it fits! Am I too old to be shopping at Aerie? I’ve heard their underwear is really comfortable, though… $55
5 p.m. — I go to Whole Foods (again, different location) to buy some snacks and drinks before B. comes over. He texts me that he’s on his way and that he “needs food real bad” after he also just ran 11 miles today. I buy a six-pack of Austin’s rosé cider (trying it for the first time), a six-pack of Narragansett summer shandy, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, and chorizo. I also had a crown of broccoli in my basket, but it somehow didn’t make it into my bag. I make a mental note to pay better attention during checkout in the future, as they have made other mistakes like this in the past. $37.01
6 p.m. — B. and I get to my apartment at the same time and immediately start snacking on chips and guac, carrots and hummus, and chorizo, and have a couple of drinks. The cider is pretty good, but nothing beats Wolffer Estate. B. helps me set up my new (way bigger!) TV, and we watch a few episodes of Queer Eye. We joke and say that I should nominate him.
8:30 p.m. — B. wants wings, so we head over to the same bar that we went to on Thursday (they’re known for their wings). Same bouncer, same waitress — we laugh at ourselves. We order a bucket of Montauk summer ales, boneless wings, waffle fries, and a chicken quesadilla. It seems like a lot of food when it arrives, but somehow we finish it all (we’re gross). The total is $70-something. B. tells me to Venmo him $30, but I send him $35. $35
10:30 p.m. — We leave the bar, and B. keeps saying that he ate too much and doesn’t feel well. I suggest walking a little bit longer to get home to hopefully help him digest. We get to my block, and he yacks on the sidewalk. We laugh afterward and joke that we’ve reached a new level to our relationship. We come home and hang out on the couch while taking turns playing songs on the sound bar that we like, or ones that we think the other would like. We belt out some old R&B jams together and eventually head to bed.
Daily Total: $151.15
6 a.m. — Wake up so. dang. early for a Sunday morning. We cuddle (and etc.) in bed for a while before B. wants to head out to grab a bagel. He gets a BEC on an everything bagel and a coffee. I don’t get anything; I’m slightly hungover, dehydrated, full, etc. from last night. I snack on some leftover cornbread while B. eats his bagel before leaving for work.
10 a.m. — I proceed to lie around, watch Netflix (a Korean drama that I just started watching — One Spring Night), and doze off briefly, which results in me missing church service. I’m mad at myself.
12 p.m. — Have some leftover chips, guac, and salsa while I am lazy and lounge around. I still feel tired and not recovered from all of the running and waking up early this week. I eventually start to get ready, since I’m meeting some friends at a brewery. Thinking about drinking more beer makes me sick, but I’m sure I’ll find a way. My makeup routine consists of: MAC primer, Smashbox eye primer, Bare Minerals loose powder, Tarte clay blush, TooFaced chocolate bronzer, Laura Geller illuminator, Urban Decay eye shadow, Ulta gel eyeliner pencil, and L’Oréal mascara (I like to rotate between this one, TooFaced BTS, Maybelline, and NARS Climax).
7:30 p.m. — We all get together and spend over four hours drinking, catching up, and playing What Do You Meme. I had some tokens that I had purchased years ago, which got me a few five-ounce pours. I also get a full pour ($7.41 including tip — so inexpensive!), and my friend and I split roasted cauliflower/broccoli and a couple of tacos ($10.50 for my share). Really underwhelmed by the tacos, but I’m surprised at how reasonably priced everything is. My friend and I head back to the city, and surprisingly, inbound traffic isn’t terrible. $17.91
9 p.m. — I had all intentions to get a salad from Sweetgreen for dinner, but I have a killer headache/slight hangover from drinking beers in the sun, so I do my nightly routine, check social media, and fall asleep by 10.
Daily Total: $17.91
6:45 a.m. — I was supposed to go to my brother’s to work from his apartment for the day and hang out with his adorable dog, but he is sick and stays home from work. I got a solid amount of sleep last night (but def could’ve slept more), so I get up and go to Whole Foods to get groceries for the week. I buy: strawberries, spinach, Brussels sprouts, apples, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, hot sauce, grated Parmesan, whole-wheat tortillas, ground turkey, and dried parsley. $38.36
10 a.m. — I snack on the rest of the cornbread while I make an omelet with spinach, onions, and cheddar cheese. I eat it with half of a whole wheat tortilla and some salsa and hot sauce on the side. Being able to eat home-cooked meals is definitely one of the perks of working remotely.
12:45 p.m. — I am a serial snacker so I don’t eat lunch, and instead opt for a nectarine and another homemade whole wheat muffin (this one has dates and walnuts). B. calls me to check in and catch up for a bit while I work on consolidating some industry data into a spreadsheet and have a lot of WTF moments while doing so.
3:45 p.m. — I eat a weird late lunch consisting of: salad (spinach, cherry tomatoes, quinoa, chickpeas, sliced almonds, and TJ’s Green Goddess dressing), a piece of buffalo jerky, and some tortilla chips.
5 p.m. — I’m done with work for the day, so I clean up my apartment a bit and prep some turkey meatballs that I’ll throw in the fridge and bake when I get back tonight. I’m using a recipe out of Shalane Flanagan’s Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. for the first time. Hope they turn out well! I head out for a quick three-mile run in the blazing heat/humidity. Ugh.
7 p.m. — I’m back from my run, and I am pretty sweaty. I hop in the shower while the oven preheats, then throw the meatballs in. I make a salad (spinach, cherry tomatoes, roasted brussels sprouts) and have a few meatballs with hot sauce on the side. The meatballs turns out well, a little dry but that’s no surprise since it’s really lean meat. I’m going to add this recipe into the mix of meal prepping!
8:30 p.m. — More Netflix and have a couple of strawberries and dark chocolate for dessert.
9:30 p.m. — Get ready for bed and call B. He doesn’t pick up but calls me back. He’s not acting like himself, and then eventually tells me that he doesn’t know what he wants… with his career, life, relationship, etc. Is this not the same person that just told me a few days ago that getting married and starting a family with me was in his five- to ten-year plan? I try to help him navigate his emotions and offer support and encouragement. I think he might be stressed/overwhelmed/maybe slightly depressed. We talk for about an hour, and basically decide that he needs some time and that we’ll talk tomorrow. We confirm he’s still my BF when we go to bed, but who knows what will happen this week. The lack of closure/reassurance makes me uneasy. I don’t end up falling asleep for over an hour; the probability of this morning run is decreasing with each minute that passes.
3:15 a.m. — Wake up with serious anxiety from a crazy dream where I was rock climbing/walking on the ledge of a mountain with no harness with one of my BFFs. Takes me about another hour to fall back asleep, as I keep playing back the conversation I had with B. last night in my head.
Daily Total: $38.36
6 a.m. — Alarm goes off to get up and run. Stay in bed for five minutes before deciding that it’s not happening this morning. I’ll run after work (and probably regret this decision because it’ll be so much hotter, but I’m way too sleepy rn).
7:30 a.m. — Actually wake up and scroll social media for almost 30 minutes before I get up for morning skincare. Decide that today is not the day, so I grab my work laptop and get back in bed. This happens every couple of weeks where my first few hours of the workday are from bed, not my healthiest of habits.
12:15 p.m. — I’ve been busy this morning reading industry-related articles (in bed, lol) and on conference calls (not in bed). I make another omelet with spinach, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. I have it with some salsa and hot sauce and a couple of tortilla chips. I also grab a kombucha (which expired four weeks ago…) to drink after.
3:30 p.m. — Just finished up my last meeting of the day and no word from B. today, which is not that uncommon. He has busy work schedules today and tomorrow. I can’t tell if I’m hungry, bored or both, so I heat up another one of those whole wheat muffins (pumpkin spice with chocolate chips) and have it with a drizzle of almond butter. At this moment, I also pat myself on the back for not drinking any coffee for the last three days!
4:30 p.m. — My workday is wrapping up so I browse Amazon for birthday presents for my two nieces who are having a joint birthday party next month. My sister requested educational items so I buy them each: a Disney princess CD, BrainQuest cards, a matching game, and a book. $68.98
6:30 p.m. — After reading some of Outliers and hanging around my apartment, I muster up and go for a six-mile run. It’s so hot and humid — perfect opportunity for me to test out a new handheld water bottle that B. gave me.
7:30 p.m. — The heat and humidity were sooo bad! I shower and then make dinner: turkey meatballs, sautéed spinach with garlic, quinoa and topped with parmesan cheese. I eat dinner while watching the #Demdebate. I also have some mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. (I was hoping to grab a Levain cookie since I haven’t been to the new location, but I can’t miss the debate!)
10:45 p.m. — I thought Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Mayor Buttigieg all did well. I’m curious to read up on it at work tomorrow, and excited to watch tomorrow night’s candidates too. I fall asleep around 11:30 and feel relieved that I will be able to sleep in!
Daily Total: $68.98
6:15 a.m. — Wake up initially to the sound of garbage trucks. Nope. Back to sleep.
7:40 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I stay in bed for about 20 minutes while scrolling social media and checking email. I emerge, do my morning skincare routine, chug some water, and start the workday. I actually put on real clothes and a real bra today. #Adulting.
10:30 a.m. — Decide that I should probably eat some breakfast and not repeat yesterday. I deviate slightly and make a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheddar cheese, and spinach (obv hot sauce/salsa too). It’s soggy, so I try to eat it as fast as possible.
11 a.m. — I mobile order a venti almond milk latte with five shots total from Starbucks and use my rewards stars that are going to expire tomorrow. I pour out half and save it for tomorrow (Am I ridiculous? Asking for a friend.)
11:30 a.m. — B. is alive. He texts me a news article related to the industry he works in.
3 p.m. — I decide that I should probably eat something before my next hour-long meeting, so I settle on part of a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. I cannot live without PB. I try sticking with almond butter from time to time, but it’s seriously just not the same.
5:30 p.m. — Done with the workday after one more conference call. I snack on half of an apple before my HIIT class in midtown, where I am meeting a couple of friends. I bought a class package in bulk a couple of months ago and paid about $15 per class. I take the subway with my pre-loaded MetroCard ($2.75).
7:30 p.m. — Class is over — we survived! Rush home via subway on my pre-paid MetroCard ($2.75).
8 p.m. — I get home just in time to turn on the #Demdebate; I’m excited to hear Joe Biden and Kamala Harris together again after an intense debate in June. I shower and make dinner: turkey meatballs, roasted Brussels sprouts, and steamed broccoli. I nosh on some coffee chip ice cream for dessert while I watch.
11 p.m. — Nightly skincare routine, heavy on the eye cream tonight. Hop in bed and catch up on social media. Hooray for a technically $0 day!
Daily Total: $0
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