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 respiratory therapist working in healthcare who makes $63,284 per year and spends some of her money this week on lip balm with SPF.
Occupation: Respiratory Therapist
Location: Burlington, VT
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $2,434
Gender Identity: Woman
Rent: $0 (I’m living at home right now.)
Student Loans: $105
Car Loan: $418
Car Insurance: $59
Phone Bill: $49
Spotify: $4 (family plan split between four people)
Climbing Gym Membership: $65
Pet Insurance: $34 (yep, it’s worth it)
Health Insurance: $157 (taken out of my paycheck)
403(b)/Roth IRA: 6% (around $146) of each paycheck
4:30 p.m. — So, this is actually the beginning of my day. I work nights at the hospital (shift starts at 6:30 p.m.), so I’m sleeping most of the day if I work. The good thing is, I only work three days (or nights) a week. I like to wake up around 4:30, so I don’t have to rush through my "morning." I get up, take a shower, and eat a bowl of cereal while talking to my mom. I live at home at the moment, as my landlord sold the house I was living in and I didn’t know what to do with my life, so my lovely mom let me stay at home for a bit. I leave for work around 5:30. I swing by McDonald’s and grab an iced coffee. They actually have really good coffee there, and it’s $1 (if you go through their app and use the deal). Burlington traffic is horrific; it takes me about half an hour to go seven minutes. I decide to listen to a scary murder-mystery podcast on my way. $1.09
10 p.m. — It’s my "lunchtime" at work. All my patients are tucked into bed, and I’m hungry. I pack a lunch 95% of the time, because I’m not a huge fan of my hospital’s cafeteria. I bring a ton of food, since I’m working for 12 hours at a time. Tonight, I brought a store-made salad (I’m lazy and it was on sale), chorizo and potato soup, a few Kind/Luna bars, clementines, and plenty of water. I eat this throughout the night if I have time. Usually my pager goes off right as I’m pulling my food out of the fridge.
2 a.m. — Okay…so my night is not as busy as I had anticipated. I bring my computer with me, in case I ever have time to kill, and I’ve been eyeing this body oil stuff I discovered in Portugal. I decide why not and give in. It’s cheaper than driving to Canada to buy it (we don’t have much in the way of shopping here, and Montreal is only two hours away). $26.42
7 a.m. — Work is over! I practically run to my car and start driving back home, resisting the urge to go to McDonald’s and buy a breakfast sandwich. I put my podcast on to keep me awake and keep my eyes peeled for deer. My bed is waiting for me, and thankfully nobody is awake when I get home. I run to my bed and completely forget about washing my face, oops.
Daily Total: $27.51
12 p.m. — My friend is in town for the weekend, so I invite him to lunch with me. I have to wake up early for it, but I haven’t seen him since he moved away, so it’s worth it. We meet up at a new poke place near my house. It’s expensive, but most places in Vermont are. I pay for us both, and we enjoy the sunny day while catching up. After, I go back home and take a little nap before getting up again for work. $24.19
5 p.m. — I wake up a little later than usual, since I had a lunch date, and do my usual shower, eat, and talk to Mom before leaving for work. I drive to McDonald’s for an iced coffee, which is my usual. I don’t like hot coffee in the summer, so I don’t usually make coffee at home. $1.09
12 a.m. — Lunch is a little late tonight — the ER is busy, and I’m running around trying to get it all done. My coworker comes by and relieves me so I can eat. I brought food again: baked ziti, roasted veggies, cherries, Kind/Luna bars, leftover poke bowl, water. There’s no time to online shop tonight, so I just eat and run back to work.
7 a.m. — Time to go home — it was a busy one. I drive straight home and then talk to my mom for an hour before going to bed. She was really sweet and bought me some healing cream for back pain (I have chronic back pain, and I really hate using ibuprofen long-term). She helps me put it on so I can sleep better, and then I hit the hay.
Daily Total: $25.28
4:30 p.m. — My last work day of the week! When I wake up, my dad has already gone to a coffee shop and brought me a coffee. My dad and I have this thing where if either of us goes to a coffee shop, we buy the other a drink as well. It’s usually just from Dunkin’, but it’s a fun little tradition. I sit and talk to him about my "life plans" for a bit before I take a shower and drive to work. No McDonald’s today, so I have more time to hang with the family.
12 a.m. — It’s another typical night at work. I don’t have much time to chill besides looking up some cool places to kayak on my days off. I brought food again; same as yesterday, minus the poke bowl. I’m tired enough to make some tea as well.
7 a.m. — DONE! I drive home, jump into bed, and pass out.
Daily Total: $0
11 a.m. — It’s my day off! I worked until 7, so I slept for a bit before waking up for the "day." I shower, listen to some music while I tidy up my room, and dress for a day of swimming. All of my friends moved away this past winter, so I’m kind of alone here. Usually that would bother me, but I’ve learned to love spending time with myself. I have the whole day to myself, so I get to do what I want! I head to my favorite swimming hole. Being Monday, there’s usually only a few others there. This place is really cool, because you have to basically climb a boulder to get to the swimming area, so not many people go. I brought headphones and a book, so I listen to a playlist while reading Romeo and Juliet between cliff jumping and swimming around.
3:30 p.m. — It starts getting a bit crowded at the swimming hole, so I head out. It’s a lovely, sunny, 80-degree day here, and I decide that a creemee (soft-serve ice cream) is necessary. I drive the 20 minutes to my favorite place and get a maple creemee. I’ve realized I’m actually really hungry. I hadn’t eaten before going swimming, so I drive back home and grab a sandwich and Greek yogurt. I figure a nap would be nice, so I head to bed. This is pretty typical of me on my first day off. I can’t do too much after working so much and then only getting four hours of sleep after. $2.15
5:45 p.m. — I sleep longer than I anticipated. It’s still nice out, so I go out to the front yard and hang out with my neighbor’s chickens (and my mom). My mom and I take a little walk in the neighborhood and talk about life before heading in for dinner.
8 p.m. — After dinner and a phone convo with my older sister, who doesn’t live close to me at all, I decide to go climbing at my gym. My car is on empty, so I buy some gas on the way over. I am too tired to climb, so I don’t do too well and scrape my arm pretty badly on a hold. I go home, play "catch" with my adorable cat, and pass out at around 10. $21.03
Daily Total: $23.18
9 a.m. — It’s another day off for me, so I sleep in a bit and have a slow morning. I shower, do some much needed skin care, and walk to my local coffee shop for breakfast. I get banana bread and a coffee with maple syrup. Yes, Vermonters really love their maple syrup. I hang out at the shop for a bit with my computer and do some research. I’m trying to plan my next travel adventure. I try to get two vacations a year, so I plan on two weeks at a time and look for cheap flights. I find some good prices for Germany, but I hold off on buying anything yet. $6.50
12 p.m. — I decide to go kayaking for the day, so I pack up and drive to the lake. I go to an area around 30 minutes from me and have to pay for parking. I kayak for a few hours before finding a little area to jump out and have a snack. I packed a beer and some chips and salsa from home. My kayak has dry storage, so I also brought my journal and draw for a little bit before heading home. $7
6:30 p.m. — After kayaking, I stop at a store and pick up a few things. I grab some sunscreen, moisturizer, and a lip balm with SPF. I buy everything from the drugstore, but I can only use certain sunscreens for my face or else it burns my skin, so I have to spend a bit extra on that. I head home for dinner. I’m lucky to have such amazing parents who let me stay at their house for a bit. My mom is also an angel and makes me dinner a lot. She’s an awesome cook and makes roasted veggies and potatoes with chipotle chicken for dinner. $24.18
9 p.m. — I had a long day, so I jump in bed and get on Hulu. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is currently my favorite show, and I can’t get enough. I’m rewatching the first seasons. I watch till around 11 and fall asleep with my cat.
Daily Total: $37.68
10 a.m. — Okay, I slept in way too long. It’s a gloomy day outside, so I don’t feel too bad missing the morning. I do my usual morning routine, then decide to purge my belongings for a little bit. I’m trying to get rid of everything I don’t use. I end up with a decent-sized tote full of stuff I haven’t used in over a year. I tidy up a little more before I make some coffee and food.
12:45 p.m. — Since it’s gloomy out and my arm is healing pretty well, I go climbing again. I get there, and there’s nobody around. I persuade an employee to climb with me so I can sport climb. I fall a lot, but sometimes that’s the most fun part. With climbing, there’s a lot of downtime. You end up staying there for hours, and a lot of it is hanging out between climbs. I spend some time playing ping-pong as well…I don’t know why.
5 p.m. — I’m so hungry. I finish climbing and grab food at a Vietnamese place before going home. I get some stir-fry and tiger rolls. Once home, I put a movie on and eat while watching. I definitely don’t eat out as much as I used to, but sometimes I just get a craving and I have to give in. There’s one good Vietnamese place in town, and it’s always crazy busy. $11.82
9 p.m. — It’s early, but I decide to head to bed. It’s supposed to be relatively nice out tomorrow, and I want to get a little hike in. I’m able to fall asleep no matter what time it is, so I don’t have much trouble heading to bed early.
Daily Total: $11.82
7:30 a.m. — I wake up early. It’s 55 degrees and cloudy. I want to take a nice hike today, and the weather is perfect for it. I live pretty close to Camel’s Hump, which is a four-ish-hour hike. I pack up and head out. I stop at a coffee shop and grab a sandwich and coffee to fuel my trip. I listen to some Billie Eilish on my way. Thankfully, I don’t have to pay for parking this time. $7.50
2 p.m. — Done! It took me 4.5 hours, and I spent a bit of time up top. There are plenty of places around the mountain for some post-hike swimming, so I stop off at a place and just jump in. This is one of the top reasons I love Vermont. I survive through the winters just for days like this. I love the hidden swimming holes, hiking, and just the general nature here. After swimming, I drive home for a little nap. I work tomorrow, so I have to get back to my night schedule.
6:30 p.m. — I wake up from my nap. I head downstairs to hang out with my family and watch Captain Fantastic with them. I eat leftovers and cherries before heading back upstairs, around 10:30, to watch Netflix to keep me up. I stay up till around 2 a.m. before going to bed for the night.
Daily Total: $7.50
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