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: an area senior sales manager working in hospitality who makes $92,400 per year and spends some of her money this week on a book called The Ethical Slut.
Occupation: Area Senior Sales Manager
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Salary: $92,400 + $10,000 annual bonus (average)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,485.79
Gender Identity: Woman
Mortgage: $2,300. I own my two-bedroom condo and live with my rescue pup, who pays rent in the form of puppy kisses.
Car Loan: $300
Condo HOA Fee: $405
Cell Phones: $100
Amazon Prime: Free (I pay for Netflix and my sister pays for Prime)
Health Savings Account: $160 deducted monthly from my paycheck (50% of which is used directly for 2x/month therapy)
401K/Roth IRA: $462 deducted monthly from paycheck (6% deduction + my company offers a 100% match for up to 3%)
8:05 a.m. — I wake up around a little after 8, but as it’s Saturday I snooze a bit before getting up and getting the day going. I make myself coffee and avocado toast at home while I call my parents on the East Coast to catch up.
12 p.m. — I’m meeting my colleague in Burbank for an event. It’s technically a "work" event, but it’s at Warner Bros. Studios, so it’s more fun than actual work. It’s an augmented-reality (AR) event, so we’ll get to test out new AR/VR devices and tour the studios. Not a bad Saturday, in my book. My gas light signals empty as I pull out of my parking garage, so I stop by to fill her up. $58.00
12:30 p.m. — We catch up over some lunch before the event starts. I haven’t seen this colleague in a few weeks (we work in different locations at the same company), so it’s nice to catch up over a meal. She purchased her condo a few years ago, so I ask her a bunch of questions about home renovations, contractors, etc. I just purchased my condo in April, so I’m still adjusting to homeownership. So far, it’s just like rent, but more expensive. I went from paying $1,900/month for rent to $2,700/month for my monthly mortgage + HOA fee. I also went from a 600-square-foot one-bedroom to a 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom in a building with a pool, so the perks are great, but it’s still a big adjustment on my usual spending and savings. Since we’re on our way to a work event, I expense the $24 lunch. ($24.00 expensed)
11:30 p.m. — I have a date this evening with someone I’ve been seeing for a few months. We haven’t talked about dating exclusively yet, but we’ve been seeing each other pretty consistently. We decide to go out for some drinks in my neighborhood, as I haven’t really explored the new bars and restaurants since I moved. We grab a dozen oysters and a round of drinks (mezcal on the rocks for me). The convo is flowing, and we’re really enjoying our time, so we order one more round before heading out. I pick up the bill, as he’s paid the last few times we’ve gone out and we’re in my ‘hood, so I feel like it’s my turn to treat. $122.00
Daily Total: $180.00
6:50 a.m. — We wake up pretty early on Sunday morning and spend some time in bed talking, cuddling, and making out. We each share what we have to do that day — a friend’s party for him, an unexpected and very uncommon lazy day with no commitments for me. We move from the bed to the couch and keep chatting over coffee I’ve made us. He heads out around 9 a.m.
5 p.m. — I have a truly lazy day and never leave my house. My best friend moved to Amsterdam two years ago, but we try to stay in touch as often as possible. Typically it’s a few exchanges a week on WhatsApp or email, and a monthly phone call. This Sunday was our monthly phone call, so we spend about an hour chatting and catching up. It’s one of my few friendships that has stood the test of time and distance. I’m really proud of us for committing to maintaining our relationship. After I chat with her, I settle in for some TV time. I have two episodes of Handmaid’s Tale and one episode of Big Little Lies to catch up on. I don’t have HBO, but I have a former boyfriend’s HBO Go auto-logged in on my TV, so I can watch BLL. I snack on some fruit and popcorn while I watch, but come time for dinner, I treat myself to some Thai delivery. $27.00
Daily Total: $27.00
8:30 a.m. — I’m running late to work, so I don’t pack any morning snacks (I usually make myself avocado toast in the office). I stop by and get myself a large coconut milk cappuccino and bacon cheddar croissant on the way into work. $10.25
5:30 p.m. — I have a really busy day at work, and it seems to fly by. My company provides daily lunches (they’re hit or miss), but it was pretty good today, so I ate at work and got to save some money. I stop by Target on my way home for a few necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, and body wash. As expected, I scoop up a few more things than were on my list (because Target) and end up spending more than I planned. I do get some tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to add to what I already have in my fridge, so I’m able to make myself a salad and pasta for dinner at home without spending too much. $88.00
Daily Total: $98.25
10:10 a.m. — I get pulled over while driving to work and get a texting-while-driving violation. Since I’m a first-time offender, the fine is $20 without any points on my record. It feels totally unfair, as I was not texting or moving — I was fully stopped at a red light when I used my phone to turn off my navigation and refresh my emails. I set it down before the light turned green and I started moving again, but I’m not one to argue with a cop, so I accept the ticket and learn my lesson: Having your phone in your hand while your ignition is on in the state of California is a violation of the law, even if you are fully stopped at a red light. He suggests I get a holder for the phone, as that’s the loophole. If the phone were in a holder and I were to use it while at a red light, that would be legal. Go figure. Twenty bucks and an "UGH" feeling all day, because who likes getting a ticket, even if it’s only $20. $20.00
12 p.m. — Taco Tuesday at work, so I take the free lunch.
6 p.m. — I stop by the grocery store on the way home to get a few things for dinner. I pick up ground turkey, two avocados, a bell pepper, and a bottle of red wine. I like to end my day with some dinner and a glass of wine most nights, so a bottle lasts me the work week. $23.00
Daily Total: $43.00
6:55 a.m. — I get up for work at my usual time. I grab one of the avocados from my mini grocery run to make avo toast in the office. I get a large coconut milk cappuccino to enjoy with my toast and leave the barista a $2 tip. Feeling generous today. $6.00
12:30 p.m. — I packed leftovers from my dinner last night for lunch today. The free lunch is some type of mystery meat, so I’m glad I brought mine from home. I have a stressful day at work, as a client of mine had to cancel their event, so I try to do damage control. My job is a salary plus bonus based on sales goals, so it would be a huge hit if this deal were to cancel. After many phone calls and emails, we land on a rebooking agreement and I allow them to move their dates, but keep their revenue commitment. Crisis averted, but not without tons of stress.
6 p.m. — I get home a little after six and pour myself a large glass of wine. After the day I’ve had, I even allow myself two. I’m too mentally exhausted to make a proper meal, so I have popcorn and wine for dinner. Not eating much + two glasses of wine makes me feel a little loose and empowered. I text a girl I went on a few dates with recently but lost touch with as my move took over my life for a while. I apologize for going dark, tell her I had a really nice time getting to know her on the few dates we had, and ask if I can see her again. She tells me she’s really excited to hear from me and feels the same, but she’s started dating someone. She tells me she’ll be in touch should her situation change. I’m flattered, but I go to bed feeling a little deflated.
Daily Total: $6.00
6:55 a.m. — Alarm goes off at the regular time, but getting up is tough today. I guess wine will do that. It’s my every-other-Thursday therapy day, so I head to my appointment. Normally, I really look forward to my sessions, but after drinking a little too much and seeking attention from an old flame, I’m not feeling really great about it. I try not to beat myself up about it too much, and drive to the session and call my grandma on my way. She lives on the East Coast, so it’s about 10 a.m. her time. We catch up. I always feel better after talking to her. I grab my usual large coconut milk cappuccino on my way in. $4.00
5 p.m. — The day absolutely flies by today. Therapy usually makes me feel pretty vulnerable all day, so I schedule a hot yoga class to wind down and practice some self-care. I decide to go to a studio near me, which isn’t available on ClassPass where I have a membership, so I pay $14 out of pocket. So worth it. $14.00
11 p.m. — After I get home, I get a text from an old fling, and we start flirting via text. The topic of polyamory and open relationships comes up (we’re talking about the show Easy on Netflix), but we playfully start transitioning the idea to ourselves and if it could work. He lives in Seattle, so we’re not in the same town. The texts heat up, and he calls me. We talk for three hours about intimacy, relationships, and various forms of non-monogamy, and whether we think they could ever work for us. It’s all theoretical, but it’s an interesting way to connect with someone and learn about fears, insecurities, and opportunities in relationships. We decide we’re both going to read The Ethical Slut and talk about it once we’re done. I place an order on Amazon. $17.00
Daily Total: $35.00
6:55 a.m. — I wake up at my regular time and feel pretty good. I grab an avocado and head to the office. I forgo my usual coffee order and make myself good ol’ office coffee and save myself a few dollars.
4 p.m. — I’m renovating some things in my condo, so the list of items to buy is never-ending. I’m trying not to do it all at once, but it’s a hard balance because I’m eager to make my place feel like home. I place an order on CB2 for a few items I’ve been meaning to get, like a vase and organizational baskets, and the total comes to $112. I have a 20% promo, so I use that. $89.60
6 p.m. — Its my friend’s birthday, so I stop by Sephora to get her a gift card. She’s been a really good friend to me, so I want to get her something nice. I know she loves makeup, but I don’t know which items or brands, so I figure a gift card is best. Her party is tomorrow night, so I’ll bring the card with some flowers and her favorite Champagne. $100.00
7:30 p.m. — I go to a concert with my client — she has turned into a friend over the years, so we have a great time chatting and catching up over a drink before the show. She’s getting married next month, so we talk about her wedding plans. She asks me if I’m dating anyone, and I question how much I should share. I could tell her the truth — I’m dating a guy and a girl, and toying with the idea of an open relationship with a guy who lives in Seattle, but I decide to keep it slightly professional and just tell her, "Yeah, a few people, but nobody worth talking about." Concert tickets were $15 each, and drinks were $40 altogether. I expense the evening. ($70.00 expensed)
Daily Total: $189.60
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