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 data analyst working in financial services who makes $125,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on essential oil.
Occupation: Data Analyst
Industry: Financial Services
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $110,000 + $15,000 bonus
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,947
Rent: $2,500 for my share of a $3,800 studio. (My parents cover $1,300.)
Student Loans: $0 (My parents paid for undergrad.)
Streaming (Netflix, HBO, etc.): $0 (I use my parents’ accounts.)
Psychiatrist: $0 (My parents cover my one $475 session each month.)
Therapist: $0 (My parents cover four $120 sessions per month.)
Medication Copays: $70
Health Insurance & Phone: $0 (Still on family plan.)
401(k): $275 (4% company match)
Savings: $0 (I currently have $40,000 in equities in an investment account I like to consider my "savings." Right now, all of my paychecks just accumulate as cash in a checking account.)
7 a.m. — I wake up feeling so sluggish and bloated from a night of over-eating, but I try to keep a positive mindset since it’s only Monday. I turn on the news while I get ready for work. Then I throw on some light makeup and my go-to "bloated outfit" — a loose black sweater with leggings that I should probably wash soon. I take all my meds with lemon water to feel somewhat cleansed, and I’m out the door. It’s a quick walk to the subway, where I refill my Metrocard. $40
11 a.m. — I’m so unmotivated to do work today. I spend way too much time trying to think of ways to reword an email to sound smarter, so I take a break to grab Starbucks with my coworkers. We’ve become incredibly close, and it definitely helps my mental health having a genuine, consistent support system in my life. The “break” somehow turns into a much-needed venting session. I head back to my desk without eating lunch since I’m not in the mood for anything in particular (probably due to mixing a grande cold brew with the Adderall in my system). $4
6 p.m. — Head to therapy right after work. She gives me advice I have no intention of taking, and she calls me out for mindlessly nodding. My therapist is pretty young, and I think I’d respond better to someone older. But I started seeing this girl fairly recently, so I’m going to stick it out another month before exploring other options.
7:30 p.m. — Finally get home and feel immediately relaxed once I start my nightly routine. I love my apartment — the rent is definitely steep, but anything good for my mental health is more important to me than saving for the future at the time being. I make wild Chilean sea bass with quinoa, spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini for dinner. I eat while passively watching The Bachelor and scrolling through Instagram. Then I break out a bag of popcorn and drizzle on some truffle oil.
10:30 p.m. — I do my nighttime skincare routine, which consists of all Tata Harper and Herbivore products lately. I love them so far, which makes me feel less guilty about the splurge. I take a sleeping pill and FaceTime with my ex for a bit while I wait for the pill to kick in.
Daily Total: $44
7 a.m. — I’m feeling really good today. I do the usual morning routine but put a little more effort into my makeup and outfit. I make coffee with cashew milk and throw a bar of dark chocolate in my bag. Still in a good mood, I think about texting this guy B. I’ve been seeing recently to make plans with later in the week. Normally I’d get all anxious and self conscious about the fact that he hasn’t reached out since our last date (five days ago), but I figure I have nothing to lose by texting him first.
1 p.m. — I definitely feel a lot sharper and energetic than I did yesterday. I finish up some easier tasks on my to-do list to feel the instant gratification of making progress. In between meetings, I eat my chocolate bar, text B., and order a top from Reformation. I tend to impulse shop on these good-mood days. I make a mental note that this is something I should bring up next time in therapy. $148
6 p.m. — Time to head home. I check the SoulCycle schedule for tonight since my therapist highly recommended I make an effort to do more cardio, since it’s supposed to help me feel better. But I don’t go through with it once I feel how cold and windy it is outside. During my commute home, B. and I make a plan to see each other on Thursday. I leave it up to him to think of some options, since I’m the most indecisive person ever. We don’t text much, which is a first for me. I haven’t decided if I like him in a hookup way or a boyfriend way, but regardless, it’s exciting to have something to look forward to now at the end of the week.
7 p.m. — Tonight I make chicken thighs with roasted sweet potatoes. I eat while online shopping and watching last night’s episode of Vanderpump Rules. I end up ordering a Pat McGrath lip gloss from Sephora…I don’t wear lip gloss, but maybe now I’ll start? $28
9 p.m. — The conversation with B. has died by now. We definitely don’t have texting chemistry, which is a bit disappointing. I overthink about it during a long shower. Then I spend the rest of the night watching Chef’s Table on Netflix until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $176
6:30 a.m. — Wake up a half hour early for a meeting. I pop my Adderall right away in hopes it will kick in faster. I do the usual morning routine, but I’m rather low on the makeup/outfit effort scale today.
12 p.m. — I head out to get my eyebrows done during lunch. As usual, I can’t decide on anything I want to eat for lunch, so I snack on almonds back at my desk. I figure I don’t need a big lunch since I’m planning on meeting my dad for dinner tonight, and we always order a lot. $11
6:30 p.m. — I take the subway uptown to meet my dad at Milos. We share fried zucchini chips, and I order octopus and salmon. We mainly talk about work — I’m not super close with my parents, but I see them often — mostly because they’re worried about me these days. I start to feel the wine too much. I always forget my anxiety medication makes my tolerance low. I’m ready to call it a night, but not without ordering baklava. It ends up pushing me over the edge into a food coma. I call an Uber home, and my dad tells me to charge it to his card. (I still have an emergency credit card that’s connected to his account.)
9:30 p.m. — I somehow manage to eat a sleeve of Tate’s cookies despite feeling like my stomach is about to explode. I half-ass do my skincare routine and call my ex because the wine is making me feel down. I have to stop doing this, but he comforts me. I watch what’s left of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and pass out.
Daily Total: $11
7 a.m. — I take a morning shower since I wasn’t in the mood last night. Normally I’d go to work with slightly-too-greasy hair, but I have the date with B. tonight. I make coffee with cashew milk and decide not to take my Adderall yet, since I don’t want to crash after work.
12 p.m. — My coworkers give me a pep talk for my date tonight. (They’re all for anyone who isn’t my ex.) That’s when I realize I haven’t even spoken to B. yet. I text him asking where he’s thinking for the night. He responds with a bunch of basic speakeasy-type options. I selfishly pick Raines Law Room, since it’s closest to my apartment. I spend the rest of the day being unproductive and distracted by convincing myself that my hair is thinning and that I’m getting a bald spot.
5:30 p.m. — I run home a little earlier than usual so I have ample time to eat something and get ready. I put on legit makeup — foundation, eyeshadow, etc. I also put on a ~going-out~ sweater, my favorite jeans, and booties. And I make sure I’m wearing good underwear (just in case). I debate drinking to loosen up, but all I have in the apartment is beer and no bottle opener, so there goes that idea. Instead, I take a small dose of Adderall. I wish I could go on a date naturally, but I feel like I need something to be more talkative and comfortable.
8 p.m. — Uber to the bar ($11) and arrive before him, so I put our name down. I snag a decent standing spot at the bar in the back while we wait for a couch. When he arrives, we order our first round of drinks and do the obligatory "how was your day" small talk. The conversation is pretty vanilla, but it gets better once we get to sit down. Four drinks in, I’m having a good time, but the date still feels a little too formal. I suggest we head to a dive bar near me. He gets the bill so I insist on getting the cab, but he sticks his card in before I can. Changing locations was a great decision — the vibe of the night gets way more laid back and fun. Everything feels so natural now…plus, we’re definitely drunk. I invite him over to my place, which is down the block. $11
1 a.m. — After some solid A- sex, we cuddle and talk for about an hour. He notices I’m falling asleep, so he calls an Uber home. I’m secretly relieved he didn’t end up sleeping over, because I hate disrupting my morning routine.
Daily Total: $11
7:30 a.m. — I wake up with a full face of makeup on. I rush to wash my face and chug water to attempt to combat a bad hangover. I don’t mind being hungover on Fridays, though, since work is always slow.
10 a.m. — My coworkers and I go to a cafe nearby to grab breakfast so I can give a recap of the date without worrying about anyone overhearing certain details. I get a flat white and a piece of banana bread. $10
3 p.m. — I’m shockingly productive today. When I take a break to check my phone, there’s still no text from B. I try my best to stay focused on work rather than let myself get upset and obsessive over this.
5 p.m. — I leave for the day. It doesn’t feel like a Friday. I can feel a bad mood coming on and I’m trying to fight it. I know I should work out to clear my head, but I don’t have any motivation.
8 p.m. — I watch everyone’s stories from happy hours and dinners. I can’t help but feel lonely and jealous. My New Year’s resolution was to make an effort to be more social and work on strengthening my relationships with my friends and hopefully make some new ones, but I’ve been failing so far. No one has texted me about any plans, and neither has B. I decide to order a falafel platter from Taim for dinner. It’s alright, but I wish I got something else. I let myself get in a bad headspace and take a sleeping pill to knock myself out before I feel too depressed. $20
Daily Total: $30
9 a.m. — I wake up feeling refreshed and motivated to do "good-for-me" things today. I feel a little ashamed about last night, but I try not to be too hard on myself. Again, I have no plans, but I reach out to a few friends to see what they’re up to for the day. I realize no one is awake at this hour, so I decide to go to Whole Foods. Like cooking, grocery shopping is therapeutic for me. I get berries, kale, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes, avocados, wild salmon filets, chicken thighs, eggs, chickpea pasta, almond milk, smoked paprika, chocolate bars, chips, and trail mix. $126
11 a.m. — I’m feeling antsy. I order a pair of Mother jeans ($238) and a Campo "energy-uplifting" essential oil ($45) from Revolve. This makes me feel productive and accomplished for some reason. I vacuum my apartment and try to think of other errands I need to do. $283
1 p.m. — I reach out to one of my friends to see if she wants to do something. She responds that she wants to go to Rumble at 3. I’m in no mood to go to a workout class and today wasn’t supposed to be a hair-washing day, but I’m desperate for some human interaction, so I book it. $39
4 p.m. — The class was alright. Not worth $40 whatsoever, but I’m just happy to be out. My friend and I grab coffee afterwards and catch up. She’s one of my good friends, but I don’t get a chance to see her very often since she has a boyfriend and her own friend group. We realize it’s been an hour and decide to go since she has to get ready for some girl’s birthday dinner tonight. I, on the other hand, have nowhere to be. I watch people’s stories on my way home. I can’t decide if this is unhealthy or good motivation to be social. I take an extra long shower once I get home, since I have time to kill. I lie in bed in my towel for awhile after and browse Netflix. I’m feeling pretty low. I wonder if I’ll ever feel genuinely happy and settled in the city. $4
9 p.m. — My ex and three past hookups have hit me up at this point. Everyone seems to want to know what my nonexistent plan is for the night to try to meet up at some point. I used to get annoyed at these kinds of texts, but these days I don’t mind them. I hold off on responding to anyone and ultimately decide to give in to my bad mood and call it a night. I finally get out of my towel and get back into bed.
11:30 p.m. — One of my friends from college asks what I’m doing tonight. When I tell her “nothing,” she invites me to come out with her and a couple of her friends who are visiting. I quickly do my makeup, get dressed, pop an Adderall, and take a shot of tequila before I have a chance to lose this sudden motivation. I call an Uber to meet them at Paul’s Casablanca. During the ride, I get nervous about not being fun or talkative enough, since today was a bad day for me. As expected, once I get there, I start off in my shell, but I loosen up once we get a round of shots and I start having a decent time. I’m happy I came out. $15
1:30 a.m. — I’ve been drunk texting with R., one of my past hookups, and I make an Irish exit to go meet him at Catch. I catch a cab and text my mom that I’m home for the night so she doesn’t stay up worrying. Once I arrive, R. comes down to get me in through the crowd. He and his friends have a table for some guy’s birthday or whatever. Everyone is packed like sardines, so I’m thankful for the table. Normally I’d hate these clubby vibes, but I’m drunk enough. R. pours me a disgusting vodka cranberry, which I proceed to spill all over myself from people bumping into me. But again — super drunk — so I’m not mad about it. I happily dance and flirt with R. $13
Daily Total: $480
7 a.m. — Well. I blacked out. But I woke up 1) alone, 2) with my purse, wallet, and phone, and 3) without having sent any mortifying drunk texts. Therefore, I’m not too hard on myself for blacking out. I’d actually call this a pretty successful night. I take off last night’s makeup, drink a ton of water, and get back into bed. By the looks of my texts, it seems like I snuck out of the club without saying bye to R. I check my Apple Wallet notifications and see that I Ubered home ($17). Unable to fall back asleep, I decide to turn on Netflix. I can’t find anything that looks good, so then I decide to try out this show called American Gods on Starz. The first episode is super weird and I’m not sure if I even like it, but I keep watching. $17
10 a.m. — I’m craving a sesame bagel with lox and cream cheese from H&H. The delivery charge is more than the bagel, but it’s Sunday, and I’m hungover, so I order it anyways. It arrives pretty quickly and is ginormous. Worth every penny. After I finish eating, I put on Herbivore’s Blue Tansy face mask. It smells awful, but my skin needs this after sleeping in my makeup. I start a load of laundry and hop back into bed to continue the show. Then I regret starting the laundry, since I can barely hear the TV now. Of course my ex tries FaceTiming me while I’m still wearing the face mask. He wants to grab breakfast in my area, but I tell him I just ate. Normally I’d be down for more breakfast, but I really just can’t fathom putting on real clothes. $18
12 p.m. — Now I’m half-watching this weird show and half-online shopping. I end up ordering a pair of Sweaty Betty leggings that have great reviews. I’ve only really worn Lululemon, so I’m excited to try something new. $120
2 p.m. — Still half-watching this show. I snack on trail mix and chips and place another delivery order before I finish all of the snacks in my apartment I should be saving for the rest of the week. I end up choosing a small vodka pie from Rubirosa. The pizza arrives cold, so it’s pretty disappointing. I eat half and save the other half to warm up later. $30
10 p.m. — I reflect on my weekend while I get ready for bed. I’m disappointed B. never ended up texting me, and I’m disappointed that I still don’t feel like I belong anywhere. But I’m proud of myself for actually making efforts to be social. I pop a sleeping pill before I can overthink too much.
Daily Total: $185
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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