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 senior data analyst working in technology who makes $125,000 per year ($225,000 including equity) and spends some of her money this week on Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.
Occupation: Senior Data Analyst
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $125,000 + $100,000 equity
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,800
Gender Identity: Woman
Rent: $2,600 (I live in a studio apartment by myself.)
Student Loans: $0 (I paid off my $18,000 student loans within three years post-graduation.)
Transit: $127 (pre-tax)
Utilities: $35-80, depending on time of the year
Gym: $0 (My apartment has a gym.)
Phone: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan.)
Health/Dental/Vision Insurance: $5 (My company pays for health insurance, and I pay a little bit for the latter two.)
Spotify: $9.99 (with Hulu!)
401(k): $416.67 (8% of my pre-tax income, and my company matches 4%) and $364.58 (7% of my post-tax income). I maxed out my Roth IRA this year.
Investments: $1,000 (I use Ellevest to invest. I have about $35,000 in my emergency/savings account, $60,000 in my 401(k), and $30,000 in my investment account.)
7:45 a.m. — I get out of bed and start getting ready for the day. I wash my face with a honey balm and put on some vitamin C serum, azelaic acid cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen. The dermatologist I follow on Instagram said that serums should be the first thing to touch your face, which is news to me. I put on some lightweight concealer, mineral powder, blush, and mascara.
8:40 a.m. — I make myself some breakfast at work. I grab oatmeal and throw on bananas, cinnamon, and peanut butter. I pour myself a giant cup of coffee, since I’m feeling more tired than usual. I browse the Nordstrom anniversary sale. Everything I want is already sold out, which is crazy because it’s the early access for cardmembers. Maybe this is a sign that I shouldn’t be shopping.
12 p.m. — I decide to work from home for the rest of the day, because my boss is out of the office. I head to Trader Joe’s before heading home. I am trying to be better about bringing lunch to work every day. I grab tomatoes, avocado, lemon, cucumber, cilantro, peppers, shrimp, basil, arugula, corn, and chips. $42.04
12:45 p.m. — There’s this inside-out gnocchi from Trader Joe’s that I got last week that has sauce and cheese in the gnocchi. So innovative! I heat up some turkey meatballs, cook the gnocchi, and top it with basil. I love working from home, because it allows me to make lunch and eat comfortably on my couch.
2 p.m. — I receive an email from a recruiter saying that I made it to the next round of interviews. They want me to do a short assignment, which is pretty normal in my field. It’s hard to get excited because I am only casually looking, and this is going to take a few hours to complete.
3 p.m. — My strawberries look a little sad, so I decide to make some strawberry frescas. I forgot to pick up some limes when I was at Trader Joe’s, so I make a quick run to my local grocery store. I also grab my favorite jalapeño chips. $4.18
3:30 p.m. — I make my strawberry frescas and realize I don’t really have a good place to store them. I browse for mason jars on Target’s website. I also realize I need to get some shampoo and conditioner. I love my Love Beauty and Planet lavender ones, but I decide to try out the Coconut Oil & Ylang Ylang ones instead. Since there is $25 minimum for shipping, I browse for some books. I’m not a huge reader, but I’ve been doing it more on my commute to work. I pick up Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. $43.34
5:30 p.m. — I snack on chips and drink my strawberry frescas. It’s not too sweet! I organize my cabinets and realize that I already have shampoo and conditioner. Ugh! I always forget what I have and end up buying more of it.
7:30 p.m. — It is getting cooler outside, so I go for a run. I canceled all of my fitness subscriptions (e.g., ClassPass and yoga) when I was reviewing my finances. I have a gym in my apartment building, and I love running outside. It’s free! I pause and watch the sunset.
8:30 p.m. — I get home, shower, and make myself some pasta salad with shrimp.
11:45 p.m. — A. texts me that he’s still at work and getting ready to leave soon. I have been dating him for about a month, but we haven’t yet had the talk. We had a communication dark period last week. He said he would try to be better about keeping in touch during the week moving forward. We keep the conversation pretty short because it’s past my bedtime.
Daily Total: $89.56
7 a.m. — I fell asleep while chatting with A. I respond to his text and ask him how his week is looking. We tentatively made plans to see each other during the week, since he and I will be out of town (separately) for the next few weekends. He lets me know that his week is looking pretty busy, but wants to get breakfast with me on Saturday before he has to catch his train.
8:30 a.m. — I make myself some breakfast at home — oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas, and peanut butter. I have calls with two recruiters today, so I work from home in the morning.
11:10 a.m. — The recruiter is late, and I shoot her an email. She calls me immediately and apologizes. The call goes well!
12:30 p.m. — The second recruiter calls me right on time. The call goes well, and we talk through the next steps. It seems like their overall interview process is fairly short and fast, so I am feeling anxious about my own timeline.
1 p.m. — I grab the pasta salad from the fridge and head into work. It’s crazy how much faster it is for me to commute post–rush hour.
1:35 p.m. — I eat my pasta salad from my desk and grab a cup of coffee. I didn’t have to come in today, but I have my one-on-one with my boss at the end of the day (ugh).
5:15 p.m. — I am antsy to go home. There are still 15 minutes left of this meeting, and I have to send a deck out before leaving for the day.
6 p.m. — I wrap up a few things before heading out. My best friend, C., texts me that she had a rough day, and I suggest we go on my rooftop for a wine night. I pick up some bougie canned wine — rosé for her and Sauvignon blanc for me. $23.93
9 p.m. — We hang out for a couple of hours. I love being outside when the sun goes down. It has been so hot in New York during the day. I tell her about A. and how things are going at work. She tells me about some work drama. We head downstairs when the sun goes down.
9:30 p.m. — I grab the leftover pasta salad from my fridge. I made enough to serve an entire family of six. I am pretty tipsy from the wine. I sit on my couch and stuff my face while watching Chef’s Table on Netflix.
10:15 p.m. — I shower, do my nighttime routine (vitamin C serum, retinoid, and moisturizer), and get in bed. I pass out pretty quickly.
Daily Total: $23.93
7 a.m. — I snooze without any hesitation. I am exhausted today. I check my phone and see that A. texted me after he got off work last night, but I was dead asleep by then.
7:45 a.m. — I finally get out of bed. I don’t even bother doing my hair. I throw it up in a bun and quickly do my morning routine. I have pottery class tonight, so I wear a plain T-shirt and jeans. I pack up some workout shorts to change into before class.
8:30 a.m. — Free bagels today!
11 a.m. — The second recruiter from yesterday emails me. He forwarded my résumé to the team after our conversation, and the team wants me to come in for an on-site. I am a bit overwhelmed because things are moving very quickly. I make a mental note to respond this afternoon.
12 p.m. — My work friend and I decide to get poke for lunch. $13.52
5 p.m. — I head out for my pottery class! I have been wanting to do this for a while but have pushed it off because of work and life. My 2019 goal is to finally do things I have always wanted to do. Pottery has been very therapeutic and always puts me in a better mood.
9 p.m. — It is pouring outside, so I stay at the pottery studio for a little bit to finish up my other projects.
9:30 p.m. — I grab packages from Target (yay for two-day shipping) and Mango. I love unboxing packages. I eat more pasta salad. This is what happens when you cook and live by yourself. You eat the same thing for an entire week.
11:30 p.m. — I check my phone to see if A. has texted me. Nothing. I head to bed.
Daily Total: $13.52
7:30 a.m. — It is a dreary day out. Perfect weather to stay in bed, but I have an appointment with my gynecologist in a couple of hours. A. texts me this morning to ask me how my pottery class was.
9:15 a.m. — I have been thinking about going back on birth control. I was on Mirena, and it was absolutely horrible. I broke out like crazy and had spotting for eight months. I got it out after ten months. My gynecologist tells me that I should try the pill that has lower estrogen and progesterone. I was on the pill back in college, and it made me so moody. Maybe it’ll be different this time. I pay the co-pay (ugh) and head to the office. $25
10:30 a.m. — I am sweating from the commute. Why does the train station feel like a sauna? I grab some cereal at work.
12 p.m. — Free lunch at the office!
1 p.m. — I have an in-person interview next week. Eek, I’m nervous. The role is more senior than my current position, so I don’t know what to expect. I will do some research and prep over the weekend.
4:30 p.m. — I am done with meetings, so I pack up for the day. I have to work on a take-home assignment for another job interview.
6:45 p.m. — Ugh, I fell asleep on my couch. I’ve been so tired lately, and I can’t tell if it’s because of the weather. I force myself to get up.
7:30 p.m. — I grab a quick bite to eat. Yup, you got it — another bowl of pasta salad!
11:30 p.m. — I finally finish up the take-home assignment. I am extremely nitpicky, so it takes me longer than the recommended allotted time. A. and I text for a while about something super random, and I head to bed.
Daily Total: $25
7:15 a.m. — I wake up and check the weather. There is going to be a massive heat wave this weekend, and I am not looking forward to it.
7:40 a.m. — I check Instagram and read my daily WSJ email. It’s going to be another hot day, so I throw my hair in a bun and put on a dress. I cannot be bothered with pants today.
8:37 a.m. — I make myself some oatmeal and a big cup of coffee before getting some work done.
11:50 a.m. — I order Sweetgreen online, because I really don’t want more pasta salad for lunch. $13.61
12:45 p.m. — I FINALLY get my salad and walk back to the office.
5 p.m. — I am done with work for the week! I need to pick up a face cleanser. I get mine from Naturopathica in Chelsea. The cleansing balm does take a bit of getting used to, because it doesn’t foam, but it takes all of my makeup off. It’s not cheap either. $67.50
6:30 p.m. — I take another nap. Then I get up and treat myself to some Indian food. $17.94
9:30 p.m. — A. texts me to see what time we want to meet tomorrow. This restaurant is in a very inconvenient area, so I’ll have to get up extra early to get there.
11:59 p.m. — I read for a bit and head to bed. What a wild Friday night!
Daily Total: $99.05
7:30 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm goes off. I miss being able to sleep in on weekends.
8:30 a.m. — I wear the same dress from yesterday (no shame) and get ready to head out. I stop at the ATM to grab some cash, because I am pretty sure the restaurant is cash only. Manhattan is quiet this morning, probably because everyone is hiding from this heat wave.
9:15 a.m. — A. and I get to our breakfast location right on time. He updates me on some work drama that I didn’t know about, so it makes sense why he is so stressed out.
10:30 a.m. — We have to head out soon, and I casually ask if he’s dating other people. He says no, but that he needs to reprioritize his life (mostly work) so he can start making time for important things. He asks if I am dating other people, and I say no. He has limited cash, so I pay for most of it. $35
11 a.m. — I drop A. off at Penn Station so he can catch the train. He promises to text me later.
2 p.m. — I spend a few hours watching Netflix. It’s too hot to go anywhere, but it’s never too hot for ice cream. I grab a double scoop of Vietnamese coffee with doughnut truffles in a chocolate chai cone. I have zero regrets. $10
5 p.m. — I pass out shortly after the ice cream. Then I get a notification that my birth-control pills are ready to be picked up. The nearest CVS is a 15-minute walk, so I brave the humidity. The pills are $25, but it’s actually $200 without the special promotion and $500 if you don’t have health insurance! It’s a brand-name medication, which is more expensive than the generic brand, but c’mon! I hate that women have to be the fiscally responsible ones in order to prevent pregnancy. It takes two to tango! The pharmacist gives me an empathetic nod as I rant to him for a few minutes. $25
7 p.m. — I eat some pasta salad and watch the new season of Queer Eye on Netflix.
11 p.m. — A. texts to see how my day was. We catch up for a little bit before he heads to bed. It’s been a very quiet weekend. Even though I am an extrovert, I prefer to hang out by myself and binge-watch TV from time to time.
Daily Total: $70
7 a.m. — My body naturally wakes me up, but I refuse to give in. I put on my sleeping mask and fall back asleep.
10 a.m. — This is more like it! I get out of bed and call my parents. I am going home for a while this week, and they are excited to see me. My dad and I make plans to go running. He is dreading it.
10:45 a.m. — I heat up some leftover Indian food from a couple of nights ago. I watch a few episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I clean my apartment because I have a few friends coming over later. I am blessed to have a pool in my building, which is rare in New York.
11:45 a.m. — I do my morning skin-care routine and get ready for the day. I head to my local coffee shop to plan for my solo trip. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and have never traveled alone, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to kill two birds with one stone. I’ve already booked my flights using points and booked my Airbnb a couple of weeks ago. Today I am booking tours and fun day trips — a day trip in Florence, a cooking class in Rome, and a tour of the Vatican. I also buy my train tickets to different cities. The expenses are adding up, but I have been saving $100 each month, so that lessens the blow. $577.77
3 p.m. — Free ice cream in my apartment lobby! My friend and I grab a scoop while I wait for my two friends to come over.
6:30 p.m. — We chill in the pool for a while. It’s so nice in this humidity. The three of us talk about dating in New York and how people prioritize work above all because they feel the need to — not necessarily because they want to. After a few hours, we quickly change out of our bathing suits and head down the street for some pizza. $23
8:30 p.m. — I say goodbye to my friends and head home. I hop in the shower to get all of the swimming pool grime off, do a load of laundry, and watch a documentary on Netflix.
10:30 p.m. — I am exhausted. I browse through Instagram for a little bit and head to bed.
Daily Total: $600.77
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