Welcome to Money 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.
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Editor’s Note: All currency has been converted to USD.
Today: a marketing director working in advertising who makes $78,810 per year and spends some of her money this week on gingham Nikes for a birthday gift.
Occupation: Marketing Director
Location: Toronto, ON
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,233.28
Gender Identity: Woman
Mortgage (Weekly): $378.40 (My husband and I used to pay $1,513.60 monthly, but realized that switching to weekly payments cut three years off of our mortgage.)
Car Payment: $448.26
Car Insurance: $96.43
RRSP: $1,125.86 (I’m trying to max out my contributions this year. So far, I have $10,623.93 in my RRSP.)
TFSA: $450.34 (I have $1,858.06 in my TFSA.)
Condo Fees: $359.52
Dog Walker: $225.17 (We walk the dog in the morning and evening, but someone comes midday while we’re at work.)
House Cleaner: $165.13
Home Insurance: $525.40
Property Tax: $2,852.18
Ski Membership: $975.75
FabFitFun Subscription: $247.69
Stitcher Premium App: $22.51
All of the above expenses, except my savings, ski membership, and subscriptions, are paid for out of a joint account. My husband makes twice what I do, so each month I put in $938, and he puts in $2,664.
6:45 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm and check emails and the weather. It’s going to be hot today. I jump in the shower, wash my hair, wash my face with an Origins face wash, then apply toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, sunscreen, and lip balm. I’ve developed a more intense skin-care routine over the past two years, and I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin.
7:30 a.m. — After I apply makeup (light foundation, bronzer, blush, mascara, and brows) and blowdry my hair, I fold the clean laundry while my husband, P., walks and feeds the dog. I put on a colorful striped skirt and a white tee. P. and I walk together for a few blocks before we go in different directions for work.
8:30 a.m. — My walk to work is 20 minutes, which isn’t bad this morning because it’s not crazy-hot yet. Once I get to the office, I fill my water bottle and make myself a coffee from the kitchen. It’s going to be a busy day.
12:15 p.m. — All of a sudden, it’s noon. I order a teriyaki rice bowl with chicken from Freshii through Ritual. It’s a beautiful day, so I leave the office a few minutes early and go the long way to pick up my lunch. I eat half of the bowl at my desk and put the other half in the fridge for tomorrow. $9.31
3 p.m. — I take a lap of the office to see how my team is doing, and eat three mini Twix bars from my desk stash. I’m running low on snacks; I’ll have to stop by the Dollarama to restock.
5:30 p.m. — It’s been a very productive day! I hit a natural break in my tasks and pack up my laptop to continue working from home. I text P. to see what he wants for dinner, and we decide on grilled salmon with avocado salad.
6:30 p.m. — P. gets caught up at work, so I walk and feed the dog, then go to Loblaws for two salmon fillets, cherry tomatoes, avocados, corn, limes, jalapeños, and taco seasoning. $31.05
7 p.m. — I sprinkle the taco seasoning on the salmon and wrap it in tinfoil. P. gets home and starts the barbecue while I make the salad. Dinner turns out to be amazing and super-quick to prepare. I’m definitely adding it to my recipe arsenal. While we eat, we browse Amazon Prime Day deals and order a four-piece Lodge cast-iron cookware set and reusable produce bags. P. pays ($108.08).
9 p.m. — We watch Stranger Things while snacking on Haribo gummies. Then P. takes the dog for another walk while I do my evening skin-care routine: micellar water, cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. We meet back on the couch for one more episode, then go to bed by 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $40.36
6:45 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I check my email and the weather, then jump in the shower while P. takes the dog out. I’ve been looking for a light, new summer moisturizer. Today, I open a sample-size Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer. It’s nice but leaves my skin feeling tacky. I’ll use it up, then try something new.
8 a.m. — P. and I leave together, stopping for coffee at one of our favorite spots. He gets a small drip, and I get an iced Americano ($3.21, P. pays). I have a training session where breakfast is provided, so I grab some cheesy scrambled eggs, a piece of bacon, fruit, and water.
12 p.m. — I take the subway back to the office and eat my leftovers from yesterday, while updating my budget documents.
2 p.m. — My coworker shares half of her venti iced cappuccino with cold foam and coconut milk with me, and another coworker gives me a handful of Smarties. I feel spoiled, until I realize they know I’m working on their quarterly reviews. Bribery works.
5 p.m. — It’s date night, so I leave work right at 5 p.m. P. travels for work every week but is home this time, and we’re taking advantage of it. I walk home, take the dog out for a long walk, feed her, and grab a Kong toy out of the freezer to keep her busy while we’re out. It looks like it might rain, but we grab our umbrellas and walk the 30 minutes to the restaurant.
7:30 p.m. — We’re at a deli-meets-wine-bar, and everything looks amazing. We order chicken-liver mousse, cheeses, house pickles, and sweetbread nuggets to start and drink delicious sparkling wine the sommelier paired with our order. Then we share muffuletta and pastrami sandwiches with a half order of ketchup curly fries, paired with red wine. We’re too stuffed for dessert, but we do dabble in dessert wine. P. pays. Everyone was so lovely, so we add a 25% tip ($175).
9 p.m. — It’s raining but not very hard, so we walk the 30 minutes home. Poor P. takes a work call that ends up lasting three hours. I remove my makeup and wash my face, then use Ole Henriksen Sauna Scrub followed by the brand’s Cold Plunge Pore Mask. I use these once a week, and they are amazing. I wash off the mask, finish my skin care, let the dog out for a pee, then read in bed before falling asleep just before 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $0
6:45 a.m. — Alarm, shower, skin care, get dressed in another flowy dress (it’s gonna be humid today), take the dog out, and feed her. Because of the humidity, I don’t bother with much makeup (blush, brows, mascara) and throw my hair into a ponytail.
8 a.m. — I have another 9 a.m. vendor meeting close to P.’s office, so we walk together again. The meeting goes well, and I have eggs and veggies with hot sauce, fruit, and a latte. I love vendors that have full cafeterias.
10:30 a.m. — I have a meeting with the president of my company to discuss changes in my responsibilities. My boss quit recently, and I’ve been taking on her tasks while we look to fill her role. People have suggested I apply for it, but the role focuses more on new-business acquisition, and I don’t like the sales-y aspect of that. I prefer working with clients and being more involved in strategy development and implementation. This also means I’m not sure of my next step in my current role. I’ve started casually looking at other jobs and am hoping to make a move within the year.
1 p.m. — I pick up a green dragon roll from the sushi shop by my office. I inhale it, then get back to work. $7.59
6:30 p.m. — End of a stressful day. My team has had a lot of turnover lately, and the new people aren’t fully onboarded yet, so a lot is falling on my plate. I’m working hard to train people so I can delegate more in the coming weeks. I pack up my laptop to finish the rest of my work at home and call P. I volunteer to take the dog for a walk and go grocery shopping. We still have lots of limes, avocado, and corn at home, so I buy chicken thighs, cherry tomatoes, a yellow pepper, sugar snap peas, and green peas. I also pick up some chocolate for my work desk. Back at home, I sprinkle the remaining taco seasoning from Monday on the chicken thighs and chop up the veggies. We combine it all in bowls and add leftover corn, avocado, and lime juice. Delicious. $26.22
9 p.m. — I open up a Stiegl Radler while working and snack on a Cadbury Curly Wurly. Once I finish, we turn on Stranger Things before heading to bed by 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $33.81
6:30 a.m. — Wake up before my alarm and get up because I need to wash my hair today anyway. It’s going to be another sweaty day, so I lean into it with very glowy makeup. I use my Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint foundation, which I splurged on recently and am obsessed with. I add liquid bronzer and blush, do my brows, apply some shimmery eyeshadow and highlighter, then finish with mascara.
8 a.m. — My walk to work is just as humid as the forecast promised, so I stop for a cold brew. The staff here are always so lovely, so I add an extra-large tip. At the office, I make myself oatmeal and get to work. $4.95
10 a.m. — After an intense training session, it’s time to start reviews. The first of the day is with a more junior team member, and it goes longer than planned because she has lots of questions.
12:15 p.m. — I’m starving and brought leftovers from last night, so I grab them from the fridge and eat at my desk.
2 p.m. — Second review of the day. This one is with another junior team member, but she’s a bit older and has a better idea of her career goals, so it’s a surprisingly quick and very effective conversation. I have another two scheduled for today, but move them to next week because I have a few client requests to take care of.
4 p.m. — Our office’s summer party is tonight, so I take a Lyft to the venue with some coworkers. The restaurant is super-cute and has a beautiful patio. It’s still brutally hot, so I order a glass of white wine and sit in the shade. I don’t drink too much, because it’s honestly just too hot. For every sip of wine, I down a glass of water. I’m a real party animal. ($18.62 expensed)
10:45 p.m. — The party is so much fun! We have lots of new people in our office; it’s nice getting to know them. I call a Lyft to go home. My eyes are looking puffy, so I do an eye mask while I read, falling asleep just after midnight. ($10.50 expensed)
Daily Total: $4.95
7:25 a.m. — I’m so tired. I snooze a few times. It’s supposed to feel like 113 ºF today with the humidity. Ew. After I shower, I put on my lightest dress, put my hair in a ponytail, and apply blush, brows, and mascara. I’m running out of skirts and dresses and need to buy more this weekend.
8 a.m. — Even though I snoozed for more than 30 minutes, I still manage to leave the house at my usual time. I walk slowly to avoid sweating and make it to work in 30 minutes. I make an iced coffee and oatmeal and make bets with myself on who will show up late. My team knows that they’re encouraged to have a good time at work events, but calling in "sick" the next day is not an option. Everyone arrives on time, and I am a proud boss.
12 p.m. — The morning flies by while I’m on four back-to-back calls. My last one ends just as my Ritual order is ready for pickup! I run downstairs to grab my sushi. (They know me by name now…oh, dear.) $9.28
2:45 p.m. — The forecast is calling for intense storms, so I send the team home early. Most people have pretty long commutes. I stick around for a bit longer to take another call and complete my budget recommendation.
4 p.m. — I send off a few more emails at home, then take a 20-minute nap on the couch. I’m tempted to snooze for another 20 minutes but get up, take the dog for a walk, and stop at the LCBO for a bottle of Champagne and ciders for the weekend. My friend C. and I are driving up to my mom’s place north of the city to take advantage of her pool in this blistering weather. $51.30
6 p.m. — P. gets home, and we pack for the weekend. He and the dog are going to his family cottage, so my weekend is girls only. C. and I pack up her car and hit the road. We stop at a mall first, because I’m in desperate need of some new summer clothes.
7 p.m. — C. and I are both hungry, so we hit the food court, where I get a sub and a bottle of water ($9.31). Then we check out the sale at Maje, where I find a beautiful flowy skirt. It costs more than I’d normally spend on one item, but I justify it because I’ve been needing new summer clothes, and it will be a good work staple ($198.47). Then we stop at the Nike store to find a birthday present for C. We’ve always just told each other exactly what we want for birthdays, so she picks out a super-cute pair of gingham Air Force 1s, and I pay for them ($122.98). The mall is about to close, so we bring our bounty to the car and drive to my mom’s. $330.76
10 p.m. — We put on our pajamas, do skin care (C. is the one who opened my eyes to the wonders of a full regimen), open ciders, and catch up with my mom and stepdad before going to bed just before midnight.
Daily Total: $391.34
6:45 a.m. — Nope.
9:45 a.m. — Better! I get up and bring C. coffee in bed. Then we make croissants, which we eat with my stepdad’s homemade jam. Mmm-mmm! My stepdad goes golfing with friends, and the girls head to the pool. It’s a thousand degrees, so we slather ourselves in sunscreen and alternate between lounge chairs and the pool.
1 p.m. — Hungry and hot, we go back into the air-conditioned house and make a panzanella salad and drink a ton of water. After we eat and clean up, we’re back by the pool with ciders.
5 p.m. — Clouds roll in, and it looks like a storm is coming. We put all the pool floaties and chair cushions in the garage and go inside to make dinner. My stepdad fires up the barbecue, and we make burgers and a big salad. We settle down in front of the TV, open the bottle of Champagne I brought, and turn on a rom-com (my poor stepdad).
7 p.m. — My mom brings out a homemade chocolate birthday cake for C. After way too much food and Champagne, we make our way to bed, and I pass out before 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $0
9 a.m. — I wake up feeling incredibly well-rested. I make iced coffees, which we drink outside on the deck. We have a leisurely breakfast of bacon and eggs, then C. and I pack up and drive back to the city. There’s nothing better than getting out of the city for a weekend of total relaxation!
1 p.m. — We stop at another mall on the way home. C. still has some birthday money she wants to spend. We go into Muji and pick up jewelry organizers ($7.63), then check out the Nordstrom anniversary sale. We don’t find anything great, so we move on to Topshop, where I find a pretty maxi dress ($63.61). Our final stop is Zara Home. I need a place to put my perfumes; right now they’re cluttering my counter. I find a beautiful mirrored shelf that will be perfect ($33.84). Both C. and I have spent too much money this weekend, so we get back in the car and C. drives me home. $105.08
4 p.m. — By the time I get home, P. is back, and we take the dog for a walk. Neither of us wants to cook, so we place a Foodora order for dumplings (P. pays).
10 p.m. — After too many episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale and Stranger Things, we take the dog for another walk and go to bed.
Daily Total: $105.08
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