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.
Today: a sales director who makes $95,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her paycheck on bananas.
Occupation: Sales Director
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Paycheck (Biweekly): $2,458.96 post tax
Commission: $95,000 paid out quarterly. These are variable since it is performance-based and cyclical. (I take home more in Q4 compared to Q1.) Because of this, I live like my compensation is only my base salary. I put almost all commission in savings (emergency account, CD, money market, IRA). I'm trying to save for a down payment on an apartment in the next year.
Loan Payments: None. My parents (mostly my mom, once she divorced) graciously covered my tuition. I'm lucky that her biggest focus was ensuring me and my siblings received the highest-quality education.
All Other Monthly Expenses (Editor's Note: Updated to include corrected vision and new renter's insurance figure.)
Utilities: $53/month for Wi-Fi, electricity, and gas. (Hot water and heat are included in rent.)
Cell Phone: $45 to my mom as part of our family plan
Health Insurance: $35.80 pre-tax from my paycheck
Vision: $0.32 pre-tax from my paycheck
Dental: $2.76 pre-tax from paycheck
Long-Term Disability Insurance: $1.94
MetroCard: $121 pre-tax from paycheck
Renter's Insurance: $240/year
Donations: $30 (not including one-offs)
11 a.m. — I meet my friend at the public pool in Williamsburg to swim laps for the last time in 2017; sadly, the pool closes today. Since the pool is nearly empty, we take advantage of swimming the full length, about a mile total. We then bask in the late-summer Brooklyn sun and promise to find a new weekly date to replace our swim date.
2 p.m. — I go to the C-Town across the street to buy ingredients for chana saag. I already have spices and spinach, so I pick up cilantro, coconut milk, a big onion, an avocado, and 2.5-pounds of New York state apples — not for this recipe. I spend the next hour juggling pans and listening to Freakonomics. When the chana saag is finished, I top it with fresh cilantro and fill up a bowl while cozying up to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Fall = HP. $10.84
7 p.m. — Take the L train to meet a guy at the Frying Pan; we've gone out a few times before. On the train, I realize that I haven't meditated today, so I pop my headphones on and do a 10-minute session. Once off the L, I just miss the bus, so I take an Uber from Eighth Avenue to the bar; there is no way I'm walking the remaining mile in heeled mules. I use a $5 credit from Uber from a previous fare dispute. $2.42
8 p.m. — A girl starts harassing me in the bathroom, and then again by the front of the bar while I wait for my date. You can tell a lot about a person by how bitter they are when they're drunk. My date gets the gift of seeing me in full-on offensive mode as I try to get the bouncers to help me out. (I feel like all my dates should see me like this so that they know what they're getting into.) To make up for the annoyance, the staff gives us a round of drinks — vodka soda and red wine — on the house.
9:30 p.m. — We move to a cute Italian restaurant nearby. We each have a glass of wine and a salad. I'm so full from my Indian food that I just order an arugula with avocado dressing, figs, and a few other mix-ins. My date treats, with a joke that I "got the drinks."
11 p.m. — Walk to my date's apartment for a glass of wine, rooftop skyline ogling, and some bow chicka wow wow. (Fourth date, y'all.) He offers to send me home in an Uber, which I gladly accept.
1:30 a.m. — I am feeling this wine! I drink a liter of seltzer from my SodaStream, wash my face with water, and coat my body with coconut oil. I take my daily Fem Dophilus probiotic (the best for preventing/curing yeast infections, UTIs, BV), which I buy in bulk on Amazon. After climbing into bed, I mess around on Instagram. It's a bad habit, but I need to "read" something in order to fall asleep, and I don't want to read my book when I'm tipsy. I pass out.
Daily Total: $13.26
7:30 a.m. — Drag myself out of bed to do yoga. I was certified as a vinyasa instructor two years ago and do a daily home practice. I meditate for 18 minutes and then do 30 minutes of yoga to classical music. My music varies from hip-hop, to classical, to nature sounds, depending on my mood. Over the past two years, I've found that regular yoga and meditation have freed me from the manic-depressive disorder I was diagnosed with in college. In addition to regular therapy for several years, it has even allowed me to get off all related prescription drugs. I consider my daily practice as vital as sleep.
9:20 a.m. — Eat apples from yesterday with hemp hearts (a.k.a., I bite the apple and dip it in hemp since there are no sharp knives in my office), and drink a cup of tea from the kitchen. I like to buy hemp hearts on Amazon at $13.49 for a 1.5-pound bag. I drink hot tea all day long because my office is FREEZING.
1 p.m. — Head to Whole Foods to buy arugula, avocados, and two cans of chickpeas. For lunch, I eat lentils from the previous week's Trader Joe's haul, with arugula and avocado for lunch. I am a creature of habit and my workday meals are basically the same every day. No, I don't get bored. $10.84
6 p.m. — Head to a show at the main venue for New York Fashion Week. I used to work in the industry and still manage to get RSVPs. Unfortunately, the free coffee bar is already closed when I get there, and I really wanted a lavender soy latte! Paris Hilton sits front row, and, surprise, she is still super popular. The crowd mobbing her for a photo is out of control.
7 p.m. — Meet my brother and his girlfriend at a NYFW party at a trendy Chinatown bar. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres are free, and there are also disposable cameras, which we use to take pics that we snag for later use. A boy I befriended on Bumble texted me earlier to hang out, so I make tentative plans for later.
9:30 p.m. — My brother's girlfriend wants to go to Takoyaki. I generally don't eat dairy, but after recently visiting Japan, I can't resist a matcha dessert! I order the soft serve matcha-black sesame swirl with red beans and mochi served in a fish waffle! $7
10 p.m. — UberPool it home since I'm a very far walk from the subway, and I did not get as much sleep as I would have liked last night. $9.04
10:15 p.m. — Back home. Brush my teeth, wash my face, apply diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner, and slather on coconut oil. By the time I take my daily dose of probiotic, I see that Bumble boy has taken over 90 minutes to text me back confirming our meet up. I ignore the message and go to sleep. I'd rather have energy to do yoga tomorrow than wait on fuckboys.
Daily Total: $26.88
7:45 a.m. — Press snooze and have to sacrifice morning meditation. I do my 30-minute yoga practice, shower, get dressed while listening to Freakonomics, and take the subway to work.
9:15 a.m. — Apples with hemp again. This combo probably looks pathetic but IDGAF — it's so yummy. Drink office herbal tea.
12:30 p.m. — There are candidates in the office for a lengthy interview process, and lunch is being provided. I grab salad, take half a grilled veggie wrap, and pick the cheese out of half a portobello wrap. I also snag the leftover salad for the my base of lunch greens for the rest of the week.
5:30 p.m. — Head to a NYFW show for an evening wear collection in Midtown, right near my office. I spy Jamie Foxx and Marlon Wayans in the front row. I leave the show early because the clothes look like prom dresses, and I have a second show right after. I take the subway to the Whitney.
6:05 p.m. — This show is a disorganized disaster. I have a priority RSVP and am told (along with 15 other people) to stand in line with the standing room crowd. Very annoying to go through the trouble of securing an RSVP, only to wait with people who don't have an invite. I manage to get an okay seat in the back and enjoy the energy of the collection.
7:30 p.m. — Eat the chana saag I made Sunday for dinner, and chocolate PB2 I order in bulk from Amazon with cinnamon from Costco. Later as a snack, I have some of the Lindt dark chocolate I buy at Lot Less — only $1/bar!
9 p.m. — My friend comes over to pregame. We drink vodka and Monsters that I have leftover in my fridge. (Never again. I'm a Red Bull girl.) Then we then take the subway to meet our friend in the Meatpacking District for a NYFW party.
11 p.m. — A bartender I know gives me a free drink (#networking?). I contribute $6 towards my group's tip for three drinks. $6
1:45 a.m. — I hate taking UberPool when it is late, but I had a month of flat-fee Ubers thanks to a special offer, and now my heart sinks when I see the true fare prices. I risk the Pool (it is Tuesday, at least), and luckily there is only one pickup, two cool-looking Russian guys. The drinks hit me and I sleep nearly whole ride back to Williamsburg. $11.54
2:15 a.m. — Take off my makeup with coconut oil and put myself to bed after drinking a liter of seltzer. I can't help reading through BuzzFeed a little before I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $17.54
7:45 a.m. — Wake up too late to fit in meditation. I do 30 minutes of a yoga flow, shower, listen to Freakonomics while I get dressed, and head to work on the subway.
9:30 a.m. — I eat two more of my apples from the weekend (sans hemp today) and drink a cup of chamomile tea from the office kitchen.
11:50 a.m. — Head to Trader Joe's for prepared lentils, baby carrots, cauliflower rice, coconut milk, and Medjool dates. I buy five bananas and two pints of blueberries from the fruit cart outside ($5). $27.12
1 p.m. — I combine the salad from yesterday with lentils and avocado. I also add in pasta salad from yesterday's office lunch, blissfully ignoring the dairy lurking in the pesto.
4:30 p.m. — Team bonding with my company! We walk to a boxing studio in Flatiron. I haven't boxed in ages, or really done any sort of intense activity due to an injury, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well my hamstring has recovered. Class is super sweaty, and we get to leave work early!
6 p.m. — Why, Q train, why? I wait 20 minutes during rush hour for a Q to take me to the Upper East Side to meet my friend at the Met. Her train is also delayed, so we both arrive 20 minutes late.
6:50 p.m. — My friend is a member of the Met and invited me to a scavenger hunt in the Egyptian section! We listen to a talk about the Temple of Dendur, and there's an open bar with light snacks. I'm starving and help myself to handfuls of roasted peanuts. Our team wins a photo contest, thanks to my brilliant human pyramid idea (with one team member posing as a mummy). We receive erasers shaped like "William," the Met's hippopotamus mascot — and bragging rights.
8:30 p.m. — We mingle with some of the other attendees and try to decide on a place for dinner. I'm not impressed with the vegan selections of the chosen restaurant, so I decide to head to the train and go home.
9 p.m. — I eat a southwestern veggie burger with avocado, cilantro, nutritional yeast, and salsa, courtesy of my fridge, and watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while I eat. For dessert, I eat a bunch of Noor dates ($16.10 for 3.5 pounds on Amazon!) and a nectarine.
11 p.m. — Wash my face, slather my skin with coconut oil, take my probiotic, and ditz around on my phone in bed until I fall asleep. I have unread e-books on my Kindle app (currently reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in French since it was free and I haven't read it before), but the siren song of BuzzFeed and Instagram lures me in.
Daily Total: $27.12
7:45 a.m. — Wake up too late to meditate again! I do 30 minutes of yoga, shower, and get dressed. In a pursuit to keep my conversation and listening skills up, I listen to France Inter radio. I take the subway to work.
9:20 a.m. — Breakfast is a sliced banana, half a pint of blueberries, chia, flax, and hemp hearts. I wash it all down with chamomile tea.
2:30 p.m. — Fix myself lentils, avocado, and salad for lunch, and snack on baby carrots and dates. Dates are my weakness.
5:45 p.m. — Take the subway to the UES for a Gucci beauty event at a townhouse. I get there at 6 but nothing is set up or ready, even though the event is slated for 6-8 p.m. A few people trickle in, looking awkward and confused as the staff explains that things won't start until 8. The whole production looks bootleg, so I bounce.
6:15 p.m. — Attempt to take the F to the Lower East Side, but because an entrance is closed, there is a literal mob on the platform. I make my way back to the N/Q and switch to a D train...with no air conditioning.
7 p.m. — I finally get to the LES where I'm meeting a friend for dinner at a vegan Mexican restaurant. We nix our plans for ceviche, and order a tower of delicious, gooey, cheesy nachos. I order a cucumber basil vodka drink and mushroom tacos. We share a banana caramel tart; delicious! $45.16
8:10 p.m. — We split an Uber to the East Village to meet another college friend for drinks. $5.35
8:20 p.m. — Quick stop at Duane Reade for a pack of gum to cover our Mexican food breath! $1.75
8:45 p.m. — We're disappointed to see the hot bartender we love to poke fun at is no longer at the bar. After another vodka soda, we realize that Hot Bartender got a haircut and was completely unrecognizable! $12
10:15 p.m. — I take the subway home, where I make some seltzer and do my usually wind down. I also see that the replacement vibrator I bought from Crave has arrived! I recently purchased a different one that stopped charging after only a few months. Luckily, this is covered under their warranty.
Daily Total: $64.26
7:45 a.m. — Ugh, up late again! This week has been awful for my meditation practice. I do 30 minutes of yoga, shower, get dressed listening to France Inter radio, and then take the subway to work.
9:20 a.m. — Breakfast of bananas, a half-pint of blueberries (I put the second pint in the freezer to keep over the weekend), chia, flax, and hemp mix. Drink a cup of green tea for a boost of energy.
12:30 p.m. — Grab my headphones and go to meditate in the park for 20 minutes. It is a beautiful day, and I roll my dress straps down to soak up the sun.
1:30 p.m. — Lunch of salad, avocado, lentils, and pasta salad.
3:45 p.m. — A "little more" pasta ends up being about a full serving, and I am now very full.
4:15 p.m. — I go on Amazon to order a sports bra and leggings; a friend is going to make me a custom outfit with vinyl details. She's made some cool pieces so far, and I'm dying to get a set made. I order multiple sizes and styles, and end up with four pairs of leggings and a longline bra. I will return two or three pairs after I try them on. $74.03
5 p.m. — Take the subway home, talk to my mom on the phone, and then head back into Manhattan to meet a friend.
7 p.m. — Meet my friend at his boyfriend's office in Times Square. In this area, the two-block walk from the train is like walking through Purgatory.
8:30 p.m. — We just miss the W and take the R into Queens. From there, I call an Uber to a beer garden in Astoria where we are celebrating our friend's birthday! $11.96
9:30 p.m. — I put a vodka soda and strudel for the birthday girl on my friend's tab. He says he will Venmo me later, but I tell myself to remind him later, since he never remembers to charge me.
10:45 p.m. — I walk to another bar in Astoria to meet a friend who just got off work. He knows the bartender here and orders me a vodka soda. I talk to a cute guy, but he's super shy, can't seem to make conversation, and eventually excuses himself.
12 a.m. — Ugh, why am I going into the city? We take get in an empty subway car back into Midtown (perfect for a group DIY "Showtime!" performance) and meet a friend in Hell's Kitchen. I've been drinking so frequently this week that I don't even want another drink. I dance with all the boys, and decide to bounce after they head to a bar more than 10 blocks away. My poor feet are not here for it!
2 a.m. — I take an Uber home, and commence the usual ritual — plus a liter of seltzer from the SodaStream. $28.07
Daily Total: $114.06
11:30 a.m. — Crawl out of bed and meditate for 20 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of yoga. I hate that I don't have time for an hour today, even on Saturday! I don't think I'd last the day without sleeping in, though.
12:45 p.m. — Head to C-Town to buy oil-cured olives, canned organic tomatoes with basil (the best and cheapest sugar-free sub for pasta sauce), and an avocado. I am making a vegan Alfredo sauce for a birthday dinner that my brother's girlfriend is throwing. I also make edamame spaghetti. $10.48
3:45 p.m. — I take the subway into Manhattan to meet my parents. We have free passes to the Affordable Art Fair, where there is an amazing collection of works! My mom looks into purchasing a few pieces, but ultimately goes home without them to think it over. I realize that the definition of "affordable" here is subjective, and I stick to gawking.
5:30 p.m. — Head to a coffee shop with my parents to hang out. My mom gets me an iced tea, and I help eat her donut. After, I take the subway back to my apartment.
7 p.m. — Take the subway to Fort Greene, weighed down with sauce, pasta, olives, natural cider, and a few items (yogurt and tuna) I'm giving to my brother, since I no longer will be eating them. As I'm struggling with my huge bag, a girl cuts in front of me and stops short to call me a bitch for bumping into her. Stay classy, NYC.
7:40 p.m. — Carry the huge food bag up the third floor walk-up. There is a great turn out! We drink wine and the cider I brought, and there is more artisanal cheese than anyone knows what to do with. I snack on grapes and pecans instead. Sigh. Cheese. I need to find a solid vegan substitute ASAP. My brother's girlfriend serves linguine bolognese and the vegetarians eat my vegan Alfredo creation with edamame noodles. There is also a chocolate coffee cake with cream cheese frosting. I try to eat fig jam on crackers, but I succumb to a small slice, dairy be damned. I never miss meat, but I can't say no to dessert!
1 a.m. — My brother's friend has a Car2Go account, which he uses to drop me off on his way home. Woo-hoo! I also steal the leftover veggie pasta, since there is a ton of meat pasta left — not to mention cheese.
1:30 a.m. — I've been texting a boy throughout the night and we made plans to meet up in Williamsburg later on, but nothing materializes. He tells me he's too tired to stay out and is heading home. Sigh. I do my usual ritual and go to sleep. It's probably for the best, since I need to be awake by 9 a.m. tomorrow to get to the Rockaways.
Daily Total: $10.48
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