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.
This week, a nurse practitioner who makes $110,000 per year and spends some of it on replacing her iPhone screen.
Occupation: Nurse practitioner Industry: Healthcare Age: 30 Location: New York, NY My Salary: $110,000 and $5,000 bonus | Husband's Salary: $260,000 and $80,000 bonus My Paycheck (Biweekly): $2,098.52 | My Husband's Paycheck: $4,491.06. We deposit our take-home pay into a joint account.
Monthly Expenses Housing: $3,995 for a one-bedroom apartment in the West Village. Loan Payments: ~$2,100. This is siphoned directly from my husband's paycheck and deposited into a separate bank account.
All Other Monthly Expenses Utilities: $55 on average for electricity and gas. Health Insurance: $179.76. My husband also has transit, 401(k), and insurance taken out of his paycheck, pre-tax. Transit: $121 for a monthly pass. Vision: $5.96 401(k): $1,481.54 Life Insurance: $7.38 Spotify: $9.99 Cable & Internet: $111.97 Netflix: $9.99 Cell Phone: $0. My parents keep me on their plan and my husband gets his through work. Savings: We move monthly budget surpluses into our joint brokerage account and keep a six-month emergency fund in our checking account.
2 a.m. — Wake up to my phone going off with a page. On-call nights are the worst. A mom is calling me to complain at a rapid clip that she thinks her prewar apartment has mold in it. Seems like a reasonable excuse to call the emergency on-call line... I often wish I had the balls to ask parents what part of the story is the emergency.
7:50 a.m. — Wake up again and get ready to head to the office. I make an iced coffee left over from yesterday morning's French press. 9 a.m. — I grab a banana to eat for breakfast at the office, and mix together a can of tuna with shredded carrots and a whole-wheat pita for my packed lunch. Then I hop on the subway to work. 11 a.m. — I have a quick break between back-to-back patients. I run to the coffee cart outside of my office for a large to drink while I eat my banana. My office is freezing and I'm still a little groggy after that 2 a.m. wake-up, so the coffee is most necessary. $1.50 12:30 p.m. — Make my pita and return phone calls at my desk that have accumulated this morning. I have nine messages waiting, and four of them are parents concerned about ticks. Fun fact: Ticks have to be attached for more than 36 hours to cause issues, and prophylaxis with antibiotics is not routinely recommended. 2:30 p.m. — I have another break in my appointments and use it to hop on Amazon. I have gone through two blowdryers in the past four years, and my most recent one died after less than a year. It is under warranty but the replacement will take a month to arrive; unfortunately, my hair in the NYC humidity cannot handle that. I order the same model because it gets super-hot and is powerful enough for my thick hair. I also order a refill of the derma roller I have been using because mine is more than a month old, and I know it needs to be sharp to be effective. $87.09 4 p.m. — My last patient arrived an hour early, and the two immediately before him canceled, so I am out early! I head to Trader Joe's to grab some groceries. I get three bananas, two avocados, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar, a can of diced tomatoes, pasta, arugula, two ears of fresh corn, crackers, a dozen eggs, ground chicken, seltzer, iced coffee, a sweet potato, and bread crumbs. $47.05 5 p.m. — I schlep my groceries home on the subway and get ready to meet one of my girlfriends for an early dinner at Ellary's Greens. We split Brussels sprouts to begin, and then I have a shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles, tomatoes, and herbs. I end up taking half home — lunch for tomorrow. $33.31 7 p.m. — My husband finished with work and it's absolutely beautiful out. He is jealous of my dinner and asks me to meet him out. We end up at Frankie's, where I nurse an Aperol spritz and he orders chicken Milanese and two glasses of white wine. We discuss whether we should join Equinox. A few of our friends have joined recently and rave about it. I try to bargain with him that if we limit our dining out to once per week, we could do it without impacting our budget. We usually cook at home during the week and eat dinner out on Friday and Saturday. The gym is a huge expense even with it being partially reimbursed through his company, and I'm always worried about "lifestyle creep." He expenses $35 of the total bill. $37.45 9:30 p.m. — We turn on our TV and settle on a short movie before bed. I do some arm exercises and resistance-band exercises while we watch. Daily Total: $206.40
8 a.m. — I wake up and get ready for work with some of the cold-brew coffee I bought at TJ's yesterday. One of my girlfriends has a childcare snag this morning and drops her baby off for a few hours. My schedule at work usually starts late on Thursdays, so typically I would be able to watch the baby, but today I am heading to the office. My husband has more in-office flexibility and will watch the baby this morning — provided I teach him to change diapers. I eat a banana with peanut butter and play with the baby while my husband answers emails.
9:15 a.m. — Late for work! The baby was so good, but started wailing right as I was about to leave. My husband was trying to answer rapid-fire emails, so I stayed to soothe him. I run to the subway and hope for a quick train. 11 a.m. — I get a frantic call from my husband and happen to catch it between seeing patients. I can hear the baby wailing in the background; uh oh. I coach him through a diaper change and the baby starts cooing. Crisis averted. I secretly think it's adorable to hear my husband get so flustered over a tiny baby. He only has an hour left to get through his duties! 12:15 p.m. — Lunch time. I buy an iced coffee from the stand outside and heat up my leftovers from dinner out yesterday. Bonus: A dentist's office dropped off a bunch of candy, so I also have some Hershey's kisses...like 10 of them. Sometimes my sweet tooth gets the best of me. $2.50 5:30 p.m. — Take the subway home. When I get there, my new blowdryer is waiting. Hallelujah! No more bad hair days. The baby and his mom are going for a walk on the river since the weather is so beautiful, and she invites us to join. I wait for my husband to get home from work at 6:30, and we meet them for a long walk. 8:30 p.m. — I put together Smitten Kitchen's chicken meatballs with pesto pasta and grilled asparagus for dinner. My husband opens a bottle of rosé to drink with dinner, and I have a sip. After, we read and watch TV, and my husband packs for an upcoming trip before we go to sleep. Daily Total: $2.50
6 a.m. — My husband's alarm goes off and he's up to catch his train at Penn Station. We say goodbye for the weekend, and I fall back asleep.
10 a.m. — Late morning for me. I wake up and make some of the Trader Joe's cold brew along with some “pancakes” (made with a banana, an egg, and some oatmeal). I pack leftovers from last night's dinner and head to the office at 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. — It's a busy day. I heat up my lunch and eat it quickly while charting patients. 5 p.m. — Done with the office for the weekend! I love half-day Fridays so much. I see some of my favorite families and leave in a good mood ready for the weekend. When I get home, I have so many packages waiting with my doorman, but nothing especially fun. I have a three-month supply of birth control pills, my new derma roller, and some stuff I ordered from J.Crew with a gift card last week. J.Crew sent me a different shirt than the one I ordered and it is hideous, plus the earrings I got are way too heavy for my poor earlobes. The only thing I keep is a button-down for the office. What a bust! I rinse off in the shower and change for a night out with a girlfriend. 6:30 p.m. — Back on the subway again. Whenever I stray from the 1/2/3 line, I am reminded of how unreliable the MTA is. I wait forever for a C train. 7:20 p.m. — I finally make it to dinner at Otway. I start with an Aperol and soda and catch up with my friend while we peek at the menu. We decide to split the mushroom special, the gem lettuces, and the pork. We both order a glass of Côtes du Rhône when the pork arrives. $61.17 10:30 p.m. — We meet some friends at Berg'n where I order one cocktail. The group pleads sleepiness around midnight, and my friend and I head for the subway again to head back home. $11 Daily Total: $72.17
10 a.m. — Awake and it looks like a beautiful day. I have plans to meet up with a girlfriend for brunch who is moving out of the city. The worst thing about living in NYC is that my friends are constantly leaving! I sometimes wonder if it would be easier to live elsewhere, in a place where people are more settled, but then I remember that one of my favorite parts of living here is that there are always new people to meet, too, even if it stinks when good friends leave.
12:30 p.m. — I head to meet her at Santina and order the egg sandwich and a coffee. The waitress tries to up-sell us hard, but we resist. We finish up and decide to shop around the neighborhood since my friend wants a few new things. $28.96 3 p.m. — I don't find anything that's a must-have, even after lots of browsing. My friend gets a cute leather jacket, though! 4:30 p.m. — The weather is perfect today; can't beat 75 and sunny. I don't want to go back to my apartment, so I head to meet my best baby friend and his parents at the park. We spend a nice few hours hanging out in the sun and I send my husband some adorable pictures of the kiddo so he doesn't feel totally left out. 6:30 p.m. — Quick stop at Rite Aid to pick up a prescription that my coworker called in for me. My primary care doctor refused my mail-order refill until I see her, even though it's typically a med that comes with an annual refill supply. Getting one month of my meds for the price of three is annoying. I resolve to find a new primary care provider for my annual checkup next fall since this one is stingy with routine refills to generate more office visits for herself. Not cool. I also grab some milk. $11.43 7 p.m. — Head back to my apartment to start getting ready for my night. Instead of being immediately productive, I sit down and get sucked into watching The Break-Up and having a “snack” — a.k.a., a meal of leftover pasta, asparagus, and meatballs from a couple nights ago. (Side note: Jennifer Aniston is a total babe. I want her tan and her arm muscles.) 8:30 p.m. — Must. Get. Motivated. To go out. I DVR the rest of the movie and drag myself into the shower. I throw in a few hot rollers, which are my favorite trick for big hair. My hair is on point, but I hate everything I own in terms of clothing tonight. It takes me at least 30 minutes to decide what to wear, and my bedroom looks like a disaster by the time I settle on a look. 9:30 p.m. — Walk to meet a girlfriend at Loring Place, where we get super-lucky and snag seats at the bar within five minutes. I start with a Campari and soda, and we decide to split the cauliflower, the fresh ricotta, the tuna tartare, and the cavatappi pasta with duck. I nurse my cocktail during the starters and order a glass of Nebbiolo with the pasta. $77.33 10:45 p.m. — We try to decide where to get our next drinks, and head toward The Lately. We decide our heels call for a cab, which I pick up. $9.36 11:15 p.m. — Once we arrive, the bartender sells us on grapefruit drinks that my friend buys. The cocktail ends up being super-sweet, and the crowd feels like it's full of summer interns. We both want to get out of there ASAP and brainstorm our next move. The Tippler is really close, so we walk there but it also feels a bit young. We end up walking toward the Village and sitting outside for a cocktail. I pick up this round. Later, we decide to head back to my apartment and have a glass of wine on my roof until my friend's boyfriend picks her up in a cab. $20 2:30 a.m. — DISASTER. I sleepily wake up to go to the bathroom, using my phone to light my way so that I don't turn the lights on and wake up too much. It slips out of my phone case onto my bathroom floor and the screen shatters. I am so upset! This is an incredibly careless mistake after an already expensive weekend, but I book an appointment at the Genius Bar the following afternoon to get it fixed anyway. Daily Total: $147.08
8:30 a.m. — I wake up angry at myself about breaking my screen last night. My husband recaps his night on the phone and I read in bed for a while.
11:30 a.m. — I decide to eat something and drag myself out of bed. I make an iced coffee and my favorite indulgence when my husband is gone: butter noodles with parmesan cheese. Every time he isn't home, I know there will be butter noodles on my meal plan at some point. I eat them and finish watching The Break-Up. Bliss! 1:30 p.m. — Head to my sad Apple appointment to get my screen fixed. They tell me it will take several hours, which adds insult to injury. I walk home and use the rainy afternoon without my husband as an opportunity to catch up on all my trashy Bravo shows and eat popcorn. I unabashedly love almost everything on Bravo, but I have to say this episode of Southern Charm Savannah that I am trying out is pretty boring. 5:30 p.m. — I head back to the Apple Store to collect my phone, still kicking myself. Also, any time I drop off a phone for servicing, I get weirdly nervous that the techs will read my texts or scroll through my pictures. There's nothing incriminating, but it still makes me antsy! I begrudgingly pay for the new screen. $140.45 7 p.m. — Dinnertime. I continue my carb-heavy streak and make a béchamel sauce, and also whip together a pizza with mushrooms, parmesan, mozzarella, and lemon zest. When it comes out of the oven, I throw half a bag of arugula on it to get some greens in. 8 p.m. — Hooray! My husband is home. We catch up on our weekends for a while and read the newspaper weekend editions online before pledging to have an early bedtime and recover from weekend shenanigans. Before we turn in, I shower and start an overnight Olaplex three-step treatment, which I love. I also derma-roll with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serums, and pray for younger-looking skin. Daily Total: $140.45
7:30 a.m. — Up and at it. I usually have today off, but I am filling in for a coworker in exchange for an extra day of PTO next week when I go out of town. I make two scrambled eggs with riced broccoli and cheddar and an iced coffee for breakfast.
8:30 a.m. — I head to work on the subway and start rounding on newborns at the hospital after I arrive. The numbers aren't crazy, but I know I don't have to rush to get to the office afterwards, so I chat with the nurses and the patients more than I usually do. My coworkers at my practice all hate going to the hospital, but I don't mind it. 12:30 p.m. — Finished seeing patients. Only one baby requires unusual follow-up, and I put in a call to the specialist physician to make sure they concur with my plan of discharge. I stop into J.Crew to return some of my mail-order failures on the way home. I happily realize that they are crediting my credit card with the returns, even though I bought them with a gift card, so I am up $191.62. I might return the new shirt for cash if it's not a perfect fit, since it's just a boring white button-down that I bought for lack of better options to use the gift card. The salesclerk also gives me 15% off and free express shipping on the right shirt, which is a win since this particular style is always excluded from promos. The total comes out to be $127.71, leaving me up $63.92. 1:40 p.m. — I hop back on the subway and stop by Trader Joe's. My husband has put in a request for soup and grilled cheese for lunch since he's working from home. I pick up ground beef, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, cubed pancetta, lemon-pepper pappardelle, a pound of cherries, two grapefruits, three bananas, butter, crushed red pepper, chicken vegetable soup, pumpernickel bread, seltzer, and American cheese. I walk the 20 minutes back to my apartment, where my husband is working from home for the day. I make us grilled-cheese sandwiches and heat up some soup for him. I also snack on cherries. $44.37 3:30 p.m. — Laundry time. I decide to tackle three loads, which includes sheets, a duvet cover, towels, and all of the couch-cushion covers, as they could use some freshening. I only wash them like once a year and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do it more often. I wish being an adult came with a handbook sometimes. I use a super-spendy Laundress detergent on our linens that smells so good, but that I will never buy again due to its price. I have been hoarding it for our sheets and towels for the past few months. $8.75 4:45 p.m. — Still no call back from the specialist I am waiting for. I want their team to clear the kiddo with lab abnormalities for discharge. My gut feeling says this baby will be fine to follow up with as an outpatient, but I would very much prefer that the decision fall on someone who specializes in this particular body system. I put in another page to the team, and the doctor who calls me back is actually very apologetic and nice. I've had bad luck lately with older physicians being condescending (and sometimes super-rude) to me via phone when I say I'm an NP, so I am relieved that this guy is a normal human. It seems like everyone I encounter in medicine under the age of 65 is pleasant enough, but when I cross that age barrier, people somehow think NPs are the devil. 5:30 p.m. — I do a deep-clean of my kitchen, fold all of the laundry, and generally get my life in order. We recently got a really cool piece of artwork for our living room that has changed the feel of the space, and I have been looking for new throw pillows for our couch to add to the update. The ones I have been stalking went on super-sale online, so I add them to my cart along with new pillow inserts. My husband has been working away on the couch, but perks up when I tell him I got the pillows. He's been very pro-purchase to spruce up the apartment lately. $118.64 7:30 p.m. — I start dinner and make pork tenderloin with mustard and herbs, arugula salad, and corn on the cob. 9 p.m. — My favorite time of Monday night: at-home manicure time and the original Southern Charm. I paint my nails and enjoy all the ridiculousness, promising to turn in at a decent hour. Daily Total: $171.76
7:30 a.m. — Awake again for another hospital morning. I make myself avocado toast on pumpernickel bread and add lemon, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and a poached egg. I also finish the last of the cold brew that I bought last week.
9 a.m. — I make it to the hospital via subway. Rounding on all the babies and everyone is doing well. I have one mom/baby who delivered without any prenatal care that I'll need to do more labs on than normal, but everyone else is pretty straightforward. A new dad stops by the desk where I'm writing my notes and drops off a TON of Dunkin' Donuts. Savvy guy — the nurses will love them for the rest of their stay. I eat three Munchkins. 12:15 p.m. — Head to a dentist appointment on the subway. Thankfully it is a quick visit, but it still takes too long for me to go home for lunch like I had planned, and still get to my office at 2. I didn't pack anything for lunch and I have a few Starbucks gift cards in my wallet from Christmas, but the Starbucks near my dentist weirdly doesn't carry food. I get an iced coffee anyway since I'm there and hop on the subway up to my office. 1 p.m. — I go to a deli near my office and get a garden veggie soup. $5.72 4:45 p.m. — I have to leave the office early to go to a BLS renewal class that I convinced my boss to sign up for with me. It's so gross out, but I hop on the subway and head to the East Village. My boss is so funny and we gossip the whole ride downtown. He is not a fan of a girl in our car who is putting on makeup in the subway, and rants about how unsanitary he finds it. I don't think that's as gross as people who eat full meals on the subway. 5:15 p.m. — The class is supposed to go until 10:30, and since I didn't go home for lunch, I didn't get any of my snacks. Poor planning on my part. There are three bagel shops and a Chinese takeout place on the block where the class meets. We decide on bagels, and I buy a bagel and a water for both of us. My boss always buys everything when we go out, so I figure it's the least I can do. $11.54 8:30 p.m. — We are out early. Amazing! My boss and I both passed the test at the end. (I can't imagine anything worse than failing a CPR class.) We walk to the subway in the rain and take the train home for the night. 11 p.m. — I notice my skin is looking dry and make sure to use a moisturizing mask and a glycolic acid before bed. Daily Total: $17.26
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