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 project manager who makes $70,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on pizza and "too much rosé."
Occupation: Project Manager Industry: Nonprofit Age: 26 Location: New York (Upper West Side) Salary: $70,000 Paycheck (2x/month): $1,866.75
Monthly Expenses Housing: $1,400
All Other Monthly Expenses Utilities & Internet: ~$80 Health Insurance: $78.48 Transit: $121 Netflix: $9.99 Spotify: $9.99 Hulu: $11.99 ClassPass: $15 Cell Phone: $73 401(k): $175 Savings: $40 into Acorns ACLU Membership: $10
7 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Ugh. I am not ready for this week.
7:20 a.m. — Two snoozes later I get up, feed my cat, do a quick scan of email and Slack, and plug in a few scheduled tweets for my work Twitter account. This is a habit I should break (realistically, any of this could wait an hour until I get to the office), but I've found it really hard to unplug lately. 8 a.m. — I drop off a bag of laundry and head into the office. 9:15 a.m. — Thankfully, my office gets a massive pot of coffee every day from the coffee shop across the street so my caffeine addiction is partially financed by work. As it's my day to pick up the pot, I head over to grab it before our morning staff meeting. 10 a.m. — Grab a yogurt from last week out of the fridge and eat it during a call. I end up on a lot of calls throughout the day, but I usually just mute myself and work on other things. Or eat. 12:30 p.m. — I didn't bring lunch today, so my coworker and I try the new poke place downstairs. It's more than I like to spend on lunch, but is a ton of food and looks delicious. I also grab a bar of dark chocolate next to the register to keep in my desk for emergencies. $17.42 2:45 p.m. — I decide to enroll in my Commuter Benefits program after my coworker tells me how much money it saves her. Why haven't I done this before? 3:20 p.m. — Coworker realizes she was very wrong about how much money we save. Oh well, still something. 5 p.m. — It's quiet at the office so I duck out early to run errands. Monday has become my de facto errand day because I'm always too busy or lazy to do them on the weekends. On today's agenda: laundry, pharmacy, groceries. 6 p.m. — I head to the Westside Market in my neighborhood to get groceries for the week: lots of fruits and vegetables, pasta, and a bunch of pre-made salads. It's a little pricey but I don't cook much, and this is what gets me through the week without eating total garbage. I also pickup my prescription and a few toiletries from the pharmacy ($13), and 18 pounds of laundry ($18). My laundry guys are playing Phantom of the Opera, which is endlessly charming to me. $90.91 7:30 p.m. — Drink a bottle of rosé and watch the first two episodes of The Leftovers with my roommate. Not sure what to make of it yet. 10 p.m. — Bedtime. Daily Total: $108.33
8 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I have an eye doctor appointment before work. I've been having some issues with my eye and this is my third appointment in two weeks. I'm eager to get the problem solved, but between copays and prescription eye drops this has become a pricey issue. I pack a yogurt, a salad, an apple, carrots and hummus, and head out.
9:40 a.m. — I'm few minutes late to my appointment because I stood on the wrong platform for 15 minutes before realizing what was up. This is why I never come to the East Side. My doctor refers me to a specialist and doesn't charge a copay since it's such a quick appointment. 10:15 a.m. — The MTA has been a damn nightmare this summer. I decide to take the 6 instead of walking thinking I'll save time, but the train goes express and I end up at 14th Street. I hop on a local uptown train and grab an iced coffee on the way in as a pick me up. $3.60 2 p.m. — My coworker and I head to a town hall event at MTV Studios in Times Square. We have tickets but still stand in line for over an hour. I buy a bottle of water from a street cart for us to share. $2 6 p.m. — I have a standing Tuesday night bar trivia date with a group of friends. I leave the event and head downtown to meet my friends, dropping my coworker off on the way. This bar serves half-priced bottles of wine during happy hour, so we order two while we wait. I also grab a slice from the good pizza place next door so I don't drink on an empty stomach. $4 10:30 p.m. — We win trivia! This means we've earned a $50 bar tab next week and a round of shots. I suspect that after those two bottles of wine I'll regret this shot tomorrow, but I go for it anyway. I pitch in on the tab for two friends who promise they'll Venmo me later. $45 11:30 p.m. — I take the train home with a friend who lives in my neighborhood and immediately pass out. Daily Total: $54.60
7:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Ugh.
9 a.m. — Pick up an egg and cheese on my way to work to soak up the last of the rosé. Debate buying a Gatorade as well, but decide the sandwich screams "I'm hungover" enough by itself. $4 1 p.m. — I eat a salad I packed for lunch and snack on an apple, tomatoes, carrots, and hummus through the afternoon. The coworker I sit next to is on a diet and I think it's rubbing off on me. 2:30 p.m. — My watch broke a couple of weeks ago and I've been putting off mailing it in for repairs. I take it to UPS and after packaging and insurance, it ends up costing way more than I expected — $84.86. It's worth it, but ouch. I also grab two Vietnamese iced coffees on the way back to the office for my coworker and me. $93.26 6 p.m. — Head home, feed the cat, and make mushroom ravioli for dinner. 9:30 p.m. — I'm supposed to Skype with a friend on the West Coast, but I'm exhausted and have an early day tomorrow. I beg off until the weekend and knock out early. Daily Total: $97.26
6:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Have to be in the office for an 8 o'clock meeting, so no snoozing today.
7:30 a.m. — I'm a little ahead of schedule so I stop at Starbucks and grab an iced coffee and almonds to eat with my yogurt. $6.01 11:30 a.m. — I've been in meetings all morning and finally have time for a yogurt and, more importantly, a second cup of coffee. Someone in my last meeting told me I "look like I need a nap," which is really flattering to hear at 10:30 a.m (slash not at all). 1:30 p.m. — Eat another salad from home and finish off my carrots and hummus. I've been making a concerted effort to bring lunch to work because it saves so much money. 4:30 p.m. — The AC goes out in our office, and it's oppressively hot. I love NYC summer, but not on days like today. We're having a happy hour for a coworker who's moving to D.C., and it's so hot in the office that we decide to leave early. One beer turns into three for me, as it too-often does, but we expense it since it's a work event. 9 p.m. — Thanks to the three beers and a busy week, I knock out early. So happy tomorrow is Friday. Daily Total: $6.01
2 a.m. — Wake up in the middle of the night to some very exciting news: My brother is engaged! I FaceTime him and he's drunk and very happy.
8 a.m. — Get up later than usual because of a later start to our Friday workday (and the unexpected 2 a.m. FaceTime session). 1 p.m. — I brought a salad for lunch today but a coworker suggests pizza and I can't resist. Salad can wait for next week. We share two slices, a mushroom and a caprese. I pay and she Venmos me her half. $5 2 p.m. — We have Summer Fridays at our office and get out at 2. My friend and I make plans to go see the new exhibit on the roof of the Met. When we get there, the roof is closed because of a heat advisory; it's HOT. Instead, we walk around for a bit and then sit in the café of the American Wing where we drink two mini bottles of wine. I pay for the entrance fee; she pays for the wine. $24 3:45 p.m. — We decide to grab a regular-sized bottle of wine and sit in Central Park. We walk to a wine shop a few blocks up, buy a bottle of chilled rosé, and drink it sitting in the park and people-watching. She pays for the bottle and I Venmo her for half. $10 5:45 p.m. — My friend has to leave and I decide to walk home to the West Side. I stop to buy bagels on the way home so I'll have breakfast for the weekend. I also pick up a sandwich for dinner. $9 8 p.m. — My roommate and I watch Rogue One on Netflix and finish off another bottle of wine. Daily Total: $48
10:30 a.m. — I wake up late and toast a bagel for breakfast. I'm thrilled about the prospect of having nothing to do today. It's going to be a quiet weekend because most of my close friends are out of town.
3 p.m. — I decide to do a little shopping. I pick up a new book and a pair of flats, earrings and sunglasses (all on sale!) from J.Crew. I find a shady spot to sit in and read my new book for a while. $91.97 5:30 p.m. — I buy a burrito and chips and guac on my way home from my favorite Mexican place in the neighborhood. I had tentative date plans tonight but I'm already feeling like having a night in by myself. I can be a total homebody sometimes, and I'm the kind of person who recharges by being alone. $18.72 7:30 p.m. — Date texts to reschedule for Monday. Score. I eat my burrito, finish my book, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Daily Total: $110.69
9 a.m. — Wake up to the dulcet tones of my roommate watching
Star Trek in the living room. Sigh. 12 p.m. — Since I know I won't be grocery shopping until at least Wednesday, I go out to pick up a few things for the week. I buy fruit, more bagels and cream cheese, cat food, cheese and crackers, cereal, milk and yogurt. I walk a few blocks further uptown to a coffee place and get a medium iced chai. I started avoiding the Starbucks closest to my apartment after I hooked up with one of the baristas and it got weird. Whoops. $47.14 2:45 p.m. — Finally get around to seeing Wonder Woman! I have a free movie pass so it doesn't cost me anything, and it's awesome. 7:30 p.m. — Skype my friend in California whom I haven't talked to in a few weeks. I warn her in advance I have to get off at 9 for Game of Thrones. (Thanks, friend-of-friend's HBO account.) 9 p.m. — Watch the new Game of Thrones. Ahhh! (No spoilers.) Afterwards, I spend too long picking out an outfit for tomorrow night's date, knowing full well I'll change my mind in the morning. Daily Total: $47.14
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