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, we're featuring moms and their spending during the back-to-school rush. Per Deloitte, in the United States alone,
back-to-school season is the second biggest shopping season of the year, "touching 29 million households and accounting for $27 billion in sales." Since women are usually responsible for household purchases, wherever they are in the country or in the world, we wanted to see what it's like for women with children of a variety of ages, in a variety of locations.
Today, for the last day of back-to-school week: an analyst who makes $121,000 per year. She spends some of her money this week on fro-yo and a lunch box.
Occupation: Analyst Industry: Insurance Age: 42 Location: Salt Lake City, UT Salary: $121,000 + bonus of around 15% per year Paycheck (Biweekly): $2,796 Husband's Salary: $67,000 Husband's Paycheck (Biweekly): $1,700 Rental Income: $1,500/month
Monthly Expenses Housing: $1,500, including taxes and insurance. We're paying extra to kill the mortgage early. Loan Payments: $417 car loan with 12 months left
All Other Monthly Expenses Cell phones: $30 for husband and kid, mine is paid through work Internet: $50 Power: $64 Gas: $80 House cleaner: $60 every other week Netflix: $11 Water, Sewer & Trash: $50 - $100 Water, Sewer & Trash For Rental: $50 - $100 Savings: $800 per paycheck plus 50% of bonus automatically deposited in savings, $268 automatically transferred from checking to savings per month. (Honestly, I don't know what's up with this transfer I just noticed it when I was working on this diary.)
6:45 a.m. — Wake up. I struggle out of bed and let the dogs outside. Snuggle the kid for longer than I should and then rush to get out the door. Realizing I have no clean washcloths, I put a load in the washer and hope the kid remembers to move it to the dryer before she leaves for summer camp. I help her pack a lunch and then pack myself a lunch. In the car, I eat a cheese stick and granola bar for breakfast. I make a vow to get moving faster tomorrow. (I vow this every day.)
8:30 a.m. — Coffee from the robot coffee machine before meetings. It isn't terrible and it is free — and convenient! 10:50 a.m. — Eat two hard boiled eggs and then run to the gym. 12 p.m. — Back at my desk. The gym is in the basement and is also free and convenient — two of my favorite things. I eat snap peas, mini-bell peppers, and a cup of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for lunch. Wish I had packed a single serve hummus to go with my stupid vegetables. 3:45 p.m. — Everything my coworkers let slide all week suddenly becomes an emergency. Multiple people start freaking out at me; so much for leaving early. I stress eat candy from my stash instead of heading out. 5:30 p.m. — Finally leave the office. I drive home and spend an hour with my kid watching videos of baby animals and people frosting cookies. I also make and consume a few drinks, rewash the load of laundry from this morning, and move it to the dryer. 7 p.m. — Remember that I have to register my car before the end of the month, and I go online to finish and pay. $172 7:30 p.m. — Walk to our fave neighborhood pizza joint, get two pizzas to share, and bring leftovers home. $24 8:30 p.m. — Come home, eat popcorn, and play games with the fam until bedtime. Daily Total: $196
6:45 a.m. — I wake up, struggle, snuggle, read a bit, and then heat up leftover pizza for breakfast. Kid makes me iced coffee while I take out garbage and recycling. After, I tidy up a little.
10:30 a.m. — Take dogs to the off-leash park to run and play in the water. 2 p.m. — Realize we have not had lunch. Kid makes pizza bagels, featuring basil from the garden. I slice tomatoes and cucumbers, also fresh from the garden. Delish! We eat frozen cookie dough for dessert. 3:30 p.m. — Head to Target for back-to-school supplies. Kid needs new underthings and a lunch box. I also pick up a pair of leggings and shoes, and buy a wallet since things keep falling out of mine. $40 4 p.m. — Stop at a bakery on the way home. I have a coupon for 50% off a loaf, so we get out of there for cheap — and we get free slices! $3 8 p.m. — Finally decide to make dinner after bumming around the yard. Summer rolls using all the random leftovers in the fridge plus more garden veggies. Beers for the adults, and water for the kid. Everyone has popsicles for dessert. 9:30 p.m. — Decide to sleep outside to try and watch the meteor shower. Ugh. I am going to regret this tomorrow. Daily Total: $43
1:45 a.m. — Zero percent chance of rain was a total lie. A downpour forces us inside.
8 a.m. — I sleep in! After I wake up, I let the dogs out and drink a cup of iced coffee. Kid convinces me we need to make caramel popcorn for breakfast. It is whole grain (and my favorite food) so I cave. We watch a show on Netflix while we each eat a popcorn ball and munch on a bowl of plain popcorn. I wash and dry a few loads of laundry while we hang out. 10 a.m. — Shop around online for a new backpack for the kid for school. She decides she would rather keep her old backpack and use a free one I got from a work event. Sweet! We clean out both backpacks and try to find supplies from around the house. She hates shopping even more than I do and is VERY tied to keeping stuff she already owns. This works great for me. 12:30 p.m. — Turkey sandwiches for lunch with veggies on the side. Thanks again, garden! We have popsicles for dessert that I made from leftover lemonade poured into molds. Now we have frozen treats for days. 1:15 p.m. — Try to brush the dog's hair and teeth. Fun for no one. 3 p.m. — More Netflix and caramel popcorn. A crazy cloudburst requires a quick dance in the rain. My garden is loving the water. 4 p.m. — Take the dog and kid for a walk while my husband goes to fix something at the rental house. Our tenant is awesome about letting us know if something is broken, so we respond quickly, too. 6:30 p.m. — The temperature is perfect, so we take a leisurely family bike ride. 8 p.m. — Whoops — should have had dinner first! I make grilled cheese and tomato soup using basil and veggies from the garden, and my husband and I have beer and wine. 9 p.m. — Crafts and cleaning up while I think about lunches for the upcoming week. I should have done a Costco run. Daily Total: $0
6:30 a.m. — Trying to get up earlier in preparation for school starting next week. I take the dog out, have a quick snuggle with the kid, and boil some eggs for lunches. I pack the rest of the veggies for lunch, and the kid will get the leftover tomato soup, chips, and snap peas. We have toast and eggs for breakfast.
7:30 a.m. — Out the door. Not too terrible for the first run; four more tries to get on time. 8:30 a.m. — First cup of coffee from the robot, followed up by a second cup at 9:30. Today is a marathon meeting day. 12 p.m. — Sad desk lunch of veggies, hummus, and a hardboiled egg — but I have caramel popcorn for dessert! After, it's meetings all afternoon, probably more meetings until I die. 3:45 p.m. — Leave early to go to the DMV because I lost my driver's license. Luckily, I made an appointment ... but the appointment means nothing. I still had to wait 45 minutes! I get my picture taken and a new license is on its way. $18 5 p.m. — Stop at Ikea on the way to pick up my kiddo. I pick up a cutting board and bag clips. $7 5:45 p.m. — Have a bit of time before I get the kid, so I take a quick walk and hit my step goal! 6:15 p.m. — I stop at the Hispanic market for veggies, salsa, a variety of chips, spicy wheat snacks, and cotija. The kid buys a $1 pastry from the bakery. $19 6:45 p.m. — Stop at what we think is a farmers' market on the way home that turns out to be a dog party. We don't have our dog with us, but we take time to pet other dogs and get free swag and coupons for the groomer! 8 p.m. — Pasta salad for dinner. Chop up all the veggies we can find and add herbs from the garden. I toss it with pasta and a homemade vinaigrette. 9 p.m. — Make dessert for my book club tomorrow and then listen to the Reply All podcast. Husband goes to fill my gas tank because it is my least favorite chore ever. I have to fill up about three times a month. $31 11 p.m. — Read in bed until I fall asleep. Daily Total: $75
6:30 a.m. — Wake up. Dogs. Snuggle. So much struggle to get going. I pack leftover pasta salad for everyone's lunch and make toast for breakfast.
7:30 a.m. — Out the door and listen to ridiculously trashy podcasts on my commute. I have coffee from the robot around 8:30. 12 p.m. — Grab a handful of TJ's trail mix from my snack drawer and head to the gym. 1:15 p.m. — I spy leftover lunches from someone's meeting. I opt for that over the lunch I packed. Around 3:30 p.m., I regret not grabbing dessert from the leftovers. Instead, I eat Reese's Pieces from my snack drawer. 6 p.m. — Stop at Costco on the way home for dog food, tortillas, snap peas, Greek yogurt, and protein drinks. $58 7 p.m. — Monthly book club. Hooray for girlfriends, chatting, food, and drinks! Daily Total: $58
6:30 a.m. — Wake up to the same deal as usual, and eat a cheese stick for breakfast in the car.
8:30 a.m. — Coffee from the robot and someone brought donuts. Sweet. 9:30 a.m. — Meeting canceled! Yahoo! Seriously the highlight of my day. 12 p.m. — I head down to the gym even though eating that donut was possibly not the best decision. After I get back, I eat the leftover pasta salad from yesterday for lunch. 3 p.m. — Dying for candy but I have snap peas instead. They claim to be "sugar" snap peas, but this is a lie. It's a terrible substitute. 5:30 p.m. — Leave work exhausted, but I get home on time to take the kiddo to dance class. I drop her off, go home, and change out of my work clothes. I eat chips and salsa for dinner; my husband fed the kid pasta before class. 7 p.m. — Pick up the kid, and all three of us go to the frozen yogurt place. There's an unlimited cup for $5! We get two to share. We barely make a dent and take the rest home for later. $11 8:15 p.m. — Beers and chatting with the neighbors. Fancy juice for the kid. Later, I read until I fall asleep. Daily Total: $11
6:30 a.m. — Wake up. Dogs. Snuggles. Think about retiring until I remember that I'll still have to get the kid up for school. I can probably make it another six years. Maybe she can get herself up when she is in high school?
8:15 a.m. — Get to work late and realize I forgot my badge. I shamefully wear a temp badge all day. 8:30 a.m. — Coffee from the robot and get to my meeting just as it is starting. My laptop decides not to work, so I take it to the help desk where they fix it quickly so I can return to my meeting. 11 a.m. — Meeting is finally over. I eat a pack of mixed nuts from my drawer. 12 p.m. — Gym. My glutes are dying. I do love working out with my coworkers. It is nice to build a relationship outside of work itself, especially because I am older than a lot of other people at the gym. It keeps me young — or so I hope. 1 p.m. — Greek yogurt, snap peas, and mini-peppers for lunch at my desk. 4:30 p.m. — Leave early! Today is the last day of summer camp, so there's a party AND middle school orientation tonight. 5:30 p.m. — I have a slice of pizza and a bite of very delicious cake at the end-of-summer party. I drive to the other side of town for orientation. 6 p.m. — A/C is out at the school because of course. I haven't been home and am still dressed for the arctic conditions of my office. I pay the fee for homework hall for the school year. $25 7:30 p.m. — Celebratory dinner! Hawaiian food and Dole Whip. The restaurant is out of ice, so no shaved ice for me. $43 9 p.m. — Finally home. The cleaners were here today, and I know they think we are slobs. The house is clean, but there is a pile of stuff in our entryway that needs to be put away. We try to pick up before they come but obviously failed. $60 Daily Total: $128
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