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 product manager who makes $112,000 per year. This week, she buys new books.
Occupation: Product Manager
Location: San Jose, CA
Housing Costs: $700-$800 for my share, depending on utilities.
Loan Payments: $0 due to scholarships, work study, and family help.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Health Insurance: $60
Internet: $35. I have to call and renegotiate every year.
Stock Purchase Plan: ~$300 pre-tax
Gym Membership: $47.50
Cell Phone: $0, on the family plan
Retirement Plan: I don't regularly contribute to a 401(k) but my company puts in 5% at the end of the year (no matching).
9:30 a.m. — I wake up around 9 after dancing the night away. BF, friend and I stayed at a retreat center this past weekend for a New Years party. We grab some of the treats — potatoes, shakshuka, fruit salad, and a sweet orange cardamom pastry. I pass on coffee.
12:30 p.m. — We thought we were full from breakfast but end up at a brewery on the way back. I can't pass up a chance for Pliny on tap. We sign up for a table and there are a few other groups ahead of us. To pass time, we walk across the street and check out a bookstore. I start my New Years resolution of reading more books and buy The Elephant Vanishes by Murakami, and Nuclear Jellyfish, a mystery with a fun cover. $33
1:30 p.m. — My friend buys lunch for everyone since BF drove. I've been craving a tuna sandwich all weekend and finally get one, along with the aforementioned Pliny! Friend gets a sampler and BF gets a dark beer; both of them order pizza. After, we head out to finish the bulk of our drive back home.
9 p.m. — We stop by an Indian place where my boyfriend buys dinner; we split chicken biryani and naan. Half of my tuna sandwich is left over from lunch but I need groceries anyway, so we stop at Sprouts and I get a bundle of spinach, almond milk, veggie straws, potato chips, a rotisserie chicken, pecans, and a bag salad kit. I am a bit nervous about going back to work after the holidays because I know things will ramp up quickly. I am hoping the snacks can help me destress. $23
Daily Total: $56
7:30 a.m. — First day of work after the holidays. I usually wake up at 7:30 and take a five to 10-minute shower, making it to my desk around 8:30. I have to work on a paper and submit it this week but it has been difficult to focus. I tried to work on it during holidays, but failed and now I am running out of time. I grab soda water from the café. We get free drinks (soda, coffee, and tea). None of it is fancy but it does the trick.
11 a.m. — I eat my leftover tuna sandwich (though the potato chips in it didn't keep well) along with the salad kit. Still procrastinating on the paper, I look up a mead tour that my friends want to go on. I buy a Groupon for BF and myself; the original price is $70 for two tastings and a tour. After coordinating with friends, I schedule us to go on the same date a few weekends from now. $27
3 p.m. — I beat my 3 o'clock slump eating a dark chocolate bar with cherries and almonds. My friend bought it for my birthday and I enjoying it, wishing there were more cherries.
6 p.m. — I meet a friend for dinner at a new restaurant similar to Panda Express. In the end, neither of us is impressed and I don't love the quality of the meat. We talk about holidays, boys, and future plans. When I met her a few months ago, we bonded over our mutual love of hiking. She got injured later on so we mostly meet for drinks or food now. $9.50
7:45 — I fill up my tank and purchase a car wash, passing on tri-foam and going for the mid-grade option. I have to go inside to make the purchase and end up buying mini-donuts. $44
Daily Total: $80.50
4 a.m. — I wake up way too early and don't fall asleep again until 6. When my alarm finally goes off again at 7:30, I hit snooze until I am forced to get out of bed at 7:40. I get into the office at 9 and grab a banana and coffee before my meeting. I eat three of the mini-donuts I bought last night.
12 p.m. — Before lunch, I work on more emails, my paper, and type up notes. Lunch today consists of chicken and spinach and an Arnold Palmer from the café. I also send a friend a message to cancel our climbing date since I am too tired.
5:30 p.m. — I head home, clean the bathroom, and tiredly make a bootleg risotto using packets of parmesan and turkey burger meat after I eat a quick snack of cereal. I also make a mocktail; I love mixing different drinks together.
9 p.m. — Talk to BF on the phone and then pass out.
Daily Total: $0
3 a.m. — I wake up because of an earthquake! BF and I chat online for a bit until I finally pass out around 5. I am a light sleeper and I have not been sleeping well this week. I wake up again at 7:30, and dial into my 8 a.m. meeting from home. Finally make it to the office by 9 for another meeting and manage to grab a banana and coffee before it starts. After that, I focus on my paper.
12:30 p.m. — Lunch is chicken and spinach again, and I'm not tired of it yet. At 2, I snack on the potato chips and veg straws I bought. I can feel the paper deadline creeping closer and am a bit stressed. That, and the lack of sleep, are not good for me.
4:50 p.m. — Meet my friend at the gym, which is primarily for climbing but also has fitness classes. I do a few routes that I haven't completed before, and leave feeling good.
8 p.m. — I meet my parents and brothers for dinner. My brother is going back to college for the spring semester and is vegetarian, so we meet at a vegan Chinese restaurant. I love all the dishes, especially the fake ham. My parents pay.
9:30 p.m. — I get home after talking to BF on the drive home. At home, I browse the internet, reading about various gums. I'm looking for a brand I heard about that has a calcium supplement. It has been phased out but is still being sold on Amazon, so I purchase a few packs. Head to bed early, exhausted. $20
Daily Total: $20
5 a.m. — Wake up early again and can't fall back asleep this time. I am getting really tired of this. I get into work at 9 and buy a banana and coffee from the café. I snack throughout the morning on that and mini-donuts while I finish the paper.
11:45 a.m. — The same lunch as yesterday with potato chips. My company offers a snack on Friday afternoons, and today's is hot chocolate with a few toppings, including sprinkles and regular and vegan marshmallows. I grab a cup and almost die of a sugar rush.
4 p.m. — It's a friend's birthday and we meet for happy hour drinks at a bar and restaurant. I order a tofu rice bowl that ends up being incredibly spicy, and my BF texts to say he'll meet us later. We hang out for a bit and then go to another bar across the street. For some reason, I am craving mashed potatoes but they only have cauliflower. I purchase a side of that for a few bucks and order a blended piña colada with blue curaçao. My BF meets us at the second restaurant and orders beer and fries. I pay and we leave at around 10:30 because I need sleep. $30
Daily Total: $30
10 a.m. — BF and I are doing a wine tasting trip today. We wake up and grab donuts first; the donut holes I ordered are slightly dry, but the sprinkled one is better. We get a large coffee to share that's too hot to drink. $5
11:45 a.m. — We find a place to eat lunch on Yelp and decide to try it out. We split a sandwich and BF pays.
3 p.m. — We finally make it to the first winery; the wine is amazing and BF buys a bottle of Sangiovese. I don't know that much about wine but I usually prefer whites. We go across the street next, which ends up being crazy since everyone is already drunk. They show us a long list of all the tasters they give out for free and we get excited. I get a bit buzzed and purchase honey chipotle almonds that spill all over the counter when I try to open the bag. Yep, I am drunk. BF drives us to the hot springs. $6
4:30 p.m. — We go to watch the sun set at the hot springs. They're nice but the view isn't the best since it is winter and the grape fields are barren. I also end up destroying a silver necklace wearing it in the water! BF pays and also gets us a bottle of champagne to share.
6:30 p.m. — I am craving Thai, so we find a place neither of us has tried on Yelp. I order pad Thai and BF orders mango curry. I also get us spring rolls. We had a fun day, but it's time to drive back. $40
8:30 p.m. — BF is still driving and he needs a Red Bull. I fill up the gas tank while he also buys Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. We eat a lot and contemplate getting boba, but decide we aren't craving it enough. Finally back at home, we hang out for a bit until we go to bed around 11. $35
Daily Total: $86
10 a.m. — After eating leftover Thai food, we go to Target to get coffee at the Starbucks inside. We want to hike today and coffee is always awesome before a hike. The park is only 20 minutes away from my house and the hike is relatively short — five miles, mostly flat.
3 p.m. — We go to the jewelry store so I can drop off my necklace to be fixed and pick up popcorn chicken and boba across the street.
5 p.m. — Head to my friend's house because she wants to show us a few new anime shows. We linger and watch anime until 8 or so. BF still needs to drive back home and he lives an hour away. After he leaves, I watch Netflix back at home and then pass out around 11.
Daily Total: $0
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