8 Quotes That Show What Millennial Women Really Think About Money

Photographed by Raven Ishak.
Last winter, we launched Money Diaries, where twice a week, a millennial woman opens up about her spending and saving habits and tells all. While the women stay anonymous, we know everything about them, from how much they make to what they eat for breakfast to whom they go home with, and a million little details in between. It’s amazing how money touches every facet of our lives, and yet it’s something many of us are reluctant to talk about. The goal with Money Diaries is to break down this last taboo, and if the comments (good and bad) are any indication, it’s working.

Ahead, eight of our favorite lessons we learned about money from the past six months of Money Diaries. Surely there is more wisdom to be gleaned from the diaries still to come.
Lesson 1: Budget For The Little Luxuries.

From: A Week In NYC On A $55,000 Salary

The social media strategist celebrating her birthday and budgeting for Starbucks.

Day 4:

I stop by Starbucks to pick up my latte that I have budgeted in three times a week. $4.84

Lesson 2: Tax Deductions Are Your Friend

From: A Week As A Cam Girl On A $70,000 Salary

A cam girl in San Francisco stocking up on work supplies (lingerie, vibrators, and makeup).

Day 2:

This week is "upkeep week," so it's going to be a little more expensive than usual. I head to Victoria's Secret and get 15 pairs of panties, four bras, and a pair of sweats (the sweats are just for me). I keep tabs of these work expenses, so I can deduct them at the end of the year. $250
Lesson 3: Cooking At Home Is The Key To Saving Big

From: A Week In NYC On A $42,000 Salary

An entry-level fashion photographer prepping for a gallery show.

Day 7:

At Key Foods, I grab blueberries (on sale 2/$5!), two avocados, a cucumber, onion, half a dozen eggs, greek yogurt, chicken breasts, ground beef, salsa, and chips. $50

Lesson 4: Avoid Unnecessary Purchases

From: A Week In NYC On A $91k Salary

A woman in Brooklyn buying birthday cards and sushi.

Day 4:

I go work out, but forget my water bottle, so I had to buy water. Such a waste of money. $2

Lesson 5: Sometimes It’s Okay To Splurge

From: A Week In NYC In On A $100,000 Salary

An architect in NYC, spending her tax return.

Day 2:

I got my tax return earlier this week, so I've decided to go ahead and spend it on a few big purchases. I book a plane ticket for a summer trip with a friend. $249

Lesson 6: Don’t Let Bad Days At Work Lead You To Impulse-Spend

From: A Week In NYC On A $65k Salary

A designer who eats her feelings — and goes on back-to-back dates.

Day 5:

I've been pretty unhappy and inundated at my job lately, so I impulse-buy a beauty treatment on Gilt City. Oops. $59

Lesson 7: Set Up Automatic Transfers To Save More Money

From: A Week In NYC On A $45,000 Salary

A librarian buying concert tickets and taking a physics course on the side.

Day 1:

I have $25 automatically transferred to my emergency/long-term savings account, bringing it up to $3,260. My goal is to get it to at least $5,000, and most months I contribute something extra, but this is the minimum.

Lesson 8: Actively Set Aside Savings For “Future Fun” Plans, Like Weddings

From: A Week In San Francisco On A $115,000 Salary

A San Franciscan in biotech saving $1,500 a month for a down payment.

Day 6:

Book a rental car for a wedding we are going to in Hawaii in September, but it’s already been planned for in the “Future Fun” budget. At the beginning of the year, I tallied up the costs of all the trips, travel, weddings, major gifts, and expenses I knew I had to pay for, and then divided that by 12 to understand what I should be “saving” each month.

More from Work & Money

Any recent grads freaking out about their job prospects need not fear: Apparently the demand for exorcists has never been higher. The Telegraph reports ...
9:45 a.m. — Starbucks reward, bitches! OBV I get the most expensive thing that I can concoct. A Venti 5 shot soy latte. Yum
Four years ago, my life was exactly where I wanted it: I was working as a senior editor at a major glossy magazine. My first young adult novel had just ...
Refinery29 joined the Clinton Foundation for a tour of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to get a firsthand look at the experiences of the women and girls who live ...
After months of waiting and countless discussions about what the future holds for our favorite television characters, Shondaland shows are finally back. ...
Just after my son’s first birthday, I was on the phone with my mom, grappling over a gut-wrenching decision. I was scheduled to go on a business trip but...
I get so nervous before job interviews — sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in my stomach. It’s really not fun. But once I’m sitting down with the ...
You know what's easy? Spending money. It's the best way to get what you want right now. Except...this is not sustainable. Those little luxuries add up ...
Fifty percent off your purchase here. 1,000 free miles there. When it comes to credit cards, the benefits are easy to see — while the downsides are often ...
As the host of RIOT's Woke Bae, we already know comedian Phoebe Robinson is funny AF while getting serious about major issues like feminism and ...
If the new phrase for the office BFF is the "work wife," then is a good boss or mentor your "work mom" or "work dad"? Part authority figure, part dispenser...
12:45 p.m. — I have a dryer, rare in Shanghai, so my friend runs home to get his laundry and then does a load at my place
Ah, the job interview. Getting one always feels like a win — your résumé passed the test, and you've moved on to the next round. Writing the cover letter...
Working in the service industry is an easy way to get an (often unwanted!) glimpse into other people's personal lives. Whether you waited tables at a ...