A Week In NYC On A $130,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennial women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.)
Today, a private banker in NYC earning $130,000 and going to dim sum.
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General Info
Age: 29
Job: Private banker
Salary: $130,000
Paycheck (every two weeks): ~$2800
Living situation: Upper East Side, no elevator, no doorman
Status: Single

Monthly Expenses:
Rent: $2,050
Gas and electricity: $55
Mobile: $95
Internet and cable: $100
Netflix: $9.99
HBO Now: $14.99
Gym membership: $85

Day 1


11:30 a.m. — I wake up super-late! Meet up with a friend downtown, but since I'm running super-late I have to hail a cab. After Uber/Lyft both surged, and Gett fails me yet again, I'm actually lucky enough to get a yellow cab. $19

2 p.m. — Get brunch at Catch in Meatpacking. I adore the lobster mac 'n' cheese there, but it’s only on their dinner menu, boo! My friend is doing a dry month, so I decide to show solidarity by sticking to water too. We end up saving both money and headaches. $28.54

4 p.m. — Walk around West Village because it's sunny, but it's so cold, so we decide to stop in a dessert shop. It's a cute little Asian place with some traditional sweet soups and various toppings. $10

10 p.m. — Meet up with two single girlfriends at Employees Only. The bar is popping, and the drinks are fantastic. We have a little incident with the bartender where we think he's being rude to us, but apparently it’s only because we were rude to him first? Anyway, we make up and become besties — keep the cocktails flowing, and a couple of free shots from the (now generous and smiley) bartender. $80 (drinks + cab)
Total: $137.54

Day 2

10:30 a.m. — So hungover from last night… I do not want to leave my couch, so I order Seamless. Get greedy and order a burger AND a grilled ham-and-cheese from the local diner, but only eat the burger so I feel a little less guilty. $16.29

5 p.m. — Go to the gym and have a relaxing steam session after a 40-minute treadmill run. Feeling more human at this point. It’s so cold outside, so I get this army stew from the Korean place next door. I can eat it at home and watch TV. Comfort food at its best! $14.10

Total: $30.39

Day 3

9:30 a.m. — Yogurt and boiled egg from home. I buy cases of 12 yogurts on FreshDirect.

12:30 p.m. — Pick up a salad from Toasties; a coworker recommended it. I usually like the salads from Essen because of their unlimited toppings, but the ingredients just don’t feel as fresh. I guess you get what you pay for. The portion size is very decent, too. $11.33

6:30 p.m. — I'm starving despite the huge salad, so I eat the grilled ham-and-cheese from yesterday.

9 p.m. — My willpower fails me, so I nibble on two Lindt chocolate truffles, the last remaining two in the box I got over Christmas. I’ll estimate the cost at $2.

Total: $11.33

Day 4

9:30 a.m. — Two pieces of toast with two sunny-side up eggs. I love when I have time to have a leisurely breakfast at home.

2:30 p.m. — Manage to grab a quick lunch at Fresh&Co; I get the quinoa bowl. $11.70

3:30 p.m. — Absolutely have to go to Starbucks and get a brewed coffee with vanilla to combat the afternoon slump that my willpower alone cannot hope to banish. I’m not sure if it is the caffeine or the walk in the cold that does the trick. $2.67

6 p.m. — Go to Duane Reade to pick up a prescription (extra-strength painkillers for my tooth, OUCH) and also stock up on some monthly essentials (tampons, toothbrush, etc). Somehow, the total adds up to $35.45.

Total: $49.82

Day 5

9:30 a.m. — Yogurt from home and a pineapple cake from the office pantry (coworker went to Taiwan for vacation and brought back snacks to share).

12:30 p.m. — Turkey club sandwich from Au Bon Pain. I use a coupon that offers $2 off purchases of $7 or more. $5.65

3 p.m. — Meeting a prospective client at FIKA. Buy both of us coffee, which runs me a cool $12, but since work is picking up the tab, it is $0 out of my pocket!

6:30 p.m. — I get home and wait to have dinner with my friend who is driving into the city. Her ETA is 8:30, and I'm too hungry to wait. Didn’t have anything at home, so ate an apple.

8:30 p.m. — Yay, ramen! Starving by this point, so I also order pork buns as appetizers and a beer. $25

Total: $30.65

Day 6

9:30 a.m. — Bring yogurt from home as usual, but someone in the office brought in doughnuts, and I can't resist it when it’s right in front of me.

1 p.m. — Meeting at Starbucks, so grab lunch here as well. I use rewards to get a sandwich, and buy coffee and a scone. $5.67

7 p.m. — Dinner with a friend in Chelsea. She just moved there, so we walk around and explore the neighborhood a little bit. Two people on a Friday night without a reservation is pretty difficult around here, so we finally settle on an Italian place that is half-empty, but the food is actually rather decent so we are pleasantly surprised. Share some bruschetta and a seafood linguini, which is very generously portioned. $26.59

10 p.m. — Take the subway home, and since I don’t have a monthly, I am using pay-as-you-go. $2.75

Total: $35.01


Day 7

12 p.m. — Dim sum Saturday! Three of us go to Red Egg and since we are starving, we order more than we should but it is so good! $28.50

2 p.m. — Walk from Chinatown to Union Square, and hit a couple shops along the way, as I need some candles. Also buy a dress on impulse because it was on sale, but I might return it because it doesn’t fit very nicely. $78.34

4 p.m. — Trader Joe’s grocery run! I usually buy enough to last about two weeks, since I eat out quite a bit. I get enough ingredients to make a salad that will last me three meals (organic kale, apples, cucumber, beets, avocado), some sweet potatoes which I like to roast in the oven, bread, chicken, etc. $48.28

8 p.m. — Dinner with a friend at a Korean place in Midtown East. Love Korean fried chicken wings! We also order two lychee martinis each. $55.90

10 p.m. — I meet up with another group of friends in LES at a pretty cool bar inside a modern art gallery. Like everywhere on a Saturday in the LES it is crowded and stuffy, but we have a great time. Everyone takes turns getting drinks; I buy a round of shots. $45

Transportation: Took subways to Chinatown, back home from Trader Joe’s, and miraculously, took the subway home after the night out, too. $8.25

Total: $264.27

The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
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