A Week In NYC On A $73,000 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 beauty editor in Manhattan with an 11 p.m. cab rule.
Industry: Media
Location: Upper East Side, Manhattan
Number of Roommates: 0
Salary: $73,000
Paycheck Amount (2x a month): $1,922
Age: 25

Monthly Expenses
Utilities: $163.70
Netflix: $9.99
Hulu: $7.99
Spotify: $9.99
Monthly Metrocard (taken out of paycheck before taxes): $116.50

Day 1

10:01 a.m. — Was dying for some coffee this morning, but was already running late to work. So, I made a cup at the office instead of spending my typical $5 on a latte.

12:30 p.m. — Brought my usual lunch to work today. I typically do a huge salad with a bunch of veggies, a little burrata, some quinoa, and leftover salmon from dinner the night before flaked over it. I use the olive oil and seasonings that are provided at work for my dressing and wash it down with a big glass of water.

7:54 p.m. — Even though I never do this, I throw the “showtime” guys on the subway a buck. Hey — the kid gave me a fist bump. $1

8:16 p.m. — Headed to a friend’s dinner party, so I grab a bottle of wine. $14.14

12:15 a.m. — Took a cab home, because my friend lives all the way on 10th Avenue and I live on the east side. $18.80

Total: $33.94

Day 2

8:14 a.m. — Woke up with a slight hangover and I don’t feel like cooking, so I order a little breakfast and coffee from the diner around the corner. $13.12

12:25 p.m. — Met a friend for brunch. He was great. The food was shit. $23.12

12:37 p.m. — Picked up an almond milk latte to wash down the shitty brunch. $5.50

1:30 p.m. — Met a friend who works in PR for a manicure. Since we talked shop for a few minutes, she was able to expense the whole thing.

7:15 p.m. — Realized I had no toilet paper on the way home, so I had to run into Duane Reade to pick up some more. Wound up grabbing some batteries and a can of chili for this dip I plan to make for a get-­together at my cousin’s apartment tomorrow. Also buckled and picked up a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (on special for $1.99) for dinner. $14.99

Total: $56.73

Day 3

5:25 p.m. — Swung by the market to pick up the rest of my chili dip ingredients. It’s the easiest thing ever — one can Hormel chili, one package of taco cheese, and an 8-oz. brick of cream cheese. Toss it all together, microwave for 5 minutes, and serve with tortilla chips. Plus, it’s gluten ­free! $12.58

6:05 p.m. — My cousin is expecting a baby. Since my family and I couldn’t make her baby shower, I was charged with bringing her present — a massive stroller. So, even though she only lives five blocks from me, I wind up having to take a cab. $6.50

8:00 p.m. — Her husband works for a catering company, so my dinner tonight consists of free ribs. Everything is better when it's free.

Total: $19.08

Day 4

9:55 a.m. — I’ve been really, really good about not going out and getting my morning cappuccino. Instead, I make myself some bad coffee at the office. I still feel pretty good about it.

1:30 p.m. — Leftover soup for lunch. Wish it were a burrito.

7:45 p.m. — Grab an insanely expensive (yet delicious) salad and iced tea for dinner. $12.90

8:30 p.m. — My manicure from the weekend chipped, so I go back in for a re­do. I don’t have to pay for the service, but I leave my manicurist a tip. $5

Total: $17.90


Day 5

9:35 a.m. — Another coffee at work.

2:40 p.m. — After forgetting to eat all day, my coworker convinces me to get Chipotle for lunch and I indulge in my first burrito bowl in months. $11.50

7:00 p.m. — My bi­weekly therapy appointment. I’ve been going for about of year to help me cope with some anxiety issues. Honestly, I think that everyone should see a therapist at some point in their lives. $80

8:05 p.m. — After therapy, I have a first date with a really nice guy I met on Bumble. We laugh a ton, share some fish tacos and wine, and he ends up refusing to let me pay for anything.

10:45 p.m. — Since I live alone and have to walk home, I have a rule against getting on the subway starting around 11. Call me crazy, but I feel a little safer this way. So, after my date, I hail a cab home. $16.30

Total: $107.80

Day 6

9:45 a.m. — Coffee at work again!

1:30 p.m. — My coworker and I decide to splurge on ridiculously expensive salads again for lunch. I really have to start packing my lunch again. $15.31

7:05 p.m. — I got a free two weeks of meals from Blue Apron through a friend referral, so I make this really good salmon for dinner. I eat it in my underwear watching SVU. Win.

Total: $15.31

Day 7

9:25 a.m. — I treat myself to a coffee on my way into work. Honestly, the brew at work tastes better, which is crazy. $3.24

1:20 p.m. — Use a coupon code I got for a free burrito at Chipotle. YAS.

7:05 p.m. — I meet my cousin for dinner around the corner from our apartments. We catch up over seafood and she tells me about the new guy she’s getting serious with. I entertain her with stories about the three different dates I have scheduled this weekend with three different guys. Hey, gotta keep them options open! $60.63

8:45 p.m. — We decide to swing by her sister’s place (the pregnant one), since she also lives so close. I feel super lucky to have two family members who live within 10 blocks of me. She picks up the bottle of wine, so I pay for the cab. $10.30

Total: $74.17
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.

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