A Week In New York On A $99,000 Salary

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. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.)

Today, a woman working in design, planning a trip to Paris.

Industry:
Design
Age: 28
Location: Brooklyn, NY (work in Manhattan)
Salary: $89,000 + bonus and ~$10,000 commissioned side work
Paycheck Amount (bi-weekly): $2,180.21 (after 401k and health insurance deducted)
# of roommates: 1

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,350
Loan Payments: $1,250 (I recently refinanced my student loans, and I’m taking a very aggressive stance in paying them off)
Utilities: ~$60
Transportation: $116.50 (30-day MTA pass, but it actually costs less since it’s deducted from my paycheck pre-taxes)
Savings: $500 to $600, excluding 401k
Gym: $26.13 (Though I get a rebate from my health insurance every six months that results in this being FREE)
Entertainment Subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Moviepass): $70.97
1 of 8
Day One

8 a.m. — Picked up a green juice from the cart across the street from my office on my way into work. Feeling a little rough after going out last night and can’t stomach a real breakfast. I drink that and some cold brew my office keeps stocked. $5 (with tip)

1 p.m. — Leftover catering from a client meeting means free lunch (the lunch I packed from home can wait until tomorrow). I have some salad and half a sandwich.

3:30 p.m. — I buy two tickets for a performance at the Joyce later this month. My friend and I take turns inviting each other to events a few times a year, and it’s my turn to pony up. $132

8:00 p.m. — I pick up a bottle of wine to bring to my friend's place. We made plans to catch up over dinner (she cooks). $12.29

Daily Total: $149.29
Advertisement
2 of 8
Day Two

8 a.m. — I stopped making coffee at home since my office has cold brew on tap (!) and it’s so good. I have some with a green smoothie I made and froze earlier this week at home. An hour later, we get fresh bagels delivered to the office (a Friday treat I rarely pass up) and I devour a half.

12:30 p.m. — For lunch I eat a veggie burger patty I brought from home yesterday. I also have a green apple with some almond butter that my office provides.

2 p.m. — Walk over to the Seaport with some coworkers for a drink (it’s been a long week). I've already had lunch, so I come out pretty unscathed. $6

6 p.m. — I go uptown to run some errands (to avoid coming into the city tomorrow). Before I head back home, I pop into Eataly and get some fig focaccia and prosciutto to eat before going out. $11.19

8:30 p.m. — I meet up with a few friends for drinks. My friend treats in exchange for a favor I helped her out with last week.

Daily Total: $17.19
3 of 8
Day Three

9:30 a.m. — Coffee at home, followed by another green smoothie I made earlier in the week from the freezer.

11 a.m. — I head to the hardware shop a few blocks away, to get supplies to hang up shelves and artwork (I recently moved), including two different drill bits and screws. $25.01

2:30 p.m. — After finishing work at home, I eat a frozen veggie burger and half an avocado. I’m officially out of food at this point, so I walk over to Key Food to stock up on weekly groceries. I get spring mix and kale, avocado, mango, blueberries, quinoa, muesli, eggs, chicken, and toilet paper. — $42.86

7 p.m. — I fry two eggs and eat them over greens and rice before getting ready to go out for the night. I use better judgement and come home at a decent hour, splitting a cab with a friend who lives nearby since it’s pouring outside. $8

Daily Total: $75.87
4 of 8
Day Four

9 a.m. — Coffee at home, followed by muesli with blueberries and almond milk while tidying up and watching TV.

11 a.m. — I travel internationally often for work, and have learned to take advantage of it by tagging on long weekends to otherwise short work trips. I don’t do this for every trip, but it’s been a few months since the last time. I book an Airbnb for three nights in Paris. — $297

3 p.m. — I head over to a friend’s place to watch the game (my weekends are not usually filled with watching sports). I pick up some chips from the bodega on the way. $3

6 p.m. — After hanging out after the game, we decide to go see a movie. The cost of the ticket is covered with my MoviePass card ($45/month). The subscription price recently went up, but it’s still worth it since I go to the movies so often.

8 p.m. — I have two fried eggs and make a salad at home before crashing while watching TV.

Daily Total: $300
5 of 8
Day Five

8:30 a.m. — Cold brew at work, shortly followed by muesli with blueberries (brought from home) and almond milk.

1 p.m. — Feeling sluggish, so I pick up a salad from an organic juice shop around the corner. It’s pricey for a packaged salad, but I know it’s healthy, and I can spread it out over two meals. $13

4 p.m. — Afternoon slump: I have a small cold brew and dried mangoes from the office.

8 p.m. — A coworker brings in greens and vegetables from his garden into the office Monday mornings. I take home a giant zucchini that I cook for dinner with some tomato sauce and top with a poached egg.

9:30 p.m. — I stock up on a few things from Sephora (Clarisonic brushes, toner, sunscreen) and buy a hair mask I’ve heard good reviews about. I have a "beauty" budget of $100/month, but all of these are more like quarterly purchases — $124.13

Daily Total: $137.13
6 of 8
Day Six

8:30 a.m. — Coffee and breakfast at work. Muesli I brought in from home, with almond milk and a peach from the office.

12 p.m. — I have the second half of the salad I purchased yesterday.

3 p.m. — So hungry. The salad was definitely not enough. Walk a few blocks to this Japanese market and pick up sushi, hijiki salad, and a seltzer. $12.50

8 p.m. — I pick up some pasta from the bodega on my corner before heading home. I cook that with some tomato sauce and chicken. $2

Daily Total: $14.50
7 of 8
Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — Coffee and breakfast at work. I brought in some blueberries to add into oatmeal, and nuts from the office pantry.

1:30 p.m. — I have leftover chicken from last night for lunch, with the hijiki salad I bought yesterday.

2:30 p.m. — More coffee at work. I don’t really need it, but I love the cold brew so much.

7:30 p.m — Make a salad at home with the lettuce, chicken, quinoa, and zucchini I have in stock.

8:30 p.m. — Do two loads of laundry at home (there are machines in the basement of my building) last-minute before I leave town tomorrow morning ($5). While waiting, I also buy a few books for my Kindle to read on the plane/beach this weekend and next. ($37.96). $42.96

Daily Total: $42.96
8 of 8
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual diarists' experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29’s point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

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.

Have a money diary you'd like to share? Send it to us at https://you.refinery29.com/submit-money-diary.
Advertisement