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A Week In Cologne, Germany, On A $75,000 Freelance Salary

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    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.)

    This week, a freelancer in Cologne, Germany, disputing traffic tickets.


    Occupation: Freelance project manager
    Industry: Media
    Age: 31
    Location: Cologne, Germany
    Salary: $75,000 agreed so far this year; it was $62,000 last year. My boyfriend makes $62,000 a year.
    Paycheck Amount: Invoices paid around the 28th and 15th, the bulk of it around the 28th. Amounts vary greatly every month. This month, I received (before tax) $2,765 and will receive $5,252 (before tax) at the end of the month.
    # of roommates: Two (my boyfriend and our dog)

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $785 for my half
    Utilities: $60 per month for my half
    Phone Bill: $400 (I freelance, so I'm on the phone all the time. I can bill back related calls to clients). I have a U.S. and a German phone, as strangely, T-Mobile U.S. is cheaper for making international calls from overseas than any deals I could find from German providers.
    Car Lease: $162 for my half
    Health Insurance: $390
    Housekeeper: $167. I pay the whole cost. My partner and I tried cleaning our place ourselves, but neither of us really want or like to clean, and it ended up dominating most weekends. My boyfriend didn't want to spend the money for a cleaner, but the state of our flat really started to stress me out. Plus, because I work from home and my partner has an office job, I kept feeling like it was my responsibility because I was at home all day. I told him I would pay for it just because it would make me less stressed.
    Netflix & Spotify: $13. I pay for Spotify; my boyfriend pays for Netflix.
    Credit card payments: $1,000 a month. I had some irresponsible years that I am now paying for. I have $25k in credit card debt.
    Other: We use the Splitwise app to keep track of who has paid for what and who owes whom what. My boyfriend currently owes me $600 for some bookings I made in advance of our three-week Christmas trip.


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