A Week In NYC On A $418,000 Joint 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 in finance raising her family in Queens.
Industry: Financial Services
Age: 33
Location: Lives in Douglaston, Queens. Works in Midtown Manhattan.
Salary and bonus: $268,000 (Salary $168,000) + $469,000 (Salary $250,000) from my husband. We have joint finances, so everything listed below is both of our costs.
Paycheck (2x a month): $5,174 after taxes and before 401k contribution and transit
Husband's paycheck (1x a month): $13,147 after taxes and before 401k contribution and transit
Apartment rental income: $62,400
Household: Husband (33), daughter (1)
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Monthly Expenses
Mortgage (House): $7,194
Mortgage/Maintenance (Apartment): $4,456
Utilities: $450 (gas, electric, water; we've since installed solar panels)
Monthly LIRR: $218
Husband's Transportation: $229
Metrocard: $40
Car lease: $436
Gas: $50
Cell phones: $128
Cable TV + internet: $132
Gardener: $80
Security system: $40
Cleaning lady: $120
Disability and life insurance: $629
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Day 1

8 a.m. — Bread with clotted cream (spoils à la my daughter's Alice in Wonderland-themed first birthday party last weekend) and jam. Thick-cut, soft, and fluffy bread from yesterday's trip to Japanese food mecca Mitsuwa. Two homemade cappuccinos (Nespresso).

12:30 p.m. — Off to run errands after dropping off our daughter at my parents' house (per their suggestion). Grab a quick meal first at a local deli near my parents. I order a hot chicken wrap with eggplant and avocado and a bottled aloe drink. My husband and I linger at the "healthy snacks" while we wait for our sandwiches, but my childhood temptation for onion-and-garlic potato chip wins and we get the big bag marked on sale for $2. I eat half of my wrap. $20.14

1:30 p.m. — We drive to Home Depot after lunch in need of light bulbs as three of our master bathroom's bulbs over our medicine cabinets are out. We decide to go with LED, since they are more energy- and cost-efficient in the long run. We also pick up grass seed and a handheld seed distributor, because our house has the look of the condemned house on the block. $173.02

2:15 p.m. — We drive over to Babies"R"Us and pick up toddler snacks for our daughter, who is an underweight picky eater. $10.97

4:30 p.m. — After picking up our daughter and a trip to the park, we stop for gas on our way home. $26.02

5 p.m. — Pick up cooked Shanghai bok choy and char siu (barbecued pork) items for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. $19.04

7 p.m. — Cook up packaged ramen noodles (refrigerated Ippudo noodle bundles bought from Mitsuwa yesterday with shio soup packets) and eat with the bok choy and char siu bought earlier.

9 p.m. — Turn on master bath light to be seared with blinding light. I squint at the LED light bulbs that my husband installed and realize that these will likely be obsolete with our planned bathroom renovation next year. #FAIL

Daily Total: $268.27
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Day 2

6:30 a.m. — Make myself a shot of espresso in my sleepy state while I feed the cat and make a morning bottle for my daughter.

7:30 a.m. — Amazon shopping on my iPhone while on the train to work. Purchase Vejibag vegetable preservation bag (our rare attempts to cook always end up with vegetables spoiling in the fridge), a baby food smock, and two sippy cups (trying to transition daughter from bottles). $39.93

8:30 a.m. — Eat Japanese bread again with peanut butter that I have a jar of at work. I am a self-admitted coffee snob, but there are two varieties of the free coffee packets that I can tolerate at work. Drink two cups.

11 a.m. — BFF texts me if I am busy tomorrow and casually lets it slip that she may be getting married tomorrow at City Hall, since she wants to get married in New York before moving to California with her fiancé of two years in a couple weeks. WTF! I ask my manager for the day off tomorrow.

12 p.m. — Eat remaining half of my wrap from yesterday and add a soup from office cafeteria. $2.89

12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime shopping includes a Sedu large-barrel curling iron. (Includes a heat-resistant glove!) Not getting burned again after last weekend's accidental handshake with the iron in my rush to get ready for my daughter's birthday party photographer, who arrived an hour earlier than I expected. Find a 30% coupon code, score! $91.47 Facebook scrolling while eating lands me at a friend's post on amazing sheets for $30 ($32.65 with shipping). We are somehow always short on clean sheets and these are way cheaper than our other sheets. Total: $124.12

4 p.m. — Scroll Etsy for "just married" images and select a pretty watercolor design. My BFF and I have taken several painting classes together. I print it out at work in color before leaving the office. $5.45

6 p.m. — Thinking I was smart to just grab my weekend's wallet on a chain this morning in a rush and dump into my work bag, I realize that I am missing my Metrocard. $28.25

7 p.m. — I head to my parents' house after work, where I meet my husband. My parents look after our daughter during the week while we are at work. We eat dinner at their house and drive our daughter home. Delicious homemade cooking à la mom!

8:30 p.m. — I select a frame for my BFF's "Just Married" prop and select a soft vintage-look gold frame from CVS near my house. $4.34

9 p.m. — Crap, forgot to cancel my Soma water carafe filter. In my gusto to take advantage of a free Soma (so eco and still design-friendly!) carafe worth $50, I had signed up for auto refills. But we installed a reverse-osmosis faucet in our recent kitchen renovation, which rendered it useless. I had already given away my extra carafe to my younger brother, who is in business school, and have been giving him my filters. $12.99

Daily Total: $217.97
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Day 3

8:30 a.m. — Feeling leisurely over toast and homemade coffee on a sudden non-work weekday morning. Linger too long and rush to put together the "Just Married" prop and myself together.

11 a.m. — Do my own hair and makeup. BFF debated, but declined my suggestion for joint hair appointments in my effort to make her feel special.

1 p.m. — We meet at Jack's Wife Freda for brunch and have to wait 20 minutes. Who are all these people on a weekday?? I order poached eggs with grilled tomato and Haloumi and a cappuccino (she says too early for celebratory libations), and treat my BFF. $48.37

2:30 p.m. — BFF needs to stop at Duane Reade for pantyhose and Band-Aids for her shoes. I stand guard as she retreats to a corner of the store to put the hose on.

2:50 p.m. — BFF also needs to make a quick eyeliner-and-lipstick run. We go to Sephora and I also pick up a Marc Jacobs Blacquer eyeliner, which was out of stock the last time I went. $27.22

3:15 p.m. — Off to City Hall! I act as "photographer" with my Olympus micro 4/3 camera and my def non-professional skills. But memories of my glowing BFF sharing her first kiss with her husband are priceless.

5:15 p.m. — Celebratory drinks at Church Publick. BFF's husband's friend pays for drinks and snacks for the four of us.

6:45 p.m. — Celebratory dinner at Babbo, where we are joined by my husband and the friend's wife. We all share various pastas, entrées, bottles of wine, and dessert. I get my husband to tell our waiter to write "Congratulations" on the desserts. BFF's husband insists on paying.

10:30 p.m. — Taxi home to my parents and pick up our daughter, who is asleep. Then, drive home $62.31

Daily Total: $137.90
4 of 8
Day 4

6:45 a.m. — You know the routine: Espresso for me, cat food for the cat, and bottle for the baby.

8:45 a.m. — Another slice of Japanese bread toasted at my office pantry with peanut butter.

12 p.m. — Lunch, feeling Asian and pick up bulgogi (Korean beef barbecue) at my cafeteria's grill station. $9.97

5 p.m. — Since having my daughter, I don't go out much after work, but I make an effort to keep in touch with old coworkers at a bar after work, and want to snack on some bread before heading out for drinks given my now-low tolerance.

6:30 p.m. — Meet my two friends at Lavo and have two glasses of wine and snack on zucchini fries that they ordered before I arrived. $33.30

9:30 p.m. — Taxi home. $64.02

Daily Total: $107.29
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5 of 8
Day 5

6:45 a.m. — Espresso, cat food, bottle.

8:45 a.m. — Prepare to eat more Japanese bread, but horrified to see a green tinge of mold greeting me. I throw it into the trash. Get breakfast from office cafeteria: Avocado with baked egg, sausage with tomato sauce, and an arepa. $5.55

12:30 p.m. — Lunch from Café Zaiya: Chicken katsu with curry. $12.52

8 p.m. — I am beat, but I go to a coworker's leaving drinks, which started at 5 p.m. Few people remain, but I stay to chat with some old colleagues and a work acquaintance I've been wanting to make. Have a drink and two chicken wings as "dinner." $0 (someone took care of the bill!!)

9 p.m. — Try to leave and unsuccessfully declining to go to karaoke with the remaining small crew. The departing coworker is ruthless with making everyone take group shots of soju. I actually really like to sing and it reminds me of my years in a nonprofit choir that I quit while pregnant.

12:15 a.m. — Taxi home $48.34, but reimbursed.

1 a.m. — Drink lots of water before passing out.

Daily Total: $18.07
6 of 8
Day 6

7 a.m. — Wake up with a headache, but glad I don't have to head into the office as I work from home on Fridays. I change and feed my daughter. It feels really good to see her after not seeing her as much this week after work.

8:45 a.m. — Mom brings bagels. I eat half a bagel before a 9 a.m. conference call.

12:30 p.m. — Eat mom's dinner box from last night for lunch.

8 p.m. — Husband brings home Cuban food (Tina Cuban) from near his office. $25.02

Daily Total: $25.02
7 of 8
Day 7

8 a.m. — Ran out of milk for the baby. Head to CVS across the street. $4.99

9:30 a.m. — Husband goes to pick up breakfast for us and pastries in expectation of our friends and their toddler daughter coming over. $33

1 p.m. — Friends come over at around 11:30 a.m. Husband and friend's husband goes out to nearby deli to pick up lunch (sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw). We pay. $45.78.

5:45 p.m. — We pick up my parents and head to Chinatown for dinner with aunts, uncles, and cousins as an aunt is visiting NYC from Virginia. Parking is $7.26.

6 p.m. — Chinese banquet-style dinner with lobster, steak, seafood, and lots of yummy food. Bill comes to $20 a person. As per cultural tradition, my parents and aunts (the "adults") pay.

8 p.m. — Husband has a craving for bubble tea. $3

Daily Total: $94.03
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