A Week In Jacksonville, FL, On A Joint $158,000 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.
Today: a vacation rental manager who makes $30,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on snacks (including Corn Nuts).
Occupation: Vacation Rental Manager
Industry: Real Estate
Age: 30
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Full-Time Job Salary: $30,000
Part-Time Job: ~$13/hour. (The hours I get vary. Usually, I make about $100-$250/month.)
My Husband's Salary: $128,000
Combined Paycheck (2x/month): $4,780 after 403(b) contribution
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,684. My husband and I bought a foreclosure in a beach neighborhood a few years ago and are fixing it up slowly but surely. My husband's sister (who has special needs) lives with us as well.
Student Loan Payment: $50 for mine. (My husband's student loans are deferred right now.)
Car Payment: $1,330, combined
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Medical, Dental, Vision & Life Insurance: $385
My Husband's 403(b): $366.94, which his company matches
Aflac: $122. (We carry three policies.)
Apple Lease: $57. (Because my husband always has to have the newest technology.)
Cell Phone: $168. (We pay for ours and his sister's.)
Comcast TV & Internet: $208-$230
Office Programs (For My Work): $36
Utilities: $434. (I work from home and my sister-in-law is often home, so electricity is usually high. She also does a lot of showering and hand-washing, which makes our water bill a little high.)
SoFi Remodel Loan: $887
Car Insurance: $250.74
Doggie Daycare: $190
Instant Ink Subscription: $10.95
Additional Expenses
Disney Vacation Club Membership: $206/year

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I wake up to my alarm and immediately run into my home office to call a plumber. My job is managing vacation rentals, and guests called me last night with a water heater problem. The plumber doesn't answer, so I leave a message and make a note to call again in an hour. I go downstairs and have a handful of strawberries. This definitely isn't a substantial breakfast, but I love fresh strawberries and they tide me over. I take a shower and get ready for the day.
8:15 a.m. — My husband calls me while I'm in the shower, and when I call him back, he tells me the battery in his truck is shot. Apparently, ​this is not uncommon, according to online forums, but Chevy won't warranty trucks past 36,000 miles. So my husband buys a new battery from an auto parts store; they give him a military discount, but it still hurts. He brings it home to install himself. $205
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9 a.m. — My husband leaves for work and announces he is treating himself to Chick-fil-A because of the morning he has had. $6.50
9:45 a.m. — I grab a Pop-Tart and leave the house. I show up for my annual doctor's appointment only to remember it was rescheduled but I forgot to change the date in my phone. Oops. I head out and stop at the gas station. I've worked from home for the last year and rarely leave the house, so I usually only have to fill up once a month or so. Gas prices have gone up and the total is $30.63. I go to Target to waste time until my next appointment and manage to make it out without spending anything. Success! $30.63
10:45 a.m. — I run by Chick-fil-A for a Diet Coke ($2.09) before my nail appointment – it's a tradition. Then I run next door to get my nails done. I get a gel manicure every two weeks ($30). $32.09
11:30 a.m. — On my way home, I'm tempted to grab a quick lunch from somewhere but I talk myself out of it. My husband and I were discussing our finances the other day and decided we spend way too much money eating out. I resolve to eat lunch at home today and eat popcorn and other snacks while I watch TV.
2 p.m. — Last year I took a second job doing bookkeeping for an executive coach. He also has an ownership interest in another company that I took over bookkeeping for. I get a text from the woman who runs that company asking me to double check some stuff, so I head over to the office and then run a couple short errands for them as well. I get home around 3:15 and am starving. I don't want to fix a proper meal because my husband and I have a date night tonight, so I eat a bag of chips and a couple Girl Scout cookies.
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4 p.m. — My husband comes home with a big surprise: Instead of going out to eat, he wants to go to Disney World. We don't take many spontaneous trips to Disney, but I'm always game! We get ready in about 20 minutes and jet out the door. We have annual passes, so no charge to get in. We stop for snacks, including Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, chips, Corn Nuts, and a Snickers bar on the way there ($11.47) and get stuck in awful traffic that turns our two-and-a-half-hour drive into a four-hour drive. While sitting in traffic, I place an order on Amazon for new vacuum filters and a small ice cube tray ($35.92). I've been on a DIY cleaning supplies kick lately and next on my list are dishwasher pods. This tray should make pods that just fit in our dispenser. Also included in the order are drain cleaners and other small household things. $47.39
8 p.m. — We pay for preferred parking once we're there ($45) so we don't have to walk forever when the park closes at midnight. Our first stop is dinner. We get seated in about 10 minutes and have delicious pizza and salad ($62.17). Then we go on some rides and my husband gets a Mickey Mouse ice cream ($5). We ride a few more rides and then are ready to go home. We stop at a candy store to get sugar to pep us up for the drive home ($10.38) and also stop for gas ($31.92). At 2:30 a.m., we finally get home​ and pass out. $154.47
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Daily Total: $476.08

Day Two

9:45 a.m. — Finally awake. I'm too old to be up past midnight. Drag myself out of bed at around 10 and do a little work that came in overnight. My husband goes to the gym and we agree to meet up afterward to go grocery shopping. I'm not very hungry but I eat strawberries for breakfast.
11 a.m. — My husband is what you would call a planner and he likes to grocery shop on payday weekend for everything we need for two weeks of meals. We buy lots of fresh produce, eggs for my husband's breakfasts, dairy, and snacks. I check for honey mangos because I love making refrigerator oatmeal with them. They're not in season yet but hope springs eternal. Looks like bagels for breakfast instead. Our coupons and sales save us $50. We go home and I resist the urge to suggest going out for lunch. I have mac and cheese instead. $175
1 p.m. — I do work for my second job. Fighting with Amazon to try to get our products listed is like beating my head against a brick wall. I take a break to go downstairs and prep freezer meals. I'm all about convenience. I realize I completely forgot lemon juice, so I run back to the grocery store for it ($1.39). While I'm out, my husband decides to fix a drawer in the kitchen that falls on our feet every time we pull it out. He and his sister run to the hardware store to get a new drawer slide ($7.47). Small projects like this (and larger ones) seem never-ending in this house. My husband brings home a flyer from the store for 24 months with no interest if we use our store credit card and tells me he has scheduled a measurement appointment for someone to come measure our back doors. They were rusting when we moved in and need to be replaced eventually. $8.86
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5 p.m. — I start prepping dinner and dessert (paella with chicken and sausage and a small cake). I pack up half of the dessert and take the dogs to go visit my grandparents. I try to see them every weekend. My husband comes over for a bit as well and we finally head home around 10 p.m.
Daily Total: $183.86

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — We wake up and get ready to take the dogs to the beach. I eat a clementine and drink a Diet Coke to tide me over. We live about five minutes away from the beach and I promised myself that I would try to spend more time outside this year. I've become a real homebody in the last year and I miss fresh air and sunshine. I drag my husband out and we walk the dogs for a bit. They love it.
8:30 a.m. — We get home and I have a bagel for my real breakfast, while my husband prepares his breakfast for the week (eggs and sausage crumbles). We leave around 9:30 to run to the office of my second job. We have been having serious internet problems at the office, and my IT husband has offered to help, so we go and troubleshoot.
10 a.m. — We get home and my husband meal preps his lunches for the week. I could never be as dedicated as he is. I need variety. I work on revamping our QuickBooks while he works on food. We track our finances using QB, and he doesn't feel like he's keeping track of our expenditures well enough. I offer to take it over from here on out because it is my job, after all.
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1 p.m. — I finally sit down for lunch (paella leftovers from the night before) and play on my iPad while my husband watches a movie.
1:30 p.m. — I head back to my grandparents with one of the dogs to meet my sister and work on a little project she needs to use my grandfather's power tools for. The whole thing is a little ridiculous, but my grandparents enjoy the time spent with them and my dog enjoys the sunshine and people. I make it home just in time to start dinner.
4:15 p.m. — I get home and start creamy garlic chicken and rice for dinner. It's a new recipe and I ask my husband and sister-in-law for feedback. They all love it. Looks like it will make it into our rotation. I didn't know very much about cooking when I first met my husband, but I taught myself a lot (thanks, Pinterest!), and after we bought our new house and my sister-in-law moved in with us a year into our marriage, it started getting really expensive to eat out. Plus with me working from home, there's really no excuse for me to not make dinner. I'm definitely no Julia Child, but I can whip up some decent meals.
7 p.m. — I return a few work emails and prepare stuff for tomorrow.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

7 a.m. — Wake up to my husband coming home from the gym. He goes six days a week — I just don't have that kind of dedication. I eat a bagel for breakfast and get ready for the day. Return a couple of work emails and laugh to myself. PSA: When you're booking a vacation rental, don't use your spam email address; you will lose important paperwork that way.
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8:45 a.m. — I start laundry, grab a clementine, and rush to the office to let in the window replacement company so they can finish replacing the windows in the old building we work in. I get a little work done while I wait. The guy is sketchy as hell but there are a couple of other people across the hall who keep wandering by the door to check on me and I spend most of the time on the phone with my sister.
11:30 a.m. — The window guy finishes in time for me to go downtown and have lunch with my husband. He is going to start working from home full-time soon, and we won't have an excuse to go to this part of town that has amazing restaurants. While we eat, he tells me he solved a dilemma with the new computer he's building, but it necessitated him buying a new fan cable ($7.86). I don't understand any of it, but he built my computer and two of his own, so I figure he must know what he's doing. Lunch at a Japanese restaurant comes out to $27.37. (It was okay, but I wouldn't go back.) $35.23
3:15 p.m. — My sister-in-law and I head to Home Depot. She needs to return a shower caddy and I pick up several flower pots, which I paint and sell. (I only make about $30-$50 per month from them.) Someone recently requested a couple in football team colors and I was really impressed with how they turned out, so I'm going to paint several more and see if I get any traction around town. $45.12
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4 p.m. — My husband gets home and we decide on chicken parmesan in the Dutch oven for dinner tonight. I doubt he remembers but this is one of the first meals I made for him after we met; it's also one of my favorite quick meals. (That's a great side benefit to planning two weeks worth of meals. If we don't feel like something one night, we just swap with another night's meal.) It's a beautiful night, so I open the windows to get fresh air and turn off the A/C. We don't get many spring days and I plan on enjoying the ones we have. We watch Expedition Unknown and then I crawl into bed around 9:30 because I am exhausted.
Daily Total: $80.35

Day Five

8 a.m. — I eat a bagel for breakfast and work on dinner (taco chili). I brown the turkey and mix everything together. Half goes in the Crock-Pot and half in a freezer bag to save for later.
10 a.m. — I have a hair appointment at 10 a.m. Every winter I try to do fun fashion colors in my hair. My stylist is amazing and always up for an experiment. I consider my second job a success if it pays for my hair appointment every month. Usually, it does. This time is just a color touch-up and a trim, plus I buy more shampoo from her. Every time I see her, my appointments are at least three hours, so we always order lunch from the Panera across the parking lot and alternate paying for each other. This time was her turn, so lunch is free! $200.80
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12:30 p.m. — I run to the grocery store on my way home to buy a box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda I need to make dishwasher tablets. I'm all about making my own stuff to be green and save money, but I refuse to use something subpar, no matter how much money it saves. I sure hope these work! $3.95
1:30 p.m. — I see an online ad for a kitchen appliance that defrosts meat in minutes. I get a coupon code from clicking on the ad and figure, why not? The reviews seem great. It's $27.33, but if it means I don't have to remember to thaw the chicken and turkey the night before, I'm all about it. $27.33
2 p.m. — I get a call from an acquaintance who is opening a boutique and wants to know if I can help with bookkeeping and inventory. Because of the time crunch (she opens in 10 days), I quote her a high fee, which she seems totally fine with. We agree to meet in two days to get things whipped into shape. My husband calls afterward to say he found new workout supplements that are cheaper than his old ones, so he orders them ($54.22). Things have been very stressful since his mom passed away and the gym provides a steady routine that helps his mental well-being immensely​. $54.22
5:30 p.m. — My sister-in-law gets home while I'm fixing dinner. She's angry because a customer at the grocery store where she works took advantage of her by making her cart his groceries across four lanes of traffic to his law office. She didn't know what to do, so she agreed because “the customer is always right.” I encourage her to talk to her manager to see what their policy is so she doesn't have to do things like this in the future. Sometimes she doesn't know how to handle situations, and we try to give her as much guidance as possible so she can eventually transition out of our house and onto her own. My husband gets home and we have taco chili.
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7:30 p.m. — My husband is playing a computer game with several of his friends tonight, so I take the quiet time to look up recipes and teach myself to use the Square inventory system. I check the mail and find a bill from my doctor for my allergy test. My husband has great insurance through his company (which handles health informational services), but unfortunately, ​they don't cover this. Bummer. I pay online and finally go to bed around 10:30. $115
Daily Total: $401.30

Day Six

8 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I jump out of bed and grab a bagel. I do vacation rental work before I have a work call at 9 a.m. for job number two, which wraps up pretty quickly. We're having a serious problem with the guy who is supposed to be developing our website and I agree to be the point person on the project because I think the other lady is being way too nice to him.
9:45 a.m. — I grab a clementine and taco chili leftovers and head into the office of my second job. My boss is in today, which is always fun (not being sarcastic). He shows me the new retro mini fridge that got delivered to the office and I set up our new printer. We recently revamped the office and he has been really accommodating in terms of what might make my life easier. He's a keeper!
12 p.m. — My boss finishes his coaching call and offers to grab me lunch at our local health food market. I brought leftovers, but a wrap sounds much more delicious, so I agree. He leaves and I head across the hall. My friend who rents the other part of the building runs a spa, and I get my underarms waxed by her. I have been seeing her for eight years now and I will NEVER go back to shaving. She charges me half price for waxing, and in exchange, ​I proofread and edit all her promotional materials. $15
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12:30 p.m. — Boss gets back with my turkey bacon wrap and we eat lunch together. He treats (as always) and we talk about business and where things are going with the other company he runs. He jumps back on a call and I work on cleaning and organizing a filing cabinet.
3 p.m. — Finally wrap up and head home, where I relax with a snack and my iPad until my husband gets home from work. Since my husband's job is changing and he and all his employees are about to start working from home, they won't be part of his team anymore. He is taking them to see a movie for one last team-building exercise on Friday but because of budget cuts, ​his company won't reimburse him and this one is on us. We pay in advance and get a slight discount since he has points from going to the movies so often. $52.77
6 p.m. — My husband and I meet my mom and her husband for a double date. Our dinner is included in the cost of a ticket (which we bought last month), but they charge me $2 for a Diet Coke (!!). We eat and watch Little Shop of Horrors and tip our waitress $25 afterward. We have an absolute blast and agree to go back to see a couple more shows with them. $27
Daily Total: $94.77

Day Seven

6:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I grab a bagel and a Diet Coke. I have to be at my new client's house by 8 a.m​. Luckily, she lives about 10 minutes away, so I do a few bits of vacation rental work and then get ready.
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8:45 a.m. — I pack my laptop, a snack, and a Diet Coke, and rush out of the house. I grab the dog to drop her off at daycare on the way. When we moved into our new house, she started chewing holes in the drywall while we were at work, so we started putting her in daycare three days a week and I negotiated with my bosses to work from home two days a week (instead of getting a yearly performance raise). Now that I work from home all the time, she technically doesn't need to go to daycare, but I still like her to get the socialization and exercise.
12 p.m. — I finish up with my new client. She's not even sure what she needs but I helped her through some stuff and we agree that I will start bookkeeping for her so she can focus on other parts of the business. My husband is at the dentist for an annual cleaning ($40) and he picks up a smoothie on the way home ($6.20). Doesn't even offer to get me one, the nerve! $46.20
1 p.m. — My husband tells me he's leaving to go to the spa. A friend ran a flash sale recently and I got him an hour-and-a-half massage, so he's going to use it now because his shoulder is tight. (He tips $25.) Right as he is leaving, my mother calls me to see if I want to go to lunch. I throw chicken in the Crock-Pot for dinner and head out. We meet at a sandwich shop where I order two small Parisian sliders and she has a Reuben​. (Her treat.) We talk about my sister and her future and then discuss my mom's upcoming vacations. As I'm leaving, my boss calls to discuss taking on a new property and whether it's worth it. We decide it's not. $25
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2:30 p.m. — I get home and do a bunch more work. I can't figure out why one of our condos is renting like mad and another in the same complex with the same view is getting nothing. I look at comps and decide to lower the nightly rate a little bit. Maybe we'll get more interest. Afterward, I clean up the kitchen a little bit and clean out my car for my oil change tomorrow.
4:30 p.m. — I take the chicken out and shred it. There are so many delicious lemony-pepper juices at the bottom of the Crock-Pot​ that I don't want to go to waste so I add flour in thicken it and then throw the chicken back in. I'll start the rice and broccoli shortly. I also check our bank account and notice HP withdrew our monthly instant ink subscription. I need to talk to my husband because now that I'm not printing much at home for work, I'm not sure this expense is worth it.
5:30 p.m. — I sauté broccoli and make rice, and we eat while watching House Hunters. I'm sure my husband is so sick of this show, but I love it and it's a mindless 30-minute program. Just as we're finishing, the guys show up to measure the back doors for replacement. They tell us it will be easy and not custom work, so hopefully, it'll be a reasonable price.
7:30 p.m. — My sister comes over and we watch TV while finishing up her craft project. She leaves and my husband and I crawl into bed early because he isn't feeling well. I read the news before going to bed.
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Daily Total: $71.20
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