A Week In NYC On A $41,000 Salary (With A 2-Year-Old)

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 single mother attending grad school and filling out preschool applications for her 2-year-old daughter.

Industry: Higher education (program assistant)
Age: 26
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $41,000 per year
Paycheck amount: $1,170 after taxes, 2x a month
Other income: Child support, $400 per month
# of roommates: 1 (my 2-year-old daughter)

Monthly Expenses
Rent:
$600 (rent-stabilized apartment in Hamilton Heights)
Loan payments: $0 (don’t have to pay until after graduation)
Electricity: $50
Cable: $86
Credit card payments: $350
Transportation: $60 pay-as-you-go. I live close to work, so most days I walk home.
Phone bill: $297 (I pay for the family plan, which includes my mom, dad, brother, and stepdad.)
Health insurance: $16 for vision. Medical and dental are part of my union benefits.
Day care: $640. I pay my sitter $160/week. That’s cheap for NYC; the sitter is a family friend and was very generous with pricing. My daughters' lunches and dinners are included with the sitter's fee.
Total savings: ~$700. I have two savings accounts with my bank — one for myself and one for my daughter. I have $185 in mine and $200 in hers. I contribute $25 to her account monthly. It isn’t much, but it’s what I can do currently. I also have a Digit savings account with $365.