A Week In New York City On A $94,000 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 registered nurse working in health care who makes $94,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on bubble tea.
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Industry: Health Care
Age: 24
Location: New York City
Salary: $94,000
Paycheck Amount (Weekly): $1,050
Monthly Expenses
Rent: ~$1710 (Our rent includes electricity, which is why it fluctuates each month.)
Student Loan Payment: ~$800 (My parents helped me pay for my first semester of grad school, so I pay them back in weekly installments of $200.)
Wifi: $49.66 (My roommate Venmos me her half every month.)
Netflix: $7.99
Spotify Premium: $4.01 (I'm on my friend's family plan.)
iCloud Storage: $0.99
Stitch Fix Subscription: $20
Amazon Prime: $0 (I mooch off of my mom. Thanks, Mom!)
Union Dues: $114 (The hospital I work at is unionized, so union dues are taken out of my paycheck once a month.)
403(b): 12% of my weekly paycheck

Day One

6:45 a.m. — I wake up to the sound of my roommate getting ready for work, so I check my phone to see what time it is. 15 minutes until my alarm. I close my eyes again and put off getting out of bed.
7:45 a.m. — I'm normally not up this early, but today's an important day – I have a job interview! I'm not very happy with my current job, so when I saw an opening at a lab recently, I jumped at the opportunity. I open my closet to choose my interview outfit. It's mid-January, yet I still decide on a button-down tucked into a pencil skirt (without tights). I guess I'll regret it later. I don't have time to make breakfast, so I buy a small latte and a blueberry scone on my way to the subway. $7.63
8:20 a.m. — I arrive to my interview a little too early, but I go in anyway. I check in with the front desk and head up to the fourth floor, where I am greeted by the smiling receptionist. I first take a medication dosage test, which I am expected to get 100% on. I do (yay), and wait until the recruiter calls me in.
9:30 a.m. — Time to head off to my interview with the nurse manager! The hospital is just a couple of blocks away from the HR building, and I have enough time, so I walk leisurely and go through interview questions in my head.
11 a.m. — I'm done! I thought the interview went well, but I try not to get my hopes up. The manager has a couple more interviews and told me that I should hear back by the end of next week. I need to pick up my student ID for school before my first day, so I take the subway down to campus. After getting my ID, I pick up lunch at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, where I order shrimp summer rolls, a pork chop bahn mi, and a Vietnamese iced coffee. I carry all of my yummy food back home. $21.25
5:15 p.m. — Last week, I booked a SoulCycle class for today at 5:30. I'm trying to make a habit of going at least once a week, especially since I live right around the corner from one. I check into class and rent a pair of shoes, which are free because I bought a first-timer class pack!
6:15 p.m. — That class kicked my butt! I felt like throwing up during it and attributed it to being out of shape, but even when I get home, I still feel nauseous. I sit for a little bit and wait for the nausea to pass before finally hopping in the shower.
8 p.m. — No plans for me this Friday night! I curl up in bed and binge-watch Suits on Amazon Prime until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $28.88

Day Two

6 a.m. — I wake up to the sound of the apartment door closing. My roommate is going home for the weekend and just left. Normally I would check what time it is, but I'm too lazy (and sore from SoulCycle) to bother. I drift back to sleep.
12 p.m. — Finally wake up after snoozing for hours! I have work tonight at 7 p.m., and I usually try to sleep as much as possible before my shift. I make myself avocado toast with eggs and then crawl back into bed to watch Suits. (I bought a bag of avocados from Trader Joe's last week and they're finally ripe, so it looks like I'll probably be eating avocados daily for a the forseeable future.)
5 p.m. — The hardest part is getting myself out of bed and to work. I only work three days a week, but it's still incredibly draining. I put on my scrubs, throw my work stuff in a bag, and head out the door by 5:30.
5:45 p.m. — I always forget that subways run locally on the weekends. Luckily, I snag a seat, so I'm able to close my eyes for the 30-minute ride.
6:15 p.m. — I'm in desperate need of coffee, so I reload my Starbucks app ($15) and mobile order an iced latte to pick up. I realize that I haven't eaten since noon, so I swing by a deli near work and scoop up rice, beef, broccoli, chicken, and veggies into a small container ($9). I'm ready for my night of work! $24
Daily Total: $24

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — Freedom!!! I actually had a very calm night at work, which is pretty rare. I get my stuff from my locker and take the subway down to Trader Joe's to pick up groceries. I get fruit, a Thai Citrus Chicken salad (I live off of this salad), cereal, yogurt, snacks, and some frozen meals. Then I hop back on the subway. $27.66
8:45 a.m. — Home sweet home! I put away my groceries, kick off my scrubs, and jump in the shower. I always feel gross after a shift (who knows what germs I'm carrying around!), so I pretty much always shower as soon as I get home. I watch Suits while eating a bowl of cereal, and then I fall asleep without realizing it.
2:30 p.m. — Thank God I had an alarm set! I probably wouldn't have woken up otherwise. I don't have work again until Wednesday, and when I usually have a couple days off, I try not to sleep too much after work because it messes with my sleep cycle. I decide to make a trip to Target to pick up school and cleaning supplies. First, though, I need my caffeine. I stop by a coffee shop and get a large iced latte ($4.50, but I have 10 drinks on my punch card, so this one's free!) and walk over to Target.
3:30 p.m. — First stop? The dollar section. Everything's so cute! I only walk away with one thing, which I'm super proud of myself for, and then set out to find the items I actually came for. I get school and cleaning supplies ($20) and more snacks ($15.43). $35.43
6:30 p.m. — I'm starving! I resist the urge to order out and instead make my own dinner: Trader Joe's frozen gnocchi plus two handfuls of spinach. I usually don't finish all of it, but I'm extra hungry today and devour the entire thing.
8 p.m. — My roommate is back! We sit around the dining table and chat/gossip for a bit before we both retire to our rooms. I fall asleep by accident again while watching Suits.
Daily Total: $63.09

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — I get out of bed after snoozing for half an hour and make myself avocado toast with a fried egg.
9:45 a.m. — I've decided to run errands and get my life together today. I dress in workout clothes just in case I don't have time to stop back home before my SoulCycle class at 12:15. I head over to the post office, which happens to be next door to my apartment, to send back my Stitch Fix order. I really loved a pair of jeans that I received, but after much debate have decided not to keep them. After the post office, I grab a skim latte. $4.50
10:30 a.m. — I'm blessed (or cursed?) to live just a short walk away from Marshalls, so I head over. The pair of tights I'm wearing right now has a hole in the thigh area, and I've been meaning to replace them. Coincidentally, there's a sale on workout clothes! I fall in love with a pair of Reebok cropped leggings, so I get two pairs in different prints ($29.98). I check out the home goods section and find a lovely rose quartz-scented candle ($3.44). At checkout, the cashier asks if I want to donate a dollar to the children's hospital. Why not? $34.42
11:15 a.m. — I still have time before my SoulCycle class, so I head back to my apartment and change into a pair of my brand new leggings! They feel so nice and stretchy – definitely worth it.
12 p.m. — I arrive at my SoulCycle class and rent a pair of cycling shoes ($3). I grab a set of ear plugs (my ears were ringing for hours after class last time due to the loud music) and stretch. The theme of today's class is “The Evolution of Rihanna,” so I'm pumped! $3
1 p.m. — I have a major crush on the instructor, but I think he might be gay. Oh well. For lunch, I decide to get a smoothie from this little stand a couple of blocks away. I order a large chocolate, peanut butter, banana, and protein smoothie and then relax on a bench at the plaza around the corner. I text my friend about my crush on the Soul Cycle instructor, and he instantly finds the instructor on Instagram. I stalk him for a little and come to the conclusion that he's definitely gay. Story of my life. $6
2 p.m. — Ugh, laundry time. I've put it off for too long. Luckily, I have a laundry room in my apartment building, which is rare for NYC apartments. I decide to wash my sheets too, so I do two separate loads. $10.60
4:45 p.m. — My laundry is all dry and folded! I lay in bed and browse Buzzfeed until I get hungry.
6 p.m. — I make myself a large pot of pesto pasta with chicken and lots of broccoli and asparagus. I'm not a very good cook and therefore don't cook a lot, but eating out gets expensive! I spoon out a generous portion and then refrigerate the rest for tomorrow.
8 p.m. — I force myself to wash the dishes and then crawl into bed. Instead of watching Suits, I decide to read. I started Murder on the Orient Express back in December and am more than 75% finished with it, but haven't picked it back up in a few weeks. My goal is to read one book every month in 2018 (a goal I accomplished in 2017), and I know it'll get more difficult to find free time to read once school starts. Better get started now! I read until about midnight and fall asleep.
Daily Total: $58.52

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — My alarms failed to go off this morning, but I swore I set three yesterday? I have my first day of graduate school today, but my classes aren't until late afternoon. I decide to lounge around in bed until lunchtime. I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast and spend the morning reading the news on my iPad and finishing Murder on the Orient Express. First book of 2018 is complete!
12 p.m. — Lunchtime! I heat up the rest of my pesto pasta from dinner yesterday and eat a generous serving. I never know how much pasta to cook and feel like I always end up making enough to feed a small village.
1 p.m. — Even though my first class doesn't start until 4:55, I decide to go to my school's library to print out lecture slides. (Printing costs are covered through school.) It's uncharacteristically warm today (high 50s), and I'm sweating under my thick cardigan. I swear my body temperature is 20 degrees warmer than the average human's.
2 p.m. — I've printed and stapled my lecture slides and decide to get coffee before class. I received an email from Gregory's Coffee, where I'm a rewards member, for $2 off any drink today, so I guess I know where I'm going! I decide to walk because it's nice outside, and it takes me about 20 minutes. I order a large cold brew ($2.32, thanks to the coupon!) and kill some time there. $2.32
3:30 p.m. — Oops, looks like I have to purchase an online book for my Statistics class. There goes $45. I also browse Amazon and end up buying a couple of things: an umbrella (mine has been broken for weeks and I've been borrowing my roommate's), a binder, a 3-hole punch, highlighters, binder tabs, and a screen protector for my iPad. $106.97
4:30 p.m. — Time to get to class! It starts pouring as I begin my 10-minute walk, but luckily I have my roommate's umbrella!
9:15 p.m. — Done with my first day of graduate school! I had Research in Nursing first and then Statistics. My brain is fried! All I can think about is food. As I'm waiting for the subway, my friend texts me and asks how it went. She's also in my grad program, but missed class today because of an emergency. We make plans to meet up on Thursday for coffee so that she can tell me what happened (she says it's CRAZY), and I offer to go over notes with her as well.
10:05 p.m. — It takes forever to get home because the trains are delayed. I eat a Trader Joe's pre-packaged salad and fruit while I go over tonight's Statistics lecture.
11 p.m. — I add a couple of events to my iCal, update my to-do list (I have homework already!), and call it a night. I'm exhausted! By the time I fall asleep, it's almost 1 a.m.
Daily Total: $109.29

Day Six

10 a.m. — I wake up feeling pretty groggy – I'm still feeling the effects of being in class for so long yesterday. I lay in bed a little bit longer and then get up to make myself avocado toast with two fried eggs.
12 p.m. — For some reason, I'm still feeling really sleepy, so I take a nap.
3 p.m. — I wake up from my nap confused by a dream that I had in which I had a chest tube! (I work on a floor of the hospital where a lot of post-surgical patients have chest tubes.) I guess that's my body's way of telling me that I don't want to go to work! I get out of bed, shower, and whip up a quick dinner using Trader Joe's frozen mushroom risotto.
6:15 p.m. — I mobile order a venti iced latte from Starbucks on my way to work using my Starbucks app. I still have money on it from the $15 I reloaded a couple of days ago, so it technically doesn't cost me anything.
7:30 p.m. — Ugh, nights like tonight make me remember why I'm trying to find a new job. Just hoping that the night goes fast and no one dies. Including me.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7:30 a.m. — I fly out of work the minute I finish my report. I have lunch plans at noon with a friend who I haven't seen in over a year, so I hustle back home as quick as possible.
8:10 a.m. — I'm home earlier than usual! I hop in the shower, dry my hair, and fall asleep within seconds.
11:35 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I realize I'm running late! Luckily, my friend messages me on Facebook to say she'd be a couple of minutes late herself. Perfect! I quickly get ready, throw on an oversized sweater and leggings, and run out the door. We're meeting at a vegan restaurant near campus, and I make it there within 20 minutes.
12:10 p.m. — My friend gets there first and saves us a table. I'm starving by the time I arrive and already know exactly what I'm going to order. We both get the Spicy Thai Salad with a side of sweet potato fries – YUM. We spend the next hour catching up and chowing down our delicious food. $17.64
1:30 p.m. — After lunch, we head to the university bookstore, where I get my coworker and I reusable water bottles. (I had told her I would pick one up for her.) The total is $45.73, and she Venmos me $16 for hers. $29.73
2 p.m. — My friend and I go our separate ways. I decide I need coffee because I'm running on two and a half hours of sleep and use the remainder of the money on my Starbucks app to buy a grande iced coffee. I head to the library to kill some time and also to pee.
3:30 p.m. — I meet up with my friend (the one who missed the first day of grad school classes) for coffee. I get a medium skim latte and listen to her absolutely insane story, which has to do with a crazy former roommate. Then we go over the Statistics homework. $4.50
6:15 p.m. — Running on less than three hours of sleep is starting to get to me, so I head back home. I debate ordering takeout, but my apartment complex has free food today in the lounge! (Every couple of months, my building has "Resident Appreciation Day," where there's free food from a different vendor). I decide to go up to the lounge to check it out. Today is BBQ! I get a brisket sandwich with pickles and a side of coleslaw. Though I still secretly want Chinese takeout, I convince myself that free BBQ is pretty awesome too.
8:45 p.m. — My roommate and I decide that we're both craving bubble tea. We live dangerously close to a bubble tea chain, so we bundle up and make the short trek. I get a medium passionfruit green tea with bubbles and happily slurp my way home. $4.75
11 p.m. — I don't think I can keep my eyes open any longer. Zzzzz.
Daily Total: $56.62
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