A Week In NYC On A $230,000 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. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.)
This week: A finance VP who makes $230,000 per year and spends it on Diptyque candles.
Occupation: Vice President
Industry: Finance
Age: 27
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $230,000
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $1,360/month for my mortgage and $625/month for maintenance
Electricity: $31
Two student loans: $190/month and $620/month. I pay my credit card balance off in total every month.
Gym Membership: $233/month for Equinox. It's crazy expensive, but I love the gym and it gives me an incentive to go as much as possible.
MetroCard: About $60/month for an EasyPay card.
Internet: $62/month
Subscriptions: $12/month for Hulu Plus; $12/month for Netflix; $10/month for Spotify; $3/month for iCloud storage
Clothes: $152/month for Rent the Runway Unlimited.
Charity: $18/month to the ASPCA and $16/month to the Sierra Club
401(k): I put $901 into my 401(k) last month. A percentage of my paycheck is automatically deposited into my 401(k). As I work on commission, this number changes every month.
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Day One

10:00 a.m. — I wake up and think about going to an Equinox class but decide to brave the crowds at Trader Joe's instead. I usually go grocery shopping once every two weeks. I live alone and I can't fathom going every week. I never make a shopping list, so I wander around the aisles and pick up things while I'm waiting on line. I buy eggs, salmon, hemp seeds, a few fun cheeses, mozzarella, mochi, a burrito, pita chips, gyoza, snap peas, bananas, tofu, salad dressing, grapes, hummus, tofurky, salad, and spinach. I listen to the "Gilmore Guys" podcast while I'm waiting in line. They're so funny that I laugh out loud. $105.40
11:45 a.m. — I used the last of my NyQuil last night, so I buy another one at CVS. $9.49
12:00 p.m. — I stop by Breads Bakery to buy some cereal bread. $5.95
1:00 p.m. — I make my burrito, drink some orange juice, and put on my face mask. (I have a whole ritual). I clean my floors. I groom my cat, and then I give myself a manicure — I rarely get manicures because I almost always have my nails painted and can't justify paying $20/week or so to have perfect nails. I do them myself and they're never quite right, but they're good enough. I clean my apartment a bit. (I am forever vacuuming, thank you, cat.) Then I settle in to try to do some work.
3:30 p.m. — I eat one of the cookies I bought — way too sweet for my taste — so I wash some grapes and munch on those instead. I start prepping for work tomorrow. I work in finance as a trader, so I want to catch up on news that happened over the weekend, anything that will move the markets this week. My cat, after pawing at the grapes that I've just washed and deciding they aren't for him, curls up next to me and goes to sleep.
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6:00 p.m. — I finish my most pressing work for tomorrow and make plans with friends for brunch next week. I'm hungry early today, so I cook a quick dinner of Trader Joe's Vegetable Fried Rice. I toss in an extra handful of frozen edamame (it can always use more edamame), add a fried egg, and cut up a piece of Trader Joe's Sriracha Tofu. Time to turn off the TV and hit the books before bed. I'm studying for an exam in a few months and am woefully unprepared.
9:30 p.m. — My brother stops by (we're neighbors) and brings me a piece of strawberry shortcake from Veniero's since it was my birthday last week. We gossip and catch up for an hour, then it's time to take some NyQuil and pass out. I fall asleep scrolling through my Twitter feed. Twitter is imperfect but I really believe it's the best way to keep up with news, which is one of the biggest requirements of my job.
Daily Total: $120.84

Day Two

4:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I groggily brush my teeth and put on the gym clothes I laid out on my bench. My phone says it's 25 degrees out now and it'll be 45 degrees later. How am I supposed to dress for this weather? I grab the bag I packed the night before and my iced coffee in the fridge and wander off to the subway. I cold brew coffee in my fridge since I got sick of spending $5/day at Starbucks. I know if I can get to the subway around 5:05 a.m., I won't wait too long for the train. This early in the morning, the trains only come every 15 minutes or so and my schedule in the morning is too tight to miss this one. The platform is pretty empty but a woman FaceTiming still pushes me out of the way. I get into the office just before 5:30 am.
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7:45 a.m. — I'm back at my desk after doing a bit of work then heading to the gym. I go to a 6:30 a.m. kickboxing class at Equinox. It's a drag to get up so early but I feel so much better once I'm done.
9:00 a.m. — I'm barely awake through our research call. The market opens in half an hour, so I duck across the street to the cafe where I buy breakfast: egg whites with broccoli, tomato, and mushrooms ($5.72). I pay in cash, throw the change in the cashier's tip jar ($0.28) and give the guys working the grill a Lincoln. $11.00
9:15 a.m. — The only way egg whites and vegetables are tolerable is with a ton of hot sauce, which I keep on my desk. When I first started on the street, I thought the prevalence of hot sauce everywhere was a little overkill; now I can't get through breakfast without it. The trader next to me offers me some trail mix. I eat a handful.
11:00 a.m. — The morning is really busy but it slows down around 10:30 a.m. I read Chrissy Teigen's article in Glamour (God, I love her) and then order lunch. Our firm subsidizes Seamless orders up to $11.50, so I order a salmon salad from Leafage which comes to $17.79. It takes me forever to finish my lunch. The market is quiet today and I start looking online for a new sofa since mine is uncomfortable. $6.29 (overage)
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2:30 p.m. — Our two assistants come in with a cake for one of the trader's birthdays. I look at it but pass.
5:00 p.m. — I'm leaving the office and I plan to stop by Doughnut Plant to pick up some doughnuts for my brother and my doormen, but I get off at the wrong stop and walk home instead. I pick up a delivery from Sephora from my doorman and feed my cat. I drink some orange juice and take my Fountain beauty supplement; I have no idea if it works or not. I light a Diptyque candle and take a deep breath. These candles are crazy expensive, but they last FOREVER and smell amazing. I figure I can go through three $30 candles in the time it takes to go through one of these, so it about evens out.
7:00 p.m. — I do some chores around the house, settle in, catch up on personal emails. I should be hungry, but I'm not. I take some pita chips, hummus, and grapes I bought from Trader Joe's and snack. This means I probably won't eat a real dinner tonight.
8:00 p.m. — Now that I'm caught up on all my personal things (reading emails, scrolling through Instagram) it's time to study. Studying when you're an adult is awful! I'm not doing real, high-quality studying, either: My sister and I are texting and I'm listening to Chance the Rapper. It's hard to concentrate on calculating bond yields when 1) I really don't want to, and 2) I can think of so many other things I could be doing! [...] I feel a lot better than I did yesterday but I take a NyQuil anyway.
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Daily Total: $17.29

Day Three

5:00 a.m. — Shit. I've slept through my alarm and debate whether I should skip the gym. I figure I can still make it if I take a cab. I brush my teeth and grab my things. I hail a yellow cab, and get into the office just before 5:30 a.m. It's never too difficult to hail a cab at this hour, which is why I deleted Uber. $12.25
6:15 a.m. — Walking to the gym, I realize that I left my water bottle at the office. I would buy one ... if I had my wallet with me.
8:00 a.m. — I stop by Juice Press to get an acai bowl. I get these every few weeks when I'm really craving them, but normally, I prefer my breakfasts hot. I order an almond butter acai bowl — no granola — with flax seeds and coconut flakes. They forget to give me a spoon. $11.43
11:00 a.m. — I thought I ordered a salad from Chop't (kale, spinach, black beans, olives, edamame, broccoli, and roasted chickpeas with Mexican Goddess dressing), but it looks like I've ordered a wrap instead? I check my order. Yup, I fucked up. I throw out the tortilla and eat my "salad" out of the tin foil wrapper. My boss gives me a weird look but doesn't say anything. $0.94 (overage)
2:00 p.m. — Everyone seems to be having a birthday in the office this week. There's another cake and a tray of cookies. I take a sugar cookie. The market is slow again today. I instant message our assistant and talk to her about furniture. I tell her I'm in the market for a new sofa and she suggests I go to ABC Home. She says the sofas there are cute and great quality; I research online.
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5:00 p.m. — I'm at ABC Home and am in love with every sofa. I sit on all of them. They're fantastic! They're gorgeous! I figure I want to spend under $2,000 for a new sofa, and that I can probably sell my old one for a few hundred dollars. It's in good condition as I only bought it a few months ago, but it's just not the right fit. I'm getting my tax return soon and I can spend part of it on an upgrade. I wander around the floors of ABC Home. I wish I could just live here! — but I don't buy anything yet.
6:00 p.m. — My sister texts me just as I'm walking into my apartment. She has some questions for an economics essay she's writing. I have a few deliveries I'm trying to bring into my apartment (Sephora and Amazon) and my cat is going nuts because he wants me to feed him. I text her back and ask her if I can read it in half an hour. I light my candle and preheat the oven. I start catching up on my personal emails. I made one herbed salmon filet from Trader Joe's and half of their kale and hemp seed salad. I watch Girls while I read email and eat. Oh shit, I never replied to my sister.
9:30 p.m. — My sister calls asking me a few questions for her paper. We talk for an hour or so and then I go to bed.
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Daily Total: $24.62

Day Four

8:00 a.m. — I think of going to the gym before my doctor's appointment but that doesn't happen. I grab my coffee and drink it while I'm in the waiting room.
9:00 a.m. — I make it to the desk before they open, which is great. It's tough scheduling doctor's appointments around market hours. I'm scrambling to catch up so I miss breakfast.
11:00 a.m. — I'm starving, so I order a falafel salad from Naya. The overage is billed to my credit card. $0.50
4:00 p.m. — It's one of my coworker's birthdays and he invites us all to the bar for celebratory drinks. I always go out whenever anyone asks, client or coworker, since I consider it really important for networking.
8:00 p.m. — I've had five or six vodkas by now and feel like it's time to go home. My coworkers pick up the tab and I get in a cab home. $17.25
8:30 p.m. — Drunk-me wants to eat something, so I stop by the cafe across the street and order a tuna melt and french fries. I spot a rainbow cookie and I pick up one of those, too. I devour my pile and watch old episodes of Gossip Girl — only season one. Then I go to sleep. $16.50
Daily Total: $34.25

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — I am still hungover when I wake up and totally miserable. I get dressed and make my way to the subway.
7:30 a.m. — One of my coworkers left an iced coffee on my desk. Thank God!
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8:00 a.m. — I go across the street and get my normal breakfast: egg whites, spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms. $5.72
11:00 a.m. — To balance out the night before, I order a salad from Chop't. $0.69 (overage)
2:00 p.m. — I'm hungry, so I eat the slice of bread that came with my salad even though it's stale. One of my coworkers laughs because he can hear it from across the row and it sounds like a giant crouton.
8:00 p.m. — I have plans to go out with a guy I've been dating on and off. I meet him and his friends at a bar.
10:00 p.m. — Though there is lots of talk about getting food, we end up going to a friend's party.
12:30 a.m. — I'm the bartender, which can't end well. I pour everyone cups of vodka and call them "cocktails." We decide to leave; he pays for the cab.
Daily Total: $6.41

Day Six

5:45 a.m. — I am awake. Dead tired, but somehow awake. All I want to do is listen to Drake, so I do just that and read my emails. Then I get ready for work (leisurely!) and get on the subway.
7:30 a.m. — I take half a bagel from the bag of bagels my office puts out on Fridays. Then I gossip with some coworkers and start doing some work.
11:00 a.m. — My assistant and I decide to order from a Greek place. I order a rice platter and we split an order of french fries. It's delicious for my hangover and I'm so full that I know I probably won't eat dinner later. A few people are out, so we use their credits and pay no overage.
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4:30 p.m. — It's quiet and most of the floor is empty. I walk to Diptyque and pick up my free birthday candle. Then I get on the subway and go home.
6:00 p.m. — Fridays are usually my catch-up day to clean my apartment and do laundry. (I clean myself because every time I hire a cleaner, I end up having to do it over anyway.) I plan on watching some TV (Billions!) and getting to bed early. I only slept four hours last night so I'm exhausted, and I have plans to meet my friends for brunch.
Daily Total: $0.00

Day Seven

10:00 a.m. — I wake up later than I mean to. I feed my cat and rush out to Equinox to get to kickboxing class.
12:15 p.m. — I finish up at the gym. After an hour of kickboxing, I sit around, stretch, and people-watch. Equinox is really a great place to people watch because everyone there is so beautiful. Also, I love the eucalyptus towels.
12:30 p.m. — I wander around the neighborhood in a daze and stop by the supermarket to buy a bag of oranges. $4.99
1:00 p.m. — I meet a few friends for brunch at Union Fare. I love this place. It's fairly new and gigantic. We order smashes for the table to split and I order the brunch bowl and their coffee cocktail. By the time we're done gossiping, I've had another cocktail. $57.71
4:00 p.m. — I text my friend to make plans for the night, finish reading Cat Marnell's book How to Murder Your Life on my Kindle, then take an hour nap.
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6:00 p.m. — I spend half an hour juicing oranges and a slightly-squishy apple I forgot about. (Oops.) I make some ramen with tofu, edamame, spinach, and a poached egg, and finish off my dinner with a piece of strawberry mochi.
10:00 p.m. — I meet up with a few friends who are barhopping in the West Village, and I have a couple of champagne cocktails. $28.32
12:00 a.m. — The 30-degree swings of weather are making me feel terrible. I cut out early to try to catch up on some sleep, and walk home.
Daily Total: $91.02
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