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A Week In NYC On A $40k Salary

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Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. Each week, we ask a millennial woman how she spends her hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last cent. (Thanks New York Mag for the inspiration.)

This week, a photo director eating Hale & Hearty for lunch and buying wine for the blizzard.
Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Industry: Media
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Number of Roommates: 2
Salary: $40,000
Age: 28
Monthly Expenses:
Rent: $900
Utilities: $100

Day One

Noon: Lunch at Hale & Hearty. I go to Hale & Hearty probably three times a week, either for soup or salad. Their soup is cheaper; salads are for like a "treat yourself" day. Their salads are so damn good, though. $6.10.

8 p.m.: Groceries to prep for the blizzard weekend: two boxes of mac 'n' cheese, some pasta sauce, orange juice, and lettuce. $19.45

8:15 p.m.: Must not forget wine. I get one bottle of red wine and two bottles of champers for mimosas. I bring the mimosa provisions over to a friend's place to camp out for the night. $39.10.

Total: $64.65

Day Two:

Blizzard day. Snowed in with Blizzard Buddy who makes us egg sandwiches and coffee for breakfast. For dinner, I make salad; we order pizza and drink mimosas. I chip in for the delivery tip, because we were the assholes ordering delivery during a blizzard. Forever sorry, guy from Danny’s Pizza. $5

Total: $5

Day Three:

Morning: Finally get home after being stuck at Blizzard Buddy's place.

6 p.m.: I go to 4th Down, my local bar, for drinks and football watching. $20.

Late: Ramen for dinner, which I had laying around. $0

Total: $20

Day Four:

Noon: Lunch at Hale & Hearty again. $8.27

4 p.m.: Coffee break. I usually drink free office coffee, but sometimes you're in the mood for a latte. $4.30

7 p.m.: Red wine for The Bachelor viewing, plus groceries (salad dressing and blood oranges). $23.63

7:15 p.m.: Pick up shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, and nail polish remover at Walgreens. $44.80

8 p.m.: Dinner of pasta and salad, from blizzard weekend provisions. $0

Total: $81

Day Five:

9 a.m.: Coffee and a croissant from Building on Bond. $5.75

1 p.m.: I'm at a shoot, so I order lunch from Building on Bond for myself and the team — art director, editorial director, exec editor, photographer, assistants, makeup artist, stylist, publicist, plus ETHAN HAWKE. Yep, the photo shoot was for Ethan Hawke. Charged to the company card. $0

7 p.m.: I get dinner and drinks with a coworker — a glass of wine and broccoli tacos at No. 7 in Fort Greene. $21.57

Total: $27.32

Day Six:

9 a.m.: Refill my weekly MetroCard. $31. During the warmer months, I ride my bike, but I started getting weekly cards for winter and stuck with it. I know it costs a little more, but I prefer breaking it up by the week instead of paying a big chunk at once.

3 p.m.: Coffee break, a.k.a. chit-chat time with my fross (friend+boss). $3.54

6 p.m.: I have dinner with a writer, but he treats. I buy drinks for me, the writer, and Starlee Kine (!) for the interview/shoot. I get to expense the drinks, though, so I guess it doesn't count. $49

8 p.m.: I pay my phone bill (I'm on a family plan with my brother and some friends). $78.72

Total: $162.26 - $49 = $113.26

Day Seven:

Noon: Egg salad sandwich and coffee at Starbucks. $9.47

7 p.m.: My roommate shares his dinner with me (mac 'n' cheese) while we watch Fargo with some leftover Bachelor wine. $0

Total: $9.47
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. Have a money diary you'd like to share? Email moneydiary@refinery29.com.
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