A Week In NYC On A $120k Salary

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
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.)

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.

This week, a New York City product manager planning for a trip abroad and eating Greek yogurt every day.
Industry: Media
Location: New York City
Salary: $120,000
Age: 27
Roommates: 1

Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage: $952.23
Monthly Maintenance: $718.42
Internet: $40
Utilities: $54

Day One

5 a.m. — I spend my morning running errands. I pick up a passport for an upcoming trip and stop by Whole Foods for some quick “healthy” breakfast ingredients — Greek yogurt and green juice. $5.49

Noon — Forgot to bring leftovers from dinner last night for lunch, so I have to resort to our super-expensive food court at work. Does a Dos Toros salad count as healthy? $10.75

6 p.m. — Rush home to move my bed out of my apartment. The boyfriend is taking it to put in the guest room at his place. Since I’m running late (yay, work issues before the weekend), I hop in a cab. $26.15.

8 p.m.Dinner is homemade! And since we're at the boyfriend’s house, he buys the groceries. We make whole wheat pasta in a garlic white wine sauce with hot Italian sausage, spinach, and kale. $0

Total: $42.39

Day Two

8 a.m. — Breakfast at the local diner means boyfriend pays. I have one hard-boiled egg and a small cup of oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon. $0

9:30 a.m. — My new bed frame and mattress are finally delivered! And thanks to white glove delivery, they also assemble it. Tip the guys $20 each. $40

Noon — I stop by my local Japanese store to pick up a quick snack. No big meal today, because we have a farewell dinner party tonight, so I grab some onigiri for myself and two friends, plus some iced tea. $9.54

4 p.m. — Bloomingdale's sales are my weakness. I pick up the softest cashmere turtleneck sweater on sale from All Saints. We’ll see if I end up returning it. $201.60

5:30 p.m. — Pre-dinner drinks for three in Union Square as we wait for the crew to show up for dinner. I end up not paying for dinner, because the boyfriend insists on treating. $31

8 p.m. — Fiasco with the kitchen renovation! The sink I ordered is too big (double basin sinks require 36” cabinets at a minimum, apparently). So I return the current sink (I’m refunded $353.21.) and order another sink that actually fits in our space ($463.33). $110.12

Total: $392.26

Day Three

9 a.m. — I eat breakfast at home. I have some Greek yogurt and fruit, and sub tea for coffee. $0

10:30 a.m. — I sign up for the gym and they charge me the first month, plus some fees. $177.71

11:30 a.m. — I work out and then grab a post-workout green smoothie (a.k.a. lunch). $8.66

7 p.m. — I have leftovers for dinner. $0.

Total: $186.37

Day Four

8 a.m. — Greek yogurt and granola for breakfast again. $0

Noon — Lunch at our super-expensive food court again. I order this huge Chinese veggie noodle dish that I suspect will last three meals. $14.15

4 p.m. — Quick iced latte to catch up with a coworker. $5.69

6 p.m. — I rush out of work to make it to the gym and then eat some leftovers from lunch and salad for dinner. $0

8 p.m. — Remembered I have a trip to Thailand coming up. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and free 2 day shipping! I order some last-minute sandals and a pair of pants for hiking — and maybe riding an elephant. $167.90

Total: $187.74

Day Five

9 a.m — Same old breakfast with Greek yogurt and granola — plus some bananas at work! $0

Noon — I finish off the leftovers from the Monday’s lunch. $0

9 p.m. — I was planning on finishing off whatever is left in the fridge (salad greens, chicken salad), but the sister is home and she decides to treat me to dinner at this adorable local restaurant that just opened up! So good! $0

Total: $0

Day Six

9 a.m. — Same breakfast of Greek yogurt and granola. I keep this stuff at work, so it means I save money and eat healthy! $0

Noon — Ran downstairs for a noodle bowl and ate at my desk. $12.80

6:00 p.m. — I’m going to a wedding in Thailand and I have nothing to wear. So, of course I do the irresponsible thing and pick up a dress at DVF. Luckily, it’s a sale-on-sale situation, but still. $210

8:30 p.m. — I rush home and it’s dinnertime. I order Caesar salad, spaghetti and meatballs, and a “healthy” penne with chicken, spinach, and sundried tomatoes for me, my sister, and her boyfriend. I spend the rest of the night packing for the trip. $52.59

Total: $275.39

Day Seven

9 a.m. — Same breakfast of Greek yogurt and granola. And no, I’m not tired of it yet. $0

2 p.m. — I rush through work and grab a late lunch. $10.75

7 p.m. — Dinner with the crew before we head to the airport. Boyfriend pays. $0

8 p.m. — I pick up snacks for the 16-hour plane ride ahead (because airline food is gross), plus some travel essentials (Advil, Emergen-C, Tide-To-Go, body wipes, hand sanitizer). $79.54 (How?!)

Total: $90.29

Weekly Total: $1174.44

The breakdown:
Food and drink: $161.42
Cab: $26.15
Home buys: $150.12
Clothes: $579.50
Gym: $177.71
Travel needs: $79.54
Have a money diary you'd like to share? Email moneydiary@refinery29.com.

More from Work & Money

Four years ago, my life was exactly where I wanted it: I was working as a senior editor at a major glossy magazine. My first young adult novel had just ...
After months of waiting and countless discussions about what the future holds for our favorite television characters, Shondaland shows are finally back. ...
Just after my son’s first birthday, I was on the phone with my mom, grappling over a gut-wrenching decision. I was scheduled to go on a business trip but...
Refinery29 joined the Clinton Foundation for a tour of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to get a firsthand look at the experiences of the women and girls who live ...
I get so nervous before job interviews — sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in my stomach. It’s really not fun. But once I’m sitting down with the ...
Fifty percent off your purchase here. 1,000 free miles there. When it comes to credit cards, the benefits are easy to see — while the downsides are often ...
As the host of RIOT's Woke Bae, we already know comedian Phoebe Robinson is funny AF while getting serious about major issues like feminism and ...
You know what's easy? Spending money. It's the best way to get what you want right now. Except...this is not sustainable. Those little luxuries add up ...
If the new phrase for the office BFF is the "work wife," then is a good boss or mentor your "work mom" or "work dad"? Part authority figure, part dispenser...
12:45 p.m. — I have a dryer, rare in Shanghai, so my friend runs home to get his laundry and then does a load at my place
Ah, the job interview. Getting one always feels like a win — your résumé passed the test, and you've moved on to the next round. Writing the cover letter...
Working in the service industry is an easy way to get an (often unwanted!) glimpse into other people's personal lives. Whether you waited tables at a ...
Recently, I was reminiscing about my financial education. Or maybe I should put that in quotes: “financial education.” In 10th grade, we created a budget ...
11 p.m. — Make some more bad decisions and send a text for delivery of some illicit substances but he misses my text, which is probably a good thing ...