A Week In America On A $100,000+ Salary

Believe it or not, we've reached our 100th Money Diary. We've gone to Copenhagen and celebrated an engagement; pinched pennies with an unemployed woman in Jersey; and bought Christmas presents with a family earning $40,000 in California.

With every diary, we learn something new. It might be that Whole Foods has an app with the occasional free gift, or that some people store avocados in the fridge, even when they're not ripe. We've learned that living abroad is just as romantic as it sounds (most of the time), and that the best job perk might be getting free lunch.

But the biggest takeaway from this series is that a dollar in one city will get you $1.50 elsewhere; that the same salaries can still lead to very, very different lives, based on rent, spending habits, and relationship status. So for our 100th diary, we decided to round up seven women around the country who all earn $100,000 a year or more. And — surprise — not every woman is spending her whole paycheck every month. A woman saving to become a single mother within the next year spends roughly $200 in a week, while another diarist living apart from her husband in Washington, D.C., spends almost $700. And while we may not all be able to relate to the size of the paychecks, we can all relate to the everyday craving for Starbucks, the post-work must-find-food struggle, and the need to make rent and save at the same time. Which is why we read these to begin with, right?
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women’s experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29’s point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

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