Money Diaries

A Week In Montreal, QC, On Employment Insurance

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We're asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

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Today: a journalist on employment insurance who spends some of her money this week on a CBD drink. (Editor's note: This diary was submitted before Quebec's latest lockdown was in place.)

Occupation: Unemployed Journalist
Industry: Media
Age: 31
Location: Montreal, QC
Employment Insurance Amount (2x/month): $988 (I was making $55,000 until my contract ended recently.)
Net Worth: About $24,000 (I have $23,018 in an RRSP, $322 in my savings account, and an old car I could sell for parts.)
Debt: $0
Pronouns: She/Her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $650 (This is for a one-bedroom apartment.)
Hydro: $86
Renter's Insurance: $37
Phone: $41
Internet: $51
Gym: $28.65
Google Storage: $3.07
Netflix: $0 (I'm piggybacking on my boyfriend's family account.)

Annual Expenses
Car Insurance: $416

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
My parents wanted me to have an undergraduate degree but were very open to me studying what I wanted, which helped because I have a bachelor of fine arts in theatre — not the most lucrative choice. I also completed a graduate certificate in political communication, then a master's in journalism. My mom paid for my school fees during undergrad, but I paid for my graduate studies. I was also on the Quebec loans and bursary program for my five years of university, and I racked up a debt of $26,000. I finished paying off the balance two years ago using part of my inheritance money (my mother passed away in 2015) and by saving up consistently every time I had a job.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My mom was better with money than my dad. She taught me that it's important to budget and track your spending and that money goes away quickly. That said, she also liked to indulge: we loved going to museums and restaurants and on trips around the province. My dad has a negative, twisted relationship with money, and it's been a source of stress for a while. When I was a kid and would ask for something, he would always reply with ''I don't have money," and he has always been cheap. Nowadays, we split the bill if we go to a restaurant or buy anything together, like groceries or gas.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
I worked as a summer camp counselor in 2006, when I was 17. It taught me about hard work, patience, and how you can save money easily when you have free room and board.

Did you worry about money growing up?
I come from a low-income family and was an only child. My parents could afford to put me through swimming and piano lessons, but I was aware that money was scarce and that it was a stressor. I remember going to my friends' places and seeing that their parents could afford activities, like skiing or tennis, and that they had access to things we didn't, like private schools.

Do you worry about money now?
Yes. My budget is especially tight since being on employment insurance. My best friend forced me to use a Google spreadsheet she created to make a budget. It has made me much more conscientious about my spending and helped me to make better choices. I'm happy not to be working right now, but I miss saving and being able to buy a few extras, like new clothes or gifts for people.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I left home really young, at 17. My mom gave me a bit of money when I moved to the U.K. at 19 and paid for my undergraduate degree. Otherwise, I've always paid for everything myself. My RRSP is my financial safety net, but I want to keep saving in order to build a house in the country with my dad. The land is paid for, but we only have a trailer to sleep in for now.

Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
I received $35,000 when my mother passed away.

Day One

9 a.m. — It's Saturday. I wake up next to my boyfriend, P., at his place. We've been together for 10 months now, and I would like to move in with him in July when my lease is up, but he's not ready yet. He just came out of a long relationship and has his four-year-old daughter every other week, so I can understand his hesitation. It's difficult, though. He barely ever comes to my place, because I have a cat that he's severely allergic to. This morning, we cuddle, have sex, and chat in bed for an hour.

10 a.m. — I take a shower and do my skin-care routine of Vichy Normaderm Anti-Acne Purifying Gel Cleanser, Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum, La Roche-Posay eye cream, and Caudalie Vinosource SOS Intense Hydration Cream. I put La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+M on my entire body. (I suffer from eczema, so proper hydration is key!) P. makes oatmeal, and we eat it with apples, almond milk, and maple syrup. It's yummy and comforting. We chat about people we used to know, New York City neighbourhoods (he lived there for 16 years), the news, and movies. I clean the dishes, put on makeup (Glossier Lash Slick, Boy Brow, and Cloud Paint), and brush my hair while he reads the news. After I'm done, he massages my shoulders, which is exactly what I need.

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12 p.m. — We drive up to Projet Pangée, a cool gallery close to Mount Royal. The exhibition is a breath of fresh air on a gloomy day. It features drawings, sculptures, and paintings about desire and sensuality by three inventive female artists from Brooklyn.

2 p.m. — Back in the car, we ponder what to eat for lunch and settle on the Vietnamese restaurant where we had our second date, back in March. On the way, we stop at a branch of my bank to take out $20, because this place is cash-only, and P. has $10 in his wallet. The bill comes to $24. I go in, pay, and take back $5, leaving a $1 tip. I didn't have enough change and feel bad that I didn't give more. I'm happy to see the employee, who asks me how I've been. It's nice to see familiar faces, even behind a mask, and encourage local businesses. $15

3:30 p.m. — I feel drowsy and tired, and my eyes are droopy. P. suggests that we lie down and then picks up his book, so I do the same. We're both voracious readers, which is one of the things I value most about our relationship. He's currently reading a Philip Roth novel, and I'm reading a YA book to de-stress.

4:20 p.m. — We leave the house to go to SQDC to buy weed. When we get to the store, the line goes around the back, so we leave. On the way home, we stop to say hello to one of our friends at her ceramics studio. She has both hands in the dirt, and I pet her little dog, who has a broken paw.

5 p.m. — I start baking the sticky apple cake from Alison Roman's newsletter (it's worth subscribing). While getting the ingredients out, I realize that I need eggs and a lemon (to make a substitute for buttermilk), so I take a break. We smoke weed in the basement and play rock-paper-scissors to see who will go to the grocery store for the ingredients. I win, so P. has to go, but he suddenly looks really high and needs a breather. He lies down for a few minutes. Then, as promised, he goes to buy eggs, almond milk, yogurt, cereal, lemons, toilet paper, and a bottle of ginger ale. He pays.

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6 p.m. — I finish the cake, put it in the oven, and clean up while P. reads.

6:45 p.m. — The cake is out, and it looks good! I put on a record and tidy up the kitchen, then conduct a 35-minute yoga session for P. I've been practicing yoga for over a decade, and I'm hoping to do yoga teacher training in the post-COVID future.

7:35 p.m. — I put yesterday's leftovers (veggie pâté chinois, which consists of lentils, corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes) in the oven. We eat it with ketchup and Valentina hot sauce, plus the rest of yesterday's bottle of wine, which pours exactly two glasses. For dessert, we have a slice of cake (P. has two), and it's delicious!

9 p.m. — We debate which movie we're going to watch and settle on Rebecca. It's very disappointing, but the costume design is a highlight — Armie Hammer in a yellow suit!

Daily Total: $15

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Day Two

9:45 a.m. — We wake up, cuddle, and have sex. I get up to take a shower, wash my face, and put on serum and cream. We have oatmeal with apple, almond milk, and maple syrup again. I realize that I forgot to drink my hot water with lemon for the second day in a row.

11:30 a.m. — I put in a load of laundry. My washing machine has been broken for a few weeks, so I've done my laundry at P.'s house, which means I do everybody's laundry: his, his daughter's, and mine.

12:15 p.m. — I sit down to write and check my emails. P. is obsessively looking at Twitter and the New York Times, reading about the pro-Trump protest in DC, where he grew up. P. loves to have unstructured days, and he raises his voice at me when I bring up errands for the third time. I'm feeling completely depleted today from PMS, and it's eclipse season, so I'm trying to take it easy but I feel antsy.

12:50 p.m. — I put on makeup and go for a mental-health walk. My honey needs breathing room, and we need bread and cheese to make turkey sandwiches. I walk through Parc Jarry and listen to one of my favourite astrology podcasts, Ghost of a Podcast with Jessica Lanyadoo, and hear about how tomorrow's eclipse is affecting us and sapping our energy. I can feel it! I go to a French bakery on the other side of the park and pick up a loaf of bread ($5.65). I then go to another bakery, Italian this time, for a block of sharp cheddar on sale ($4.99). I feel like my digestion is wonky, so my last stop is at a cool cafe where I pick up a $4 Club ginger kombucha, my favourite. $14.64

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2:15 p.m. — I come back, and P. makes homemade fries while I make sandwiches with turkey, pesto, and sharp cheddar. P. is so angry his printer isn't working that he punches it, frustrated. I tell him that I can bring mine over and that we can both use it. He's being grouchy, so I go wait for him in the car.

3:30 p.m. — We go to the SQDC, and the lineup is as long as yesterday. Thankfully, we have more time today, so we wait and play a totally ridiculous game we call Which Stoner Am I? We invent personalities for the different types of stoners that we see. We make it inside and debate between getting one big jar of weed (to split) or two to avoid going back to the store for the next month or so. We end up each buying a 15-gram jar. I get the cheapest one ($76.40), a CBD drink for menstrual cramps ($5.30), and CBD oil ($22.20) for pain and anxiety. I end up spending more than I wanted, but I'm happy that I won't have to go back for a while. $103.90

4:40 p.m. — We get home, and P. puts on Sheff G while he rolls a joint. I get back to the never-ending loads of laundry (four loads in one day is a lot). We go downstairs to smoke weed, and I ask P. twice to help me before he does, half-assed. He doesn't put his socks together or fold my T-shirts properly, and I end up doing most of the folding anyway. We lie down, and I put my legs up the wall to read to calm my nerves.

6:15 p.m. — I go to the small Greek grocery store nearby for milk chocolate with hazelnuts (my honey's favourite), all-dressed chips, apple juice, basil, broccoli, mushrooms, ginger, sparkling water, and two beers. $28.77

6:45 p.m. — P. is writing in his journal when I come home. We both keep journals and write every day. I hand him his beer, and I drink mine while I cook dinner: a tofu stir-fry with red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, onion, an egg thrown in at the last minute, plus basil and peanuts. It's healthy and delicious.

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8 p.m. — P. is difficult when it comes to movies, so I tell him to pick three and I'll choose. We end up agreeing on Before Night Falls, which he rents for $5 on iTunes.

11:15 p.m. — The movie is over, and my eyes are heavy. I read in bed, then P. comes beside me. At some point, I turn off my light because I'm falling asleep. We end up cuddling and having sex. P. eventually gets up because he's not falling asleep (he's more of a night owl than I'll ever be).

Daily Total: $147.31

Day Three

9:55 a.m. — We wake up feeling rested and cuddle in bed. I realize that I just got my period.

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11 a.m. — P. makes a delicious mushroom, potato, and cheddar omelette that we eat with toast and coffee. P. needs a minute to work out scheduling issues with his ex-wife. We're both annoyed that she's going on a trip to the United States with their daughter. Not only is this unsafe, but the mandatory quarantine period afterward is frustrating for everyone, and I won't be able to see P. for two weeks.

11:40 a.m. — I brought my vacuum cleaner over (P.'s is broken), and we start cleaning the apartment, but P.'s in a weird mood. He ends up telling me that he's stressed about other things that have nothing to do with me and that he's sorry for being impatient with me.

1:15 p.m. — I leave in my old Corolla (I bought it for $600 from my best friend last August) and cross the city to go home, listening to the radio on the way. Driving feels nice.

1:50 p.m. — My cat is very happy to see me. She's cuddly and can't stop purring. I've missed her! I pet her to her heart's content, then read theSkimm and do my budget on the Google spreadsheet. The new Taylor Swift album, evermore, is on in the background. I've been listening to folklore and evermore so much this year that Taylor Swift is my second-most-listened-to artist on Spotify.

3 p.m. — I make a smoothie with blueberries, watermelon, a banana, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ashwagandha, and apple-watermelon juice. I've been eating according to my menstrual cycle since reading In the FLO: Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life by Alisa Vitti, and it has been helping.

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3:15 p.m. — I go back to working on my book. I'm writing a memoir about my relationship with my mom and grief, in the vein of Wild by Cheryl Strayed or The Long Goodbye by Meghan O'Rourke. This is what I've been doing during my unemployed phase. I worked for most of 2020, which allows me to collect employment insurance now. I'm grateful that I could make a salary for most of the year, but I also found it difficult to work from home 40 hours a week, which is why I'm enjoying being unemployed for now. I will start job hunting soon, but I need to focus on finishing this goddamn book first.

5:10 p.m. — I cleared some blocks in my book. Yay! I defrost a portion of chili and make potatoes to go with it, then pop two painkillers, because my cramps are back to haunt me. I also take a DIM supplement for acne, plus zinc, fish oil, and vitamins E, D, and B12.

5:45 p.m. — I put away the clothes I brought back from P.'s while listening to one of my favourite French-language podcasts, Deviens-tu c'que t'as voulu?

6:30 p.m. — I've been trying to push aside my craving for dessert, but it's back, so I make apple crumble. I bake a lot. It's a de-stressing activity, but I also have a rule that I have to make desserts instead of buying them (the only exception is ice cream). I bake while listening to the astrology podcast Stars Like Us by Aliza Kelly.

7:05 p.m. — The crumble is in the oven, and I'm spent. I run a bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil and read in the tub. Afterward, I put on a green clay mask, prop my legs on the wall, and read my book.

8 p.m. — I eat crumble with vanilla ice cream, then tidy up before making mint tea and laying on the couch to read. My cat comes to sit on my lap, while I finish my book and start reading Normal People by Sally Rooney, which P. bought for me.

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10:40 p.m. — My eyelids are heavy, so it's time for bed.

Daily Total: $0

Day Four

3:43 a.m. — I wake up with atrocious cramps after having weird dreams. I take two painkillers and smoke a few puffs of CBD-heavy indica before going back to bed.

9:40 a.m. — I wake up again, with my cat sleeping beside me. I check Instagram, text with P., and answer a message from my best friend., who sent me pictures of her two-month-old daughter. She's growing fast and looks more and more like her mother. I write two pages recounting my dreams and my morning thoughts while I drink hot water with lemon and make coffee. I eat a breakfast of two hard-boiled eggs, an orange, and coffee with coconut oil and almond milk.

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11:05 a.m. — I call my dad, who is coming to help me to install some things. Besides P. and his daughter, my dad is the only person I see indoors. He lives alone with his cat and doesn't see anyone, and I know that he's feeling lonely and wishes he had a partner. I go to the hardware store, where I buy insulating film, dishwashing liquid, and a mop head. $41.65

11:35 — On my way back home, I stop at a cafe for a grapefruit kombucha and a croissant. I leave a $0.25 tip. $6.33

12:05 p.m. — My dad arrives with his tools to help me put the insulating film on my windows and install a curtain pole to separate my bedroom from my office space, which is something I've been meaning to do for months. At some point, I get dizzy from being hungry and on my period, so I heat up leek and potato soup and eat it with soda crackers while my dad is working on my window. We go to my car, and he helps me install the winter mats I got weeks ago and even removes the snow from my car. I thank him many times and send him home with apple crumble. I'm so lucky to have my dad!

2:15 p.m. — I go to a budget clothing store to get boxers for P. I threw out a pair recently, and he did too. Most of his underwear is old and he deserves new ones. I get two for $20. While waiting to pay, I see a neck warmer, which is something I've been meaning to buy for my winter runs. It's $8 and 20% off. $30.35

2:30 p.m. — I stop by the butcher, where I get ham and a tourtière (a Quebecois meat pie). $18.01

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2:40 p.m. — At the pharmacy, I buy P. an electric toothbrush for Christmas. He has problems with his teeth and wants one. I've had an electric toothbrush for over three years now on the recommendation of my dental hygienist, and it does make a big difference. I also get shampoo for blonde highlights, coconut oil Epsom salts, a sheet mask because a beauty connoisseur I follow on Instagram recommended it (and it's just $3.99), and a hair mask with desert date (I also read great things about it, and it's half-price). I spend more than I aimed to, but I feel happy that most of my purchases are on sale and essential. $73.29

4 p.m. — I get to the grocery store and park like a cowboy. I try to move in a better alignment, but I only make it worse. I buy chicken stock, ramen noodles, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, a tomato, limes, lemon, ginger, kale, spinach, a sweet potato, cilantro, mixed mushrooms, broccoli, beets, pickled beets, green onions, red onion, carrots, garlic, two pints of blueberries, bananas, a big bottle of ginger kombucha, a pack of hoppy microbrewery beer, Greek yogurt, unsalted butter, sharp cheddar, feta, bread, tortillas, and the silly purchase of the day, gold special-edition containers (they look fabulous, and I use containers all the time, so I had to). I get out of the parking lot and the car next to mine has left, thankfully. $131.49

6 p.m. — I crack open a beer and sit down at my computer. I did cross some things off my to-do list today, but work is not one of them! I write and fill out my report for employment insurance, then look at the local news. Non-essential businesses are closing again. I'm happy that I got my nails done last week because I foresaw this coming. I feel like I've spent too much today, but I won't be spending much in the next few weeks. I look at my credit card statement and see that my phone bill was automatically charged, and my balance is at $450. I pay part of it with $170 from my savings account. I'm a bit bummed and already fed up with being on a low budget. I make a note to get back to applying for jobs soon.

7:15 p.m. — P. calls and says that him and his daughter have been eating leftovers of meals I made. I take a bath with Epsom salts, then read on the couch, and go to bed by 10 p.m.

Daily Total: $169.63

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Day Five

10:45 a.m. — I sit behind my computer. I write best in the morning, and I want to get it out of the way. A writer told me once that sitting down to write for two hours in the morning is the best way to get going. My habits and routines have been quite unstructured in the past few days, so I try to get back into the groove. I'm on the second edit of the whole manuscript, and it feels a bit like Tetris. P. texts me a picture of his daughter unwrapping a book I got her, and my dad texts to tell me my apple crumble is delicious. I feel grateful.

12:15 p.m. — I make a sandwich with sharp cheddar, ham, and kale. It's delicious. I get a call back from the washing machine repair person, telling me that the problem is the electronic system and that the repair could cost $300 to $400. I thank him for his help, but I'm disappointed to learn that it can't be fixed. I don't like to throw out appliances.

2 p.m. — I keep my promise to myself and go swimming at my local pool. Swimming is free, it's one of the only indoor activities that's still allowed, and it's been my favourite sport for decades. As usual, some retirees are swimming very slowly, and I have to swim in place while I wait. Still, I manage to finish the 70 laps I came here to do. I leave the pool light-headed but calmer.

3:03 p.m. — I get home and make a smoothie with frozen watermelon, frozen strawberries, a banana, ashwagandha, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and watermelon-apple juice. I nibble a few almonds and eat apple crumble, then take a shower and use the hair mask I bought yesterday. My hair is so much better for it, especially after being doused in chlorine. I blowdry my hair and put on a black dress after watching Alison Roman's Instagram Stories. She says that she likes to put on a party dress once in a while. I couldn't agree more, even if I pair mine with a bomber jacket.

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4:20 p.m. — I call a friend of a friend who produces podcasts because I'm working on one with P. and have questions. My doctor's secretary then calls me back, and I clarify what I need, which are pills to help with my anxiety-induced insomnia (or with my sleep being cut short by my stepdaughter who wakes up crying in the middle of the night).

4:25 p.m. — I sit at my computer and try to get back to writing my book. It's already pitch black outside. I write for an hour, then open a beer and cook Polish borscht.

7 p.m. — After tidying up the kitchen, I take another bath with Epsom salts and read more Normal People. P. and I talk on the phone and say goodnight. I miss him.

Daily Total: $0

Day Six

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8:55 a.m. — I woke up at 8 a.m. but fell back asleep until now. I eat plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and maple syrup and make coffee with coconut oil and foamy almond milk. My quarterly payment from employment insurance is deposited in my account, so I transfer $200 to my credit card.

10:10 a.m. — I drive to my best friend's place, and we go for a walk to pick up a coat for her baby, which she bought on Kijiji. Our next stop is Canadian Tire, because she needs clear plastic containers, and I get bigger insulating plastic for my office window. I also get a box of 100 compost bags (with all the cooking I do, I compost more than the average person), and an anti-allergy bed cover for P.'s queen mattress ($39.99). There's no bathroom in the store, so I go to the gas station bathroom, and it's as gross as you would expect. $75.85

12:30 p.m. — I stop for gas on the way home. I had a gas leak, and the mechanic told me to never fill the tank to the brim again, so I put in a little under $15. $14.78

1:05 p.m. — I heat up borscht that I pair with a ham, cheddar, and avocado sandwich. I talk to P. for 25 minutes, then smoke a few puffs of weed. By 2:30 p.m., I finally sit down at my computer with a ginger kombucha and light a lavender-scented soy candle.

2:45 p.m. — As I'm replying to an email about a freelance work opportunity, my friend, A., knocks on my window. She works out with my neighbour, who is a personal trainer, and comes in for a minute and pets my cat while I go to the bathroom. I join her on her walk home, and she needs to go to the drugstore. I don't need anything but another soy candle would be useful (I only have half of one left). I see a Mrs. Meyer's Clean honeysuckle soy candle on sale, and I buy it. ($11.60). I also get a text message from the corner pharmacy that my prescription is ready, so I pick up the medication ($11.07) and cat food ($11.99). $36.46

4 p.m. — Back home, I tidy the kitchen, warm up two blueberry muffins, and make sparkling water with my SodaStream (last year's Christmas gift from my dad). I find a few job postings that I should apply to, and one asks for a portfolio, so I update mine. I also reach out to a podcast host I know to see if we could chat about the one I'm making.

6 p.m. — I prepare my podcast questions, then boil potatoes and put the tourtière in the oven. I get the phone call from the host and take a bunch of notes. I feel pumped about my project.

7:30 p.m. — Dinner is tourtière, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. I feel sad eating alone. I'm looking forward to having dinner with P. and his daughter tomorrow. I go back to work on my book and am more motivated than ever to work late.

9:15 p.m. — My eyes are dry, and it's late. I blow out the candle and run a bath with Epsom salts. I read Normal People and text P. good night, then brush my teeth before going to bed.

Daily Total: $127.09

Day Seven

7:15 a.m. — I drink hot water with lemon and write my morning pages, along with yesterday's gratitude list. I do a few yoga poses before having plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup and blueberries and coffee with coconut oil and almond milk.

8:15 a.m. — A client confirms that I have an article to write. The topic interests me, and I need extra money, so I'm happy about this. I've been thinking about money a lot since my conversation about podcasts, which made me realize that I need to invest in equipment (or at least have the money to rent a studio or equipment in the meantime).

10 a.m. — I feel unmotivated and gross, so I hop into the shower and wash my hair with Live Clean Fresh Water Hydrating shampoo and Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing conditioner. I blowdry with samples of Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti-Frizz Blowout Butter and IGK Crybaby Anti-Frizz Smoothing Serum from Sephora. They both smell great. I do a few more yoga poses.

10:40 a.m. — P. said he'd call me back within 15 minutes, but it's over an hour later, and he still hasn't called. I reorganize my dresser drawers and clean the kitchen.

1 p.m. — I eat the last of the borscht and make another avocado, ham, and cheddar sandwich. I'm not able to finish either, so I pack the rest of the soup to bring to P.'s place, along with a trunk full of groceries from my fridge and clothes to wash.

2:20 p.m. — On the way to P.'s, I stop by a family friend's apartment because I left my sleeveless puffer at her mother's house last winter. I meet her new baby, who's the same age as mine and P.'s relationship (10 months).

3 p.m. — As soon as I get to P.'s, he tells me he needs to pick up gifts from the local bookstore. I'm annoyed that we have to run an errand and that he didn't tell me about it. I'm also annoyed that he didn't work today and knew about it yesterday but didn't tell me, so we could plan accordingly. We drive to the bookstore, and his parking app is not synced with his credit card, so I use mine ($1.88). He goes in alone because there can only be four people at once, then he runs into the grocery store for vegetarian fake meat, both Italian and Mexican kinds, mochi (my request), and a few more items. He pays. $1.88

4:10 p.m. — We pick up his daughter from daycare. She's the last kid standing and lights up when she sees me, which puts a smile on my face.

5 p.m. — I call my godfather, who's a musician and a jack of all trades, and he says he can set me up with podcasting gear, which de-stresses me. He just got a COVID test, and I ask him to keep me updated about the results and offer to help him with groceries and errands.

6 p.m. — We eat veggie meat and mushroom spaghetti for dinner, then P. and his daughter play, while I do the dishes and drink half a small can of Coke.

7:20 p.m. — Bath time! The kid and I take a bath together, and we laugh a lot. She brushes her teeth, then it's storytime. I'm looking forward to her falling asleep, so P. and I can chill.

9:15 p.m. — P. and I smoke weed in the basement. Then we lie down, read, and get freaky until we fall asleep.

Daily Total: $1.88

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