Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: an underwriter who makes $180,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a bottle of Fiji water.
Industry: Real Estate Finance
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $150,000 (base salary) + ~$30,000 (yearly bonus)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $3,500 (This is after my 401(k), insurance, and transit costs that total to $1,030.15)
Gender Identity: Woman
Rent: $1,150 (I was fortunate enough to find my rent stabilized apartment in downtown Manhattan in a housing group on Facebook, which is why the rent (which includes utilities and wifi) is much lower than market rent. I have two roommates.)
Roth IRA: $500
Traditional IRA: $500
Mother's Mortgage: $250 (I send this to my mom every month to help her with the mortgage on her house so she can pay it off quicker!)
Cleaning Person: $40 (2x/month, split three ways)
Sugaring: $51.21 (billed monthly)
Cell Phone: $50 (I'm still on my family plan, but I usually just send my mom $600 in one go for the year, but will include as a monthly cost for now)
Wall Street Journal: $4
11 a.m. — I had set my alarm for 10:30, but ended up rolling out of bed at 11. We had our holiday party last night and there were employees there, but also clients and business partners. A lot of us ended up entertaining clients and spending time with coworkers until 5 a.m. Luckily, the day after our work parties, the office is pretty dead, so getting in by noon is actually not too bad. I quickly change into jeans and a top and head out to the office.
1 p.m. — Every Friday, our office gets bagels. I arrive at the office around noon, and probably only 40 percent of the office is actually in. Thank god! I sit at my desk and start munching on my bagel. Definitely need some food/carbs in my system while I go through some emails.
4:30 p.m. — Fridays at work are generally more relaxed, but because of the party, most people either didn't come in altogether or just left early. I end up leaving at 4 and heading to the gym to detox a little. I buy a small Fiji water since I forgot my water bottle at home. $2
6 p.m. — After the gym, I head over to BHLDN to look at bridesmaids dresses with my friend, O., who is also a bridesmaid. Our best friend is getting married in May and we are looking to find different dresses for her wedding (she's going for more of a boho style wedding). It's our first session looking, and there are so many options! I liked two of them, but don't end up purchasing any dresses. Neither does my friend.
8:30 p.m. — After BHLDN, O. and I grab sushi together. We haven't seen each other since early December, so we have a lot to catch up on! The restaurant essentially kicks us out when they are getting ready to close. By the time dinner is over, I'm exhausted. I take the subway home and fall asleep by 10:30. $33.54
Daily Total: $35.54
9:30 a.m. — I wake up early (early for me on a Saturday) and roll around in bed for a while. Since I have time before my next bridesmaid dress fitting, I decide to head to the gym. The gym is right by my office, which is about a 30-minute bike ride. The weather is fantastic for January, so I bike up to midtown.
10:30 a.m. — I end up at the gym and realize I forgot my water. Again. I buy another Fiji water and workout for a bit. After running and doing some floor work, I head to the locker room to shower. I realize I'm running late since I have to head back downtown to Kleinfeld! $2
12 p.m. — I end up only running 10 minutes late to Kleinfeld. Phewf! O. is already there and we head up to the bridesmaids section. To note, the bride lives in Europe, so we're essentially taking photos of the dresses we try on to send to her for approval. Apparently, you have to make an appointment to try on dresses, so luckily, they have an availability later in the afternoon so we schedule our appointment for 2:30. Since neither of us had food, O. and I head around the corner to grab brunch. I order a Bloody Mary to start my meal, and O. is much healthier, so she gets a coffee. As we're munching on our food, we chat about some personal issues that arose since we last saw each other (which was last night). We almost lose track of time, so we rush out to head back to Kleinfeld. $30
2:30 p.m. — I feel even more overwhelmed at Kleinfeld than at BHLDN. They have so many styles and even more colors to the point where I lose track of the bride's vision. Both O. and I try on multiple styles and colors. I'm definitely thinking of going back to BHLDN to try on some more dresses and hopefully purchase one! However, O. ends up falling in love with a dress, so we send a few pictures to the bride and head out.
4:30 p.m. — I head down to FiDi via subway using my monthly card ($70 is reimbursed by the company and I deduct $70 from my paycheck) where my friend is hosting a get-together with some other people from college. I arrived late, due to the bridesmaids dress appointment, and everyone's already playing charades. I watch a little, but wait until they're done with their round.
6:30 p.m. — After a few rounds of games, we all are hungry. We decide to walk from FiDi to Chinatown to eat at a Malaysian restaurant. With ten of us, we order so many dishes. With full bellies, we chat and joke around. Surprisingly, the price ends up being a little over $20 per person, which is insane for the amount of food we ordered. I realize that my boyfriend, J., is almost done watching the 49ers, so I rush from Chinatown to my apartment via Citibike to meet him at my apartment. $22.52
8:30 p.m. — I meet J. at my apartment where he's waiting. He comes up to my apartment, we chat for a bit. I haven't seen him since before New Year's since he was away visiting his family, so it's great to finally see him. We've been together for over two years at this point, but we definitely go a week or two without seeing each other fairly regularly.
11:15 p.m. — We go to a restaurant with live jazz and fabulous cocktails. J. hates taking the subway, so I call an Uber to take us to our 11:30 reservation. We tend to always eat dinner around 10 p.m. on weekends, so this is even late for us! $16.42
2Daily Total: $70.94
1:30 a.m. — J. and I really enjoy dinner and drinks with live music faintly playing in the background. Drinks at this place are $18-$20 each and we end up shelling out $114 each for dinner and drinks here. I'm falling asleep at the table, so J. calls a cab and we head back to the apartment to sleep. $114
1 p.m. — I watch videos on my phone until J. wakes up. The second he wakes up, he says he's hungry, but wants to watch the Chiefs/Texans game somewhere. We get ready and head out to find a good sports bar/restaurant to grab brunch.
2 p.m. — We end up at a bar a few blocks up from my apartment where they have upstairs seating with open windows. The weather is insanely warm again for January, so we sit by the window and order classic brunch food. I get another Bloody Mary and he gets a mimosa. The game starts at 3, so we stay and watch. After some ridiculous plays and an intense first half, it gets a bit too crazy for J., so we head back to the apartment. $37
5 p.m. — J. wants to head back to his apartment in NJ to unpack and prep for the Seahawks/Packers game since he hasn't been at his place for over four weeks at this point, so we say goodbye. I won't see him until Friday night, so it's always sad to see him leave. As he's packing up his overnight bag in my apartment, I realize my parents are in the city, so I decide to meet them for dinner downtown.
5:30 p.m. — I bike down to meet my parents. We eat take out and hang out for a while. My dad drove into the city, so he drives me back to my apartment. We stop by a Taiwanese dessert shop where we order desserts and eat. We catch up and they head out. They pay.
7:30 p.m. — I wind down for the evening in my apartment. I want to figure out how to allocate my stocks, but I realize I have work I need to prep before I head to the office. I end up going working for three hours. Luckily, I have a White Claw in hand and You on the background. Not too shabby since I usually have to work Sunday afternoons anyway. Pretty basic night, but much needed after running around all weekend!
Daily Total: $151
8:15 a.m. — I wake up at 8:15, and then roll around in bed for a while. I can't believe it's Monday already! I get up and get ready for work. I end up getting to work around 9:30, which is pretty typical for our team. It's a busy day already with calls all morning. For lunch, I make a sandwich with the groceries our office orders. The day whizzes by with different transactions I have to review.
7:45 p.m. — I leave work for the day and rush down to the studio where I take this HIIT class downtown. I love the class and the instructor, so I always try to make it to the 8:15 p.m. class every Monday. It's about 45 minutes, but wish it was even longer.
9:30 p.m. — I stop by Target near the studio and buy toilet paper. Even though there are only three of us living in the apartment, we go through toilet paper pretty quickly. I'm in charge of buying household supplies and then splitting the cost every month. I grab a six-pack of toilet paper and then walk home. I get back around 10, say hi to the roommates, and head to bed. $6.52
Daily Total: $6.52
7:15 a.m. — I try to head to the gym in the mornings when I know I have something planned for after work. I wake up an hour earlier to go to the gym near my office for a quick workout and shower. It's always hard getting out of bed earlier for me since I'm such a night owl, but once I'm there, it's worth it and totally fine.
9:30 a.m. — I end up going into the office around 9:30 again. The morning starts with an hour-long conference call. Blah! Those always take so long. On Tuesdays, the office offers catered sandwiches for everyone, so I snag a sandwich and eat at my desk. I receive a bunch of packages at the office since I try to have packages delivered to the office instead of my apartment (I don't have a doorman!). I end up receiving J.'s belated Christmas gift, my Everlane boots, and some household supplies. J.'s gift is a custom cutting board.
7 p.m. — I have a dinner reservation with some of my sorority sisters from college. We have dinners together on the second Tuesday of every month. This month, we're dining at an Italian restaurant in the West Village. I want to bring all my packages home together, especially since I snagged a Fresh Direct bag from the office to put most of the packages in, so I call a Via to the office and take it down to the West Village. $14.52
7:30 p.m. — I make it to dinner. The food at this restaurant was amazing and delicious. We ordered a few appetizers to start, some wine, and then loads of pasta, with some chocolate cake to finish. Full bellies and full hearts for sure. Since only L. and I had wine, I put the entire bill on my credit card to split later based on the items we ordered. It ends up being $80 for L. and I and then $65 for F. $80
10 p.m. — With all my packages, I decide to take a cab back home. I lug my packages up the stairs and start opening them. It feels like Christmas again! J.'s gift actually came with two cutting boards, which was very kind of the Etsy store. I wrap J.'s gifts and then head to bed. $12.25
Daily Total: $106.77
7:15 a.m. — I drag myself out of bed and head to the gym again before work. I run less than a mile on the treadmill and change the incline to 5.0. I feel like that's probably a solid treadmill workout for feeling so tired. I shower and head to the office.
9:30 a.m. — I get to the office and have a full morning of calls. Super boring. I usually don't eat breakfast, but today, I grab a banana from the office kitchen to snack on. At noon, I receive an email from the GM of a boxing studio. The COO of the company and I enjoy working out together, and we have been trying to schedule a private session with a specific trainer at this boxing studio. After a month of waiting, he's actually available to teach this upcoming Saturday! I book the private training session for the both of us and put the bill on my card. For lunch, I grab yogurt and fruit and have it with chocolate-covered pretzels. It's a busy day! $130.25
6:25 p.m. — I head out early from the office to go to my tutoring appointment. I've been tutoring this girl for the past three years and I meet her once per week.
8:30 p.m. — At my student's house, I go over her science essay on sedimentary rocks and then eat dinner with her. When we're done I walk home. I have more work to do, but I don't want to go home and spend time possibly catching my roommate's cold. I stop at the coffee shop around the corner from my apartment, order a hot chocolate, and plop myself down with my laptop and finish up the work I have to do. $3.50
10 p.m. — The coffee shop is about to close, so I pack up my belongings walk back to the apartment. I didn't get to finish what I was working on, so I spend some time in the living room finishing up my work, while my other roommate finishes a documentary. I call it a night at around 11:30 and head to bed!
Daily Total: $133.75
6:55 a.m. — I snooze way too much. Once a week, I volunteer in the mornings at the public school near my apartment. I am definitely running late and have to power walk down the street to get to the school. We spend about 45 minutes with the elementary school students and help them with math. I end up playing multiplication bingo with a couple of kids and then head out to work.
12 p.m. — It's pizza day at the office! The office provides pizza once a week. Probably not the healthiest option, but it's hard to say no when you can smell it from your desk (and when lunch is free). My friend, T., texts me and asks if I want to go to Rumble later tonight. I ran out of credits on Classpass, so I purchase a one time class on their app. $37.62
7:30 p.m. — I get to Rumble and purchase their gloves. Luckily, I brought my own wraps AND I remembered my water, so I don't have to worry about either of those things. It's too much of a hassle to bring my own gloves, so I tend to just borrow them at the studio. It's always a great workout, even though the boxing steps are pretty inaccurate. $3.26
9 p.m. — My friend, T., and I grab dinner after we work out. We end up gossiping and talking about wedding planning, since she's MOH for her sister's wedding, and I'm currently doing other bridesmaids activities for my friend. We part ways after about an hour and a half, and I bike back home to shower and get ready for bed. $25
Daily Total: $65.88
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