Welcome to Money Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today for Money Diaries Month: an attorney who makes $60,000 per year and spends some of it on Domino's pizza.
Occupation: Attorney Industry: Insurance Defense Age: 26 Location: Honolulu, Hawaii Salary: $60,000 Paycheck (2x/month): $1,960
Monthly Expenses Housing: $0. I live on a sailboat and my husband pays the $500/month boat slip fee. Loan Payments: None. I went to the schools that offered me the most scholarship money, and my mom helped me pay the rest.
All Other Monthly Expenses: Weekday Babysitter: $1,200. I pay for this and my husband pays for all other expenses because they are roughly equal. Gym Membership: $95 Showtime: $8.99. I plan to cancel as soon as Twin Peaks ends. Cell Phone: Husband pays $180 Netflix: Husband pays $7.99 Spotify: Husband pays $10 Health Insurance: I'm on one plan through my employer, and another plan through my husband's employer for which he pays $213 per month. Utilities: Husband pays $60 Amazon Prime: $99/year
6 a.m. — This is my normal wakeup time now that we have Baby. She wakes up with the sun, which I usually find endearing, but not today. Yesterday was my husband's birthday and we stayed out until midnight.
7 a.m. — I had two or three drinks last night and now I have a headache. I haven't gone out in a looong time. I decide to eat the leftover avocado-tomato grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bisque from last night for breakfast. I'm far too tired to warm it up. Baby is hanging out and Husband is still sleeping. 7:35 a.m. — Baby seems tired, so I put her on me. We nap for an hour. Yes! 8:30 a.m. — Baby and I wake up from our nap and my husband wakes up too. This is my chance to shower. We live on a sailboat in a marina, so I have to go to the private bathroom to shower. Luckily it is right next to our boat. 10 a.m. — I snack on an orange and squeeze a few drops of the juice into Baby's mouth. She is starting to get more interested in food. 10:20 a.m. — Baby seems tired again and I'm obviously still tired, so we take another nap. This one lasts two whole hours. 2 p.m. — I usually take my daughter into the office with me on Saturdays while I do a few more billable hours, but that's definitely not happening today. We have a lunch date with my new yoga instructor friend and a friend of hers. I'm really tired and secretly want to flake out, but maintaining my social life has been really hard since I gave birth. My husband is really hungry after studying for the bar exam all day and decides to join us. I order two giant apple cinnamon pancakes; my friends pay for their share and my husband pays for ours. We keep our money completely separate, so we try to alternate who pays for eating out. I take half the pancakes home for later. Baby has been EXTREMELY well-behaved, so we decide to take her swimming in the hotel's pool for a few minutes. She loves it. 6 p.m. — I snack on a few bite-sized shortbread cookies while I play with Baby. We watch the sunset outside on the deck of the boat. 6:30 p.m. — My brother calls with news that my grandfather has advanced-stage cancer. He's 5,000 miles away, and I haven't been back on the East Coast in five years. I need to visit as soon as possible, but I have no vacation days and I'm not willing to take Baby on that long of a trip yet. My husband is studying full-time for the bar exam, so I don't know what to do. 8 p.m. — Baby is asleep. I am hungry and I feel like cooking (which is rare nowadays), so I make spaghetti with vegetarian sausage. Neither my husband nor I eat meat, which makes cooking for both of us a lot simpler. We could have easily ordered Domino's tonight (we do about once a week), but I'm proud of myself for not giving in. 10 p.m. — Husband and I watch an hour of TV on Amazon Prime. I eat a few spoonfuls of chocolate ice cream; I can make a pint last a long, long time. I'm asleep by 11:30. Daily Total: $0
5 a.m. — Baby wakes up early. I feed her and we fall asleep again.
8:30 a.m. — Baby and I wake up for the day. Weekends are totally mom-baby time because of our limited time during the work week. 9:45 a.m. — I eat a few bites of yesterday's pancakes and throw the rest away. About half an hour later, Baby takes a 30-minute nap on me while I catch up on emails on my phone. 12 p.m. — Every Sunday, we drive to my mom's house 15 minutes away. We do laundry there, play with her four dogs, let her hang out with Baby, and cook some of her food. It's great! After an hour or so, my husband makes an egg breakfast sandwich for me and an omelet for my mom. I eat the sandwich hurriedly because Baby is getting fussy. 2 p.m. — Baby naps on me for 30 minutes again. After she gets up, my husband gives her a bath and I go "shopping" in my room. I have a drawer here filled with new makeup and body products from various splurges, so I restock whatever I'm running low on at the boat. Today I grab a bunch of eyeliners, a mascara, a few lipsticks and lip liners, and argan oil for my hair. 4:30 p.m. — Sundays at my mom's house are always very lazy. It's raining softly on and off. Baby and I take a nap together for an hour while my husband continues studying. My mom isn't very comfortable with babies, so I basically end up holding Baby for the whole afternoon. When I wake up from the nap, I feel like I've been hit by a train — but this has still been a great weekend for napping. 6:15 p.m. — We pack up the car and head back to the boat harbor. Baby cries on the way because she doesn't like riding in the car. I feel work looming tomorrow, and I'm also exhausted from caring for Baby this weekend. I'm wasn't really cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. 8:30 p.m. — We put away all the laundry and organize Baby's new sleeping arrangement because she grew out of her bassinet early. She falls asleep by 8:30 p.m. and I finally get to shower. 9:30 p.m. — I spend a long time in the shower and take a long time putting on all my lotions after. I'm not hungry because I ate a lot of food this weekend and didn't move around much. I make a bowl of Bircher muesli (a.k.a. overnight oats) for my husband to eat tomorrow while he studies. There are baby carrots and broccoli in the fridge, which reminds me that I haven't really eaten vegetables all weekend. I dip them in hummus for dinner. 10:20 p.m. — My mom sent us home with two pieces of carrot cake for my husband's birthday. (I had to insist that she not give us — two people — an entire cake.) I take a couple of bites from my piece and peruse a magazine. Eventually, I get in bed and go to sleep. Daily Total: $0
4 a.m. — Baby wakes up. She doesn't wake up in the middle of the night often anymore, but tonight is her first night in a new bed. I nurse her, lay down with her, and half sleep until my alarm goes off at 6:45.
6:45 a.m. — The morning routine consists of getting Baby's bag ready and feeding her, and then getting my bag ready and getting dressed. Mornings are very rushed these days. 7:45 a.m. — Babysitter arrives to pick up Baby. My husband would normally drop her off but her regular sitter is on vacation and our backup sitter offered to pick her up in the mornings. I feel especially sad saying goodbye to Baby today; she is so chubby and happy. I never considered having kids until I was actually pregnant. It's hard, but it's like we created our own soulmate! 8:15 a.m. — I drive the 15 minutes to work and arrive 15 minutes late because it's a state holiday. My boss said I could take the day off, but I really need to make my billable hours, especially considering that I didn't work this weekend. I am the only one in the office today, and I look out at the unobstructed ocean view. So beautiful. My billable quota is lower than the one at most law firms, but it's still a challenge because I never stay at work past 5:15 p.m. now that I have Baby. We only have one associate right now, and it's me. It's a lot of autonomy and responsibility for someone who has only practiced law for a year and a half. 8:30 a.m. — I grab a Chobani 2% Greek yogurt from the fridge (I never eat nonfat yogurt) and add granola to it. I keep way more food at my office than I do at home. I also make a ginger tea. 10:20 a.m. — My husband and I got married last October and I took his last name. I am still in the process of changing my name everywhere it needs to be changed. I walk to the Social Security office to see if there's a wait. It is surprisingly empty, so I bill for 20 minutes on my laptop while I wait. 11:10 a.m. — Back to the office. I'm feeling a little down today and the fact that I'm the only one here isn't helping. There's a bill from my OB-GYN in my bag that needs to be paid. I come very close to paying it until I remember that my husband's health plan isn't reflected on the bill. I call the doctor's office and they tell me not to pay the bill. Yay! 12 p.m. — After making a stressful phone call to an insurance adjuster, it's time to pump. I manage to read a report while I do it, but I will never be able to pump and type at the same time. After pumping, I grab an orange and make a piece of peanut butter toast from my food stash. I'm not hungry, but my breastmilk supply goes way down if I don't eat consistently. It is too quiet in this office and I can't wait to leave. 2:13 p.m. — I eat a few Nature Valley baked oat cereal bites from my giant snack drawer. The snack reminds me of something I would feed to a horse for a treat ... and then I remember that I have fed these to a horse for a treat. 3 p.m. — My brain is chattering like crazy because of the silence. I grab my wallet and walk to Long's a block away. I buy milk to keep at the office, a nice Father's Day card for my grandfather (I already sent one to my dad and I will make one for my husband), and a random bottle of probiotics. $13.06 3:30 p.m. — Second pump sesh of the day. I leave work early after I'm done and have to drive farther than usual to pick up Baby from the sitter. I get lost on the way, but luckily there is no traffic. We are back at the boat harbor by 5:15 p.m. 6 p.m. — I've been playing with Baby like crazy and manage to eat two tortilla chips and a bite of broccoli; my husband is studying. Baby falls asleep early at 7:30 p.m., so I get to watch the stunning pink and blue sunset outside. I am so thankful that I get to live here. I eat a few bites of chocolate cake. 8:30 p.m. — After showering, I finally have a few moments to spend with my husband. He goes outside to do a workout and I break out my laptop to do more billables. I eat some baby carrots while working and make plain oatmeal with a little half and half on top. Husband and I watch Late Night with Seth Meyers on YouTube and are in bed by 11. Daily Total: $13.06
4:30 a.m. — Baby wakes up. I nurse her and lie down with her so we can all sleep a little longer.
6:20 a.m. — We wake up for the day a few minutes before my alarm. We play until Baby gets picked up by her sitter at 8 a.m. — and I somehow forget that I have to go to work! I leave 15 minutes late again, and today there will be people there to notice. 8:20 a.m. — I walk into work late and see my boss chatting with our secretary. We laugh off my lateness, hehehe? Time for Corn Flakes with a few cereal "horse bites." I also make a Pink Stork nursing mother's tea because my milk supply was so low yesterday. I also remember to take a vitamin and two probiotic pills. 10:15 a.m. — There is a farmer's market every Tuesday about two blocks from my office. I'm having trouble concentrating again today, and I think getting some fresh air and sunshine will be helpful. I browse for handmade soap, which I like to have a stock of at home, but the market doesn't have any. Since I'm here, I buy two big bags of spinach and an onion. I'm tempted to buy orchid and basil plants for the dock, but I don't because we already have five plants at home. $4.30 11:30 a.m. — Time to pump, and I have a much better supply than yesterday. Breastfeeding isn't my favorite thing in the world, but the immunity benefits for Baby are so good and it saves us a lot of money. 1 p.m. — I wanted to exercise during lunch today, but since Boss saw me come in late, I decide to work through lunch. I'm not hungry, but I eat a piece of toast with guava-strawberry jam and an apple with peanut butter anyway. It sounds like a kindergartener's snack, but it is so good. I allow myself to buy one latte per week (they are expensive, and I try not to drink too much caffeine), and today is the day. I get it from the coffee shop in my building's lobby, and I add cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. Mmmm. $3.95 3:30 p.m. — Second pump of the day. I am having such a hard time concentrating! I thrive on deadlines and there aren't any this week. Caffeine also makes me insane. 5 p.m. — I hit the road to pick up Baby. I don't mind the drive because I get to blast music in the car for once. "DESPACITO!" We get home an hour and 15 minutes later. Lots of playing and baby talk ensues. 8 p.m. — Baby is asleep. Husband is exhausted from bar study and wants to order Domino's and watch a few shows on Amazon Prime. I'd rather have salad ... but I give in to Domino's. The spinach-feta pizza is so good! $28.44 11:30 p.m. — We get in bed a little late. Fifteen minutes later, I hear Baby fussing. Why is she up?? Whatever the reason, I will not really sleep tonight. I lay down with her and try coaxing her to sleep. Daily Total: $36.69
4:45 a.m. — Baby wakes up again.
6:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I'm up for the day. I get Baby ready and head to work on time today. 9:15 a.m. — Boss chats with me for 45 minutes about random things, so I still haven't started billing. I grab a vanilla Fage from the fridge and make green tea. 11:20 a.m. — I am easily distracted again today because of the lack of deadlines and court appearances. I spend the morning summarizing a 180-page deposition, and now it's time for my first pump of the day. I use the time to read fun articles and listen to music. 12:30 p.m. — My gym is located in the basement of my building and I am a member purely for convenience. The quality is not worth the $90 I pay per month. They regularly run out of towels, the equipment is old, and the quality of the group classes isn't great. I stretch for 15 minutes and then run on the treadmill for 20. I feel weak today from lack of sleep, so I don't run as long as usual. After the gym, I walk a block to Jamba Juice. I have a buy-one, get-one-free coupon, so I get two large Greek yogurt kale smoothies. I'll put one in the office freezer for tomorrow or the next day. $7 2:50 p.m. — I end up throwing away a quarter of the smoothie because it is pretty tasteless. I make a piece of peanut butter toast to make up for it. There's an open bag of sweet potato and carrot chips in the kitchen, so I try a few. These chips taste much better than regular potato chips to me. 3:35 p.m. — Finally finish summarizing the deposition and it's time to pump again. While pumping, I go on Amazon and buy a giant pack of diapers. We will have run low by the time they arrive. I always look for back-up childcare on days when I know Baby's sitter will be on vacation or her son is sick. I take 10 minutes to review applications on Care.com. It would be nice if my mom could be the backup, but she's an attorney with a really busy and unpredictable schedule. $37.04 5 p.m. — I leave work to pick up Baby and use Google Maps to beat traffic. We get home by 6:15 and an old boat neighbor who moved to a farm on the other side of the island stops by with mango and papaya. He and his wife are so cool; they are like grandparents to Baby. He hangs out with us for a while, and we cut up the mango and let Baby taste it as her first food. Baby loves it and our friend is so honored! Husband and I also have some; it is the best mango we've ever had. 8:15 p.m. — Baby is asleep. We have very little food on the boat right now, so I pour olive oil on a bunch of spinach and broccoli, pretty much soak a bread roll in olive oil, and call it dinner. Husband bought me a bottle of pinot grigio and I have a glass. While I eat, I open my Johanna Basford coloring book, something I haven't done in a long time. I love oil painting and coloring lets me use a different part of my brain, but I don't have much time for it right now. Husband is studying next to me. I'm so happy I never have to take the Bar exam again! I eat a few bites of chocolate cake, take a long shower, and get in bed by 10:15. Daily Total: $44.04
3 a.m. — I hear my husband get in bed and Baby wake up simultaneously. My only complaint about living on a boat is that everything is in the same space, so if you make too much noise, Baby will wake up. I am not amused! Husband says sorry and offers to help me, but he needs sleep so I get up. I have done middle-of-the-night duty since day one because I have the milk, which makes the back-to-sleep process go much faster.
6:30 a.m. — Baby and I wake up to my alarm and get ready for the day. I get to work on time and realize I've already used up my latte for the week. Fortunately, I get paid today. My boss isn't in, so it will be another very quiet day. 8:30 a.m. — I eat Corn Flakes with "horse bites" for breakfast and also make a green tea. Amy Winehouse makes the office less silent. I watch the clouds build in the mountains and travel toward the ocean. 12:05 p.m. — My friends downtown are all busy during lunch today, so I take a walk. I deposit my paycheck and then stop at Starbucks to get the sitter's daughter a gift card ($25). She was so sweet to Baby these past few weeks and helped out a lot. After, I walk to Longs and buy a bunch of nice soaps ($17.87). I won't run out again for a while. Next, I walk to a taqueria and order two burritos for tonight; it feels like they each weigh three pounds ($14). I stop in the boutique next door. The clothes are made in Hawaii and I find a cute pair of flowy pants for 50% off. I also get a cute little pouch for Baby to have when she's a bit older ($76.44). On the way, I feel the pull of milk tea. I order a high-caffeine tea with almond milk. I use a 25% off coupon and the rest of a gift card ($2.13). $135.44 3 p.m. — This tea makes me extremely loopy! I eat a piece of peanut butter toast and a cheese stick and catch up with our admin assistant for an hour. Then it's pump time. I buy some things we need on Amazon Prime: three pairs of pajamas for Baby, two reusable swim diapers, a sports bra, a used book, baby ointment, and a moveable laptop stand in case I want to work standing up. There are varying degrees of "need." $110.36 5 p.m. — I leave to pick up Baby and we get home by 6:15. 9:15 p.m. — Baby takes a long time to fall asleep tonight. I'm afraid she is going through a sleep regression because she has been an awesome sleeper since birth, and this week has been different. My husband and I quietly eat our burritos with sliced avocado and giggle in the quiet. We share a piece of carrot cake and eventually go to bed at 11:30. Baby wakes up 20 minutes later. I pick her up and rock her. She calms down and goes back to sleep in her bed. Daily Total: $245.80
2:15 a.m. — Baby wakes up. Dear, Reader: You are witnessing a full-blown, four-month sleep regression. My sleeping days are over. I wonder how long this will last. I'm too tired to take the time to get her back in her bed, so I lay down with her. I wake up off and on until 6:20. Is she teething? Growing? How do I make this stop??
7 a.m. — Baby falls asleep on me for 30 minutes. We are both exhausted. Baby's sitter arrives at 7:40 a.m. to pick her up and I leave for work. 8:40 a.m. — I make a nursing tea and have a ridiculous Greek yogurt for breakfast; it's coffee flavored with cookie and brownie pieces, plus chocolate chips in it. Work ensues. 1 p.m. — I start defrosting my kale smoothie from the other day. After pumping, I head to yoga class at my gym. My friend teaches the class and she's five months pregnant with a baby girl, so I bring her a bag of hand-me-downs. Yoga really calms my brain. My friend is so excited about her bag of baby goodies and we make tentative plans to go to a farmer's market tomorrow morning. 2:15 p.m. — Back in my office and feeling refreshed. I drink my kale smoothie and eat some veggie chips. I'm glad it's Friday, but I'm also dreading Friday evening traffic; it's twice as bad as traffic on other days. 3:30 p.m. — I'm still hungry. I don't want another peanut butter toast so I eat a Nature Valley almond butter biscuit instead. (It still tastes pretty similar.) I also munch on trail mix. 4:50 p.m. — I feel the buzz in the Friday evening air and watch the traffic growing from my window. I like to get home early on Fridays because the hotel next to the boat harbor has a fireworks show every Friday night at 8. Tons of people come to watch it so the harbor starts to get crowded around 7 p.m. We love the show and Baby does, too. I leave work at 5 p.m. and get home around 6:30. 8:30 p.m. — We watch the fireworks with Baby and then put her to sleep. Husband thinks we should order food from a restaurant/bar nearby. We used to go there all the time late at night, pre-Baby, and we miss it! He orders a seven-layer bean dip with chips, and two sandwiches with more chips for us. A few minutes later, he walks over to pick it up. We sit outside, drink beer and wine, and watch the stars go by. We love seeing the night sky change with the seasons. Daily Total: $0
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