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: a consultant who makes $90,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on an electric foot file and makeup.
Location: Honolulu, HI
Paycheck (2x/month): $2,645 after taxes
Housing: $1,289.25 mortgage and $349.95 in condo fees. I own a condo in the D.C. area, and rent it out to a tenant who pays $1,700/month. In Honolulu, I live solo in a condo and pay $1,750/month.
Loan Payments: $0. Luckily, college was free. I paid off my car a couple years ago.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Maintenance & Condo Emergency Fund: $100/month left in the account for maintenance on condo in D.C.
Savings: $800. (I send $400 via direct deposit into my savings account each paycheck.)
Insurance: $80 for car, renters, homeowners, and personal property insurance
Medical Insurance: Covered by work
Vision, Dental, Life & Disability Insurances: $65/month
401(k): $500 (matched 6% by my employer)
Hulu: About $12
Pandora: $4. (I couldn't stand the commercials.)
Apple Cloud Storage Upgrade: $1
Phone: $25. I'm still on the family plan, but I pay for my portion every month.
Amazon Prime: $99/year. (But I got two month free since because of an error on some orders.)
5 a.m. — Wake up early to take the BF to the airport from his place.
6:15 a.m. — Get back to my place and go back to bed for another hour. I am NOT a morning person.
7:45 a.m. — Up and ready to go. Luckily, I meal-prepped work lunches last night at my boyfriend's place — chicken, brown rice, green beans, and a mixed-greens salad. I throw some yogurt, granola, and blueberries together for breakfast.
8:15 a.m. — Get settled in at work and catch up on my team's emails, as they're located on the East Coast and are six hours ahead.
9 a.m. — Eat the breakfast I brought from home. I'm not usually a breakfast-at-work person, but I've noticed recently that if I bring and eat something healthy in the morning, it keeps me from snacking in the afternoon. Guess people are right about breakfast being the most important meal of the day.
12:30 p.m. — Grab my lunch and go sit at the picnic tables outside to get some sunshine and enjoy the gorgeous weather.
4:30 p.m. — Head home, where I whip up lemons bars for a friend's birthday party later. I love to bake, so I always have the basics on hand and regularly pick up refills when I do big grocery runs.
7 p.m. — Bowling and pizza party for one of my girlfriends. I order a beer while we wait for lanes to open. $6
9:30 p.m. — After a few games of bowling and karaoke after, I head home. My friend's husband paid for pizza and bowling for everyone. I stay up to watch Hulu for a little bit before crashing early.
Daily Total: $6
6:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off but I hit snooze — that extra seven minutes of shut eye helps somehow. By 7:30, I'm up and have packed breakfast and lunch (the same as yesterday) before I head off to work.
8 a.m. — Arrive at work to an urgent assignment from my boss. After I hunt her down to get the guidance I need, I start to work on it. I eat breakfast about an hour later, and then finally come up for air around 12:45 when I decide to go outside again and enjoy the sunshine and my lunch.
3:15 p.m. — Take a mini-work break to order part of a birthday gift for my dad. He's obsessed with anything aged in a bourbon barrel. I find a hot sauce made like that, and it comes with a cookbook so he can make his own. $25.62
5:30 p.m. — After a lot of back and forth with my boss, I finish up the assignment and head home.
6 p.m. — Knowing I have a busy, fun-filled weekend ahead of me, I decide to stay in and watch all the trashy shows I can't watch with my BF.
7:30 p.m. — I make nachos for dinner and eat in bed.
Daily Total: $25.62
8 a.m. — Same morning as yesterday, cruising through the morning at work.
10:45 a.m. — Take a mid-morning break to research and order a nice fountain pen for my boyfriend. He's in the military and has a big promotion in three weeks; I want to get him something he can use daily. I also get ink that goes with the pen, and I plan on getting it engraved when it arrives. $128.87
11:15 a.m. — I'm getting my boyfriend something cool, so I buy myself baking supplies, too. Russian piping tips for frosting have been all over Instagram and calling my name for months ($35.06). Also, a 24-K gold face mask that has been in my Amazon "save for later" cart is having a lightening deal and is $10 off ($14.95). I take advantage of it. $50.01
2 p.m. — A friend texts me to ask if I want to hang out after work. She's dropping someone off at the airport at 4 p.m., and needs to kill time before meeting other friends later without fighting traffic to go home in between. Hawaii traffic is notoriously horrible, and I live close to the airport.
4 p.m. — I leave work but hit up the grocery store first. I usually go every two weeks and do a big stock up, but I forgot some stuff last time. I buy rice I needed, yeast (I've starting making my own bread recently), a nice big piece of salmon for lunches next week, and fruit. Since almost everything must be shipped to Hawaii, groceries are particularly expensive. $50.97
4:30 p.m. — I found a new and fun-looking speakeasy-style spot on Instagram. My friend is just as adventurous as me, so she stops by my place and we drink a glass of prosecco. (The bar doesn't open until 5.)
6:30 p.m. — That bar was super cool — I'm definitely coming back. I had a delightful gin cocktail and we split pupus. We leave so that she can go meet up with other friends. $23.82
8:30 p.m. — The same friend has wrangled our other friends to go out closer to my place, so I decide to join in. She swings back by my place and we finish the rest of the prosecco.
9 p.m. — Friends that live across the street hail a Lyft and we all head out.
11:30 p.m. — We head to a fun hotel lobby bar with live music. This musician is playing awesome soulful covers. My friend and I switch off getting each round of drinks. $21
1 a.m. — After grabbing midnight snacks (my friends pick up the tab), I order a Lyft with a different friend and send her back to her side of the island. $32.22
Daily Total: $306.89
7 a.m. — Wake up and text my friends to make sure they're still on for our early morning plans. Grab 20 more minutes of precious sleep.
7:20 a.m. — Get up and out the door real fast to meet my friends in the lobby. Luckily, we live in the same condo building!
7:30 a.m. — Hail a Lyft and head off to the beach. This morning, the Hokule'a is making her return home to Hawaii after spending the last three years circumnavigating the world using only traditional Polynesian navigation techniques. $10.42
10:30 a.m. — The homecoming ceremony was amazing. I'm filled with so much pride for the people of Hawaii and the crew of the Hokule'a and her sister ships. We're ravenous after, and decide to go to brunch on the beach in Waikiki.
2 p.m. — We finally leave brunch. The restaurant wasn't too busy, so we got to enjoy the company, the view, and the cheap lilikoi mimosas. $36.37
4 p.m. — Still slightly tipsy from brunch. I go back on Amazon and order an amazing, comfy t-shirt dress I recently purchased in two other colors. ($37.98) In my attempts to be less crappy to the environment, I also buy reusable produce bags ($8.97), so that I can stop wasting so much plastic when I shop. $46.95
6:30 p.m. — Meet up with same friends from the morning to go to a block party celebrating the ship's homecoming. (It's a big deal for the community.) I walk up to their condo to have a drink before heading out.
8 p.m. — We walk to block party in the neighborhood over, and are met with tons of food trucks and vendors. We buy dinner; I got a kalbi beef rib dinner plate. This block party is right near my boyfriend's place, but he's out of town. I message him (halfway across the world) to see if the door is unlocked so we can use the bathroom. It is, so we end up eating on his lanai, grabbing more drinks, and losing track of time. $14.52
12:30 a.m. — It's late and we've done some damage on the gin, so it's time to head home. I hail a Lyft. $10.20
Daily Total: $118.46
9:45 a.m. — Awake to texts from a friend wanting to hike and figure it'd be a good way to sweat out the gin from last night. I eat a pickle, drink a glass of OJ, swallow an Advil, and head out the door.
12 p.m. — Hike a few miles on an old, abandoned highway that leads to a really cool lookout point above the new highway. I'm glad that my friend convinced me to get out of bed. This was so worth it.
1:45 p.m. — Having the Amazon app on my phone will be the downfall of my budget. I notice that my heels are in really bad shape (the one downside of wearing open-toed shoes year round), I buy an electronic foot file I've had my eye on for a few weeks. $31.29
2:30 p.m. — Since the weather is a little rainy and icky, we decide to treat ourselves to Japanese hot pot for an early dinner. I gorge on veggies, noodles, and short ribs cooked in a tom yum broth. So good! $30.24
4 p.m. — I'm home and watching TV. I plan on going to sleep early to make up for being out so late all weekend. I'm asleep by 8.
Daily Total: $61.53
9 a.m. — Really boring day at work, but I get through it without any shopping breaks. All my meals are leftovers I prepared from last week.
6 p.m. — Get home and decided to clean and do laundry. Nothing like getting into bed with freshly washed sheets. I don't have laundry in my unit, but it's on the same floor — which isn't too bad. I run two loads for $4.75 from a pre-loaded card.
7:30 p.m. — Scrounge around in the kitchen and end up making dinosaur chicken nuggets for dinner. Kid food is my guilty pleasure.
8 p.m. — Watch TV and go to asleep around 10. I think I'm still recovering from the weekend! I'm getting old.
Daily Total: $0
7 a.m. — Scroll through Instagram and see that the new Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette is on pre-sale for Sephora VIB Rouge, and I have to get one. I have a slight make up problem, but Sephora is still 8% back on Ebates, so I will get cash back in the mail in a couple of months. $56.43
7:30 a.m. — Last of the chicken, rice, and green beans — meaning I'm going to have to cook something tonight to avoid overeating/spending for the rest of the week.
12:30 p.m. — It's raining, so I eat lunch in the break space with a few coworkers.
5 p.m. — Having belated celebratory drinks with a friend who completed another Iron Man triathlon two weeks ago. I made a reservation for us last week at an award-winning cocktail bar that specializes in rare whiskeys around the corner from her job (that she still hasn't been to). We each order three bespoke cocktails, split an appetizer, and tip. $45
9:30 p.m. — Pop into the grocery store to pick up mixed greens for my lunch salads and asparagus for meal prep. Then head home to cook. $9.47
10:45 p.m. — Finally finishing cooking and cleaning up — the worst part and, honestly, what keeps me from cooking a large portion of the time.
11:30 p.m. — Showered and in bed. I start watching TV on Hulu but I promptly fall asleep.
Daily Total: $110.90
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