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 registered nurse who makes $61,000 per year. She spends some of her money this week on vampire fangs and a PlayStation controller.
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Location: Roseville, CA
Paycheck (2x/month): $2,346
Housing: Rent is $1.900 total. I pay half of that for my husband and me; my mom pays the other half for herself and my sister.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Electric & Trash: ~$120
Husband's Photoshop Adobe Package: $29.99. (I currently support my husband financially for legal reasons.)
9:30 a.m. — Wake up and go to the kitchen to make coffee. Almost 11 weeks have passed since the car accident that broke my back. I suffered a burst fracture on my fifth lumbar vertebrae, the last one before the sacrum (or "tailbone"); and by burst, I mean the bone pretty much shattered. Little pieces shot into my spinal cord, luckily only leaving me only with some residual numbness and weakness in my right foot and toes. I'm still in a brace that prevents me from bending at my waist at all, but overall I'm feeling much better than I did a few weeks ago. I no longer have any pain, and mentally I'm feeling really positive. My husband E. turns on the Champions League game on the TV, and we watch Tottenham play Real Madrid. Both of us are playing fantasy football for the Champions League with friends. I've been in the lead so far but after today's game, my lead is a lot less comfortable. I buy a new PlayStation controller online since we notice ours isn't working so well. $16.99
4 p.m. — My sister C. comes home from school. One of the most challenging part of being temporarily disabled is that I don't currently drive and rely on my family for rides. We go to the local nursery, Green Acres, to shop for pumpkins to get in the Halloween spirit. I find a really interesting looking one and a cute mini-succulent that I decide to get for a friend's birthday party next week. I also buy a cool fern that's half-off — I'm a sucker for plants. $18.38
6 p.m. — Tacos at our favorite Mexican place for dinner. I order a couple of carnitas tacos and E. gets a carnitas torta. $13.10
8 p.m. — Stop by Sprouts on the way home to pick up collard greens, kale, cabbage, laundry detergent, and beer. C. and I have recently become obsessed with the movie What We Do in the Shadows, a sort of mock-umentary about modern vampire life. We had high aspirations to dress up like the main characters, but it's been very difficult to find their clothes online, and I don't have the means to go to a million thrift stores like I normally would. At home, I shop online for a while but don't commit to anything. Take my dog on a walk; he loves it, and it feels nice to stretch my back. Head to bed around midnight with the goal of waking up earlier than 10 tomorrow — my unattainable goal it seems. $36.10
Daily Total: $84.57
10 a.m. — Wake up and get coffee, and then join my mom and sister outside to get some sun; can't beat California weather. Our interesting living situation has taken some getting used to. My husband, my sister, her boyfriend, my mom, and I all live together for the time being. My mom moved in after my accident and having her around for the extra help has been great. I scroll through my bank account and notice that the check I wrote our immigration lawyer a few weeks ago has been cashed by the USCIS. E. and I recently got married after having been together for over seven years, and we've started going through the immigration process. He was born in Mexico but was brought here when was 12 by his parents. I'm glad to know USCIS got our information. The lawyers say it will take about six months to hear back and schedule our interviews. Fingers crossed! $530
4 p.m. — Try to do some planning for our trip to New Zealand this December; I'm going with my sister and her boyfriend. I have a doctor's appointment in three weeks, and if my MD says my spine is stable, I'm going to go; if not, I'll have to cancel last minute. A package of things I ordered (orange blossom body spray and Wild by Cheryl Strayed) arrives, and I agree to go shoe shopping with my sister. We go to DSW, and I don't find anything I like, but afterward, we go to a Halloween store where I buy vampire fangs for E. and me. $10.70
6 p.m. — Dinner at the taco place again; my sister and I share a carnitas taco salad and fish ceviche, and I order a beer. Back at home, I take out the new bedding I ordered during an Urban Outfitters sale last week. I like it! I've been doing a lot of online shopping lately, though, and I really need to watch my new bad habit. After, I work on a painting for a while and then watch Eyes Wide Shut with E. Can't believe I've never seen this movie before; it's so creepy and deep. I go to bed around midnight thinking about it. $11.97
Daily Total: $552.67
10 a.m. — Wake up, make coffee, and watch a few videos and a documentary about Scientology with E. I guess the movie last night got us thinking about it. We talk about what would make someone want to join a cult, and I make sautéed lacinato kale and a fried egg on toast for breakfast. E.'s birthday is next week, so I buy more of his favorite cologne online. I'm trying not to waste all this free time I have now that I wished I had when I was working. I study Spanish every day, have been working to getting my finances and retirement in order, and have been going through my house to minimize and donate what I don't need. $54.69
2 p.m. — Go to Trader Joe's with my sister to grocery shopping for the house. We buy tortilla chips, coconut milk, canned beans, olive oil, sparkling water, a few spices, bread, milk, half-and-half, yogurt, eggs, pumpkin-flavored mini-ice cream cones, crumbled feta, goat cheese, frozen pizzas, waffle cookies, peppermint tea, ginger, raspberries, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, peas, cucumber, asparagus, baby broccoli, and pita chips. We pay with our mom's card ($98.28). I barely make it in the house before opening the ice cream cones. They are delicious!
4 p.m. — My sister's BF comes home, and he drives us to Whole Foods, where I manage to not buy anything. I ask him to swing by KoJa Kitchen, a new Korean-Japanese fusion place, for a strawberry-mango-mint frozen lemonade. I also buy one for him. Later, my dad comes over for dinner. We get take-and-bake pizzas from Papa Murphy's; he buys. $5
Daily Total: $59.69
11 a.m. — My sister wakes up panicked since her boyfriend's parents and their friend are visiting from Switzerland, and they are coming over for dinner tonight. E. and I offer to help get ready. After cleaning the whole house, we go grocery shopping for the meal — but first is lunch! We go to a local sushi spot, Blue Nami, and my sister pays with money my mom gave her. (I know she spoils us too much...) After, we walk over to Bloom, a local coffee shop, and I buy London Fog lattes for me and E. and tip $1. $9
1 p.m. — Head to the Mexican specialty store for taco meat and other supplies for the epic feast we are planning; my sister pays. M.'s parents are European, so we feel they rarely eat great tacos. Head to Sprouts for a few other veggies, and my sister buys again. We walk over to Bev Mo, and I offer to buy a six-pack to share, and E. picks out his own bottle. The dinner is a huge success! We make carne asada, shrimp and grilled veggies for the tacos, and talk about European politics and the environment. Everyone leaves around 10 p.m. $17.51
Daily Total: $26.51
11 a.m. — The day starts off slow. My sister and her boyfriend are going to a wedding this afternoon. E. and I take the dog for a walk in the park and kick around a soccer ball a little. E. mentions how much he loves the movie Goal, and I later find it on eBay and buy it. $4.08
5 p.m. — After dropping off C. and M. at their friend's house, we head to Trader Joe's again. We get coffee, half-and-half, bananas, sausages, pretzel rolls, cucumber, popcorn, chips, cottage cheese, manchego cheese, tamales, and a few other staples; Mom pays ($58.91). We head home and I make up a cheeseboard as a snack. A few weeks ago, I made homemade lacto-fermented pickles and cauliflower; they still taste good, and I add them to the plate. I put sausages on pretzel rolls for the main course, and Mom, E., and I start a movie marathon: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sister Act 1 and 2, and What Women Want. I go to bed around midnight.
Daily Total: $4.08
11 a.m. — Wake up. Sister and her BF are a little hung over from the party last night and offer to drive to pho for an early lunch. E. and I both get beef brisket and raw, thinly sliced beef, and I order a jackfruit smoothie. $24.77
1 p.m. — We head over to Goodwill to see if they have anything that will work for our Halloween costumes. I finally find a shirt that will work for my costume and E. finds a long black robe and white face paint. I round up my total to make a small donation. $22
4 p.m. — Go to the mall to return a dress at Urban Outfitters; they sent me the wrong size in the mail, and I get $25.73 back. E. finds pants at the Gap for only $10. $10.70
5 p.m. — Zócalo is across the street so we decide to head over for happy hour. I order two sangrias, E. gets a beer, and we both order flautas and queso fundido to snack on. It is so rich, and we all head home close to food coma. Instead of napping, though, we take our dog on a long walk, and I feel a lot better. E. and I stay up and watch The Strangers. I go to bed feeling uneasy and make sure to lock all the doors. $30.06
Daily Total: $87.53
11 a.m. — Wake up, have a little coffee, and shower. My cousin Holly picks up my sister and me for coffee and pastries at Ettore's. Going from having my own car and being able to go anywhere I wanted, pretty much any time, to really having no independence has taught me patience. I appreciate that my disability is temporary; health is everything! Our cousin vents to us about her husband and one-year-old baby, and seems so happy to get a break. We get a ham-and-cheese croissant, a chocolate croissant, an apricot Danish, and coffee. I also pick up a loaf of bread and a fresh fruit pastry for E. $16.80
1 p.m. — After pastries, we go to Target and walk down every aisle. I end up getting some truly random items: socks, pads, glow-in-the-dark nail polish, mason jars, pickles, and a notebook. It's just nice to be out of the house! $31.81
2 p.m. — We get dropped off at home. E. is resting on the couch and tells me he walked to lunch and got ingredients for soup night. Every Monday night, my sister, her boyfriend, E., and I take turns making a soup. Tonight, he is making black bean and roasted poblano pepper soup. $30.55
4 p.m. — E. needs a few more things for his soup, so we get my mom to drive us to Safeway. We buy the rest of the soup makings and a couple of other random things: queso fresco, cucumber, avocado, bok choy, Anaheim peppers, cilantro, and a couple of craft beers to share. Dinner is great, and we spend the rest of the night drinking red wine and painting. Life isn't too bad when you have awesome people around you. $17.11
Daily Total: $96.27
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