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 senior business development associate who makes $106,250 per year. This week, she spends some of it on vet bills for two different pets and Heartgard.
Occupation: Senior Business Development Associate Industry: Health Tech Age: 29 Location: San Francisco, CA Salary: $106,250 | Husband's Salary: $151,000 Paycheck (2x/month): $2,155.89 | Husband's Paycheck: $3,085.24. My husband and I each put in 65% of our paychecks in a joint account, and deposit the remaining 35% into our individual accounts. Although we currently we keep some personal spending money separate, we will soon be combining 100% of our finances.
Monthly Expenses Housing Costs: $3,112 to rent a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. (Includes pet rent.) Loan Payments: $0. We were lucky that our families helped pay for undergrad. My husband has paid off his grad school loans.
All Other Monthly Expenses Utilities: ~$40 Cell Phone: $145 for me and my husband. I'm reimbursed $120/month from work. Gym: $15 Car Insurance: $140 for one car Internet: $74.45. We don't have cable. Health Insurance: $0. Both our health, dental, and vision insurances are covered by our employers. IRA & 401(k): 13% of both our incomes per paycheck go into our Roth 401(k) accounts. Netflix: $0. We use my parents' account. Pandora: $3.95 Transportation: $46 pre-tax dollars to load on a Clipper Card Horse Board: $845/month for full care and turnout Pet Food: $20/month for special cat food, other pet expenses we pay as needed
Yearly Expenses Amazon Prime: $99 Renters' Insurance: $194
6:30 a.m. — Ugh, Monday. I wake up and feed the dog and cat. My coffee is set to auto-brew at 6:45. I make a fruit smoothie as I get ready, then drink it while I walk the dog. I pack my gym clothes and lunch, then walk to the bus stop. I do a quick email triage on the 25-minute ride in.
8:10 a.m. — I get to my desk and start work. I also confirm with my husband via Trello that we're going to attend Pints & Puppies this weekend (outdoor beers + dogs, yay!) and buy two tickets. $44.18 9:30 a.m. — I get free work coffee, and make a packet of oatmeal from the huge box I keep at my desk. I am so tired of oatmeal. 10 a.m. — I walk a block to the post office to ship a small package. $4.77 11:30 a.m. — I leave the office and head to the gym. Halfway through my workout, I get a missed call and a text from my barn manager. My horse injured himself and is sporting a laceration above his eye. I text her while I finish up on the elliptical, then call her on my walk back to the office. We determine she will call the vet to give him a few stitches. Back at the office, I eat the lunch I packed (veggie curry) between conference calls. My boss tells me he's still working on getting me the raise we've been discussing for months. Frustrating. 4 p.m. — I leave work slightly early to bring my dog to the vet for a follow up tech appointment. The vet is a little pricey, I think, but they are one block from our apartment. The dog gets two vaccines and two different blood samples. $331.91 6 p.m. — After feeding the dog and cat, and eating a quick dinner of eggs over cheesy rice, I get in my car and drive the 40 minutes to the stable. My horse has been nicely stitched up and seems happy enough, considering. I give him some treats, groom him, and keep the wound clean. 9 p.m. — I stop at Safeway on my way home and pick up eggs, bread, milk, cheese, ice cream, pasta sauce, a bag of peppermints for my horse, and a sleeve of bagels, cream cheese, and cookies to bring to work. I pretty much only use my car to get to and from the barn, and I like to pick up groceries on my way home. I get home and manage to find good street parking easily. My husband is back from his weekend away! We catch up, then head to bed. $32.21 Daily Total: $413.07
6:40 a.m. — Wake up, feed the pets, get ready, walk the dog, grab coffee to go. I skip the smoothie since I have bagels now!
9 a.m. — I send emails and field calls for work. I just received a bonus, which hits my account today. Too bad I'll probably be using a good chunk of that for the horse's vet bill, once it comes in. 10 a.m. — I purchase a piece of vintage jewelry online. I really shouldn't, but it's hard to pass up a solid gold and diamond piece for such a low price. It's bad, but I'm also trying to get my personal shopping “out of my system,” since my husband and I are looking to purchase a house. We'll combine our finances 100% at that time. $129.99 11 a.m. — I go to the dentist, who's just a few blocks away. Insurance pays. Before going back to the office, I hit the gym. The (dog) vet calls when I'm on the elliptical to let me know everything is fine with the blood work. When I get back, I eat more curry at my desk. 2:30 p.m. — We have donuts for a coworker's birthday. I eat two halves. So delicious and so filling. 5 p.m. — I take the bus home, then walk the dog. After, I go to the barn again and repeat the routine with my horse. I'm happy to see he's still feeling comfortable and the wound looks fine. When I get home around 9, I eat more eggs and cheesy rice for dinner. Daily Total: $129.99
6:40 a.m. — Feed pets, get ready, walk dog, coffee, bus.
8 a.m. — I'm busy this morning and work pretty much straight through until 11, though I do have time to get coffee from the kitchen. Breakfast is leftover donuts at the office, which is both great and terrible. 11 a.m. — I walk to meet my husband and our realtor several blocks away. Our realtor drives us to two properties, one of which I saw alone over the weekend while my husband was out of town. We agree that that house is top choice for us both. 1 p.m. — Back in the office, and straight to a call. I don't eat my lunch (leftover pasta bake packed from home) until 2. 5 p.m. — The gym didn't fit in today, so instead I pack up my stuff in my running backpack and run the 3.3 miles home. I take the dog out, then quickly shower. 7 p.m. — Tonight is a once-monthly ladies' wine night. It's hosted at an apartment with no parking and no good bus routes, so I Lyft Line to and from. I bring a bottle of wine from home, and our hostess provides pizza, a cheese plate, and guac and chips. Yum! She doesn't want to keep the leftover cheeses and gives them to me to take home. $8.48 Daily Total: $8.48
6:40 a.m. — Feed pets, get ready, walk dog, coffee, bus.
8 a.m. — At work and I have a few calls this morning. I toast a bagel and eat it with cream cheese. 11 a.m. — My husband and I have coffee with our realtor to discuss disclosures and next steps. The realtor pays for my small skim latte. 12 p.m. — I stop by my husband's office for lunch (they get lunch free every day), which is salmon, risotto, tofu, and salad. The curry I brought to my office can stay in the fridge until tomorrow. I work for the rest of the afternoon, but also take some time to start to review the disclosure packet for the property we love. 5 p.m. — I go to the gym, then bus home. The piece of jewelry I bought on Tuesday arrives, and it's beautiful! After walking the dog, I make eggs over cheesy rice and plop on the couch to watch Netflix. I'm really tired and decide not to visit my horse this evening. I shower and then do a little work for the house hunt, but mostly I browse the internet and read before bed. Daily Total: $0
5 a.m. — I wake up anxious with a question about finance logistics and buying a home. I make a note on Trello, tag my husband, and try to go back to sleep. I wake up again at 6:40 for the usual morning routine. I should make a smoothie but opt for five more minutes of sleep instead.
7:34 a.m. — I power-walk and get to the bus stop right before the bus arrives. On the bus, I open the Amazon app to purchase another jasmine perfume roller ($9.99). I just got one, but I don't want to carry it back and forth between home and work every day since I usually work out and shower over lunch. A bag of our cat's natural, no-dust litter is in the cart ($15.27). I buy both. $25.26 9 a.m. — Between a call with our mortgage loan officer and a work call, I order a yearlong supply of Heartgard for our dog from 1800petmeds.com now that I have a prescription for him from Monday's vet visit. $76.48 11 a.m. — Aside from a long conference call, work is pretty slow this morning. I spend a decent amount of time emailing and calling my investment advisors to move money from our investment accounts into our checking in preparation for making an offer on a home next week. I also pop over to the post office to mail an online return. It's $7.07, which the seller reimburses me. 11:45 a.m. — Gym, then I hurry back for a call with my boss. 2 p.m. — I am hungry! I heat up my curry and munch on tortilla chips and guac that are left out in the kitchen. 3 p.m. — My coworkers and I are doing more chatting than working. (Hey, it's Friday afternoon.) I'm going on a business trip next week with two coworkers, and I get the okay from our operations manager to buy and expense a selfie stick ($19.95) that will increase the number of pictures we take for Glassdoor, etc. 4 p.m. — I'll be heading to my husband's office straight from work for happy hour. I use the Wag app to book a walk for our dog, which is $25. I'm not sure what the expected tipping situation for Wag is. Is it like Lyft, where generally you don't tip — or should I be tipping? Because I don't know, I tip 10%. $27.50 6:30 p.m. — Happy hour at my husband's office. We hang out with friends and enjoy free food and beer while playing games. We also take some leftover vegetables and unclaimed meals that are about to be thrown out. We split a Lyft with a friend and arrive home around 11. $5 Daily Total: $134.24
10 a.m. — We sleep in and have a lazy morning. First is breakfast: coffee and omelets made partially from the ingredients we grabbed last night (the guac and pico), plus jalapeño focaccia I got from the farmers' market last week. After, our building manager comes to fix our toilet, and we spent about an hour cleaning the apartment and doing laundry. We also sit down and work on follow-up items regarding the home offer we're making next week. The vet bill comes in for my horse's stitches. I've submitted it to his insurance, but it's under the deductible and is (thankfully) his first injury for the year, so I pay out of pocket.
$398 2:30 p.m. — We finally get out of the apartment for a run. Usually, we bring our dog with us on weekend runs, but today, we're planning a long run in preparation for an 18k race in two weeks and our little guy can't go that far. We run nine miles through Golden Gate Park. The run feels great; I hope we're in a good place for the race. 5:30 p.m. — After showering, we eat dinners scavenged from my husband's work yesterday: teriyaki sweet potatoes over rice with side salads. Plus, we each have a beer. 7 p.m. — We walk the dog to one of our local bars on Clement Street, where we each have a beer and chat for a while. The strangers next to us love our dog, and we convince them to check out the rescue where we adopted him. $15 8 p.m. — We can't stop thinking about the house. We walk home and distract ourselves with a movie and ice cream from the freezer. Daily Total: $413
8 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I snooze twice before waking up. I make coffee, then prepare bags of grain for my horse. (The barn feeds grain at no extra cost, but I have to bag each of his meals individually.) My husband is usually on omelet duty on the weekend, but he's still sleeping. I take the dog out for a quick walk, and then make cheesy eggs and toast my last shortbread biscuit from Trader Joe's.
10 a.m. — I arrive at the barn. I wasn't originally planning to ride, but it's a gorgeous day and my horse's cut is healing well. I take him outside for a short, 25-minute ride before cleaning up his cut, giving him peppermints, and putting him away. 12 p.m. — Once I get home, I take a very quick shower. My husband and I load up the dog and drive to Mission Rock for Pints & Puppies. Luckily, we find free parking right by the venue. Our friend meets us there, and we enjoy the sunshine and dogs everywhere! In addition to the two beers included with our tickets, we buy two more IPAs and split nachos. $24 4 p.m. — We drive back home with our friend in tow. We grab a few more beers and lawn games from our apartment, then play games outdoors for a while. After, we play a board game in our apartment and eat food from the fridge. 8 p.m. — Our friend leaves and I pack for my business trip before we watch Game of Thrones. I read in bed before going to sleep around 11, dreading my 5:20 a.m. wake-up call the next day. Daily Total: $24
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior. The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here. Have a money diary you'd like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing diaries, we're looking for potential diarists along the following themes: 1. High Earners: We've looked at how people living on the U.S. median personal income are spending. Now, we also want to know how those who earn above-average salaries make things work. Are you a woman making six figures on your own, or combine your earnings with a partner? Whether you're frugal, tend to spend more, or have in-depth budgeting routines, we want to hear from you! Submit it to us here. 2. Teachers: Whether you're an adjunct professor, a preschool teacher, a tenured boss, or anywhere in between, we want to know how you make your money work for you! Submit it to us here.