A Week In Seattle, WA, On A $73,000 Salary

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.

Ahead of National Twins Day, we present Twin Week, where we’re tracking the spending of five sets of twins. Just because twins share the same DNA, doesn’t mean they share the same money habits, so we thought it’d be a fun experiment to compare and contrast the way millennial twins are saving and spending. Here’s a set of twins living in Seattle, WA, and San Diego, CA, respectively.

This diary: a transportation engineer working in civil engineering who makes $73,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Cheetos. Her twin is a teacher.

Occupation: Transportation Engineer
Industry: Civil Engineering
Age: 28
Location: Seattle, WA
Salary: $73,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,957.77

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,050 for one bedroom in a three-bedroom house that I live in with two roommates
Utilities: ~$100
Student Loan Payment: $822 (but I usually pay an extra $80 every paycheck)
Car Payment: $220
Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance: $22
Bus Pass: $0 (My company covers this)
HSA: $25 per paycheck
Car Insurance: $89
Spotify: $5 (I have a family plan with my roommates.)
Donation To Podcast: $4
Yoga: $144
401(k): 10% of my paycheck

Day One

7:30 a.m. — Sleep in a bit. I get ready in two minutes and bike to work. It takes about 35 minutes at a pretty leisurely pace. I shower and get ready at work and then grab a coffee at the cafe in my building. $2.92

12:30 p.m. — I work through lunchtime. I meal prepped a few days ago — my usual: wheat pasta with butter, mushrooms, red pepper, and peas. I also grab a free V8 from the office kitchen.

2:30 p.m. — There's salad leftover from a lunch meeting that looks okay, and I'm a bit hungry, so I take some. It's not great.

5:30 p.m. — I bike home and then turn back around a few minutes later to bike to a yoga sculpt class.

8:30 p.m. — I'm home, starving, and sweaty. I wash my sheets and cook dinner: eggs with spinach and tomato, along with a piece of toast and seltzer water. Time to pack for my friend's bachelorette party this weekend and go to sleep!

Daily Total: $2.92

Day Two

7:15 a.m. — Running a bit late, so I skip breakfast again. I put on coffee last night, which I take to work with me this morning. I take the bus this time. (My company pays for my bus pass.)

12:15 p.m. — I work through lunch again. Same veggie pasta as yesterday, plus cheese from the office kitchen.

4:15 p.m. — Company sponsored in-office happy hour. I have a local cider that's really good and chat with my coworkers until about 5. I'm actually feeling a bit tipsy because I didn't eat much for lunch.

5:30 p.m. — I leave work at 5:30 to meet my roommate, T., for a free concert in the area. St. Vincent is playing, and I have been obsessively listening to her music for weeks. We meet for dinner and drinks beforehand and split a falafel salad and a hummus plate, plus a glass of red wine each. We split the bill evenly. $28.67

6:30 p.m. — We arrive at the concert during the opening act. I grab a very overpriced local beer and grab a seat before St. Vincent goes on. It's a blast! I want to get up and dance, but I'm feeling shy because no one around us is standing, so I dance while sitting a little bit. I have a great time, and we leave before the headliner. $11

9:30 p.m. — T. and I take the bus to meet our other roommate and a friend at a brewpub near our house. I get a local beer and the three of us split cheesy bready thing. We go home because I need to finish packing and get some sleep! $11

Daily Total: $50.67

Day Three

6 a.m. — Today I'm going to Dallas for my good friend S.'s bachelorette party. I get a notification that my flight is delayed 40 minutes (it was supposed to leave at 7:50 a.m.), so I get to sleep in a little. Then I shower, pack up my toiletries, and head out. I usually take public transit to the airport, but with the timing of this flight, it feels worth it to drive and pay for parking for a few days.

7:30 a.m. — I'm super hungry, so I grab a large iced latte and an everything bagel and cream cheese. The price isn't bad for the airport. As I approach the gate, American Airlines announces that the flight is delayed a bit more, for an unknown amount of time. Then they say the plane is squeaking, but it will just be a few minutes. $9.46

9:15 a.m. — American Airlines now says the flight will now depart at noon. I have two books with me, but I don't feel like reading, so I wander the airport looking for a NYT crossword puzzle book. It's a little expensive, but oh well, being stuck at the airport means no other options! I sit a few gates away and do a crossword while listening to a podcast and periodically checking my phone to see if there are any flight status updates. $12.02

11 a.m. — My phone is now saying the flight already took off. I go back to the gate to see what's up. They tell me to go to another gate and talk to the staff there, who says I can catch a connecting flight to Dallas through Austin and get into Dallas at 9 p.m. I was originally scheduled to arrive at 2:30 p.m., but oh well. Better to be safe. Plus I'll still make it in time to go out tonight! I walk to the new terminal and grab a large cold brew coffee and an overpriced fruit cup at Starbucks. It's $10.40, but I have $1.74 left on a gift card. $8.66

12 p.m. — I finally board a flight! Once on the plane, I eat my fruit cup and watch The Post. It's fantastic. Highly recommend!

7 p.m. — I have a one-hour layover in Austin. I know everyone will have already eaten dinner when I get there, so I get mac and cheese and a glass of wine while I'm waiting for my next flight. It's very good, but a small portion and pretty expensive. I hate being hungry at airports. I change and put on makeup so that I'm ready to go out straight from the airport. I get on the flight to Dallas. $26.73

9 p.m. — I land and take a Lyft to Fort Worth. $35.26

9:30 p.m. — I drop my stuff off in a friend's car and then pay a $10 cover charge to go into the dueling piano bar where my friends are. I cry for a few minutes when I first see S. — it's been over six months since I last saw her. I'm so happy to be reunited. $10

11 p.m. — This is my first time in Texas, and I will say this — it is very different from Seattle. Strangers are very friendly and buying us all drinks. I buy a round of drinks for the girls. $33.11

1 a.m. — We hit CVS on our way out of the bar. I'm feeling a bit drunk, and I get Annie's Mac & Cheese, Cheetos, and a V8 for the morning. A friend who lives in Fort Worth drives us to her apartment. (She hadn't been drinking.) We eat the mac and cheese and Cheetos and go to sleep. $8.46

Daily Total: $143.70

Day Four

9:45 a.m. — I wake up pretty early, considering how much I drank last night and that I'm on west coast time. I'm very happy to have my V8. We hit Whole Foods to get eggs, bread, and home fries. I also grab a kombucha. We split the bill, and then go home and cook. $9.46

1 p.m. — We hit a few shops nearby. I pick out a black skirt that's a little pricey, but I really like it, and it's better to wear out tonight than anything I brought with me. Then we spend the afternoon at the pool. I haven't been swimming in a long time, and I love it! The girls have leftover food from yesterday for lunch, but I don't eat meat, so I eat mushrooms and red peppers. $48.71

3:30 p.m. — I'm getting hungry, so I grab a vegan latte and a Kind bar at Starbucks near the pool. Then we leave to shower and get ready to go out. I have a beer while getting ready. $7.48

7 p.m. — We drive to Dallas. The plan is to grab dinner, go to a comedy show, and then have a little surprise for S. We only have time for quick apps by the time we get to the restaurant. A friend pays, and I Venmo her to split the check. We leave the car at the restaurant and Uber to the comedy show. $14

9 p.m. — I order two glasses of red wine at the show. The show is fine and the wine is overpriced. $27.99

11 p.m. — We arrive at the surprise for S. It's a drag show at a gay bar. It takes S. a very long to realize she's at a gay bar. The cover is $8, but they're nice and let S. in for free! $8

11:15 p.m. — The drag queen invites any guest to give her $20 in cash to announce anything we want. I'm the only one with cash, so I give it to S.'s sister to give to the drag queen, who announces S.'s wedding. I'm very amused by her saying "gross" when S. says she's marrying a man. The drag queen asks S. about her fiancé's penis, and S. says something hilarious to the entire bar. I'll spare the details. It was worth the $20. $20

12 a.m. — My twin sister was supposed to be here, but she couldn't make it. She tells me to order a round of beer for the party ($22) and she Venmos me for it.

2 a.m. — I close my tab and somehow only spent $6 of my own money on drinks at the drag show! $6

3 a.m. — We Uber back to the car, since we have a sober driver to drive us back to Fort Worth. We're all starving because we didn't eat any proper meals today. S. is in mom-mode and makes everyone grilled cheeses when we get back. I stay up all night talking with S. and her sister. I'm so happy to be with her! We stay up til 7 a.m.!

Daily Total: $141.64

Day Five

11 a.m. — I sleep in. A friend buys donuts for everyone.

1 p.m. — Today is another pool day. Beer and pools are great for a mild hangover. I send S. and another friend out to get pizza on my credit card. $70 total, but some of the girls split the bill with me. $30

4:30 p.m. — The airport isn't super close, and I want more time with S., so I go a bit early with her and her sister and another friend, who are flying out a few hours before my flight. I get the Lyft, but we split it three ways (minus S.). $14.70

6:30 p.m. — I grab a glass of sangria and split food at the airport with the girls before their flight. Then we say goodbye! $19.99

8 p.m. — My flight is delayed an hour. I have time to kill before my flight, so I have another overpriced glass of wine and read. $17.99

10 p.m. — Finally on my flight home. I have an Rxbar and watch The Disaster Artist. Another excellent movie!

1 a.m. — I arrive back in Seattle, get my car, pay for parking, and drive home. What a long weekend! I'm so tired, I don't even unpack. $60

Daily Total: $142.68

Day Six

8 a.m. — Sleep in very late. I tell my office I'll be in late today and take a 9:30 a.m. bus. We have a fancy coffee maker at work, so I make myself a cup. Plus there are free bagels today. Thank god, I'm starving.

12 p.m. — We get lunch provided today for a lunch meeting. It's really good, with lots of vegetarian options — rice, pita, hummus, falafel, and salad.

5:30 p.m. — Feeling super jet lagged. I bus home from work.

7 p.m. — It's so nice out, but I'm so jet lagged and exhausted that I don't want to do anything. There's one beer in the fridge that I drink while I make food and watch Certain Women, another good movie. I unpack and go to sleep.

Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

6 a.m. — I wake up with extreme back pain. This never happens to me. (I really like my bed.) I assume it's from being entirely sedentary the whole weekend. I do light yoga until I can lay down again.

7 a.m. — I feel much better now. I get ready for work and take the bus in again today, again skipping breakfast. I have coffee and half a bagel leftover from yesterday once I get in.

12 p.m. — We have another lunch meeting and eat leftovers from yesterday. My company is so nice and buys vegetarian curry because all the falafel is gone (and I'm the only vegetarian). I'm much more productive at work today than I was yesterday. There's so much leftover rice that I take some home for dinner.

6 p.m. — I take the bus home from work, eat some rice for dinner and then make a Tinder date for a few days from now.

7:30 p.m. — I bike to yoga. I missed my bike! I'm feeling fully reset and back to normal after the trip.

9 p.m. — I Venmo one friend for the Ubers, drinks, comedy show, and t-shirts (which we didn't end up wearing) from the weekend. $89

Daily Total: $89

Read my twin's Money Diary here.

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