A Week In Los Angeles, CA, On A $34,000 Salary

Photo: Courtesy of Milk.
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we tackle the ever-present taboo that is money. We ask real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we track every last dollar.
Today: an unemployed TV writer's assistant and part-time pet-sitter who spends some of her money this week on Milk Bar ice cream.
Occupation: Writer's Assistant & Pet-Sitter
Industry: TV and Film
Age: 25
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Salary: $34,000/$51,600 AUD (This is my estimated income for the year. The total is based on what I've already made combined with my projected income from petsitting and other odd jobs. I was laid off from my most recent assistant job due to the Writer's Guild of America strike. I was also let go from my survival job a month ago due to staffing issues. While the strike goes on, I make anywhere from $100 to $2,000 ($150 to $3039 AUD) a month pet-sitting, usually through Rover, and working random jobs.)
Net Worth: -$3,114.56/-$4733.51 AUD ($5,605.87/$8519.80 AUD in checking, $922.34/$1401.77 AUD in savings, $7,352.59/$11,174.47 AUD in my HYSA, $4,077.69/$6197.27 AUD in my Roth IRA, and $6,600/$10,030.68 AUD in car value, minus debt)
Debt: $27,673.05 ($42,057.50 AUD) in federal student loans (Payments are paused until October.)
Paycheck Amount (Varies): $100–$2,000 ($150 to $3039 AUD)
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,509.44 ($2,294.05 AUD) (I live with my foster cat in a rent-controlled studio apartment.)
Electricity: $25 ($38 AUD)
Water & Trash Collection: $50 ($76 AUD)
Internet: $54.99 ($83.77 AUD)
Health Insurance/Covered California: $94.79 ($144.37 AUD)
Phone: $0 (I'm still on my parents' plan.)
Car Insurance: $227.66 ($346.83)
Savings: $75 ($114 AUD)
Retirement Savings: $25 ($38 AUD)
Apple iCloud Storage: $2.99 ($4.56 AUD)
Spotify: $9.99 ($15.22 AUD)
AMC Stubs A-List: $24.95 ($38 AUD)
Annual Expenses
Renter's Insurance: $244 ($371.72 AUD)
Chase Sapphire Preferred Fee: $95 ($144.71 AUD)
YNAB: $98.99 ($150. I 80 AUD)
Apple TV+: $69.99 (I share this with my family, and they share all the other streaming services with me.)
New York Magazine: $50 ($76 AUD)
Patreon Subscriptions: $50.76 ($77.32 AUD) (for You're Wrong About and Maintenance Phase)
Normal Gossip Friend Subscription: $119 ($181 AUD) (includes a subscription to Defector)

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Yes, my parents were both invested in my education, and college was always part of that plan. My mum is an elementary school teacher with a master's degree, so she helped me look at schools. I attended a private four-year liberal arts college and graduated in 2020. That was largely covered by financial aid, and my parents and I took out loans to cover the rest. We haven't had to start repaying the loans yet, but once mine are taken care of I will help my parents pay off theirs because they took them out on my behalf.

Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents were always open about finances, but I don't remember them teaching me many specifics other than to make sure to pay your bills. My mum works two jobs, one at an elementary school, the other teaching aspiring teachers. My dad was a stay-at-home parent and has been on disability payments almost my entire life, but was an electrician by trade. My parents bought a home after the housing bubble burst (they had been renters before), and we always had food on the table. My younger brother and I both did activities like ballet and recreational sports, but it was always clear those were a stretch. My parents paid, but they were clearly always worried about money.

What was your first job and why did you get it?
I worked as a babysitter from age 13. Once I was 15 and old enough, I became a lifeguard and swim instructor. I worked every summer in high school for extra money. In college, I was in charge of most of my expenses so I worked several jobs within the film department and as a lifeguard. My parents paid for my flights home and sent me $20 ($30.47 AUD)every once in a while. Since college, I've worked various food service and TV jobs.

Did you worry about money growing up?
Yes. I always knew that money was a stressor for my parents so it was a stressor for me.

Do you worry about money now?
Absolutely. My parents are incredibly supportive of my dream to become a TV writer but they don't have the money to subsidise my life while I grow my career. Working in TV is feast or famine and it's famine time right now due to the WGA strike. I have applied for unemployment and am interviewing for new survival jobs. Thanks to some serious budgeting, I'm covered for a few months, but I'm still very worried about money.

At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I graduated in 2020 and spent the first year or so of the pandemic living at home. I collected unemployment payments until the extra payments ended and then got a barista job. That job allowed me to transfer locations to Boston for a few months. Once my sublet ended, I moved home for another month, then moved to L.A. Since then, aside from being on my parents' phone plan, I've been on my own financially.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
My parents occasionally send me $20 ($30.47 AUD), and family friends have been generous on my birthdays, but that's it. No one in my family has the kind of money that would lead to any kind of inheritance.

Day One

8:30 a.m. — It's Memorial Day, but I've never been able to sleep in. I lay in bed for a while, scrolling through TikTok. My foster cat is perched like a gargoyle on her tower.
9 a.m. — I finally get up, take my meds (anti-anxiety and ADHD medication), and then make breakfast: latkes from Trader Joe's and strawberry yoghurt.
10:30 a.m. — I swipe through Hinge while I watch TV. I reactivated Hinge and Bumble last night on a whim. I'm bisexual, but dating apps just want to show me men for some reason. So far, I have one promising match. My mum sends me an article about an orca in Spain who has been ramming sailing yachts. Her name is Gladis, and I love her.
11 a.m. — I start browsing Adam & Eve. Last night, I was sexting with my friend with benefits, P., and he offered to treat me to a dildo for us to use together. No one has offered to buy me a sex toy before, and I'll take it. The number of options is intimidating, but I eventually pick one I think we'll both like ($39.62/$60.35 AUD).
11:30 a.m. — I have plans for a solo movie day so I get ready. My skin care is simple: gel cleanser, CeraVe moisturiser, and Supergoop sunscreen. I track the cost per wear (CPW) of all my clothes using a Notion database, which helps make sure I get my money’s worth whenever I buy something. It also helps reduce impulse buys. Today's outfit is a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt ($0.10 CPW), secondhand tan Big Bud Press trousers ($0.58 CPW), secondhand green Tradlands cardigan ($3.45 CPW), secondhand white Reeboks ($0.38 CPW), and secondhand red Baggu fanny pack ($0.28 CPW).
12 p.m. — I get to the movie theatre and realise my wallet isn't in my bag. I had it yesterday at a drag brunch for my friend's birthday, but it's not there now. I drive home, and it's not in my apartment or car. I call the brunch place, but they keep lost items in the manager's office, and the manager isn't there until later. I have to call back.
12:15 p.m. — I was planning to eat popcorn for lunch so I order a maple chicken sandwich off DoorDash ($27/$41.14 AUD) instead. I walk down to the gas station and buy a Gatorade and candy ($7.97/$12.14 AUD). I need sugar. $34.97 ($53.28 AUD)
12:30 p.m. — I trudge back up the stairs to my apartment (the ancient elevator is broken) to order new cards and a new license ($33/$50.28 AUD). My lunch arrives as I finish getting everything sorted. $33 ($50.28 AUD
3 p.m. — I check Poshmark. One of my current odd jobs is selling clothes for a woman I met through a Facebook group. She has bags of clothes she wants to sell but doesn't want to deal with the hassle so she pays me $20 ($30.47 AUD) an hour to handle it. I send out offers and make a note to take a sold item to the post office.
5 p.m. — I clean off the unused mini fridge in my closet, take photos, and list it on Facebook Marketplace for $50 ($76.16 AUD). I love buying and selling things on FB Marketplace. It's an easy way to downsize.
6:30 p.m. — I call the brunch place again. The manager says they don't see my wallet in the office. Feeling discouraged, I change into my pyjamas and heat up leftover cherry tomato pasta I made for a dinner party I had a few days ago.
9:30 p.m. — I'm done with season two of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, so it's bedtime.
Daily Total: $67.97 ($103.54 AUD)

Day Two

7 a.m. — My alarm goes off. It took me forever to fall asleep last night. Today, I have a Rover booking and a job interview. The Rover booking is for a pandemic dog with anxiety. Half my business these days is watching animals who got used to having their owners home 100% of the time during the pandemic. I watch a bunch of dogs that need someone with them constantly.
7:15 a.m. — I rush to wash my hair. It looked okay last night but now it's super oily. I leave my hair to air dry and put on concealer, brow gel, and tinted lip balm to make myself look a little more awake.
7:30 a.m. — My outfit today is simple: a Madewell sweater ($1.60 CPW), secondhand black Big Bud Press trousers ($1.13 CPW), and Reeboks ($0.38 CPW). I add a black Uniqlo blazer ($0, it was a gift from the Poshmark job), tuck in my sweater, and grab Steve Madden pumps ($15.74 CPW) for my interview. I put all of my essentials (aside from my wallet, RIP) into my black Kate Spade purse ($1.90 CPW) and all my extras into a New Yorker tote bag ($0 CPW, I got it when I was a subscriber).
8 a.m. — I say goodbye to my foster cat and grab a granola bar and strawberry yoghurt on my way out the door to serve as breakfast. I hope this booking is the kind in which I'm welcome to anything in the kitchen.
9 a.m. — Unfortunately, this is not that kind of booking so I'll have to sort out my lunch later. But there's WIFI, and my charge, a chihuahua whose tongue is always half out, is sleeping happily beside me. I see that I've been paid for a recent Rover job and put 25% toward my taxes because I'm an independent contractor. I have an interested buyer for the mini fridge who asks if I'm willing to take $40 if she pays cash and picks it up today. We agree.
11:15 a.m. — I get ready to leave the chihuahua. I give her a treat, change my shoes, and head out. I stop for gas at the cheapest station I can find. Even then, it's still $4.80/gallon ($1.91 AUD/litre). $30 ($45.70 AUD)
12 p.m. — I drive a few more minutes to a five-star Westside hotel. I have a second interview for a job at the restaurant there. I leave my car with the valet (free because I'm here for an interview). My Honda Civic with a dent is parked next to a baby blue Porsche. I meet with the managers for less than 15 minutes, and they say they'll send an offer letter.
12:30 p.m. — I buy myself lunch to celebrate. I get a strawberry Arnold Palmer from Shake Shack ($6.20/$9.44 AUD with tip, assume tip is added to everything) and then pick up the same sandwich from yesterday along with a giant Rice Krispie treat ($26.32/$40.09 AUD). $32.52 ($49.54 AUD)
1:30 p.m. — My lunch is interrupted by a call about another job I applied for. Since I haven't signed an offer letter yet, I schedule an interview for tomorrow.
3 p.m. — I check Hinge to see that my one promising match hasn't replied to my message from last night. I resist the urge to double message. Dating puts me in an “everybody hates me” mindset. To avoid spiralling, I text my friends to update them on my job interview.
3:15 p.m. — I go to pick up the keys from a Rover client booked for this weekend. I'm glad to have an excuse to move around, and my mood improves when P. sends me $40 ($60.93 AUD) for the dildo. He rounded up, what a gem. I text him to say thanks, and he asks if I want to come over tomorrow (everybody hates me, my ass).
3:45 p.m. — The client's house is up a hill. So. Many. Stairs. The client meets me at her gate with her miniature poodle.
4:15 p.m. — When I get back to the chihuahua, she's still laying on her bed, soaking up the sun. She rolls onto her back, and I take this very subtle move to mean she wants a belly rub. Her owner lets me know I can leave once the chihuahua has her dinner.
7 p.m. — My mini fridge buyer is supposed to be here, but I haven't heard anything from her since this afternoon.
7:45 p.m. — The buyer messages me, completely apologetic. Work kept her late, but she's on her way. I change into a pair of Madewell sweats ($0.60 CPW) while I wait.
9 p.m. — The seller finally arrives. She's very nice and hands me $40 cash, so there's no harm done. I realise I haven't eaten dinner and eat leftover pasta.
10 p.m. — I watch a couple episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and eat Milk Bar ice cream. Eventually, I force myself to go to bed.
Daily Total: $62.52 ($95.24 AUD)

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I close my eyes for just a second.
8 a.m. — I trudge to the bathroom to take my meds. I've received my last paycheck for the job that laid me off, and the chihuahua's owner gave me a five-star review. I'm helping at the WGA picket line today so I do my skin care and get dressed: my WGA shirt ($0 CPW, the Guild gives them out), tan trousers ($0.57 CPW), Reeboks ($0.37 CPW), and fanny pack ($0.28 CPW). I grab a strawberry yoghurt for breakfast and head to the picket lines.
8:30 a.m. — I realise I need a credit card number to pay for parking. I text my dad for his, and he sends it to me. I put in his info and Venmo him. $3 ($4.57 AUD)
8:50 a.m. — I introduce myself to one of the picket-line captains for the morning. My job is to take a wagon with water and snacks to each gate. I scarf down fruit snacks that were in one of the bags.
9:15 a.m. — There aren't many picketers, so I get sent to walk the line.
11 a.m. — I stop for a second to get water and Cheez-Its. It's overcast. Fingers crossed the strike ends before the heat really hits later this summer.
12:45 p.m. — The afternoon runner shows up a little early, so I'm good to go. I grab a Porto's pastry and a granola bar from the snack table to eat in the car. My job interview isn't until 3, but I need to give myself a once over. According to my phone, I walked 5.6 miles.
1 p.m. — I sit in my car at my building to answer texts. My friend, R., has a birthday next week, and she wants to do a dessert night this weekend to celebrate. I have tickets to a midnight showing of Batman & Robin with my friend that same night, but dessert shouldn't go that late.
1:15 p.m. — I go up the stairs (will the elevator ever be fixed?!) and right into the shower.
1:45 p.m. — I throw defrosted rolls into the oven to warm up. I have the maple sauce from yesterday's sandwich and combine that with the rolls and cheese to make messy sandwiches.
2:15 p.m. — Time to get interview-ready. My outfit is a little more casual than it was for the last interview: a cream polo sweater from Old Navy ($5.25 CPW), black trousers ($1.11 CPW), secondhand cream Intentionally Blank boots ($12.55 CPW), and Kate Spade purse ($1.89 CPW). I do the same light makeup as yesterday.
2:45 p.m. — I have to ask for directions twice to find my interview. While I wait, I look back over the job description and eavesdrop on the office staff. Two female employees are explaining the concept of a himbo to their male coworker.
3:30 p.m. — I have another job offer! This is a seasonal part-time position and pays a few dollars less per hour ($17.25/$26.28 AUD instead of $22/$33.50 AUD at the hotel) but it's closer to my house and has more flexibility. I'll weigh my options when I have both offers.
3:45 p.m. — Back at my apartment, I switch out the cream sweater for a black one from American Eagle ($0.77 CPW), the boots for my Reeboks ($0.37 CPW), and purse for my Madewell zip-top carryall ($8.25 CPW). Along with the essentials, I add my laptop, phone charger, and the Poshmark items I need to ship. As I leave, a client Venmos me to cover her invoice from last week.
4:15 p.m. — I stop by the bank for quarters and then drive down the street to the public library. I put a quarter in the meter and use the computers to print the shipping labels for Poshmark packages. It's free (thank you, public libraries). I walk across the street to the post office to ship off the items. $0.25 ($0.38 AUD)
4:45 p.m. — I park midway between my Rover meet and greet and my favourite cafe. I come here every Wednesday to listen to the latest episode of Normal Gossip. I get a strawberry Arnold Palmer and a cookie. $14.32 ($21.81 AUD)
5:30 p.m. — I get a call from the hotel to schedule a final interview with the big boss for Friday.
6:30 p.m. — The Rover job is booked!
7 p.m. — And now, after all this, I have to look hot. I'm due at P.'s at 8. I wash my face and put on a cute but casual outfit: a buttoned-up yellow Old Navy cardigan ($2.46 CPW), black trousers ($1.10 CPW), and Intentionally Blank boots ($8.96 CPW). Plus, of course, some very impractical underwear.
7:30 p.m. — As I head out, I put the remainder of the dinner party pasta in a container to bring with me. I haven't eaten and know I'll be hungry later.
8 p.m. — I call my mum while I drive, and she's super excited and relieved to hear my job news. I get to P.'s right after 8 and turn my phone on Do Not Disturb.
Daily Total: $17.57 ($26.76 AUD)

Day Four

9:15 a.m. — I resurface and get ready to drive home. P. is leaving to get work done at a cafe. He had planned to start work by nine, but I'm incredibly good at delaying him.
10 a.m. — It's so nice to come home to clean sheets. P. and I took a shower earlier, and I finished the pasta so I'm feeling pretty human. My foster cat has shown her disapproval of my absence by puking.
10:15 a.m. — It's the first of the month, so I make sure my automatic transfers and payments have gone through and generally check that everything is in order to start the month. The Venmo payment from my Poshmark client went through, which means my August budget is covered!
11 a.m. — I have a virtual appointment with my psychiatrist. It's free with my insurance.
11:30 a.m. — My stomach starts to growl (apparently pasta was not enough food after last night), but it's too early for lunch, so I grab my last granola bar.
1 p.m. — While doing my dishes, I suddenly have the urge to make peasant bread. I made a loaf last week for the first time and already ate it. I put out a stick of butter to soften, mix together the ingredients, and leave the bread to rise. For lunch, I heat up pizza bites from Trader Joe's.
3:30 p.m. — My alarm for the bread goes off. I put the dough in a bowl and leave it to rise more. I combine the softened butter with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and minced garlic to make a compound butter to go with the bread.
4:15 p.m. — The meet and greet I had scheduled for tonight cancels. They apparently won't be going out of town at all! The bread finishes its second rise, and I put it in the oven.
5 p.m. — I need to get laundry detergent so I start a Target pick-up order. I get the detergent plus a few groceries: brownie mix, mini marshmallows, chocolate frosting (all for R.'s dessert night), Milk Bar Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow ice cream, chocolate chip Eggos, flour, cream cheese, Command strips, and pregnancy tests (I don't get my period because of my IUD and want to keep some around for when I inevitably panic). $75.05 ($114.25 AUD)
5:30 p.m. — The whole apartment smells like bread. It's heavenly.
6 p.m. — Since I don't have a meet and greet, I can head over to watch the poodle overnight. I change into a black sweater ($0.76 CPW), tan trousers ($0.57 CPW), Converse high tops ($0.80 CPW), and a secondhand baseball cap with Snoopy on it ($5.63 CPW). I put everything else I need into my Madewell bag ($7.62 CPW). I grab the ingredients I need to make a special grilled cheese (peasant bread, compound butter, cherry jam, goat cheese) and head out.
6:30 p.m. — So. Many. Stairs.
7:30 p.m. — I'm settled in with the miniature poodle. When I take off my shoes, he immediately grabs them and scampers off, leading to a dramatic chase. Now we're watching The Other Two.
9 p.m. — I'm feeling out of sorts and then remind myself that I barely slept last night and haven't eaten. I think I also underestimate how overstimulated I can get. I get up and make myself my grilled cheese (it's so good).
9:30 p.m. — I take the poodle out, take a shower, and do all my skincare/teeth shit. The poodle goes happily into his crate, and I go to bed, not sleepy but very very tired.
Daily Total: $75.05 ($114.25 AUD)

Day Five

8:15 a.m. — I am alive! My whole body feels sore, and I'm sleepy but feel better mentally. I get up to let the poodle out and crawl back under the covers.
9 a.m. — The poodle sleeps happily at my feet, while I order film on eBay. I'm going to New York in a few weeks and order a three-pack of expired Kodak Gold 200 film to take with me. $25.79 ($39.26 AUD)
9:30 a.m. — I check my client's Poshmark and then send her the invoice for the week. While I'm at it, I email my contact at the WGA about getting reimbursed and receiving my stipend. She apologises for the delay, and I receive a Venmo payment a few minutes later.
10 a.m. — The poodle is now demanding his walk. I take my meds, do my skin care, and get dressed in the same outfit as yesterday — black sweater, tan trousers, Converse, and Snoopy baseball cap — and then we head out.
10:45 a.m. — After our walk, I feed the poodle and make myself another grilled cheese.
12 p.m. — I realise I should probably get myself a new wallet. I go on Poshmark and find one that's nearly identical to my old one (a Dagne Dover Accordion Card Case) for $25. I offer $20, and it's accepted (taxes and fees are added). $29.87 ($45.47 AUD)
1 p.m. — I have a meet and greet in the Valley at 1:30 so I need to get going. I'm going to do my final hotel interview at my apartment afterward so I pack up my laptop and other essentials in the Madewell bag.
1:55 p.m. — Another Rover job booked! I jump in my car to drive home to get ready for my interview. I pick up my Target order on the way.
2:30 p.m. — Once the order is put away, I change into my interview outfit: blazer ($0 CPW), Madewell white linen shirt ($0.95 CPW), black trousers ($1.09 CPW). I add a little concealer and I'm perfectly employable.
3:15 p.m. — Interview done! I change into yet another outfit: blue ARQ bodysuit ($5.53 CPW), tan trousers ($0.56 CPW), American Eagle cream cardigan ($0.82 CPW), pink Super Yaki hat that says “I'm a Fan of Cathy Yan” ($1.40 CPW), and Reeboks ($0.37 CPW). I put my laptop into my Madewell bag and put my essentials into my fanny pack ($0.28 CPW). My foster cat is pissed that I'm leaving again, and I remind her that she lives in a single-parent household.
3:30 p.m. — I stop by CVS for Gatorade, a granola bar, and candy. $11.25 ($17.12 AUD)
3:45 p.m. — I let the poodle out to go potty, put the candy in my fanny pack, and put everything else away. On my way out, I place a pickup order for popcorn and soda at the AMC theatre because I'm going to see a movie. $16.94 ($25.79 AUD)
4:30 p.m. — I arrive at the AMC. I'm seeing Past Lives (my ticket is free with my A-List subscription). I pick up my snacks. The movie really hits me.
6:30 p.m. — In the parking garage, it takes me forever to find a working parking machine that takes cash. $5 ($7.61 AUD)
7 p.m. — Driving in LA can be so weird. The city is so big that you'll be driving somewhere completely unfamiliar and then — BAM — there's a memory. You end up collecting places. There's a song, “Map of New York,” in the musical If/Then that's about this.
10:30 p.m. — It's bedtime back at my client's house with the poodle.
Daily Total: $88.85 ($135.25 AUD)

Day Six

9:30 a.m. — I wake up to the poodle whining. Oops, late start today! I get dressed in a blue bodysuit ($5.13 CPW), tan trousers ($0.56 CPW), my Cathy Yan hat ($1.34 CPW), and Reeboks ($0.37 CPW).
9:45 a.m. — On our walk, my friend texts me to say that she accidentally double booked tonight so can't go to the midnight movie. We bought these tickets weeks ago, so I'm annoyed. I tell her it's fine (it's not worth making trouble), and she tells me I should still go. I don't have the energy for a solo midnight movie so I'll eat the cost ($13/$19.79 AUD). I'll see her next week for dinner anyway.
10:15 a.m. — Back from our walk, I feed the poodle his breakfast and curl up on the couch.
11 a.m. — Someone should take TikTok away from me. Every time I see a cute outfit I become obsessed with it. Luckily, I don't make any impulse purchases. Instead, I make a list of clothes I need tailored.
2 p.m. — I'm starting to feel nauseated so I finally push myself to eat real food and drink water. I'm out of butter so I toast the remaining slices of bread and top it with the jam and softened goat cheese.
3:45 p.m. — Every time I start to feel out of sorts for seemingly no reason it's between 3 and 5. I hate the afternoons.
4:30 p.m. — Quick walk for the poodle.
5 p.m. — Gather up my stuff and head back to my apartment.
5:15 p.m. — Back at my apartment with the STILL broken elevator, there's a package sitting outside the door. A certain dildo, perhaps? I send a photo to P.
6:30 p.m. — For dessert night, I'm making the kind of brownies my mum used to make with mini marshmallows and chocolate frosting on top. Then I take a shower because my hair feels disgusting.
7 p.m. — I change into my secondhand black and white checkered Wray lounge set ($4.56 CPW) with a black Madewell turtleneck underneath ($1.73 CPW). I look like a very cool racing flag. For shoes, I go with my 1460 Pascal Dr. Martens ($1.32 CPW). As usual, my laptop is in my Madewell carryall ($7.07), and my Baggu fanny pack ($0.27) is my main bag.
7:15 p.m. — The brownies are baked and the marshmallows are happily on top. I'll need to bring the frosting with me, and the pan is still crazy hot.
7:35 p.m. — I park just as another friend arrives with her desserts. We walk up to R.'s apartment together.
11:15 p.m. — Full of all the desserts, I'm heading back to the poodle. First, I stop at a diner around the corner from R.'s apartment to get mozzarella sticks. The very stoned waiter loves my outfit, and the mozzarella sticks are ready before I even have time to sit down to wait. $16.38 ($24.93 AUD)
11:45 p.m. — When I get up to the house, I let the poodle out and eat my mozzarella sticks. They're so fucking good. Once I'm in a cheese coma, I do my skin care and go to bed.
Daily Total: $16.38 ($24.93 AUD)

Day Seven

8:15 a.m. — I get up to let out the poodle and go to the bathroom before crawling back into bed.
8:45 a.m. — Time for the poodle's morning walk.
9:30 a.m. — Once I'm back, I feed the poodle his breakfast and finish my meal plan. This week, I'm going to make a cheesy rice bake, stir-fry pasta, and caramelised onion tarts.
11 a.m. — It's time to actually get going! I let the poodle out one last time, give him a treat, and head out.
11:15 a.m. — I go to Trader Joe's and buy strawberry yoghurt, fruit bars, frozen chocolate croissants, black beans, canola oil, goat cheese, shredded cheese, and blood orange soda ($27.86/$42.41 AUD). I walk a block over to the farmer's market and get sweet onions, carrots, broccoli, sweet peas, three pints of strawberries, a bouquet of flowers, and a cream cheese Danish ($49/$74.60 AUD). $75.86 ($115.49)
12 p.m. — I put away the perishables and then eat my Danish with one pint of the strawberries.
12:30 p.m. — I return to the kitchen to put the bouquet in water, prepare the vegetables for stir-fry, and separate out the mushed strawberries. I'll use them to make strawberry syrup this week.
1:30 p.m. — I had planned to go to a flea market today but instead decide to focus on cleaning. I scoop the litter box, vacuum, and put away clothes.
2:15 p.m. — While I have this motivation, I pull out the Command strips. I use them to hang schedules from a local theatre on one kitchen wall (they're like wallpaper) and postcards around the door to my closet.
2:45 p.m. — I move on to organising my desk supplies. I throw out old magazines and find my spare library card (score) and my passport (double score). Now I can get my library holds and still go to New York even if my license doesn't show up in time.
3:30 p.m. — I spend way more time cleaning than I had planned to. I pack up groceries and the trash bag from the bin before changing into a new outfit: secondhand striped Ralph Lauren button down ($0.64 CPW), tan trousers ($0.56 CPW), Reeboks ($0.36 CPW), and secondhand blue chore jacket ($2.41). I dump the trash in the dumpster on my way out.
4 p.m. — I'm back with the poodle and am even able to park in a real parking spot. He's delighted to see me. When I take a break from giving him my full attention, he rolls around on the couch, unable to contain his excitement.
6 p.m. — Time for the poodle's second walk.
6:45 p.m. — I have a different pet-sitting gig tonight that's just for the evening. The dog, named after a bakery item, can't be left alone so I'm coming to watch her.
7 p.m. — The bakery item is blind and very sweet. I meant to bring food with me but forgot so I order Wingstop. $21.77 ($33.14 AUD)
9 p.m. — I take the bakery item for her evening walk.
9:30 p.m. — The bakery item's owners come home. They're going to become a cash client, woo!
10 p.m. — Back with the poodle. I let him out to do his thing, do my skin care, and then we cuddle up to watch Law & Order Criminal Intent. For anyone who's curious, this week I made $936.22 after taxes between pet-sitting and Poshmark, and I'm projected to make $2,394 with the rest of the work I have booked for the month.
11 p.m. — Bedtime.
Daily Total: $98.63 ($150.19 AUD)
All prices below appear in US dollars.
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