A Week In Mississauga, ON, On A $50,660 Salary

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Today: an account executive and manager working in broadcasting and retail, respectively, who makes $50,660 per year and spends some of her money this week on street meat.
Occupation: Account Executive & Manager (Since I got my full-time job, I only work retail one day a week.)
Industry: Radio Broadcasting & Retail
Age: 23
Location: Mississauga
Salary: $45,000 (account executive), $5,660 (manager)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,374.45 (account executive), $210 (manager)
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses:
Rent: $0 (I live at home with my parents.)
Netflix: $14.99
Spotify: $14.99
Phone: $46.33
Tax-Free Savings Account: $400
I started my job recently, so I don't pay into health or dental benefits yet.

Day One

7:15 a.m. — I get out of bed, quickly get ready, and head out the door. I have a bad habit of not eating breakfast, so I grab a granola bar on the way out. I live at home with my parents, and my dad is nice enough to drive me to the bus stop this morning.
7:42 a.m. — The bus is crowded, but I get a seat, pop in my earphones, and zone out for the ride. I use my pre-loaded Presto card for transit ($3.10 per ride) and the GO Train ($6.02 per ride) to commute into Toronto for work.
8:20 a.m. — My train is delayed, which is the case at least once a week with GO Transit. I've been taking the train for two months now, and I'm slowly recognizing everyone on the platform. I keep my eye out for the cute guy that started taking this train a week ago. Morning thrills.
9:30 a.m. — I make myself a tea at work and eat the granola bar I grabbed this morning. I have my weekly one-on-one with my manager this morning, so I prepare notes.
10:30 a.m. — We talk about areas where I can grow. I work at a radio station, and I love being in the media industry. Since I'm in sales, it's all a numbers game. I've only been doing this for three months, but it really is my dream job. So far, I'm loving the support from my manager and supervisor. I feel so motivated knowing I'm surrounded by people who want me to succeed.
11:30 a.m. — I've been waiting to eat my lunch, and 11:30 a.m. seems reasonable. I made myself a sandwich with cold cuts that tastes amazing when popped in the microwave for about 30 seconds. There's nothing better than the taste of melted cheese.
2 p.m. — One of my co-workers hasn't had lunch yet, so I walk with her to the sushi shop and stop at Starbucks on the way for a chocolate chip cookie. I'm a regular victim of the mid-afternoon snack session. $2.65
4:15 p.m. — I catch the 4:17 p.m. train home and read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which I should've finished a few months ago — my reading habits have been awful lately.
4:40 p.m. — I get on the bus and almost pass out because the smell of B.O is so intense. I usually drive to the train, but I got rear-ended a few weeks ago, and the insurance company gave us the value of the car instead of fixing it. I shared the car with my brother, so now we have to get a new vehicle, and it's been a challenge agreeing on what we want. Until we do, it's the smelly bus for me. My sister picks me up at my stop.
6 p.m. — My grandparents and cousins come over for my sister's birthday. I'm Italian and have a very big and involved family. My mom makes homemade lasagna, rapini, sautéed peppers, chicken cutlets, and salad. My brother and I give my sister tickets to Lizzo for her birthday, and we're going to treat her to dinner and drinks that night. She's super-happy with the present, and I pat myself on the back for actually buying a good gift this time. My sister chose cheesecake for her birthday cake, and we have espresso and fruit to go with.
9:30 p.m. — Everyone leaves, and we clean up the party mess as a family. I hop into the shower, because my hair is on the edge of greasy. I sit on my bed in my robe for what feels like an hour scrolling through my socials.
10:45 pm. — I get an email from a client who wants to discuss a proposal I pitched her. I'm slowly building my client list, and this is great news. On that positive note, I go to sleep.
Daily Total: $2.65

Day Two

7:15 a.m. — I had the most vivid dream right before waking up, and I can't shake off the heavy feeling from it. I put extra effort into my makeup routine, which means BB cream, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara.
7:42 a.m. — My mom drives me to the bus, because it's on her way to work. The bus is particularly crammed, and I listen to Lizzo to prep for the concert later this week.
8:20 a.m. — I read my book on the train, and the cute guy sits near me, so I steal a few glances. Don't guys know that extended eye contact is their cue? I catch him looking once, but I don't think it means anything.
8:50 a.m. — We have our weekly sales meeting on Tuesday mornings, so I prepare. My grandmother brought over homemade lemon sponge cake last night, so that's my breakfast. I'll never be as good a cook as my grandparents, and it makes me sad.
12 p.m. — It's been a busy morning organizing details for my new client, but I like being busy. It means I haven't had time to be hungry until a reasonable time today. I have a leftover chicken cutlet and rapini sandwich that somehow it looks gourmet, and one of my coworkers comments that my lunches always smell good.
12:30 p.m. — My co-worker and I walk to get her sushi for lunch again. We stop by Bulk Barn to refill on desk snacks: chocolate-covered graham crackers and candy corn because 'tis almost the season. I bring a reusable container, which gets me 25% off. $4.25
3:20 p.m. — I take off early because there's no one left in the office, and I've reached my focus ceiling. It's train time again, and I'm very sleepy, so I close my eyes and listen to music.
3:50 p.m. — Same bus, different day.
4:15 p.m. — My sister is an angel for picking me up.
5:30 p.m. — My whole family is lazy, so we have good ol' chicken fingers and fries for dinner.
7 p.m. — It's my best friend's birthday on Friday, and we're having a big night out, so I need something new to wear. I also need to buy her a present. I convince my mom to come with me to Square One, because she always gives me good advice when it comes to clothes. I find a cute black wrap dress, which is classy but still makes me look a lil' spicy. I buy it at Simons, which is a store I never check, but my mom insisted. She's always right. $43.05
7:30 p.m. — I need a new bra, which I find at Victoria's Secret. I hate that the bra costs more than my dress, but sometimes you need to spend the extra money to get what you're looking for. $59.68
8 p.m. — I find a pair of hoop earrings my friend will love, but they're almost double what I wanted to spend. I look at the other options, but they aren't even half as good as the first pair. I bite the bullet and buy them but keep the receipt handy in case I find a pair in my price range. $124
9 p.m. — I get home and scroll my dating apps. I had a great convo with a guy last week, but it ended, so I get up the nerve to message him again. Instead of biting my nails and waiting for him to reply, I read Homegoing and fall asleep.
Daily Total: $230.98

Day Three

9 a.m. — I sleep in, because I have a meeting in Oakville at noon, and it wouldn't make sense for me to go into the office. I get ready and Google my bus route for what feels like the 50th time. I love not having a car! I have a very healthy breakfast of my sister's leftover birthday cheesecake.
10:30 a.m. — I walk to the bus stop, and the weather is surprisingly nice.
11:05 a.m. — I take the GO Bus to Oakville. I try to get ready, but there's a mom who's playing a video for her kid so loud that I can't concentrate. After getting off at my stop, I walk 15 minutes to the restaurant for my meeting. My boss is coming, too, so I can learn tricks and techniques from him.
1 p.m. — I'm happy that my manager is here for the meeting, because there are a few tricky questions, and I back myself into a corner, but he helps get me out. He drives us back to the office, and I order lunch through Ritual. I have a 20x-the-points offer, so I get a chicken shawarma. It doesn't have enough sauce for my liking. $9.03
4:15 p.m. — I spend the rest of the afternoon reaching out to new clients. I take my usual 4:17 train home.
4:45 p.m. — I'm on the bus again and deep into my book when people start arguing nearby. This bus is always crowded, and there are two people trying to get on with strollers, which is almost impossible. My sister picks me up from the bus stop.
5:45 p.m. — Dinner tonight is steak with veggies, a baked potato, and salad. I love living at home. I'm only 23 and still trying to figure out my life. I've talked about moving in with a friend, but I don't make enough right now to afford rent downtown, not to mention food. My family is very traditional anyways, and they are of the mindset that I'm not moving out until I get married.
6:45 p.m. — My siblings and I tag team the dishes. We have a good routine, because we've been doing the dishes since I was in elementary school.
7:30 p.m. — I head to my room to start packing, because I'm going out after work the next couple of days. I take a shower and paint my toenails, because the shoes I'm wearing on Friday are open-toed.
10:45 p.m. — I settle into bed and continue a surprisingly good conversation with a cute guy on Hinge.
Daily Total: $9.03

Day Four

7:15 a.m.— I'm awake before my alarm, which is excruciating. I hear my cat downstairs, meowing to go outside, so I go and bother her with my love and affection before letting her out. People think it's wild that we have an outdoor cat, but it's honestly the best. She goes outside in the morning and hangs out until about 4 p.m., and then she sleeps inside for the rest of the evening. I could never have a dog; they're so much work. I mentally chose my outfit while falling asleep last night, so I put it on and do my makeup. I just finished my period, and my face is so clear right now it's insane, which makes putting on makeup super-easy.
7:40 a.m. — My mom drives me to the bus on her way to work again.
8:20 a.m. — I hop on the train and get really invested in my book, which I'm almost done. Cute Boy is on the same train again, looking cute as always.
8:45 a.m. — I get into work, and I'm supposed to have a chat with my manager about my progress at 9 a.m., but we both agree that we need time to get into the groove of things, so we push it.
11:45 a.m. — My manager and I have a good chat about how to move forward with the client we met yesterday. I'm hungry enough to justify lunch now, so I pop my cold-cut sandwich into the microwave.
12 p.m. — I'm still hungry, and I make a point of taking a full lunch hour to disconnect, so I head to Starbucks. I get a warm chocolate chip cookie and use a gift card this time. I eat it outside on a bench, because it's a beautiful day. I'm sitting in direct sun, which feels amazing, and I love people-watching in this neighbourhood because everyone is cool, well-dressed, and beautiful. There are also what feels like a million dogs and just as many babies, and they bring me so much joy. I remember that I should take out cash for the next few days, so I head to the bank and withdraw $80. I take the long way back to work.
3:50 p.m. — My sister is heading downtown to meet me for the concert, and I pay for her Uber as part of her present. $14.65
5:30 p.m. — We eat at a very Instagram-popular spot. The place is known for its breakfast, and the fact that it's 5:30 p.m. doesn't stop us from ordering raspberry French toast and chicken and waffles with lemonades. $66.34
6:30 p.m. — We head over to a bar for drinks before the show, because the prices at the Budweiser Stage are ridiculous, and we need to start with a base before we get there. We sit at the bar and split a pitcher of sangria. You can tell what kind of concert is happening tonight by looking at the people in the bar: glitter, sequins, and fishnets galore. I love it. $33.79
7:45 p.m. — We walk to the venue and check out the merch table. I get a T-shirt that says Lizzo in metallic letters. Merch is always so overpriced, but I love Lizzo, so I treat myself. $40
8 p.m. — We go to the drink stand. I get a cider, and my sister gets a Palm Bay. The total is $30.50 — highway robbery! $30.50
9 p.m. — The concert is AMAZING. I'm at the church of Lizzo, and I hear god.
11 p.m. — We take the GO Train back to Mississauga.
11:45 p.m. — After getting off, I call us an Uber. Once we're home, I drink a tall glass of water and wash my face. If I don't, it'll come back to bite me tomorrow.
Daily Total: $199.93

Day Five

7:15 a.m. — Waking up is tough today. I apply light makeup, because I'm going to redo it later, before I go to my friend's birthday party. I put on my Lizzo T-shirt and a pair of light-wash jeans, and I'm out the door with my enormous backpack.
7:40 a.m. — The bus is very, very crowded. Gah.
8:20 a.m. — The bus arrives at the station with almost no time to spare, so I rush to the train and hop on. No cute boy in sight.
9:15 a.m. — Fridays are relaxed at the office, which is exactly what I need right now. There are two dogs in the office today, which means twice the amount of love for me.
12 p.m. — I spend most of the morning with my work wife in a super-focused power session, and I get a Ritual notification that snaps me out of it and reminds me that I'm hungry. I browse the app but don't see anything that appeals to me, so I go to a small place by the office. My uncle is good friends with the owner, so I chat with him and get the daily special, which is honey-garlic wings with fries and salad. He doesn't let me pay even though I insist.
3:30 p.m. — I finish early and hop on the streetcar to meet my best friend at her work. She rented an Airbnb for the night, and I'm providing emotional support and helping her set up. The place has a beautiful view of Toronto City Hall, and it will be perfect for the night. I give her my present, and she loves it and cries (mission accomplished).
5 p.m. — I pick up a poke bowl from Calii Love because I know I need a good base for the alcohol I'll be consuming tonight. We head back to the Airbnb and start the ritual of getting ready for a night out. $10.62
8:30 p.m. — Everyone starts arriving, and I'm DJ for the night, which is the most STRESSFUL job, but I think I've curated a crowd-pleasing playlist. I crack open a mickey of vodka I brought from home, and I mix it with Diet Coke, because I forgot to buy juice. My best friend has some cuties that she used to go to university with coming tonight, so it's going to be a fun time.
10:45 p.m. — The night is in full swing, and it's going great. I've been flirting with a particular boy, and he helps me get the cake ready for my best friend before we leave for the club. We sing happy birthday, she blows out the candles, and we all call Ubers. I split one with a few friends. $5.06
11:15 p.m. — We pay cover, and I head straight to the dance floor. $10
1 a.m. — The boy I've been flirting with buys me a drink.
2:30 a.m. — The boy and I have lost our friends in the club, so we get late-night street eats. He's about to pay for both of us when he realizes that he spent all his cash at the bar. I pay for the hot dogs and joke that I'm a sugar mamma as one does at 2:30 a.m. after several drinks. We eat the hot dogs and watch the police horses hanging out beside the club. $8
3 a.m. — It's time to head back to the Airbnb, which is a 25-minute walk. It's perfect weather, and I'm wearing my comfiest heels, so we make the trek while being super-mushy and gross. The post-club reunion at the condo is the best part of the night: We share stories and all go to sleep at the painfully late hour of 5 a.m.
Daily Total: $33.68

Day Six

8:30 a.m. — I can never sleep in after a night out — my body just wakes me up no matter what. I feel like the kid who's up first at a sleepover, because everyone else is still asleep. I scroll through my socials and snack on stale chips.
11 a.m. — Everyone is up by 9:30 a.m. and, after cleaning the condo, we go for greasy brunch. I splurge on three eggs, home fries, bacon, and a chocolate milk. I feel like a huge potato after eating. $12.15
1 p.m. — We go back to the Airbnb, and I get my bags and walk to the GO train.
1:30 p.m. — I don't feel like taking the bus, so I order an UberPool. As soon as I get home, I take a hot shower and crash on my bed for a beautiful nap. $12.45
5:45 p.m. — My friend is picking me up to go downtown AGAIN. There's a comedy festival called JFL42 happening in Toronto, and it's my favourite time of the year. I bought a pass for $100 a few months back, and I try to make the most of it. We're seeing John Mulaney, who is my favourite comedian, and Pete Davidson.
6:20 p.m. — My friend wants to buy food from a street vendor, but he doesn't have cash, so I lend him a $20. I smoke a small joint before going into the show, then we meet up with his friend and find our seats.
8:30 p.m. — The show is hilarious, my face hurts. We go for a beer, and I can feel the lack of sleep kicking in around 10 p.m. We need to get out of her before I fall asleep. $11.59
11 p.m. — I wash my face and crash as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Daily Total: $36.19

Day Seven

11 a.m. — Sleeping in feels so good. I get up, and my whole family is awake. We tag team making brunch. I'm on eggs, my brother does pancakes, and my mom does bacon. We also toast bread and set the table with orange juice. My family is close, and these brunches happen almost every weekend.
2 p.m. — I take a nice long nap.
5:30 p.m. — I'm heading to another two comedy shows tonight, so I start the getting-ready ritual. It's probably one of the last nice days of summer, so I wear a tank top and skirt. I grab my brother's jean jacket as well because it could get chilly later. I walk to the bus stop and hop on. I'm very close to finishing my book, so I power through it.
6:15 p.m. — The Mississauga bus takes me to the subway, and I enjoy the rest of my ride listening to music. It's such a nice evening, and I have time, so I stroll from the subway to the venue in no rush.
6:30 p.m. — I meet my friend and realize I haven't had dinner. There's a chicken sandwich place beside the venue, so I indulge in something greasy before we take our seats. $10.15
8:20 p.m. — The show isn't good. I was excited for this comedian, because I've heard good things, but even my friend who has seen her before agrees this isn't her best. We go to a second show that's within walking distance.
10 p.m. — The second show is hilarious! The venue only fits about 80 people, and the comedian roasted the audience, which I always love. We walk back to my friend's car, and he drives me home.
11 p.m. — I have a quick talk with my dad about the shows, then head to my room. I change into PJs, wash my face, and go to sleep at the end a hectic week.
Daily Total: $10.15
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