A Week In Toronto, ON, On A $135,000 Joint Income

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.

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Today: an administrative assistant working in construction who has a $135,000 joint income and spends some of her money this week on overpriced toilet paper.
Editor's note: This Money Diary was written just as the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Industry: Construction
Age: 33
Location: Toronto, ON
My Salary: $55,000
My Husband's Salary: $80,000 (My husband, A., works two jobs. This total reflects earnings from both.)
My Paycheque Amount (4x/month): $791
My Husband's Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,762
My Husband's Paycheque Amount From His Weekend Job (1x/month): $1,100
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $2,166.36 (A. and I rent a one-bedroom apartment with a den that includes a parking spot.)
Renter's Insurance: $32.58
Hydro & Water: $90
Car Payment: $745 (We only have one month to go!)
Car Insurance: $166.42
Transit Pass: $170 (We share a Presto card. I only use about $20 per month. A. uses the rest to commute via subway.)
Cable & Internet: $159.31
Phone: $150 (for both of our phones)
Netflix: $13.99
Apple Music & Spotify: $19.98
Therapy: $101.70 (I do two sessions per month. My health benefits cover some therapy, so I usually submit one of those sessions and pay for the other out of pocket.)
Health Benefits: $160 (This is for both of us. The payments are deducted from our paycheques.)
Pet Insurance: $95
Savings: $1,000 (This is the monthly goal, but lately it's been less. We're currently saving for IUI/IVF treatments and a house.)
Mutual Funds: $50 (I have about $65,000 saved.)

Annual Expenses
Disney+: $30 (We split our membership with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.)
CAA Membership: $0 (Thanks, Dad!)
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Day One

5:55 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I begrudgingly roll out of bed. A. is working from home today, and he gets to sleep in a bit longer, so I take our dog out for a walk. Then I shower, dry my hair, and do my morning skin-care routine: Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner and Aveeno Daily Moisturizer, followed by makeup. My office is extremely casual, so I throw on Lucky Brand jeans and a three-quarter-sleeve top paired with my Converse shoes. I pack my breakfast and lunch, then settle in on the couch with coffee and watch Breakfast Television before heading out the door. I work outside of the city, so I try to get on the road by 7 a.m. to avoid traffic.
8:30 a.m. — On my way to work, I stop at a Tim Hortons drive-thru and order a small coffee with milk, which I pay for with my pre-loaded Tims card. Then I head to No Frills to get a cucumber, a tomato, and five bananas ($3.69). I remember I need gift bags and some other things, too, so I quickly run to Shoppers and grab two gift bags, tissue paper, a birthday card, and a six-pack of Irish Spring Moisture Blast Bar Soap ($29.49). Before I know it, I'm at my desk eating my western-style egg white bites and taking my prenatal vitamin. $33.18
1:57 p.m. — I take a break from the giant stack of paperwork my boss left me and have lunch. I always eat a late lunch, because it makes the day seem like it goes by faster. (Most people don't see my logic, but it works for me!) I have leftover apple-maple pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes, and broccoli, plus mixed nuts and raisins for dessert.
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4:57 p.m. — I sneak out of work three minutes early (I'm such a rebel) and drive home listening to the My Favourite Murder podcast. Podcasts are the only thing that keeps me sane while driving back into the city during rush-hour traffic.
6:30 p.m. — At home, I make Greek chicken wraps for dinner, then my friend, C., comes over to watch The Bachelor. We drink wine and yell at the TV for two hours, then she goes home.
10 p.m. — I wash my face with Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Skin Clearing Foam Cleanser, put on Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner, and finish with Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Night Lotion. It has taken me years to figure out a skin-care routine that doesn't make me break out, and this combination is the winner. I'm in bed by 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $33.18

Day Two

5:45 a.m. — I'm up early today for a long-awaited pre-op appointment with the surgeon who will perform my uterus septum removal. A. and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while, and we started seeing a fertility doctor last summer. In November, it was discovered that I have polycystic ovary syndrome as well as a septate uterus, which means a useless membrane divides my uterus in half. I have general anxiety, so it's been a rollercoaster of seemingly never-ending stress and anxiety. My brain always jumps to the worst-case scenario. I recently started seeing a therapist again, which has been helping a lot. We'll still need to do in vitro fertilization (IVF), or at the very least intrauterine insemination (IUI) after the surgery, but I'm trying to take things in one hurdle at a time. I do my usual morning routine, and I dash out the door with the dog by 6:45 a.m., so I can drop her off at my dad's and make it to the hospital on time.
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9:55 a.m. — The appointment goes pretty well, and the surgery date is set for three months from now. I've learned that this whole process is one long wait after another, and I'm so impatient. It's definitely a heavy metal kind of day. I put on my Feel Better playlist, crank the volume, pay for hospital parking, and drive to work. $16
2:46 p.m. — It's been a slow day, and my boss is on vacation. I have a late lunch (same leftovers as yesterday) and update my infertility blog and Instagram account. Infertility can be incredibly lonely, scary, and anxiety-inducing, so I started a blog to help me process everything. The Instagram infertility community is such a supportive and positive place. Everyone cheers for the good news and supports through the bad, and you can be completely anonymous or let everyone know exactly who you are. It really helps tackle the isolating and overwhelming feelings. If you are dealing with any level of infertility, please don't be afraid to go online and find an infertility group. They are safe and welcoming and have honestly helped me so much.
6:08 p.m. — A. stops to grab cheddar cheese on his way home ($4.99) and makes my favourite weeknight dinner: his awesome tuna melts. I spend the rest of the evening with a glass of red wine, catching up on the latest episodes of Schitt's Creek. I'm exhausted from the day, so I do my usual nighttime skin-care routine, and I'm asleep before 10 p.m. $4.99
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Daily Total: $20.99

Day Three

5:55 p.m. — My alarm goes off, and I roll out of bed to shower, do my skin-care routine, have coffee on the couch, and get out the door by 6:55 a.m.
8 a.m. — I grab a small coffee with milk from the Tim Hortons drive-thru and use my Tims card to pay again. I drop off the dog at my dad's place. She's spending the night there, because I have to run a bunch of errands after work. She spends most days at his house, which is close to my work. With A. and I being out of the apartment for nine to 10 hours a day, it's nice to know she's not alone and is well taken care of. Plus, my dad loves her just as much as we do.
9:26 a.m. — I get a call from my fertility doctor's office saying that I need to book an appointment for after my surgery to discuss our provincially-funded round of IVF. Ontario covers one round per woman per lifetime, which will save us about $10,000. We still have to pay for drugs and genetic testing, so it'll end up costing us about $8,000, but still! I book the appointment and realize summer will be almost over by that time. I also realize I'm currently starving, so I heat up my egg bites.
2 p.m. — Lunch! Today it's a beef taco. I froze a bunch of taco meat a while ago for quick lunches. I'm all about meal prep. The morning was crazy-busy, but this afternoon has slowed down, so I spend the rest of the day doing research for a summer trip to the east coast. A. messages me and says he bought us a wireless mouse from Amazon, so we can start and pause movies on the laptop when it's hooked up to the TV without having to get up from the couch because laziness. $14.99
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5:15 p.m. — I go to my acupuncture appointment, which I've been looking forward to all week. Yay for self care! I pay for the appointment with my credit card and instantly submit a benefits claim for full coverage ($55 expensed). I go to the LCBO to grab two bottles of red wine and a six-pack of Creemore ($45.20), then stop at the gas station to fill up and buy a lottery ticket ($37.45). $82.65
7:10 p.m. — Finally home! I boil vegetable dumplings and make a spinach salad for dinner. A. and I watch a few episodes of Altered Carbon on Netflix before going to bed.
Daily Total: $97.64

Day Four

8 a.m. — I get my usual at Tims but for free today (yay, Roll Up The Rim!) and stop at No Frills on the way to work to do our weekly grocery shop. I buy a few extra (read: a reasonable amount of) non-perishable food items because COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, and if we have to self-quarantine I want to be able to eat. I grab spinach, five gala apples, a red pepper, vanilla almond milk, tortillas, bread, cheese, egg whites, eggs, mixed nuts, raisins, ground beef, chicken breasts, frozen pork dumplings, frozen carrots, Miss Vickie's chips, granola bars, Ritz crackers, five packs of Knorr Sidekicks rice, one box of pasta, four cans of tuna, plum sauce, and clog remover for the drain. We're legitimately almost out of toilet paper, but mass toilet paper panic means most stores are completely sold out. Shit. I have $50 in PC points, so I use those, but the bill still comes to $126.81. I put the cold items in the work fridge, because no one ever uses it. $126.81
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2 p.m. — I have a beef taco again for lunch. Today has been incredibly slow, so I spend the rest of the afternoon switching between browsing Reddit and reading Money Diaries. I do actually do work, I swear! We're in our annual slow period, so things will be picking up soon. My boss is awesome and knows that when I do have work, I do it well, so she has no problem with how I'm spending my time now.
6:40 p.m. — I pick up the dog from my dad's and head home. A. is out with a friend tonight for drinks ($22.26), so I make breakfast burritos for dinner and a couple of extras for our lunches tomorrow. I watch Gossip Girl, walk the dog, then climb into bed. $22.26
9:48 p.m. — In bed, I pick a five-minute meditation on my Buddhify app and attempt to zone out. My therapist suggested I try doing a short meditation a few times a week in an effort to interrupt my anxious thoughts and retrain my brain to calm itself. It's going to take a lot of practice. I get through the meditation, then it's lights out.
Daily Total: $149.07

Day Five

8 a.m. — It's Friday the 13th, my lucky day! I drop the dog off at doggy daycare (prepaid), grab a bag of her food while I'm there ($82.48), and head to Tims for my usual. I make a stop at Shoppers to pick up the three months' worth of birth control pills I have to take before my surgery. I also grab more tampons and Advil ($22.99 ). I realize I forgot celery yesterday and go back to No Frills. The parking lot is completely full, and the shelves are empty. There's no pasta, soup, toilet paper, or Kleenex. The paranoia is real, and people are losing their minds. A guy walks past me with a cart full of frozen pizzas and what looks like 20 cans of soup. I pay for the celery through the self-checkout ($1.27) and get out of there as fast as possible. This week has been slow yet chaotic, so I'm definitely glad tomorrow is the weekend! $106.74
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2 p.m. — Lunch is breakfast burritos, and they make me so happy! A. goes to a grocery store on his break and manages to find toilet paper: eight rolls for $18.99—more than double the regular price. I nearly have a heart attack when he tells me. $18.99
5:12 p.m. — I pick up the dog from daycare, and she's extra wiggly. A. and I go for a run in our building's gym when I get home. I've been working my way through the Couch To 10K app, and I start week four today. Afterward, we have a spinach salad with hard-boiled eggs, carrots, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and ranch dressing (a seriously awesome mix). A. goes to work on his computer in the den, and I hang out on the couch in my pyjamas with a glass of red wine, binging Friends on Netflix — an introvert's ideal Friday night.
Daily Total: $125.73

Day Six

6 a.m. — I briefly wake up when A.'s alarm goes off. He's working at his weekend job today, so he has to get up early. I promptly fall back asleep.
8 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I make scrambled eggs and toast, then take the dog for a walk. I've booked my favourite strength and cardio class for 9:45 a.m. (prepaid with a five-class pack), so I make sure I have time to digest breakfast before it starts.
12 p.m. — After a post-workout shower and second dog walk, I'm out the door. I'm attending a birthday party for my friend's one-year-old daughter this afternoon. Being around tiny humans is difficult because I want one of my own SO badly. It just reminds me of how hard A. and I have to work to get one, and even after all the work, there's no promise that IVF will be effective. Optimism isn't always my strong suit. Thanks, anxiety! My brain is racing, so I put on my Feel Better playlist while I drive.
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4:30 p.m. — The party is fun, and the birthday girl has a GREAT time. I drive home and make a chicken tortilla pizza for dinner. We watch Cast Away and have a few drinks before heading to bed around 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

8:50 a.m. — A. is off today, and it's SO nice to wake up without an alarm. I slowly get out of bed and pour myself coffee from our drip machine. Today will be a super-lazy day. I catch up on all of my PVR'd shows from the week, including Coronation Street, Grey's Anatomy, and Workin' Moms. I cross stitch while watching TV.
12:30 p.m. — A. and I take the dog out for an extra-long walk, then try to go for a run in our building's gym, but it's closed for the foreseeable future due to the virus. We make ham sandwiches for lunch, and the laziness continues. At some point, I do laundry and vacuum, then prepare Buffalo ranch chicken in case we need meals in the coming weeks.
6:30 p.m. — My mom and her boyfriend surprise us with a visit and take us out for Lebanese food. We overeat because everything is amazing, and my mom treats us. We get home just after 9 p.m. I can't seem to keep my eyes open, so I pass out around 9:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $0
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 behaviour.
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If you are experiencing anxiety and are in need of crisis support, please call Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566 at any time or text 45645 between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. ET. Residents of Quebec, please call 1-866-277-3553.
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