A Week In Toronto, ON, On A $97,000 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.
How is COVID-19 affecting your income and spending? We'd like to read your Money Diary. Submit one here.

Today: an analytics manager working in food and beverage who makes $97,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Krispy Kreme delivery.

Occupation: Analytics Manager
Industry: Food & Beverage
Age: 28
Location: Toronto, ON
Salary: $97,000
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,700

Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: $865 for rent (Years ago, I scored a one-bedroom condo with a den for $1,730. My boyfriend, Z., moved in last year, so now we split that total evenly.)
Renters Insurance: $17.50
Hydro: $70
Internet: $66
Phone: $76
Spotify Premium Duo: $12.99
Gym/Studio Membership: $292
TFSA: $600 (I transfer more at bonus time and when I'm particularly cashflow positive. I have $15,000 saved.)
RRSP: $0 (I stopped contributing last year, because I have more than $35,000 saved, the amount you can withdraw under Canada's Home Buyers' Plan. I switched my contributions to my TFSA.)


Day One

7:45 a.m. — Today is my first day of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Saturday, we returned from a trip to Arizona, so I'm now in self-quarantine with my boyfriend, Z., for the next 14 days — in 675 square feet, no less. He sleeps while I make myself toast from the groceries we had delivered yesterday.
8:45 a.m. — Ignoring several work-from-home articles I recently read, I remain in my PJs and settle into work with a cup of coffee. Z. joins me at our kitchen island, and we're actually quite productive given the circumstances.
11:30 a.m. — I'm starving (from walking from my bed to the kitchen?), so I heat up leftover pizza. Z. and I eat while fielding calls from colleagues.
2 p.m. — I'm not usually a worrier, but I'm feeling anxiety about access to food. We just got a delivery yesterday, but we can't run out for top-ups, and most of the grocery-delivery websites have up to two-week waiting periods. I notice that Walmart has a good selection and can deliver as soon as Thursday, so I place an order. $68.80
4 p.m. — I email my boss to see if I can expense an external monitor, because working on multiple spreadsheets on a tiny laptop screen is quite difficult. He finally comes through near the end of the day, so I place an order, again from Walmart, for a reasonably priced one. I'm hoping it arrives before the expected delivery date next week. $135.58 (expensed)
5:15 p.m. — I close my laptop after a stressful day of calls and projects. I start dinner, which is a chicken shawarma salad. We eat while watching Curb Your Enthusiasm on Crave (Z. pays for Crave), then switch to the movie Crawl on Amazon Prime (mooched from my dad). We're asleep by midnight.
Daily Total: $68.80

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off, but I'm exhausted and hit snooze for 10 minutes. I'm normally a morning person, but it's so much harder to get up when you really have nowhere to be. I finally drag myself out of bed around 8 a.m. and make myself two crumpets with peanut butter and jam. While I eat, I watch Jack, the Robin Williams movie about a boy who ages four times faster than usual, on Disney+ (mooched from my brother-in-law).
9 a.m. — I work on the couch to mix it up. Mixing it up these days basically means choosing a new spot to place my ass for eight hours. I check in with my team and run reports while drinking coffee and quietly sobbing to Robin Williams. Jack is SUCH a good movie and positively heartbreaking.
10:45 a.m. — I finally move to the kitchen island and work through more reports while preparing for a job interview I have later today via phone. I was also interested in another role, but I just found out the job posting was cancelled indefinitely due to the pandemic. That, coupled with frustrating emails from co-workers, causes me to have a little cry. I then place an order for Krispy Kreme delivery. I have $11 in DoorDash credits from a previous order they messed up, so the total is only $9 for a dozen doughnuts delivered. $9.04
1 p.m. — The job interview goes well. I ask the interviewer for next steps given the current circumstances, and he struggles to answer. It's probably not a fair question — none of us know what the next weeks will hold. I heat up leftover pizza while I prepare for my 2 p.m. work call.
2:40 p.m. — The call is over, and that's my last meeting for the day. I remain online but more or less call it. As you might have guessed, I'm unhappy in my current role, which is a shame, because I left an amazing company a few months ago to take this job. Trying to find a new position was going well until the pandemic brought things to a screeching halt. I have a third...fourth? coffee and a second (definitely second) doughnut.
3 p.m. — I'm a gym nut, but my studio is obviously closed, so I go to the den to run through a cardio workout one of my instructors was gracious enough to post on Instagram. I'm not a home-workout person. I need the encouragement of my coaches and the motivation/intimidation/competition from my fellow class-goers. However, I eke out a solid workout.
6:30 p.m. — After a body shower, I lay around on my laptop and phone and suddenly it's dinnertime. I prepare leftover shawarma salad from last night and return to my laptop while Z. watches TV.
8:30 p.m. — I haven't moved much, but the daily doughnut count is up to four. They're only good fresh, after all. We watch this week's episode of Westworld, followed by mindless TV. I head to bed around 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $9.04

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — Alarm, snooze till 8 a.m. I'm developing a troubling pattern with the snoozing. I lug myself out of bed and make the same breakfast as yesterday, then plop on the couch and watch That '70s Show on Netflix (mooched off Z.'s dad). I have a coffee and respond to emails before moving to the "office island" in the kitchen for my 10 a.m. call.
10:30 a.m. — The call is complete, and it's time for a second coffee and first doughnut! The doughnut is chocolate-filled and too sweet. I give it a six out of 10. Krispy Kreme, stick to what you know: Simple is better. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
11 a.m. — I'm feeling quite productive. I tend to hit my stride between 10 a.m. and noon, then lose the will to live. I bang out work and respond to emails at the kitchen island. I have a call at noon with my wider team that requires video, so I put on makeup. There's no need for video conferencing in a professional setting, but fine, you read an article about the benefits of face-to-face time.
11:30 a.m. — I review my bank balances. My RRSP and TFSA have taken a shit-kicking during the pandemic. I've lost about $12,000, but I realize I'm one of the lucky ones who has time to be patient and let the market return to normal(ish). My Visa billing cycle ended yesterday, so I transfer $1,700 to that card. I always pay my credit cards as soon as the cycle is over and always in full. I generally spend between $1,500 and $2,000 in a normal month and, considering I was travelling last week, $1,700 isn't bad. I put all my spending on the cards and, as a result, get most of my flights for free through various points systems.
1 p.m. — My video call is complete, and Z. presents me with a breakfast sandwich that I eat once my video is switched off... I hope it's off.
1:30 p.m. — I'm back for a company conference call that lasts THREE HOURS.
2:45 p.m. — During my call, I browse local alcohol delivery options. I was happy to not drink for the past couple days, because we just returned from vacation, but now we're cooped up and craving wine and beer. A lot of local breweries are offering free delivery, so I place an order for 24 bottles of Mill St. Organic to be delivered Friday afternoon. $50.95
4:45 p.m. — Following my never-ending conference call, I'm feeling super-lethargic/lazy/tired/whatever you want to call it. There is no workout happening tonight. I plop on the couch and binge Broad City. Oh, and Z. and I each have a last doughnut. Twelve doughnuts destroyed by two people in 28 hours.
7 p.m. — Z. makes us quesadillas with chips and guac for dinner, and I make us cocktails: gin for me, Irish whiskey for him. I burn through more Broad City, then Happy Endings, and Z. puts on Workaholics (the male Broad City, as he refers to it).
10:30 p.m. — I do my skin-care routine, and I'm in bed by 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $50.95

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — Alarm, snooze till 8, lay in bed for ten minutes. Is this exciting yet? I get up, make crumpets with PB&J again, and sit on the couch watching more Broad City. Z. makes me a coffee.
9:30 a.m. — I have a video call with a colleague, then I dive into work. I also browse Ask A Manager, then job postings and find nothing new and/or interesting. It's not a good time for recruiting.
11 a.m. — My Walmart order arrives, and I'm pumped! We got spinach, three bagged salads, two boxes of cereal, a case of pop, two jars of peanut butter, eggs, OJ, Skittles, and chocolate eggs. I've been having serious candy cravings in isolation.
12 p.m. — I light candles and bring my laptop into the den for a live yoga class. The instructor does moves intended for those sitting for extended periods of time, which are very needed. I'm not a yoga person, but tonight's session feels amazing, and my body feels lighter and more energetic afterwards. I make us each the last of the chicken shawarma salad and settle back into work.
1:15 p.m. — I eat two chocolate eggs and work until my 2 p.m. call.
2:45 p.m. — I take a couple more calls and chat with one colleague. We joke that the silver lining in all of this is how good our skin and hair will look following weeks (months?) of limited washing and no makeup. Also: Lighter Sephora orders are helpful on my wallet. Bright side?
4:45 p.m. — I call the work day and empty the dishwasher. I then watch a few episodes of 100 Humans on Netflix.
5:45 p.m. — Z. and I make nachos using leftovers from our quesadillas last night. We eat in front of the TV, then Z. does more work while I browse the internet on my laptop.
7 p.m. — My gym has a live workout stream tonight, so I change into a sports bra (I was already in leggings all day) and go to the den to tune in.
7:45 p.m. — I actually work up a sweat at home! After a good workout, I take a shower and wash my hair for the first time in four days, which is a treat. I have thin, generally greasy hair, so I'm usually an every-one-to-two-days shampooer.
8 p.m. — Settled on the couch for the night, we turn on The Dead Don't Die on Crave. It's not good. Very slow and boring and overly meta, which is disappointing given that it has a solid cast, including Bill Murray and Adam Driver. To cleanse our brains afterwards, we put on old Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes until I go to bed around 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

7:45 a.m. — Alarm, snooze. I'm officially awake at 8 a.m, but I laze in bed on my phone for about 15 minutes more. Finally, it's Friday! Not that the weekend changes much, but at least I can sleep in tomorrow.
8:30 a.m. — I'm finally back on my smoothies. I normally make a green smoothie every morning, but we haven't had spinach until today! I throw together a simple spinach, banana, raspberry and OJ smoothie. It's not great, but all the grocery websites I've visited have been sold out of decent frozen fruit. I have my smoothie with an English muffin on the couch while watching That '70s Show with Z.
9 a.m. — I join Z. at the island. We spend the morning working productively, each fielding a few calls.
12 p.m. — I browse grocery websites for paper towels, but it's sold out EVERYWHERE. What a weird thing to stock up on. I guess everyone is cleaning more? I mainly need it to dab bacon grease, but to each their own.
12:30 p.m. — I pop a frozen pizza in the oven, and we share it while taking calls (muting to chew...hopefully). We take a break to stand on our balcony, which is as depressing as it sounds, but at least we have a balcony. If you have a yard during isolation you are truly blessed.
1 p.m. — I browse job postings while on a conference call and find nada.
2 p.m. — We both take a break. Ten minutes later, we both return to work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3 p.m. — My beer order is here! Delivery people have been so great about the social-distancing thing, and their spirits seem generally high. I'm so appreciative that they're willing to put their health on the line and go to work every day with a smile on their faces, while I sit at home in my pyjamas behind a keyboard.
3:30 p.m. — I finish work, then get a case of the Fridays. I browse the Sport Chek website, because they have a 25% off Nike sale. Do I need anything? No. Am I bored and in isolation? Yes. I order a new pair of gym sneakers, a sports bra, and socks. With the sale and a 10% off promo code, my order comes to $142.67. $142.67
4:30 p.m. — I try to FaceTime my friend, but there's no answer. I mope/wander/pointlessly roam around the condo. I eventually end up cleaning and tossing a load of towels in the laundry.
5:30 p.m. — Z. finishes work, and we have beers on our balcony, discussing what treat to order for dinner.
7 p.m. — Treat decided! McDonald's has free delivery, so we get a few burgers and nuggets to share. I put the order on my Visa. $26.17
8 p.m. — We're not in the mood to commit to a movie, so we watch Happy Endings and Broad City. I go to bed around 11:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $168.84

Day Six

9 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I squirm in bed for a bit but make it out just before 9:20 a.m. My gym is doing a live workout at 10 a.m., and it would be embarrassing to miss the only thing in my calendar. I make two English muffins for breakfast with a glass of OJ and chug coffee before going to the den to set up Zoom.
11 a.m. — I have such a great workout, and it's nice to see everyone's faces. I was hesitant at first, but the video is actually kind of great and creates accountability. I cool down by jumping rope on the balcony, then take a quick body shower before settling on the couch with breakfast courtesy of Z.
1:30 p.m. — We're basically done with TV by now, so Z. hops in the shower, and I put on music to clean the condo. I do dishes, vacuum, Swiffer, make the bed, dust, and put away laundry. I then text six of my friends to see how they're all doing. I had to set a reminder on my phone to do so, which is so Type A. It's nice to reconnect with everyone. I'm so excited for the first day we can all cheers on a patio and be (semi) normal again.
2:30 p.m. — We snack on leftover meat and cheese, and I download a bunch of apps and games to see if any are compatible with Chromecast. We play a little, I surf the web, Z. plays NHL on his PlayStation, and we basically kill time for the remainder of the afternoon.
4:30 p.m. — Z. FaceTimes his family, while I browse for good Chinese delivery (Z. is craving). We place an order to arrive at 5:30 p.m. Early bird special? Time means nothing now. Z. pays and adds a "generous tip," as he describes it. We're grateful to all our delivery people and understand that Chinese restaurants have been hit harder than others.
5:30 p.m. — We binge on Chinese food while watching Happy Endings, then watch on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It's almost three hours long but flies by. I love Quentin Tarantino movies, and this one has all his trademarks. Some scenes are so violent, I can't even watch them.
9:30 p.m. — This is the most boring diary. After the movie, Z. watches Workaholics, I go on my laptop, and we eat Skittles. I go to bed around 11:30 p.m., excited to sleep in tomorrow.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

10:45 a.m. — No alarm today! We both wake up just before 11 a.m., with nothing on the agenda. I get up first and have a green smoothie with an English muffin while watching Broad City.
11:30 a.m. — Z. joins me on the couch, and we have our coffees and chocolate eggs. Z. gets a burst of energy and cleans up around the condo.
1:30 p.m. — We're officially stir-crazy and have second coffees and chat on the balcony. Z. wants more beer, so he places a Foodora delivery order from The Beer Store and gets a pack of Corona (irony?), plus various craft tall boys. He pays.
2:30 p.m. — We're halfway through our mandated isolation period and discuss what life will be like after. Spoiler alert: the same but with walks. It's so weird to have nothing to look forward to or plans for in the immediate future.
4:30 p.m. — We spend the rest of the day drinking beer, watching movies, talking to friends and family, and killing time.
8:45 p.m. — Z. smokes weed, and I take CBD oil, looking forward to a restful sleep and another week in isolation.
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.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend. Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.

For more money diaries, click here.

Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

More from Work & Money