A Week In Vancouver, BC, On A $77,000 Salary

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Today: a brand manager working in fashion who makes $77,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a pair of A.P.C. boots.
Occupation: Brand Manager
Industry: Fashion
Age: 27
Location: Vancouver, BC
Salary: $77,000
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,439.41
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $800 (I live alone in a rented studio. This total includes utilities.)
Car Insurance: $179.89
Internet: $95.20
Netflix: $9.99
Patreon: $8.16 (This is my contribution to a couple of podcasts: Uhh Yeah Dude and Overdue.)
Phone: $0 (Work pays for my phone.)
Spotify: $14.99 (I pay for my family's plan.)
RRSP: $268.32 ($134.16 is deducted from each paycheque and matched by my company.)
High-Interest Savings Account: $1,147.50
New York Times Subscription: $13.65

Day One

6:30 a.m. — My sister and I are visiting my grandparents, who we don't see often. It's a four-hour drive, so I immediately brew coffee and begin prepping a Panzanella salad that we're bringing them.
7:30 a.m. — We're on the road, and my sister, D., wants to stop at A&W for Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches and hash browns. I feel guilty every time she pays for things, because she's younger and makes less money than I do, but I know I will get her back one way or another.
8 a.m. — We make a quick stop for gas before getting on the highway. $37.77
11:30 a.m. — We arrive before noon, and my Nana is so happy to see us she cries. We eat the Panzanella followed by an apple cake that she baked, and a couple of other relatives stop by for coffee.
2:30 p.m. — My grandparents send me home with family documents and ancestry information to organize. I want to read about the side of the family who fled the Russian Revolution.
3 p.m. — We fill up the tank again for the drive home. My parents are on vacation for three weeks, so D. and I are taking turns staying at their house to look after our family dog, P., (neither of us can keep pets in our apartments). Their house is an hour outside the city, so my mom left us her car and credit card for gas. We use it to pay this time, and D. also buys us chips.
7:45 p.m. — We arrive back home after listening to a David Sedaris audiobook for the whole ride. I guzzle water and skip a proper dinner because I ate too many chips in the car.
8:30 p.m. — It's still my shift with the dog, so D. continues on to her apartment, and I tidy the house. I usually read before bed, but I find myself distracted by the novelty of cable TV here. I'm so over-stimulated yet numbed by the volume of available programming that I toggle between Live PD, CSI Miami, and The Real Housewives for two hours, not properly watching any of it.
Daily Total: $37.77

Day Two

9 a.m. — I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. but doze for a couple of hours until P. jumps onto the bed. Normally, I'm an early riser and feel stressed starting days this late unless I've been out the previous night, but today is a holiday, so it's not a big deal.
9:15 a.m. — I go straight for the coffee again and drink it while doing yard work that my dad would normally do: watering plants, taking out the compost, scooping poop, etc.
10 a.m. — Even though it's a holiday, I really need a catch-up work day while no one is emailing or calling me. I set up my computer at our garden table and tackle the inbox. Sadly, I have to text my friend to let her know I can't come over and swim in her pool today. Sometimes I feel like I have less fun and more responsibility than my friends, but maybe social media creates this illusion?
11 a.m. — I have peanut butter toast and strawberries for breakfast, along with a second cup of coffee while working.
1 p.m. — P. is feeling antsy because he hasn't left the house today — and so am I. I take him to the park, but there are no other dogs for him to play with. When we get home, I do a quick workout in the backyard: lunges, crunches, planks.
3:30 p.m. — I eat leftover salad as a late lunch and then — surprise! — do more work.
5:30 p.m. — I'm hungry again, but not motivated to make a real dinner for one. I always feel displaced in other people's kitchens when I haven't shopped and meal prepped everything myself. I settle on a box of Annie's pasta, which I eat outside.
6:30 p.m. — I realize this is a boring way to spend the unofficial last day of summer, but it's nice to have a quiet and productive day at home. I sit outside and read my book, Hollywood's Eve by Lili Anolik, until the sun starts to set, and I can't see the words anymore.
8:45 p.m. — I shower and do my nighttime routine. Then I watch the last half of Two Weeks Notice with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock for no other reason than it's on.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7 a.m. — This is a late wake up for me on a weekday. Sometimes I'm at the office by this time, but I'm still in a long-weekend frame of mind. I feed and walk P., then get ready, which takes under 10 minutes, because I haven't been wearing makeup lately.
8:15 a.m. — I have a dentist appointment to fill my first adult cavity. I'm very disappointed in myself for this. I have full dental coverage through work, so the visit doesn't cost me anything.
9 a.m. — I'm still out at my parents house, and work is an hour or more away at this time of day, so I'm going to work remotely. I pick up an iced latte from Starbucks before heading home. $4.88
9:30 a.m. — I set up my work station outside again and get straight into email. My company operates globally, so I'm receiving messages and calls at all times of the day. I typically address anything from the east coast or Europe first to catch them before the day is over.
12:30 p.m. — At lunch, I take advantage of my flexible work schedule and drive P. to a track near my house for a run. I forget that school started this week, so it's very busy. Our run is cut short due to a sore paw. When I check, it looks red between his toes, like he's stepped on a sharp rock or maybe been stung by a bee.
1:15 p.m. — P. fights me as I try to play veterinarian with him. I manage to soak his paw in salt water and put my own sock on him, taping it at the top so he can't get it off.
1:45 p.m. — I eat an arugula salad and fruit for lunch, then work uninterrupted until the daylight begins to disappear.
7 p.m. — I eat an ice-cream bar as I wait for my pasta to cook. Yes, I'm having pasta again, but this time with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes. I eat it while watching a bad Hallmark romance movie. I will never allow myself to have cable after these past few days.
8 p.m. — Emails start coming in from Asia. Opening them makes me feel anxious. I know I should set boundaries and wait until tomorrow to respond, but I don't.
9:30 p.m. — D. is coming to relieve me of dog-sitting duties tomorrow, so I pack up all of my things to take home. My normally good skin is experiencing a terrible breakout, maybe from hormones and the sunscreen I've been wearing, so I skip moisturizer tonight and just use The Ordinary's Niacinamide concentrate and Tata Harper Resurfacing AHA + BHA Serum.
Daily Total: $4.88

Day Four

5:30 a.m. — I'm back on my early schedule today and listening to my NYT and Economist news podcasts while I get ready. I feel guilty about skipping P.'s morning walk, but I have to begin my long commute. I give him two apology treats instead of one. His paw looks better today. Having a dog has added structure to my life; I wish I could have one at my own place.
7:30 a.m. — I'm at work early, because I have a team video conference. My co-worker is expensing a coffee run, and I'm grateful for the double-shot cappuccino.
8:45 a.m. — I'm getting a summer-is-over vibe today. It seems that everyone has returned from vacation, so my day is filled with more meetings. It's going to be a long one.
11 a.m. — I've been up for so long already and missed breakfast, so I dip into my lunch early. I took advantage of my parents' stocked fridge and made a sandwich with a bunch of chopped veggies.
5:45 p.m. — I leave the office at a good time, because I'm heading to my neighbour's house for our weekly dinner date. It's my turn to cook, but I haven't been home in days and have no idea what's in my fridge, so I pick up Mexican takeout. $67.12
8 p.m. — After dinner, we watch the movie Booksmart, which I rent on Apple TV. Once my friend goes home, I unpack my clothes and beauty products to reset for the morning. $6.99
Daily Total: $74.11

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — It feels nice to wake up in my own apartment. I make coffee to sip while I get ready.
8:15 a.m. — The first thing on my agenda is a call with my team in Europe. I didn't bring breakfast today, so afterwards I walk to the nearby market and pick up fruit, cashews, and an iced Americano. $13.99
12 p.m. — I have meetings all through the afternoon again, so I'm glad I brought leftover quesadillas from last night.
5:15 p.m. — I have plans to meet my former co-worker for drinks downtown, so I leave the office earlier than normal to avoid traffic. My last workplace was always filled with drama, so I'm anticipating crazy updates. I pay for parking on my app. $4.87
5:55 p.m. — I find him at the bar, and we order wine and sharing plates right before happy hour ends. The stories do not disappoint. $26.45
8:30 p.m. — D. is looking for job and has sent me a couple of cover letters to edit, so I pull out my computer as soon as I'm home. I send her notes back, and since I'm already on my laptop, I head over to SSENSE. I need a new coat and boots this season, which will both be investment purchases. I'm hoping to buy one new and find the other on a resale platform like eBay or Heroine.
10:45 p.m. — I forgot Hollywood's Eve at my parents' house, so I read a few pages of the other book I have on the go: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino.
Daily Total: $45.31

Day Six

7 a.m. — I'm headed into work early. Since it's Friday, I treat myself to a nice coffee on the way. I'm temped by croissants but remember the fruit at my office that I bought yesterday. $3.58
4:30 p.m. — I work practically all day on a presentation I'm giving next week, breaking only to eat a makeshift tomato-cucumber salad — the only two things in my fridge. My work lunches are about sustenance, not enjoyment. A couple of co-workers and I cut the day short and go on a post-work-week run. The only way I'm able to run is with peer pressure.
6 p.m. — I stop at the post office on my way home to pick up a Nu Swim bathing suit that I ordered during an end-of-season sale. I went all season with just a sports bra, so I'm excited to have something nice for next summer.
6:30 p.m. — All of my friends are either working tonight or still away on vacation, so I'm having a night to myself. I still have no groceries and am tired, so I have pizza delivered. $21.57
7:15 p.m. — I eat half the pie while watching Derry Girls and doing a Fresh Rose Face Mask, then it's more reading and bed.
Daily Total: $25.15

Day Seven

8:15 a.m. — First up today is a circuit training class using a prepaid punch card. I buy 10 classes at a time, which lowers the cost to $20 per visit. My only expense this time is parking. $0.67
9:30 a.m. — I zip home to shower so that I have time to wash and blowdry my hair before meeting my friend for coffee at our neighbourhood bakery. She's going on vacation for the rest of the month, so I won't see her for a while. I pay for our coffees and pastry. $8.09
12 p.m. — I vacuum, dust, and wash my apartment floors, then FaceTime my parents.
1:30 p.m. — I finally pull the trigger on setting up a TFSA account (that's a Tax-Free Savings Account for international readers), which I've been meaning to do for a while. I select a fixed two-year term and transfer $5,000 from my standard savings account into it. I likely won't be making any monumental purchases in the next two years (property, vehicle, etc.), so I don't know what the endgame is yet.
2:15 p.m. — I spend the next couple of hours thoroughly researching leather boots again. I'll invest three to six hours of research before making any clothing purchase. In the end, I don't find what I want in my size on any reselling site, so I buy A.P.C. boots from SSENSE along with a pair of Levi's jeans. $693
7 p.m. — I make a salad from my dwindling fridge contents — I'm down to tomatoes, feta, and oregano. I'm headed back to my parents' place tomorrow, so I don't bother with groceries. D. is picking me up to go to our friend's birthday party. I open a bottle of red that I've been saving and pour a glass while I put on makeup.
8:30 p.m. — I pay for parking since she drove. I don't know many people at this party since it's mostly D.'s school friends, but it's fun regardless. I'm for sure the oldest person here. $6
11 p.m. — A bunch of people are headed out to a bar. Thankfully, D. doesn't want to go, and I'm too tired for a location change. She buys us fries before dropping me off at home, where I do a condensed night-time routine and fall asleep immediately.
Daily Total: $707.76
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