A Week In Toronto, ON, On A $45,000 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.
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Today: a content writer working in banking who makes $45,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on condoms.
Occupation: Content Writer
Industry: Banking
Age: 25
Location: Toronto, ON
Salary: $45,000
Paycheque Amount (1x/week): $710.66
Gender Identity: Woman
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Monthly Expenses
Rent: $0 (I'm still living with my parents. They live downtown, we have a good relationship, so it's usually not an issue.)
Phone: $33.90 (I have a very cheap phone plan, but the downside is that it instantly stops working when I leave Toronto.)
Transit Pass: $138.55 (I pay for this, and both my mom and I use it.)
Tax-Free Savings: $1,000 (I have $15,448.44 saved up for a down payment or to live abroad for a few years.)
Emergency Fund: $150 (I have $1,301.25 saved.)
Life Fund: $100 (I use this fund to save for any big-ticket items like travel, fine jewellery, tattoos, etc.)
Wealthsimple Investment: $250 (I put this month's contribution on hold, because I need the money for a trip to Bali at the end of the month.)
Yoga Membership: $118.65
Netflix: $9.99
Spotify: $4.99
Adobe Suite: $30

Day One

7 a.m. — The alarm goes off on both my Google Home Mini and my Sleep Cycle app. It takes about five minutes to get out of bed, which is actually an improvement from the 15 to 20 minutes it typically takes me.
7:25 a.m. — I take my probiotics from Seed. They're a lot more expensive than the probiotics I've seen in health-food stores, but they're supposed to be much better, and my gut issues have improved since I started them a month ago. I also prep my morning coffee with a stovetop espresso maker and pour some into a tumbler to bring to work.
7:45 a.m. — The final step of the morning is skincare and makeup. I use Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief And Resilience Soothing Cream, The Ordinary moisturizer, and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen. After years of my rheumatologist nagging me to wear sunscreen, I finally am, and what do you know? It does help reduce redness. I try to keep my makeup simple: The Ordinary Serum Foundation, Innisfree powder, Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer, Etude House Brow Pencil, Glossier Boy Brow, and Maybelline Falsies mascara.
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8:25 a.m. — My commute to work is only a 20-minute walk, so my mom takes the bus pass during the work week, and I use it in the evenings and on weekends. I hate public transit during rush hour, and the walk to work is a calming way to start the day.
8:50 a.m. — It takes more than half an hour for my computer to start up at work. While I wait, I sip my coffee and have the chia pudding I prepared with cacao powder, cacao nibs, and a Medjool date. I also add almond butter, which I keep at my desk. It's like dessert for breakfast.
11:50 a.m. — The entire morning is spent in meetings. I order sushi on Ritual. It's my first time ordering from this particular restaurant, so I get a $5-off promo. $14.21
3 p.m. — After yet another meeting, I have apple slices and a peach with almond butter.
4:30 p.m. — There's a storm outside, so it seems like the entire office is leaving early. I have an umbrella, but when I get outside, I see exactly how bad the storm is and take the bus.
5 p.m. — I'm supposed to go to a hot yoga class, but I skip it because of the storm. Instead, I spend the evening watching a comedy special on Netflix. For dinner, my mom makes us fried rice, which we eat as a family with the news playing in the background.
8 p.m. — After a shower, I double-cleanse my face, first with Bioderma, then with Cetaphil, which I use with a Clarisonic brush. After, I use Thayers Lavender Toner, half a dropper of Dr. Jart Cicapair Serum, and Dr. Jart Ceramidim Cream. I cancel my Netflix subscription, because I'm leaving for a yoga retreat in Bali at the end of the month and won't be using it. This saves me an extra $10 for something else. I'll be travelling solo for a week after the retreat, so I spend the next two hours looking up hostels.
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10 p.m. — I tidy up my room and journal (I keep several journals). I make notes in my bullet journal, fill out my five-year journal, and write in my personal journal. I also make plans to see friends.
11:15 p.m. — After reading a couple of Money Diaries in bed, it's lights out.
Daily Total: $14.21

Day Two

7 a.m. — The alarm goes off and, of course, the first thing I do is check my phone. Typical millennial, I know. My friend, P., confirms dinner plans for tonight, and I'm excited. We're going to one of my favourite restaurants.
7:20 a.m. — I prep two boiled eggs and smoked salmon, which I put into a container to bring to work. I add homemade almond milk to my coffee. For a while, I was buying expensive almond milk that was supposed to have fewer additives, but it would go off so quickly. Finally, my mom and I started making homemade almond milk. It doesn't take very long, and it's much tastier.
8:40 a.m. — I hate every outfit I try, so I'm running very late for work. I have no choice but to leave, even though I still hate my outfit.
9:20 a.m. — At work, I do a scan of the emails that came in since yesterday. I still hate my outfit, but I guess you can't win them all. I have breakfast, followed by a mini-wafer from my desk.
12 p.m. — Most of the morning is spent in meetings, which is typical. For lunch, I have leftover fried rice with steamed broccoli. I also grab a can of sparkling water and a snack-size bag of chips from the office snack supply.
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12:45 p.m. — I get an email saying the café downstairs is offering free customer-appreciation coffee, so I get one. It isn't great, but it's free.
2:30 p.m. — The day is dragging, and I break out the nectarine I brought from home. I follow it with an Emergen-C packet, because everyone is getting sick at work, and I try to avoid getting sick at all cost.
4:30 p.m. — The boredom is really sinking in, and I'm done with being at work. I end up on Lululemon's website and finally take the plunge on a yoga strap and leggings that I tell myself I NEED for my trip. I also justify this because I rarely buy new workout gear. $85.88
6 p.m. — At home, I have a banana and clean up the mysterious pile of clothes on my bed.
6:30 p.m. — I take the bus to the restaurant to meet my friend. I get off a little early and pop into the LCBO for a few cans of London Fog beer I've been wanting to try. $10.95
7 p.m. — P. and I have dinner at a place that does home-style Japanese food. We each get a beer and a beef and rice dish he recommends, then split the karaage (Japanese fried chicken) at my request. $32.61
8:15 p.m. — Back at the LCBO, P. gets a bottle of red wine, and I grab two more cans of London Fog beer to take to his place. The extra beers turn out to be unnecessary, because P. takes one sip and doesn't like it. $7.60
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12:30 a.m. — I catch the bus home. On my short walk from the bus stop to my house, I smoke a joint. At home, I quickly go through my evening skincare routine and text the guy I've been fooling around with. My laptop has been crashing a lot lately, and I want him to take a look at it.
2 a.m. — How is it 2 a.m. already? Bedtime.
Daily Total: $137.04

Day Three

7:35 a.m. — I'm working from home today, so it's a glorious morning of sleeping in (barely). I'm regretting the late night, though, because I didn't sleep well, which happens when I drink any amount of alcohol now. Is this aging?
8:30 a.m. — After skincare, I take my probiotics, make coffee, and start working.
9:30 a.m. — I have a banana with a big spoonful of almond butter and hemp seeds. I love this breakfast, as simple as it is, and I'm too tired to cook anything on the stove.
11:45 a.m. — I have to get blood work done during lunch. To avoid feeling faint, I make myself toast. Just as the bread pops out of the toaster, my dad comes home with lamb dumplings, and I ditch my toast.
1 p.m. — I feel exhausted, physically and emotionally. The hospital is very close by, but I forgot my requisition and had to come home and go back. It's a cold, grey day, which always makes me feel awful. The medical stuff doesn't help. I was diagnosed with lupus as a kid, and medical procedures are a standard part of life, but they still leave me feeling drained. Trying to be easy on myself, I set up Eat Pray Love to cast on the TV while I work and eat more dumplings.
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3:30 p.m. — I have the cold, hard toast I made earlier.
4:30 p.m. — I'm done work for the day, and both my parents are home now, so I chat with them. Eventually, I end up in bed for a much-needed nap. Moments like this make me feel like an elderly grandmother and not the twentysomething I am. I'm also worried that my health and energy levels will continue to deteriorate as I get older.
7 p.m. — The nap was good for me. My parents already ate, but they've left me roast pork, bok choy, and rice. Because it's Thursday (A.K.A. payday), I log into my bank account and move funds around: $500 goes into my TFSA, $100 goes into a fund that I'll cash out at the end of the month for my trip, and $225 gets put aside to pay my credit card bill at the end of the month. I have a decent cash-back plan with my credit card, so I use it for almost everything, and pay off the balance in full every month.
11:15 p.m. — After Netflix and YouTube, it's bedtime. It's been a long day.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

6:45 a.m. — I didn't sleep very well again. I'm up early, because I have a meeting at 9:30 a.m., and I want to prepare. For breakfast, it's challah with two fried eggs.
8:30 a.m. — At the office, I scope out the meeting room to make sure there's a screen and appropriate cables. I look over my presentation decks while having my breakfast.
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10:30 a.m. — The meeting goes well! I feel a lot better about the (complicated) project I'm working on. Also on a positive note: My next two meetings are cancelled.
11:30 a.m. — I get an email saying that my package has arrived, but there's no one home to pick it up. I call my aunt to have her run by the house to check on it. She couldn't find it outside the house. It's the yoga strap I ordered the other day. I really hope no one stole it. Package theft is the worst and seems to be a common problem.
12:10 p.m. — My co-worker and I go out for vegan burgers. Normally, I avoid eating out for lunch, but it's another co-worker's last day. I order a classic burger that comes with truffle fries. I use Ritual again and save $4. We eat outside on the patio. It's only a little chilly. $7.91
4 p.m. — It has been a ridiculously busy afternoon. I'm finally sitting back at my desk and get to eat my snack: a kiwi and a peach.
4:30 p.m. — I make a mad dash to get home and check on my package. Thankfully, it's inside the house. My parents rent the basement out, so one of the tenants must've brought it inside. I quickly change and reapply makeup, because it's girls' night.
5:30 p.m. — I want to take the bus over to the mall, where I'm meeting my friend, but my mom went out after work and has the transit pass, so I end up half-walking, half-running to the mall. My friend and I wander around, chatting and window-shopping. At the bookstore, I pick up a new Moleskine journal. $27.12
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7 p.m. — We meet the rest of our friends at the restaurant, if you can call it that. We're eating at what is essentially a fancy food court where local restaurants have set up food stalls. I get a half-order of truffle-mushroom gnocchi. Are truffles the theme of the day? It's delicious, but the dairy upsets my stomach. $20.28
9 p.m. — We relocate to a hotel bar, where we get delicious but expensive cocktails. I order a very fancy Moscow Mule. $22.09
11 p.m. — We're all going in separate directions, but I wait with my friend for 45 minutes until her bus comes. The time goes by quickly, because we spend the whole time chatting. After, I hop on a streetcar home.
12:10 a.m. — I'm finally home, and I'm exhausted. I quickly change into PJs, tidy up my room, and do my evening skincare. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Daily Total: $77.40

Day Five

9 a.m. — I love lazy Saturday mornings. I make myself a cup of lemon-honey tea and chat with my mom. She's making barley soup with vegetables from our garden. It's delicious, and I have two helpings.
11:45 a.m. — I walk over to the yoga studio for an hour-long hot yoga class, which I find particularly exhausting today. I always feel this way when I skip a few classes in a row. Afterward, I quickly walk home and heat up rice with roast pork, and a hard-boiled egg.
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2:30 p.m. — I take an extra-long shower. The hot water feels great on my sore muscles.
4 p.m. — The house is empty, and L., the guy I've been fooling around with, is supposed to come over. Guys rarely come over, because I live with my parents, so I have to go buy condoms. $11.29
4:30 p.m. — I have time before L. is supposed to arrive, so I go to a local bookstore and get Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann. It's a long read, which is daunting, but I've heard good things. L. still hasn't texted, so I get an almond-milk latte and start my new book. $36.15
5:20 p.m. — It's getting late, and I'm getting hungry. At home, I have canned Thai chili tuna with Mary's crackers. L. texts to say he just finished some work, and he's not feeling well, so he can't come over. I tell him I'm disappointed and send him a meditation from a yoga class I went to last week. This sparks a three-hour text exchange about the classical schools of yoga. For someone I'm just fooling around with, I really like talking to him. He keeps surprising me with positive qualities.
7:45 p.m. — Realizing that I still haven't had a proper meal, I order a 14-inch Margherita pizza from my favourite pizza place. It's not as good as it usually is, but the place seems really busy tonight. $16.95
10:30 p.m. — I make another cup of honey-lemon tea and add a few drops of oregano oil, then read in bed.
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Daily Total: $64.39

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — I wake up from a weird dream. I brush my teeth, splash water on my face, take my probiotics, and crawl back into bed. I spend the morning journaling.
9 a.m. — I finally get out of bed to make coffee and get ready. I'm taking my mom out for a birthday brunch. Her birthday isn't until next month, but I'll be away, and we wanted to do this while the weather is still nice. We're going to a place she's always coveted since immigrating to Canada.
11 a.m. — The restaurant is on the 51st floor, so it has a great view of Toronto. It also has a brunch buffet. This is all to say that the food doesn't taste great, but I try not to say anything, because it means a lot to her that we're here. The desserts are my favourite part of the meal. $108.50
12 p.m. — We finish brunch and pop into a Winners at my request. I need new socks and a travel neck pillow for my trip. My mom offers to pay, because I paid for lunch, and I let her.
3 p.m. — We finally get home, and I feel exhausted. I have a lemon-honey tea and grapes, watch YouTube videos, and take a short nap.
5:20 p.m. — I go to the yoga studio for an aromatherapy Yin class. This is my favourite way to end Sunday and start the week on a calm, peaceful note.
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7:30 p.m. — I get home, and my mom has made congee, which I have with a leftover slice of pizza. After dinner, I shower and plan tomorrow's outfit, my work bag, and some of the things I'll be bringing on my trip. Yes, I am that person who packs for a trip three weeks in advance.
11 p.m. — After my evening skincare routine, I should read but end up playing Sudoku on my phone before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $108.50

Day Seven

6:57 a.m. — My Sleep Cycle app wakes me up in the middle of a bad dream. After stretching, I get out of bed and start the day while listening to my Discover Weekly playlist on Google Home. I run through my morning routine. In the kitchen, I fry two eggs and wash grapes to bring to work for my afternoon snack. The homemade almond milk has spoiled, so I use half a teaspoon of coconut manna and half a teaspoon of coconut oil as creamer instead. I have extra time this morning, so I spend 10 minutes journaling.
9 a.m. — I arrive at work and dip into a package of butter cookies from my desk, then I go through emails and attend meetings. It's a relatively quiet morning.
12:15 p.m. — I have leftover veggie-barley soup, which has now become a delicious stew, with my co-workers in the lunchroom.
6 p.m. — This morning was the calm before the storm. I had an unexpected meeting at 1 p.m., which was followed by an intense work session for the complicated project I'm working on. I wasn't able to have my afternoon snack or even wash my coffee tumbler. I'm finally about to leave the office, when I run into a co-worker who has also been left behind. I have a banana as I chat with her, then we spot leftover meeting pizza and split it.
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7 p.m. — I'm not home for long before my friend, T., comes over to watch the federal election debate. We have fried rice while we watch, and I'm way too tired to be entertaining guests. I can barely focus, and I don't talk much. I am socially exhausted.
9 p.m. — T. promptly leaves after the debate ends, and I'm glad. I jump into the shower, then do my evening skincare routine. I talk to my mom before retreating to my room to fill out my various journals.
10:30 p.m. — In bed. Thank goodness.
Daily Total: $0
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