A Week In Calgary, AB, On A $56,400 Salary

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Today: an executive assistant and eyelash extensions technician working in oil and gas and beauty, respectively, who makes $56,400 per year and spends some of her money this week on sunscreen.
Occupation: Executive Assistant & Eyelash Extensions Technician
Industries: Oil & Gas & Beauty
Age: 26
Location: Calgary, AB
Salary: $45,000 (executive assistant), $11,400 (eyelash extensions technician)
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,333 (executive assistant)
Paycheque Amount (monthly): $950 (This is the average total I make from doing eyelash extensions out of my apartment.)
Gender Identity: Woman
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Monthly Expenses
Rent: $850 (This is for a one-bedroom apartment I split with a roommate who lives in the den and pays $150 less than me. It includes utilities.)
Student Loans: $1,250
Phone: $120 (I recently switched plans for the sake of cheaper bills. This will be my last bill at this total.)
Internet: $100
Health Insurance: $112 (Work used to cover half, but they took that perk away this year.)
Medication: $125
Netflix: $12

Day One

7 a.m. — I start work at 8 a.m., so I wake up and feed my two cute cats and walk to work. About a year ago, I moved downtown and got a roommate, so I could give up my car and reduce transit expenses. Once I arrive, I make myself a cup of green tea and sit down in my office to silently sob about the fact that it's Monday.
12 p.m. — I walk home for lunch every day to avoid co-workers asking me to go out to expensive restaurants, since we work in the downtown core and everything is extremely overpriced. I get home after a 10-minute walk, make myself plain oatmeal and milk, and eat it like the loner cat lady I am. (Don't worry, it's as sad as it sounds.)
1 p.m. — Back at my office, I fill my water bottle and spend the afternoon working away so that I can leave an hour early to take my new rescue kitten to the vet.
3:30 p.m. — I rent a car ($47) once a month to run errands, go to doctor appointments, etc. Today, I use it to take my kitten for his second set of vaccinations, which cost $108 (holy moly, the things you do for family). Cost of me holding him down and crying like a baby while he takes the shots like a champ? Priceless. I guess it's a good thing that my childhood dream of becoming a vet never happened. $155
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6 p.m. — I take the evening off from my second job to look after my kitten following his shots. I'm assuming this is more emotionally draining for me than it is for him, because he seems ready to party. I lose $60 in income by taking the evening off but save money by eating hash browns and scrambled eggs for dinner at home.
8 p.m. — I go to bed with a cup of tea. I buy loose tea leaves and have no idea what tea this is, but it's delicious.
Daily Total: $155

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I wake up late (the extra 30 minutes is godly), walk to work, and make myself a cup of green tea in the office. I also take a water bottle from the company fridge because I forgot mine at home. It costs a loonie. $1.
12 p.m. — I walk home for lunch and make spaghetti without meat (ew). I package up the leftovers for dinner and grab one of the two oranges left in my fruit stand.
1 p.m. — Heading back to work for the afternoon, I stop at the post office to pick up a package for my sister's baby shower this weekend. I purchased the gift inside the box months ago ($79), but I pay for the shipping today. $15
4:30 p.m. — Work is over! Just kidding! I leave my day job and rush home to my apartment and set up for my client. I took a course a few years ago so that I can work as an eyelash technician in the evenings and weekends to supplement my salary. Clients can take anywhere from one-and-half to three hours, depending on the service. I slam an orange and a bottle of water right before she arrives.
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5:30 p.m. — I start my client and work straight through until 8 p.m. Once she leaves, I reheat my spaghetti dinner and pass out after I'm done eating. I'm only 26, but I have severe insomnia and typically wake up every few hours at night, which is why I go to bed at 9:30 p.m. like a grandma.
Daily Total: $16

Day Three

7 a.m. — I typically don't eat breakfast to lower costs, but I'm feeling nauseated this morning and have to eat. At work, I make one of the oatmeal packages I keep in my desk, but it's super-nasty because I have nothing but water to mix in it.
12 p.m. — Today is grocery day, so I haul ass over to the store on my lunch break and buy ground beef, pasta, milk, eggs, and fruit for snacks ($37). On my walk back, I regret buying a large, heavy milk. $37
4:30 p.m. — I grab my groceries out of the fridge, refill my water bottle, take free candy from the reception area, and run home to work on a client at 5:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m. — Done work, I make rice and frozen vegetables for dinner. I play with the kitties and pass out.
Daily Total: $37

Day Four

8 a.m. — A co-worker who knows my financial situation offers to get me a tea from Starbucks, and I'm more than willing to hang out for a free tea, so I say hell yes and thank her for the gift.
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12 p.m. — I go to a yoga class at lunch. It's a one-time pass I got for free through work. It turns out to just be a basic introductory class and, although this pass is free, it would cost me $35 per class if I wanted to keep going to this studio, which is out of my budget. I typically do yoga at home when I get stressed.
4:30 p.m. — I buy a chai tea at a nearby coffee shop because, alas, it's hump day and I'm dying over here. $5.50 (Guess I'll never be able to afford that house mortgage, eh fellow millennials? Haha.) $5.50
5:30 p.m. — I begin my client and work for two gruelling hours. After she leaves, I realize I need more product so I buy it online. Shipping is $15, but a car rental to pick it up would be much more expensive. $75
8:30 p.m. — I make boiled eggs for snacks later in the week, while I also make spaghetti with beef for dinner. I'm pretty small, so I only use about a third of the beef and save the rest for later. I also let my cats eat a piece of grated cheese because I'm an angel.
Daily Total: $80.50

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — Fridays are casual days, so I get to dress in jeans and be comfortable in the office. I make myself a hot chocolate and grab two of my boiled eggs. According to my office, I'm a lowly grunt worker, so everyone else comes in at 10:30 a.m., and I'm expected to come in by 8 a.m. I don't feel bad for making the office smell like eggs, and everyone comments on the smell on their way in.
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12:30 p.m. — My meeting runs long, so I only have a half-hour for lunch now, which isn't enough time to go home, so I snack on a seven-month-old energy bar from my desk. Delicious.
4:30 p.m. — I leave work and run over to my client, who is coming earlier tonight. I eat the last of my boiled eggs and feed the cats before she gets there.
7:30 p.m. — My sister's baby shower is tomorrow, so I buy a brown paper gift bag at the dollar store for only $2. I also buy myself a soda. I spend the rest of the night preparing my gift and thank you cards for tomorrow. $3.50
Daily Total: $3.50

Day Six

9 a.m. — My mom picks me up for the party, so I don't have to rent two cars in one week. She buys us both Starbucks (what a saint) and we head over to her house to set up for the shower.
10:30 a.m. — It turns out that the shower is outside, and it's a million degrees, so I have to buy sunscreen and bug spray from the pharmacy. I would normally do without and save the money, but I'm assuming skin cancer is much more expensive than sunscreen. $15.75
12 p.m. — I get to eat for free today because my mom supplied all the food for the shower. I basically gorge myself on sandwiches and vegetables and anything I can get my hands on. I have almost no memory of this. I am sorry.
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7 p.m. — After an afternoon of games and fun, I "steal" a bunch of shower food to take home for the following week, since this week's meals were a bit of a shit show. Sandwiches, fruits, veggies, crackers, meat — you name it, I steal it. My mom drops me off at home. Love you, mom!
Daily Total: $15.75

Day Seven

11 a.m. — Sundays are my day to relax and recover from the week, because I don't get much time to do things I enjoy. This morning, I read a book on my phone and watch a horror movie on Netflix until I'm ready to start the day. (For the record: I don't think I live the healthiest lifestyle and typically wouldn't work so much, but I'm paying back my student loan and have to make sacrifices to get by.)
12 p.m. — I make tea and go through my clothes and personal items to see what I can post on VarageSale or Kijiji, or take into second-hand stores. I typically try to do this once a month. You'd be surprised what people will buy used. I gather three pairs of gently worn Lululemon leggings, and I post a few of my household items online and wait for a response.
1:30 p.m. — I take my leggings to a thrift store downtown and make $15 a pair, so I take home $45! I also get a response to the post selling my dresser; someone is coming to look at it later. I have fruit and a sandwich from the baby shower for lunch.
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3:30 p.m. — A nice lady buys my Ikea dresser for $35, which gives me a grand total of $80 profit today. I'll likely put this money toward bills. I also take an extra three clients next week to pay off my cat's vaccinations.
5 p.m. — I make dinner with ground beef, rice, and frozen veggies. I also eat an entire bag of cotton candy (leftover from the shower) while watching the rest of my scary movie from this morning.
8 p.m. — The cats are being so stinking cute that I go buy them both a new cat toy from the dollar store. $3
Daily Total: $3
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