A Week In Calgary, AB, On An $80,000 Salary

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Today: a financial analyst working in agriculture who makes $80,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on William Painter sunglasses.
Occupation: Financial Analyst
Industry: Agriculture
Age: 27
Location: Calgary, AB
Salary: $80,000
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,059
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage & Utilities: $1,150 (This is my half of the $2,300 total I split with my spouse, N.)
Car Loan: $90 (my half)
Car Insurance: $150 (my half)
Phone: $0 (It's about $70 but covered by work.)
Student Loan: $80
Braces: $150 (The monthly payment for my braces is $300, but it comes out of our joint account, so it's split 50/50.)
Health & Dental Benefits: $24 (automatically deducted from my paycheque)
RRSP: $182.30 (I contribute 3% of my salary, and it's matched by my company. The current balance is $8,400.)
Savings: $500 (I have about $25,000 in savings separate from my spouse.)
Netflix: $7 (my half)
Gym: $52.50
Google Music: $5 (my half)
Charity Donation: $30
Note: N. and I split most major expenses. We each put $2,020 into a joint account every month, and we also have a joint credit card.

Day One

7 a.m. — I wake up grumpy on this fine Monday morning. I remember setting an alarm for 6:30 a.m. before going to sleep, but I must've turned it off at some point in the night. I cuddle with N. somewhat reluctantly, since his work is the reason we were up past 11:30 p.m. last night. He gets to work from home today, so I grumble while getting ready.
8:30 a.m. — I get to work and settle in with a large cup of coffee. Now that I have caffeine in my system, I feel better about people in general, and N. in particular, so I tag him in a few memes before starting my day (not quite an apology, but it'll do). I run financial statements and budget reports for all the departments in our company, then call to make an appointment for an oil change.
12 p.m. — I leave for a chiropractor appointment (it costs $50 but will be reimbursed through health insurance). On my way back from the appointment, I go to the post office to return something from Zara, because I never learn. Serves me right for thinking that Zara jeans would actually be true-to-size. That's $40 back to my credit card at some point next week. Back at work, I realize that the reports I ran earlier this morning were broken and didn't have the complete dataset. Perfect. I eat the lunch I brought from home (leftover lasagne) and start fixing all the reports. Happy Monday. ($50 expensed)
3 p.m. — I get into the weeds figuring out why the reports broke and fixing the structural issues, so that they don't break again. Multiple people have told me they would hate my job (lots of numbers and spreadsheets), but I honestly love my work. Plus, I'm good at it, so I might as well get paid for it. I come up for air and send an email to my boss letting him know that the reports are ready for review. Then I persuade my work wife to take a walk with me, and we talk about her upcoming wedding in India. I come back to the office and read a Money Diary, because I still need a brain break.
5:30 p.m. — I leave for home in complete darkness.
6:30 p.m. — N. heats up chicken curry with naan for dinner. He thinks I'm still mad at him from the morning, so he washes the dishes, while I put together chicken sandwiches and veggies for lunch tomorrow. I'm not a great cook, so making lunch basically means throwing baked sweet potato wedges, two pieces of bread, chicken breast, and a slice of cheese in a bag. I brew another coffee and settle in to study for an exam I'm taking next year, while N. does homework for a class he's taking. I work out at home for 30 minutes, and we go to bed around 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — I get to work after a gruelling drive on the first real snowfall of the season. I settle in with a coffee and check my email for Black Friday deals on the running list of things I'd like to buy. I've narrowed in on a pair of polarized sunglasses but don't pull the trigger yet. They're from a brand called William Painter and have a lifetime guarantee, which I absolutely need, but I'm having a hard time justifying the price.
11:30 a.m. — My co-worker comes around taking food orders for today's lunch meeting. We're ordering from a Tex-Mex restaurant, so I get spicy chicken nachos and a Diet Coke. The team meeting is for us to provide feedback to our managers about how they can help us succeed and to address issues we've been experiencing as a team. The team was cliquey and mean when I first joined — a co-worker actually yelled at me when I asked her a question — but since then a couple of people have been fired/transferred, and I feel much better about our team culture.
4:30 p.m. — We're out of the meeting and feeling much better after what was essentially a team heart-to-heart. I get a text from N. telling me it's International Men's Day. I roll my eyes and don't bother Googling that claim but decide to get doughnuts at Tim Hortons on the way home to "celebrate," because I've been craving sweets. $2.69
5:30 p.m. — I put leftover lasagna in the oven for dinner and have my doughnut as pre-dinner dessert, because I have zero self-control.
6:30 p.m. — My quarterly review is this week, and I want to lay the groundwork for a title upgrade and/or a promotion in the coming year. I'm aimlessly Googling "senior finance roles" and realize that I assist my boss with a lot of senior tasks and responsibilities already. I research how to start a conversation about a promotion, and one of the recurring tips is to create a two- to five-page document about my current contributions and what I could contribute in the future. Rooting through my emails from the past year gives me a lot of material to work with, so I start drafting up a document.
9 p.m. — My laptop dies, and I realize it's almost time for bed. N. and I snuggle and talk about everything and nothing before turning off the lamps.
Daily Total: $2.69

Day Three

7 a.m. — Wake up, shower, and get dressed in a rush, because I have an orthodontist appointment.
7:40 a.m. — I really, really dislike having braces as an adult but feel grateful I can afford them. I moved to North America as a teenager with my family, and my parents took the first jobs they found so they could afford living here. I couldn't think of asking them for braces while they were working retail jobs, so here we are. My appointment is covered in the monthly fee I pay for braces.
9 a.m. — I get to work later than usual because the roads are basically ice, but my boss isn't in yet, so I don't feel too bad.
12 p.m. — I'm putting out a lot of fires today, and I've been eyeing the little clock on the corner of my screen for lunchtime. I eat the sandwich I prepped on Monday night, but it tastes kinda meh. I walk around the office in search of snacks and come up with nothing. I check my email and see that William Painter sent me a coupon code, so I bite the bullet and order the sunglasses. This is a good place to mention that I'm being more careful than usual about spending money. N. registered for a coding bootcamp last week, which put $8,000 on our credit card, and we're hoping to pay it off by January 2020. $230
1:30 p.m. — A co-worker just came by asking if I want to go to Starbucks and if I can drive us. I say yes on both counts, and we head out. I get my usual order, a nonfat caramel macchiato, and she orders a tall eggnog latte, which sounds kind of gross, but I'm not complaining... Until she does that too-long shuffle in her tote bag when it's time to pay. Universal symbol for “I'm fully expecting you to pay, but I'm not going to ask." Sigh. I pay. $9.78
6 p.m. — N. and I have a meeting with a marriage counsellor today. We have no glaring issues; in fact, I would say we have a better relationship than a lot of people we've met. However, we're about to make big decisions about our future (work, kids or no kids, where we want to live, etc.), and we're both very strong-headed and stubborn, so we're going to counselling to learn how to "fight better," as my therapist puts it. The therapy session is $150, but I get 12 free sessions from work, so it's covered. ($150 expensed)
8 p.m. — The session went long, and we're starving. I'm tempted to get McDonalds, but N. says no. We go home and have veggie curry and rice for dinner (can you guys tell we're Indian yet?), and we each grab a handful of chocolate peanuts for dessert.
Daily Total: $239.78

Day Four

7:30 a.m. — I have a presentation later today, so I spend more time than usual getting ready for work. I pull out dark jeans and a white blouse (miraculously free of any food or makeup marks, thanks to the good folks at Elizabeth & Clarke with their Unstainable collection). I've been at a loss about how to do my makeup, because I recently started using prescription-strength retinol, which leads to peeling and dry skin. If I put on any foundation, it looks like zombie skin by noon. I compensate by doing a kitten eye with my Stila eyeliner, two coats of Maybelline mascara, and Anastasia lipstick in Rosewood.
12 p.m. — I spent most of the morning preparing for my meetings this afternoon. I'm working on developing my data analytics skills and am presenting to the sales team this afternoon. I step out to buy soup from Tim Hortons ($8.70) and get gas ($37.80). $46.50
4:30 p.m. — After work, I go to the mall to get my eyebrows and legs waxed. Our company Christmas party is on the weekend, and I basically look like a troll ($59.85). I also buy mascara and a couple of minestrone soup packets for dinner ($12.18) from the drugstore and get chocolates from Purdy's ($12.54) to round out the meal. $84.57
7 p.m. — I heat up soup for dinner and eat it while reading a Christmas romance novel called We Met In December. After cleaning up and packing my lunch for tomorrow, I hop onto the rowing machine I bought as a present for N. a couple of years ago. N. is off tomorrow, because he has vacation days to use up, but we get into bed early, and he reads a chapter from Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix to me until I'm asleep.
Daily Total: $131.07

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I'm happy to wake up to a sunny, crisp morning. I dress up in a short-sleeve sweater and slacks with ankle booties. Same makeup routine as always.
12:30 p.m. — My entire team is in a meeting that I'm not invited to, which is making me paranoid, like all of them are going to get out of the meeting and collectively tell me I'm fired? I don't know. I go to a beauty counter during lunch and buy a lip liner from Smashbox. $29.70
3 p.m. — I spend most of the afternoon finishing the document I want to go over in my review. I print out a couple of copies and go to my boss's office. We have a good discussion about my accomplishments this year. I bring up the topic of a promotion but let him know I'm realistic about the timeline. He asks good questions about how a promotion would benefit our team and the company and promises to think about the milestones I could work to get a promotion. I know I have to put in more time before being promoted, but I'm still glad I got the conversation started.
4:30 p.m. — Our office is mainly women, and most of them leave early to get manicures or go shopping for the Christmas party tomorrow — slackers. Just kidding. I leave early(ish), too.
5 p.m. — It's a slow evening. N. and I have a leisurely dinner and talk about my review. Then we watch a few episodes of Community, I row, and we go to bed.
Daily Total: $29.70

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — It's Saturday morning, and we're both up. We snuggle, but then N. wants to wake up for real, while I go back to sleep.
10:30 a.m. — I wake up and see that N. seized the day by playing video games for four hours straight. We both get cereal for breakfast (Reese's Puffs for me, Shreddies for him) and spend the next couple of hours doing chores and discussing our counselling session from earlier this week.
1 p.m. — I Uber to my hair appointment ($11.64). I was meant to take the train, but when I got to the station, I saw that the train was going to be late. I've got thick, unruly hair down to my waist, and there's no way I can make it behave on my own. I get a blowout and loose curls around my face, and even the stylist seems to be losing his patience with my hair. I make sure to tip well ($49.56) and Uber home ($10.41) $71.61
4:30 p.m. — It's almost time for the Christmas party! Our company generously gets us hotel rooms for the night, so N. and I check in to our room and get ready there. I start with a face mask I got in a FabFitFun subscription box. I have to make sure my skin doesn't freak out with all the makeup after a month of being on retinol, so I take it slow and give each layer time to set before moving on. I put on It Cosmetics Confidence In A Gel Lotion and Smashbox Photo Finish primer, then M.A.C foundation and concealer. I add neutral eyeshadow and a slightly longer cat-eye than I'm used to, then Anastasia lipstick, bronzer, and a few spritzes of Urban Decay's All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray to finish my look. Time for the dress: I got it from thredUP for around $15, and it's the slinky, sexy dress of my dreams. The shoulders have black and silver gems on them, but the rest of the dress is a shiny, glossy, leather-like black. I put on my dress and jewelry, then N. and I go downstairs.
12:30 a.m. — The party is wild and loud and so much fun! It's by no means over, but people have started leaving, and N. and I make the rounds to say good night to everyone for at least half an hour before we're actually able to leave. I'm new to this city and don't have any friends yet (thus the conspicuous lack of social activities in this diary), but I work with very nice people and enjoyed the night. Back in our room, N. and I delightedly watch the best worst show ever (90 Day Fiancé) and chill before going to sleep around 2 a.m.
Daily Total: $71.61

Day Seven

10 a.m. — We check out and meet a co-worker friend at Cora's for breakfast. I've never been to Cora's before, but N. and my co-worker hype it. We all order a variation of eggs Benedict and fruit, and I must admit the food is pretty good. N. and I pay for ourselves ($40.87 split), while my friend picks up her bill. $20.43
12:30 p.m. — Before going home, N. and I stop at Safeway for groceries. We get eggs, milk, bread, hoagie rolls, boneless chicken breasts, peppers, sweet potatoes, cheese, and cereal ($107.19 split). I spend the afternoon making chicken Philly cheesesteaks which, while unorthodox, are a hit. I pack a couple of sandwiches for us to take to work tomorrow. $53.60
5 p.m. — N.'s sisters and their husbands drop by, and we spend a couple of hours planning our family holiday party in increasingly vivid detail. People are passionate about the proposed menu, and there's a poll for picking what movie we'll watch during the day, along with multiple rounds of tea and snacks. It's a nice end to the weekend, and N. and I go to bed a few hours later, excited about the week ahead.
Daily Total: $74.03
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