A Week In Calgary, AB, On A $67,000 Salary

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Today: a human resources co-ordinator working in property management who makes $67,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a cinnamon bun.
Occupation: Human Resources Co-ordinator
Industry: Property Management
Age: 27
Location: Calgary, AB
Salary: $57,000, plus $10,000 for a contract side job
Paycheque Amount (Biweekly): $1,805
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $800 (This is for my half, including utilities. I split rent with my boyfriend.)
Car Loan: $296
Dental & Paramedical Insurance: $27.50 (deducted from my paycheque)
Car Insurance:$145
Renter's Insurance: $17.50 (for my portion, split with my boyfriend)
Internet: $40 (for my portion, split with my boyfriend)
Phone: $85
ClassPass: $110 (This is hefty, but I love the variety of classes.)
Apple Music: $7 (for my portion, split with my boyfriend)
RRSP: $109
TFSA: $450 (My current balance is about $6,000)
Netflix & Amazon Prime: $0 (I use my parents' accounts )

Day One

7:15 a.m. — UGH. Last night was a late one. It's stampede week in Calgary, which means the city stops everything to party for 10 days. Except if you have a day job, like me, and life must go on. I fantasize about the nap I can have later and drag myself out of bed. After skipping most of my morning routine, I grab my packed breakfast and snacks from the fridge (bless my previous self for thinking ahead) and get out the door.
7:50 a.m. — Summer traffic is light, and I'm early to work so I stop for a much-needed coffee at Tim Hortons nearby. $2
9:15 a.m. — After catching up with my team, I toast a blueberry bagel in the office kitchen. I meant to buy cinnamon-raisin, but the store mislabelled the bag, and I ended up with blueberry, which is not my fave.
12 p.m. — I hit up a Dollarama for a frying pan splatter screen (I'm so tired of getting burned by bacon grease), an oak cutting board (to finally replace the one I ruined a few years ago), and a pomegranate iced tea. $9.05
12:30 p.m. — I find a nearby Extreme Pita and buy a buffalo chicken wrap with extra veggies and hot sauce. (I may have an addiction to hot sauce.) I find an outdoor table and enjoy the nice day. It's been raining all week, so this pasty Canadian is getting me some sun! $9.43
3:30 p.m. — The afternoon is a slow one, with most of our managers out at a Stampede event. I remember the apple stashed in my desk drawer and eat it with my desk-stashed crunchy peanut butter.
4:30 p.m. — Home time! I plot dinner on the drive home. Normally, I would be making this decision with my boyfriend, B., but he's an elementary school teacher and therefore has the summers off (lucky duck). He jets the second he's done school, so he's currently spending time with his family in Ontario. That means I get to shop/cook/eat all the things that aren't his favourite. I settle on butternut squash ravioli that I bought a few days ago with spinach, grape tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan.
6:30 p.m. — My dinner is delicious, but I eat light because I have a barre class. I have a few ClassPass credits to use up before my cycle rolls over in a few days. I hydrate as well because I'm feeling dried up from my poor choices last night.
8 p.m. — I'm feeling great, post-barre. We used hand and ankle weights for the entire hour, so every muscle in my body is on fire. I change into my PJs, pop a vitamin C and a melatonin, and treat myself to gelato in my freezer. It's lavender-Earl-Grey-vanilla and it's absolute heaven.
9:30 p.m. — I crawl into bed and snuggle up to my cat. I finally made it, guys! We watch Dance Moms on my laptop (it's a guilty pleasure), and I pass out before the sun is even down.
Daily Total: $20.48

Day Two

7 a.m. — I wake up surprisingly ready for the day. I haven't been sleeping well lately, because my cat loses his mind when B. is out of town. He over-cuddles me all night long, which involves walking all over me, licking my face, and clawing my hair. Last night, though, I managed to calm him down, and we had a better night. I get ready and put on a new shirt today. I love wearing new clothes and I'm feeling extra stylish.
9 a.m. — I get to work and, after getting a few things done, I wander into the kitchen and notice that someone has brought homemade pretzels. OMG YUM. I snag the last one.
9:30 a.m. — I get an e-transfer for $393 from B. for a benefits reimbursement for my Invisalign. We've been fighting with our benefits providers for months now. Orthodontics is not covered under my health plan, but it's covered under his, on which I'm a dependent. However, we had to prove that all coverage was rejected on my primary plan first, before his plan would pay. This process has taken much longer than I expected, and I've been racking up hefty bills in the meantime. It's a relief to finally get reimbursed, even if it's in small increments. I've learned that co-ordination of benefits is time-consuming and complicated.
9:45 a.m. — My conscience tells me the white dough I had for breakfast is not going to get me through the day, so I eat the berries and lemon yogurt I packed from home.
12 p.m. — It's looking like yet another beautiful day, so I heat up my leftovers from last night's dinner and go out to my office building's little green space to crack the new e-book I just borrowed. It's a mystery called The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. I'm already hooked after the first chapter!
3 p.m. — This afternoon is absolutely dragging. Even though I've been in the real world for a few years now (as opposed to being a student or a new grad running from responsibility), I still find it hard to motivate myself at an office job in the summer months. I raid my snack drawer to make myself feel better. I have a small plum, a handful of sharp cheddar Goldfish (apparently, I'm five?), and a few chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds.
4:30 p.m. — I try to get home quickly because I have an early softball game. I bought all the fixings for spaghetti sauce on my last grocery run, so I throw together lean ground turkey, onion, garlic, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, a bunch of random seasonings. I boil noodles, sprinkle Parmesan, and now I have a ton of leftovers for the rest of the week.
6:15 p.m. — I arrive at the diamond, and our captain hands us awesome new team shirts. Matching shirts always make us look legit, right? I hand her a $20 for my new merch, and she hands me a can of Coors Banquet for the bench. That's a pretty good trade! $20
7:45 p.m. — The game is over (we won!), and we go to a local pub, where we get a 10% discount for playing in our league. I order a cider and am somehow convinced by a friend to split a slice of mud pie. It's delicious. I pay for my share, plus tip, then go home for the night. $14.49
Daily Total: $34.49

Day Three

6:45 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm, which NEVER happens. I snooze and cuddle my cat for 20 minutes. He is so needy. After cruising my phone, I shower and blow-dry my hair. (My hair is super-fine, so I have to wash it every day. Don't even try to tell me that's "bad for it.") Then I apply makeup (eyebrows, mascara, powder).
11 a.m. — I break into my desk stash for a mid-morning apple with peanut butter to tide me over until lunch.
12 p.m. — I pop out to a nearby drugstore for multivitamins. I visited a naturopath recently because I have a recurring skin condition, and she was adamant that I start taking a multivitamin. Of course, she suggested one that's $75 a bottle, so I'm going to start with a drugstore brand and see how it goes. I pick up a women's multivitamin and a coconut-acai water. The bottle looked cool, okay? I'm a giant sucker for good marketing. $24.25
12:30 p.m. — Back at my desk, and I break into my leftover spaghetti and read a few more chapters of my book.
5:15 p.m. — I'm off to my parents' house. My mom is an accountant and she has recently been on my case to get my savings in order. I have savings from an old job that she wants me to invest, so that it can grow and one day be put toward a down payment on a house. This is a plan for the distant future, but my mom is a PLANNER. I sit down with her, and she explains an elaborate equation for turning this $7,000 into $11,500. I listen but I'm still confused. I chose a career path in HR for a reason. Thank God for my financially savvy parents.
6:30 p.m. — My mom invites me out to dinner with their friends. I won't turn down a free dinner. I order sub-par lettuce wraps, and my parents put me on their tab. (Thanks!) I duck out early because I have a spin class. I'm meeting my fave spin buddy there, so I definitely can't bail. Also, ClassPass charges you $15 if you cancel a class within 12 hours. That'll really hold you to your workout plans.
9 p.m. — Home from spin, and I'm a sweaty mess. I take a quick shower, do the dishes, fold the laundry from a couple days ago (oops), and feed my whiny cat. I take my new multivitamin, a melatonin, and a vitamin C for good measure, then watch about three minutes of Netflix before I pass out.
Daily Total: $24.25

Day Four

7 a.m. — Alarm goes off, scroll through phone, shower, hair, quick makeup, out the door. I'm feeling relieved it's finally Friday.
9:30 a.m. — There's a peach sitting on my desk that I snagged from the office fruit bowl a few days ago, so I eat it with the raspberries and yogurt I brought from home. I go back to putting out fires. Why does shit always hit the fan on Fridays?
12:20 p.m.— My best friend T. picks me up for lunch. She's going away next week, and I'm watching her dog and cat while she's gone. She's also a teacher, so she's free to have lunch with me whenever I please in the summer months! We go to a delicious Vietnamese place. I order a satay pork and spring roll vermicelli bowl with a Vietnamese iced coffee. T. and I travelled to Vietnam a couple of years ago, and this coffee is bringing back all the memories. We reminisce on those youthful days while enjoying our food. I pay for my share and tip 18%. $19.12
3:30 p.m. — It's that time on a Friday afternoon when brains are dead. I chat with my coworkers about the ridiculous things we've had to do this week (or even just today... HR life). I'm a perfect split between an introvert and extrovert, so I love these short interactions with my team where we debrief and have a little fun before the weekend.
5 p.m. — I'll be living at T.'s house for most of the next 10 days, so I want to leave my place in a good state. I wipe down the bathroom and kitchen, do the dishes from yesterday, then pack. I spend time with my cat (don't worry, I'll be checking on him regularly) before heading over for a week with my animal children. Being one of the only people in my circle who is not a teacher, I spend a lot of my summers house-sitting while my friends are off on adventures. It's a little depressing (okay, A LOT depressing), but what can I say? I'm not drawn to spending my career with sticky children. If anyone knows of any 10-month-a-year business jobs, hit me up!
7:30 p.m. — I settle in for my staycation with Queer Eye and leftover sub-par lettuce wraps from yesterday. Those don't hit the spot, so I make myself a grilled cheese and an Earl Grey tea. I end my night with a luxurious bubble bath (I don't have a tub at my place, so this is a treat).
Daily Total: $19.12

Day Five

8 a.m. — My internal clock wakes me up to a gloomy and rainy morning. Good thing, too, because I have a spin class booked for 9:15 a.m. I force down berries and granola with yogurt (not a morning eater), then take the pup out for a potty break.
9:10 a.m. — I get to spin (OMG, it's pouring rain and I'm soaked) and sign out my bike and shoes. This studio used to cost $2 for clip shoe rental, but I haven't been charged in a couple weeks, so maybe they've finally given in.
10:40 a.m. — The class was a combo of spin and hot yoga, and now I'm soaked from more than just rain. On my drive home, I remember there's an amazing bakery nearby. The place is packed and smells divine. I order an Americano and a giant walnut cinnamon roll. I realize I'm ruining my workout gains right now but I don't even care. I get home, shower, and only eat half the cinnamon roll, supplementing it with an orange. It's all about balance, people. $7.50
4 p.m. — I spend the rest of my day watching Netflix and taking the pup for a long walk. It's been a long time since I've had a Saturday to do next to nothing, and I'm loving it. My mom texts me and invites me over for dinner. I don't usually hang out with my parents this much but, like I said, I'm kind of a loner in the summers. Also, my mom is going to town on planning my finances and she wants to meet and talk about it again.
6:30 p.m. — We munch appetizers my parents prepared, and they listen as I vent about how the future is daunting. While I'm there, my dad reminds me that I owe him for our most recent Amazon Prime order, in which I bought immunity herb oil (as recommended by my naturopath) and supplies for my side hustle. The total is $48.73, but $10 will be expensed. $38.73
9:30 p.m. — I make it home in time to walk the dog one last time before dark, but it's raining again/still? I cut the walk short and settle into bed for my wild Saturday night with reality TV.
Daily Total: $46.23

Day Six

6 a.m. — ?!?! The dog is whining at this ungodly hour. I remember that he's been having tummy issues, so I pop outside with him. My half-asleep and chilly self is thrilled to find out that he didn't actually have to relieve himself. He's just a con artist and wanted to roll around on the wet grass. I drag him inside and go straight back to bed. This is why I'm not ready for a dog. Or kids.
8:30 a.m. — I get up for real this time and take the pup out again. This time, the fresh air wakes me up and puts me in a better mood.
9 a.m. — I make coffee and eat the other half of my cinnamon roll (with an orange again because health). While I eat, I cruise a local rental site. B. and I are hoping to move into a condo in the fall. We're in a bungalow right now, and our landlords live next door. We're having hiccups with keeping our space "ours" (i.e. they keep showing up unannounced). Long story short: We're craving a change of scenery.
10 a.m. — Speaking of, I go over to said house and hang out with my own animal child. I make sure his food is full, give him cuddles, and grab a couple things I forgot. I leave shortly after for a barre class.
12:30 p.m. — Home from barre, soaked, exhausted. I shower and make a kale and cabbage salad with pasta because I'm running low on groceries.
2 p.m. — I start my afternoon of errands. First things first: I hit Tim Hortons for an iced coffee ($2). Then the bank, my house again because I forgot my glasses there this morning, and the grocery store. I get a few things for the week, including tomatoes, cherries, kiwis, spaghetti squash, a potato, chicken breasts, bacon, coffee creamer, yogurt, cheese, and bagels ($53.56). $55.56
4 p.m. — I take the pup for a long walk by the river. I enjoy the bright, sunshiny day and reflect on how much I needed this relaxing weekend to myself.
6 p.m. — I cook dinner, meal prep for the week, and FaceTime B. I'm missing his cute face way too much and can hardly wait until he's home in two weeks. A couple minutes later, my friend calls (my one and only friend who also has a 9-to-5 job and sticks around the city in summer). She invites me over for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Hurray for real, live human interaction!
9 p.m. — I do my nightly routine early tonight (vitamin C, multivitamin, new herb oil, melatonin), take a bubble bath, and settle into bed with my book.
Daily Total: $55.56

Day Seven

6:50 a.m. — The dog is whining AGAIN. I come to terms with my fate and get up to shower.
7:15 a.m. — I blow-dry my hair and put it up in a ponytail, then apply my regular light makeup. I'm playing in a pickleball tournament (I'm a newbie to the sport), and it's supposed to be a hot day. I pack a bag of athletic clothes, along with my hat, sunscreen, and runners. I pack random leftovers for lunch, then take the dog out for a quick pee.
10 a.m. — My partner and I have absolutely no idea what we're doing, so we watch the first game and then give it a go. We totally suck, but we have fun trying. For the record, pickleball is like if tennis, ping pong, and badminton had a baby.
12:30 p.m. — I quickly scarf down my random salad/noodles/chicken and a ton of water.
3 p.m. — It's the final game. Clearly, my team did not make it, but we watch the final faceoff.
5 p.m. — My friend texts me to come over and hang out by her pool. We have a board meeting later that night for an organization we're part of, so it only makes sense to get some pool time in first, right?
5:45 p.m. — I get to her place just before parking is free at 6 p.m. so I have to pay. $1
7:45 p.m. — After hanging out by the pool, we go to a nearby bar for our board meeting. We get there a bit early, secure a spot on the patio, and order drinks. We realize we haven't eaten dinner, so we also order nachos and hot wings to share. The rest of our board shows up and we chat about our plans for the upcoming year. I pay my bill in cash and tip a bare-minimum 15% because the service is absolutely terrible. As an ex-server, bad service kills me, especially when there's no reason for it. $23
10 p.m. — I get home, wash the dishes sitting in the sink, and take the pup out for a walk. I watch The Bachelorette before passing out.
Daily Total: $24
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