A Week In Toronto, ON, On A $102,000 Salary

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Today: a lawyer working in healthcare who makes $102,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on oysters.
Occupation: Lawyer
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 27
Location: Toronto, ON
Salary: $102,000
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,818
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,400 (I split a $2,800 rent with my partner.)
Student Loans: $975 (I split this total between student and personal lines of credit. Law school was $160,000!)
RRSP: $600
Netflix Premium Family Subscription: $16.99
Spotify: $9.99
TTC Pass: $151.15
Headspace Meditation App: $17.99
Apple News+: $12.99

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I usually wake up earlier, but I’m currently riding a depressive episode as effectively as I can. I've been diagnosed with bipolar, which I’ve had for a hearty chunk of my life, and I find some weeks more challenging than others. I’m lucky to have this position in the health sector. I used to work in corporate and made way more money, but ended up with an addiction issue. I'm one year clean! I finally pop out of bed, get ready, and pick up a double shot of espresso on ice from Starbucks. $4.25
12:30 p.m. — I've been at work since 9 a.m., and it's now time for lunch. After blowing about  $40,000 on my addiction over the past three years, I've had to learn how to be smart with money and try not to appease my manic episodes. Meal prep in the form of bento boxes has been a blessing. I enjoy cooking, so I've brought basmati rice, zereshk polo (Persian chicken), and salad. Our office supplies free coffee, which I nab every few hours. I catch up on Toronto Life magazine via Apple News while eating.
6:30 p.m. — My best friend has been teaching in Japan for years, and he is back! We love our wine, so we take advantage of a local bar's half-price deal. I'm pals with the team at this bar, so we get a couple of extra sips of a new gin they've imported. We also munch an extra-large charcuterie board while updating each other for the next five hours. It's my treat tonight. $146.60
Daily Total: $150.85

Day Two

10:30 a.m. — I've got today off. My mother texts me and asks me to pay for the cellphone bill. I'm still on my parents’ family plan, so the three of us take turns paying, and it's my month. I put on Debussy on Spotify and make tea to start my day. Classical music is a must for the morning! $233
2:30 p.m. — My boyfriend is awaiting his visa, so he's back in the U.S. until later this fall. We spend the next five hours on FaceTime watching Dragon's Den and Jensplaining, a fantastic new show hosted by a gynecologist named Jen Gunter. It's especially fun to watch together because my boyfriend is very supportive of my sexual education goals. I grew up in a super-strict Catholic Filipino-Persian family and had a traumatic experience that I've been dealing with via therapy. I realize that even a show like Jensplaining has therapeutic benefit for me, and I pay for a month of CBC Gem so that I can watch all 10 episodes. There's leftover chicken and rice, so I heat it up and plop down to binge the rest of the season. $7.99
8:30 p.m. — I catch up over tea with my brother, who is living with my parents at the moment. I moved out at 17, when he was living the teenage-angst life, and our relationship is now slowly growing closer. I finally tell him about my own personal journey and there are tears shed. We come to the realization that having immigrant parents who didn’t acknowledge mental health was the basis of our issues growing up, so we make a pact to ensure that, when we both have families, we will offer sound judgement and open communication to our kids — those will be the pillars of our home environments.
Daily Total: $240.99

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — I wake up this morning and have the worst bout of demotivation. I toast bread and pile on a good third of the cream cheese package, and contemplate the work day ahead. It's crazy that I now work for the same institution that, just three years ago, helped me. I get really emotional in the shower thinking about that, then pull myself together, throw on my suit, and take an Uber to work ($12.55) since my contemplation lasted a good hour. Before heading inside, I grab my usual double shot on ice ($4.25). I've got back-to-back meetings and the cream cheese is now... settling in. $16.80
1:30 p.m. — I'm not slathering tons of cream cheese on toast anymore. I will save this for my days off. I pull out my bento box lunch, which consists of a kale salad, devilled eggs, and shredded turkey breast. I put Death Grips on Spotify and tune out the world before the next round of meetings begin.
7 p.m. — I'm home, and I've still got leftover kale salad and shredded turkey breast for dinner. I pour a glass of red wine and begin extensive skin care pampering. Once a week, I indulge in my Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel, then slather on a deep cleansing clay mask from Kiehl's. While it’s on, I pour myself another glass of wine and watch Dragon's Den and FaceTime with my partner. Before knocking out, we have a good round of phone sex!
Daily Total: $16.80

Day Four

7:30 a.m. — Maybe it was the double face mask, or the red wine, or the phone sex — or maybe a combination of all three! — but my skin is beyond poppin' this morning. I feel so good about my appearance today, which is rare. I make a cup of Earl Grey and take the bus to work. Maybe my coworkers can sense my confident energy, because they leave me two canned lattes instead of one! This is the start of a very good day. Today's Spotify pick: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib.
2 p.m. — Sure enough, I’ve forgotten my lunch. I take to the streets for sashimi. I’m meeting up with my best friend later tonight, so I try not to overindulge. $22.99
3 p.m. — I spend my last few hours at a mental health clinic offering pro-bono advice to women who need legal guidance. It's surreal to be on the opposite end of the table, but I’m humbled by the opportunity to ensure that all patients are given the control of their legal rights.

8:30 p.m. — My best friend and I order wine and oysters, as well as a charcuterie board. I should probably check my sodium levels but YOLO. We start with eight oysters and eventually end up with 16. I don't know when that occurred, but the server is real friendly and we can't say no. $66
12 a.m. — I get home, fill my teacup with a few scoops of ice cream and FaceTime my partner. After two episodes of Shark Tank, we fall asleep over the phone.
Daily Total: $88.99

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I rush to work for a breakfast/lunch summit thing. This is going to be a long eight hours, but the food and tea are fantastic, so I don't complain. 
12 p.m. — During break, I open Instacart and order groceries for tonight. My soul aches for home-cooking, and tonight I plan to make miso-glazed salmon with sabzi polo (herbed rice). How’s that for fusion? Persian rice dishes are usually made with basmati, which lasts a good few days in the fridge. I realize that this order will be hefty, but it'll save me a good two weeks of grocery runs. $119.40
7 p.m. — Instacart arrives right on time for dinner. After I prep the food, it takes 40 minutes for the rice to cook, so I pour a glass of red wine and catch up on my reading. I'm currently finishing Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari.
8:30 p.m. — After dinner, my partner and I FaceTime watch the second season of Mindhunter. It's become one of our favourite series, although some of the crime scenes make me squeamish, so I open the Sephora app, then quickly close it. I must resist.
10:30 p.m. — Look, I haven't purchased anything from Sephora for a good six weeks. I succumb to my impulse and purchase Burberry Lip Velvet in oxblood. It's a Holy Grail item for me, and I'm running out. I also delude myself into thinking that my primer and setting powder will shortly need to be replenished. I take the faux-economic route and buy the travel-sized primer. $98.57
12 a.m. — Before heading to bed, I have one more nibble of my salmon and snack on kimchi, too. I make valerian tea, pop my meds, and put on my Headspace app for sleep. I check my Headspace stats and am reminded that I haven't kept up my daily listening, so what was supposed to be relaxing has now made me restless. I put on the Sleepcast meditation and knock out.
Daily Total: $217.97

Day Six

8 a.m. — I have two paid days off to use, so this morning I’m headed to my therapy session. The wellness clinic that I go to also houses my psychiatrist, so I'll be able to see both my psychologist and psychiatrist on the same day and get my meds refilled. I grab my double shot on ice, throw on an Erik Satie album, and march to get my wellness on lock. Trauma and coping mechanisms have haunted my existence for as long as I can remember, and I do have days where I feel as though all this therapy is doing nothing at all. My psychologist reminds me that I should remain grounded in the present moment and not ruminate heavily on the past choices I've made. I want to cry during this session but I can't muster up the courage to do so. $4.85
1:45 p.m. — I take a long walk home, then order Japanese curry and a few rolls from Ubereats after telling myself that the leftover salmon and rice will be for dinner. While waiting for my food, I organize my fridge and peek at my laundry load, only to be horrified by how much I've got to wash. I think about my therapy session from earlier: There are things that are out of our control, and we shouldn't punish ourselves by reliving our past choices with such harshness. I cycle through this mind state all the time. When I'm at work or a social function, I compartmentalize how I feel internally, so that I don’t come off weak or damaged. I quickly add all this to my Moleskine journal. $25
9:30 p.m. — I've been in bed for the majority of the evening and have no plans to get up. The apartment is clean, my bedsheets smell like divine linen, and my belly is stuffed. I forego the wine tonight and have water with lemon, mint, cucumber, and tons of ice cubes. I'm still pretty full from Ubereats, so I pamper myself with another face mask and fill my bathtub with eucalyptus bath salts. I FaceTime my partner shortly after, and we swing back into Dragon's Den. If we don't come up with a business venture by the end of our 13-season marathon, we will both be pissed
Daily Total: $29.85

Day Seven

9:30 a.m. — I wake up and set the intention to get my fitness on. I go for a nice brisk walk and, instead of stopping by for a coffee, I head back home to make it myself while reading the news. I do some journaling as my wellness day yesterday motivated me to write more. I make eggs and sausage for breakfast with cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes. I'm channelling my inner Nigella Lawson.
3:30 p.m. — I head to my parents house to visit and take advantage of their swimming pool. We were never rich by any means, just lucky that the bungalow they bought came with a pool! I bring over a small Japanese cake as a peace offering, as well as containers to take home tons of home-cooked food as my parents will cook for four times the guest count — we are four, so they serve enough for 16. I load up my containers, pop it in the fridge, and remain at my parents for the rest of the day. I take a cat nap after my swim and cross my fingers and that my dad will drive me home. $20.55
10:30 p.m. — I'm back home, meal prepping my bento box for tomorrow. The fridge is packed full of food, and I'm ready to crawl into bed. I take 10 minutes for Headspace meditation, draw a bath, and settle in for the evening with Chopin. I FaceTime my partner, and we decide not to watch any shows. We'd rather just snore over the phone.
Daily Total: $20.55
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