A Week In Vancouver, BC, On A $80,407 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.
Attention, Canadians! We'll be featuring Money Diaries from across Canada on a regular basis, and we want to hear from you. Submit your Money Diary here.
Today: a project coordinator and freelance personal trainer working in healthcare who makes $80,407 per year and spends some of it on a new bathing suit.
Occupation: Project Coordinator and Freelance Personal Trainer
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 28
Location: Vancouver, BC
Salary: $57,000 (desk job), $23,407 (personal training)
Paycheque Amount (biweekly): $1,631 (desk job), $1,100 (My income from personal training fluctuates quite a bit, but this was the average biweekly total last year.)
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $563.79 (I split rent 50-50 with my boyfriend on a basement suite just outside the city.)
Student Loans: $1,400 (I have $46,300 in student debt, split between a private lender and the government.)
BC Health Premium: $26.31
Community Centre Membership: $22.55
Spotify Premium: $11.27
Netflix: $0 (My boyfriend pays.)
Internet: $46.22 (I split the bill 50-50 with my boyfriend.)
Car Insurance: $131
Gas: $200
RRSP: $350 (I currently have $10,000 in a high-risk retirement savings portfolio.)
Wealthsimple Auto-Investing Account: $70 (The tool also rounds up all of my spare change from card transactions and puts that away. I have saved $400 in this account.)

Day One

5:30 a.m. — I wake up surprisingly rested. After yesterday's 25-kilometre trail run, I wasn't sure how I would feel, but my body is holding strong.
6:30 a.m. — I'm showered and my partner, R., has made coffee, so I can get my standard breakfast going: three eggs, spinach, and cherry tomatoes with a bowl of Greek yogurt, frozen berries, and homemade granola. I read a few pages of Becoming by Michelle Obama as I eat. I print out my client's program and head to the gym.
8:45 a.m. — Her training session was a success, and now I'm off to my desk job. It's definitely a two-coffee kinda day. I park near the office for free on Mondays because my co-worker is off, and I use her space. I fill my travel mug at Starbucks. $1.62
12:30 p.m. — I'm eating the same lunch all week thanks to R.'s new recipe. It's a quinoa salad with red onion, corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, and spiced chicken on top of kale slaw.
4 p.m. — My office work day is over! I hop into the car and drive 45 minutes to see a couple I train at their home. For the last few years, I've made this trip once a week or once every other week. They are wonderful, and I charge a travel rate on top of the session, so my gas and time are covered.
8 p.m. — My clients send me home with homemade pea curry and roasted turnip. I never say no to a home-cooked meal. I throw rice into the Instant Pot for R. later and eat the curry on its own while reading.
8:45 p.m. — R. comes home just as I'm finishing my dessert of frozen berries with almond butter, and we talk about his day. There's a lot of growth at his company right now, with not enough people to support it. I'm listening and trying to help him ride out this transitional phase of hellish work hours. Then I remember THE BROWNIES. I always make something sweet at the beginning of the week to take to work so I don't end up going for unhealthy options. Tonight is black bean brownies from the healthy dessert blog Chocolate Covered Katie. I make these at least twice a month because I can throw everything in a blender, pop them into the oven for 20 mins, and I'm completely done.
10 p.m. — I read a few pages of Becoming before crashing.
Daily Total: $1.62

Day Two

5:10 a.m. — My regular training client is back from L.A., so it's back to getting up with my first alarm instead of snoozing. I splash my face with warm and then very cold water (it's early, man), and brush my teeth. Then I put on coffee, journal my gratitude list, kiss R., and get out the door.
7:15 a.m. — After my client session, I go home instead of training myself, because all the squat racks in the gym are reserved for a sports team. My inner powerlifter compels me to do squats at least twice a week, so I'll just train on my lunch break today.
9 a.m. — I roll into the office feeling great, despite the rainy walk from my car (free parking spaces = exercise), but I'm disturbed by the podcast Up First because the hosts address suicide contagion in this episode. I see that $500 has been deducted for my RRSP. It always feels like a lot, but I'm happy to have started this habit two years ago. I wish I'd known to start even earlier. Compound interest and tax breaks are your adult BFFs.
12:30 p.m. — Same lunch, same desk. My boss has asked to review my project proposal, so my gym plans are thwarted.
1:30 p.m. — I get a raise! I've been at this job for eight months and was planning to ask for a 10% increase at the one-year mark. When my boss finished reviewing my proposal, I asked her about my six-month review, which we never did. She simply told me I was doing great and that I would be getting a 5% raise. The feedback is nice, but I would've rather had a more comprehensive review and been allowed the opportunity to ask for 10%. I will be asking at the one-year mark based on my current success and measurable progress with my projects.
4 p.m. — Finally, I'm en route to the gym. After a quick-and-dirty strength and core session, I shower and go back to the office.
5:20 p.m. — I drink a Vega chocolate protein shake and eat an apple on the walk to my car. I'm going to a planning meeting for a charity race. I chat with my mom on the drive there. My family lives on the East Coast, so I talk to them a few times a week. I arrive and grab a peppermint tea and a slice of banana bread from a café because I'm not sure how long this meeting will last. $4.82
8:30 p.m. — Apparently, it will last two hours (cue yawning a dreaming of real food). I honestly don't mind because the organizer is a friend of mine, and she is a badass. I'm happy to see her take a leadership role.
9:30 p.m. — R. grabs us burritos from Tacofino on the drive home, and we eat in blissful silence. I go to bed with a mostly undigested burrito but I'm too tired to care or even open up my book.
Daily Total: $4.82

Day Three

5:15 a.m. — Face splashed with water, hair and teeth brushed, huge glass of water poured, then bootcamp planning on the couch. We are focusing on speed work and hills this morning. I wrap up by 5:42 a.m. and kiss R. goodbye.
7:15 a.m. — Back at home. I'm digging the group dynamic of my 6 a.m. bootcamp crew right now. I make the same breakfast (eggs, veggies, and yogurt bowl) and brew coffee in my French press. I sit down to scroll through social media and catch up on morning emails and articles.
8 a.m. — I notice that our laundry piles (both clean and dirty) have grown to the size of small volcanos. I dump the clean laundry on the bed and put another load in the washer. I hop in the shower. It's staff photo day, so I actually blow dry and straighten my hair and apply NARS The Multiple on my eyes, then mascara, bronzer, and under-eye concealer. I finish with tinted Burt's Bees lip balm. The laundry is still going, so I take my first work call at home and get some much-needed answers about a project I'm working on.
10:30 a.m. — I'm in the office and having a snack of rice crackers and Monterey jack cheese with a whole bell pepper. I've always eaten peppers like apples. It's an efficiency thing: less chopping = more eating.
1:15 p.m. — I eat (the same) lunch outside, facing the ocean. My office is in a great spot, and I read a few more pages from the Michelle Obama book before returning to my computer.
4 p.m. — I'm getting restless and pull the trigger on my Amazon cart, which contains a new one-piece bathing suit ($64.50) because mine has fallen apart, and a pot for my new snake plant ($6.58). I also need a gallon glass jar for my home-brewed kombucha and find one on Facebook Marketplace for $10 less than on Amazon ($10.53). While I'm at it, I put a payment of $112.71 towards my credit card bill. $200.87
5:20 p.m. — Staff photos are finished, and I quickly change into my running gear. I'm going to meet a new workout partner at the track, so we can suffer through speed work together.
7 p.m. — I think I've made a new friend! We have similar personalities and are around the same running ability. We can push each other while still having a good time. I pick up the kombucha jar, then grab sausages, shallots, and spinach for dinner. $6.55
8 p.m. — I make my favourite meal of the week: fresh linguine with sausage, shallots, roasted peppers, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. With a sprinkle of feta on top, I'm feeling like a chef. I grab a light craft beer and sit down to eat and finish my book. I throw in another load of laundry and light my cucumber water candle to unwind.
9 p.m. — R. is home. After a quick cuddle, we give each other some space to continue decompressing. Which, for me, equals folding the pile of laundry and organizing my closet. For him, it's eating with The Office on and generally turning off his brain.
9:30 p.m. — Operation laundry is complete, and R. and I plan our weekend. I fall asleep on the couch and wake up at 10 p.m., then immediately go to bed.
Daily Total: $200.87

Day Four

5:10 a.m. — I'm 100% snoozing until I remember that I want coffee so I get up less than five minutes into my snooze-button bliss. Splash face, brush teeth, journal my gratitudes, and leave some time to just be. After a quick goodbye kiss and a coffee with sugar-free pumpkin spice creamer, I'm out the door for my regular client by 5:47 a.m.
7:15 a.m. — I'm back from training and add one slice of sourdough to my usual breakfast, because today is a double workout day. While I eat, I turn on the Netflix show Selling Sunset. I'm pleasantly surprised with its similarity to The Real Housewives, but it has more of a boss-babes vibe. The show made me feel like I should put effort into my appearance: I apply under-eye concealer, bronzer, liquid eyeliner, and mascara because I rarely get this urge and want to take advantage of it.
10 a.m. — Rice crackers and cheese, followed by the rest of my lunch snacks, including a black bean brownie, Smart Sweets gummy bears (the bomb), and a travel pack of almond butter. My metabolism is on fire these days. I also get a text from a friend that a magazine has published an article about one of my powerlifting clients. I quickly read it. Talk about a strong start to the day!
12:10 p.m. — My finance call ends in the nick of time to get to the community centre to train with my friend N. We trade services: I do her strength coaching online and she builds and maintains my website. Afterward, I stop into the vegan café and grab a container of coconut–lemon thumbprint cookies for the office. My packed lunch of kale slaw, smoked tofu, Parmesan flakes, olives, and rice with blueberry vinaigrette hits the spot. $11
4 p.m. — I purchase one of my race photos to use for a social media post. I haven't been great at putting together images for my Instagram recently, and it's my primary platform for engaging new clients. $18
6 p.m. — My friend L. and I meet up with our running group. We do a five-kilometre route and celebrate with dinner out. Our group gets a 50% discount and free beer, so my fig and goat cheese salad with smoked salmon comes to under $20 with tip. $19.97
9:30 p.m. — While R. eats after his work event, I jump into bed with my new book Sixty Meters to Anywhere by Brendan Leonard. I quickly check social media and see that more people have read the article on my client, which is so rad! Women being inspired to lift heavy things is always a win.
Daily Total: $48.97

Day Five

6 a.m. — Sleep-in bliss! I don't even set an alarm and instead wake up to R.'s. We finally get some time together to cuddle when we are both awake. I don't bother showering because I have training tonight and will shower after that. I wash my face with a gentle exfoliant from Neutrogena and use my daily moisturizer from Kiehl's. My skin has been happy lately, so I keep my products simple.
7 a.m. — I do my gratitude journal and eat a smaller breakfast of coconut yogurt, frozen berries, and one vanilla Girl Guide cookie because #friday. I pack my lunch and settle in for an hour of Selling Sunset. It's nice to have a slower morning.
8 a.m. — I quickly iron my romper, throw dry shampoo in my hair, and leave by 8:30 a.m.
8:50 a.m. — There's an awesome coffee vendor near the office that sells ethically sourced, locally roasted beans. I purchase a bag and get my Americano for free. Life is too short to drink dirt water, and I feel good about supporting local businesses. $14.27
1 p.m. — Lunchtime! I ate my snacks in the morning (apple, black bean brownies, and a kosher pickle) and am having the standard lunch salad. I'm over it now. Next week needs to be something different.
3 p.m. — I hop onto Hipcamp, the AirBnB of campsites, and grab two for a trip I'm taking with my best friend later this year: one on the Oregon Coast and one in Big Sur. $80.23
5 p.m. — I'm the last one out of the office and am on my way to a waxing appointment. I go about every six weeks, and it's worth every penny ($36.33). I also grab a bottle of wine ($21.66) for our friends who just bought a home. R. and I are meeting up with them later for a double workout and dinner date. $57.99
8 p.m. — Greek food for dinner. The guys get souvlaki while W. and I grab moussaka. I also have baklava for dessert and a glass of red wine because I'm running 40 kilometres tomorrow, and it's not going to happen without the carb gods. R. pays.
10 p.m. — We swing by Save On Foods to grab snacks for tomorrow's run. I leave with two fruit bars, a box of fig Newtons, eggs, and a bottle of tart cherry juice. $17.75
Daily Total: $170.24

Day Six

7 a.m. — I wash my face for real and moisturize because I'll be out in the sun all day. I eat two slices of sourdough, one with peanut butter and honey and the other with two scrambled eggs. I pack up my running vest with about 1,000 calories worth of snacks. I try to eat 200 calories per hour on long trail runs. Today, I have a couple of bread balls with miso paste in the middle, dill pickles, two fig bars, one Solo lemon energy bar, and one power gel.
8 a.m. — R. and I meet up with a running group near our house.
10 a.m. — Fifteen kilometres and 500 metres of climbing done! Just another 25 kilometres to go. I run into a coffee shop and grab a package of Herbaland protein gummies because I'm about 200 calories short on snacks. $3.94
3 p.m. — Forty kilometres and 1,430 metres of climbing DONE. I love ultra-running. No one has a huge ego, and everyone I have met so far is warm, honest, and fun. R. and I are both showered, beers in one hand (non alcoholic for him), and protein smoothies in the other. We cheers to our last long pre-race run and settle into The Other Guys on Netflix, which neither of us pays much attention to. I realize that we need groceries and that I also need homemade pizza. R. is asleep, so I slip out to grab the supplies.
5:45 p.m. — My grocery haul includes bananas, apples, olives, pepperoni, chorizo, mozzarella, black beans, corn, ground turkey, onion, Greek yogurt, frozen berries, frozen coconut, B vitamins, and more coffee beans ($105.81 split). I throw the pizza dough together and let it rise while I prep the toppings. $52.90
7 p.m. — There is truly nothing better than homemade pizza with Frank's RedHot Sauce. I put spinach on mine to pretend like I had greens today, but the spinach-to-cheese ratio is weak at best. We throw on the Netflix movie Dirt about Mötley Crüe, and it is excellent!
9 p.m. — Somehow we fall down the Rock Songs From Our Childhood YouTube hole and are now perusing old BMX videos. We fall asleep and wake up to see that YouTube has looped us back to O.G. Mötley Crüe videos.
9:30 p.m. — Lights out.
Daily Total: $56.84

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Today is spa day! Two years ago, R. won a raffle prize for a spa in Whistler, and we're finally using it. We get access to hot and cold baths, a steam room, a sauna, and solariums with plush nap pods. Since the facility has a no-talking rule, R. will be very happy with the peace and quiet.
7:40 a.m. — After cuddling and procrastinating, I throw together a protein smoothie with berries, half a banana, tart cherry juice, spinach, Vega chocolate protein powder, and almond butter. I also see that I have been paid for my weekly bootcamp classes. I love punctual client payments.
9 a.m. — We make a quick Starbucks stop for pour-overs and a bag of crème brûlée almonds, which I finish before our drinks are up. Post-run hunger is real. I also realize that I forgot my phone at home and couldn't be happier. The spa is technology-free anyways. $7.44
10 a.m. — We arrive, and I pay for two robe rentals. (R. drove and he paid for dinner the other night, so the robes are on me.) We change and go through the hot-cold-relax cycle for the next four hours. $39.92
2:30 p.m. — Feeling completely zen and recharged on the way home, we stop at a health food store in Whistler for lunch. I get a bagel with smoked salmon, capers, and cream cheese. R. gets a grilled turkey panini. We also pick up a pack of fresh double chocolate cookies. ($14.80 split.) $7.40
5:40 p.m. — Taco night at our friend's place. I bring the guacamole, salsa, and chips. $11
10 p.m. — Whoops, that went later than planned. I throw in a load of wash before tucking into bed. What an awesome way to end the weekend!
Daily Total: $65.76
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behaviour.
Thanks to KOHO, you can now experience Money Diaries IRL at 29Rooms in Toronto this September 26th through October 6th. Buy tickets here.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend. Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here. For more money diaries, click here.
Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

More from Work & Money