A Week In Windsor, ON, On An $80,000 Salary

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Today: a supervisor working in social programming who makes $80,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on tickets to see Portrait Of A Lady On Fire.
Occupation: Supervisor
Industry: Social Programming
Age: 29
Location: Windsor, ON
Salary: $80,000
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $2,300
Gender Identity: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $662.82
House Insurance: $170
Property Tax: $150
Water: $110
Electricity: $110
Car Payment: $484.08
Car Insurance: $172.12
Phone: $0 (paid for by employer)
Internet: $63
Spotify: $10
Netflix: $0 (paid for by my partner C.'s mom)
Critical Injury Insurance: $54.82
Disability Insurance: $91.92
Registered Savings Plan: $400
Tax-Free Savings: $300

Day One

10 a.m. — C. and I are early risers, even on weekends, but today we've slept in much later than usual. We embrace the lazy Saturday vibe, and C. goes to the café around the corner to grab us coffees. We settle in for a domestic day of chores, reading, and Netflix.
1 p.m. — A contractor I tracked down on Kijiji stops by to give us a quote. We purchased a heritage home in the perfect neighbourhood about three years ago and have completed a lot of big renovations in that time. We've done 95% of the work ourselves. And by "ourselves," I mean C. (I'm not very handy, but I make a good cleanup crew). Some tasks, however, are too tedious to attempt without expert help. The contractor agrees to complete the work next weekend for $250, which C. and I think is a fair price. I'm excited to finalize the arrangements, since the contractor will be finishing up most of our final renos. Our house was move-in ready when we purchased it, but we converted it into two separate units, because we aren't ready to take on the full cost of our mortgage. We occupy the smaller unit upstairs and rent the lower unit for $850 to a lovely woman and her adorable dog.
5 p.m. — My girlfriend comes over for dinner, and C. cooks us paella. We catch up before going to a flick at the local film festival. She drives and pays for parking, and I cover the tickets. We see a Korean thriller/dark comedy called Parasite. It's mind-bending and unsettling, but I'm glad we went. To save cash, we go back to my place for a drink instead of going to a nearby bar. Also, we're not keen on yelling over the rowdy Saturday-night crowds and music. We're old now. $28
Daily Total: $28

Day Two

8 a.m. — C. and I are up and off to yoga. I don't pay for classes, because I volunteer weekly at the studio to cover the cost of my membership. Ever since I started practising yoga, I participate in volunteer programs. Most studios have some type of exchange system, and I like giving back and being a part of the community. Besides, yoga memberships can be hella-expensive.
11 a.m. — I shower after yoga and run errands. I hit the grocery store to get ingredients for the Thai curry–pumpkin soup I'm making this afternoon. On my way back home, I can't resist stopping at a local café I stalk on Instagram. I pick up coffee and salted chocolate chip cookies, which make the impromptu stop totally worth it. $18.50
3 p.m. — I spend the afternoon prepping food for the week. I make the aforementioned soup, plus peanut butter–chocolate protein balls, and I cut up veggies for hummus. Once the kitchen is clean, C. and I go for a walk in a nearby park to enjoy the fall colours. The temperature has dropped drastically in the past week, and I don't know how many more days we'll have to enjoy the leaves before they fall. When we return from our walk, we have soup and sandwiches. Then we settle in to watch Netflix (we're watching Friends for the third time) and enjoy a glass of wine. I open my very outdated resume and start making revisions. I enjoy my work, however, it never hurts to stay current and explore what else is out there.
Daily Total: $18.50

Day Three

7 a.m. — I'm up early and go to the gym before work. I recently invested in a membership at a club with a pool to rehab an injury. Luckily, a co-worker let me use her friends and family discount, so I paid my fees up front and don't get charged monthly. When I get to the office, I break out a protein bar and steep a cup of Davids tea. I'm a coffee fanatic, but I've been trying to drink more herbal tea, because I hate being dependent on caffeine.
12 p.m. — I run work-related errands on my lunch. The morale at my company has been low lately, and I've resolved to appreciate my staff when they go above and beyond. I purchase gift cards in small amounts (enough to cover a cup of coffee) and plan to hand them out throughout the month. My company is good about covering these types of costs, but I don't plan to expense this. I don't mind paying out of pocket for this type of gesture. $25.95
4 p.m. — I stop by the bulk food store to restock dwindling pantry items. I bring my own mason jars and fill up on herbs and spices, plus oatmeal and shredded coconut. I shop bulk when I can. The same goes for my beauty supplies (shampoo, conditioner, body soap, hand soap) and household cleaners. I made it a goal in 2019 to reduce one-use plastics in my life, and refilling at bulk stores has become my new norm. $11.68
6 p.m. — C. is late getting home, so I kill time browsing my favourite athletic clothing websites. I settle on a cute pair of pink leggings and a slouchy, blue sweater. I have a credit to spend on this site, so I only pay for shipping. $8.55
7 p.m. — C. and I go to our friends' place for dinner and board games. As per usual, we bring the wine, and they take care of the food. We throw around the idea of a couples trip for New Year's Eve. We consider New York City, Chicago, and New Orleans. One of us will probably end up working, and we won't go anywhere, but I'll price out the three options just in case. I don't mind spending on travel, but I always search for a deal and usually go for cheaper, more authentic experiences that don't break the bank. Airbnb and hostelworld.com are my go-tos when planning a trip.
Daily Total: $46.18

Day Four

8 a.m. — I get to work and make herbal tea before settling in at my desk. I'm not being incredibly productive this morning, so I change gears and do a site visit. On the way, I decide I've earned a coffee and stop for one, because I had tea earlier. When I arrive at the site, one of my employees insists I have a piece of her homemade apple crumble, and I know better than to refuse. I'm glad, because it's yummy and hits the spot on this crisp fall morning. $2
12 p.m. — I go to the gym on my lunch. This is a new routine I'm trying out, and it seems to be working quite well, since I've started quick HIIT workouts. After, I realize I forgot a towel, and there's no way I'm going back to the office without showering. I pay for a rental towel at the front desk and shower. I don't bother doing makeup for the second time today. I don't wear makeup every day anyway, so it won't be a big shock to my co-workers. $2
1 p.m. — I get back to the office in time for my afternoon meeting and —  hallelujah! — someone has ordered in Lebanese food for lunch. I scoop up fattoush, a chicken kebab, and stuffed grape leaves. The best lunch is free lunch.
4:30 p.m. — I have an appointment with my chiropractor, but she's more like a witch doctor. She's very knowledgeable about pressure points and fascial tissue, so I'm often surprised when she massages my abdomen and all of a sudden my knee doesn't hurt anymore. Today, she puts on a glove and releases a pressure point in my mouth to help relieve headaches. It's incredibly strange, but I feel instant relief. I pay $42 for the session, but my benefits will reimburse me. ($42 expensed)
6 p.m. — When I get home, C. is showering after the gym. I heat up leftover pumpkin soup, put together a charcuterie board, and choose a bottle of wine from our rack. Everything works really well together. I pat myself on the back for picking a good wine pairing. After dinner, I cozy up in our office and flip open my MacBook to work on my resume, update my LinkedIn profile, and peruse job postings. C. announces he's leaving for basketball, so I stream an episode of This Is Us. I'm behind on the current season, and C. will be grateful I watched while he was out.
Daily Total: $4

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — I'm up for hot yoga. It may be dark in the mornings now, but the thought of the warm room is enough to get me out of bed. Besides, I won't have time later in the day to workout. I go home afterwards to shower and get ready for work. I dry brush my entire body, use my natural, Canadian-made body wash from the bulk store, and moisturize. I make herbal tea and pack my lunch, then head straight to my morning site visit.
1 p.m. — I join some co-workers for lunch and eat leftover pumpkin soup and hummus with carrots. I listen to them stress about recent changes to their department. I worry that I will experience similar changes soon. All this uncertainty has the whole office on edge, so I retreat to my office and distract myself with email until it's time to pack it in.
5 p.m. — I have a massage booked with an old friend of mine. This is only the second appointment I've had with her this year, because her schedule is so packed. I thoroughly enjoy the massage, as well as catching up with her over the hour. I pay up front, but C.'s benefits will reimburse me. His plan covers services that mine doesn't, and we take advantage, because this is the first time either of us has had full benefits. ($73 expensed)
6:30 p.m. — I go to a screening at the film festival with friends, and we each pay $40 for our tickets. There's a reception before the movie with food and wine. I'm particularly fond of the buffalo cauliflower bites. After the reception, I get a glass of wine to enjoy during the movie ($8). We see Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, and I absolutely love it. Then we walk to a bar down the street to gush about how beautiful the movie was, and I order an interesting wine I've never seen on the menu before and spend a bit extra on it ($13). I walk to my car, pay for parking, and go home ($8). $69
Daily Total: $69

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — I sleep in today, because I was out later than usual on a work night. I make a matcha–almond milk latte at home. I often buy coffee at local cafés, but only treat myself to lattes on occasion, because they're expensive. Besides, I'm starting to get pretty good at making them myself. I arrive for my morning meetings with time to spare.
12:30 p.m. — I go to the gym on lunch and, dammit, I forgot a towel AGAIN. $2
2 p.m. — After the gym, I munch on a protein bar and drive to a site visit. Generally, I don't eat traditional breakfasts or lunches during the work week. I'll snack throughout the day or grab a plate of lunch if it's ordered in, but I rarely pack much more than a protein bar and fruit (and, of course, desk chocolate, always 80% cacao or higher). I call to get coffee orders from the staff and swing by the drive-through to pick them up. $6
5 p.m. — I call C. on my way home to see if he has plans for dinner. He does not, so I go to the grocery store to pick up chicken curry ingredients: chicken thighs, coconut milk, Greek yogurt, garlic. I love warm Indian and Thai dishes this time of year. I spend the night simmering the curry and chopping miscellaneous, forgotten crisper vegetables. In the end, the curry has a bit of everything, but it works. $38.52
8 p.m. — I cozy up with a glass of wine and a book, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, which was recommended to me, because I like historical fiction. I read quite a bit, but it's typically on my devices, so I'm making an effort to unplug and read an actual paperback. I turn in early and don't feel one bit guilty about it.
Daily Total: $46.52

Day Seven

8 a.m. — It's Friday! But I've got a long day ahead of me. I don't even attempt to make tea this morning. I opt for an office coffee instead, which isn't the best, but I add my own soy creamer so that helps. I focus on finishing projects that are due today. I also realize that I need to prepare for an afternoon meeting, so the morning is hectic.
12 p.m. — I rush to the grocery store to pick up food for my team meeting. I get a cheese tray, crackers, veggies, and dip. I make sure to bring food to meetings and, believe it or not, attendance has improved. The meeting goes well, and we wrap up by picking names for Secret Santa. We set the limit at $25, and I have no idea what I'm going to purchase for this person. ($32.06 expensed)
5 p.m. — Tonight is my night to volunteer at the yoga studio. I put in a weekly three-and-half-hour shift in exchange for my membership. I respect the woman who is teaching tonight, and she tells me about a retreat she's planning up north in 2020. I'm intrigued and make a spontaneous decision to pay the $200 registration fee to hold my spot. I complete my cleaning responsibilities, help her run the desk, take an especially challenging class, and go home very sweaty. I don't care, because I'm getting right in the bath. I add a Lush bath bomb and zone out. Afterwards, I join C. on the couch. We snack on salsa and chips and talk about our plans for the weekend. $200
Daily Total: $200
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