A Week In Vancouver, BC, On A $75,000 Salary

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Today: a social worker working in child protection who makes $75,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Rockstar.
Occupation: Social Worker
Industry: Child Protection
Age: 28
Location: Vancouver, BC
Salary: $75,000
Paycheque Amount (2x/month): $1,750
Gender Identity: Woman
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Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $850 (I own a condo. I saved up for the down payment by living at home for the first few years after graduating, and I bought in when the market was still fairly affordable.)
Condo Strata Fees: $171
Utilities: $50
Car Insurance: $181
Phone: $70 (I actually pay for my brother's phone, because my boyfriend pays for mine on a family plan.)
TV: $15 (I have an IPTV.)
Internet: $40
Amazon Prime: $49 (This is technically my brother's account, but I pay for it because he's still a student, and we share it.)
Credit Card Debt: $400 (I owe $1,600.)
RRSP: $100
Pension: $208 (This is automatically deducted from my cheque and matched by my employer.)
Tax-Free Savings: $300
High-Interest Savings: $200
Unexpected Expenses Fund: $300
High-Risk Mutual Funds: $50 (I only put a small amount into this, because I'm still learning about investing.)

Day One

7 a.m. — It's payday! I wake up with my boyfriend, M. We don't live together, but he spends a lot of time at my place, because it's closer to his job. I lay in bed for 10 minutes before brushing my teeth, washing my face, and slathering on moisturizer. I get changed and am out the door by 8:15 a.m.
8:30 a.m. — I get to the office right on time, which is one of the perks of living five minutes from work. I read emails and listen to voicemails.
10 a.m. — I need caffeine, so I run to Tim Hortons and get an extra-large coffee. I grab one for my co-worker, too. $4.80
12 p.m. — I'm horrible at bringing lunches and often munch on snacks in the office throughout the day instead. I go to our canteen and get an instant ramen bowl, which costs a toonie. I eat lunch with my co-workers, which is always a good time. We declare lunch a work-free zone, because some days we're so entrenched in our jobs that we forget to take time for self-care. $2
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5 p.m. — After work, I'm my way to the grocery store. I get peppers, mushrooms, oregano, chocolate milk, and pizza rolls ($20.08). Next, I go to the liquor store for wine ($9.16), and my last stop is at the meat shop to pick up BBQ chicken thighs ($13.99). I've been trying to save money and be healthier by eating at home more often. Most days, I'm too exhausted to cook, but it's Friday, and I have more motivation on the weekends. I get home and make the chicken with roasted veggies sprinkled with smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic. I also roast potatoes with oregano. I watch YouTube videos for about an hour, until my boyfriend comes over, and we watch a few episodes of Fargo. $43.23
Daily Total: $50.03

Day Two

11 a.m. — I wake up feeling refreshed. I don't sleep a lot during the week, because I'm a night owl, so I love to catch up during weekends. I make myself a gluten-free waffle with scrambled eggs on top. I do laundry, then clean the bathroom and kitchen.
3 p.m. — I sit down to watch Dear White People, which is not as good as the last season.
6 p.m. — My boyfriend texts me to see if I want Fatburger. Yes, yes I do. I get him to order me a Mushroom Swiss burger and a chocolate milkshake.
7:30 p.m. — I haven't left the house today, so I go with him to pick up the burgers, and we eat while watching a couple more episodes of Fargo.
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11 p.m. — I go to bed while M. watches sports. I read scary Reddit posts because it's spooky season that's why. I'm addicted to r/LetsNotMeet, a subreddit devoted to true horror stories.
1 a.m. — I put on an episode of the Crime Junkie podcast and go to sleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

10 a.m. — A friend and I are meeting for brunch, so I quickly shower, and blow-dry and straighten my hair, then put on makeup (concealer, bronzer, and mascara).
12:30 p.m. — I arrive at the restaurant and give my friend a big hug. I haven't seen her in six months, even though we only live 40 minutes from one another (adulting sucks). I order a coffee to start, because I'm a zombie, then the farmer's sausage combo, and a mimosa. We spend way too long gossiping and talking about our lives.
5 p.m. — When I look at the clock, it's already 5 p.m! We pay separately and head home. $27.72
6 p.m. — All of the lights in my bathroom went out this morning, so I stop by a grocery store to get bulbs. I get home and put the bulbs in immediately, because I'm about to explode and don't want to use the bathroom in the dark. $19.97
6:30 p.m. — It's raining, and I'm all about this weather. I text M. to see if he wants to get pho for dinner. He's down. M. works 12-hour shifts during the weekends and has Monday to Thursday off, so we try and see each other and much as possible on those days.
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7 p.m. —The pho place around the corner is out of beef broth, and I don't want the veggie or seafood broth, so we walk to another place. We both get the house special, which is delicious and warms me up. I pay the bill. $26.25
9 p.m. — We go to Bed Bath & Beyond just to sniff things. I have a $10 off coupon that I forgot at home, so we don't end up buying anything. M. wants to get beers, so we go to the liquor store. I have wine at home but end up getting a few Rockstars. They always bring me back to my younger days, when I would slam a few and be good to go. I pay for the booze. $26.27
10 p.m. — At home, we grab our drinks and get into bed to watch Fargo.
12 a.m. — We're both hungry again, so M. orders cheese pizza, two chocolate lava cakes, and a bottle of pop from Domino's ($28.56, his treat). We pig out, watch a few more Fargo episodes, and fall asleep by 2 a.m. I don't work every second Monday, because we get flex days for working an extra 50 minutes a day.
Daily Total: $100.21

Day Four

10 a.m. — M. wants to drive over the border to the casino, because he gets a bunch of free play and stays. We stop for gas, which M. pays for, along with snacks. I get chips, a chocolate bar, a water and a Monster Energy drink. The border lineup is short, so we're on our way quickly. We get there and M. plays while I go to the gift shop. I end up buying a pack of smokes. $13.59
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5 p.m. — I'm obsessed with an Asian market in a town over from us, so we drive there after getting back from the casino. We buy ramen, salad rolls, sushi, sweet buns, and fried tofu ($42.19). I'm hungry after all of that shopping, so we go to the mall food court. I get a sandwich with a poutine and drink ($19.19), and M. gets Chipotle.
8 p.m. — M. drops me off at home. I shower and get into bed by 9 p.m. I watch a few shows that have just started new seasons, and by the time I'm done it's 12 a.m.
12 a.m. — I watch YouTube videos and read Reddit until 2 a.m., when I decide it's finally time to sleep.
Daily Total: $74.97

Day Five

7 a.m. — I hit snooze about five times before getting up. I have court this morning, so I put on nicer clothes and do my hair and makeup.
12:30 p.m. — After spending all morning in court, I go home for soup and crackers. The rest of the day is spent on paperwork. I only stop to do field work with a co-worker, and we swing by a farmers' market, where I buy a muffin and a coffee. $7.09
5 p.m. — I've been meaning to go to the grocery store for chicken breasts, because they're on sale, and I hate paying crazy money for two chicken breasts at a time. I also grab olive oil, milk, gum, and grapes. $39.66
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7 p.m. — I make chicken to go with the rest of the leftover roasted veggies and potatoes. I take a bath, and read Gone Girl (this is my self-care). I've watched the movie a few times, but I've never read the book, and books are usually better than the movies. My goal is to read at least one book a month for the next year. After tidying and watching Black-ish, I get into bed. I'm on my phone until about 1 a.m.
Daily Total: $46.75

Day Six

8 a.m. — There's a team meeting at 9:30 a.m., so I get to sleep in. My coworker texts me to tell me she's grabbing Starbucks on her way (yay!). I get to the office just in time for our meeting. When we take a break, I go out for a smoke, and a co-worker and I decide it's a two-coffee kinda day. We pop over to Tim Hortons, where I get both of our coffees, along with chilli for lunch. $9.21
5 p.m. — My tank has barely enough gas to get home, so I buy just enough to get me through the week ($25). Gas is really expensive here, so I usually go over the border to fill up and pay a fraction of the price.
5:30 p.m. — I have ramen for dinner and grapes for dessert. M. comes over, and we watch Fargo. After, I clean up and make popcorn. I haven't been feeling the best, so I make green tea and take vitamin C. I shower and blow-dry my hair. M. and I go to bed around 9 p.m. He's out cold as soon as his head hits the pillow. I'm guessing I fall asleep around midnight.
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Daily Total: $34.21

Day Seven

7:30 a.m. — I wake up feeling like trash, so I chug water and get back into bed for a few minutes. I do my morning routine, and am out the door by 8:20 a.m. I'm hoping I feel better by the afternoon.
9 a.m. — I go out on a few meetings, and my co-worker grabs me coffee. I'm forever grateful.
12 p.m. — I'm starving, but also feeling gross. I get soup from Subway ($5.12). The day drags on. I have chips from the canteen ($1), then make myself tea, and do paperwork. I'm so happy when 4:30 p.m. hits; I literally run out the door. $6.12
5 p.m. — M. texts me and asks me if I want to go to a haunted house this weekend. Of course I do! My sister will be visiting, so he says he'll get tickets for all of us. We make a deal for dinner: He'll grab Greek take-out, if I grab Coke. (I don't keep pop in the house. If I do, I'll drink it all.) I order a calamari platter, and M. gets a beef gyro (he pays). I grab Coke from the corner store ($5.25). We eat while we watch Fargo again. Halfway through the episode, I decide to make butter chicken for my sister, because she'll be here tomorrow. I have everything at home and whip it up quickly. $5.25
8 p.m. — I get my sister's bed ready, then take a quick shower and get into bed. We watch a few more episodes of Fargo and fall asleep by midnight.
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Daily Total: $11.37
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