Money Diaries logo

A Week In Los Angeles On A $240,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We're asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Today: an adult industry business owner who makes $240,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on an old fashioned.
All currency in USD.
Occupation: Business Owner
Industry: Adult
Age: 40
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Salary: $240,000
Net Worth: ~$100,000 (checking: $15,000, Roth IRA $6,000, investments: $80,000. I just started contributing to the Roth in 2021, but I plan on maxing it out yearly)
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount (I have 15 income streams that come in throughout the month): $20,000 monthly (it varies but this is the average gross amount, I pay taxes separately)
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,990 (My half, split 50/50 with my partner. We both work from home and split most household expenses 50/50 but I pay for more things because I make more. We do not share any bank accounts and do not intend to; if we were to get married, we would sign a prenup.)
Renter's Insurance: $22
Electric: $60 (my half, split 50/50 with partner)
Gas: $0 still have some CA gas credit
Internet: $25 (my half, split 50/50 with partner)
Cell Phone: $117
Investments: $4,000
Donation: $20
Health Insurance: $37
Peloton: $43 (my half, split 50/50 with partner)
Car Insurance: $100 (my half, split 50/50 with partner)
Spotify Duo: $13 (share with partner)
Hulu: $12 (share with partner)
Netflix: $0 (share friend's account)
Kink.com: $40 (pay for your porn people!)
Rent The Runway: $235
Kindle Unlimited: $9.99 (share account with partner)
Life Insurance: $57
Business Expenses
Rent: $2,500
Insurance: $88
Electric: $100
Internet: $100
Assistants: $500 (varies monthly; $20/hour)
Annual Expenses:
Chase Sapphire Preferred: $95
Advertisement
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Yes, my parents enrolled my sibling and me in an exceptional private school and saved for college. Unfortunately, after one of our parents died, the surviving parent decided to move us to just a very good public school. My parents didn't have a lot of money and I strongly suspect not much was contributed to our college funds after the death of my parent. I took out loans and was an RA for two years to pay for school. I also worked an additional part-time job working 20-40 hours a week on top of going to school. This was really hard and stressful and it took me years to recover financially and emotionally although I'm glad I have my degrees. I paid off my student loans years ago.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
None that I can remember except predatory ones when my surviving parent tried to get control of my survivor benefits after I turned 18. They also tried to get control of my college money to buy a house. I very much noted what my parent was doing and vowed to not do what they were doing, but it wasn't until recently that I've learned anything about what to actually do. I've learned a lot about money from my best friend, my girlfriend, and clients.
Advertisement
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I worked at a gym at age 16 so I could have spending money.
Did you worry about money growing up?
No. We always had a house, cars, food, and clothes. We also went out and took vacations but nothing was very extravagant. It was a very middle-class upbringing.
Do you worry about money now?
Not really because I am a high earner and ambitious, but I didn't invest until 2021. I'm trying to put away a lot now to make up for lost time.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I became financially responsible at 18 when I was kicked out of the house. My housing was only secure at school and I had to scramble to find housing in between. I do have a financial safety net because my partner's family is very wealthy and my best friend is as well but I don't make decisions or base my life on that. Sex work feels like a safety net because it's always something I can make money with quickly and anywhere in the world.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
Yes, I receive passive income for rentals, classes, and clips as well as residuals for mainstream appearances.

Day One

8:30 a.m. — I get up and put together an Amazon cart for some cleaning supplies (I truly loathe ordering from there and avoid it when I can. I get Better Life Natural Streak Free cleaner, Method Bamboo cleaner, and wood polish ($90.52). Then I put together an Instacart order for the week. One of my best pandemic hacks that I still use today is ordering from Costco! I order cauliflower pizza, toilet paper, eggs, power greens, almond milk, Rogaine, toilet bowl cleaner, Chik'n, and yogurt — with tax and 20% tip ($216.77). I Venmo request my partner $55 for her portion. $307.29
Advertisement
9 a.m. — Every week, I total up all the money coming in from my various income streams as well as what is in all my physical accounts so I have a really accurate picture of my finances. I also check all my charges, pay my credit card, and deposit money into my investment portfolio. The thing about sex work is it can be dead for days and then suddenly a lot of money drops in your lap. Once I take stock of all my money, I pay off my credit card and put $1,000 into my investment portfolio. I also send $64.83 to my sibling because I agreed to pay for their wifi and therapy — they are having a hard time, partially because our system sucks and partially due to bad choices. $1,064.83
3 p.m. — I do some work, but get interrupted by a call from my sibling. We have a frustrating conversation about money.
6 p.m. — My girlfriend and I take our daily 20 minute walk. We do this for our mental health more than physical activity and to get out of the house and be more human before dinner. We then go home and make dinner.
10 p.m. – I read Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz and then head to bed.
Daily Total: $1,372.12

Day Two

9:30 a.m. — I wake up and go to the bathroom. I start to worry that all my UTI symptoms might actually BE a UTI. I decide to drive to the drug store to get UTI tests and OTC meds, which is $32, but I put it on a client's credit card because I don't want to have to pay for it. It's negative, which is great but doesn't explain the symptoms.
Advertisement
11:30 a.m. — I have a dentist appointment to check in on my Invisalign. I really like this dentist, but they are always behind, which is frustrating. I paid for the whole Invisalign process up front so I just pay $2 for parking. $2
12 p.m. — Lunch is brown rice and tuna poke. I take the UTI meds I got because maybe that will help. I'm starting to feel weird in the tummy and think maybe I have mild food poisoning. I drink a glass of water and take charcoal.
1 p.m. — I have a brief meeting with my girlfriend about our respective work stuff — I hire her to do certain things for me and I do certain things for her business for free. I give her a few tasks and then cut the meeting short because I'm not feeling well.
3 p.m. — I make a cup of detox tea, get in bed, and do some work. This is the best part of working from home. I check some emails, but tbh I just jerk off and take a nap. Also the best part of working from home.
5 p.m. — My girlfriend wanders into our bedroom, gorgeous and naked for our scheduled sex date but I feel too meh so we do some naked reiki instead, lol. In case you are still straight enough to wonder how lesbians have sex, this is actually one of the ways, but don't tell them I told you.
7 p.m. — I decide I feel well enough to keep my work dinner date with my girfriend, my assistant, my assistant's friend, and tequila! I'm glad we can all go out and have some social time because we've been very busy at work lately. We get nachos and drinks. I pay $294 for the four of us and $15 for valet and tip. $309
Advertisement
9 p.m. — So tired. I do my nighttime routine. I take half an edible, make some tea, put on a sound bath, and pass out.
Daily Total: $311

Day Three

8 a.m. — My alarm wakes me up. I still feel meh but not worse. My girlfriend brings me CoQ10 and coffee in bed, naked, which is our rule for whoever is up first to bring the other nourishment naked. I warm up tacos from last night and fry an egg. Then I drink my coffee on the balcony with beet/carrot/ginger juice and a Suja immunity shot.
9 a.m. — Head into my at-home office to take care of some emails and a promo event. I have to teach tonight, but I just want to lay in bed all day. The downside of owning your own business is that you only make money when you are working which is why I try to have a lot of passive income.
10:30 a.m. I take a break to do some morning yoga and meditation on the Peloton app.
12 p.m. — I have a smoothie and a shower and then go back into my office to work on a presentation.
2 p.m. — I get a very much-needed gel mani-pedi while listening to a podcast I was on. I AM REBORN. $132 with 20% tip, but I send the Cash App request to a client who will pay for it.
4 p.m. — I pick up my girlfriend from a cafe and we go to a vegan restaurant to pick up dinner. We get two bowls and lattes plus a 20% tip. $67.33
Advertisement
7 p.m. — I finally feel better, which is a relief since I need to teach a class and be super upbeat. We go to my workspace (not in my home). It goes really well, but I'm such an overachiever that I am still critical of myself. My girlfriend says I was great though and still laughed at all my jokes even though she's heard some of them dozens of times. True love!
9 p.m. — We get home. I have a TJ's sunflower cup and some tea while I watch an episode of Archer. Then I read another chapter of Girls Can Kiss Now (not sure I'm a fan), write in my journal, and do my nighttime routine: TJ's face wash, Eminence lotion, Rogaine, and Latisse eyelash serum. I go to bed around 10.
Daily Total: $67.33

Day Four

6:30 a.m. — I wake up and can't get back to sleep. My throat is sore from talking a lot yesterday and I'm going to try to conserve my voice for tonight's event. I reschedule a client appointment for next week. I do my morning routine: TJ's face wash, Eminence rhubarb, brush, and floss.
10 a.m. — I take a hot girl walk in the neighbourhood since this week's schedule is not conducive to my usual nightly walks.
12 p.m. — I eat two frozen veggie Indian meals which are good but only 300 calories each. There is some work and SW Twitter drama today that gets me super bummed out but I try to push past it. I get an invoice from my assistant for their hours and supplies (in monthly business expenses).
Advertisement
3 p.m. - I still feel very crappy and take a COVID test which is negative. Work stuff continues to bum me out and I try to rest and consider not going to my event tonight or only going for a short time.
5 p.m. — Order the same expensive bowls and lattes from the other day to be delivered but they aren't as good this time and I'm annoyed at spending so much for a single order of takeout. I have complimentary DashPass with Chase Sapphire and it's very worth it. I always tip 20%. I've saved $840 in fees! $72
7 p.m. — I rally for my event and drink all the whiskey! I am amazing. A vision. A connector of kindred spirits. I am thrilled to see some of my friends and we make plans for my girlfriend's birthday as well as brunch plans. I break a nail. We stop by for Mexican food on the way home and my girlfriend pays. We watch one episode of Archer and eat tacos with the cat. Read more of Girls Can Kiss Now.
Daily Total: $72

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I awake actually feeling better! My girlfriend delivers coffee in bed topless and we do Wordle and get it in three tries. Eat breakfast on the balcony and listen to KCRW. I do a quick spin on the Peloton.
2 p.m. — I put on a super cute leopard dress by Slate & Willow from Rent The Runway because I love Fancy Fridays WFH. I get a lot of work done this afternoon. I look up the event I am on the guestlist for tonight and realise it's more of an after hours thing, which would be fine except I have to teach another class and I'm still not 1000%. I let the promoter know that I can't come after all and do a bunch of promo for it.
Advertisement
6 p.m. — Dinner is chickpea pasta, marinara sauce, and vegan crabcakes that are actually amazing. We eat mostly veg at home and I don't like cooking meat. We try a new vape pen but it's not very strong so we take an edible and watch a really funny Marvel movie. We have super amazing sex and go to bed around 10.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

8 a.m. — My girlfriend wants to take me out for brunch this morning since she is working on Sunday so we go to a local diner we like and it's surprisingly crowded. We get chocolate chip pancakes, huevos rancheros, bacon, and almond milk lattes.
10 a.m. — I do a 20-minute Peloton workout when we get home.
3 p.m. — I put on my super cute denim Peter Som dress and we go to a local art walk. We take a Lyft there, but all my Lyfts go on a client's card. I wander around a bit while my girlfriend takes a few work calls. We Lyft to another neighbourhood for dinner.
6 p.m. — At dinner, we get calamari, chicken piccata, and salmon — she gets a mule and I get an old fashioned and then a mezcal drink. The waiter stops by with an accidental drink which he offers to us for free. It's a blood orange margarita and it's so good. $150
8 p.m. — I'm feeling exhausted and meh again. I drink some tea, take a bunch of vitamins and an immunity shot, and split a chocolate chip cookie with my girlfriend while watching an episode of Archer. I read more of Girls Can Kiss Now and pass out around 10.
Advertisement
Daily Total: $150

Day Seven

7:30 a.m. — I didn't sleep super well last night which overall is pretty unusual for me but I've been sick and work has been really stressful. I read AITA and am pretty amazed at how awful men are to their female partners. In the other room I can hear my girlfriend emptying the dishwasher and making coffee. Which she delivers topless as usual. I help her load the car for her event and tell her it's going to be awesome! I make breakfast for myself with a fried egg, apple sage veg sausage, pesto sauce, and homemade spelt bread.
1 p.m. — I just lay around in bed reading and jerking off before I pick up my friend to go to my best friend's house to use the pool. I take a microdose of mushrooms. We drink a bottle of riesling together and use the pool and hot tub. I finish my leftovers from last night for lunch.
6 p.m. — My friend and I go out to a Mexican restaurant that I love that is finally open on Sundays. We get oysters, tacos, and mezcal. Unfortunately, we have a terrible experience and I write a bad Yelp/Resy review. My friend pays for dinner and we have mixed feelings about leaving just a 15% tip, but the service was so awful.
8 p.m. — Drink some tea with my girlfriend and watch an episode of Archer. I finally finish Girls Can Kiss Now, write in my journal, and drink a bunch of Be Calm magnesium drink because I'm having a hard time sleeping. I think it's related to my upcoming period as insomnia has been a symptom I've been experiencing lately.
Advertisement
Daily Total: $0
Money Diaries are meant to reflect an individual's experience and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behaviour.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series

Advertisement