A Week In Brooklyn, NY, On A £38,820 Salary

Photo: Getty Images.
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last penny.
Today: a Fashion Blogger who makes $50,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on pho.
Occupation: Fashion Blogger
Industry: Fashion
Age: 30
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Salary: $50,000
Paycheck Amount: This varies as I am self-employed and freelance, but on average I make between $2,000 - $4,000 a month pre-tax.
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $500 (for my half of $1,000 in maintenance + utility fees, split with my boyfriend who lives with me. I own my one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with no mortgage thanks to my extremely generous dad who bought my apartment for me, so the only fees we pay are the maintenance + utility fees, plus quarterly property tax which I cover since I own the apartment.)
Loans: $0
Internet + Cable: $63 (for my half of $126 split with my boyfriend)
Phone: $0 (still on family plan)
Classpass: $159
Health Insurance: $162 (I have an independent health insurance provider, and it barely covers anything. One of the downsides of being self-employed)
Hulu Plus: $5.99
Netflix: $0 (boyfriend pays since I cover Hulu)
Spotify: $9.99
Cleaning Person: $65 (for my half of $130 split with my boyfriend)
Part-Time Assistant: $600 - $800 (I pay her on an hourly rate, so this also varies month to month based on how much she works each month)
Photographer: $395
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Day One

9:30 a.m. — Wake up feeling bloated. Too many spicy Cheetos last night. Those things are addicting! Brush my teeth, wash face, make coffee with my Nespresso machine. Upload this week's YouTube video and pay my assistant via Venmo for this week's work (in monthly expenses).
10:15 a.m. — Head to my neighbourhood barre class that I booked on my monthly Classpass plan. I am absolutely obsessed with barre and have really seen a change in my body since starting it two years ago. I alternate between this barre studio in Brooklyn and one in downtown Manhattan.
11:45 a.m. — Back home from barre class. That was a sweaty one! Shower and get ready for the day. On weekends I wear minimal makeup since so much of my job requires a full face. I do my eyebrows, put on tinted sunscreen, mascara, and highlighter. I throw on a cosy sweater, orange skirt, and heeled clogs.
12:30 p.m. — Head to brunch with my boyfriend, B., in downtown Manhattan. We hit up this Australian spot that I love — I'm convinced that the Aussies have the best coffee and brunch food. I get mushroom toast with a poached egg and a side of tater tots. It really hits the spot and was worth the 20 minute wait. We split the check. $26.99
2 p.m. — Head uptown to the Met with B. Since we are both NY residents, we can pay what we wish for admission, so we contribute $5 total. $5
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5 p.m. — My feet hurt, so we rest up at a cute coffee shop. I get a chai latte with soy milk and a water for B. Then we go on a hunt for houses with the best Halloween decorations on the Upper East Side. I'm shooting some Halloween outfits on Tuesday and need some good spots. $7.40
6 p.m. — We are hardly ever on the UES, so we take advantage and go to The Penrose for dinner. I get a yummy cocktail and burger and B. gets wings. We split the check. $28.27
8 p.m. — Home and it feels so good! I send an email with feedback to a logo designer who's working on a brand logo for me (I'm launching my own brand next fall!). It's been a struggle as the designer's not getting my vision and refuses to get on a phone call. Unfortunately, I paid her upfront, so I'm really trying to make it work and get the logo I want.
9 p.m. — B. and I watch the season finales of Succession and The Righteous Gemstones. I eat a cupcake that B. got for me. We're both exhausted and fall asleep at 11:30.
Daily Total: $67.66

Day Two

9 a.m. — I wake up after a night of tossing and turning. Shower, brush my teeth, make coffee, then settle into work. I choose my IG photos to post today and work on editing them and writing the captions. I eat yogurt with frozen blueberries while I work.
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11 a.m. — My assistant arrives at my apartment to film a YouTube video. The first part actually involves B. on his own, so she films him while I post on Instagram. Then we film my part of the video with B. in it, and it's hilarious.
1:30 p.m. — Lunchtime. I make scrambled eggs for B. and I. We split an avocado and I put my eggs into a whole wheat wrap and top it off with salsa and sour cream. I also have a piece of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark. I watch the footage we filmed today and can't stop laughing.
4 p.m. — I take a nap for an hour because I woke up this morning with a puffy face and eye pain, and it hasn't gone away. In September, I had a bacterial infection in my left eye so I'm really hoping it hasn't come back. I force myself to get out of bed at 5 and plan my outfits for tomorrow's shoot. I'm shooting some fun Halloween-inspired looks. Then I paint my nails for tomorrow's shoot. I do a dark purple and metallic orange for Halloween.
7:30 p.m. — I make dinner while trying not to mess up my nails. I have two quinoa veggie burger patties from Trader Joe's, an avocado, and crisps and salsa. B. and I start watching Mindhunter, but we get interrupted as B. picks up a call from a friend who he ends up talking to for the next hour. I switch over to watching The Politician instead.
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9 p.m. — My eye swelling is getting worse and I'm worried, so B. makes the call that we should go to CityMD. I Uber us there since I have 50% off on the app! $7.35
11 p.m. — Finally done at CityMD. I have cellulitis in my right eye and am prescribed antibiotics. Luckily there is a 24-hour pharmacy open next door so we go pick up my prescription. We also get hand soap since we are out. $13
11:30 p.m. — I Uber us back home and pass out. $5.65
Daily Total: $26

Day Three

9 a.m. — I wake up and my eye is still swollen. Shower, coffee, and get ready for my shoot. I do my makeup and try and avoid the eye area, only doing mascara. The doctor said not to wear contacts with the cellulitis, but unfortunately, I have no choice today since I'm blind without them and can't shoot in my glasses. Hopefully, it will be okay to have my contacts in for just a few hours. I also wave my hair.
10 a.m. — I head out and take the subway to my shoot. I end up deciding on West Village instead of UES since it's closer to me. I eat a piece of Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark on the train.
11 a.m. — I shoot three outfits with my photographer. Everything goes really well today and we finish early, so I decide to grab lunch at an Italian sandwich spot. I get a yummy soup and sandwich combo that hits the spot. $11.30
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1:30 p.m. — Back home and I dive into some work. Post on IG, emails, plan out content, and send my assistant video notes for editing. I text everyone I know with the logo concepts for my brand to ask for opinions. At this point I've seen so many iterations I don't even know what looks good anymore!
5 p.m. — I go to my building gym for a workout. Today is leg day on the SWEAT by Kayla Itsines app. The jump squats kick my ass, but I feel great afterward!
7 p.m. — B. and I both have frozen cauliflower pizza for dinner. I add avocado to mine and also eat a whoopie pie (the last of the treats B. got me from last week). We finish the Mindhunter episode we started yesterday. I waste some time browsing IG, then review designs for my brand. I send an email to my print designer with feedback. Then I unbox some packages that came in and try on some pieces for future shoots.
10 p.m. — I wind down in bed and watch two episodes of Mindhunter with A. We finish the season and go to bed around midnight.
Daily Total: $11.30

Day Four

8:45 a.m. — Wake up, coffee, and catch up on a few emails.
9:15 a.m. — I head to Trader Joe's for my bi-weekly grocery shopping trip. I only go to the grocery store once every two weeks because I hate running any sort of errands in general. I get four soy creamers, yogurt, eggs, soup, hash browns, Thai curry sauce, salsa, hummus, chicken breast, salami, mushrooms, green onions, tofu, cheese, chicken sausage, pita chips, bok choy, two Southwestern salads, carrots, crumbled goat cheese, kale, eight avocados, five apples, granola bark, bell peppers, tomatoes, and sourdough bread. $96.93
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10:30 a.m. — Back from TJ's and jump into work. I post a sponsored post on Instagram and engage for a bit. I have a phone call with a PR company, followed by another phone call with B.'s screenwriting mentor. B. is trying to become a screenwriter and I have become very involved in the process as well, so I join the call today to discuss next steps that B. should be taking to break into the industry.
1 p.m. — Lunchtime! I eat a pre-mixed Southwestern salad from Trader Joe's and add chicken breast on top. I am working to finalise the first designs for my brand by a certain date so I can get samples produced this year, so it's a flurry of emails and questions from all sides.
3:30 p.m. — Feeling hungry again, so I have some carrots and hummus. I work on editing photos for a blog post, and review this week's YouTube video and send comments to my assistant/video editor.
6:15 p.m. — I head to a pilates class booked on Classpass at my local barre studios. My legs are super sore from yesterday's workout and it makes pilates extra hard.
7:45 p.m. — Back home and immediately make dinner. I make Trader Joe's frozen fried rice and add tofu and an egg. I watch The Politician while I eat and have an apple for dessert.
9 p.m. — In bed after a nice hot shower. I look through photos from yesterday's shoot and pick one to edit for tomorrow's IG post. I send some more emails regarding details for my brand. I go to bed around 11, but actually fall asleep around 1.
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Daily Total: $96.93

Day Five

8 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I hate myself for not being able to fall asleep last night. Get up, coffee, and get ready for the day. I have a shoot with two of my blogger friends, so I do full makeup minus the eyes. I wear a hot pink suit and a matching pink headband and head out the door feeling like Elle Woods.
9:30 a.m. — I head to a jewellery brand's press preview by Times Square. I make an effort to go to all the events of brands I've worked with before — relationships are everything in this industry! At the preview, I try on a bunch of jewellery, mingle, and pick out a pair of earrings.
11 a.m. — I head downtown for the shoot. I have an hour to kill, so I go to Starbucks and get a hot tea. I do some work on my phone. I also have a cookie that I grabbed at the preview. I meet up with my blogger friends, L. and H., for our shoot. We have coordinated outfits and do both group and individual shots. $2.70
1:30 p.m. — L. and I grab lunch after we shoot. L. is one of my best friends who I met through blogging, and we catch up over pho noodles. $17
3 p.m. — On the way home, I stop at Rite Aid to get toothpaste since we are almost out. Once home, I promptly take off my makeup and change into comfy clothes. I settle into work and post my first Halloween costume on IG. Emails, give more feedback on the logo, editing, etc. I also tidy up the apartment a bit and put clothes away. $10
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6 p.m. — I make quinoa veggie bowls for B. and I, with quinoa, kale, bell peppers, tofu for me and tuna for Be, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream. I also have some chips and the Trader Joe's Pepita salsa, which I'm convinced is these best salsa ever!
8 p.m. — B. and I watch The Omen, which turns out to be surprisingly good and not as scary as I thought it would be. We go to bed around 11.
Daily Total: $29.70

Day Six

9 a.m. — Wake up an hour later after my alarm. Whoops. Get up, coffee, the usual. Respond to a few pressing emails. I prep my Halloween outfit ideas Youtube video for upload. This takes a while as I have to research keywords, link all the outfits in the video, and create my thumbnail photo.
12 p.m. — I eat lunch while finishing the upload. I make avocado toast and a side salad with chicken. Then I edit today's Instagram photo and post on IG to drive to the YouTube video.
2 p.m. — I pack up yesterday's Poshmark orders to ship out today. Then I do the dishes and tidy up the apartment a bit. I unbox a few packages and respond to a few random emails.
5 p.m. — Head out for barre class in the city (booked on Classpass). I drop off the Poshmark packages with my doorman on the way out. I've been home all day so am excited to get some fresh air. Working out is my form of self-love and total me time, so I always prioritise it.
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6:30 p.m. — Done with barre class and feeling strong. I hop on the subway home. Once I'm off the subway, I stop into a noodle spot to get stir fry noodles to go. I'm trying to save money and eat out less, but it's so hard when I'm hungry and don't feel like cooking. Once home, I pour a glass of champagne, eat my noodles, and watch The Politician. $10.50
8 p.m. — I take a long hot shower, which always feels so good after working out. I do a Peach & Lily face mask and engage on Instagram in bed. Then B. and I watch The Omen 2. We are officially addicted to the movie series. I also have two pieces of Trader Joe's Smashing S'mores treat. We go to bed around 11.
Daily Total: $10.50

Day Seven

9 a.m. — I wake up after getting so much sleep last night! It's Saturday, but B. is working today (he works at a hotel and has an unusual schedule), so I'm on my own. I have my usual coffee and then edit some photos for a blog post.
11 a.m. — I start getting hungry, so I make myself a big brunch consisting of avocado toast, eggs, and hash browns. I have a sudden craving for The Devil Wears Prada, so I rent it on iTunes to watch while I eat. $3.99
1:30 p.m. — Wow, I forgot how good of a movie it is! That was thoroughly entertaining and satisfying. I change into jeans and head out to get my eyebrows done and take a walk. I get my eyebrows threaded at a neighbourhood spot. It's always a somewhat unpleasant experience at this place as they always manage to cause pain. I know it's not me because I never had an issue at the old place I went to in the city, but after moving to Brooklyn I had to find a new spot. I put up with it because it's cheap and close to me. $8
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2 p.m. — I walk to get an oat milk latte because it's Saturday and I deserve it. I sit for a bit on the bench outside the coffee shop while editing my IG photo for today. $5.50
3 p.m. — Back home and doing some work. I post my IG photo and engage for a bit. I get an email from one of my print designers with new designs to review for my brand! I get very excited and spend an hour reviewing, then send her an email with my feedback. I also munch on some spicy Cheetos.
6:30 p.m. — I start getting hungry, so I make quinoa to go with the leftover tofu and veggies I made earlier this week. I make the same quinoa veggie bowl with salsa and sour cream. I watch an episode of The Politician, and then three episodes of Modern Love. Yes, I watch a lot of TV and am a homebody. Then I do some more engaging on Instagram because work is life and life is work as a fashion blogger.
10:30 p.m. — B. is home by now and we put on Prisoners, a 2013 thriller movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman. The movie is immediately enthralling and has me at the edge of my seat. However it is two and a half hours long, and by midnight we are too sleepy to continue. We decide to finish it tomorrow and go to bed thinking about the movie.
Daily Total: $17.49
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