5 Money Diaries From 30-Year-Old Women In The U.S.

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.
Today, we're looking at the spending habits of women who are 30-years-old in different cities in the U.S. These days, it seems like many people see turning 30 as a major turning point in their lives, personally and professionally. One recent, high profile example of that is Lady Gaga, who said that she wanted to "explode" into her 30s, and now owns who she is with the hope of showing others what that can look like.
Ahead, here is what 30 looks for five other women around the country: single, married, entering motherhood, making their way up the ranks at work, or starting over.
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 behavior.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
Have a money diary you'd like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing diaries, we're looking for potential diarists along the following themes:
1. #TransWeek Diarists: In honor of Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 14-20), we plan to showcase diaries from members of the trans and non-binary communities. Submit your week in money here.
2. Couple's Diaries: We want to take a closer look at how romantic partners who live together handle their money together — and individually. Whether you're married and live together, are unmarried and live together, or are in any combination of partnership and maintaining a joint household, we want BOTH of you to submit a Money Diary tracking your expenses for one week. We'll publish both diaries in an upcoming Money Diaries Monday story. Submit here.
1 of 5
First up today: a manager who makes $56,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on sewer maintenance.

Occupation: Manager
Industry: Local Government
Age: 30
Location: A western suburb of Chicago, IL
Salary: $56,000 plus about $3,000 after overtime and two bonus checks per year.
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,401.78

Monthly Expenses
Housing: $960 mortgage escrow payment. Was lucky to be able to buy the house on my own at 25 when home prices were super low.
Private Student Loan: $233 (recently paid off my federal loans and refinanced private loan)
Car Payment: $432

All Other Monthly Expenses
Electric: ~$50
Gas: ~$20
Water, Sewer & Garbage: ~$40 every other month
Internet: $48
Cell Phone: $93
Credit Card: About $100 in recurring charges. I try to pay the balance off every month.
Medical: $0. My employer covers the premium. We have a high deductible, but my employer also gives us money to cover two-thirds of it.
Investing: $40. I use Stash and it's been so fun to watch the market and get my feet wet in the investing world.
Savings: $200. I'm building up my emergency fund and am trying to get up to three months of barebones expenses. So far, I'm almost at two months.
Retirement: $172 is taken out of my paycheck each month (before taxes). My employer also contributes a percentage.

Day One

5:10 a.m. — Alarm officially goes off, but prior to that my dog and cat "alarms" started around 4:30 a.m., something they do most mornings. They're my babies so I can't be mad. Get ready for work and make a shake with chocolate protein powder, cinnamon, and peanut butter. Sometimes I use almond milk, but today it was just water.

6:40 a.m. — Arrive at work and make coffee for the office. We have a drip and a Keurig. I rarely drink either, but I still like getting things prepped for everyone. I start at 7 a.m. but prefer to get in early, settle in, and be the only one in the building for a bit.

7:50 a.m. — One of my employees brings me Dunkin' coffee after I tearfully spill the news of my recent breakup. (We'll call the ex A.) My employee inquired about a vacation my ex and I planned for later this year, and he offers his ear if I need to talk. I try not to involve my employees in my personal life, but he and I previously worked together on the same level before I was promoted.

12 p.m. — It's been hard to focus on work the past few days but I get quite a bit done. Now, time for a quick lunch before taking a walk and listening to podcasts. I make my lunches for the week on Sundays. For months now, I've been eating lentils and beef with onions and colored peppers in Frontera taco sauce. It's so good and I never get sick of it! I like to keep breakfast and lunch simple and sometimes make dinners ahead, but usually leave end-of-the-day meals open for whatever I feel like eating.

3:30 p.m. — Leave the office. It was a mostly uneventful workday, but I am excited about the women's luncheon I signed up for. I'm the only women in management at my workplace; it would be great to find a mentor! It costs $50, but my job is paying for it.

4:30 p.m. — Hit up the grocery store. Buying a small haul this week because I still have leftover meat that I haven't cooked yet, plus I recently bought dry items in bulk online. I budget $60 per week for groceries. Today, I pick up mayo, Greek yogurt, cheese, kombucha, frozen peppers, naan, fig bar, saltines, grapes, and they gave me a free pack of orzo! $35.45

6 p.m. — A., my ex, makes veggie soup and grilled cheese; we eat that with a glass of wine. We live together but he's moving out at the end of the month. Our seven-year relationship had an amicable end, but that doesn't make it much easier. Honestly, I'm looking forward to focusing on myself for a while and exploring my own interests.

7 p.m. — Excited for my first crochet class at the library! I have been able to crochet in a straight line for over 10 years now, and I think it's time to learn how to make a second row. I've been trying to find things to do in my community — even prior to the breakup — so that I can meet more people. I am happy to have found this, and it's free!

10 p.m. — Watch The Office until I fall asleep with the dog on the couch. Off to bed!

Daily Total: $35.45

Day Two

5:10 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Cat did climb on my back and purr prior to the alarm, but I never mind that. Get ready, make a protein shake, and head to work. I love listening to podcasts while I drive, so I put on Waking Up with Sam Harris. I really enjoy the long-form interviews. Get to work and make coffee for the office.

8 a.m. — Settled in, checked emails, reviewed today's to-do list, now time for coffee. I head to the Keurig. Coffee and creamer are provided, but I like to buy my own creamer and keep it in the fridge. Everyone is really respectful about not eating other people's stuff, so I never worry about leaving things in there. It's also hard-boiled egg time. (I make these ahead for the week as well.)

12 p.m. — Lunch is the same (lentils, beef, peppers, and sriracha for good measure). I sit in my office and watch a few TED Talks. Also buy a dress for an upcoming wedding. I'm able to apply a previous credit to the purchase. $23.70

2:45 p.m. — Looks like my appetite is slowly returning. Grab a peanut butter protein bar from the stash at the office.

4 p.m. — Counseling appointment! I've been going for over a year now and I love my therapist. I'm so thankful to have this available while going through the breakup. It costs $62, but I already used my HSA account to pay.

5:30 p.m. — After walking the dog I talk to one of my best friends on the phone for a much-needed catch-up session. We met in college and have gone on a few road trips together. He lives out of state now, so we don't get to talk very often. We can literally talk for hours and it's so nice to talk.

7 p.m. — Still on the phone, and dinner is a leftover bagel from a month of free Panera bagels. (I stockpiled them in the freezer.) After the call, I finally shower and off to bed.

Daily Total: $23.70

Day Three

5:10 a.m. — Alarm. Wake up to my cat sprawled out on my back. Is this why I have neck pain? (It's okay. I love her.) I'm glad I'm not a hit-the-snooze person since I have to wake up this early every day. But it's Friday! Same breakfast with the protein shake. I'm staying overnight at the place of a good friend who lives in Chicago, so I grab a bag I packed the night before and head out the door.

9:30 a.m. — It's already been a hectic morning with work issues. I grab my hard-boiled egg and text my friend about all the wine and cheese we're going to consume tonight. Beyond excited! We both love cheese and meat platters, so when we finally get the chance to hang out, it's all we can think about.

12 p.m. — Lunch is the same — but this time I remembered my grapes! I go to the grocery store to purchase a travel-sized deodorant and get cash back to cover the train, L ride, and whatever else. $31.63

4 p.m. — Train time! I talk to my sister about her work drama for a bit and then read a new book I picked up at the library, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young. (Anyone else suffer from imposter syndrome?) I just started it, but it's a good read so far.

6:30 p.m. — I arrive at my friend's apartment. We change into workout gear and head to the gym. We worked out together when she lived closer to me, so it's a nice reunion.

8 p.m. — Hit up TJ's. I pick up gruyere and blue cheese, a bottle of red wine, toast rounds, a bar of dark chocolate, and a bag of trail mix with almonds, cashews and cranberries to make our cheese board. My friend picks up more cheese and other things as well, which she pays for. $23.52

11:30 p.m. — We thoroughly enjoy our selection while watching The Office and catching up. After a long day with a lot of walking, we pass out pretty hard after consuming nearly two bottles of wine.

Daily Total: $55.15

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — We finally get out of bed and decide to find a coffee shop in her neighborhood. Some sort of art festival is being set up down one of the main streets, so we check that out and find a good spot to sit outside. I order a large vanilla latte and a savory scone. $9.21

11:30 a.m. — After coffee, we walk along the lakeshore and enjoy the beautiful weather and choppy water before heading back to her place. I quickly get ready and leave to catch the trains all the way back home. I read more of my book and find myself nodding my head in agreement fairly often. I also receive an email confirming the three-day self-defense training class I registered for last month! It's being offered for free through the local police department and I've been wanting to take it for a while.

3 p.m. — Arrive home, scarf down some chips and guacamole that A. made, shower, and get ready to meet my family for dinner. After, we're going to a comedy show to celebrate some September birthdays. A. comes along. We planned this back in May, and we still enjoy each other's company. (Plus, my family is awesome.)

8 p.m. — We finally sitting down to eat, and A. and I are starving. We've already ordered a couple of drinks and are waiting for my family at the table. He orders an appetizer for the table and we each order a burger and another drink. A. pays for both of us and I offer to cover whatever we order at the comedy club.

11:30 p.m. — The show was great and we end up running into the comedian outside as we're leaving! He takes a picture with all of us and we head our separate ways. A. ordered a drink and cheesecake and I had three glasses of wine. There's a two-item minimum for each person at the club, so might as well make it count! $63

Daily Total: $72.21

Day Five

9 a.m. — Time to get back into normal eating. My plan is to take it easy around the house today. I am not someone who likes to be on the go all the time, and I definitely need time to myself before the work week starts. I start laundry, make coffee, and read more of my book. A. showers and I go in the basement to switch the laundry, where I notice that water has backed up in the drain and spilled onto the concrete floor. I know the issue goes back to tree roots growing further down the line. I've been here five years, and it seems every two years, I need to get the lines maintained for roots. I call the sewer guy and set up a time for him to inspect them tomorrow when A. can come home during lunch. The water drains slowly, so we have to be conservative on our usage today. We decide to venture out and run errands for a bit. I don't buy anything though.

1 p.m. — We're back. Realize I haven't really eaten and grab a Greek yogurt, fig bar, and pretzels. I start doing my meal prep for the week by baking chicken breasts and shredding them to throw into various dishes for dinners. I make the beef, onion, peppers, and lentils and divvy up everything into four portions for lunch. I also vacuum and do more general cleaning.

4 p.m. — I check on the water status in the basement and realize there's something obstructing the drain screen that the washing machine goes into. A. clears it out and we're good to go on the water! I decide to keep the sewer appointment anyway because there are roots present, so it's only a matter of time before it gets worse. After, I start making dinner: homemade falafel, homemade tzatziki sauce, and salad with the naan I just bought. We agree that everything tastes amazing, and I relax on the couch feeling satisfied about all the food I made for the week.

8 p.m. — After dinner, A. makes veggie burritos for lunch tomorrow. He made me one too, so I add it to my food bounty! We enjoy some wine and more of The Office before calling it a night.

Daily Total: $0

Day Six

5 a.m. — Kitty "alarm" goes off. I have to say her timing is pretty perfect. Ready for work and have the usual protein shake for breakfast. Podcast is Dear Sugars (I love Cheryl Strayed) and make the office coffee. Catch up on emails and have a meeting at 8 a.m., so I make a cup of Keurig before going to that. After the meeting, I eat my hard-boiled egg.

12 p.m. — Pretty uneventful day. Just catching up on a bunch of work that is due in a month or so. Time for lunch and grapes before I go out for a walk. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. The sewer maintenance scheduling gets messed up so we change the appointment to tomorrow morning.

4 p.m. — Stop for gas on the way home. I fill up about once a week and was basically coasting on fumes. Walk the dog, and then eat some snacks — a handful of the TJ's trail mix from the other day, and Late July saltine rounds. Not feeling too productive this evening, so I decide to catch up on Insecure on HBO. Sadly, it's the season finale. $41.71

7 p.m. — Shower and then heat up the leftover veggie burrito. It's pretty good but I am not a fan of soggy lettuce. Also make more hard-boiled eggs for the week.

8 p.m. — Decide to work on my budget projection for the next couple of months. I've lived alone in this house before (and in previous apartments) so I already know what my expenses will be, and that I can handle it. (I'm not a roommate person.) I just won't be able to put extra money toward my loan debt. I love using the Dollarbird app. You have to manually enter everything, which I prefer over linking bank accounts and sensitive info to an app. I love that I can project as far into the future as I want, which is easier since I have a steady paycheck and relatively consistent recurring expenses. Going over my finances is such a calming activity and helps me feel organized. My mom was a single parent with three kids, so we lived on the minimum growing up. I've been paying my own way since I was 17, including college, the house, my car, etc. My financial outlook has been self-taught through my own research, and it's been fun to learn and continue learning.

Daily Total: $41.71

Day Seven

5 a.m. — Another on-point kitty "alarm." I slept like garbage though, and I'm definitely feeling it. Get ready for work and make the usual protein shake. Today's podcast is Terrible, Thanks for Asking, which usually makes me tear up. Today is no different: I ugly cry at every stoplight.

10 a.m. — A. lets me know the sewer work is complete and they got a LOT of roots out, so I'm super-glad that got done. I also lament a bit over the fact that I'll be the sole caretaker of the house very soon. Oh well. When I look back, I was the one mainly taking care of things anyway. I've been there before and I can do it again. Hard-boiled egg time. $195

12 p.m. — A coworker from my previous job happens to be at my workplace for the day. We catch up and share some industry info. Now it's time for a quick lunch before I have a conference call. I'm feeling especially imposter syndrome-y today, so I'm glad I brought my book to read after the call.

3 p.m. — I go on the hunt for snacks in a coworker-friend's office. Find some chocolate covered peanuts and peanut butter pretzels! He graciously shares. I think about what I want to do after work today, since I don't have to go straight home to let the dog out for once. I decide to stop in a cute downtown area a few towns over. I browse some shops and get an iced vanilla latte. $4.72

6 p.m. — Back home, where I take the dog on a long walk. Do some general tidying up and then make dinner. I decide to make a burrito bowl with leftover beans and rice, shredded chicken, salad greens and half of an avocado that I sprinkle with salt and lime juice. It proves to be quite delicious. Clean up and then catch up on the new episode of Rick and Morty.

8 p.m. — Hungry again, so I make an innovative dessert of pretzel twists and dark chocolate morsels. (As in, I eat a pretzel twist, then a few morsels, and repeat.) I am exhausted from not getting much sleep and am in bed by 9:30. Tomorrow evening is my first day of self-defense class, so I want to be well rested!

Daily Total: $199.72
2 of 5
Next: an attorney who makes $155,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on 5-hour Energy.

Occupation: Attorney
Industry: Law
Age: 30
Location: New Orleans, LA
Salary: $155,000 combined between my husband and me. My salary is $85,000.00; I also typically make a year end bonus of $5,000. My husband is paid hourly at a rate of $35 per hour for his legal job and he works 40 hours per week.
My Paycheck (2x/month): $2,415 after taxes and health insurance premium is taken out. My husband gets weekly paychecks of approximately $680 after taxes.

Monthly Expenses
Housing Costs: $1,643.63 on a house we bought a few months ago. This amount includes the principal, interest, insurance, and taxes. The house cost $300,000, and we were able to make a down payment of $60,000 after saving for several years and with some help from our parents.
Loan Payments: $498 toward my student loans from law school
Car Payment: $412/month for my car note

All Other Monthly Expenses
Cable & Internet: $135
Gym: $89
Car Insurance: $113.69. Insurance rates in Louisiana are ridiculously high.
Water Bill: $110
Blue Apron: $59.94/week

Day One

8:30 a.m. — I recently got married and have magically become wifelier than I ever thought I would be. I happily make lunch for my husband and me (turkey sandwiches, carrots, chips, a few chocolate chip cookies). I do it out of love — but also because it saves so much money.

10:30 a.m. — I buy new eyeliner applicators on Amazon that I'll use to apply Latisse (a prescription medication to regrow lashes) on my eyelashes. My eyelashes are so frail and sparse after I spent almost $600 on eyelash extensions leading up to and for my wedding. I previously purchased Latisse in May for $120. Using these applicators has made the one-month bottle last so much longer. $5.16

4:50 p.m. — The weather is super crazy — it's New Orleans in the summer after all — so everyone gets to leave work early. I have a craving for ice cream, but decide to drive across town to get frozen yogurt from Yogurtland. I'm so hungry by the time I get there, I end up putting tons of candy on top, likely making it equally as healthy as the ice cream I was craving. $3.99

4:55 p.m. — CVS is right next door to Yogurtland, so I pick up my birth control along with a few 5-hour Energys to get me motivated to work out. $20.03

7:15 p.m. — After a run and a swim, I start making dinner. We do Blue Apron every week, which has taught me so much about cooking — and the food is amazing. After I've made a huge mess in the kitchen and we've eaten, my husband does the dishes, and I sit in my favorite chair, eating bonbons.

Daily Total: $29.18

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — I make oatmeal, a latte with our Nespresso machine, and then I rush out the door for a court hearing. No time to make lunch this morning!

12:25 p.m. — I grab a tomato-mozzarella panini from Starbucks and something sweet. I'm tempted to get coffee, but I haven't been sleeping great, so I'm trying to not drink coffee after 9 a.m. $8.16

6:15 p.m. — I realize my eyebrows have gotten completely out of control. I haven't seen my tweezers in weeks, so I drop into a drugstore on my way home from work to buy a new set. $8.37

7 p.m. — I make another Blue Apron meal. I used to waste so much money at the grocery store with intentions to cook, only to not get around to cooking, have no idea what to make, or realize I was missing a key ingredient but was too lazy to go back to the store. We save much more money (and waste much less food) having a food delivery subscription.

Daily Total: $16.53

Day Three

8:15 a.m. — I eat oatmeal and peanut butter for breakfast along with drinkable yogurt. I make lunch (same as before) for my husband and me, and we carpool to work together. He is also an attorney and works just a few blocks away from me.

8 p.m. — I had to work late today and am too exhausted to cook when I get home. I pop a frozen pizza from Whole Foods in the oven. My husband and I leave cleanup for the next day, and are both in bed by 9:45 p.m. I'm proud of myself for not spending a penny all day.

Daily Total: $0

Day Four

7:55 a.m. — I'm about to be late for my doctor's appointment, so I hurry out the door after eating a rushed breakfast of oatmeal and PB. I have to park on the street outside the building, which costs $3 per hour. That seems like a lot to me for New Orleans... It used to be a lot less. $3.50

8 a.m. — Several months ago, I began seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist for related medication. While I have health insurance, there's no copay because my plan is a high deductible one. I have a Health Savings Account though, and my employer deposits $30 each month. I transfer $172 to my HSA for the tax benefits and then pay for my appointments using that account. $172

12 p.m. — I really don't want to spend money on lunch, and I only live about 12-15 minutes from work, so I go home during my lunch hour and make a chicken salad.

7 p.m. — My mother-in-law is coming into town tomorrow, so I've gotta clean, clean, clean! Even though I've been training my husband to doing the dishes and laundry, he's still clueless about how to really deep clean. I'm too type-A to let him half-ass it, so I handle all the cleaning tonight. He makes an easy pasta.

Daily Total: $175.50

Day Five

8:50 a.m. — I'm usually late to work on Fridays, as is pretty much everyone in my office, so I take things nice and slow today. I make a latte, read NOLA.com, read The New Yorker, and watch politics. I make oatmeal for my husband and me and then pack leftovers of the pasta for lunch.

9:35 a.m. — I've pushed the "E" on my gas tank long enough and need to get gas now. Pretty sure I rolled into the gas station on fumes. $30.34

12:30 p.m. — I eat the leftover pasta for lunch, but I'm still craving something sweet, so I get a chocolate granola bar from the food court in my building. $2.13

5:45 p.m. — I leave work early to grab my mother-in-law from the airport. I always think it'll going to take me an hour to get to the airport, especially around 5 p.m., but it only takes me 25 minutes.

7 p.m. — I want to make a nice meal for my MIL and grandmother-in-law, so I head to the grocery store. I grab wine, cheese, red fish, potatoes, rice for jambalaya, beans, sausage for rice and beans, plenty of greens, fruit, ice cream, as well as ingredients for waffles and bacon in the morning. Dinner is a hit! I consider making gumbo for tomorrow. $83.94

Daily Total: $116.41

Day Six

8:30 a.m. — I make waffles and bacon for my husband, MIL, and me. My husband leaves to teach tennis, something he does every Saturday. We both have side hustles; mine is grading practice bar exams. Our side hustles bring in an extra $1,500 per month on average. We also grow fruit in our backyard and sell them to a local farmers' market-style grocery store. We've made about $500 since the beginning of summer. While my husband teaches, my MIL and I walk on the levee and watch the ships roll by. Then we stop in a coffee shop and get iced coffees to go. $8.90

11:30 a.m. — MIL and I run errands, buy gifts for the GIL's 89th birthday, get pedicures, and then eat lunch at one of my favorite sandwich and cheese shops in town. She pays for the pedicures, and I buy lunch. I also get a sandwich to go for my husband who has been teaching tennis in the 95-degree heat all morning and all afternoon. $41.71

7:30 p.m. — MIL orders pizza to take home with us. We eat while MIL and I force my husband to watch Project Runway with us.

Daily Total: $50.61

Day Seven

8 a.m. — I go for a run on the levee and then come back and make breakfast — pancakes and eggs this time.

11:30 a.m. — My husband and I love buying vintage things and antiques for our new home. We've done a lot of decorating but there's still more to do. We love vintage Mardi Gras art and items, as well as Jazz Fest memorabilia. We take the MIL with us to two of our favorite shops. One is in the Garden District on Magazine Street and the other is in the Bywater. We don't find anything to buy though. Afterwards, we drop the MIL off at her mother's house and run a few errands but end up not spending any money.

5 p.m. — Tonight is the GIL's birthday party. My husband's mother's family is big and Italian with lots of little ones running around. It overwhelmed me at first since I come from a smaller Texas family, albeit just as loud. But now I love the family, and I love spending time with them. Cavatina casserole is served along with other Sicilian and New Orleans dishes. Everything is amazing, including the two birthday cakes.

Daily Total: $0

Editor's Note: This diary has been changed and updated with additional information from the diarist.
3 of 5
#3: a benefits analyst who makes $72,280 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on a crib.

Occupation: Benefits Analyst
Industry: Government
Age: 30
Location: Fairfax, VA
Salary: $72,280
Paycheck (Biweekly): $1,814 after health insurance, retirement, life insurance

Monthly Expenses
Housing: $1,200 for mortgage and condo fees. My husband pays half.
Student Loans: $50

All Other Monthly Expenses
Electric: $30
Cable & Internet: $150
Cell Phones: $210, my husband pays
Netflix: $11.99, my husband pays
Car Insurance: $80, my husband pays
Amazon Prime: $99/year, my husband also pays
Savings: $250 into savings, and credit card payments as needed

Day One

11:30 a.m. — We go out to brunch for my stepdad's birthday. I signed up for a 10-pack spin class last week but it's too late to cancel for a refund. The brunch was last minute as my mom's been having complications from breast cancer. I skip the class without feeling too guilty since I'd rather spend time with my mom anyway. Knowing she's sick makes me grateful for the time we have together. We eat way too much, and I regret it. I recently found out I'm pregnant, and I'm trying to avoid gaining too much weight right away. My mom pays for brunch. Thanks, mom!

4 p.m. — My husband and I are trying to make more meals using our new Instant Pot and bring our lunches to work to help save money. We stock up on staples at the grocery store for a week's worth of breakfast and lunch. We also grab ingredients for a beef stew and spaghetti squash. I also pick up two avocados for my husband. We take turns paying for groceries, and it's my turn. I pay with my AmEx because I earn 3% cash back at grocery stores. $135.68

6 p.m. — I'm still too full from brunch to think of eating a real dinner so I start making a savory oatmeal. I chop green onions and cilantro and finish it up with cheese and a fried egg on top. We make two batches so I can bring one for breakfast tomorrow. My husband makes himself a turkey and avocado sandwich.

Daily Total: $135.68

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I check my bank accounts while my husband drives me to work. We pay off the balances on our credit cards every month. I notice my Madewell purchases have hit my credit card so I pay it off. $162

10:34 a.m. — Morning sickness seems worse than ever this week. I eat my oatmeal from yesterday a little later than usual. I hope eating something might make me feel better. It doesn't.

12:30 p.m. — I'm thirsty and my water bottle is too big to fit into the water cooler at work. I head to a convenience store during lunch. I'm a victim of impulse shopping and get a fizzy coconut water, a Pellegrino, a Kit-Kat, and a Twix. $9.11

1 p.m. — I sign up for a spin class on Saturday using my pack of classes. The classes are pricey, but it's such a good workout.

4:15 p.m. — A tech snafu last week caused me to erroneously receive a $1,500 reimbursement. As much as I would've loved to keep the cash, I write a check to repay it. $1 (Expensed)

8 p.m. — My husband makes a beef stew for dinner with carrots, celery, and potatoes over rice. It's hearty and delicious.

Daily Total: $172.11

Day Three

9:40 a.m. — I had my first ultrasound today. We saw a heartbeat, which was a great sign, but my anxiety about something going wrong is still through the roof. We get stuck in traffic on our way to work after the ultrasound and this is normally the time I eat breakfast, so I eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the car. I meant to eat it for lunch, but figure I'll eat my oatmeal later instead since it needs to be microwaved.

10 a.m. — I'm exhausted when we pull up to the office since I didn't sleep well. I order a pink drink from Starbucks and have just enough on my Starbucks card to cover the cost.

1:50 p.m. — I heat up the oatmeal I meant to have for breakfast. While I'm eating, I browse Amazon and find a travel flatware set I can stick in my lunch bag. It's a bonus because this one comes with two of everything, so I can give a set to my husband for his lunches, too. $9.99

6:15 p.m. — We make rice and heat up leftover beef stew for dinner. My husband's job requires him to work emergency calls after-hours for a week every couple of months, so he heads out for a call after I eat dinner. Once he leaves, I open packages I received from Madewell. I try on a striped t-shirt that I think will grow with me as I start to get bigger. This morning on the website, I noticed the shirt is $15 less than I paid earlier this week. I set the t-shirt aside to return in-store, and order the discounted version in small and medium so I can try both on. I throw in a pair of final-sale socks for $3 because I'm always running out. $25.77

9:35 p.m. — My husband finally gets home. I have a sweet tooth and snack on Oreo Thins we got at the grocery store on Sunday before I head to bed.

Daily Total: $35.76

Day Four

6:33 a.m. — I wake up late. While I rush to get ready, my husband makes me a smoothie and two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. We buy bags of pre-cut frozen fruit when we do our grocery shopping. It's more than I'd like to spend — especially since we could easily buy, chop, and freeze our own fruit — but the convenience wins out. He also fixes me a PB&J for lunch. I wanted watermelon and pineapple, too, because I need to eat it before it goes bad, but it looks like I'm too late for the watermelon.

9:28 a.m. — I drink my green smoothie and eat my eggs. I also eat the Twix bar I bought yesterday.

1 p.m. — I eat my PB&J for lunch but decide to save the pineapple for tomorrow. After I eat, I start feeling pretty strong, worrisome cramps. I try not to stress out and do my best to focus on my work to get through it, but I can't help but Google symptoms of a miscarriage anyway.

Daily Total: $0

Day Five

12 p.m. — My office is giving away free ice cream. I grab a cone and walk over to Whole Foods where I pick up watermelon, pineapple, avocados, hummus, and a ginger beer that I hope will help with my stomach cramps. I ask my husband to make reservations at a campground we're staying at next weekend. The site is a little expensive ($24), but I've never been to a campground that has such clean bathrooms. My husband also schedules a grooming appointment for our Yorkie in a couple of weekends since he's starting to look a little like Chewbacca. $23.11

5:25 p.m. — We had plans to make spaghetti squash and kale for dinner, but what I'm really craving is a salad. On my way home, I pick up Texas Po-Boy salad. $10.24

Daily Total: $33.35

Day Six

8:10 a.m. — I have to take the Metro into work today. My work subsidizes public transportation costs, so I don't pay anything out of pocket. Once I get to my station, I reward myself for making it to Friday by ordering a pink drink from Starbucks. My card is low so I reload it. $10

8:37 a.m. — My pregnancy dreams are not only really weird, but super vivid. I had a dream about Glossier products. I buy Cloud Paint, Balm Dot Com, and a tube of Boy Brow to try. I get 20% off my purchase plus free shipping! $36.80

9:45 a.m. — I chat with a friend on Skype about candles and remember that I want to buy some for the house. I order a large jar of Volcano from Capri Blue for $27.50, and I also decide to splurge and get a Diptyque candle for $35. I put the purchase on a credit card that's paid off, but that I will be making returns on. This means the candles will end up costing me a total of $9.07 once the returns are made. $62.50

11:15 a.m. — I get an email notifying me that my electric bill is available. I go ahead and pay it. My electric bill is usually pretty low since we live in an older condo that aggregates usage based on condo size, and we have a smaller floor plan.

11:45 a.m. — I order a salad to pick up during my lunch and can't resist ordering a chocolate Bundt cake to go with it. $10.98

5 p.m. — I suddenly remember a taco place I like has fish tacos on Fridays. We place an online order to pick up on our way home. I get two fish tacos and a heaping side of pico. My husband pays.

Daily Total: $120.28

Day Seven

10 a.m. — I'm late for spin, and I've also forgotten my shoes and water, so I have to get both from the studio. While I'm in class, my husband makes some returns for me at Madewell. $5

1 p.m. — I have a few errands to run at the mall, so my husband and I head that way. He pays for gas and also treats me to lunch at a Mexican restaurant. After lunch, I remember I have a $23 reward at West Elm. I pick up decorative mugs and a new spoon rest. In total, I spend $7.69. We head over to Pottery Barn Kids where they're having a sale. It's super early for nursery shopping, but the crib my mom recommended is on sale and I can't pass up the deal. I buy it for $338.35, and also pick up shampoo and conditioner from Sephora. Living Proof is crazy expensive, but it lasts me forever and makes my hair look so nice. I also pick up a Bumble & Bumble clarifying shampoo my friend recommended ($79.50). $425.54

7 p.m. — We have to store the crib at my mom's house since our condo has limited storage space. On the way to my mom's, I start craving Taco Bell for the first time in years. My husband and I go through the drive through where I order a couple crunch tacos. My husband pays.

Daily Total: $430.54
4 of 5
#4: a behavioral intervention specialist and graduate student who makes $480 per week. This week, she spends some of her money on a tattoo update.

Occupation: Behavioral Intervention Specialist/Graduate Student
Industry: Mental Health
Age: 30
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Salary: $480/week for the school year. I also babysit whenever I can and do Instacart shifts. I switched careers about a year ago and started making considerably less money. I recently lost my most recent job when they decided they didn't want someone who had to leave early for class twice a week — even though they hired me knowing that! I'm very lucky that my parents help me out a lot while I'm school and am making so little.

Monthly Expenses
Housing: $1,397.96. I pay a $2.96 stabilization fee each month so my landlord can't raise my rent.
Loan Payments: $0. My undergrad loans are in deferment since I'm in grad school.
Private Loan: $80/month. I took it out for graduate school.

All Other Monthly Expenses:
Health Insurance: $221.89
Dog Walker: $400
Utilities: $200 for electricity, hot water, and heat
Cable & Internet: $190 (I'd love to part with cable, but I can't do it)
Netflix: $7.99
Phone, Car & Gas: Parents pay
Car & Renters Insurance: $170

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I had so much trouble waking up this morning but I finally get out of bed and walk my dog. I didn't leave myself a lot of time to get ready but I quickly feed my dog, make some toast and run out of the door. Today is the last day of training for my new job. Since I've been unemployed for the last two months, I've had so much trouble getting up this week. I've been buying coffee on my way to work each morning — a habit I need to get away from — but I still stop and get a large, iced hazelnut coffee from Coffee Bean. $3.45

1:30 p.m. — Training is over much earlier than I thought! Today, we had crisis prevention training and basically learned what to do if a kid bites, chokes, grabs, or pulls our hair... Not sure if this job is for me! I eat lunch in my car before my long commute home, which I break with a stop for a Thai tea boba. Since I get out so early, I decide to stop at the bank to try and apply for a personal graduate school loan. Apparently, no banks do that anymore, but Wells Fargo tells me to do it over the phone, which I do when I get home. I'm going to be paying back loans forever. $5.40

9:30 p.m. — I take a long nap when I get home. I wake up and walk and feed my dog before making some health insurance payments. It's getting late and I start to get hungry so I make some pasta with tomatoes, garbanzo beans, garlic, broccoli, and spinach! I eat while re-watching some episodes of You're the Worst season 3. After doing a clay mask and taking my dog out for her last walk of the night, I finally get in bed.

Daily Total: $8.85

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — My dog wakes me up earlier than I wanted to get up this morning. I walk her and relax on the couch for a while. I have stomach issues and am not feeling well today.

10 a.m. — Maybe I'm hungry? I make a smoothie with spinach, kale, frozen mango, bananas, matcha, ginger, almond butter, almond milk, and oatmeal. I feel better for a while but then my stomach starts bothering me again. Since training is over, I have the day free. I get back in bed and nap on and off for most of the afternoon.

3:30 p.m. — I wake up feeling a little better. I have a tattoo appointment to update a tattoo I got 10 years ago that I really don't love. My brother meets me and sits with me during the appointment. It ends up looking so much better! I already put $100 down two weeks ago, so I only owe $20 more plus $40 tip. After my appointment, I pick up a steak salad from Tender Greens (which doesn't end up being that great), and then walk home to pick up my dog and go to my babysitting job. $78

Daily Total: $78

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — Up early! I have a therapy appointment this morning, so after walking my dog, I make a smoothie and toast before I head out. I recently started therapy again about a month ago. Since I'm in school for clinical psychology, these appointments are even more important to me. After my appointment, I drop off clothes at the dry cleaners and then go home to walk my dog. $175

10:15 a.m. — I'm meeting a friend from work training for a hike and another friend is coming with me. I stop at Coffee Bean to pick up a hazelnut iced coffee for me and an iced tea for him, before picking him up for our drive. My friend from training isn't there when we arrive. When I text her, I realize I've only just woken her up. My other friend and I decide to get started and she'll meet up with us later. It's a really nice hike in Malibu that would lead to a waterfall if we weren't in a drought. We run into my training friend on our way back out, and she joins us for lunch. We go to a seafood place across from the beach and my hiking pal and I split grilled mahi-mahi and fried squid. So good! $24.02

4:15 p.m. — Back home from Malibu. I take my dog out and promptly fall asleep for a couple of hours. After, I shower and decide to make dinner with what I have at home. I start out with a beer while finding something to watch. Why is it so hard to find something? I'm hungry but don't want to spend money on food, so I snack on what I have: cantaloupe with prosciutto, baby carrots, a nectarine, a piece of toast, and pumpkin seeds. Finally settle on watching The Incredible Jessica James on Netflix.

Daily Total: $199.02

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — Up early! I really had to pee, but I stayed in bed as long as I could before I had to get up. I take my dog out and chill on the couch while watching Girl, Interrupted and having my usual smoothie.

1:30 p.m. — I head to my parents' house with my dog to hang out for the day. My mom and I pick up tacos for lunch before heading to the mall with my brother. I make a return at Zara and after the mall, we drop off my brother and run more errands. First, we stop at Target where I get body wash, Band-Aids, makeup remover wipes, and moisturizer ($44.70). We then head to a farm stand where my mom buys tomatoes and corn, and then we go to a grocery store where she gets a couple more things. After a stop at OSH, where I hope to find a gold, over-the-door hook, but am unsuccessful. We make a quick stop at the drive-through car wash ($5) since my car is disgusting, and then finally go to the local Chinese grocery store, where I load up on several weeks' worth of sheet masks ($49.34). $99.04

8 p.m. — My mom makes a delicious dinner of skirt steak with shishito pepper salsa, sliced tomatoes, and grilled corn; it's so good! We all eat and drink wine, and then we watch Difficult People on Hulu before the pup and I head home for Sleepytime Tea and House Hunters.

Daily Total: $99.04

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — I'm up later than I planned but it's my last day of unemployment so this is my last chance to do so. After the usual dog walk and feeding session, I watch last night's episode of Claws while I have my usual smoothie and toast.

10:45 a.m. — It's pretty nice outside today, so I take my dog with me on a hike and listen to the latest episode of We're No Doctors. I'm a big fan of Feral Audio podcasts. We get back tired and sweaty, and I take a quick bath so I'm not too disgusting. I plan on showering and washing my hair tonight. For lunch, I make tuna with craisins and kale on saltine crackers.

4 p.m. — One of my best friends had a baby today and she invites me to come visit! On my way, I stop for lavender almond milk boba and drop off a package at the UPS store. The baby is adorable and both she and my friend are doing great. I even get to hold her. She's so, so tiny! My first act as aunt was successful. $6.45

6:30 p.m. — On my way home from the hospital, I stop at two grocery stores to get everything I need for the week. At the first store, I get scallops, radicchio, and avocado ($34.38). At Trader Joe's, I get peaches, kale, spinach, bananas, potatoes, endive, ginger, ground turkey, bread, couscous, basil, snap peas, jam, bubbly water, frozen shrimp, and a couple of other things ($77.83). Once I get home and chill for a bit with my dog, I get to making dinner and prepping some food. For dinner, I make seared scallops over a radicchio, endive, olive and snap pea salad with red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing. I also freeze all the bananas for smoothies and boil eggs for breakfast. I eat while watching last night's Game of Thrones. $112.21

9 p.m. — After cleaning up the kitchen and getting my lunch ready for tomorrow (leftover scallops and radicchio salad), I shower, put on a face mask, and get into bed for what I hope will be a good night's sleep.

Daily Total: $118.66

Day Six

6:15 a.m. — It's my first day of work! I showered last night, so all I have to do this morning is fix my hair, put on makeup, finish dog duty, and grab something to eat. After looking up how to get to the elementary school I'm working at, I realize I gave myself way more time than needed. Now that I have extra time, I stop at Coffee Bean for a hazelnut iced coffee. This is a habit I really need to break! $3.45

1:40 p.m. — My first day is done. Since it was the first day of school, the kids get to leave early, which means I do too! It went pretty well today but I think it's going to be a really tough job and school year. I hired a dog walker for today; since I don't have to rush home, I stop by my parents' house to tell my mom about my day.

4 p.m. — I stopped by Staples on my home to get supplies to use with my student, but they don't have what I need. I leave and end up ordering the stuff I need for school, socks, a large water bottle, two books on pre-order by authors I love, and an over-the-door hook on Amazon. I have a credit card with them and it's dangerous. I lay on the couch with my dog, prep dinner for tonight (raw tomato sauce with pasta), apply for a few part-time jobs, and then take the dog for a long walk. $94

9:30 p.m. — My dinner was delicious! I used some of the tomatoes my mom bought at the farm stand the other day and rough chopped them with garlic, basil, olive oil, salt, and red chili flakes. I refrigerated that for a couple of hours and then put pasta over it. I end the night by indulging my inner 14-year-old girl and watching The Fosters and The Bold Type on Freeform with bedtime tea and a shower between shows. I'm ready for day two of my job.

Daily Total: $97.45

Day Seven

6:15 a.m. — Up nice and early again! I do my morning routine and then take my dog for a walk and feed her. Luckily, I've been planning my outfits in my head for the week, so getting dressed doesn't take too long. I make a homemade matcha latte with water, almond milk, matcha, and honey. It's pretty good. I eat a hard-boiled egg at home and bring half of a cinnamon raisin roll and grapes with me in the car.

1 p.m. — Second day of work is over and I feel like I've already been working with my student for about five months. Working with a kid who has autism is really challenging. I am starving, so I head home to eat leftover pasta with raw tomato sauce, before napping on the couch with my dog for a while.

5:30 p.m. — I go back and forth for a while before ultimately deciding to go to a spin class. I bought a package of classes a couple of weeks ago, so I don't have to pay anything today. It was really hard — and I honestly feel like after four months of going to spin classes, it's getting harder! There is a Trader Joe's in the same plaza and I need an onion for my dinner, so I stop to get one. I end up also leaving with agave, cold brew concentrate, and coconut creamer. $15.55

8 p.m. — I make turkey meatballs with tomato sauce over greens. It's one of my usual dinners and is so, so good. After dinner, I catch up on a few things on my computer before walking my dog and showering. I get in bed on the early side to try and fall asleep early, too.

Daily Total: $15.55
5 of 5
Finally: an analyst who makes $65,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on chocolate for the office.

Occupation: Indirect Procurement Analyst
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 30
Location: Brooklyn, New York (Williamsburg)
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck: $1,680 every other week

Monthly Expenses
Housing: $1,000. My full share is $2,785; my parents pay the rest. This lets me live in a luxury doorman building in a good area.
Loan Payments: $0. Parents paid for college.

All Other Monthly Expenses
Hulu: $5.99. I share this with my parents.
Netflix: $11.99. My sister uses this as well.
Pilates Membership: $258. This includes 10 reformer classes and unlimited mat usage. (I always use all my reformer classes.) Additional classes cost $25 with a membership ($35 for non-members).
Credit Card: $200. I have about a $500 balance on my credit card, which I have been paying off. I used this card to book rooms for a few weddings I went to this summer.
MetroCard: $121 out of my paycheck
Dental Insurance: $288/yearly
Health Insurance: $0. This is covered by my employer.

Day One

7 a.m. — I am up early to help my boyfriend move. He closed on an apartment two weeks ago and today is his move-out day. We live super close, but now he's a little further away. He drives me over to the new place to wait for Verizon while he handles the movers. I order us bacon, egg, and cheese bagels while I wait. This will be out first meal in the new place. $14 including tip

1 p.m. — There is an issue with the internet, so he'll spend tonight and tomorrow at my place until they can come Monday. I head home to tidy up, and stop at a bakery to buy a mini-key lime and mini-mocha mud pie for us for later. $18.20 including tip

4:30 p.m. — I put in a FoodKick order while re-watching Mr. Robot. I really need to study more before watching this show... There so many little clues, and I'm happy I'm giving it a second watch. I order avocado, eggs, olive oil, Tate's cookies, chocolate covered graham crackers, and baby carrots. $30.24

5:15 p.m. — My boyfriend is here and he brought me Tate's, too — looks like we are going to have a lot of cookies. We order Meatball Shop, and I get beef balls with mushroom gravy and risotto. He pays. For dessert, we have the key lime pie, watch Ozark, and go to sleep.

Daily Total: $62.44

Day Two

6 a.m. — Wake up and lay around a bit. Normally, we go grocery shopping on Sundays, but I have a Blue Apron order coming tomorrow. I have Pilates at 10 and I don't like to eat too much beforehand. We drive over to Peter Pan and I get a sugar raised donut; he gets a cruller and a blueberry muffin. He drops me back off at my place and I eat my donut and watch TV.

10 a.m. — I took a month off from Pilates because I was traveling a lot for weddings. Today is my first day back. I booked the intro reformer class to ease back in, and it's still pretty hard. I know I'll be sore tomorrow.

1 p.m. — I head out to meet my friends for brunch at The Smith. I take the train because now that I have an unlimited pass, I try to get my money's worth. We haven't seen each other in a while and we all have bdays coming up. We discuss what we want to do and catch up on gossip. I order a breakfast pot pie and we get fries for the table. $25.45 including tip

4 p.m. — I go over to my boyfriend's place to see how the move is going. This is my first time taking the train there and it's interesting to see what my eventual commute will be. It's about a half-mile from the subway, but it doesn't seem bad at the moment. We walk to get iced cream at a nearby shop; he pays. I head back to my place and make hard-boiled eggs for the week.

6:30 p.m. — BF comes back to my place. We order cold peanut noodles, shrimp toast, and dumplings, and watch a movie from the Duplass brothers. He's not into indie films, but I trick him by telling him it's an Anna Kendrick movie. Not a total lie — she is in it. We eat the second pie I bought yesterday, hang out a little more, and watch Game of Thrones before heading to bed.

Daily Total: $25.45

Day Three

6 a.m. — My boyfriend left before I woke up, which I appreciate because he gets up at 5 a.m. every day. I get up and get dressed, taking more care to look nice today because I have an interview for a mentoring program at work. They are only picking 10 new people and I'm super nervous. I go with a white, long-sleeved dress.

8:30 a.m. — I get an iced caramel macchiato with almond milk at Starbucks. I don't get coffee every day, so this is a treat — especially since I prefer my coffee to taste like a milkshake. $4.85

12 p.m. — I forgot my eggs at home and go to Duane Reade to buy a frozen pizza and a bar of "intense dark" chocolate. $8.50

4:15 p.m. — I have my meeting for the mentor program. I think it went well!

5:30 p.m. — I take the train to the salon for my three-week touch-up on my eyelashes. This is my big beauty expense. I don't dye my hair or wax, so it isn't too hard to fit into my budget. I used to get a weekly blowout and this has replaced it. I feel like it's worth the money; the eyelashes are like a pretty filter on your face at all times. Plus, I always sweat off mascara. $146.50 including tip

7 p.m. — I pick up my Blue Apron order and decide to make the beef tahini pitas. The instructions say it should takes 15 minutes to prepare but it takes me an hour. I have terrible knife skills. In the end, the pitas are really good. I pack the second portion for lunch, Skype my boyfriend, and head to bed.

Daily Total: $159.85

Day Four

6 a.m. — Getting up for Pilates is hard. This is my first morning class in over a month. I get into my workout clothes and throw my lunch into my bag. My boyfriend comes over and walks me to class.

12 p.m. — I keep candy at my desk because it encourages people to talk to me. I am newish to my job, and I also got a promotion over someone else — so I haven't made any friends yet. I head to Duane Reade and buy a bag of chocolate squares (my directors likes these) and a bar for myself. $15.12

7 p.m. — I head to my BF's place, where he has ordered Roberta's for us. We get the "Bee Sting" and two chocolate chip cookies; he pays. I head home after to sleep.

Daily Total: $15.12

Day Five

6 a.m. — Up and off to Pilates.

8:20 a.m. — I change my clothes when I get in and realize I didn't bring a bra, so I keep my exercise top on under my dress. I eat chips I took from a meeting at my desk, and start working on reports for my boss; part of my job is to report my team's weekly metrics to her.

10:30 a.m. — Not feeling work today... I browse Long Island house listings and send a few to my boyfriend. If someone told me nine years ago, when I moved here, that I would eventually consider moving to Long Island, I would have called them crazy. But here I am looking at houses in Port Jefferson.

12 p.m. — I take a break from the Someone Knows Something podcast I'm listening to and casually mention a work-from-home policy to my boss. She seems to like it. I'm actualizing my dreams! I go for a walk to talk to my mom and get some air. It's a nice, cool day after a miserable week of 90-plus temps. I eat two hard-boiled eggs and a square of dark chocolate.

4 p.m. — I order a buffalo chicken salad from Munchery for tomorrow. $14 including tip

5 p.m. — I leave work and head to meet the BF in SoHo, where we are eating dinner before an event. We go to Mr. Donahue's and I order meatloaf, and mac and cheese with crispy onions. He has meatballs with crab salad and butternut squash parm. He pays.

6:30 p.m. — We head over to my friend's event where there's a bar and more food. There's a cute cotton candy machine, so I get one with glitter for a nice Instagram moment. I eat a little bit of it, but the rose part is my least favorite flavor. My boyfriend and I sneak out.

7 p.m. — We grab Georgetown cupcakes. I get the chocolate squared and a "mermaid," and he pays. We take an Uber back and he drops me off at my place.

8 p.m. — My new vibrator charger is here! First order of business is plugging it in. I watch a little TV and then go to bed.

Daily Total: $14

Day Six

6 a.m. — Today is my hard Pilates class. I was a little worried but I think I did well. I usually give myself a grade after every class and this is a solid B.

10 a.m. — Today is my "poor day," as I call it — the day before pay day. My Munchery order arrives early and I stick it in the fridge.

12 p.m. — I wish I was eating anything else, but this is okay. I eat two squares of chocolate for dessert and go for a walk. I usually prefer bringing lunch to work so that I can use that time to run errands.

7 p.m. — At home to make my second Blue Apron meal; this one is gnocchi and shrimp, and it takes forever. I love the food that comes from Blue Apron but it's a lot of work. My boyfriend brings a piece of cake over. We eat together and I am way too full after.

Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7 a.m. — So tried, still full, and very thirsty — but it's pay day! I pay my rent early, the electric bill, and pay $100 toward my credit card. My paycheck looks a little sad now.

10:30 a.m. — There's a memorial for a coworker who recently passed away, and we all take a shuttle there. There is a reception afterward, so I didn't bring lunch, assuming it would be the usual sandwiches and pasta salad. Boy, was I wrong. There's "surf and turf," fruit, cheese, and dumplings. I take a steak slider with pork belly and cheddar, dumplings, and two cookies. They give out to-go containers, but I decide to pass and call my mom during the mile walk back.

3:15 p.m. — I buy a server for chips and dip for the bridal shower I am going to later this month. $42

5 p.m. — It's the weekend! I hurry home to make my Blue Apron meal. After a series of mishaps (and a very long period of my smoke alarm going off), I throw it all away, go to my boyfriend's place, and he orders by Chloe. I get cashew mac and cheese and fries, and he gets a Portobello burger. We share a huge espresso cookie and ice cream. He pays.

Daily Total: $42

More from Work & Money


R29 Original Series