Money Diaries logo

A Week In Boston, MA, On A $95,000 USD 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 penny.

Today: a partnerships manager who makes $95,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Prose shampoo.
Editor's Note: All prices are in USD.
Occupation: Partnerships Manager
Industry: Tech
Age: 24
Location: Boston, MA
Salary: $95,000
Net Worth: $47,899.22 ($1,538.05 in checking; $19,117.82 in an emergency fund; $15,243.55 in pension and 403(b) accounts from a former job; $950.01 in current 401(k); $5,573.26 in an Ellevest investment account; and $5,476.53 in individual stocks; I live with my partner, L., who makes $85,000 and has a net worth of ~$25,000, but we don't share any finances yet)
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,635.52
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,290 (this is for my half of a studio in a doorman building; I split rent evenly with my partner, L.)
Utilities: ~$50-$70 (this includes internet, electric, and water and varies wildly month to month)
Apple Storage: $2.99
Cell Phone: $53 (family plan, I reimburse my parents for my portion whenever we remember, probably half the time)
ClassPass: $11.73 (work gives me $30 toward this per month and I kick in this amount to get it up to three to five classes)
Peloton Digital: $12.99
Netflix: $14.92 (I share with my family)
HBO Max/Amazon Prime/Disney+/Apple TV+: $0 (free trial or my family shares with me)
NYTimes: $4 (still getting the student price and not questioning it)
Spotify: $10.65
Book of the Month: $15.93
Libro.FM: $14.99
Rent the Runway: $135 (eight-item plan)
401(k): $633 (8% of gross pay, employer matches 5%)
Savings: $1,000 (monthly auto-deposit in my investment account; usually more like $1,200 - $1,800 per month)
Donations: $700 - $1,200 per year ($1,284 last year, includes sponsorship of a family at the holidays for ~$500 and ad hoc donations throughout the year)
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?
Absolutely, which I recognise is a massive privilege. My parents both have bachelor's degrees and education is the number one priority in my family. There was no question that I would go from high school to get at least a bachelor's degree. There was also significant pressure to perform extremely well academically in order to earn merit scholarships. My parents saved for my education and my brothers' in college funds throughout my childhood, and when I was applying to schools, they offered me $30,000 per year to put toward tuition and room and board. I ultimately selected my university based largely on coming in under that price. I got a scholarship that covered 75% of tuition at a private liberal arts college and my parents covered room and board and the remaining tuition for all four years. I worked 20-30 hours/week to cover my remaining expenses.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
We didn't talk a ton about money growing up, but my parents generally taught us about the importance of saving and budgeting and how to write checks. We got allowances sporadically and my mom taught me to budget my allowance by keeping track of what was going in and out in a spiral notebook I kept in my dresser. I kept all my money in my drawer and fastidiously recorded when I earned allowance and when I “withdrew” funds to make purchases. My parents added me to their credit card as an authorized user when I started college so that I could begin to build my credit. I was also required by my public high school to take a financial literacy course as a freshman, which was helpful.
Advertisement
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first under-the-table job was babysitting, which I started doing around age 12; I have two younger brothers and a ton of cousins, so I was always surrounded by kids, loved them, and wanted spending money. When I was 17, I got a “real” job as a barista at a coffee shop in town; I was fired from that job because I couldn't make it to work during a blizzard. After that, I got a new job as a teaching assistant at a daycare. Those jobs were for spending money and to round out my resume for college applications.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Not until I left for college. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad supported us financially; we were always comfortable, although I now know that things were tighter than I thought when I was younger. My dad got a significant raise when I was around 12 and then we were solidly upper-middle class. We didn't live lavishly, but I never wanted for anything, and we took vacations, had a beautiful home, etc. My dad lost his job two weeks after I left for college and my mom, who had been out of the workforce for 18 years, had to pivot and return to work; I started worrying a lot about money at that time.
Do you worry about money now?
I worry about my parents' money situation; my dad rejoined the workforce for several years after being laid off, but is recently retired and my mom is constantly talking about how they have no money. I don't know how much of that is real, but nonetheless, I worry about how/when I might need to help support them. For myself, I don't worry about money at all. I make a significantly higher salary than I ever thought I would two and a half years out of college with a social sciences degree and I feel more than comfortable.
Advertisement
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I became financially responsible for myself at 21 when I graduated from college. As mentioned, my parents paid my tuition and rent until I graduated. When I graduated, I found a job quickly and took over all of my bills the month after graduation. The first dinner that I treated my parents to with my new salary felt amazing! I absolutely have a financial safety net; in an emergency, my partner and I could live on just one of our salaries, and either of our parents would also be able to help us out.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
My grandparents bought me around $200 worth of stock when I was born that has grown to be worth about ~$5,500 (noted in net worth above). My parents also gave me a small living stipend (a couple hundred dollars per month in addition to rent money) separately from the money they gave me for school that allowed me to take an unpaid internship in NYC for six months, which I believe launched my career. I wouldn't be where I am without that. I haven't received any inheritances or other passive income.

Day One

7:50 a.m. — I half-snooze through all of my alarms (every five minutes from 7:15 to 7:30) and wake up at 7:50 in a panic. Happy Monday!! Sleeping through my alarms will likely become a constant theme in this diary — I am trying, and failing, to become a morning person. I tear myself out of bed, brush my teeth, triage some work emails, and then put on workout clothes and head to the gym in my building. My partner, L., and I moved in together last July and our studio is not inexpensive, to say the least, but the building amenities really do make it worth it — our gym is amazing, and I'm saving the $100/month I used to spend on a gym membership. I do a 30-minute ride on the Peloton.
Advertisement
9 a.m. — Back at my apartment, I get into my morning routine. I put the water on to boil and make stovetop oatmeal (oats, milk, peanut butter, cinnamon, and apples), then hop in the shower. Ideally, I time this process so that my oats will be done and water will be boiling by the time I'm done with my shower — today I'm successful! Once I'm out, I make espresso in my Mokapot and quickly get ready. I do my skincare/makeup routine (Indie Lee CoQ-10 toner, Biossance vitamin C serum, Ursa Major moisturizer, Supergoop SPF 30 Glowscreen mixed with a drop of Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint, and Ilia mascara), brush my wet hair, and put on today's outfit, a maxi dress from The Great rented via Rent the Runway. I got a two-month trial of the RTR 16-item plan for 40% off, but once it runs out, I'll go down to the eight-item plan. I use it mostly for work clothes for business trips, and I love it so far!
9:30 a.m. — I eat my oats during my morning meeting with my best work friend. Post-meeting, I make my morning coffee with the espresso I already made. I have the same coffee every day and it's the best: two shots of espresso, a splash of half & half (I'm a full-fat dairy kind of girl and I don't care who knows it), and maple syrup, shaken in a mason jar ‘til frothy. Try it!!! I go back to the laptop and put my head down for a full morning of meetings. I'm fully remote in my new role and L. is also remote most of the time.
Advertisement
1:30 p.m. — I come up for air, planning to get Sweetgreen, but L. asks if I want a burrito and I obviously accept. I've literally never not wanted a burrito. He places our order and heads out to pick them up. He pays today — we basically alternate buying food/treats/etc. and figure that it'll all come out about even over time. I hop back into another meeting while he's out. This morning's meetings were roughly half useful/half useless. I'm still new to this job and feel like I don't know what I'm doing half the time, but I really love the team and the org's mission, and I'm starting to get a better sense for how I'll fit into my role, which feels good.
2:45 p.m. — I can't focus before my 3 p.m. meeting, so I take a break and finish this week's meal plan. I'm excited to dive into fall cooking. I pull from blogs and my cookbook collection to plan the recipes and make a grocery list; L. will go to the store later to get everything. I love to cook, so I don't mind taking the lead on most of the meal planning/prepping for us. This plan/shop should get us through next Monday.
4:05 p.m. — I take a pause from my workday and head out to meet a girl I met on Bumble BFF for drinks at a restaurant in my neighborhood (a quick note: I won't mention it every time, but I'm vaxxed, everyone I'm meeting up with is vaxxed, I'm doing things outdoors whenever possible, and I'm masking indoors). It's a perfect fall day and I listen to this week's Lovett or Leave It on the walk over (Lovett is the best PSA guy, change my mind). We have an okay time, but I don't feel like she's going to be a BFF-level friend. She's nice, I'm nice, but the conversation doesn't flow super well and I feel like we don't have a ton in common. I get a coconut mojito and we share a soft pretzel; we split the bill ($21.21 with tip). I send my two best friends, who live across the country, some emo voice messages on my walk home. Making friends as an adult is so hard and most of my friends moved away during the pandemic. I've been trying to put myself out there more, but it can feel really hopeless. Ugh. $21.21
Advertisement
6:15 p.m. — I get home and vent to L. about the drinks not going as well as I'd hoped. I'm feeling sort of drained from socialising, but I have more work to do so I hop back onto my laptop to finish some things up while L. heads out to the grocery store! We have a Whole Foods nearby, but he's loyal to Wegmans, so he drives outside of the city to shop. He has a car, but he pays all the expenses on it (parking, insurance, etc.) and I rarely drive it — it's super nice for weekend trips, though, and I do contribute to gas.
8:15 p.m. — I work until L. gets home from the store. He got me flowers!! He's a keeper. I put the blooms in water and then put away all the groceries. This week, we got scallions, apples, garlic, ginger, lemons and limes, onions, an avocado, cilantro, fennel, celery, basil, potatoes, carrots, cheddar, parmesan, labneh, lunch meat for L., ice cream (German chocolate cake flavor!), oats, jasmine rice, tortillas, pitas, sandwich bread, popcorn and Goldfish for snacking, tomato sauce, peanut butter, chipotles in adobo, banana peppers, dried beans, veggie broth, assorted canned tomatoes, mustard seed, chicken thighs, and ground beef — the total is $166. They were out of a couple of things I needed, so I'll make a supplemental Whole Foods run soon. L. sends a Venmo request for half the haul — we split bigger expenses evenly on Venmo. $83
Advertisement
9:15 p.m. — L. and I can never get it together to both get groceries and cook a meal on a weeknight — truly an art form. We scrounge around for dinner; he makes a meatball sub with frozen meatballs and I warm up half a pita to eat with labneh, crispy chickpeas, and cucumber slices. We watch an episode of Ted Lasso while we eat and I have some ice cream for dessert.
10:10 p.m. — Nighttime routine! My evening skincare is much more simple than my morning skincare — same toner, same moisturizer, and then I lock it in with a layer of Weleda Skin Food. Tonight I add an extra step and use Biossance Squalane & Lactic Acid serum — it's a free sample, but I love it and might end up purchasing. I settle in bed with my book, my laptop, and my planner, and try to get a couple more things done. I do 45 minutes of LSAT studying, set up my planner with my personal goals for the week and daily gratitude list, and read a couple of chapters of What Comes After by Joanne Tompkins. Lights out at 11:30!
Daily Total: $104.21

Day Two

7 a.m. — Miracle of miracles, I get up on time today. Must have something to do with the new Lil Nas X album blasting at full volume from our Alexa as my alarm. I lay in bed on my phone for 15 minutes or so and see that I have 33 (!!) voice memos from my best friends in our group chat. Voice memos get a bad rap but we love them because it's like asynchronously being on the phone all day — it's so nice to hear each other's voices. I listen to the voice memos like a podcast while I do my morning routine (brush teeth, skincare, dry shampoo), tidy up the apartment, and get dressed. Today I'm wearing a super cute Staud sweatsuit rented via RTR. When I don't have a business trip on the docket, I like to use the week's RTR shipment to rent fun things that I could never justify buying, like this $350 sweatsuit. I also make my usual coffee and listen to The A Beautiful Mess Podcast and What a Day.
Advertisement
8 a.m. — I sit down with my coffee and laptop, read my morning blogs, and do some studying for the LSAT.
9:10 a.m. — Work time! I put on the new Kacey Musgraves album and dive into my to-do list.
10:15 a.m. — I have a shockingly productive first hour of the day. After I finish what I'm working on, I get up and make my usual oatmeal.
1:30 p.m. — I finish up my only meeting of the day, get up to stretch, and message another girl back on Bumble BFF. We decide to sign up for an outdoor workout class together tomorrow evening and I use Classpass credits to book it. I normally don't use Bumble BFF this much, but I'm really trying to make more of an effort this fall. Afterward, I pop down to my building's package room and grab my mail. It's a good mail day — my mom sent me a belated birthday gift (a board game: Ticket to Ride Rails & Sails) and a pair of spin shoes I accidentally shipped to her house instead of my apartment, and half of the fall clothes I ordered during a Madewell sale also arrives. Feels like Christmas! Back upstairs, I repeat yesterday's dinner for lunch and then get back to work.
5:05 p.m. — I log off for the day. I had a super productive morning but am feeling very anxious about having had an unproductive afternoon. I'm glad I'm heading to work out — hopefully it'll clear my head. I book a 5:30 class at a nearby spin studio using Classpass credits. The class is outdoors in the perfect fall weather, with my favorite instructor, and it's exactly what I need.
Advertisement
6:25 p.m. — I get home from class and I'm FAMISHED. I eat some manchego and Goldfish. Then I go on Instagram. I have a rule that I can only use Instagram after I work out for the day, and only on the computer (which has an awful interface) rather than my phone. This has helped me to significantly cut down on mindless scrolling. After, I shower and start dinner. I'm making the Golden Get Well soup from Molly Baz's cookbook — basically a gingery, garlicky chicken & rice soup.
8:45 p.m. — The soup is done, and my brother and his roommates arrive for our weekly game night! My brothers both live in the same city as me, which is amazing. We eat the soup and then we play a long and cutthroat game of Ticket to Ride Rails & Sails. I lose in spectacular fashion and eat some ice cream during the game.
11:45 p.m. — The guys head out and I get into my nighttime routine while L. does the dishes and attaches the clips to my new spin shoes for me. I get in bed and read a couple of chapters of my book, then go to sleep around 12:20.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7:40 a.m. — Here we are, awake late again! I went to bed way too late and I'm exhausted and have a headache. I make the executive decision to have a slow morning. I lay in bed for 20 minutes and finish What Comes After (4.5 stars, would recommend!) and then do my morning routine. I throw on Lululemon aligns and a drapey T-shirt today as I'm working out after work again. Then I make my bed and settle in at my laptop with my oatmeal and coffee.
Advertisement
9:20 a.m. — I dive into work after blogs and breakfast time, and put on some Taylor Swift for motivation.
11:20 a.m. — I'm losing focus and I've gotten a bunch done this morning on some copy that I'm writing for our website, so I take a quick break. I see that my credit card statement came through and schedule a payment of $2,107.04 for the due date. I put all of my purchases on my credit card to maximize the rewards points, and I pay it off in full and on time every month. I also do an LSAT problem set to get my brain moving again.
1 p.m. — I break from a meeting block to order lunch. I order a crispy rice bowl with spicy cashew dressing from Sweetgreen; they're out of blackened chicken (tragic), so I add roasted corn and parmesan crisps instead. I pay on the app and I'll pick it up after my 1:15 meeting. $13.32
1:30 p.m. — I head over to Sweetgreen to pick up my salad, bring it home, and open it to discover that it has basically no dressing on it. Ughhhhh. I weigh my options — eat dry salad, dress with some sad oil & vinegar situation at home, or run back over and ask them for dressing — and decide on option three since I was really looking forward to this. The folks working behind the counter give me the dressing. I don't normally do this, but I'm so frustrated that I fill out a feedback form on the app on the way home to see if maybe they'll comp something since I had to run back and forth.
Advertisement
4:45 p.m. — I log off and head out to my workout class, which is at a park about a 20-minute walk away; I catch up on Pod Save America on the way over. I meet up with the new Bumble BFF friend pre-class and we chat a bit! The class itself is HARD and not really my preferred style of exercise; I would rather never do burpees if I can avoid them. We part ways after class saying we should meet up and do another one. Who knows whether we'll connect again or not but today's Bumble BFF adventure went a little better! On the walk home, I stop by the neighbourhood's Little Free Library (perpetually browsing that space) and return a book at the actual library. Then I stop in at Whole Foods, where I get sourdough, canned coconut milk, canned tomatoes, red enchilada sauce, cherry tomatoes, and a PB chocolate bar. The total is $27.31, but L. will Venmo me for half. I chat with my parents on the phone while I walk and shop. $13.66
7 p.m. — I get home, take a shower, and start dinner — chicken tinga tacos (a Half Baked Harvest recipe) with cheesy shells and all the fixings. L. is in a virtual work trivia game while I cook and he keeps tapping me in. I correctly answer which musical Link Larkin is from (Hairspray, duh) and the 11-letter 2003 word of the year meaning “fashionable straight man” (metrosexual), but miss the question about who Ryan Reynolds was married to in 2007 (who knew ScarJo and Ryan Reynolds were a thing?). The tacos are delicious and we eat while watching Ted Lasso.
Advertisement
9:30 p.m. — I settle in to do some more work and study for the LSAT while L. handles dinner cleanup. We get into a little spat about the dishes (one of our regular argument themes) and I try to shake it off, but I can't really focus on studying. I give up around 10:50 and we watch another episode then I go to sleep around midnight.
Daily Total: $26.98

Day Four

7:40 a.m. — Went to bed too late again, wake up too late again. Will I ever learn? My body really wants me to be a night owl and my brain really wants me to be a morning person. The constant struggle! I finally get myself over to the gym at 8:30, super excited to try out my new spin shoes, only to discover that they are the wrong kind of clips. I did a bunch of research before buying them and L., who's a big bike person, also confirmed that the ones I was buying would be correct, so I'm annoyed. I debate just throwing in the towel on my workout, but I feel like that will make the day worse, so I drag myself back to the apartment, get my sneakers, and do a 30-minute ride. It kicks my butt and I'm proud of myself for pushing through the “off” morning to get it done.
9:20 a.m. — Shower, oats, coffee, skincare. I'm wearing denim cutoffs and an oversized white button down today; I add my favorite statement earrings (an enamel pair from a small Cape Town-based brand called Skermunkil) to make the outfit pop a little more on Zoom. L. examines the shoes while I'm getting ready and tells me that he thinks I'm going to need to return both the shoes and the clips because the shoes aren't compatible with the other clip design. The morning just keeps getting better! I check my personal email and see that Sweetgreen sent me a credit for a free bowl (yay) and also that a package got delivered but my building appears to have lost it (boo). In short order, though, L. realises that he can make the shoes work with the other type of clip and he actually has a pair of those clips, so I won't have to buy them and the building finds the package. The day is looking up!
Advertisement
10 a.m. — I sit down with my coffee and oatmeal and dive straight into work. No meetings this morning, so I'm actually going to get to check some things off my to-do list!
12 p.m. — Scheduling opens at noon for next month's LSAT and I hop on the website right away to try to grab the time I want! I prepaid for the LSAT when I registered to take the October test in July; it was $200 and I also paid $100 for access to a bank of online prep tests, $138 for two months of access to 7Sage (a test prep program), and around $150 for a bunch of prep books. I've sort of fallen down on the job of studying, so TBD how useful these costs will have been, but crossing my fingers for a good score! I do a celebratory problem set. Then I head downstairs and grab my package, which is the rest of my Madewell sale haul. I can't resist trying everything on before going back to work.
2:30 p.m. — I finish up my one-on-one with my new manager. It goes really well and I'm very excited to have him on the team. Then I place an order for a buffalo chicken salad from Sweetgreen; I use the credit, so no charge today. I eat my (perfectly dressed!) salad on Sweetgreen's patio while working.
3:45 p.m. — I decide to head to a nearby coffee shop to get an afternoon latte and work for a couple of hours, but discover when I arrive that they're now closing at 4 due to short-staffing. I'm already excited about the drink so I place my order for a honey halva iced latte under the wire ($6.09 including $1 tip) and bring it back to my building instead. I settle in our courtyard to finish my workday. $6.09
Advertisement
6 p.m. — I wrap up work for the day. My little brother calls to get my advice on some college things, so we chat for the last half hour-ish of my day while I close things out. Head back over to my apartment and relax for a bit.
7:30 p.m. — I log on to a grad school forum that a fellowship I went through is hosting via Zoom and start making dinner. I'm making BA's creamy braised beans with charred pickles and croutons, and realise that I've failed to soak my beans; I forge ahead with the recipe anyway and hope for the best (some say soaking beans is overrated — guess we'll find out). I listen in on the panel while prepping the beans, doing dishes, and cleaning up the kitchen. When the panel ends, I open my mail and discover that the check for my vacation time payout from my last job has arrived — $1,700! I deposit it in my savings account; I'll probably redistribute some of it to my investment account soon. Then I do some LSAT studying.
9:45 p.m. — The beans are done, and sadly, they taste bad. I try and fail to eat them, and instead have ice cream for dinner. Adulthood! Ted Lasso while we eat, as usual.
11 p.m. — I do my nighttime routine, get in bed, and start a new book — The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams. Really good so far! Lights out at 11:30, but I have trouble falling asleep.
Advertisement
Daily Total: $6.09

Day Five

8 a.m. — I was actually up on time today, but then L. wanted to cuddle (he has the day off) and I couldn't say no. I get out of bed, empty my work inbox, and then head over to the gym. The spin shoes saga continues — I discover that L.'s clips are too worn down and won't clip into these pedals, so I'll have to buy new ones after all. I use the pedal cages instead and do a 30-minute bike bootcamp. My body is so sore and I'm very excited for my rest day tomorrow!
9 a.m. — Same morning routine deal: shower, skincare, oatmeal, coffee. I also strip the bed so that L. can wash our sheets when he does laundry today. I catch up on podcasts — What a Day, Pod Save America, and Diet Starts Tomorrow — while I get ready for the day. It's super humid out but supposed to be rainy and not as warm as it has been, so I decide to lean in to the cozy fall vibes. I light a pumpkin candle and put on the quilted Madewell sweatsuit that I got in the mail yesterday. Log on to work at 9:40.
1 p.m. — I've been in a morning full of meetings and jump into our all-staff meeting at 1. I'm starting to get a little hungry, so I grab a bowl of assorted snacks — Goldfish, some crispy chickpeas, and manchego. I also see that L. brought me a donut from his morning errands — yay! I eat my snacks while listening to the meeting.
3:40 p.m. — I'm not super hungry but I know if I don't eat some sort of normal lunch my afternoon/evening will become hangry time, so I make a taco with the leftover chicken tinga from the other night. I take a quick break to eat and do the dishes, then get back to work.
5:40 p.m. — I log off for the weekend, woohoo! It was a super productive end to the week and I feel great. L. and I head over to a nearby cider brewery to refill a growler since we have a party to go to tomorrow night. We get the 64-ounce growler refill and two four-packs of cans; it's around $33 and L. pays.
7:30 p.m. — L. drops me at home with the cider and I start making dinner — we're doing Grossy Pelosi's late summer bolognese over fresh pasta L. made this afternoon. He stops at Whole Foods after parking the car and gets a head of broccoli and a baguette. I make sauce, garlic bread, and roasted broccoli while listening to Bad on Paper; L. handles cooking up the fresh pasta. It's such a delicious meal!! We eat while watching, you guessed it, Ted Lasso, and we both have a cider. Later, I clean up while chatting with my parents on the phone and then do a face mask (Follain Dual Detox).
12 a.m. — Bedtime!
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

9 a.m. — L. and I lay around for a while after waking up at 8:30. I finally get out of bed at 9, take a shower, and deal with some things on my to-do list. I also see that a charge went through on my credit card last night for my Prose shampoo and conditioner subscription. I've been using Prose for about a year and I get my hair products delivered every four months or so. I like that you can refine your formula with every new order; I'm hoping this next batch will help me deal with some persistent oiliness and lack of volume at my crown. $45.16
10:30 a.m. — I get ready because we're going apple picking today! I put on black Perfect Vintage jeans and a black apron top from Madewell, a black leather ABLE belt bag, and white Converse. I order breakfast from my favorite bakery to pick up on the way to the car — a cheddar biscuit and iced cardamom clove latte with an extra shot. I pay with a gift card I got for my birthday, but can't tip on the gift card so I add a 20% tip on my credit card. $1.85
12 p.m. — We arrive at the apple orchard and remember that everything is cash-only here; luckily, L. has $50 in emergency cash. He pays $33 in cash for a large pick-your-own bag, which is technically supposed to feed five people (but we get one for the two of us every year). He's been paying for a lot lately, so I venmo him to cover this outing for us. We stroll through the rows of apple trees and each eat several apples while picking. After we fill our bag, we go to the farm store and use L.'s remaining $17 in cash for a gallon of cider and a dozen cider donuts. We have exactly the right amount of cash! Nothing like a fresh cider donut in the fall. $33
2:50 p.m. — We're done picking and despite having eaten way too many apples, I'm craving real lunch. We drive to a nearby town and L. gets gas on the way over; he pays. We are planning to sit down at a restaurant we like, but it's a 45-minute wait so we order takeout instead. I get us chorizo nachos and a honey beet salad and tip 20%. We eat in a nearby park and listen to an outdoor concert. $26.03
4 p.m. — We've certainly eaten enough food already today, but we're near one of our favorite ice cream places and I can't resist. I get us a scoop of apple crisp with rainbow sprinkles to share and tip $1. $6.94
6:30 p.m. — We lazed around for an hour or so once we got home — I'm feeling totally exhausted from the day, but we've got plans so I need to rally! I put on the same The Great dress from RTR that I wore earlier this week (serial outfit repeater here) and we head out to grab the train over to our friends' apartment for a surprise birthday party! It's my first time on the T since COVID and I'm highly unprepared — I don't even have my Charlie Card with me! L. swipes us both through the turnstile.
11 p.m. — The night has gotten a lot wilder than planned and I'm very drunk. We brought the cider with us and have been drinking that and I also took a couple hits off of the birthday boy's joint. It's a small party — just eight people or so, all vaxxed – and it's great to see some friends I haven't seen in a while! We are feeling very nostalgic for college and decide to order crab rangoon (the ultimate drunk food); I venmo a friend $15 for my portion. $15
12:30 p.m. — L. and I are drunk and all partied out! I get us an Uber home ($13.77) and add a $3 tip. Once we get upstairs, it's right to bed. $16.77
Daily Total: $144.75

Day Seven

4 a.m. — The crab rangoon was a big mistake (isn't it always?). I'm up and feeling very, very sick. I manage to avoid throwing up and go back to bed around 5 a.m.
8:30 a.m. — I rouse myself just enough to cancel my 9:15 a.m. spin class; I'm feeling way too nauseous to go. ClassPass waives the $15 late-cancel fee since this is my first time ever late-cancelling and I'm feeling ill. I go right back to sleep.
11 a.m. — I get up for real this time! I'm feeling slightly better thanks to the cocktail of allergy/stomach/pain meds I took during the night, but I'm still exhausted and hungover. L. heads out for his Sunday job as a bike mechanic (he mostly does this for the social aspect and bike discount) and I read some of The Reading List. I finally get out of bed around 11:30 to get my life together. Getting this drunk is not at all something that I normally do; I had fun last night, but I'm paying for it today! I'm still feeling nauseous so I opt for a big piece of sourdough toast. I clean up the apartment while it toasts, and then I eat and lay on the couch for a while reading my weekend blogs and articles.
12:45 p.m. — I decide I'm ready to try a coffee; I head to a nearby coffee shop and get a cold brew with half and half and raw sugar and tip $1. More internet and coffee time on the couch when I get home. $5.28
2:30 p.m. — Time for productivity, finally! I do a timed LSAT prep test and get my highest score ever, which feels really good so close to my test date. I have a minor freakout due to caffeine shakes during the prep test and eat an apple during the third section to try to fend them off.
5:45 p.m. — I want to end the weekend with some movement, so I do a 30-minute power yoga class on Peloton; it's stretchy and challenging and exactly what I need after a hangover day spent on the couch. I follow it up with a hot shower. L. gets home from the bike shop and heats up leftover bolognese, broccoli, and garlic bread for us; Sunday comfort food at its finest! Surprise, surprise, we turn on more Ted Lasso while we eat. Anyone else perplexed by the "Beard After Hours" episode?
9:15 p.m. — L. and I do a Sunday-night tidy and then I settle in bed with my laptop, book, and planner. I go through all of my transactions and update my budget for the past two weeks — I do all of my budgeting by hand in an Excel sheet that I made and I really like the direct line of sight it gives me into what I'm buying. While I'm at it, I order the SPD clips I need to make my new spin shoes work — here's to a week full of spinning! Then I write my daily gratitude in my planner, set up my goals and plan for next week, and read a couple of chapters of my book before lights out at 11. $13.80
Daily Total: $19.08
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