We Asked 5 Sets Of Twins What They Thought Of Each Other's Money Diaries

Illustration by Louisa Cannell
Ahead of National Twins Day, Money Diaries did twin week, where we published five sets of diaries from twins around the country.
We read about a pair of twins bonded by the power of eyelash glue despite their geographical distance, a set of twins both watching The Handmaid's Tale at the same time without realizing it, and a pair of twins who both really love Taco Tuesday.
So we wanted know: What did each diarist think of her twin's Money Diary? Did she learn anything she didn't already know? Read ahead to find out what each twin in our Twin Week thinks of the way her twin spends money, who thinks who is more frugal, and what they were surprised to find out about each other from their diaries.
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For more twin-centric content, read up on the rise of twins on YouTube, how style can vary twin to twin, and how Phoebe and Ursula Buffay are the best TV twins ever.
1 of 5

She FINALLY bought emergency eyelash glue!

On Monday, we read about a merchandise coordinator in San Francisco, CA, who played The Office trivia and dodged public transit fare. Here's what she had to say after she read the Money Diary of her twin, a server and barista in Portland, OR, who spent $70 on gas over the course of the week and bought eyelash glue.

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"I had no idea what she made hourly, but since she’s always been in food/service, I assumed it was more than I make due to the fact that she gets tips — also because she’s cute as heck and way nicer to people than I ever was when I was in my short-lived service position."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I’m surprised by how much she spends on parking, and I’m not sure if I could ever justify it. But I totally understand her not wanting to take the bus early in the morning."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"Get on that public transit game when you can!!"

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"She FINALLY bought emergency eyelash glue!! She got me into wearing lashes two years ago, and I’ve always been the sole carrier of the emergency glue. Her eyes are rounder than mine, so her lashes are always flying off in the inner corner and I’m constantly reminding her to get glue."

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Oh yes, lots of coffee, an impromptu new tattoo, shopping at Urban Outfitters, and working her ass off. That girl is such a hard worker."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"I definitely think I’m more frugal — I’m constantly worrying about having a healthy relationship between paying bills and treating myself. I’m just kind of protective of my finances, since I have a lot of student loans and debt to deal with. (I moved to the Bay Area for a job and then was fired after a month, so I ran up some debt on my credit card.) I wish I had my sister’s approach to spending freely and giving myself fun stuff just because I worked hard for it."

And here's what the server and barista in Portland, OR, said about her twin:

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"I did not know how much my sister makes, but I assumed it was a decent amount because she has a degree and a big girl job, and I serve."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"That she always needs to be prepared to tip when she goes out!! The worst feeling ever is seeing NO tip. Also about how we really do live such different different lifestyles. I never go out to bars or breweries, and I kind of wish I did."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"Live a little! Why work so hard five days a week and not treat yourself sometimes?! Use a (small) percentage of those savings each month and buy yourself something nice every once in awhile! You deserve it!"

What was stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"Nothing really surprised me. I guess how often she and her man go out for drinks, but that’s probably just because I don’t — it’s nice when they FaceTime me late at night after drinking to say hi, though. I was also a little surprised how much she doesn’t spend on herself. Treat yo self, love!"

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Absolutely — sitting at a desk, drinking with her boyfriend, bitching about what stuff went down on the transit that day. Definitely sounded like her."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"I definitely think she’s the more frugal twin. She works hard but never spends on herself. I always like to buy her lunch or drinks when I see her because I know I can afford to help her out. We always help each other with expenses when needed, regardless, which I always appreciate. I spend, sometimes carelessly, but I also work hard for my money and believe that I deserve some things every once in awhile. What’s the point of working so hard if I can’t buy myself something I’ve been wanting for forever? I’m definitely a shopaholic, but I’m also a workaholic, so I think it balances out. And yes, I know I need to start taking transit. It’s just so hard/unreliable with my start and off times :(."
2 of 5

I think we should exchange diaries every week now.

This Tuesday, we read about a transportation engineer in Seattle, WA, who attended her friend's bachelorette party. Here's what she had to say after she read the Money Diary of her twin, a teacher living in San Diego, CA, who worked at Comic-Con this week.

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"I didn't know the exact amount. I had a rough idea."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I wouldn't say I learned anything about her. We know each other pretty well! I got to hear some detail about Comic-Con!"

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"I was a little surprised that her student loan payment is so much lower than mine, considering we owe a similar amount. I will probably recommend that she consider paying a little more every month. My concern is that my sister will be paying them basically forever, and the rate will go up. That being said, I am confident she has it under control. She's a smart woman!"

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"I thought it was funny that she bought a Star Wars shirt and did her hair for Star Wars. I thought she had never seen any of the movies!"

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yes! Typical week of working hard and spending time with animals and her friends. I was surprised to hear that she spent money on stuff at Comic-Con. As she says in her Money Diary, she usually doesn't buy things like that."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"I would say she is more frugal and makes better financial decisions when it comes to buying clothes and things like that. As she says she usually buys second hand. We're both willing to spend money going out for drinks or dinner."

And here's what the teacher in San Diego said about her twin:

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"I thought she made more than that!"

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I thought she would be eating healthier, since she can get on me about that sometimes, but she was on vacation, so that's probably why."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"Umm.... no."

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"I really just loved hearing about the bachelorette party that I missed. And it was super fun to read about her week. I think we should exchange diaries every week now. Nothing really surprised me — she is a very level-headed person and I would have been way more upset about the flight if it were me."

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yes! 100%. She is the sweetest, and a great friend!"

Who is the more frugal twin?

"Hmmm. I think I spend less because I make less. I'm not totally sure about this!"
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3 of 5

I actually didn't realize she was such a shopper.

On Wednesday, we read about an analyst living in Chicago, IL, who played Survivor at her office and hosted Taco Tuesday. Here's what she had to say after she read the Money Diary of her twin, a social media planner also living in Chicago, IL.

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"Yes, we're pretty open about our finances."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"My sister and I are best friends, basically talk nonstop during the week, and almost always hang out together on the weekends, so there wasn't anything new that I learned about her in her diary! We are very in sync."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"My twin is really good with her money, and I honestly think she does an amazing job balancing splurging and saving. She's never been in a spot where she wasn't able to afford something she wanted, whether that be a European vacation, expensive shoes, or a new couch! I think that's pretty impressive for a 25-year-old who has been financially independent since graduating college."

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"The most surprising thing to me was that she didn't mention her cat, who she is obsessed with!"

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yes, she is more social than I am, and typically goes to events during the week with work vendors or events for her blog. I think all the fun perks she gets came through clearly in her diary! I did expect to see more online shopping from her than I saw in her diary, though."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"Typically, I'd say I'm more frugal than my sister, but this week was a big spending week for me. She is much more into fashion, so she typically goes clothes shopping more than I do. But we do have pretty similar spending habits and budgets during the week. We usually vacation together and have similar rents, so a lot of the time we're spending pretty similarly."

And here's what the social media planner said about her twin:

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"Yes, we've always been very open with each other. It actually helps to know, since we're in similar fields and can use it when negotiating during pay raises or new jobs."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"Not too much, since we are super close and very honest with one another. I'm surprised she was waking up at 7:40 a.m. before she got this dog. And she leaves for work at 9 a.m. — good grief, lady."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"Nope! I think she does a great job of balancing saving and spending."

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"I actually didn't realize she was such a shopper. Kinda makes me bitter, because she often turns my shopping invitations down."

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yes. 100%."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"Hard question, as I think we're both pretty frugal and have a lot of the same spending habits (making lunches, taking public transportation, only eating out on weekends). I guess I would have to say her, since I shop quite a bit."
4 of 5

Our mom says I have expensive taste.

We read about a production intern in Minneapolis, MN, who attended a live performance of Mamma Mia and helped out some friends with a film shoot on Thursday. Here's what she had to say after she read the Money Diary of her twin, a video intern/store associate living in New York City who spends her day off on Governors Island.

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"Yes, I did."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I learned that we both spend most of our money on transportation! I also learned that we were watching The Handmaid's Tale at the same time, which I had no idea about."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"She seems much more conscious of her money than I feel like I am. Living in NYC with no family is hard and scary, and she's making it work!"

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"I loved learning about what she did on her days off. We haven't lived together since we went off to college, and I sometimes forget that we used to know what the other person was doing at all times. I was surprised when she gave money to a homeless man, but in a good way."

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"When she met the Aussie puppy on the train, I could almost hear her voice saying it to me. She really would die for him."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"My twin is definitely the more frugal one this summer, but I do think we're pretty equal in how we spend our money. Because she's paying for rent right now, she's more careful with money, and once I start paying rent in the fall I'll probably be more watchful."

And here's what the video intern said about her twin:

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"Kind of. I know what she does and I know her approximate hourly pay, but I never gave it enough thought to calculate it out."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I didn't know she was working on a screenplay! I texted her immediately after reading and asked her to send it to me."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"I think she's too stressed about money for next semester. She's making only a little less than I am and has barely any expenses — why is she stressing?? Despite our shared busybody and frugal tendencies, I think she should feel comfortable actually having a relaxing summer. It sounds like she's doing that for the most part, though."

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"When she gets her friends to buy her pizza. I can visualize her doing that perfectly, so it was really sweet to read :). I miss her!!!"

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yes, especially the heavy ABBA and coffee presence. But she's funnier in real life."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"We're both really frugal (college trained us well), but I think right now a dollar means more for me than it does for her, given our living situations. I probably still spend more though. Our mom says I have expensive taste."
5 of 5

The things I value spending money on are probably the opposite for her.

Lastly, we read about a program manager in Queens, NY, who goes to a free Mets game. Here's what she had to say about the Money Diary of her twin, a special education teacher in Chicago, IL, who buys a plane ticket to visit her sister for Thanksgiving.

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"Maybe not the exact figure, but I had a pretty good idea of what her salary was (within $5,000)."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I was surprised to see how much she was saving each month! It seems like a significant portion of her paycheck, which is great. Also, I can't believe how much she's paying for cable, and how much she spends on beauty maintenance. Also, what's a Benefit eyebrow wax? Maybe I should ask her..."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"I'm trying to keep in mind that we have very different spending habits — although I would never dream of spending that much money on hair/beauty, I'm sure she's probably gawking at how much I end up spending on eating out. It's hard because the things that I would consider a waste of money and the things that I value spending money on are probably the opposite for her. My feedback for her (and she probably knows this already) would be to make sure that the important stuff comes first before splurging on any nonessentials. (Though it's easier to give advice than to follow it, of course!)"

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"I think my favorite part was probably when she bought tickets to come to NYC for Thanksgiving! But honestly, I think I most enjoyed reading through the mundane day-to-day stuff — since we live pretty far apart, I tend to lose track of what my family is doing on a daily basis, so it was fun to read a "day in the life of" my twin for once. I don't usually get to hear all those "boring" details! I was also surprised to see how much she pays in rent — I can't believe it's almost as much as mine!"

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yes, I would definitely say it did!"

Who is the more frugal twin?

"Oof, this is a hard question to answer! I think it's important to consider how much we're both spending in proportion to how much we make. In that sense, I would say I'm probably more frugal (or at least I try to be!), even though I spend more. I also feel like the majority of my money goes towards necessary expenses, rather than optional stuff, and I make sure to put a significant amount of money into my savings. Although, if you're doing a day-by-day comparison for the Money Diary week...it would seem that my sister definitely wins this one!"

And here's what the special education teacher said about her twin:

Did you know how much money your twin makes?

"I knew she made significantly more than I do since a) she’s not a teacher and b) she lives in NYC (cost of living), and I also knew she recently earned a promotion, but I didn’t know the exact number."

What did you learn about your twin from her diary?

"I didn’t realize how often she eats out! When we text, she'll sometimes mention meals that she cooks. Don’t get me wrong, they have great food options out there, but I honestly thought they only ate out a lot when I visited to show me the good restaurants there."

Do you have any feedback for your twin on her spending?

"It sounds like she's being responsible with her spending and being fair with taking turns covering the bill between her and her boyfriend. I think they earn similar salaries, so that’s great."

What stood out in your twin's Money Diary?

"I really liked that it basically sounds the exact same as what I’ve seen when I visit. When I travel, I always look for the authentic experience of someone who lives there...and I'm glad to know I’m getting that. Again, it did surprise me how often they go out to eat. I was truly under the impression that they sit around listening to records a lot and cook at home."

Did your twin's diary sound like her?

"Yep, to a tee. I stay with her when I visit, so I get to see her get ready for work, commute to work, etc. I know all the places she’s talking about in her Money Diary, too."

Who is the more frugal twin?

"I would say we probably spend similar amounts of money, but we value different things. Overall, I spend more on shopping, occasional luxury handbag splurges, and little trips whereas she'll save for a big trip out of the country and eating at really good restaurants instead of fast food."
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