A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $60,000 Salary

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Today: an account executive working in entertainment who makes $60,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on organic tomato sauce.
Occupation: Account Executive
Industry: Entertainment
Age: 23
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $60,000 + $60,000 bonus (OTE)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,880.95
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent $1,400 (for a room in a three-bedroom apartment)
Student Loans: $0 (I have $13,500 USD in student loans in Australia. I pay one lump sum at the end of the year based on earnings.)
Utilities: ~$50
Phone: $51.83
Spotify and Hulu bundle: $9.99
Netflix: $0 (courtesy of parents!)
Amazon Prime: $12.99
Classpass: $50
Savings: $375

Day One

6 a.m. — I wake up to get ready for work. I am super tired after my flight from Nashville got in late last night. I send a text to my boss to ask if I can work from home today. I roll over and snuggle into my girlfriend, P., and go back to sleep.
7:50 a.m. — I wake up for real this time, still feeling a little sleepy but ready to work. I say goodbye to P. as she leaves for the day. We share a three-bedroom apartment with our roommate/friend, L. P. and I got together after living together for almost a year and a half — who says dating your roommate is a bad idea?!?
12 p.m. — I take a break from work to eat a healthy and balanced lunch of Tate's chocolate chip cookies. They're the best! I work in B2B sales, so my day usually consists of a healthy balance of pitching and managing accounts. The account management aspect is new to me this year and I'm really enjoying it so far!
4:45 p.m. — Today flies by! I was attending a conference in Nashville last week, so there's a lot to catch up on. I mostly reply to emails that I couldn't get to during the conference. I text P. to ask what we are planning to do for dinner tonight and we decide on cooking a chicken tikka masala with zoodles with extras for lunch during the week. I tell her I'll head to the grocery store at 5 and she sends me a grocery list. I get most of our groceries at Trader Joe's: two pounds of chicken thighs, two mini tubs of plain greek yogurt (I accidentally bought blueberry last time — facepalm!), a lemon, a bulb of garlic, an onion, and full-fat coconut milk. I might send a Venmo request for this later, but I am more of a fan of the “I get this one, you get the next one” philosophy. $31.12
5:45 p.m. — I pick up the remaining groceries at Safeway. I buy three organic zucchinis, a bunch of organic bananas, and one can of tomato sauce when I was supposed to buy two — oops! I realize on my way home that I forgot the second can of tomato sauce, so I stop by an organic store and get one. $9.41
6:20 p.m. — I FaceTime with my mum who lives in Australia, where I'm from. She and my stepdad are coming to visit me later this week, but the exchange rate is really bad for them. She tells me I should take advantage of this and send some of my US money back to Australia. I decide to transfer $6,000 from my savings to pay for my student loans. I have about $13,500 (USD) in student loans in Australia and this covers about half of my loan given the exchange rate! $6,000
8 p.m. — P., L. and I sit down to watch The Bachelor. L.'s boyfriend lives in a different state and his sister records The Bachelor every week. We have access to their DVR, so we get to watch it without ads! After the episode's finished, we get ready and go to bed and I sleep in P.'s room tonight.
Daily Total: $6,040.53

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I wake up and get ready for work. I do a full face of makeup every morning — moisturizer/SPF, concealer, foundation, powder, bronzer, highlighter, brows, eyeshadow, curl my lashes, and apply mascara. It only takes me 15 minutes since I do this every day. I listen to ABC's podcast, Start Here as I get ready every morning.
7:55 a.m. — I leave the house and walk to work, which is 20 minutes from my apartment. I listen to another podcast, Smuggler's Daughter, on my way to work. It's really interesting and I'm almost finished!
10 a.m. — I usually get hungry at 10 every day, since I don't eat breakfast. I know, I know, but eating early makes me feel queasy, and I usually just don't feel hungry until this time. I eat a banana that I brought from home.
12:30 p.m. — I brought leftover chicken tikka masala and zoodles for lunch today, but forgot we have a team outing! Four of our remote team members are visiting the San Francisco office today. We head out to a mini-golf course that is right by our work. While we're there, we have lunch — pizza and wings! I keep my chicken tikka masala in the work fridge for lunch tomorrow. During lunch, I check my phone and see three missed calls from my grandma, so I call her back. She's just heard about the tornado in Tennessee and was crying because she was worried about me. I talk to her for a while and reassure her that I'm back in San Francisco and I'm okay. My grandma and I are so close and it makes me upset that she was this worried!
5 p.m. — My Stitch Fix gets shipped to work every other month, so I open up my box and I love my pieces this month! This is my third fix — I got a promo for three fixes for one $25 price! I really love everything in this box, so I show my coworkers and boss before heading home at 5:20. I'll try things on and decide what to keep later.
5:45 p.m. — I get home and smoke some weed from my Pax (vape) while I unpack my suitcase from Nashville and tidy my room. I catch up on Money Diaries and book some restaurants that I'm planning to take my parents to when they're here. I also chat with L. for a bit and cook naan bread as a sad dinner since I can't decide what to eat. P. comes home after drinks with her coworkers and we chat about her day a little. She had a stressful day today so I do my best to reassure her it'll all be okay. We then say goodnight and sleep separately in our own rooms. We do this two nights a week to give P. some recharge time. I am SUPER tired today, so it's lights out at about 10:15.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:55 a.m. — I'm woken up by P. coming in to give me a kiss goodbye as she leaves for her workout class this morning, then I fall back asleep.
7:30 a.m. — I finally get up out of bed and take a little extra time doing my makeup today because we're having headshots taken at work. I listen to Start Here and catch up with the Super Tuesday results. It's a little frustrating not being able to vote because I'm not a U.S. citizen, but I enjoy keeping up to date with what's going on. Then I'm out the door and at work by 8:20 and get sucked into my work right away.
12 p.m. — I stop for a quick break to eat chicken tikka masala and zoodles, and to book tickets for an Alcatraz tour for when my parents visit. I've never done the Alcatraz tour before, so I'm looking forward to it. I opt for the nighttime tour and buy three tickets. $141.90
5 p.m. — I have my headshot taken and hope it turns out okay! I leave work and P. texts me to say that she is stopping at a dispensary on the way home, so we both head home to smoke a little. I was planning to work out this afternoon, but I am always so tired the week after conferences. I try on all my clothes from my Stitch Fix and end up buying all five items. $168.80
9:30 p.m. — After watching RuPaul's Drag Race (I'm introducing P. and we're on season four) and tonight's episode of Survivor, P. and I head to our own rooms and call it a night.
Daily Total: $310.70

Day Four

6:45 a.m. — I wake up to my alarm, then brush my teeth and sneak into P.'s room for morning cuddles. I lay around a little too long, so I speedily do my makeup and head out the door with a banana and chicken tikka masala zoodles.
12:30 p.m. — I break for lunch and my parents' flight lands! I'm looking forward to seeing them at dinner tonight.
5 p.m. — I head out of work and my parents are outside to surprise me! We walk together to the local library, where I tutor a fourth-grader who is struggling with her reading. I do this for an hour each week and she's been improving so much since we started nine months ago. I finish up with tutoring and my parents drop by the library with a cupcake for my student. So sweet of them! We chat with my student and her mom for a bit, then head to dinner at a local restaurant, where we share guacamole, popcorn shrimp, and tacos. My mum pays. I take a shared Lyft home since regular ones are double the usual price. $8.95
9 p.m. — I'm back at home and after showering, brushing my teeth, and applying the La Neige sleeping mask, I snuggle down into P.'s bed and wait for her to get home from seeing a drag show with some coworkers, but fall asleep before she gets home.
Daily Total: $8.95

Day Five

6:45 a.m. — Both P.'s and my alarms go off at the same time, and I fall asleep again accidentally and wake at 7:45.
8:15 a.m. — I have been super lethargic this week and think it might be from a lack of iron in my diet, which happens somewhat frequently to me. P. comes back from her workout class and hangs out with me while I finish getting ready. I then go to the wash and fold (laundry service) to drop off my laundry. My apartment building doesn't have a laundry (very SF) and so I find it easier just to drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon, but honestly, I probably should have gone to the coin-op this week since I haven't been very busy. I'll pick it up tomorrow morning and pay then. I also Uber to work since I am running super late! $9.55
8:40 a.m. — Finally get to work and get settled in for the day! I make some calls, do a webinar, and send a lot of emails, just the usual. In the afternoon I submit two expense reports — one for the conference, which was mostly Ubers, coffees, and bag fees since I had already expensed my flight and the hotel was booked on the company card. This expense report totals at $165.24. My second expense is for my upcoming work visa renewal in a couple of months and is $207.93. Both expenses are approved and transferred via ACH.
3 p.m. — I finish my day by following up on calls and webinars that I completed this week, and my parents meet me in the office at 4:15. I give them a tour and introduce them to my coworkers and boss, then we start walking to a wine bar near my apartment to have drinks with P. and L. About five minutes into our walk, my mum's boot heel falls right off her shoe. We Uber to my apartment to lend her a pair of mine instead. $8.36
4:45 p.m. — We arrive at home and P. is finishing up getting ready. We are both a little nervous because it's the first time she's meeting my parents! Our relationship is still fairly new, and I only told my parents when I was home for the holidays at the end of last year. We're both hoping it goes well tonight.
7 p.m. — We all share two bottles of rosé (and a couple of beers for my stepdad), burrata, and brussels sprouts and our check comes out to $238 (including tip). My mum pays. Drinks have gone really well and my parents enjoyed talking to P. and L.! L. heads home to pack for her trip tomorrow and we decide to walk to our restaurant, which is about 20 minutes away.
9:30 p.m. — Dinner goes really well! The food is delicious — it's an upscale Chinese lounge-style restaurant. The check totals around $500, but my stepdad paid for this and wouldn't let me see the exact amount. It's really nice of them to treat me (and P.!) while they are here and I'm very appreciative. My parents Uber back to their hotel and P. and I walk home and are asleep by 11 or so.
Daily Total: $17.81

Day Six

9 a.m. — P. and I wake up and we are craving chocolate croissants. We walk over to a bakery across the street. They don't have chocolate croissants today so instead, she opts for a raspberry danish and I choose a cinnamon roll. I pay and it's $6 for the both of us. $6
11 a.m. — After lounging around in bed together for a while, I make plans to meet up with my parents downtown. We were planning to visit a farmer's market but it's raining. I stop by the wash and fold to pick up my laundry. It is two weeks' worth and costs $21.22. I quickly get changed and do my makeup and then walk downtown to meet my mum at Nordstrom to look for a new pair of boots. $21.22
12:30 p.m. — My mum gifts me a bunch of tulips! They're giving away bunches today for free in Union Square. It's so sweet of her to pick some up for me. We don't find any boots in Nordstrom, but we do in Bloomingdale's and she gets 35% off. After this, we head back to the hotel where I put the tulips in a vase in my parents' room and split a turkey club sandwich with my stepdad. This is covered by the food and beverage credit they get from the hotel. We uber to Pier 33 to walk around a little before our Alcatraz tour this afternoon. $10.35
7 p.m. — Our Alcatraz tour is really great. We all enjoy learning about Alcatraz and the backstories of some of the prisoners there. It's really eerie to walk around the prison at nighttime. After our ferry gets back to the city at 7, we Uber to a French restaurant that my mum and I really enjoyed the last time she was here. $12.02
9 p.m. — I love this restaurant. It's such great quality, classic French food with live jazz music. We start with beef tartare and a selection of pâté. For mains, my mum has a coq au vin, I have steak frites, and my stepdad has mussels. We share a pinot noir with our dinner. It's a really nice evening and I enjoy the time we spend together catching up. After we finish, my mum pays ($250) and we take separate Ubers home. $8.36
10 p.m. — P. and I cuddle up and spend some time together. We watch a movie, which kind of sends me into an anxious spiral because it deals with grief and suicide. We go to sleep and I'm still wound up but decide not to talk about it because I don't want to worry P.
Daily Total: $57.95

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I wake up and I pretty much immediately apologize to P. because I realize that I did worry her last night. It's sometimes a little difficult for me to talk about things when I get wound up like that, and I'm glad to be starting therapy again in a couple of weeks to help ease some of my anxieties. I went to therapy for about three months after my dad died last year, but stopped going because I felt that I had healed from that experience and my therapist wasn't the right fit.
11 a.m. — After some more laying around with P., I get dressed and meet my parents outside my apartment for a Sunday morning walk. It's a really nice day, so we decide to head to a farmer's market that has a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way. We chat and talk about the history of San Francisco while we walk.
1 p.m. — We take a look at some stores in a neighborhood of San Francisco that reminds my parents of our neighborhood back in Sydney, and then take a Lyft to a nearby neighborhood for lunch. We stop by a bookstore where I find a beautiful French cookbook that is 75% off! I love the recipes and can't resist this purchase, so I buy it ($10.74) and am very pleased with myself for finding it. We then stop by another French restaurant for lunch where we have another beautiful lunch. I have mussels, my mum has a Nicoise salad, and my stepdad has French onion soup. I pay for our lunch today to say thank you to my parents and show them that I'm not just mooching off them. My mum says this isn't necessary, but since they flew all the way to see me, I want to treat them as well ($92.53). $103.27
2:30 p.m. — I try to convince my parents to get a scoop at Salt and Straw, but they are way too full from lunch. I get a kid's size scoop for myself of Salted Caramel Cupcake ($4.15) and we continue walking around the area and looking at boutiques before taking Lyft ($9.29) back to my parents' hotel. $13.44
3 p.m. — My mum was kind enough to bring over a dress for a wedding I'm attending later this year, as well as some snacks I miss. She also brought me some t-shirts and a sweatshirt which I love. I pick these up, along with the boots I lent her the other night and the tulips. I don't stay for long, and Uber back to my apartment so my mum can work and I can hang out with P. $8.57
5:30 p.m. — P. has been cooking chocolate chip banana bread today. It's so delicious and one of my favorite treats, so it's sweet that she made it. While I was out with my parents, she also stocked up on some nonperishables. I join her in watching the first episode of Love Is Blind, and I can't believe how into this show I am. My mum texts me to ask if P. is going to join us for dinner tonight. This is HUGE and P. and I are both so excited, so I adjust our reservation and we continue to cuddle up and be gross. We also start to cook our lunch for the week — a beef stew.
7:20 p.m. — P. and I leave home to meet my parents. The restaurant is just a couple of blocks from us, so we walk over. This is another upscale Chinese restaurant. The food is good, but our service is not great, which is disappointing because the last time P. and I were here, it was fantastic! We learn that they're understaffed tonight and that explains it. We enjoy another great meal — dumplings, Peking duck, green beans, Chinese broccoli, and fried rice. P. and I take the leftover green beans and fried rice for lunch/dinner throughout the week. My mum pays for this and our check is at $315, including tip. We say goodbye to my parents — they're heading to New York tomorrow morning for the week but will be back in San Francisco on the weekend.
9:30 p.m. — P. and I arrive back home (we walked again) and get ready for bed. We smoke some indica from my pax (P. has lost hers in her room somewhere) and watch an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race. We fall asleep snuggling, ready for the new week to begin!
Daily Total: $125.28
Editor's Note: This diary was written before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and current CDC guidelines about social distancing and travel restrictions were put into effect. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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