A Week In Brooklyn, NY, On A $65,000 Salary

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: an account manager working in nonprofit consulting who makes $65,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Pirate's Booty.
Occupation: Account Manager
Industry: Nonprofit Consulting
Age: 24
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,750
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $675
Student Loan Payment: $250-$500
Health Insurance: $80/paycheck
Care/Of Vitamins: $28
IRS Payment Plan: $150
Internet: $15 for my share
Electric/Heat/House Supplies: $60-80/month
House Cleaner: $24/month for my share for once-a-week cleaning
Phone Bill: I am on a plan with my sisters. I am almost done paying my phone payment plan, just two months to go. As of now, its $70 per month, and once I'm done it will be $32.
Charity: I give $100 to my parents every month to help with expenses for my three younger siblings who live at home, $54 to a campus organization, and $18 to a local organization that helps at-risk teenage girls.
ClassPass: $15
Yoga Studio: $60/month for five classes
Spotify: $15 (My friends and I split a family plan.)
Medication: $35 copay
Netflix: $7 for my share (I split this with my sister.)
Savings: $50

Day One

6 a.m. — My alarm goes off at 6, but I snooze it until 6:30. It's the day after New Year's, and I have my period so it feels like a Monday. I scroll through Facebook to see if there's anything interesting. A woman is giving away a free plant, but I respond too late and lose the opportunity. Oh well. I go to the kitchen and turn on hot water, then get dressed in leggings and an oversized knit sweater since I plan to hit up a hip-hop class on my way home from work and hate schlepping a change of clothes.
7:30 a.m. — Make a coffee to go, grab the salad I prepared last night, nibble on some homemade sugar-free grainless almond butter biscotti, and begin my 30-minute walk to work. I love that my work is walking distance — it gives me time to wake up, and it's great (okay decent) exercise.
8:15 a.m. — I clock in at the office, put my salad in the fridge, and get some cold brew from the tap. Thank god for hipster coworking spaces. This is definitely the highlight of my day! I only let myself have one cold brew, but today calls for a second. I go on the computer and process a few returns for items I ordered. I remember that my friend asked me to contribute to a pooled gift for a mutual friend, so I Venmo her $25. $25
11:15 a.m. — I have an hour-long meeting that begins at 11:30, and I'm already feeling hungry. I grab my salad from the fridge. My friend texts me and asks if I want to grab drinks or dinner later. We settle for having dinner and wine at my place.
2 p.m. — My meetings are finished for the day, so I check my texts. An organization that's been helping my mom who is battling cancer is hosting a 24-hour online fundraiser. I go to the fundraising site and donate $36. $36
4:45 p.m. — Still on a call, so I switch it to mobile and head out of the office to head to my beginner's hip-hop class I booked on ClassPass this morning. I arrive at the dance studio just in time for class at 5 and end my call. I love this particular dance studio because it's so affordable and really has a sense of community, plus it's right on my route home from work. The owner is the smiliest and sweetest woman. The best thing is that the classes are only four ClassPass credits. Talk about bang for your buck.
6:30 p.m. — I head to my place and heat up a tray of lemon garlic chicken that I prepared last night. I grab a bag of TJ's cauliflower, drizzle some spices/olive oil on it, and pop it on the bottom rack of the oven. My friend arrives at 7. Dinner is ready. We grab a bottle of wine that was in the fridge leftover from a girls' brunch I hosted at my place on Saturday. The chicken is divine — I love it when whole garlic cloves and lemon halves caramelize once they've sizzled in chicken fat at a medium temp for a few hours. This recipe is always a hit.
10 p.m. — I take out my contacts and wash/moisturize my face. My friend heads home, and I'm asleep within minutes.
Daily Total: $61

Day Two

5:56 a.m. — My body wakes me up at 5:56 but I just hang out in bed until 6:30. Luckily, my colitis has been super manageable these last few months, which also means that I don't have my body jolting me out of bed to go take an explosive shit first thing in the morning. It also means I have less pressure to get out of bed, and I end up leaving the house later than I want to. At 7:10, I grab my coffee to go and a salad I prepared a couple days ago and some tomatoes in the fridge. Since I'm leaving for the weekend, I really want to clean everything out, so I figure I'll just eat these tomatoes for snack. I munch on some almond butter biscotti while I walk to work and listen to an episode of Netflix's Comedians of the World while I walk.
7:50 a.m. — I arrive at the office. I love being the first one here. It's super soothing to just have my coffee by myself before the chaos begins. I take my Care/Of vitamins and update it on the app. I'm a sucker for the “carrots” they give you for reporting, and I hate when I break my streak. I also use this as a reminder for when I need to take my anti-inflammatory meds for colitis. My GI gave me a little talk last time I went in about taking my health seriously, and I'm trying to make this a priority for 2019.
12:24 p.m. — I get an email from Urban Outfitters and browse their sale. I am desperately looking for cropped sweaters to wear to work since I'm short and everything just hits me in all the wrong places. I just spent $1,000 last month on clothing, something I justified because I recently lost 30 pounds and suddenly my work wardrobe consisted of about three winter dresses, one pair of jeans, and one sweater top. I'm still adjusting to my new body and figuring out what works on me, so I end up returning about $500 worth of stuff. I decide against purchasing anything from UO — I don't want to spend more than $30 on a ribbed turtleneck.
4:08 p.m. — I leave the office, and it is so windy. I decide against walking 20 minutes to Best Buy and take a bus instead using my auto-refill MetroCard. (It's the best and most convenient thing for me since I only take public transit five to seven times a month.) I arrive at Best Buy, and the lady at the register says she'll take back the gift my boss gave me in exchange for a gift card. My roommate had asked me to pick something up for her, so I use my gift card and she sends me $42.55 via Cash App.
5 p.m. — I leave Best Buy and head into the subway to head home. Yay, the turnstile thingy counts my swipe as a transfer! Win.
5:30 p.m. — I get home and grab a pack of two small club steaks out of the freezer. As someone who grew up poor and probably didn't try red meat until I was in my late teens, I kind of feel like I'm making up for lost time. Also, $7.50 for delicious steak that takes four minutes to make is cheaper than eating out, amirite? Okay okay, it's horrible for the environment and my cholesterol. I need to break out of this new habit asap.
7:30 p.m. — I get a text from S., the guy I'm seeing as of a week ago, about plans for Saturday night, and he asks if I prefer to meet him in the city as opposed to my neighborhood. I get a little bit of anxiety since this would mean going into his turf, not vice versa. I tell him that I'm down but I make a mental note to express this to him before we meet up.
9:30 p.m. — My roommate is finally finished doing her laundry so I throw my clothes in the machine. I'm lucky AF to have a machine in my apartment, even if it takes up a quarter of our microscopic kitchen and can sometimes shake so much if you don't load it right that it's literally walking halfway across the kitchen. Still, #blessed.
10:30 p.m. — My friend who lives a couple blocks over messages me that she wants to return some cheese boards she borrowed. I tell her to come by. I take my load out of the machine, hang up some clothes, and throw the rest in the dryer. She comes over, and we bitch about life on the couch for 45 minutes before she heads home. I brush my teeth with my amazingly gorgeous Goby toothbrush (mouthgasms are a thing, okay?), moisturize my face and eyes, and hit the sack.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:15 a.m. — My alarm rings, I snooze for 15 minutes, and then remember that I want to be in the office early so I can get a mani/pedi later. I sit on the toilet and scroll through Facebook.
6:45 a.m. — Today is a leggings/sweater kind of day. I put on some Revisionist Skincare tinted moisturizer and mascara and spray on some perfume from a Sephora sample, make myself a tea, and grab some of that grainless biscotti I made last night. I stick a banana in my backpack for later, too. I leave the house and walk a block, but these new sneakers are killing me. I turn around and head back into my house to change my shoes, super annoyed that I can no longer return the sneakers. I head back out and place a mobile order at Starbucks for a grande latte to pick up on my walk to work. $4.84
11:30 a.m. — I really wanted to leave at 11, but things being the way they are…it took longer than I thought for me to generate some reports my supervisor requested. The company I work for is owned and operated by Orthodox Jews, so we get out early on Fridays. I walk to the salon and arrive at 11:50. I love my manicurist — I mentioned that I was in a rush to leave before 1, and she managed to give me a gel mani and a pedi in under an hour! I tip her $8. $50.58
12:45 p.m. — I remember that I have no food in my house, so I head to a pizza place across from the salon and order a goat cheese salad. As I'm waiting, I get a message from my friend that she is going to be at my house with the van we're renting in 15 minutes. I start stressing because I still haven't packed, and omg why am I always this dysfunctional? I keep staring over the glass at the kitchen staff who are taking what feels like FOREVER to make my salad. I debate just leaving without it, but then it comes. I run two blocks to my house, cursing myself for not being a better planner, and pack my things and a bottle of wine haphazardly in a Trader Joe's reusable bag. I'm ready just as my friend drives up to my building. $15.48
3 p.m. — I arrive in Jersey. My friend's parents have a cute little house out in the 'burbs that feels like a getaway for us city kids. Her parents are super crunchy granola and are into things like fermenting and growing their own vegetables and homeopathic stuff. I learn a lot whenever I come here. There are 15 of us girls over for the weekend, and I'm feeling super overwhelmed getting adjusted. I find a little corner in the kitchen and help myself to some meatballs and grainless/sugarless chocolate pecan cake.
4:24 p.m. — We all gather around the dining room table and light Shabbat candles together. Then we all check our phones for the last time in the next 25 hours. Honestly, this is a delightful treat that I look forward to — spending time together without a screen. My friends are all Orthodox. I was raised that way but no longer identify as such, but I still participate in the rituals. I love that my friends accept me for who I am and people are often surprised at how engaged I am with my community.
6 p.m. — We sing the Shabbat prayers together, and then we all gather around the dining room table for delicious Shabbat dinner of homemade Indonesian soup, challah and dips, and grilled veggies and a platter of hummus topped with stir-fried ground beef. Our host asks us to go around the table and say our names, our passion, and what we want to be when we grow up if we could be anything. It's a lot of fun, but it takes about two hours!
11 p.m. — Someone decides to start an impromptu blessing circle. It's a weird thing that makes me feel like I'm my mom, but why not. Everyone goes around the table and says their name and their mom's name and what they want to be blessed with this year, and everyone else says amen. I'm normally not into engaging in these rituals, but hey — if my blessings come true, it's worth a shot.
1:50 a.m. — After gossiping and singing our hearts out all night, I finally knock out on one of the beds.
Daily Total: $70.90

Day Four

10 a.m. — I wake up, wash my face, moisturize. Being that I don't plan to leave the house today until way later, I skip makeup. Ugh, I love when I can do this. I head downstairs, have a coffee in the kitchen, and start chatting with my friend's mom about dating “these days.”
11 a.m. — We gather for brunch. Since Jewish law doesn't allow us to cook on Shabbat, my host serves a pot of cinnamon pecan oatmeal that was left in the Crock-Pot overnight with fresh berries, yogurts, and homemade granola.
3 p.m. — We gather for a late lunch of champagne, salmon, cheese boards, challah, and salads. If it feels like all we do on Shabbat is eat and sit around and chat, it's true! We consider going for a hike, but it's cold and raining, so most of us just stay in.
5:30 p.m. — Shabbat is out. We all gather in the kitchen for the havdallah ceremony which commemorates the separation of the holiness of Shabbat and the mundanity of the week to come with a candle and spices. My really talented hostess is a brilliant vocalist and musician. She plays the guitar and her dad makes the blessing while we all sing together.
6:45 p.m. — We head back to Brooklyn and arrive at around 8 p.m. I send my friend $25 via Cash App for my share of the rental car. At 8:15 I arrive at home, take a shower, unpack my things and pack for later at the same time, and leave my shit everywhere. I text S. that I'll be at his place at around 10. $25
10:15 p.m. — I arrive at S.'s place. We head out to a kosher restaurant on the Upper East Side. I order a quinoa kale salad and he gets shakshuka. My salad has way too much balsamic vinegar so I barely eat it. He says his shakshuka is too watery. We head out to a bar nearby. S. gets a beer and I get a scotch. He pays. Then we head to his place at around midnight and go to sleep at around 3.
Daily Total: $25

Day Five

7:20 a.m. — My body wakes me up but I am too exhausted. I fall back asleep until 10. S. and I cuddle for a bit, decide on a place for breakfast, and make plans to go the Museum of Natural History.
12:15 p.m. — We take a crosstown bus to the Upper West Side, where there's a kosher brunch place I want to try. S. doesn't keep kosher, but I do. We arrive, and it's closed, so we head to another place nearby. I order an omelette and a Caesar salad, and he orders an Israeli breakfast. Since I chose the place, I pay. S. protests, but I win. $42.71
2:30 p.m. — S. is feeling a bit under the weather, so we change our plans and decide to go home to watch a movie. We head to a CVS for some cough drops and I buy a bag of Pirate's Booty for us to munch on while we Netflix. $3.99
3:30 p.m. — We get to his place and put on Black Mirror: Bandersnatch on Netflix. It feels like it's SOOO LONG, but S. is kind of hooked. I finally convince him to shut it off, and we end up debating values. He's studying law and economics, and we're both talkers who can barely sit quietly and listen to each other. It's fun, and we don't want it to end, but I have a class in Brooklyn I need to catch. He kisses me goodbye, and we make tentative plans to see each other again tomorrow night.
5:30 p.m. — I rush to the train to head to my pottery class in Brooklyn. It costs me $500 for a series of eight classes, but this was my gift to myself with my end-of-year bonus. Last year, I started doing yoga and decided that this year I wanted to take up wheel throwing. I get off the train, and I'm feeling entirely lost. It also dawns on me that in my LBD, heels, and tights I am totally in the wrong attire for a pottery class. Whatever. I am late to catching the bus, so I decide to call an Uber and justify it because I want to avoid the double whammy of walking in late to pottery class dressed up for a date. $12.48
6:30 p.m. — I make it just in time for class. The class starts, and I realize that it's only me and one other person with NO prior experience whatsoever. I really suck at this, and it's MUCH harder than I expected. I also have like NO upper body strength, and it's been awhile since I've eaten so I'm feeling lightheaded. I think I might just be bad at anything that requires pedals. Like, I don't drive and don't even ride a bike! I remind myself that when I started doing yoga I sucked at it, and I will suck at this for a while, but eventually, if I stick it out long enough, I'll reach a state of flow.
9 p.m. — I take the bus home with my MetroCard. When I arrive, I take some steaks out of the freezer to defrost since I have no other food in my apartment. After that shower, I unpack my things and make another batch of almond butter biscotti when I discover that Thursday's batch is gone. (I'm thinking my roommate had some late night munchies and devoured the pan. Wah.) I make myself another one and the steak, even though I know I will feel gross about it.
10:20 p.m. — Text my friend to confirm our coffee date for 8 a.m. tomorrow. I secretly hope she will cancel since I'm EXHAUSTED, but she doesn't. I remember that I have a Target promo code on Google Express that's expiring. I order some panty liners, a case of paper towels, and some Hydro Seal Band-Aids that my friend's mom recommended I get to help heal a cyst I have. I also decide to take advantage of the 30% off and order a couple of pillows, since mine are SO stiff, and I hate it. The total is $64.31, but with the coupon it comes to $46.59. I add the total for the paper towels to my roomie group on Splitwise, so my share of it is only $7.12. I set my alarm for 7 and fall asleep at around 11. $46.59
Daily Total: $105.77

Day Six

6:47 a.m. — My body wakes me up with the urge to take a shit. I get up and switch over my laundry into the dryer. I check my phone — my friend ends up cancelling on me, but I don't mind. I want to get into the office early today since I have a dentist appointment later. I put on hot water for coffee but then realize that there's no milk, so I decide I'll pick up a latte on my way to the office. I throw on my cute new Madewell sweater and a pair of leggings.
7:40 a.m. — I leave my house with a bag of almond butter biscotti for the way. IT'S FREEZING, OMG. I walk a block and decide it's too cold. I go back into my house, grab a warmer coat, and then head back out again and pre-order a grande latte on my Starbucks app. I get to the office at around 8:20. $4.84
11:30 a.m. — I feel hunger coming on, so I grab a banana from my bag and head to the kitchen in my office. There's some leftover papaya and pomegranate seeds on a fruit platter. I scoop some Siggi's yogurt from the large container I put in the office fridge last week, top it with sliced banana, papaya, and pomegranate, and take it to my desk with a cup of kombucha. S. texts me that he's not feeling well, so we might not be able to hang out tonight. I text my sisters to see if we can reschedule our movie night to see On the Basis of Sex tonight instead of Tuesday. They're all in, so I buy the tickets on the Fandango app and decide to pay for my littlest sister who is still in high school and doesn't have money. $36.50
1:30 p.m. — My mom texts me asking me for the password to her Con Ed account. I'm trying to help her manage her bills, since chemo makes it tough for her to keep up. I finally got her to switch everything to paperless, but it's been a learning curve for her. I text her that I want to visit the family sometime soon, since it's been a while. We schedule a breakfast for next week.
2:30 p.m. — I leave work early for the dentist. I am really grateful that I have a job with flex hours. Self-care is a full-time job! I grab the city bus at the corner near my work. My auto-refill MetroCard won't swipe, but the driver is kind enough to let me on. I look at my card and notice a huge scratch across the magnetic strip. RIP, faithful MetroCard. I make a mental note to report it as damaged.
3:09 p.m. — I arrive at the dentist late. (Thank you Google Maps for telling me “you're here” when I was NOT here, lol.) They have me fill out forms and wait about an hour *eye roll*. The dentist is a super sweetheart. I only have three cavities to fill, which is a lot less than I bargained for having not gone to the dentist in like eight years. I was inspired to go finally by an ache that turned out to be my wisdom tooth growing in. The dentist thinks it's okay for now, but suggests I get a full panoramic X-ray. When I find out it will be $150, I decide it can wait a few months. I pay the $117 for the appointment and schedule another one for three weeks from now time to get my fillings. $117
5 p.m. — I have a therapy appointment at 5:30, but I'm about 20 minutes from home, I am STARVING, and I remember that I have no food in my house. I HATE cancelling and being a flake, but if I want to eat something healthy and get to the movie on time, there's just no way I can make it. I text my therapist, and we reschedule for Wednesday. I head to Trader Joe's to pick up some groceries. I grab bananas, almond butter, dates, kale, green beans, cauliflower florets, tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurts, grainless granola, and two packs of sliced salmon. $58.50
5:30 p.m. — I head into the subway and realize it's been over a year since I've purchased a new MetroCard from one of the machines. I purchase one and put $13.50 onto it. Later I check my credit card statement and see that I was charged $30 for my automatic MetroCard for some reason (annoying!). $43.50
6 p.m. — I get home, throw a pan of salmon in the oven, and grab some almond butter biscotti for a snack. I am still STARVING. In the meantime, I open up some packages that came in the mail from H&M and ASOS. Most will be returned, as usual, which I'm both annoyed and secretly glad about. I take a quick body shower, and I'm out the door in 30 minutes.
7:30 p.m. — I meet my sisters at the theater, and we're all about 15 minutes late. One sister orders a popcorn for us to share. The movie is cute but a little cheesy and underwhelming. I'm not sure what I expected. My sisters and I take the train home and get back at around 10:30. I clean my room a bit and then go to sleep at around 11:30.
Daily Total: $260.34

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — My alarm rings. I snooze it and get out of bed at 6:47. Then I scroll on Facebook while on the toilet for 20 minutes and remember I need to get to the office early. I do my makeup routine, throw on some jeans and a brand new black sweater from H&M that came yesterday, make myself a coffee to go, and grab some salmon and a banana for lunch. I play another episode of Comedians of the World for my walk. I get to the office at about 8:20.
10:45 a.m. — I go to the kitchen and cut up a banana to eat with my Siggi's yogurt and some grainless granola.
11:09 a.m. — I get a call from the dentist's office — apparently the dude left my ID in the copy machine, and I need it ASAP since I'm flying this weekend. Crap. I do not have any time to go back to pick it up this week. I kick myself again for being so dysfunctional.
2:30 p.m. — Starving again. I grab salmon from the fridge and eat it straight from the container at my desk. I'm having a super difficult time focusing on my work today — I'm anxious about a bunch of things I need to take care of in my personal life. I recall an article I read the other day that said often anxiety/depression in women is often undiagnosed ADHD. Times like these make me wonder if I've just gone undiagnosed the entire short span of my adult life.
5:15 p.m. — I leave the office and head home. I planned to do a bunch of errands like dropping off my coat at the dry cleaner and taking my leather sneakers to the shoe repair to get them stretched so they won't hurt as much when I walk, but S. is waiting at my place. He's leaving for vacation tomorrow, and I want to spend time with him before he goes. The errands will have to wait for another day.
8 p.m. — We debate dinner options and end up settling on a high-end pizza and wine bar in my neighborhood. We order some truffle mushroom pizza and fries, and I get some red wine sangria. I usually avoid all of those foods because of my colitis management, but tonight I decide to treat myself. S. pays.
10 p.m. — We head home and snuggle together. Then we get into a little argument, which turns into a laughing fit at some point. S. is cute, but I'm still deciding how I feel about him compatibility wise. I turn in at 1 a.m., and he goes on his computer to get some work done.
Daily Total: $0
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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