A Week In Mexico City On A $46,000 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: am Account Manager working in Tech who makes $46,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Osmosis Skincare.
Editor's Note: All currency has been converted to USD.
Occupation: Account Manager
Industry: Tech
Age: 34
Location: Mexico City
Salary: $46,000 ($22 per hour full time)
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $880
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $550 for my half of a two-bed/two-bath apartment with security and earthquake protection in a trendy neighborhood
Mortgage: $1,200 (I own a condo in the USA and make $270 per month from my tenant)
Spotify: $10
Netflix: $10
Jiu Jitsu Gym: $86
Vanguard: $150 (I have $10,000 in this account already, plus $60,000 in an old 401k, plus $10,000 in a money market account. I owe $125,000 on my condo and it is currently valued at $180,000.)
Savings: $500-$1,000 (I try to save $1,000 per month, and should be back on track with this next month. I just moved and switched jobs, so had some related expenses that cut into my ability to save last month.)
Cell Phone: $264 (paid once yearly)
Health Insurance: $360 (paid once yearly)

Day One

8 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I've been really into sleeping lately (a result of a few weeks of partying). I make my own schedule at work, but want to get an early start today, so I eventually get up and dressed. We don't have climate control and it's cold this morning, so I add leg warmers and a jacket over my jeans and t-shirt. I head to the bakery next door to buy a loaf of sliced bread. I also get an americano for me and a cappuccino for our security guard. I realize this is like the third time I've bought THIS guard a coffee, but I've never bought anything for the other. I know they gossip a lot between them, so I'll try to remember to even the score tomorrow. I make an egg and toast and sit down to work. $4
11 a.m. — I do jiu-jitsu three afternoons per week. I like the daytime classes because it's usually a 17-year-old kid and me. The instructor is a 55-year-old rockabilly, and he is a great coach. I leave at 11 for an 11 a.m. class (no one gets there on time). The walk is about 10 minutes through a pretty part of town with old buildings, fountains, cafes, and flowers. By now, it is sunny and warm. I listen to a pop-punk playlist in preparation for a concert I am going to tomorrow.
2 p.m. — There are three adult men in class today. They usually train at night, but they are good partners — one of them is only 18 kilos more than me. I rarely get to work with someone so close in size. He invites me to a party he is throwing at a club tonight and we exchange Whatsapps after class. On the way home, I stop at the grocery store and get laundry detergent, avocado, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, cookies, cheese, Nature Valley bars, and ground coffee. I also get a reusable bag because my roommate's dog ripped mine to shreds last week. I get home and make a chicken and avocado grilled cheese for dinner. I then shower, start laundry, and begin working again. $24.93
3 p.m. — I use three skincare products every day from a line called Osmosis. It is suuuper expensive to have them shipped to Mexico, and I'm going to the States next week, so I bite the bullet and order a new bottle of each to my friend's address even though I have plenty at home right now. I usually have to re-up on these two or three times a year. I google "Osmosis Discount Codes" before placing my order and get 20% (more than $60!!!) off. Between this and the custom facials I get whenever I am in my hometown, I'm sure I spend over $1,500 a year on skincare and I don't regret a penny. $273.66
6 p.m. — My roommate's dog destroys everything. She knocks over a bunch of candles on the terrace, scatters broken glass everywhere, and eats a bunch of wax. I bring her inside, text him, check her paws for cuts, and sweep up. I stop work, get cleaned up, and Uber (it's raining) to meet some friends at a cantina in San Rafael for "Cantina Fridays" (just what it sounds like, we drink at a different cantina every Friday). $2.15
7 p.m. — The cantina is a small place and there are THREE mariachi bands playing. It's a lot, but it's fun. We get half-drunk and end up in a ridiculous game of "would you rather" (Permanent roller skates or maracas for hands?? Finger length nipples or nipple length fingers?? Would roller skate feet actually make yoga EASIER??). I have three beers, a shrimp soup, a million peanuts, and I help finish a plate of chicken flautas (food is free because we are drinking). We make loose plans for the weekend, and I Uber home around 11. My roommate has a friend over, so I sit and chat with them for a little while before bed at midnight. $13.45
12 a.m. — I put a few dollar coins in my pocket each day to give to people who ask, or to buy things I don't need (packets of gum) from the elderly people who sell them on the street and Metro. I make about six times the average national salary for a millennial here, and the lifestyle I lead is out of reach for many people who work harder and are probably much smarter than me. This total is for the whole week ($1-$2 per day). I don't do enough, but I'm taking small steps. $10
Daily Total: $328.19

Day Two

8 a.m. — I wake up a bit before my alarm and drink water. I start texting with my cousin about family stuff and end up giving advice about a condo she is planning to purchase. I message back and forth a bit with the guy from the gym about the party I didn't go to last night. I can't figure out if he is hitting on me? He's only 27, and he knows my age... I get up and make two eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheese, and a coffee. I let my roommate's dog in (she promises to behave, but of course she does not) and watch Monarca while I eat. After, I get ready for a free ballet class I try to attend every Saturday.
12:30 p.m. — I am unbelievably terrible at ballet. Even so, this class is the highlight of my week. The instructor is HYSTERICAL and a very good teacher. We manage to get a good workout, learn technique, and crack up, all in 90 minutes. On the way home I stop for a lemon-ricotta pastry from Rosetta and get a text from my friend with benefits, T. He's in Chile for a couple of weeks visiting family and it's nice to know he's thinking of me. We've been seeing each other a lot lately. It's been a relaxing rest with him gone, but I'll be less tense when he's back. I shower, get dolled up, and head out again to meet two friends for coffee and trendy markets in Roma. $1.15
2 p.m. — It is a GORGEOUS day outside, which makes me so happy! At Tierra Garat I get an americano and sit with the girls. We chit chat for a while and laugh about last night, then walk over to two outdoor weekend markets. They are full of cool Mexican made products — shoes, clothes, candles, pottery, etc. There are food vendors, lots of young people, music, and beer — it's a really fun scene. I lust over a pair of Monica Martinez shoes, but end up walking away. After a couple of hours, we say our goodbyes and head in separate directions. $1.90
4 p.m. — I have a friend, P., who works in the music industry, and he kindly invited me to tag along with him tonight backstage at the concert of a band I was *obsessed* with as a teenager. I take the metrobus to the Pepsi Center to pick up our wristbands from the manager. I've groupied enough events with this band that he knows me, which is....amazing? Embarrassing? Whatever. We chit chat for a few, I grab the wristbands, and bus back home, refilling my card with 10 more rides along the way. $2.57
6 p.m. — I can't stop thinking about those shoes and they were 30% off. They're handmade gold leather sneakers with buckles...and I decide to go grab them. I've wanted a pair of shoes from this designer for a lonnnnng time. I walk back to the Market, buy the shoes ($53.64), then head home. I make another chicken and avocado grilled cheese and watch a little Monarca. I shower and do my nails (I have a gel dryer at home — I choose dark red with red sparkles on top), then get ready for the show and call an Uber ($3.15). $56.79
12 a.m. — The concert is AWESOME! The band plays for almost three hours and we walk around all over the venue and backstage before picking our spot to watch it. I feel like I'm making 18-year-old me's dreams come true, and I'm so grateful I have such an amazing life!! I buy some beers and tacos ($8.73) for P and myself. After the show, we say hi to the band and the manager. I get us an Uber to my place ($4.42) and P. gets himself home from there. $13.15
1 a.m. — I am starving, so I make two pieces of toast and heat up leftover ramen. I eat a Nature Valley bar while I wait for it all. I'm super craving chilaquiles and promise myself breakfast in a cafe tomorrow. I wash my face, change into warm clothes (once again, no climate control, cold nights), and watch a bit of Monarca before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $75.56

Day Three

8:15 a.m. — I wake up to a series of emails from a new employer. I've worked remotely in account management for four years. I was offered a salaried position recently ($48,000 + a yet to be negotiated commission structure), but I'm hesitant to give up the sweet gig I have now. I negotiated a two-month trial at 20 hours per week. This way, I can test the waters before dropping my current client. It means eight weeks of working 50+ hours (I can drop to 30 a week with my current client if I need to), but it will be nice to earn some extra money while I decide. I make coffee and review/sign everything. I'm also on the board of a non-profit theater company, and I recently took over our Twitter account. I copy some posts from our FB and tweet them out into the world, then schedule coffee with a blogger friend so she can teach me how to maximize our impact on social media. Productive morning!
11:30 a.m. — My roommate came home from a party at like 7 a.m., so I feed and water his dog, play fetch with her in the hallway for a bit, then get dressed (including my new shoes, woo!). I also accept the grocery delivery he ambitiously set for 10 this morning. My language partner is an adorable 24-year-old law student who does Aztec dance as a hobby. Today I'm going to Coyoacan (Frida Kahlo's neighborhood) to watch him perform, so I catch an Uber to the metro in San Rafael to meet a friend, N., and then we ride over together. $2.55
1 p.m. — What a day! We get off the metro, buy two coconuts (N. pays), and head to the center. Aztec dance is incredible to watch. There are about 200 dancers in costume dancing to drum music. Other dancers circle the perimeter with incense and bowls of offerings. It's easy to imagine how powerful it must have been back in the day. Coyoacan on the weekends is like a fair with vendors, families, buskers, and markets. N. and I watch dance for over an hour, then go to the market to eat. I get chilaquiles con huevos and a passionfruit water ($5.15). On our way back to the center, we each get a small americano ($1.03). $6.18
5:30 p.m. — We watch dance for another hour or so, then we need to get out of the sun. We go to the Artisan's Market and I buy four small stuffed fabric hearts to bring to my friends in the USA next weekend ($6.18). N. wants ice cream, so we go to Praga and get pastry shells covered in chocolate, ice cream, and toppings ($2.57). N. is from New Zealand and she recounts the first time she ever tried "American cereal" (Cinnamon Toast Crunch). It changed her world. After many hours, we are tired and crashing from the caffeine and sugar. We wave goodbye to my friend (he was amazing to watch) and catch an Uber ($3.43) to the metrobus. $12.18
7 p.m. — I am BEAT from junk food and the sun. I order a chicken and veggie bowl off of UberEats, then study Spanish on Babbel for a while (I'm fluent, but far from perfect and English is my native language) and watch Monarca and Law & Order SVU. That 27-year-old from the gym likes a bunch of posts from early 2017 on my Instagram and continues texting me. Young dudes in this city are crazy about 34-year-old ladies, apparently (T. is also 28). $9.16
9:30 p.m. — My body is so happy after that veggie bowl. I pass the evening texting with a bunch of friends and watching Monarca. Gym guy asks me out to lunch and I accept. I fall asleep thinking of things I am grateful for.
Daily Total: $30.07

Day Four

9 a.m. — I meant to wake up earlier, but I guess I forgot to set an alarm. I get up, make coffee, look forward to listening to the My Favorite Murder Minisode, and start working. I work for an app in the US and I mostly monitor a Slack channel that contains suggestions and complaints from both our partners and our users. Implementing these ideas takes up most of the day, and although I often have to call our partners to confirm info or get approval on things, I am able to completely set my own hours, which is absolutely priceless. The schedule is the main reason I'm hesitant to give up this job, even though the new offer has more income potential and would be a better career move in the long run.
11 a.m. — I wrap up at work and head out to jiu-jitsu. The kid never has decent hair ties, always old stretched out ones, so I remember to grab an extra new one to give him.
1:30 p.m. — The gym guy shows up today, even though he usually only comes on Fridays. We work together and we accidentally smash my face into his knee. I end up with a swollen lip and he feels terrible even though it was mostly my fault. Later on, while sparring, I start to get very overwhelmed and emotional. Luckily, by this point, I'm working with the 17-year-old kid. He is very understanding and helps me overcome it and keep going. I appreciate his patience and maturity so much. On my way home, I stop at my fave salad place and get a chicken and avocado salad with double chicken and a grapefruit juice. I head home and work a bit while I eat. $7.48
2:30 p.m. — My new client is including a WeWork membership as part of the deal. I live in between two WeWorks and one is suuuper fancy and corporate. My roomie and T. work there. The other is rumored to be way more cool with a better vibe, even though the space isn't as spectacular. I've worked out of the fancy WeWork before, but decide to do a tour of each one before making my decision. I head out for the first tour at 2:30.
6 p.m. — I tour both WeWorks. It will be a tough decision. I work out of the "cool" one for a while. I definitely prefer the more corporate vibe of the other, but it seems like it would be easier to make friends here and that's something I'm always trying to do. I go home and make a scramble with avocado, tomato, onion, mushrooms, chicken, and eggs and eat it with toast and my grapefruit juice. I'll be home working the rest of the night to complete my eight hours today.
7 p.m. — I buy four days worth of health insurance for my upcoming trip to the States *rolls eyes at the US healthcare system*. God forbid something should happen to me there and I'm uninsured, I'd be broke for life. $33.50
Daily Total: $40.98

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I have a meeting at 8 with my new client to finalize details. I make coffee and set up my computer in the living room....only to have him postpone the meeting by 30 minutes. We finally connect and work out what needs to be worked out I choose the fancy WeWork because it makes me feel like an important businesswoman. I put on the Afford Anything podcast and get to work for my main client.
12:30 p.m. — There's not much work coming through the Slack channel. I message my boss for additional tasks, but after 20 minutes of waiting for an answer I decide to enjoy the day. I take the metro to Buenavista to buy a curtain rod I have needed for a long time ($10). Gym guy asks me if I want to go to Tepotzotlan with him on his moto next Sunday — ummm OBVIOUSLY! We make it a plan. I'm supposed to have dinner with a friend tonight, but she texts to postpone. Along the way I eat a taco de casasta ($0.30) and a paste de tinga con pollo ($0.90). $11.20
7 p.m. — My roommate comes home and helps me hang the curtain rod. I decide to go to ballet at 7:30 even though it is raining like crazy and pay $3.50 for the drop-in fee. It's such a good decision — class is amazing and my butt hurts soo much after!! I pick up a sushi roll on the way home, but it is 95% rice, so I end up mixing it in a stir fry with some eggs and veggies for dinner. I WhatsApp with my new client — they are buying me an iPhone, woohoo! I watch Between Two Ferns and go to sleep around midnight. $6.50
Daily Total: $17.70

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — Getting up early yesterday was nice, so I repeat it today. I make coffee and listen to the new Sinisterhood as I work. I lived in Costa Rica for a few years when I was a teenager and some of the women who lived there with me (and are now scattered everywhere) are planning to be there altogether in January. I check ticket prices (around $200), make sure I can stay at my BFF's house, and let them know that I am in!!! How exciting!
10 a.m. — I pay my quarterly taxes for Q2 & Q3. It hurts, but it has to be done! I'm a little late paying Q2 because of an issue with submitting my info on the IRS website. I usually overpay, so I should get a refund of a couple grand when tax time rolls around. $3,088.80
1:45 p.m. — I go to jiu-jitsu at 11 and work with the gym guy again. He is really friendly and nice to everyone. Maybe he is just being friendly with me? We firm up plans for tomorrow. On the way home, I buy a chicken gyro and a small Coke (not doing groceries this week cause I'm leaving town in two days) and confirm coffee with my blogger friend, M, in Polanco. She's going to review social media strategy with me for the theater company. I work for a bit (listening to Afford Anything) before heading out to meet M. $3
6 p.m. — I Uber to and from Polanco to meet M. for coffee and we have a nice catch-up and strategy session. T. starts texting me (he loves attention), but I don't really have time to respond and I think he gets a little salty. It's a good chance to practice not feeling responsible for someone else's emotions. It's okay to be unavailable for a while when I'm busy, especially since I'm polite about it and let him know I'll be more available tonight. I get back home and finish a few hours of work. $9.30
7:30 p.m. — My roommate brings a bunch of coworkers over. I already know most of them and I'm excited to be working in the same WeWork as them starting next week! He makes carajillos for everyone (if you've never tried one, you HAVE to — Liquor 43 shaken with espresso and ice) and I continue working and chat with his friends. I have dinner plans, so I call an Uber (it rains every day in the late afternoon in this season) to my friend's house for homemade pasta. $2.35
10:15 p.m. — I Uber home ($2.54) after dinner and my roommate and his friends are still drinking and talking in the living room, so I sit with them for a while, text with T. (lots of naked pictures & GIFs heyy) and have a beer, a mezcal, and a cigarette. They decide to go to a trashy club down the street (we live in a nightlife district) and I tag along! We dance to a million old amazing songs (Por Ti!!!!!!), see a drag queen dance-off, and I get in a few salsa dances with a sexy woman who knows how to lead like crazy. We exchange Instagrams and make a date for Tuesday. Along the way, I buy a round of four beers ($5) and smoke a bunch of cigarettes. I get home around 3 a.m. It sounds like my roommate has several people in his bedroom with him, but THANKFULLY I fall asleep before I hear enough to know for sure. $7.54
Daily Total: $3,110.99

Day Seven

9:45 a.m. — My alarm and my roommate's alarm both sound at 7:30 and we both turn them off immediately. I love when we are debaucherous together. A few hours later, I for sure hear lots of voices in his room — a man, a woman, someone/thing who sounds like....a muppet? He claims it was just one dude, so maybe I'm crazy. I get up, feel a little loopy but mostly okay, make coffee, get dressed and made up (lunch with gym guy today, he's never seen me in street clothes/makeup before). I check in with my boss, but don't start working because I have therapy at 11. I've been really happy and productive for the past few months, so today I share with her the story of a traumatic event from my past, just for context into my life. I never get to talk about this with anyone, and it feels good. We decide to meet just twice per month moving forward, until I feel like I need more support. $80.07
12:15 p.m. — I'm a bum, so I eat out yet AGAIN. I get a chicken panini and an americano at a K-Pop themed cafe near my house. I want to listen to My Favorite Murder, but I forgot my headphones, so instead I listen to K-Pop/watch K-Pop music videos as I work. The cashier warns me that a bunch of people had belongings stolen here last week and tells me to keep an eye on my things. I always do, but I appreciate her looking out as well. I text with a friend who is trying to help her new au pair settle in. She asks for advice on making friends, getting settled in a new country, etc. She lives on a LITERAL FARM, so most of my advice isn't very actionable for her nanny, unfortunately. $5.32
3:30 p.m. — Wow, after a slow week I am suuper busy at work today and kind of regret making mid-afternoon plans. I dash home, throw in some laundry, and keep working. Gym guy arrives, parks his moto in my parking spot, and we walk to get lunch.
4 p.m. — We have pizza and coffee (split the check, $7.70) and then walk to a park nearby to watch people falling down on skateboards. Since we already know each other from the gym, it's easy to talk. He's very cute and I have some kind of feeling going on, not sure what it is (probably desperation, haven't seen T in 10 days). For sure this won't be A Thing, but he might be fun to spend time with for awhile. We eventually get churros from El Moro and walk back to my place. We stop on the way so I can pick up a tennis ball ($0.75) for ballet class (no idea why the teacher requested that we bring them next week) and a box of chocolates ($5) as a gift for my friends in the USA. At my house we sit talking for a bit — turns out he wasn't inviting me on a DAY trip next weekend, he wants to stay the night out of town. I'll deal with that later. Eventually, he leaves and sends me a nice text awhile later thanking me for a nice day. $13.45
10 p.m. — I eat the rest of the panini from the K-Pop place and get ready for my trip. I wash my dishes, throw out groceries that will go bad, and pack a tiny backpack. I make sure to put my passport and my residency card in my purse (I am a US citizen with Mexican Residency — so proud and happy about it!). My roommate comes home and we chit chat for a bit. He is satisfyingly scandalized that gym guy proposed a weekend trip already and he tells me how hungover everyone was at work today, hah. I do another couple of hours of work and go to sleep around midnight.
Daily Total: $98.84
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