A Week In Austin, TX, On An $85,000 Income

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Today: an account manager working in social media marketing who makes $85,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on avocados.
Occupation: Account Manager
Industry: Social Media Marketing
Age: 27
Location: Austin, TX
Income: $85,000 average ($41,500 base, $1,500-$3,500 monthly commission, and $12,000 from my personal stylist side hustle)
Full-Time Job Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,470, plus $2,000-3,000 in commission once a month. In 2018, my monthly commission average was $2,616.
Part-Time Job Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $768
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $2,700
Student Loans: $50
Car Payment: $370
Other Loans: $300
Netflix: $10 (My parents finally cancelled theirs, so I had to get my own, which was a terrible moment of growing up.)
Car Insurance: $150
HBO: $15
Utilities: $60
Produce Delivery Box: $50, twice a month
Renters Insurance: $15
Retirement: I contribute 3% (about $105/month), which is matched by my employer.
Emergency Fund: $400ish each month. I had a rough year of unemployment and am slowly working to build this back up while still enjoying myself a bit.

Day One

7:40 a.m. — I woke up SO late today. I just moved, so I'm in that weird place where every part of my life feels so disorganized. I worked so hard for the past year to afford a gorgeous downtown apartment, and while it's a huge expense, I feel so incredible every time I walk through the door, and it always inspires me to work harder. But today I don't have time to relish the view. I quickly change and grab a Lyft Line for $6.20. (I have a monthly commuter stipend from work that covers this.)
12:15 p.m. — I am catching up on work after taking a few days off last week — my best friend, who I haven't seen in five years, was in town, and it coincided with my move, making everything so much fun, yet stressful. The work is piling up, so I plan out lots of overtime. I'm working through lunch, but I run to the grocery store across the street from my office and grab a pear and brie baguette — seriously, these are addicting. $8.50
7 p.m. — I'm SO exhausted. I come home after work and take an evening nap, which is so dangerous. My ex/current bae/best friend, C., (I know, it's a WHOLE THING) calls me, as he does every night lately. He asks if he can come over and have a fun dinner in my bougie new apartment, and I agree. We make shrimp tacos, and he tells me about some job interviews he's had. We have the best time together every time we hang out, but I am treading lightly. He helped me out with moving so much, despite me trying my best to be stubborn and do everything on my own, so I'm happy to share my groceries with him. We pass out around 11.
Daily Total: $8.50

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — I wake up on time today, shower, and get ready. C. lies in bed and wakes up slowly — he works remotely and gets to set his hours. It's been wearing on him, though, so he is deep in the job search and has a few recruiter phone calls today. When I get out of the shower, I see he walked down the street and brought back breakfast tacos. The brisket and egg taco is phenomenal! I head to work feeling so happy and lucky.
3 p.m. — C. texts to tell me how his calls went and thanks me for being so supportive right now. It's really sweet. I worked through lunch and a bit late again today, but I can tell my boss is happy to have me back. He is currently hiring for a new position in the company and has been talking to me about it for a few weeks now, so I send in my application. I am one of the only women on my team, and I wish there were more of us, but it just reminds me how much of a badass I am holding it down for the ladies. I'm also one of the youngest on my team, but we get along really well. I always make everyone laugh with my stories from the weekend. I head out for a quick break to buy snacks for the team — they did a great job of covering for me last week, and we're in the middle of a huge busy season. $15.75
7:30 p.m. — One of my favorite things about my new apartment is that I can walk to work — I've found that walking home is the best way to decompress from my pretty high-stress role. Trader Joe's is about 100 yards from my building, which is dangerous and amazing. I'm super low on groceries due to the move, so I'm slowly stocking up. I grab avocados, salad mixes, flank steak, a bottle of rosé, potstickers, and a ton of vegetables. I'm persuaded to grab a rose hand cream at checkout, and omg this stuff is amaaaaaazing. $74.85
11 p.m. — I work on the side as a part-time stylist, and I have to log three hours today. It's so exhausting sometimes, especially on weeks like this where I have so much going on. I don't have internet set up yet at my new place (I've been on the phone with my internet company for over four hours throughout the week, which makes me feel great and wonderful and calm), but luckily there's a gorgeous lounge on our amenity floor with wifi. I let C. know I'll be working late and am exhausted, so he stays home. I hunker down and get to work, then pass out immediately.
Daily Total: $90.60

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — I get ready, walk to work, and talk myself out of buying a matcha latte on my way. I love passing by all of the gorgeous cafes on foot, but my expenses are so high right now with moving, and I'm trying to be more conscious where I can. I get to work and eat my Perfect Bar and an apple. We have coffee at work, so I drink that throughout the day.
2 p.m. — I have to take a break from work to rush to my old apartment to officially check out today. It's so much farther away, so I remind myself how grateful I am for my new amazing location. The price is still giving me a bit of sticker shock, but I know the lifestyle changes will be worth it — plus it saves me about 90 minutes of commuting each day. I stop to get gas on the way back to work. I'm so glad moving is just about over — it seriously throws off my routine, and I just want to feel relaxed in my new place. $27
8 p.m. — I collapse after work into another evening nap, and then tell myself I have GOT to stop this habit once I'm fully settled in. I'm able to drag myself to the gym for the first time in a week after the craziness, and it feels amazing. I do a bunch of weight lifting and end with stretching — moving seriously wrecks your body! C. is out downtown getting dinner with friends, and he comes over afterwards. He brings me a box of amazing gourmet French fries because he knows I'll love them. I'm too lazy to make dinner, so I reheat the fries in the oven and open the rosé. I don't have a couch right now, so we sit on my kitchen counter getting tipsy and laughing about our days. I take a quick candid pic on my phone of the rosé and fries. I don't want to post it anywhere, I just have it to remember how special little moments like this are. We stay up late because we're having so much fun just talking — I don't even have a TV or internet right now. I put in a load of laundry, and we pass out at 1.
Daily Total: $27

Day Four

6 a.m. — I wake up early so I can fit in an Olaplex treatment and a moisturizing sheet mask before work. I unpack more of the boxes in the kitchen because the clutter and disorganization has been giving me so much anxiety. My internet company is fiiiiiiinally working with me, but their only appointment is in the middle of the day today. C. volunteers to stay at my place and work here today so he can be here for the internet set-up. I tell him he can eat whatever food he wants, and I head off to work with another Perfect Bar. I think I might be hungry later in the afternoon, so I grab two — I am literally addicted to them and have no intention of slowing down.
7:30 a.m. — While I'm waiting for my Lyft Line (it's warm out, and I didn't want to walk and get sweaty), a homeless man asks me if I can help him get some breakfast. He's really sweet. I don't have cash, but by some miracle of the universe I added that extra bar to my bag, so I hand it to him. I text C. and he makes fun of me because he knows how addicted I am to those damn bars.
6 p.m. — I work slightly less overtime today and walk home. I'm successfully able to avoid the siren song of extra snacks and wine at Trader Joe's. C. is still at my place, the internet is good to go, and he cleaned my entire kitchen, put the towels in the laundry, and made steak fajitas. This boy sure did make some mistakes in the past, but WOW. I melt into a puddle on the floor, but then quickly recover to enjoy the amazing fajitas. I crank out three more hours of styling tonight — SO much easier being able to work in my own apartment! C. heads home to prepare for some early morning interviews, and I pass out around 1.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

10:30 a.m. — It's the weekend! I sleep in so much later than usual due to everything I've had going on lately. I try not to beat myself up about it, and I make a slow breakfast of avocado toast. Then I head to Target for some new apartment necessities: a shower liner, some more hangers, and my favorite yogurt cups. I also treat myself to some nail polish and some extra sheet masks because #selfcare. $31.85
1 p.m. — I hunker down to start the five hours of styling I have to do today. C. comes over somewhere in the middle, grabs us coffees, and we have a slow afternoon of getting work done. When I finish, we're both restless, so I persuade him to go for a run around the lake with me — it's right outside my building and so beautiful. He's stubborn about it, but we both feel so great at the end. I make us one of my salad mixes for a snack when we get back, and then we stretch each other out.
10 p.m. — C. planned a fun date night — it's been a long time since we've done more than cook dinner at home or swing by a divey bar. He's buried in interviews, and I have more than enough on my plate with two jobs and a move. It feels great to do my hair and makeup fully for the first time in a while, and I wear a turtleneck/skirt/tall boots combo that I know he loves. There's this great movie theater downtown, and they have balcony seats where you have a love seat, total privacy, and your own waiter. This showing is a special presentation where comedians take over and make fun of the movie. C. bought the tickets, so I cover out food. We get lobster fondue, brie and Brussels sprouts pizza, loaded queso fries, and quite a few cocktails. I normally don't like to spend this much on one night out, but things have been going super well with us, so it feels worth celebrating. We agree to have a low budget day tomorrow. $85
Daily Total: $116.85

Day Six

10 a.m. — We sleep in late due to the late showing and well, all of the alcohol. I wake up before C., unpack some boxes, and text back a few friends. It has been so hard to keep up with these little things with such a busy few weeks. I make plans for a few of my friends to come see the new place next week, and I can't wait. Then I start working because I have four hours of styling to get through today. C. wakes up, and I make us avocado toast with grilled jalapeños on top with apple slices and tahini on the side. We both get back to work.
4 p.m. — We're stir crazy yet feeling productive after work, so we go for a walk around the lake. We've had random bursts of super cold days lately (thanks, Texas weather), but today is a gorgeous 80 degrees outside. We spend the walk talking about our goals for the week ahead and family drama we're both going through. I try to be super mindful about how thankful I am to have someone I can tell literally anything to. After the walk, we go to a yoga class to stretch out and release stress. I pay for us both. Once we get home, C. agrees to do the sheet masks with me and then we both relax and read books in bed while we moisturize. $20
9 p.m. — I'm trying to stick to our "low spend day" agreement that we made, despite the fact that we're both craving tacos. I whip up guacamole, grilled chicken, and some random roasted vegetables with a tahini dip sauce. C. leaves and I spend some time doing more laundry and cleaning. I usually FaceTime with my parents every week, but we agree to skip it because I'm so booked right now. I end the night reading through emails for both jobs so I feel organized heading into the new week.
Daily Total: $20

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — I cave and buy breakfast tacos on my walk to work — one migas and one steak fajita with eggs. I tell myself (again) that once my routine normalizes more, I'll have a tighter grip on these random purchases. We'll see about that. $7.25
12 p.m. — Work is so busy, but I'm trying to wean myself away from doing so much overtime, so I actually take a lunch break today. I meet up with coworkers and laugh about everything we've all been going through lately. I split a sushi roll with one of my friends, and we plan our next Girls Night happy hour. It's hard sometimes to coordinate schedules, but every time we get together, I feel so supported and loved. I haven't opened up to them yet about hanging out so much with C. I want to give it more time first. $7.25
6:30 p.m. — I walk home and stop at CVS to grab some more things I'm out of: dry shampoo, mascara, and hair oil. I also pick up my birth control prescription and anti-depressants. My refills on this one are out, so I put a reminder in my phone to make an appointment with both my therapist and my doctor to discuss a refill or a different medication. I head home, get through another heavy workout, and knock out four hours of work before passing out at 1. I fall asleep to texts from C. asking me to come over tomorrow night to cook and watch reality TV. $21.75
Daily Total: $36.25
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