A Week In Queens, NY, On A $58,500 Salary

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Today: an assistant director who makes $58,500 per year and spends some of her money this week on TOMS shoes.
Occupation: Assistant Director
Industry: Higher Education Administration
Age: 27
Location: Queens, NY
Salary: $58,500
Net Worth: $13,000 in my savings account, $10,000 in a HYSA, $10,000 in my 401(k)
Debt: $20,000 in Federal Student Loans, $2,000 in medical bills from earlier this year
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,371
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $0 (live at home)
Student Loans: $200 (My federal loans are on administrative forbearance, but I'm still trying to pay this)
Car Payment: $330
401(k): 8% of my paycheck, 5% employer match
Cell Phone: on parents' plan, but my portion is covered by work
Spotify/Hulu: $9.99
ClassPass: $166 (but frozen for the time being)
Medical Payment Plan: $370
Savings: I try to save $1,000 a month

Day One

8:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off. This is week six of working from home for me due to the coronavirus epidemic. Even though this alarm is an hour later than normal, it's still proving difficult to get up. I eventually get up around 8:50, wash my face, and put on a yoga workout. I'm not a yogi by any means, but I'm trying to use self-isolation as a way to move my body in a different way (I'm a boxing/HIIT girl). I get an email from Amazon saying that the order for the weights I ordered over a month ago has been canceled. Ugh.
9:30 a.m. — A little later than I'd like, but I finally make breakfast. I usually make overnight oats for the week, but we were so busy cooking in the kitchen yesterday that I never got a chance to. I grab an RX oatmeal and add chia seeds, peanut butter, and oat milk and make a coffee from our Keurig, adding a splash of oat milk. I swear I'm not that bougie (okay I am) but I recently started a low-fodmap diet to counter some stomach issues, and oat milk seems to be my best bet with the alt-milk varieties available.
10:07 a.m. — Not sure how I am “late” to work with zero commute time, but here we are. Even though I'm home, I'm still sticking to my skincare routine every day: wash my face with Fresh Soy cleanser, Ole Henrikson Truth Serum, Drunk Elephant C-Tango Eye Cream, moisturizer (today it's a Sephora brand sample), and Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. I throw on my blue-light glasses and put my hair into a bun, and seat myself at the dining room table and start answering emails from the weekend.
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10:30 a.m. — The majority of my job is working with college students (I miss them so much). I reach out to a few of them regarding an event last Friday night and an event this week (all virtual) and then update my budget spreadsheet. I live with my parents and I have the most “solid” job out of all of us. My dad is self-employed and currently trying to re-apply for unemployment (his original application was denied) and my mom works for a small business with a boss that likes to complain about the lack of money coming in at the time, so she's okay for now but who knows what the future will hold. Working for a college, I'm scared of what's to come, so I'm trying to save as much as I can right now.
11:45 a.m. — To get ahead of the game, I start working on a spreadsheet to jot down ideas for virtual programming for the fall semester, in case we're remote this fall semester too. I'm only in year one of my current position, so I'm a bit sad I won't get to experience my first year in full, and the thought of a virtual fall semester makes me want to cry, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
1 p.m. — I break for lunch. Today I am making scallops. I promise I'm not this bougie on a regular basis, we just had some in the fridge and I needed to use them before they go bad. I share the scallops and some grilled veggies with my dad. The one perk of working from home is being able to eat lunch with my dad every day. We chat a bit about what other colleges are doing at this time to cut spending, such as salary cuts for upper administration and 30 furlough days for the next year. Scary times. I usually go for a walk during lunch, but it's cold and I honestly don't feel like it. I also use my lunch break to unload/reload the dishwasher, make some green tea (trying to ration my Keurig cups), and make my overnight oats for the week. My mom comes home at some point since she's still going in to work a few hours a week.
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2:30 p.m. — I have back to back meetings. During one of my calls, one of the trainers I follow semi-religiously DMs me about his class schedule for this week. My best friend and I sign up for both of them, even though they literally killed us last week. $43.52
3 p.m. — Done with calls for now, so I read Money Diaries and boil water for another cup of green tea.
4:30 p.m. — I break for a GoMacro bar. I'm obsessed with the peanut butter chocolate chip ones. My mom is continuing to answer work emails from home and she keeps asking me for help with email wording (both my parents immigrated to the US) which is really frustrating, especially when she doesn't listen to the advice I give her. I send out an email recruiting for a student leadership position and do some research on some vendors for a program next week before my 5:30 call.
7:30 p.m. — Finished my call and finish up a virtual workout that one of my workout studios has been offering via Zoom. Afterward, I have dinner with my parents: grilled chicken, half an avocado, and more grilled veggies. I also toast two corn tortillas and make makeshift tacos for dinner. Since I live at home rent-free, I try to help out around the house as much as I can, so I continue to load items into the dishwasher as my parents head to the living room to watch TV.
8:30 p.m. — I take a body shower and foam roll for a bit out of boredom. I've been working out every day for the last few weeks so my body has been super sore. I eventually head downstairs to watch TV with my parents.
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11:15 p.m. — I can only take so much of the evening news, so this is my usual quitting time. I say good night to my parents from afar and begin my nightly skincare routine: Fresh Soy Cleanser, Drunk Elephant TLC Glycolic, Belif Aqua Bomb moisturizer, DE Tango-C eye cream, and then jade roll my face for a bit out of boredom. Lights out around 11:30.
Daily Total: $43.52

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — My yoga alarm goes off. I'm not feeling it today, so I vow to do a class later today. I snooze until 9:15.
9:15 a.m. — Breakfast is the overnight oats I made yesterday and a Keurig coffee. I also take my supplements: multivitamins, fish oil, calcium, vitamin C, and I add in my stomach medication because I was the epitome of gas yesterday. I foam roll again out of boredom, do my morning skincare routine, and log on around 10.
10:30 a.m. — I'm thankful to find out that my dad received some money from the small business administration, and I see a paycheck posted for this Friday. It's not like we've been told about any staff cuts, but I'm still thankful to see a paycheck.
11:30 a.m. — I finish submitting my phone bill reimbursement (still on my parents' plan, but I submit a reimbursement every two months to work for my portion of the plan) and break for a square of Hu chocolate. I'm down to my last bar, and the order I placed on Amazon won't arrive for another three weeks. Not sure how I will make eight squares last three weeks …
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12:30 p.m. — I throw on some bronzer and concealer to look less like a thumb for a 12:30 video call with colleagues. It's so nice to see everyone! I Zoom chat with one of my coworkers in another department who's freaking out about her wedding in December, in between everyone's updates. We're all praying to be back on campus in the Fall.
1:45 p.m. — I break for lunch, which today is a bowl of Trader Joe's tomato soup and three small slices of Against the Grain pesto pizza leftover from Saturday. So while the cheese is real, the crust is wheat-free at least, and this tastes a bazillion times better than Udi's gluten-free pizza. Afterward, I retreat to my room to do my yoga workout of the day. I pass on a daily walk again today because there has been thunder and rain for part of this afternoon. I also get an email from Dick's Sporting Goods saying that kettlebells are back in stock, but when I click on the link, it says they're sold out. Lies.
6 p.m. — The afternoon goes by with a lot of emails and some brainstorming meetings. I'm assigned a program next Thursday for the students, so I've been trying to wrap my head around what that will actually look like. I break for the day at 6 and join an Instagram Live workout as the pre-workout to my actual workout at 6:30, which ends up being really hard. I also have a kink in my neck for some reason, so there's that.
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8 p.m. — I take a quick body shower after my workout and head downstairs to eat dinner with my parents. Dinner tonight is more grilled chicken and veggies. We eventually make our way into the living room to watch the Prince tribute special. I take a look at Nordstrom's website since I got an email that their clearance is on sale, and see an evening gown that I liked on sale for $60 from $200! I show my mom for approval (yes, I still do that most of the time) and hop online to order it, along with a pair of TOMS because I don't have a pair. $95.35
11:15 p.m. — My usual news quitting time. A socially distant good night to my parents and head upstairs to get ready for bed. Wash my face with Fresh Soy Cleanser, apply Sunday Riley A+ Retinol, followed by Sunday Riley Luna (just learned you can layer these!!), DE Tango-C eye cream, and the last bit of my Sunday Riley ICE moisturizer. I also apply some CBD balm to my neck kink, hoping it helps. It takes a while for me to fall asleep, but it eventually happens.
Daily Total: $95.35

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — I feel surprisingly refreshed this morning! But I still want to stay in bed. I check my phone and see the DJ I reached out to for next week's event is available. We have a program!! I also check the IRS site about the status of my stimulus check, and it still says Payment Info Unavailable. Ugh. Snooze until 8:50, get out of bed, and do my yoga workout of the day. I eventually head downstairs for breakfast and coffee.
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12 p.m. — I meet with my supervisor, send out more emails, and then break for a workout. I signed up for a virtual workout class over Zoom, so I head to my room and set up my laptop and yoga mat. Thankfully this class doesn't kill me as much as last week (I had to shower AND wash my hair after class last week). I quickly take a body shower after, dry my sweaty hair (cute, I know), and make a quick lunch before logging back on. Today it's a lunch of scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese, and a brown rice gluten-free English muffin. I also make a cup of green tea.
6:30 p.m. — I force myself to go on a walk since I haven't left my house in four days? Five days? Who knows. I complete my two miles and feel a bit better, but then by the end of it I start to get really shaky and realize how hungry I am. Once home, I have another dinner of chicken and veggies, and some of Trader Joe's Greek Spiral (not fodmap-friendly, but whatever).
8 p.m. — I log back onto work, as my students have a virtual game night tonight and I told them I'd help get them set up. Seriously, I miss these kids so much. Three students log on, and I log off around 8:30 to shower and wash my hair because I'm still feeling anxious. I foam roll for a bit and just as I'm about to shower, my supervisor texts me about a small fire. We chat a bit and then I finally shower and wash my hair (day four heyyyy) and cry a bit out of anxiety. This really isn't easy. Once out of the shower, I do a sheet mask and jade roll, as if that will help calm me down.
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9 p.m. — Finally make my way downstairs for my nightly TV time with my parents. I open a bottle of rosé. I also have a bag of Trader Joe's popcorn as a snacky snack while watching SWAT with my parents. I get agitated when the news comes on and head upstairs because I really just need to be alone. Same nightly skincare routine and bedtime by 11:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and I stay in bed til 9. Yoga is not happening this morning.
9 a.m. — I head downstairs and make my parents coffee and breakfast for myself. More overnight oats and all my supplements. I decide to exfoliate this morning instead of just washing my face, and then apply the usual vitamin C/eye cream/moisturizer/sunscreen.
10:45 a.m. — One of my roommates from grad school texts me to set up a Zoom call. Um, YES! Finally a Zoom call I'm excited for!!
12:30 p.m. — I break for lunch after a slew of calls with my supervisor and with students. Lunch today is makeshift chicken tacos, which is really just chicken in a corn tortilla shell, some grilled veggies, and Siete chips on the side. I cut my lunch break short, as one of the performers for next week calls me (even though we were supposed to chat at noon). And then I'm on calls for the rest of the day straight through 3.
6:30 p.m. — Quitting time! A student organization livestreams its student leadership awards, which is really emotional because we're not able to celebrate these students in person this year. I then jump on Zoom workout, but take it easy since my back is killing me and modify throughout.
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8 p.m. — Take another body shower, and sit down for dinner. Tonight, my mom made shrimp and salmon. Then, it's more TV time with the parents.
11:15 p.m. — My usual quitting time. I really can't stand watching the news anymore, but my parents insist on “knowing what is going on.” I can guarantee you that not much has changed!! Cleanser, SR Luna, SR A+, followed by eye cream and moisturizer, and I eventually fall asleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

8:22 a.m. — HAPPY FRIDAY! Anyone still excited for Friday even though we're self-isolating? I lay in bed until close to 9 and decide I will finally try a recipe for banana bread today. This is who I am now. Check the IRS site again and still no updates. UGH. Since it's payday, I make a credit card payment and transfer money to my savings. I make my loan payment once signed on to my laptop.
10 a.m. — Morning skincare routine and I take the banana bread out of the oven. I have to say I have really impressed myself with my baking skills over the last few weeks. Plus, my dad has really benefited from this!
12:15 p.m. — My morning is a flurry of calls with coworkers and our DJ for next week. I hop on TheSkimm's webinar about saving money in quarantine and decide to check my stimulus check status again. Lo and behold, it's asking me for my bank information!! I'm in the middle of a happy dance as my dad comes down the stairs, and he checks his information, and he has the same message!! Yay!! Finally!! I also order wine to be delivered to my coworkers' house on Monday for her first wedding anniversary. I split this with my coworkers and it comes out to $28/person. $28
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5 p.m. — Done for the day! The afternoon was filled with meetings and emails, and I'm so ready to be done. I do a half-hour boxing workout video and a half-hour yoga video.
7:30 p.m. — I take a quick body shower and sit down for dinner. I microwave tomato soup and warm up a turkey burger. Low-fodmap chocolate chip peanut butter cookie for dessert.
10 p.m. — We rent Bad Boys for Life and then start watching Mamma Mia 2 afterwards. In the middle of all of this, my dad checks his bank account and sees an unemployment check was deposited! You can literally feel the tension in the house break, and my mom opens a bottle of rosé in celebration.
11:15 p.m. — I'm telling you, I can only take so much of the news. Tonight, I cleanse my skin then put on The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution for 10 minutes. It stings, but does wonders for my skin and is a great dupe for other peeling solutions out there. Afterward, I wash it off and use Drunk Elephant's Polypeptide Moisturizer and Kiehl's Vitamin C eye cream, both part of my recent Sephora haul. I can't fall asleep, so I take half a melatonin around 12:30.
Daily Total: $28

Day Six

9 a.m. — I wake up with the worst sinus headache. I get up pretty soon after since I have a workout class at 11:45. I have some Easter bread and coffee for breakfast and lay around in bed until class.
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12:45 p.m. — That was hard, as per usual. I'm so thankful for these virtual workouts, as they normalize the situation we're in. I wash my face and moisturize to make sure I don't break out from sweat.
1:30 p.m. — The weather is GORGEOUS today, so I decide to go on a walk. Before I do so, I place an order for pick up from the Vitamin Shoppe for fish oil pills and multivitamins. I pay since my parents keep paying for groceries and I feel bad not contributing in any way. Spoiler alert: they're not available for pick up until after my walk, but I tried. $92
5:30 p.m. — Home from my walk, body showered, and lay down for a bit since I still have this sinus headache. I get up from my half-nap to group text drama. I don't understand how people in their 30s can be so selfish and so dramatic, but it adds some excitement to my day. I eventually head downstairs for dinner. My mom made braised lamb, and I make the NYT Cooking Greek Lemon Potato recipe as a side. After dinner, I head to my room for a Zoom call with one of my former roommates!
9:30 p.m. — Two and a half hours later, I think we're all caught up. I head back downstairs to watch random TV with my parents.
11:15 p.m. — News quitting time! Evening skincare routine, this time applying a sample of Sunday Riley Good Genes. I still have this miserable headache, so I scrounge around and find an eye mask that will maybe help block out some light? Fall asleep eventually.
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Daily Total: $92

Day Seven

9 a.m. — I wake up with a start. I had a dream about the last guy I dated. Yay for pandemic dreams. I eventually get up around 9:45 to make breakfast. I have two gluten-free Kashi waffles, coffee, and all of my supplements. Still have this terrible headache!! I take it easy until class at 12.
1 p.m. — The workout killed me, as usual. Will I ever reach a point where I can make it through a workout without being winded? The world may never know. My headache has subsided a bit, so I vacuum upstairs and make myself eggs (again) for lunch, while watching Chopped on Hulu.
4:30 p.m. — My parents get home from grocery shopping and running errands (they left the house at 11:30!) and they were able to get into Trader Joe's! And come home with wine! Our kitchen soon resembles a scene out of CSI, as I glove up and wipe everything down with rubbing alcohol. Afterward, my mom makes a Trader Joe's frozen pizza for their lunch and I sneak two pieces.
6 p.m. — I take what is probably the longest shower of my life. While letting my deep conditioner set in, I throw on a Sephora brand foot mask and try Ole Henrikson's Cold Plunge Pore Mask. I'm not sure what it is, but the scent clears out my headache!! I emerge from this shower feeling like a new person.
7:30 p.m. — I have a quick dinner of ground turkey tacos. I have to say, the hardest part of going low-fodmap has been giving up garlic.
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8 p.m. — I give in to an email from LOFT, since they're having a sale. Not sure when I'll be back in the office, but I can't pass up on $20 work pants! I buy three pairs of pants and a summer dress. I also have a Trader Joe's blueberry coconut milk yogurt. $120
10:30 p.m. — I have to be up early tomorrow, and I feel this headache reforming, so I decide to call it a night. I'm also starting to feel period cramps start up, ugh. Usual nighttime skincare routine and head to bed to get ready for week seven.
Daily Total: $120
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