A Week Isolating In Connecticut, On A $490,000 Joint Income

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: an attorney who has a $490,000 joint income and spends some of her money this week on a Trudon candle.
Occupation: Associate
Industry: Attorney
Age: 32
Location: Connecticut, but live in NYC
Salary: $325,000 + bonus
My Wife's Salary: $165,000 + bonus
Net Worth: $315,000 includes both our savings, investments, IRAs/401ks, minus student loans. We combine all our finances and contribute to savings, rent, bills from a joint checking account.
Debt: $71,000 in wife's student loans (my parents + scholarships covered college and I paid off my law school loans)
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $6,121
My Wife's Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $3,200
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $4,250 for a one-bed/one-bath in Manhattan (plus currently paying ~$3,000/month for our Airbnb rental cottage in CT)
Wife's Student Loans: $2,000
Savings/Investments: $7,000
Internet: $55
Utilities: ~$100
Hulu/Amazon Prime/Apple Music: $34 (we share these with my mom and use her Netflix)
Gym: $260 (currently frozen, TBD whether I'll resume)
RTR Memberships: $280 (for two memberships, currently frozen)
NY Times, NY Mag, WYC: $26.50
Charity: $33 (plus additional donations throughout the year and at year-end)
Biden Campaign: $5/week (:-|)
Health Insurance, HSA, Transit Check, and Cell Phone: deducted directly from my paycheck

Day One

10 a.m. — Wake up thinking about season two of Dead to Me, which we started last night. It's our eighth weekend in "quarantine" and we were desperate for new TV content. Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini did NOT disappoint. Scrolling insta, I see that Liz Feldman (brilliant lesbian/creator of the show) posted a drinking game for watching season two. I roll over and show my wife (Q.), she says let's do it today, and I couldn't be happier. We make eggs and bacon for breakfast, drink coffee, and then prep to finish Dead to Me with tequila-OJ for me and White Claws for her. So good.
3 p.m. — One of our best friends was supposed to have a bridal shower this weekend, which was obviously postponed along with the wedding, so we hop on a Zoom with a few close friends to cheers her in honor of the shower. We swap quarantine recipes and puzzle ideas.
4 p.m. — After our day drinking and social Zoom, we're feeling lazy and ready for a chill night. I put in a batch of cookie dough I made and froze (the Doubletree Hotel cookie recipe except bake them at 350 for 18 minutes for crispier cookies!) and put on a movie. Brains are weird so we watch Enchanted (hello James Marsden) and then Valentine's Day (HOLDS UP). We play a few rounds of Ticket to Ride, make pasta for dinner, and finish the evening with an episode of Grace and Frankie.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

9 a.m. — Well yesterday was kind of a bust. I feel kind of worthless when we wake up and I know the Sunday Scaries are coming for me, so I make a to-do list of pretty achievable tasks for the day. I make two-ingredient bagels (thanks to the MDer who introduced me to this recipe) and scrambled eggs that we eat while we watch church online. We have church-hopped in NYC but have struggled to find one that's both gay-affirming and a good fit for us. Since Easter, we've been watching services from a church back home where my mom also goes. It's nice to know we're doing it together.
1 p.m. — Mothers' Day Zoom call with both our moms, then I hop on my extended family's weekly Zoom to say hi to my little niece and nephew. It's good to get face time with our moms, especially because our Mothers' Day efforts consisted of homemade watercolor-painted cards. Cross these two things off the to-do list.
1:30 p.m. — Time to tackle the rest of the list. I vacuum and do some laundry while Q. cleans the kitchen. Take a break to call my dad for a few minutes — check three more things off the list!

5:15 p.m. — Yesterday was a lazy day for us and our two dogs, so we go for a good walk around the neighborhood. We're renting in a rural community and usually don't see anyone else on our walks. [Note: we love NYC and miss it every day. Q. has a lung condition and back in early March we were very anxious about staying in the city, with dogs we walk multiple times a day, so we found this rental and left the city. We self-isolated when we got here and it's been great to be able to get outside without risking exposure. We'll likely return to our apartment in the city in late June.]
6:15 pm — Peloton workout class was the last thing on the to-do list. We got really into the Peloton app (90 days free!) at the beginning of quarantine but fell off the wagon recently. We do a 20-minute bodyweight workout and a short stretching class.
7 p.m. — Homemade pizza, red wine, and How to Build a Girl (Beanie Feldstein's new movie).

Daily Total: $0

Day Three

8:55 a.m. — I don't love working from home but you can't beat the commute. I roll out of bed and down to the makeshift desk Q. made me, which doubles as the TV stand. After about a month of working remotely, I broke down and had my office ship me my monitor and keyboard so I have a good desk setup. I bought myself a printer on Amazon at the beginning, because even though it's 2020, reviewing contracts and court pleadings all day sometimes requires hard copies. After a first run through my emails, I make us spinach omelets with our last few eggs. We have a Peapod order coming in six days so we have to get creative this week...
12 p.m. — Q. makes turkey sandwiches for lunch and I eat while working/scrolling online. In normal times, I have a serious scented candle habit and I've been wanting one nice candle for our quarantine cabin. I order the Cire Trudon Abd El Kader online ($105). Then, I take a break from work for a long FaceTime catch up with a coworker who's a dear friend. We are pretty much on the same page re: the current pandemic and both have friends/family who are being much less cautious, so we have frequent gut-checks. $105
5 p.m. — Not getting much done at work this Monday, so Q. and I both sign off and go for a walk with the dogs. We listen to a 20-minute 90s fun walk on the Peloton app, which has great throwback tunes (Britney, obvi). We're still out after 20 minutes so we do the beginning of a guided run too. When we get back, we sit on our back porch and have a glass of rosé while we look at the floorplan of a place we're thinking about making an offer on in the city. It needs some work but it's a great unit in our favorite neighborhood, so fingers crossed.
7:30 pm — We heat up leftover tortilla soup Q. made last week and I made cheese quesadillas. An episode of Grace and Frankie, then in bed by 10 for a five-minute meditation on the Peloton app.

Daily Total: $105

Day Four

9 a.m. — Downstairs to my desk to start work for the day. Coffee and an English muffin for breakfast.
12 p.m. — Scroll through my phone on a break from work and spot a Peapod delivery slot in two weeks. We haven't been able to get a grocery delivery the entire time we've been in Connecticut, so I've been doing masked grocery runs every few weeks, but we're excited about our big delivery haul coming next weekend. We booked the slot about two weeks ago, so I grab the next one as soon as I see it. I fill my cart with fresh things we'll likely need after a week (but you can change your cart up to the night before) ($78.98). I also search online for face masks since I just read we're supposed to change them as often as underwear!! I get us two tie-dye masks each from an Etsy shop ($76.15). $155.13

2 p.m. — After working on a brief and taking a few client calls, I have a Zoom hang with some coworkers... is everyone else struggling to talk about ANYTHING besides the pandemic during catch-ups?
6 p.m. — Play outside with the dogs then go for a walk. We grill bison burgers and zucchini for dinner and watch an episode of Baker and the Beauty on Hulu (it's absolutely mindless, basically a Hallmark movie in TV form, but also perfect for right now). After one episode, we each do some more work.
11:20 p.m. — 10-minute stretch on the Peloton app and asleep by midnight.

Daily Total: $155.13

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — Wake up early to finish the brief I was working on yesterday. Before turning it in, I take a quick break and place a wine order online. Our beverage budget has definitely increased during this time (but it's cheaper than drinking out!). I shop around on a few wine delivery websites to compare prices and get a good deal for 14 bottles of Italian red and rosé. $229.15
12 p.m. — Break from work to take a shower and get ready since I have a work Zoom happy hour this evening. I do my makeup routine (Bare Minerals, Beautycounter, Glossier boy brow gel) and put DevaCurl gel in my hair.
5 p.m. — I turn in my brief and find out the work happy hour got canceled (I got ready for nothing?!), so Q. and I go for our walk with the dogs. After, we make shrimp tacos with what's left in the fridge, watch Grace and Frankie, and drink some wine.
10 p.m. — I clean up the kitchen while listening to the new Conan Grey album while having one more drink (which I regret soon).

2:30 a.m. — Wide awake. I'm usually a good sleeper but since we've been home all the time with some level of existential dread, I've been waking up anxious a couple nights a week. I read on my phone for a while and eventually move to the couch so I can toss and turn and read without waking Q.

Daily Total: $229.15

Day Six

7:05 a.m. — Wake up on the couch, no way I'm getting up now after losing two hours of sleep last night.
8:05 a.m. Try to wake up again, but snooze some more.
8:30 a.m. — Finally awake, scroll Twitter, then see some emails that need responses. At my desk by 9, responding to emails and drinking coffee.

1 p.m. — Q. makes turkey sandwiches for lunch and I do a networking Zoom with a new contact. She's younger than I am and I'm super impressed by her initiative and great questions in our chat. I should take some inspiration from her.
3:30 p.m. — It's a nice, sunny day, so I put EltaMD tinted sunscreen on my face and go out to the deck to read work documents while lying in the sun.

5:30 p.m. — We go for a walk with the dogs. Afterward, Q. places an order for a refill of their flea/tick meds. $114.38
6:30 p.m. — Zoom happy hour with my fellow associates. I have a glass of rosé while catching up with everyone.
8 p.m. — We make pizza for dinner, drink some red wine, and watch the latest eps of Mrs. America and Single Parents.

Daily Total: $114.38

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — TGIF! Wake up, coffee, and English muffin for breakfast.
1 p.m. — Q. grills hot dogs which I decide to make into "hot dacos" (hot dog in a tortilla with cheese and guacamole)??? Send groceries plz. After lunch outside, I curl my hair and put on makeup for my rescheduled work Zoom meeting.

5 p.m. — While I take my work meeting, Q. takes our rental car to be washed since we have to swap it out tomorrow ($14.90). With our new rental, she decides to get full-time auto insurance for non-owners. We don't own a car in the city, but often rent cars in the summer to go on weekend trips outside the city. These days we are keeping a rental car while we're out of the city, so she gets us coverage ($132.70 for the month). It's cheaper than paying through the car rental company. $147.60

6:30 p.m. — Walk the dogs, then make dinner. Since we're down to the dregs of our groceries, we make a pasta creation with vodka sauce and frozen peas. We split a bottle of red and start Normal People, but I can't get into it. (Spoiler alert: we finished Normal People in three days and I shed multiple tears). One more week of quarantine down.

Daily Total: $147.60
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