A Week In Atlanta, GA, On A $55,900 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 auditor working in public accounting who makes $55,900 per year and spends some of her money this week on wine and cheese.
Occupation: Auditor
Industry: Accounting
Age: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Salary: $55,900
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,612.50
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,399 (I live by myself in a beautiful, updated, and spacious one-bedroom apartment. It's in a very convenient location, hence the high cost.)
Student Loans: $0 (My parents and grandparents graciously paid my tuition and housing for undergrad, in addition the scholarships I received. My master's degree was fully funded by my TA job.)
Furniture Payment: $83
Lasik Payment: $350
Dental Insurance: $12/paycheck
Vision Insurance: $5.73/ paycheck
Health Insurance: I'm still on my dad's (until I get kicked off...)
Cable/Wifi: $99
Electric: ~$40
Water/Trash/Recycling/Pest Control: $66
Cleaning Service: $90
401(k): $116.46
Savings: This changes every month. I transfer money to my savings when my checking account balance is over $5,000. I have over $20,000 between my savings, emergency fund, and future home down payment account.
Additional Expenses
Car Insurance: $583 for six months. My car was a college graduation gift paid for by my inheritance from my grandpa.
Renters Insurance: $234/year

Day One

7 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I get ready for FriYAY! I take a shower and blow-dry my hair. I'm slightly frazzled because I stayed out too late last night and I have to pack up my belongings and check out of my hotel room. I meet my coworker in the lobby, grab a free coffee, and then spill said coffee on myself.
8:15 a.m. — Coworker gets my rental car from the valet and drives us to work. I attempt to put on a full face of makeup in the car, including Clinique Quickliner and High Impact Mascara, NYX Epic Ink Liner (best liquid liner ever!), and Lorac eyeshadow. Would not recommend doing this in a moving vehicle, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
8:45 a.m. — Arrive at work for another day of protecting the capital markets! (My main project is in a different city.)
11:30 a.m. — We go out to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. The place is packed due to the holidays, and it takes forever to get our food. I order a combo off the lunch menu — enchilada, guacamole, and rice and beans. I also eat a ton of chips and salsa because they are free and delicious. We typically pay out-of-pocket for work meals out of town and then get reimbursed at the standardized per diem rate at the end of the week. ($9.42 expensed)
4:10 p.m. — Time to leave work to make it to the airport on time. I drop off the rental car and go through security in a whopping 15 minutes. I am upgraded to business class for free, but due to the short duration of the flight (it's 38 minutes), I don't get any snacks or drinks.
6:15 p.m. — Arrive back in Atlanta and grab a Lyft back home. My driver decides to take the scenic route and we get stuck in traffic, but she is such a cool person that I don't even mind. She breeds American bulldogs! I love getting interesting Lyft drivers. All travel relating to work is expensed to the client. ($20.50 expensed)
7 p.m. — Finally home! Waiting outside my front door is my certificate from the Georgia Board of CPAs and my license! Glad I have a piece of paper to certify how boring I am. I scrounge up something to eat even though I'm going on a Bumble dinner date, because I don't want to be hangry later. And this guy can't decide when or where we should meet...
8:30 p.m. — We decide on a Mexican place in Virginia Highlands. I show up five minutes late because I can't find parking. Funny story, I actually went to this same restaurant several months ago on another Bumble date, and the guy ended up kind of catfishing me. (He used pictures from five years ago...and he had aged.) But this guy looks like his pictures! We order a pitcher of skinny margaritas, queso, and tacos. I am convinced they forgot to put the tequila in the pitcher and we drink straight syrup, though, so I don't finish my drink. As my date goes to the bathroom, I find out that my best friend from college is in town for a friend's birthday! I agree to go meet them at a bar in West Midtown after dinner. My date comes back and pays. We both awkwardly walk to our cars. He kind of looks like an ex from college. Definitely friend-zoning.
10:30 p.m. — I drive to the bar and I am so excited to see these friends! We stay for 20 minutes and I have a water. It's so crowded we can barely get the bartender's attention. We walk to another bar in the building and I have another water and eat someone's leftover fries. No fry left behind + fries before guys.
1 a.m. — We decide to walk to another bar, but find out there's a cover, so we keep walking. This is one of the grungiest bars in Midtown — why is there a cover? We keep walking to this upscale bowling alley/bar. I have a frozen orange alcoholic slushie, and we play some games, including one very addicting game where you throw a coin in a hole. $11.57
2 a.m. — The bar closes and we walk back to my car in the rain. Then we drive back to my friends' apartment. I get coerced into staying, and we order Waffle House delivery. I get hash browns. At 4, I finally leave and try to pay my friend for the food, but he treats.
Daily Total: $11.57

Day Two

10 a.m. — I wake up feeling exhausted from last night, but I can't sleep in since I have a hair appointment this morning because today is my company holiday party. I take a quick shower, get dressed, and stop by Dunkin' on my way. I am addicted to their blueberry coffee! It sounds weird, but I promise it's delicious and tastes like a blueberry muffin. I order an iced coffee with blueberry flavor, skim milk, and Splenda and pay with a gift card ($2).
1 p.m. — After two hours, I come out of the hair salon as a new woman. I have naturally auburn hair, but have been going blonde since grad school. It's so expensive to maintain! My hair is so damaged, and my hair stylist added on two treatments, which cost an extra $57 in addition to my already expensive highlighting (which I didn't realize). I'm slightly bitter, but I'm sure my hair needed it. $180
1:30 p.m. — I get my eyebrows threaded. It's so much better and cheaper than waxing! It costs $8 with the cash discount, so I pay with a $10 bill and tell them to keep the change. $10
2:30 p.m. — I still don't know what I am going to wear to the party, and it's in less than five hours. After my expensive morning, I decide to just borrow one of my friend's dresses. I drive over to my friend, T.'s, house to pick her up and the dress. We then go to Trader Joe's to pick up some snacks and drinks for the pregame I'm hosting, including 1,000 day old gouda, wine, and Trader José Lite Lager. The sample of the day is fig goat cheese with pita chips, and it is so good that I buy some. We have a nice spread of charcuterie, and my other friend brings pizza rolls. It's not a real party without pizza rolls. $65.49
5 p.m. — I ordered a TV from Target on sale recently, and it has finally arrived! I plug it in and turn it on, just to find out that there's a crack in the corner! I am devastated. At least it still works for now.
7:30 p.m. — We all leave my apartment to go to the party, which is being hosted at a nightclub in the city. It's a weird location, considering it's for a group of accountants. I drink approximately three Grey Goose and sodas and two bottles of Fiji water, and eat seven cake pops. I love open bars.
11:30 p.m. — People are getting hammered at this party and people keep falling on the dance floor. I take it as my cue to leave. After an hour of convincing my friends, we finally leave. I order a Lyft for us. They're all crashing at my apartment. Once at my place, we eat more pizza rolls. $19.81
Daily Total: $275.30

Day Three

11 a.m. — We all wake up and agonize over what to eat for breakfast. We debate between ordering pho or baking the frozen pizza we bought yesterday at Trader Joe's. We're all very frugal people, so the pizza wins. Then we watch Dumplin' on Netflix. It's actually a pretty good movie, way better than I was expecting.
5 p.m. — My friends leave after the movie is over. I try to watch more Netflix for another hour, but then the screen goes black! I was hoping the TV would still work, despite the crack in the corner, but I don't think so. I look at similar 55-inch TVs online at Walmart and find one in the same size for $50 cheaper, so I order it. Before, I had a 26-inch TV and everyone made fun of me because it was so small in my giant living room. $250.46
8 p.m. — It's time for my favorite TV show — 90 Day Fiancé! It's so terrible, but so great. I am so enthralled by these peoples' lives. All of my friends give me crap for watching it, but it's just reality TV at it's finest. I snack on random things I find in my kitchen, including a Starkist Chicken Creations pouch, leftover salami from last night, and some berries.
11 p.m. — I go to bed after a nice evening of being a hermit. Going out two nights in a row is just too much for my 24-going-on-84 self.
Daily Total: $250.46

Day Four

7:30 a.m. — I get to sleep in later than normal this week because I have training at the office. I take a shower, put on my face, and do my hair. I live a mile away from work, so I usually walk or ride an electric scooter. Today I'm feeling lazy, so I take a shared Lyft to the office. It's cheaper than paying for parking downtown. $3.04
8:50 a.m. — I get to the office, and luckily my friends saved me a seat, because it's crowded! I tried to get in early, but there was so much traffic with the parade for Atlanta United in honor of their championship win. However, all my stress melts away when I see that my favorite restaurant is catering breakfast! I load up on rosemary potatoes, chicken sausage, grits, pineapple, and a biscuit. I am truly blessed this morning.
9 a.m. — Training starts and I try my best to pay attention, but I'm feeling super sick. After an hour, I give up and count down the minutes until our first break. Then it's lunch, followed by an afternoon break. And then I get to go home!
5 p.m. — My coworker gives me a ride home from the office, since I am feeling like death. I debate going to the doctor since I think I could potentially have a sinus infection, but I decide not to. Instead, I eat a leftovers and watch Gilmore Girls reruns while I diamond paint (it's like painting by numbers mixed with bedazzling). We all get a notification from work that we're having a delayed opening at the office tomorrow morning due to inclement weather. I will gladly sleep in tomorrow. I go to bed early.
Daily Total: $3.04

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — I wake up feeling refreshed! I shower, do my makeup, and put my hair in a ponytail. I still feel slightly sick, though, but I am so relieved training is starting an hour later today.
9:30 a.m. — My coworker comes over so we can ride to work together. I am having a Christmas dinner and Secret Santa gift exchange with my work friends tonight. I order us a Lyft to get to the office with my $5 off promo. There is still breakfast, despite the late start. I have a biscuit, fruit, bacon, and potatoes. $2.19
4 p.m. — Training is over early today! My friends and I all walk home to my apartment. They have work to do and our dinner plans aren't until 7, so I let them work as I go to the gym for an hour. I go on the treadmill and listen to the 90 Day Fiancé AfterBuzz TV podcast. I am too obsessed over this show.
7 p.m. — I take a shower and then the three of us leave for dinner to meet our other two friends. We thought this restaurant had an unlimited tapas special on Tuesdays, but I guess that promotion ended last year. I'm disappointed and almost suggest going to another restaurant, but the food turns out to be worth it! We eat patatas bravas, broccolini, empanadas, fried goat cheese, steak, and calamari. $24.24
8:30 p.m. — We all decide to go back to my apartment for the gift exchange. I received the cutest sweatshirt that says "Meow Christmas" on it! I've never owned a tacky Christmas sweater before — I am so delighted. We all talk about the holidays and our plans for the upcoming busy season. As tough as this job is, I am really thankful for the opportunities and the coworkers who have turned into my best friends. After a couple hours, they all leave and I go to bed.
Daily Total: $26.43

Day Six

7 a.m. — Another day, another training! This one is different from the one earlier this week. It's nice to have a break from client work before busy season starts. I do my usual shower, makeup, and hair routine. This time, I decide to get some exercise and walk to the office. I listen to the Hungry Girl Chew the Right Thing podcast during my 17-minute walk.
12 p.m. — Lunchtime! The actual best part about training is the free breakfast and lunch.
5 p.m. — I walk home from the office and then go to the gym to listen to another 90 Day Fiancé podcast. I eat some dinner and diamond paint. It's such a soothing activity after a long day of using my brain to think at work. Then it's off to bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Usual routine — shower, makeup, hair, walk to the office. Breakfast today sucked because they subbed grits for potatoes. Usually I would be okay with this, but these were the worst grits I've ever eaten. Instead I eat approximately five strips of bacon and then feel gross about how greasy they are. I also eat two croissants and pick out all the pineapple from the fruit bowl because it's my favorite.
10 a.m. — We learn about Form 8-Ks and play an intense game of Scattergories. Who said accountants are boring?
12 p.m. — The highlight of my work day has arrived — lunch! Today is sandwiches from a nearby bakery.
3 p.m. — Training it over, and I walk back home. I am expecting my new TV to be delivered this afternoon, so I do a no-equipment-needed barre workout on YouTube at home instead of going to the gym. I'm mildly out of breath and only wearing shorts and a sports bra when maintenance brings in the TV, but I am too excited about my new toy to care about my appearance this second.
5 p.m. — I take a shower, eat some Trader Joe's stacked eggplant parm, and then go to my one of my friend's houses. I cracked my iPhone screen last week, and her boyfriend said he could fix it for free as long as I buy the screen, which I bought the screen a couple days ago on Amazon. As he fixes my phone, I talk with my friend and play with her cat. I really want a cat of my own one day, but single me doesn't have the time to take care of a pet, especially with my work schedule. My friend's boyfriend fixes my phone! I thank him tremendously.
8:30 p.m. — One of my coworkers is switching jobs, so we're having a farewell party for him. There's a good crowd at the bar and I enjoy talking with all of my coworkers. I surprisingly don't have anything to drink and only stay for a couple hours.
11 p.m. — Off to bed, even though I have tomorrow off work! I am planning to take my car to get it's first oil change and running some other errands. I stay up late reading BuzzFeed articles and scrolling through social media.
Daily Total: $0
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