A Week In Detroit, MI, On A $69,657 Salary

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: a Buyer working in Automotive who makes $69,657 per year and spends some of her money this week on Costco wine.
Occupation: Buyer
Industry: Automotive
Age: 28
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Salary: $69,657
Paycheck Amount (1x/month): $3,865 take home
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $500 (for my part of a three-bedroom rental that I share with one roommate)
Student Loans: $750 (I have $7,500 left at the start of this diary)
Car Loan: $282.19
Utilities: ~$80 (for my share for gas, electricity & internet, water is every three months and is an additional $80 for my share)
Renters Insurance: $29.50
Health Insurance/Dental/Vision: $127.56 (pre-tax)
FSA: $83.33/month (pre-tax)
Gym: $35.99
Netflix/Spotify: $30
Car Insurance: $100
Credit Cards: I have about $9,000 in credit card debt that comes from having a shopping PROBLEM and from moving out on my own after a breakup. I have been really working on this very clear issue this year and am very proud of what I've been doing. All debt is on 0% APR cards for the next 20+ months, so once my student debt is paid off I'll tackle the CC and pay it off before the interest hits.

Day One

6:15 a.m. — I wake up to head to the animal shelter where I am a volunteer. We had a big influx of dogs come in and it's all hands on deck. I've been wanting to take on more responsibility within the organization so I took a half-day off work to help with intake. I get Starbucks because I didn't have a chance to buy coffee when I ran out yesterday. Logged under food budget. $4.61
11:30 a.m. — Head to work. I pick up Jimmy John's on the way because it's payday! Also logged under my food budget. I'm working really hard on logging everything I buy on Every Dollar. I like that I need to manually log it because it forces me to feel every single purchase. Last month was the first month that I really did it and I plan to keep up this new habit! $9.87
12 p.m. — I get to work and start doing payday stuff. I pay my rent and see that all of my utility payments hit. I Venmo charge my roommate for her portion. I also see the student loans withdrawal hit — I pay an extra $250 this month because my paycheck was especially big this month due to my raise taking effect (and I also got retro pay since my raise went into effect January 1). My student loans are now at $6,437. $250
2 p.m. — I decide to pay for my cousin's graduation present a little early since this month's paycheck is so much higher than normal. I send it directly to her so that she can enjoy ASAP. $81.90
5 p.m. — I hit the gym after work. I do some HIIT and weights, then I head over to my boyfriend's place. I spent the night Thursday and left my dog at his place so that she could hang out with his pup during the day. I buy a bottle of wine to enjoy over the weekend on the way. We're having a relaxed night in since we have such a busy day planned tomorrow. I cook us a HelloFresh meal (this will be a theme, we got obsessed with deals last month and accidentally bought SO MANY MEALS so now we're in a mad rush to use up all of the food). $16.89
Daily Total: $363.27

Day Two

8 a.m. — I stop by Starbucks for coffee and a sandwich before going to the shelter for the morning. I leave my dog with my boyfriend and her bestie for the day. $9.84
1 p.m. — I leave the shelter with a bag of laundry to do at home and go grocery shopping at the Kroger closest to my house. I buy iced coffee, deli meat and cheeses, veggies, shredded cheese, chips, and almond milk. $50.02
2 p.m. — I rush home to make nachos for lunch, throw the shelter laundry I brought home into the washer, and then drive to my therapy appointment ($25.83 paid with my FSA).
3 p.m. — I go to the gym for a quick HIIT workout and some pushups. I'm really trying to make working out a habit and after reading Atomic Habits, I'm learning that the habit I'm trying to cultivate right now is the act of GOING to the gym. So even though it's not a huge workout, it's still something.
5 p.m. — My boyfriend, K., comes over with the dogs and we head out to try happy hour at my favorite seafood place. I have too many glasses of wine and we have some food, and even though I drove us to the bar, K. drives us home (lol). $68.94
6 p.m. — We decide to Uber to the restaurant to meet our friends, so that K. can enjoy himself as well. I pay for the Uber. $10.10
7 p.m. — We try a new brewery with my best friend and her boyfriend. I get us two rounds of beer each, and K. pays for dinner. The beers are good but the dinner is really sub-par, and I'm kind of disappointed. $36.56
10 p.m. — We head over to another bar for a nightcap before home. I am DRUNK, but definitely the fun kind of drunk today. Thank god. While waiting for the Uber home, I get a call from my cousin who already received the present. She's super happy and touched and that makes ME happy and touched. $10.50
Daily Total: $185.96

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — Wake up and bring us coffee in bed. The dogs looove lounging with us in bed in the morning. I pour the coffee into my to-go mug but K. wants something warm, so we swing by McDonald's for sandwiches and a coffee for him. He pays.
10 a.m. — We spend a few hours volunteering with an organization that delivers dog food and resources to families who need extra help in order to keep their dogs while down on their luck. Usually the group goes out for lunch and drinks after, but it's already a high spend weekend for me so we decline.
12 p.m. — I make us veggie nachos for lunch and we catch up on a few episodes of Everything's Gonna Be Okay. I'm obsessed with this show. K. heads home with the dogs and I head to meet my friend to see Emma. I swing by the library to drop off a book and pick up two more. I have a yearly nonfiction book goal and while I sometimes buy books, I tend to use the library a lot.
3 p.m. — My friend beat me to the theater so she got our tickets. I buy us a glass of cab each to bring into the movie. $14.48
5 p.m. — We loved the movie so much!!!! Knightley was everything. We hang out at the bar that's connected to the fancy art theater and drink some more wine and catch up on life. $27
7 p.m. — I arrive at K.'s and take over making the HelloFresh meal he started. I'm definitely the cook in the relationship, and he's the cleanup guy.
Daily Total: $41.48

Day Four

7 a.m. — Wake up early, pack up, and head home with the dog. I pack my lunch (basic sandwich) and coffee. I get to work and log my weekend spend and OMG!!!! Luckily I'm babysitting twice this month and should make at least $250, so I have extra padding for my fun budget. I always do this — I go crazy the first weekend after payday and then have to turn into a hermit crab for the week after. Also, side note, K. and I pay for stuff when it's our own idea. Saturday events were my idea and he STILL helped me a little bit with paying for stuff.
11:30 a.m. — I spend my lunch break running errands. I pick up the items I couldn't find on Saturday (sprouted bread, almond flour tortillas, and salsa) ($27.16), and then use my CVS 40% coupon to buy replacement Keratine spray and chapstick ($21.29). I also fill up on gas at Costco, which should last me for the week ($16.62). $65.07
5 p.m. — I get home and cook up a veggie quesadilla. I take my dog for a walk, she is loving this warmer weather. I receive my order of CBD oil — I'm very curious to see if this helps my anxiety at all.
7 p.m. — I meant to go to Krav Maga tonight (I purchase classes in bulk), but I open up my new book and get very tired. I spend the rest of the night cuddling my dog in bed and work through half of The Lost City of the Monkey God. In between chapters, I finish up the laundry from the shelter that I took home on Saturday and force myself to go through two meditation sessions before bed so at least I'm exercising my brain.
Daily Total: $65.07

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — I wake up, literally drag my dog out of bed and kick her outside, and then pack my sandwich and coffee. I look like shit but I'm getting my hair cut during lunch so I'm not too worried about it.
11:30 a.m. — Haircut time. I get my hair cut about once every three or four months and I really needed it this time. We decide that I should come back in two months since I'm trying to grow out some very aggressive layers back into a sleek lob. I walk out of the salon looking amazing and mourning the fact that I'm not doing anything tonight to show it off. Also amazed that she was able to get it all done within my lunch break. $90
5 p.m. — I arrive at the shelter for my usual weekly weekday evening shift and discover that they weren't expecting me. Someone must've erased my name on the signup sheet. I decide to stay because it's not like they don't need the extra hands.
8:30 p.m. — The shift goes long by an hour, but we get everything done. I load up some shelter laundry into my car and head to the gym right after the shelter for a 15 minute HIIT workout. I could've done more with all of this energy that I have but I don't want to leave my dog at home any longer than I already have to.
10 p.m. — Get home, play with my dog, run a load of laundry, and do a meditation. My shelter is doing a massive fundraising campaign, I donate $50. $50
Daily Total: $140

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — I have a supplier meeting this afternoon and happy hour plans with a friend tonight so I put some effort into my appearance. I put on my wide-legged tan pants, a white long sleeve shirt, and some tan booties. I throw on mascara and BB cream too. I pack two sandwiches so that I am not starving for HH.
11:30 a.m. — I head out on my lunch break to return some clothes that did not work from my last Fabletics order. I go to Costco and buy three bottles of wine to have on hand. I like buying a few at a time to cut down on errands. $30.37
5 p.m. — I meet my friend for happy hour! It's been forever since we've seen each other and we spend a LOT of time catching up on our lives. We celebrate my raise and make plans for a trip to celebrate her graduating from grad school this year. Ladies — we NEED to make a point to celebrate our own accomplishments and not just to celebrate engagements, weddings, and babies. $20.51
7 p.m. — We head over to my place and open a bottle of Syrah that I just bought. We hang out with my roommate and my dog in her room while she gets ready to go out. My friend heads home at 8:30 and I do a load of shelter laundry. In my attempt to grow my responsibility at the shelter, I start taking some online classes to grow my knowledge and pass out around 10:30.
Daily Total: $50.88

Day Seven

8 a.m. — Today. Will. Be. A. No. Spend. Day. So. Help. Me. God. I get to work and spend a few minutes logging yesterday's requests that came into the hotline for the outreach organization I volunteer with. I am in charge of logging all requests one day a week. Luckily this week doesn't require a lot of time.
11:30 a.m. — I take my lunch at my desk while continuing to take another online class. I have a plan to get all of these classes done this month and it's upwards of 10 hours worth of material, so I need to be aggressive.
5 p.m. — I have to stay late to review some stuff with my director, so I nix the idea of working out on my way home. I pick my dog up, pack for the weekend, and then head over to K.'s. I cook a HelloFresh meal for dinner and we watch Suspiria on the couch while the dogs roughhouse. I'm feeling a little on edge from all of the classes I've been doing lately (it's a lot of material about the world is terrible), and a relaxing night in with safe and happy dogs and my safe and happy boyfriend are what I really need.
Daily Total: $0
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.

Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.

Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqs

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series