A Week In Beverly Hills, CA, On A $43,200 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: a production PA working in entertainment who makes $43,200 per year and spends some of her money this week on a CBD Bath Bomb.
Occupation: Production PA
Industry: Entertainment
Age: 21
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Salary: $43,200
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,800
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,500 for a studio apartment
Car Payment: $0 (bought in full a few years ago)
Student Loans: $0 (didn't attend college)
Internet: $49.99
Car Insurance: $120
Phone: $70
Spotify: $10
Netflix: $14.06
Hulu: $4.50
Amazon Prime: $9.99
Health Insurance: Still under my dad's until I'm 25
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Day One

6 a.m. — My kitten wakes me up an hour before my alarm, and I can't go back to sleep, so I get my yoga mat and resistance bands out and do a light 15-minute stretch/lower-body workout. Kitten is still so hyperactive, so I end my workout early and take a shower, turning it completely cold for the last minute. Brutal. I'm always ravenous when I wake up, so I make my favorite smoothie with frozen banana, papaya, vegan protein powder, spinach, and almond milk. I make it thick so I can eat it with a spoon. I don't have to leave for work for another hour, so I put on some music, make an espresso, and write.
8 a.m. — Work varies every day, but today call time is 8:30. I throw on something modest and comfortable, put my hair into a low bun, kiss kitty, grab my lunch, and head out.
10 a.m. — I take a short break from setting up my boss's calendars to talk with a coworker and convince myself I don't need another coffee. It's already madness in here, so I'm sent out on a few runs to different prop houses. I eat a GoMacro bar while I try to navigate the parking lot. I stop to fill up my gas tank at the cheapest station I know in the valley. $45
1 p.m. — I get back from the prop house, grab my lunch (turkey sandwich with veggies and avocado), and find a shady spot outside. I try to be present when I eat (good digestion hack), but my best friend, who goes to school in Scotland, calls and I can't miss it. She keeps wanting me to come visit her in Europe, but with work and bills, it's been hard to take the plunge. We end up deciding that the end of summer will be perfect. I make a mental note to start seriously saving extra money, which means no more random Target runs or Postmates.
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6 p.m. — I'm finally off work and I'm starving. My friend calls me on my way home and asks if I want to meet for dinner, and I tell her to meet at my apartment soon. I hit a bit of traffic on the freeway, but I remember I have a bag of walnuts in my glove compartment. I eat a handful to tide me over; so grateful for past me thinking of future hungry me. I stop at Gelson's near my house for a few groceries: oat milk, arugula, lemons, frozen gluten-free waffles, and cat food. $17.28
7 p.m. — I finish a short jog around the neighborhood right as my friend texts me that she's five minutes away. Shit. I throw on my go-to outfit of Levi's jeans, white tank top, sneakers, a little dab of perfume, and head downstairs.
8:15 p.m. — We end up at my favorite French restaurant down the street. It's nice and warm out, so we sit on the patio and get an order of fries and a large arugula salad to share. I'm happy I decided to go out tonight, as I've recently become prisoner to my bed and cat after work. We see a friend of ours and she comes over to chat, and I order a second glass of white wine and have a cigarette (it's a bad vice, I know).
9 p.m. — I pay for our drinks, and my friend picks up the rest of the bill. We make our way back to the car, and as we pass an old bookstore, I look in the window and almost choke. My ex-boyfriend, K., is standing there flipping through a gardening book...gardening?? Did he buy a house?? Is he married now??? I decide to go say hi. $25
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9:15 p.m. — So he's not married and very much still single and just trying to find a "new hobby." Hmm. The small talk went well, though, and with a heavy heart I make my way back to my waiting friend.
10 p.m. — I'm so tired when I get home. I only make it to step five out of my 10-step nighttime skin routine before giving up and going to sleep.
Daily Total: $87.28

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I wake up, drink a glass of water, do my stretches and meditation, and put frozen waffles in the toaster. I have a little bit of time, so I listen to a podcast and clean the house before getting ready.
9 a.m. — I go by my neighborhood café on my way to work to get an oat milk latte ($4.50) because I'm out of coffee. Ah, the cute barista is working today! He gives me an extra shot and a scone on the house, what an angel. $4.50
11 a.m. — It's looking like a busy day at work; there's a lot of scenes to shoot. Today some of the props involve desserts, so I pick up 12 dozen prepaid cupcakes from a few local bakeries. I grab a few mixed nuts and strawberries before leaving. I also remember to pay my boss back for a coffee from last week. $5
2 p.m. — I get back, grab my sandwich, and go up to the roof, where I sit in the sun to get some vitamin D. It's so nice out! I end up breaking off a piece of my nail opening the door on the way down, so I call my nail lady and book an appointment for after work.
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5:45 p.m. — Work is done for the day! I quickly pack up and swing by a Tender Greens for dinner. I get the chicken plate with greens and potatoes and eat it in the car as I rush to the salon (definitely NOT mindful eating, but it's fine). I'm annoyed at myself for eating out, but sometimes it's inevitable and hangry me is never a good time. $15.95
8 p.m. — With a polish-remover-induced headache and a sore butt, I'm finally done with my nails. I strayed from my usual pale pink color and got a bold cherry red. I only get them done once or twice a month (shout-out to dip powder) and I love my nail technician, so it's also an excuse to chat with her for an hour or two ($40+$15 tip). $55
10 p.m. — I get home, shower, and put on my favorite travel cooking show. I'm close to dozing off, but I get a text from previously mentioned ex-boyfriend K. "Hey, you up?" We exchange a few silly messages before he asks if he can come over. I give myself a once-over in the mirror: stained tank top, hair in bun, teeth-whitening strips on. Eh, fuck it. I tell him to come and to pick up a pack of cigarettes on his way (killing two vices with one stone, I guess).
Daily Total: $80.45

Day Three

7:20 a.m. — Oh, boy. I wake up feeling awful and decide to run off the guilt. I go down a normally populated tourist street — it feels weird being there so early. I pop into the market to get coffee beans ($9.50) and decide to walk the rest of the way back. A man stops me on the street, despite my raging bed head and baggy sweats, and gives me a long-stemmed rose. I'm shocked. I give him and another sweet woman a few dollars before I go ($4). $13.50
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8 a.m. — I come home to kitten nestled on K.'s chest, both of them still in deep sleep. I hate this part. I make a smoothie and blend on the highest setting in hopes that it'll facilitate the leaving process. I get ready and head out to work, leaving a note for K. to lock the front door on the way out.
9 a.m. — Today we are shooting on location downtown, so I'm in complete standstill traffic on the way there. I play some bad but good throwback ’80s music and eat a homemade healthy doughnut that I made a few days ago. I've been experimenting with cooking and baking, and this one came out surprisingly decent.
1 p.m. — It's a blistering hot day, and the stress on set is heavy. I swear making movies during the summer makes it ten times more stressful than it already is. I grab some salmon and salad from the caterers and find a nice sunny spot outside to eat. I'm tired from last night and some dark chocolate from the corner store is calling my name, but I deny the urge. I need to save it for all that good European chocolate I'll be eating in a few months!
5 p.m. — I'm off work and I get in my car. I'm having a lot of anxiety. It sits deep in my chest and stomach, a familiar tightness. I hate this. I wait a minute before driving to take some deep breaths and then decide to get some weed.
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6:30 p.m. — I'm in and out of my neighborhood dispensary with a CBD bath bomb and oil in less than 20 minutes. So thankful for California. $35
8 p.m. — I get home and I'm not really hungry because of the anxiety, but I eat some chips, leftover grilled veggies, and half a sweet potato. Now it's bath time. The bath bomb I bought immediately relaxes me, and I almost fall asleep. I get out, drench myself in body oil, and lie in bed with my adult coloring book (I know, lame...but it's soothing) until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $48.50

Day Four

8 a.m. — The summer heat is in full force, and I'm on the top floor of my apartment building, so I wake up in a bit of a sweat. I take a cold shower and do some stretching. I cut up some fresh fruit with coconut yogurt, make an espresso, and mindlessly scroll through Instagram.
9 a.m. — I walk to my car and see a parking ticket on my windshield wiper. Damn. Street-cleaning day. Since I moved to Beverly Hills, I have become quite the parking-ticket connoisseur. I'm frustrated, but I pay it online immediately, knowing I'll forget about it if I don't. $63
10:45 a.m. — I'm in the office now, and I've already had to do three rushed runs to various prop houses. I eat a protein bar I found in the kitchen, chat with a few coworkers, then head down to the stages.
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1 p.m. — I packed my own avocado toast, and I eat with the rest of the crew. I remember I have an acupuncture appointment after work across town. I grab a Starbucks Venti green tea unsweetened, no water, for a bit of a caffeine boost. $3.75
5 p.m. — I get off right at rush hour, and it's a 45-minute drive to the east side. I catch up on a bunch of podcasts on my way.
7 p.m. — I leave acupuncture feeling amazing. The woman also gave me some Chinese herbs and a hefty packet called "The Bible of Optimal Health." Sign me up! I pay the co-pay ($80 + $20 for herbs), and the rest gets billed to my insurance. $100
7:45 p.m. — I decide to visit my parents while I'm on this side of town. I pick up a rotisserie chicken, greens, some pita bread, hummus, and dark chocolate (a treat for Mama) at Whole Foods before heading over. We love a quick makeshift dinner. Amazon Prime saves me $3, and I get a free tote bag! $31
10:30 p.m. — I end up talking to my parents for a long time — they've become my best friends since I've moved out.
11:15 p.m. — I get home to my cat screaming next to her food bowl. I feed her, shower, and take an extra ten minutes to do my once-a-week hair routine (my hair is freakishly long and falls below my butt, so I have to show some extra love by way of coconut oil hydrating masks). I eat some dark chocolate almonds and pass out.
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Daily Total: $197.75

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I sleep through my alarm, and I have to rush a bit this morning. I make my favorite bowl with coconut yogurt, homemade granola, figs, and cinnamon before getting ready for the day.
9 a.m. — I'm in the office for five minutes before my boss has me run to the set location. I don't mind driving, though — it seems to pass the time a lot quicker.
11:30 a.m. — I'm on set watching the scene play out and putting out props when necessary. I get a bit bored watching the countless takes, so I grab a veggie wrap from craft services and talk to one of the writers. He's very sweet and interesting. I always make sure to talk to him when I can in hopes that he'll ask me if I want to be his assistant or a TV writer myself one day...manifestation, baby!
5 p.m. — I'm starving and we aren't done shooting yet, so I eat an orange and some pecans. I have to go to my friend's birthday later, but I'm worried about getting there on time. I look at my hair in the mirror and realize it's just going to be a dry shampoo night.
8:25 p.m. — I just now get off work. They had extra scenes to shoot and they went way over, on a Friday night, too! Everyone is bummed, but that's just showbiz. I'm very hungry and tired, so I make my way home and text my friend to come by and bring some wine (I Venmo her for half). $7
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9:30 p.m. — My apartment elevator is stuck, so I run up all five floors and realize I really need to do more cardio. I eat some leftover brown-rice pasta and salad while simultaneously putting on foundation, swatting away kitten's curious paws, and ordering an Uber. The whole thing was truly a spectacle — I wish I could insert a visual. $11.50
10 p.m. — We make it to the party, and I get myself a large Moscow mule ($15). The tiredness from my almost 12-hour day hits me like a brick, but I rally and continue to dance and celebrate. I end up buying two more shots ($14), and my friend buys the Uber home. $29
1 a.m. — I take off my makeup in haste, drink a tall glass of water with a charcoal pill, and go straight to bed.
Daily Total: $47.50

Day Six

8 a.m. — I wake up feeling surprisingly rested. Kitten is sleeping above my head — I can hear her purring loudly. I stretch, mix my morning-after-drinking mix of baking soda, lemon, and pink sea salt, and put on my workout clothes. I grab my bag, tie my hair up, and I'm off to Pilates. I used to have a membership, but it got too expensive, so now I just buy classes occasionally. $25
9:45 a.m. — Class was hard and my legs are shaking — those reformer machines are no joke. All I can think about is breakfast. I stop off at the store on the way back (I realize I'm out of bananas), but I end up getting a whole bag full of groceries. Classic. Spinach, coconut yogurt, bananas, organic ground turkey, and some healthy fruit pops. While in line, I realize that there should be a yummy alcoholic popsicle, like lime agave mojito...mango rum...is this already a thing? Do I need to invent it? $15
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12 p.m. — I am freshly showered, dressed, and ready to tackle the day. Saturdays are my favorite, so I'm in a great mood. I make a protein shake, sweep and dust the apartment, and water my very thirsty plants. I put on a casual dress, some gold jewelry, and sneakers and I'm out the door. I make sure to put a protein bar in my bag for a snack.
1:15 p.m. — I meet my friend downtown, and we decide to go into some vintage stores and boutiques. I eat my protein bar, and she gets an iced coffee. I see a dreamy pin-up girl covered matchbox and similar glass ashtray, and I buy them both because I'm a sucker for coffee-table decor. $12
3 p.m. — We walk to Sweetgreen for lunch, and I get a massive salad, but I'm kind of bummed because I know I could've made one just as good from home. After, my friend drops me off at my place. $14.95
7 p.m. — It's still so hot, but I go for a long walk around my neighborhood. I make a quick breakfast-for-dinner situation with a fried egg, sourdough toast, and avocado. My favorite combo. I bring my food onto the fire escape that's down the hall. Despite the discomfort of the metal railing, I enjoy the fading sun, rush-hour traffic madness, and the sounds of my neighbors bickering in Russian. My mom calls me and I go inside.
11 p.m. — My friends are calling me to go out tonight, but I'm exhausted. Bar-hopping does not sound appealing right now, so I put on my favorite face mask, watch a few episodes of a cooking show, and text K. After 15 minutes of dumb flirtatious banter I decide to make the good decision of ending the convo early and going to sleep.
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Daily Total: $66.95

Day Seven

9 a.m. — I slept in a bit and it feels damn good. I drink a glass of water and take a hot then cold shower. I make a smoothie with papaya, spirulina, mango, and coconut water and write in my journal. I try to set goals and intentions for the upcoming week every Sunday. My kitten won't stop trying to swat my pen, so I give up and get dressed.
11 a.m. — I walk to the farmers market near my house and meet my friend. It's a tradition at this point. I notice how many cute pups there are today and I stop to pet an unusually large wooly one. I leave with a bundle of cut sunflowers, a bag of fresh mint, some local peaches, and my favorite sourdough bread. I definitely splurge a bit every week here, but it makes me happy to shop locally and I prioritize buying quality food over a lot of other things. $25
1 p.m. — When I get home, I put together a big salad with greens, brown rice, salmon, and hummus. I write and try to read for 30 minutes, but I keep almost falling asleep. I've been interested in learning about neurology lately, but truly nothing will put me to sleep more than research papers.
3:15 p.m. — I wake up from a nap, which is so unlike me, and decide to go to a last minute pilates class since I have a free one to use up. I eat two dates filled with almond butter for a pre-workout snack and get dressed. Workout playlist is on full blast in the car and I dance (as much as one can while still driving) the whole way there.
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5 p.m. — I finish with pilates and I'm so sweaty, but I feel great. I chat with my instructor for a bit and then head home to shower. I stop at the store to grab some fusilli to make a pasta dish for dinner tonight. $4.15
6:30 p.m. — Sauce is simmering, pasta is boiling, bread is in the oven. I'm enjoying myself, but kind of wish I could be cooking for someone else too. Why doesn't anyone talk about how lonely one's early 20s can be?
9:30 p.m. — Dinner was delicious! I also made a lot extra for this weeks lunches throughout the week, which I'm happy about. I pour myself a glass of wine and settle in to watch Big Little Lies before falling asleep. Goodnight!
Daily Total: $29.15
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