A Week In San Mateo, CA, On A $187,000 Salary

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Today: a biotech analyst who makes $187,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on boba.
Occupation: Analyst
Industry: Biotech
Age: 31
Location: San Mateo, CA
Salary: $187,000 + ~$85,000-$100,000 bonus (between cash and stocks)
Net Worth: ~$330,000 (I have ~$60,000 in high-yield checking/savings/CD accounts. ~$135,000 in my 401(k)... at least as of today, who knows what it'll look like in a month given the current market. ~$135,000 in investment accounts — I have a financial advisor who manages most of this amount but I ask that we keep a pretty conservative profile so this hasn't taken as big of a hit as my 401(k). I also have a one-bedroom condo gives me a net positive of ~$250,000 based on Redfin estimates less my mortgage, but not including in Net Worth total.)
Debt: $380,000 remaining for my mortgage
Paycheck Amount (Bi-weekly): $4,059
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage/HOA: $2,900 (I live with my boyfriend and he gives me $1,000/month as rent)
Student Loans: $0 (my parents paid for my school)
Medical/Vision/Dental: $48 per paycheck (pre-tax)
401(k): $648 per paycheck (my employer matches 100% up to $15,000 per year)
Utilities: $60.32 (this is just for internet — water, electric, trash included in HOA)
Car Insurance: $198 (I know it's high! I have more points on my record than I'd like to admit...)
Phone: still on parents' plan
Spotify: $9.99 (use my bf's Hulu)
ClassPass: $15 (on hold during COVID-19)
Other: I give my parents $500 a month. I think it's somewhat expected in Asian culture to take care of your parents as they get older, whether it be physical and/or monetary care.
Annual Expenses:
Disney+: $59.99
Amazon Prime: $119
Investments: I don't actively contribute to my investment accounts (aside from monthly 401K contribution). Every few months, I'll assess what is in my checking accounts and transfer an amount over to my investment portfolios. I try to keep six months in cash for "rainy days."

Day One

10 a.m. — I love sleeping in on weekends! Last week was busy at work (from home) so I appreciate the time to rest and lay around with my boyfriend, S. He makes us breakfast — waffles (with our waffle maker), strawberries, and whipped cream. We eat on the couch since our dining table is currently the "home office." Tomorrow is Mother's Day so we come up with a plan to see both of our moms. I clean up the dishes and then we get ready to go to the farmer's market (aka put on our face coverings).
12 p.m. — Since shelter-in-place started, we've been going out for a big grocery run once a week during the day in the middle of the week to avoid crowds. However, we recently realized that farmer's markets are still open so we started going there for our weekly vegetables instead. I get four bundles of veggies (they're a Chinese staple, but I have no idea what they're called in English.. sorry!) at $1/bunch from one stand. S. gets some onions and potatoes from another stand and pays for those. $4
2 p.m. — I know we said we go to the store once a week but S. decides he is going to make Mother's Day brunch tomorrow so we go to the store to get some more groceries for that. He gets ingredients for egg benedicts — biscuits, ham, and lemon (for hollandaise). We have eggs and butter from our earlier weekly haul. We also pick up some flowers for my mom. He pays. On the way home, we stop by a local bakery so I can buy some bread flour. While there has been a flour shortage at stores, a lot of bakeries have been selling their wholesale supply. I get five pounds for $4.50. S.'s sister gave me some sourdough starter a few days ago so guess I'll take on the #basic quarantine activity of making sourdough bread. $4.50
4 p.m. — I binge watch Dead to Me on Netflix for the rest of the afternoon. In between episodes, I do two loads of laundry. The building has communal laundry rooms. I can pay for the washer and dryer cycles through an app — it's $2 per wash and $.25 per 15 minutes of drying. I see that the funds on my app are running low so I refill $10. $10
7 p.m. — S. is making us steaks (picked up earlier this week) for dinner — yay! I make popovers as a side in my muffin tin. They're a bit smaller but equally airy and delicious! We also have some of the farmer's market veggies for dinner. For dessert, I bake two cookies and top with ice cream. There is always too much cookie dough when I make them from scratch, so I typically freeze a batch for convenient fresh baked cookies.
10 p.m. — I take a shower, floss/brush, and get ready for bed. My nighttime skincare includes Thayer's witch hazel toner, SeoulCeuticals face essence (a random brand from Amazon but I really like this essence), TruSkin tea tree serum (another random brand from Amazon, also really enjoy their serums), Drunk Elephant moisturizer (I only use this at night because it's a little too thick and oily for daytime use in my opinion), Laneige night mask, and Laneige lip mask. S. and I watch Shark Tank and cuddle before calling it a night around midnight.
Daily Total: $18.50

Day Two

9 a.m. — I wake up slightly earlier today since we're going to S.'s mom's to make Mother's Day brunch. I decide to look a little more presentable today so my morning routine: brush, wash my face with water only, then apply Cosmedica hyaluronic acid serum (a random brand from Amazon — it's the first time I've bought this brand and am not sure about it yet) and use a jade roller. This is supposed to activate lymphatic drainage to increase blood flow, help your serum absorb, and reduce wrinkles... I'm not sure I buy into all that but I do it anyway. As a last step, I apply The Face Shop moisturizer. (I know, I should put on sunscreen but I haven't found a good one yet and hate the filmy feeling). I apply foundation, eyeliner, and mascara, and put on jeans and a top after a whole week of sweats/pjs/leggings.
1 p.m. — That was a tiring morning! We cooked breakfast for S.'s mom and his sister's family, then I spent hours playing with the kids. I just want to point out that since shelter-in-place, we haven't seen anyone except for our immediate families and same for our families.
3 p.m. — After resting (and more Dead to Me), S. and I decide to go for a quick bike ride before heading to my parent's for dinner. There's a walk/bike trail near us and we go for an hour. (I do put on sunscreen for this.) We take quick showers when we get back before heading out again.
5:30 p.m. — I called in earlier to order some takeout to take to my parents. It's a Vietnamese restaurant that my parents like. I pick-up a tofu appetizer, three orders of pho, and two rice dishes. My parents set-up a long table in the backyard and we have dinner on the two ends of the table to keep some distance. It's a nice day and we enjoy the weather and catch-up. $87
8 p.m. — S. and I get home after a full day and we get ready for bed. Same nighttime routine. We end the night and weekend with our favorite ritual — 90 Day Fiancé!
Daily Total: $87

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — I wake up begrudgingly and do my morning routine (minus makeup). I put on black Lululemon leggings and a black Athleta sweatshirt. This has become my workweek uniform. I turn on my video during Zoom calls ~50% of the time — I wonder if anyone notices that I'm basically always in the same sweatshirt. I make some coffee and settle in for my 9am meeting. Mondays always seem to go by so slowly but so quickly at the same time.
12 p.m. — After a morning of meetings and catching up on my emails, I break for lunch around noon. I heat up leftovers (pho from yesterday's dinner and steak from Saturday's dinner). The afternoon zooms by. In between meetings, I try to feed the sourdough starter that has been kept in the fridge the past week. I'm not sure what activity level it's at nor am I sure what it's actually supposed to look like. Just hoping for the best!
5:30 p.m. — Workout time! I've been doing the OrangeTheory Fitness videos on YouTube. ~40 minutes later, I'm sore and sweaty. I start preparing dinner. I've been wanting to make noodles but they require bread flour, so now I can! I weigh out the flour, water, and salt then let the stand mixer do the rest. The dough needs 30 minutes to rest. While it rests, I hop in the shower.
7:30 p.m. — I roll out the dough and cut into noodles. Boil water to cook the noodles. I also pan fry chicken thighs (defrosted from our freezer supply of meat) and some of the Asian veggies from the farmer's market. I whip up mixture of garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili sauce and coat the cooked noodles with the mixture. Dinner time!
10 p.m. — S. cleans up the dishes while I watch more Dead to Me and eat pineapples (from last week's Costco haul). We get ready for bed and lights out by 11:30. Before I forget, starter update — it grew ~50%, which is decent I guess but not the 2-3x I've read about. I put it back in the fridge since I don't plan on baking until the weekend and cross my fingers...
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

8 a.m. — Same morning routine: brush, face, uniform, coffee. I have back to back meetings from 8:30 until noon today. I sit through them, half-listening, half multi-tasking, half-reading about how to tell if your starter is dead.
12 p.m. — I heat up leftover noodles from last night for lunch. Then on to another set of back-to-back meetings until 4.
4 p.m. — There's a role on another team that I've been eyeing — it's exactly what I've been looking for! But I haven't been in my current role for two years, which is the general "guidelines" for making internal moves. I decided to speak with my manager about it anyway because I don't think I can forgive myself for not at least trying and the worse she can say is no? Anyway, she does say no... now I'm in a bad mood.
4:30 p.m. — I use some of my sourdough starter discard from yesterday to make crackers from a recipe I saw online. While my dough rests, I do another OTF workout video. Afterward, I roll out the dough, cut into cracker shapes, brush some oil, sprinkle some salt, and pop them in the oven. While that gets going, I start a chili for dinner. It's super easy! I brown ground turkey (defrosted from our freezer supply) and fresh diced onions (from our Saturday farmer's market run). Then I add canned beans, canned diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and season with chili powder, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper. While that simmers on the stove, I hop in the shower.
7:30 p.m. — Dinner time! I top the chili with avocado and cheese and we eat it with the fresh-baked crackers. Those crackers are so addicting! The tang from the sourdough makes them taste a little bit like Cheese-Itz. S. and I talk about our day. I tell him about my conversation with my manager. Did I mention I am also having some wine? I try to be disciplined during quarantine and only have alcohol on weekends but today calls for some mid-week wine.
10 p.m. — I get ready for bed. S. has more work to do — it sounds like he'll be pretty busy the rest of the week. I watch the latest episode of Vanderpump Rules (if you haven't caught on, I love trashy TV) before turning in.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

8:30 a.m. — Morning routine. No meetings this morning so I get to work, reviewing our latest sales data and models to provide feedback to the other teams I work with. It's nice to have time to really focus on work, rather than trying to multi-task during Zoom meetings.
1 p.m. — I heat up some leftover chili for lunch. The afternoon is filled with one-on-one check-ins with my team members. We chat about how things are going at home and at work. Everyone seems to be settling into working from home. It'll be weird when we go back to the office and need to socialize on daily basis. (Can you tell I'm an introvert?)
3:30 p.m. — I run out to Trader Joe's to pick up some snacks. I've been seeing their Ube pancake/waffle mix and Ube ice cream all over Instagram. I get to Trader Joe's and there's a semi-long line but I wait it out. My experience has been that these lines generally move quickly, and I am right! I get into the store and am pleased with the lack of people and well-stocked shelves. I pick up gouda cheese, a cucumber, two Ube ice cream, frozen blueberries, matcha powder, Bambas, Synergistically Seasoned popcorn (it looks like it's new), a "fun" beer for S. per his request, and some of their sparkling waters. Sadly, they are out of the Ube pancake/waffle mix ($35.57). Then I head to a nearby Japanese supermarket and pick-up some salmon sushi for dinner. It's half off ($4.73) since they were about to close (limited hours due to COVID-19). $40.30
5 p.m. — I do a Yoga Sculpt video from YouTube today. I like doing these yoga videos once a week to give my muscles a break and stretch out. After Yoga Sculpt, I do a Chloe Ting abs video. After my workouts, a few of my college friends join a FaceTime call to wish one of them a happy birthday. I eat my sushi for dinner while watching whatever is on ABC (through the antenna, no cable). S. makes something for himself and works through the night. Then I get ready for bed — lights out around 11.
Daily Total: $40.30

Day Six

8 a.m. — Wake up, morning routine. Today's still a light day, though I'll have more meetings than yesterday. The morning is full of check-ins with my team. Sometimes I wonder how anything gets done when all everyone does is check in.
12 p.m. — I make S. and I a quick lunch of noodles, soft-boiled eggs, and farmer's market veggies. I continue reviewing my data and models from yesterday in preparation for a meeting with our VP at 3.
4 p.m. — Meeting went well! I send my team some follow-ups then turn off my laptop for the day. Today, I wanted to try making a shallot and anchovy pasta dish that I've been seeing all over the internet. We bought the ingredients last week (shallots, anchovy, and tomato paste) so I get to work on making the sauce. It's simple, but slicing the shallots definitely take some time. I realize I want something green to go with dinner so I head to the nearby Safeway to pick up parsley and a salad kit. $6.23
6 p.m. — We normally don't eat dinner until 7:30 so I take the time to do another OTF workout video. After the workout, I start boiling some water in a pot and take a quick shower while waiting for it to boil. I boil some spaghetti noodles/mix it with the sauce and make the salad. Dinner time! S. had doubts about the pasta sauce because of the anchovies, but he admits that it is pretty delicious.
9 p.m. — After cleaning up the dishes, S. and I settle in to watch whatever random TV was on Fox. He works while I scroll TikTok on the side. Yes, I'm way too old for TikTok but it is so addicting! We get ready for bed and lights out around 11:30.
Daily Total: $6.23

Day Seven

9 a.m. — Fun fact: today is day 60 of the Bay Area's shelter-in-place mandate. DAY 60! Where did the time go?! S. and I have been keeping a tally of the days on our whiteboard (depressing, I know). Today is going to be an extremely light day at work so I take advantage and sleep in a little bit. Morning routine then I spend my morning reviewing more numbers and model. Finally, some time to get things done! I also get my sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it in preparation for my baking tomorrow.
1 p.m. — I heat up some leftover pasta from last night. Yum! I have a few check-ins with coworkers this afternoon. They turn out to be more social chit chat than work-related (oops). Some friends and I are planning on doing a group workout via Zoom tomorrow morning, so I browse YouTube for videos.
3:30 p.m. — Well, this afternoon hasn't been very productive. S. wants to take a break anyway so I give up on working and start my weekend early. We go on our weekly grocery run. We get spinach, asparagus, honeydew, bagels, deli turkey, cheese, and dry pasta. He pays. On the way home, we stop and pick up boba. I pay. $9
5 p.m. — Once we're home, I get started on dinner. We were planning on having steak, which is usually S.'s specialty. Since he's busy with work, I go the easy route and use sous vide the steak. Once the steak is going, I start a batch of mochi muffins. I try out different flavors and make some coffee ones as well as matcha ones (the powder I bought from Trader's Joes the other day). Once the muffins are in the oven (they take almost an hour to bake!), I do another OTF workout video. This one is a shorter one — about 30 minutes.
7 p.m. — Workout done. I get potatoes started as a side — I do the boil then bake method. I time it so that the muffins are coming out of the oven just as the potatoes are going in. While I wait for the potatoes to bake, I hop in the shower. Post-shower, I take the meat out and sear the sides in a cast iron. I also quickly cook the last of our farmer's market veggies.
8 p.m. — Since it's Friday, I make some cocktails to go with dinner. Ripe strawberries, sparkling water (from Trader Joe's), lemon juice, and tequila blended with ice. Dinner is ready! I'm pretty proud of myself. Pre-quarantine, I was NOT one to cook or bake. But with all this time on my hand, I've really taken to home cooking and baking. I hope I keep it up even once restaurants start opening back up. We have a mochi muffin for dessert.
10 p.m. — As S. cleans up the dishes, I start my sourdough bread process. I start the leavening process for my sourdough and leave it overnight. S. and I watch Shark Tank on Hulu in bed before turning in for the night. I set an alarm for 9 so I can start kneading my dough. I hope this turns out well...wish me luck!
Daily Total: $9
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