A Week In Boston, MA, On A $65,000 Salary

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Today: an email marketing manager working in education who makes $65,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on an Instant Pot.
Occupation: Email Marketing Manager
Industry: Education
Age: 30
Location: Boston, MA
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $1,698
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $770 (I live with my boyfriend and another roommate in a three-bedroom apartment.)
Student Loans: $600 (I have $15,500 left, and I'm paying it off aggressively.)
401(k) (pre-tax): $125
Dental Insurance (pre-tax): $8.50
Health Insurance (pre-tax): $124
FSA (pre-tax): $34.50
Vision Insurance (pre-tax): $3.50
Electricity: $70
Gym: $50
ACLU Donation: $10
Planned Parenthood: $10

Day One

9 a.m. — I say bye to my boyfriend, C., as he heads to work, drag myself out of bed, and head into the bathroom to start my day. I have a small hangover from the night before and down two ibuprofen tablets with some water.
9:20 a.m. — Time to leave for work! Since I live pretty close to my work, I try to walk every day. It takes me about 20 minutes to get there, and then I settle in with a cup of black coffee and start working on campaigns.
12 p.m. — Because I stayed out last night (after-work gathering with pizza and drinks), I forgot to pack my lunch. The weather is dreary, so I ask my coworker if he's up for some pho. We go across the street to the restaurant and talk about our weekend. $12
3 p.m. — I reply back to a sales rep's offer for a comped marketing conference invitation. The event's at a new casino, and I'm excited to go!
6 p.m. — I finish up my work and head to the gym nearby. I run a full 5k on the treadmill, and I'm super proud of myself. I've been slacking a bit and only running one or two miles when I go to the gym for the past couple weeks.
7 p.m. — C. has left work and picks me up from the gym. We head back to the apartment, and I steam some dumplings I prepared and froze last week.
11:30 p.m. — Time for bed! I hop in the shower and work on the slow month-long process of removing my plantar wart. I bought the Dr. Scholl's wart-remover pads last week, and this is my fourth day of treatment. Plantar warts suck.
Daily Total: $12

Day Two

10 a.m. — I wake up, laze about, and make breakfast (bacon and frozen hash browns from Trader's Joe's). C. and I watch some TV while eating. After, he plays video games while I play games on my phone.
2 p.m. — I'm a little hungry, so I fry up two hotdogs in a grill pan for both C. and myself (leftover from a July 4th cookout).
3 p.m. — C. continues to play his video game. I decide I want to enjoy the nice weather outside while I Netflix and relax. I sit on the upstairs patio with Polar's new alcoholic seltzer and fire up a movie in my queue, Someone Great. It's an amazing film, and I love Gina Rodriguez as an actress.
5:30 p.m. — I head back inside after finishing the movie and tell C. that I want to go out for dinner tonight. It's been a while since we've had a date night to ourselves, and I want to enjoy the nice weather at a restaurant with outdoor seating. We originally decide on a Mexican cantina that opened nearby, but the recent reviews for the place were concerning (moldy fruit for brunch!). We decide to go to a wine bar in Brookline, and if the wait is too long, we can go to one of the other restaurants within walking distance.
8 p.m. — C. and I arrive at the wine bar in our Lyft and find out the wait is 45 minutes for a table for two. We decide to leave and stumble upon another restaurant with outdoor seating next door. The atmosphere is completely different from the wine bar; it's quiet and romantic, and there are a few tables immediately available outside. $15
10 p.m. — Time to head out! I forgot about the downside to outdoor dining — all the bugs. C. had two fruit flies drown in his wine, and I had a large fly flying around my head all night, but we didn't let it ruin our date. I pay for the bill with my card (3% cash back on dining), and C. Venmos me half ($188 total, $94 for my half). He takes care of the Lyft back to the apartment. $94
Daily Total: $109

Day Three

10 a.m. — Another lazy morning. I put some bacon in the oven with the hash browns and start on the laundry. I'm so glad we have a washer and dryer in the basement — we do two loads every week. I also clean the fridge of any expired/moldy food and cook and freeze any produce that's about to go bad.
7 p.m. — Our roommate is back from his weekend trip, and we all head to the grocery store together. We buy spring mix, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, prosciutto, peaches, steak, Triscuits, orange juice, hard cheddar, potatoes, green beans, yogurt, seltzer, Coke, and yellow squash. C. pays for the groceries.
8:45 p.m. — We order sushi, and the roommate treats. I get a sushi entree, and I'm so full that I save the miso soup for lunch tomorrow.
9:45 p.m. — I ask our roommate about the oranges he left in the fridge for over a month. He tells me that they're mine if I want them. I chop up half an orange and half a peach as a snack for tomorrow. I decide I want to make a bistro box-type lunch, so I cut up some truffle cheese I bought the previous week, add cubes of my smoked gouda, and make a side salad with carrots and tomatoes. I pack everything up with the leftover miso soup and place it in the fridge.
11:15 p.m. — Time for bed. I shower and remove some more dead skin around the wart so I can reapply the treatment. I really hate warts.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

9 a.m. — I say bye to C. as he leaves for work. I end up lying in bed for the next ten minutes and order a dress and two pairs of shorts from Old Navy. Everything's 50% off their site today, and I give in to the temptation of online shopping. $38.84
9:20 a.m. — I hurry out the door. I'm tempted to call a Lyft, but I resist the urge.
9:40 a.m. — I arrive at work and get my usual cup of black coffee. I focus on a difficult campaign that is using multiple contact lists pulled from different sources and multiple suppression lists. I work on pulling one of the main contact lists.
10:30 a.m. — I notice the Instant Pot is on sale for Prime Day. I message the roommate that I'll pay him back if he buys it for me on his Prime account. I Venmo him $60. $60
12:20 p.m. — My roommate messages about sides for dinner tonight. He's cooking up the steak we bought, and I offer the green beans and send him a recipe I found online for melting potatoes. I eat my lunch outside in the nice weather.
5:30 p.m. — I finally finish the campaign and make my to-do list for tomorrow. I head to the gym and do 2.5 miles this time on the treadmill and some mat exercises.
6:45 p.m. — My roommate calls and asks me to pick up low-sodium chicken stock. C. and I head to Target and grab chicken stock. I start feeling hangry in the aisles, and my side starts hurting. I grab a large jar of roasted cashews to see if it will help (and who doesn't like cashews?). C. pays and before I open the jar in the car, I remember that I have a granola bar in my work bag and eat that instead.
8:30 p.m. — Our roommate finishes dinner — sous-vide strip steak finished in ghee, sautéed green beans with water chestnuts, and potatoes cooked in half a stick of butter. It's a decadent meal, but so good.
10 p.m. — I'm feeling a little full, so I slice up some of the leftover steak to use for a salad tomorrow.
11:30 p.m. — Shower and bedtime.
Daily Total: $98.84

Day Five

9:30 a.m. — I leave the apartment a little later than normal — I got distracted by a YouTube video.
9:50 a.m. — I get to work and immediately start working on email metrics. Today is my reporting day.
12:10 p.m. — I take a small break and eat my lunch outside.
12:30 p.m. — I get back to my desk and realize that the reporting for a meeting in 30 minutes isn't done, because my coworker who typically does it is out. I rush to pull all the metrics.
5:40 p.m. — I leave work and head to my parents' place. My grandma mentioned that she had some trouble with the Roku I bought her, so I want to fix that, and I plan on grooming the family's guinea pigs. No one else in the family cuts the guinea pigs' toenails, and their nails have grown absurdly long. Turns out my sister already fixed the Roku, but I stay a while anyway. My grandma gives me some zongzi she made. She knows I love her zongzi with peanuts, so she makes sure I grab the ones with peanuts along with an Amazon package I had shipped to my parents.
7 p.m. — C. picks me up from my parents' house, and we head back to the apartment. We cook up some refrigerated ravioli for dinner, and I put some chicken thighs into the fridge to defrost and make my lunch.
11:05 p.m. — I file down the dead skin again for my plantar wart and apply the treatment. I'm hoping for some improvement soon.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

9:20 a.m. — I fight the urge to call a Lyft to work. It's muggy and humid outside.
9:40 a.m. — I arrive and work on the mailings that need to go out next week. I like to plan everything out in advance, so I try my best to stay on top of things.
12:30 p.m. — I eat lunch inside my office instead of outside. It looks like it's going to rain, and I snap a selfie with my frizzy hair for my friends — oh, the humidity.
5:30 p.m. — I try to go to the gym when the storm hits my office. There's a literal torrential downpour outside with thunder, and the rain is falling sideways. I decide to wait out the storm in my office and clean my desk of the coffee rings and dust. I end up playing on my cell phone until C. picks me up.
6:45 p.m. — I make chicken thighs in wine white sauce with rice pilaf. I kill off the bottle of white wine that's been sitting on the kitchen counter for the past month and a half.
7:45 p.m. — I unpack the new Instant Pot. It's so pretty, and I'm excited to cook meat directly from frozen. I start packing my lunch for tomorrow.
12 a.m. — Bedtime!
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

9:20 a.m. — Time to leave the apartment and head to work. I'm really lucky that I can walk to work, since I don't have a car. I used to work much farther away, and getting to work was brutal.
9:40 a.m. — Today is a day of designing campaigns. I feel a little stressed from work this week, so I finish off a leftover pastry I stashed in the fridge from a week ago. I wash it down with some black coffee.
12:30 p.m. — I eat my lunch at my desk — salad, yogurt, and zongzi. My friends are planning a vacation in San Diego, and I'm bringing C. with me so we can have a relaxing vacation as well. I send over a few options for hotels and Airbnbs to see which one my friend prefers.
5:30 p.m. — I make headway on a lot of campaigns and decide to leave. I print out an Instant Pot recipe for frozen pork chops and pack away some leftover pasta pesto salad that came from a work meeting. I head to the gym and run three miles on the treadmill and do some exercises on the gym mat.
7 p.m. — C. picks me up from the gym, and we decide to veg out and eat prosciutto, Triscuits, and cheese on the couch for dinner. I pick at the pasta salad I brought back, as the raw broccoli has lost its appeal. C. and I talk about the trip and hotel, and after going through all the options, we decide that C. and I would get a room at the nice hotel, and our friend can visit us to use the pool and the private beach if she wants to stay in the cheaper Airbnb.
12 a.m. — Shower and bed. C. looks online and finds out he can get us first-class tickets to San Diego for $140. Score!
Daily Total: $0
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