A Week In Brooklyn, NY, On A $80,000 Salary

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Today: a special assistant working in government who makes $80,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on three-wick candles.
Occupation: Special Assistant
Industry: City Government
Age: 26
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Salary: $80,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,132.53
Gender Identity: Woman/She/Her
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,475
Student Loans: $400
Internet: $70
Cell Phone: $121
Credit Cards: $327
Apple Fees: $30
Adobe Stock for Blog Photos: $30
Google Suite For Blog Email: $11
Website Domain: $10
Hulu: $8
Netflix: $0 (Use my parent's account)
HBOGO: $0 (Use my friend's account)
Mattress: $50
Glasses Repayment: $30

Day One

7 a.m. — After hitting snooze (three times), I roll out of bed and on to the floor. I start my mornings with prayer to get me focused for the day. Then, I journal whatever comes to mind to get out any lingering thoughts from the day before, and plan how I'll spend the day. I have a lot to say this morning — yesterday I pitched to change my job title, and my nerves have fully kicked in.
7:20 a.m. — I head to the bathroom and do my morning routine (brush teeth, wash face, and rinse my nose with a neti pot because allergy season gets real). Then I put curl product on my hair and do my makeup. I boil two eggs and make coffee while I do this.
8:10 a.m. — I listen to a podcast, drink coffee, eat my boiled eggs, and skim through my emails from the day before to get clear on my personal to-do list and pending tasks. Some days, reading and responding to emails takes a long time, because I want to respond to something before 9, when most people get in the office. I don't really have anything to review right now, so I end up window shopping bathing suits. I go to Cancun with my friends in two weeks, and I need to look snatched! I'll probably get something later.
9:15 a.m. — I head out the door to work. My train has been delayed coming and going the past few days (nothing new here in NYC), but if I leave at 9:15, I usually can catch the express train.
10 a.m. — I made it to work and clocked in at exactly 10 (this is rare for me!). I'm already in a good mood. I sort through work emails. Looks like it'll be a slow day, just a few HR requests for my office, but otherwise I'll be making my own schedule. It's Friday — I'm not complaining!
12 p.m. — I start surfing Instagram. and I see this beautiful amethyst crystal ring from a local ring store! I'm just learning about crystals and their healing powers, and I'm dying to know how it works. I bought a rose quartz stone a few months ago for self-love healing, but so far it's just been nested in a bag. If I had a ring, I'd be more intentional about it…I'm going to get it. $17.50
1 p.m. — I bought a non-necessity before I paid any of my bills...sigh. I immediately pay my chase credit card bill ($165) and mattress bill ($50). I haven't set up automatic payments since these are two of my largest credit debts (besides loans, of course), and I dread paying them, but I pay every month. I pay the minimum on both.
3 p.m. — I ate my lunch at 2, but hadn't stepped outside, and it's a pretty nice day. I walk to Barnes and Noble and skim through a few books, but I don't buy anything. Book window shopping is actually one of my favorite lunch pastimes.
6 p.m. — My work day's up! Usually, I'll grab pizza and wine for the weekend, but since I'm trying to cut bread out of my diet, I go to Trader Joe's for canned salmon to make salmon cakes. I'm out of groceries for the week, so I also pick up fresh salmon, ground turkey, chicken breast tenders, a sweet potato, a red potato, a pack of kale, and a pack of broccoli ($39.05). It is SO hard to walk past bread. While I pass on the pizza, I still get wine ($16.50) $55.55
7:30 p.m. — I go home and make my salmon cakes with fries. It is sooo good, and it feels better than pizza! I'm going to Cancun in two weeks, so I look up outfits. There're a few swimsuit sales happening this weekend, and since I don't have any, I buy four. $71.20
Daily Total: $144.25

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — I have a 9 a.m. hair braiding appointment in Queens, so I wake up early to wash and blow dry my hair. I want to deep condition it, so I know it'll take about an hour — and if I don't get up now, I never will. I finish in exactly an hour. I make boiled eggs and coffee, and heat up a salmon cake from last night. I listen to an inspirational podcast, journal, and try to clean up a bit. I just don't know how to relax, even on Saturdays. Sigh.
7:40 a.m. — I head out to the train station. I'll have to take two trains and a bus to the salon, but it's worth it to me when I think about the $40 I'll save. Plus, I've had my hair done here before, so I know what to expect.
8 a.m. — The second train isn't running for the weekend, so I have to take a shuttle bus. This is why I wake up and leave early — NYC transit is unpredictable! At this rate, I should get to the salon at exactly 9. I really don't want to be late, because after a 10-minute grace period, it's first- come first-served. Braids already take five hours, so that would throw off my entire day. I don't have any plans yet, but still!
8:50 a.m. — I get off the bus and it stops at another train line that's even further from the hair salon. There's no way I'll make it unless I call an Uber, so I do. I'm annoyed, because I had an Uber gift card, but haven't activated yet. I was saving it for a rainy day, but this is that rainy day! $6.13
9:05 a.m. — I make it to the salon before the grace period, and I'm so glad I do, because there are already three people waiting. I hop in the chair gleefully and brace myself for this five-hour process. I skim through my phone and bank account and remember my automatic payment for my Bank of America card ($40) and glasses ($45, and yes, I even have a bill for my glasses) has went through.
3 p.m. — Finish! The process was six hours without breaks, but I love my hair! They are waist length box braids, so they're a little more pricey than the standard back length, but still cheaper than if I were to get them done in Brooklyn. I also leave a $20 tip. $180
3:15 p.m. — Since the salon is near my parents' home, I visit them to see how everyone's doing. I end up lounging in the house and chatting with my mom and aunt.
7 p.m. — My aunt wants to go to dinner and shopping, but I just want to head home. My mother offers to drop me home since the trains are messed up, and I couldn't be more thankful for the ride. On the way, I decide I want to go to dinner with them.
8 p.m. — We arrive at one of my mother's (and mine too, honestly) favorite tapas restaurants. I order jerk wings and split crab nachos with my mom. I also get a guava mojito. My aunt offers to pay, but I decline. She's getting ready to go to California, and I'd rather her save coin for that. We head home around 10. I watch Netflix for a bit, but end up knocking out for the night by 11. $35
Daily Total: $221.13

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — Even though I went to sleep early, I am still tired! It's raining outside, and I really could lay in bed all day. But I told my grandmother I'd visit her today, and I want to go to church. She lives in Westchester and I don't have a car, so it'll be at least a two-hour commute. I journal, then fix myself an omelet and one of the salmon cakes. I get ready for church and head out.
10:40 a.m. — I head to the train station and realize I left my metro card. Ugh! If I turn around, I'm not going to go to church. I get a $10 metro card. $10
11:30 a.m. — I am really trying to get better at giving tithing and offerings in church that correlate with my earnings, but it's a process. Right now, I'm going to give 5% of each paycheck. $75
1 p.m. — My grandmother and aunt say they'd rather I come down on Mother's Day (praise him!). It's still pouring out, so I head home to do an intense cleaning because I skipped out on cleaning last weekend. I also need to do prep work for my blog. I interview a yoga boutique tomorrow, and like to plan my social media content on Sundays.
4 p.m. — I finish cleaning and head to a nearby coffee shop to help me do work. I feel bad about just coming without getting anything, so I get a coffee. $2
7 p.m. — I can't believe it's taken me three hours to do two things, but at least I did them! It starts raining again, but I really, really want a smell-good candle for my smell-good home. I'm willing to take a train for it too. I hop on the train and head to Bath & Body Works since it's just 10 minutes away. They're having a sale on three-wick candles, I'm so happy! $15
7:30 p.m. — I have a craving for ice cream, but I'm trying to cut back on sweets. I go to Target and get plain vanilla ice cream from Halo, since Halo is supposedly healthier. I also need coffee creamer, so I pick that up as well. I head home after to make dinner. Tonight it's chicken breast, rice, and beans. Quick and easy! I also have some Patron and margarita mix. I call one of my friends and watch TV until I fall asleep. $7.68
Daily Total: $109.68

Day Four

7 a.m. — I get out of bed and do my normal morning routine. Pray, journal, quick workout, shower, and put makeup on.
9:30 a.m. — I am the slowest person ever. At 9:30, I'm just heading out the door; this time, because I couldn't find a shirt to wear. I need to start packing my lunch and laying out my clothes at night.
12 p.m. — I meet with my boss to go over his itinerary for the week and get some great news! Everyone knows my career passion lies in communications, and now I'll be working as the Public Relations Associate. Communications is still under my current boss, but now I'll have two direct bosses before him. This is really bittersweet, but I'm happy about the chance to grow in the direction that interests me the most.
3 p.m. — I step outside to get some fresh air since it's so nice out. I'm tempted to buy something to kill time, but instead I head back.
6 p.m. — I leave work and head to the yoga studio to interview its two founders for my next blog post. I brought a shirt, so that I could sign up for the class after the interview. It may be on the house since the founders are hosting a class today!
7:30 p.m. — The interview went great, but I realize I left my yoga pants at home! I can't participate. They would've let me take a complimentary class today too for interviewing them. Dang it!
8:30 p.m. — I eat my leftovers from the night before, watch TV, and get ready for bed. I fall asleep around 10. I am always extra sleepy around allergy season.
Daily Total: $0.00

Day Five

7 a.m. — I have so much to say about my new job that I spend 20 minutes journaling. I didn't pack my lunch or pull out clothes, and I don't want to be late again, so I skip my 20-minute morning workout. After I journal, I hop in the shower, do my makeup, and head to work.
2 p.m. — One of my coworkers and I have a pre-planned lunch date. I told her I'm on a budget (because life is a budget) so we grab tacos. I get a tempura taco and a chipotle chicken taco. $8.56
2:30 p.m. — We realize we have more time to kill, and there's a bar next door…one drink won't hurt for responsible adults, right? My amazing coworker spots me for my drink ($12). Yay!
6 p.m. — I need to do laundry, but I have no drive to do it. I go to the nearby convenience store to get socks since I'm all out — and deodorant, since I'm low on that too. $6.98
Daily Total: $15.54

Day Six

8:30 a.m. — I've got the inside scoop that there will be a 10 a.m. fire drill at work today, which buys me some more sleep time. I'm out of my coffee and eggs, so I go to the nearby grocery store and pick some up along with a water. Since I missed the yoga class Monday, I'm going to go later today. $15.68
9:45 a.m. — My metro card expired, and I need to refill rides for the week. $33
10:30 a.m. — I get to work and have a pretty chill day. I eat lunch that I brought from home.
10:00 p.m. — The class was SO good. After the yoga portion, we had a "wine down" with wine on the house. The class ends at 8:30, but we literally sit around after and have girl talk for an hour and a half. I pay before I leave. $15
Daily Total: $63.68

Day Seven

7 a.m. — I haven't done my quick morning workout in a few days. Even though it's just 20 minutes, I really can see the difference in my energy. I cut my journaling short to make time for this and breakfast. Plus, I have to pack my lunch. Salmon and kale (my favorite go-to meal).
6 p.m. — Nothing exciting about the day, but I'm heading to a presentation event on the state of millennials and social media, and how it's ruined our idea of time. It will take me two trains to get there, but the event location is near the Trader Joe's Wine Shop, so I HAVE to make a stop there! I head out the door.
6:40 p.m. — I get two bottles of quality wine for $17! I'm more excited about this than I should be. The downside: I haven't taken into consideration how long it will take me to get on the second train — and it's the deadly L train. As usual, it is extremely backed up, and I'll have to take a cab just to get to the event 15 minutes late. $17
6:50 p.m. — The cab is way more than I intended. It would've probably made more sense to take a cab from my job. $17
9 p.m. — The event was good, and made me think about how precious time is and why as 26-year-olds, memes from high school are still cool. I remember I have that Uber gift card, and use that to get home. Money saved!
Daily Total: $34
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