A Week In Bethesda, MD, On A $110,000 Salary

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Today: an analyst who makes $110,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on patio furniture.
Editor's Note: COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources. Money Diaries are not written in real-time and are typically at least a week behind current events.
Occupation: Analyst
Industry: Health Care
Age: 31
Location: Bethesda, MD
Salary: $110,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,535
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent $1,029 (I rent a two-story apartment with a roommate)
Student Loans: $900 (still have some from undergrad and from my Master's, but I have six years remaining on the PSLF!)
Credit Cards: $1,000 (I put more if I can, I'm also working on my doctorate and had to put some of the cost of my school on cards)
Utilities: $100
401(k)/403(b): $1,043 per month (trying to avoid looking at it during the coronavirus)
Netflix: Use my sister's account!
Hulu: $5.99 (student membership!)
Amazon Prime: $49.99 per year (student membership!)
AmEx Marriot Bonvoy Credit Card Annual Fee: $95
Amazon HBO Now Subscription: Use my friend's, and she uses my Hulu.
Verizon iPhone XS/Usage: $151
Geico Car & Rental Insurance: $63.50

Day One

7:40 a.m. — I wake up and call into my daily Huddle call while I eat an orange and drink my coffee. I feed my cats then I'm out the door to work.
9 a.m. — I arrive at work, which is a community hospital. I'm busy with some prep for COVID-19. I get some work done then break for lunch at 11:30 with a couple of coworkers in the hospital cafeteria. Lunch is actually not bad at all here! I get steak and eat it with a Caesar salad I brought from home, made with my Vitamix dressing. $3.71
12:15 p.m. — I have to stop for coffee at our kiosk. The barista knows my order — the largest coffee with soy milk and 1.5 pumps hazelnut syrup. $3.78
2 p.m. — Conference call time! We have an upgrade coming up so it mostly covers that.
5 p.m. — I stop at Whole Foods on the way home. It's getting a little intense here! I stock up on hand soap, crab cakes, chips, La Croix, parmesan cheese, bagels, heavy cream, buttermilk, spinach, and a variety of fruit including apples, oranges, and blueberries ($68.11). I also get gas ($27.19). $95.30
7:45 p.m. — I head to my regular AA meeting on Monday nights. I have a service position here and there is a lot of great recovery going on. I grab a piece of cake that I'll take home with me to eat tomorrow for breakfast (I KNOW) because someone is celebrating an anniversary.
Daily Total: $102.79

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — I'm working from home today, which I'm able to do up to twice a week. This morning's call is getting really into COVID-19. I eat my cake for breakfast with coffee, then do some work.
12 p.m. — Head over to my HIIT class. It's 45 minutes of a strength training and cardio blast and it always makes me feel amazing afterward!
1 p.m. — Home and I shower then eat some chicken for lunch. I eat really weirdly but my life is pretty hectic right now, so I know it's temporary.
3 p.m. — Therapy time! I've been going to therapy for a total of five years, and to this particular therapist for one year. My insurance fully covers my current therapist which I am SO grateful for because I have paid hundreds for a past therapist. It takes a while to find the right fit, but it's so worth it. Mental health is so important. I started seeing her when I got sober and we've been through a lot together, including me changing sponsors and moving (it was a lot in my first year of sobriety and I had a really awful roommate situation). I actually don't cry today and we really reflect on some positive changes as of late.
7:30 p.m. — Drive to my Tuesday AA meeting, where I also have service. I love talking to my people; we relate to each other so much and I feel a wonderful sense of community. The speaker is my grandsponsor and I introduce myself because I haven't met her yet! This particular meeting has approximately 100 people (most of them young) but people are noticeably affected by coronavirus and don't hold hands at the end when we recite the Serenity Prayer.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — Morning huddle then feed cats, drink coffee, and eat breakfast of a bagel with egg, spinach, and crab cake with hot sauce at home before I drive in to work.
10 a.m. — I'm teaching someone at work, but I'm late. I didn't have this class on my calendar. Luckily, this nurse is really nice and we have a lovely heart to heart during our break.
1 p.m. — Break for lunch where I grab some shrimp and grits and butternut squash and lentils from our cafeteria then rush back to eat at my desk and catch up on work and some stuff for my class. $6.60
6:30 p.m. — I'm still at work because I have a presentation I'm doing for my class via Zoom and I thought I may as well just do it at work with my two monitors.
8 p.m. — I'm home and I'm exhausted. I watch The Circle, which I've become obsessed with and then gladly go to bed.
Daily Total: $6.60

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — I'm working from home today! I'm so tired. On the call today, my boss sounds panicked because coronavirus cases are really picking up and he asks what each of us is doing to help out with it. I've been teaching nonstop, so I haven't had a moment to think about that, but today I will.
9 a.m. — I eat my bagel and crab cake and some chips. I play with the cats and do some work around the house in between work.
5 p.m. — I decide I just need to stock up one more time at Whole Foods. I drive over there, and all the toilet paper is gone. I get a lot of perishables including lettuce, two potato bags, red peppers, mushrooms, blueberries, bananas, and then soap, bagels, beans, lentils, chips, sauces, and spices. $73.06
5:30 p.m. — Stop at PetSmart for my two fur babies and grab some food, litter, and treats for them. $41.59
6:30 p.m. — Get a plain mani/pedi with my friend at a new salon close by because we don't know the next time we'll be able to do something like this. My friend also works in health care so we have to still go to work. We still hug when we part ways, even though I wonder if I should be doing that. $54
Daily Total: $168.65

Day Five

7:45 a.m. — FRIDAY!!! I have to go to work, but my boss sounds full of anxiety/fear on this morning's call. That's because we have at least one patient at our hospital with coronavirus. They are in an isolation room, but still. We did know this was coming. I prep my coffee to go and run out the door with a breakfast cookie and an apple. They are doing checkpoints when I walk into the hospital to take temperature and ask if people have felt sick or been around anyone who has been sick. Hand sanitizer is everywhere.
11:30 a.m. — After teaching in the morning, I break for lunch at the cafe. I get a burrito and salmon. There is no salad bar anymore and there are not as many people working today. Trying to keep life as normal as possible but I'm unsure of how long we'll be able to do that, even in a hospital. $7.22
4 p.m. — After one of the most exhausting days I've had in a while, I head home. Some friends want to get together, but I just can't. I'm so beat. I get into bed when I get home and don't leave except to eat soup I made out of the veggies I got last night. I go to sleep around 9:30, which is super early for me.
Daily Total: $7.22

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — Why the heck am I waking up at the crack of dawn on Saturday?? I see that the AA women's meeting I go to is still happening, so I get myself together with some coffee and a banana and head out the door.
10:30 a.m. — After a lovely meeting without too much coronavirus talk, I stop at Starbucks for a venti coffee and venti water. It's free because I use a free drink reward for 50 points. I drive back to my place and pick up my friend, then we start the drive down to Virginia to enjoy the outdoors.
12 p.m. — I stop at Wegman's (my fave) for lunch and just to check out how things are looking. We have to sanitize our hands as we walk in the store and we've been assured all the carts have been sanitized. All the meat is gone, as well as liquid soap and obviously sanitizers. Luckily there's a ton of produce. I buy a money tree for my dad's bday present since we are stopping to see him, as well as Listerine and a sub for lunch. My friend gets a piece of pizza for lunch. We sit at a table to eat before hitting the road. $20.59
1 p.m. — I get to my dad's place. It's good to see him and we have a good relationship. We talk some coronavirus, some recovery, and joke around. It's nice. I also drop off a gift for my brother because he lives with my dad. My friend and I hit the road to begin our hike. It's seriously so beautiful outside! We stop at a local bread store for samples and I buy two sourdough loaves because it's BOGO for $8 total. I'm putting one in the freezer just in case. $8
5 p.m. — After getting home, I finish the rest of my sandwich and play with my cats. My friend comes over a couple of hours later to hang out and we chat, drink some tea, watch Hot Ones, and she insists on helping me organize my closets. I go to sleep feeling SO grateful for my friendships, for a day of semi-distraction from everything going on in the world, being able to get outdoors, and for sleep!
Daily Total: $28.59

Day Seven

10 a.m. — I wake up super late because I woke up at 7 in a bit of a panicked state, looked up some coronavirus statistics on my phone then decided to go back to sleep. I'm going over to my friend from college's place, so I take a shower and get myself together and out the door.
11:15 a.m. — It's so good to see my friend at her parents' place! She literally just got engaged and lives in SF and took a red-eye the day after her engagement. She will be working remotely from her parents' place for the foreseeable future. We snack on fruit, banana bread, hummus, and pita chips my other friend brought, and then some lentils and bread I brought.
12 p.m. — Head out the door for another hike. It's another beautiful day!
1:30 p.m. — The four of us ladies are hungry and we stop at a local restaurant for Mediterranean food. I get salmon kabobs that come with half salad half rice and iced tea. It's so amazing. I'm trying to support local stores for as long as I can. My friend asks us to be her bridesmaids! I'm so thrilled and say of course. We head back to her parents' place and play a new board game. $20.39
5 p.m. — I pick up patio furniture that I've wanted to buy. Since we may all be at home for a while, I can at least enjoy my home! $150
7:30 p.m. — I join an AA Zoom meeting. I snack on some oranges and Oatly ice cream. Then it's time for a little bit of work for my class and finally bed. It looks like things are getting pretty serious with the coronavirus, but I'm still going in to work tomorrow.
Daily Total: $170.39
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