A Week In Ohio On A Joint $115,900 Salary

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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 commissions analyst working in publishing who makes $45,900 per year ($115,900 when combined with her husband), and this week spends some of it on drinks. We published a previous diary from this OP in July 2018.
Occupation: Commissions Analyst
Industry: Publishing
Age: 30
Location: Ohio
My Salary: $45,900
My Husband's Salary: $70,000
My Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,157
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,965
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $757 (This includes our homeowner's insurance and property tax.)
Student Loans: $300 (We have almost $100,000 in student loan debt.)
Car Payments: $775 for two vehicles and a motorcycle
Health Insurance: $105 is taken out of each paycheck for medical, $13 for dental and vision, and $30 for my HSA (that covers me and my daughter). My husband has his own insurance, and I'm not sure what he contributes each paycheck.
Daycare: $800
Gym: $33
Medical Bills: $300
Credit Cards: About $200 a month
Car Insurance: $175
Utilities: $100 and up depending on the season
Hulu, Netflix, HBO: $39
Amazon Prime: $6.98
Apple Music: $14.99 for family plan
Phone & Internet Bill: $221 (This includes a line for my mother-in-law. She gives us $50 a month toward this.)
401(k): I put in $106 per paycheck which is 6% (pre-tax), and my employer matches up to 5%. I currently have about $8,500 in my account. My husband is an administrator in education and contributes to his through a different kind of retirement plan.
Savings: $80 into an account for my daughter every month, and then $140 in another savings account.

Day One

6 a.m. — My husband is up and getting ready to leave for work while I lie in bed and watch the latest episode of This Is Us. I check the baby monitor, and my daughter is still sleeping. She recently started sleeping through the night, and it's been so wonderful.
7 a.m. — Roll out of bed, brush my teeth, and put some makeup on. Get my daughter up and nurse her and then take her downstairs for some breakfast. My mom is coming over today to babysit. Yesterday, my sitter called and said my daughter had a fever and wasn't feeling well. I took her to the doctor, and she tested negative for the flu but said it may just be a cold or could be because she's teething. Either way, she's staying home today.
8:15 a.m. — Head into work and talk myself out of grabbing Chick-fil-A for breakfast. Once I get into work, I make myself a bowl of strawberry oatmeal and dive into work.
12 p.m. — I head downstairs with some coworkers for some free pizza and pie for Pi(e) Day! The pizza is fantastic, but the pie is just okay.
4 p.m. — Leave work a little early today since my mom is at home and needs to go home to let her dog out. I have flexible hours at work and can log on later at home to make up the difference.
5 p.m. — My husband gets home, and I leave to meet a friend for dinner. She has been my best friend since we were eight, and we usually get together about once a month for dinner. We each order a margarita, and they are…terrible. I never complain about my food at a restaurant, but I can't deal. I ask the waitress for another drink and she brings me a strawberry daiquiri. My friend just asks for a Captain and Coke and the waitress brings her just a Coke. We laugh, and my friend gives up and accepts her loss and drinks the Coke. $22.05
6:30 p.m. — I get home just in time to see my baby before she goes to bed at 7. My husband ordered pizza for himself while I was gone. I check the bank account and see he spent $32, and I ask him why a small pizza and chicken strips were so expensive. He said he had to add beer to get the order to a certain price so they would deliver. I'm sure he was devastated. $32.25
7:30 p.m. — After my daughter is asleep, I hop in the shower. I use Farmacy makeup balm to take my makeup off. When I say that stuff is the best smelling thing in the world, I mean it. I just want to eat it. Once in the shower, I double cleanse and use Youth To The People's Superfood Cleanser with my Clarisonic.
8 p.m. — My husband and I try watching the Michael Jackson documentary on HBO, but our account is giving us an error and won't work, so we watch Doomsday Preppers on Netflix and laugh at the people on there for being completely insane. We head to bed around 9:30, and I put on Sunday Riley's UFO face oil before hopping into bed.
Daily Total: $54.30

Day Two

7:20 a.m. — I look at my phone and realize I overslept. My husband is staying home from work today since our daughter still has a fever. Normally he gets up at 5:30, and I would have woken up then. I get up and get ready by straightening my hair and putting on IT cosmetics CC+ Illumination Cream, bronzer, and mascara. My daughter wakes up shortly after. I go in her room and she feels hot. I take her temperature and it's 101.7. I wait until the doctor office opens at 8 and call to make an appointment. Then I nurse her and take her downstairs to eat some breakfast with Dad. The doctor can see her at 9:15, and I tell my husband to call me and let me know what they say.
8:15 a.m. — On my way into work, I stop at Starbucks and use my rewards for a free drink. I also decide to get a breakfast sandwich and add $10 to my card. $10
10:30 a.m. — My husband calls and says the doctor said my daughter just has a virus and there's nothing we can really do except give her Tylenol for the fever. She is also teething really bad, so I assume that doesn't help her fever either.
11 a.m. — Today is my payday, so I check my account and look at my planner to see what bills need to be paid. I have a planner specifically for all our bills and when they are due. I have never paid a bill late, and I like having it visually in front of me. I transfer $200 to my sitter for next week via the Zelle app (which I do every Friday for the following week's care). When I check the account, I see my husband stopped at Tim Horton's for a coffee on the way to the doctor ($2.19) and that my money from Poshmark was deposited. Yay for an extra $72! I will use that money and make a credit card payment with it. $2.19
12 p.m. — I go over to the mothers' room and try to pump, although I know it will be useless. Up until a couple weeks ago, I exclusively breastfed my daughter and then my supply dried up. I had a minor anxiety attack about it because I didn't want to give my daughter formula. No shade, I just know how beneficial breast milk is. So right now I supplement with formula and give up on pumping after I barely get an ounce. At least my daughter can switch to whole milk in another month or so.
1 p.m. — My team comes over to celebrate my birthday. I turn 30 tomorrow! They bring me cake.
2 p.m. — I order groceries online from Kroger's ClickList. I get eggs, avocado, bananas, zucchini, jalapeños, chicken, ground beef, baby food, chicken burgers, shredded cheese for homemade pizzas, potatoes, baby yogurt, Clif bars, LaCroix, Diet Dr. Pepper, mayo, honey mustard, and some frozen meals for my husband's lunch. I won't know my exact total until I pick up my order, but it should be around $100 after the $4.95 pickup fee.
5 p.m. — I get home from work, and my husband and I go back and forth about what to do for dinner. I suggest Chinese food, and he only obliges because it's my last day in my 20s and he wants me to get what I want. We order from a local place and we get Hunan shrimp, chicken with broccoli, two sushi rolls, and three egg rolls. I order extra because there is nothing I love more than a leftover cold egg roll. My husband says I'm gross. He goes to pick up the food. $32.65
7 p.m. — We put our daughter to bed and then my husband leaves to go pick up the ClickList order. It ends up being $100.60 after the delivery fee. Once he gets home, we catch up on some shows on Hulu and then head to bed. $100.60
Daily Total: $145.44

Day Three

7 a.m. — I wake up and see my daughter is still sleeping, so I hurry up and get in the shower. I get out and get dressed in a hurry because I have an appointment at 9 a.m. for eyelash extensions. My mom gave me cash to get these done for my birthday. I'm not 100% sure if I'll keep up with them due to the cost, but it's my birthday and I want to look pretty and treat myself!
7:45 a.m. — Nurse my daughter and make her a blueberry waffle. She seems to be feeling better and no longer has a fever. I hurry and eat a couple of chicken maple sausages and head out. I stop at Starbucks on my way to the appointment and get my free birthday drink. I opt for a Venti caramel macchiato.
10:30 a.m. — Lashes are done, and they are beautiful! I feel like a new woman! My mom gave me $100 in cash for this. The lady charges me $75 for the service and I just give her the $100. I feel like that's a large tip, but I would feel like an asshole asking for like $5 or $10 back just so I can skimp on her tip.
12 p.m. — My mother-in-law gets to our house and is watching our daughter while my husband takes me out to lunch for my birthday. We have plans later on in the day to get together at my parents' house with the rest of my family. We always celebrate birthdays in my family.
1 p.m. — We go to an outdoor mall by our house and stop at Pies & Pints, where we get chicken wings (because they are the best I've ever had in my life) and a 10-inch chipotle chicken pizza. Plus we each get a beer. The total is $38.96, and I tip $6. $44.96
1:45 p.m. — Next we stop at Sephora because I'm out of foundation primer. I am not thrilled to have to spend money on makeup, but I use primer every day so I need to get some. I have an associate help me because I want to try something new, and he convinces me to get the new Milk primer ($32.03). While I check out, my husband gets some cologne samples. After leaving Sephora, we see that Gymboree is going out of business, and we stop in to look at their sale. We end up getting our daughter some clothes to wear this summer ($35.88). After Gymboree, we stop in Carter's because I have a 25% off coupon. I get more summer clothes for my daughter and a pair of sunglasses because I can't resist ($34.58). $102.49
2 p.m. — Before we leave to head home, my husband wants to stop at the pub to get a beer. He gets some kind of Guinness and I get some fruity drink with bourbon because I don't like any of the beer they have. The bartender takes forever to come over and take our order and isn't very friendly, but I chalk it up to St. Patty's Day stress. Drinks are $16.82, and we tip $1. $17.82
2:30 p.m. — On the way home, my husband stops at UDF to get gas, ice, and pop for the party. $45.71
3 p.m. — We get home, and I see my mom's car in my driveway and giant balloons on my porch and I realize my husband is surprising me by having the birthday party at our house. I walk in and see a lot more people there than I was expecting. I hang out with my family and kiss on my baby who I haven't seen all day. We eat food and have ice cream cake. 30 has been good to me so far. Once everyone leaves, we feed our daughter dinner, give her a bath, and put her to bed by 7. We watch some more shows on Hulu and then head to bed.
Daily Total: $210.98

Day Four

7 a.m. — Last night was rough. My daughter's cold took a bad turn and has moved into her chest. Poor baby was up like every hour it seems. I nurse her and get breakfast ready for her. I ask my husband if he'll run out to Target to grab a few things we need. He gets diapers, body wash for himself, dog shampoo, tissues, baby bath bombs (to help with congestion) from Fridababy, and film for our Polaroid camera ($73.48). On the way home he stops and gets Starbucks for us. I got a gift card for my birthday yesterday, so we use that. He gets an iced coffee and a ham croissant, and I get an iced caramel macchiato ($12.45 paid from the app). I look at the bath bombs my husband bought, and it says right on the box that they aren't intended for use in infant bathtubs. I tell my husband the thought was nice, but I will be returning them. $73.48
12 p.m. — I do laundry and clean the house while we watch TV and play with our daughter. I start the show Shrill on Hulu starring Aidy Bryant. I really like it and am super disappointed it's only six episodes! I text my sitter that we'll be keeping our daughter home tomorrow and we snack on leftovers from yesterday.
5:30 p.m. — We make homemade pizzas for dinner. They are one of our favorite things to make, and it is seriously super cheap! We get the dough from the grocery that you just add water to, and it's less than $3 for both. It's also nice because my husband and I have completely different taste in pizza, so this allows us to each get what we want. While my husband is making his pizza, he drops the jar of pizza sauce in the kitchen and it flies into the dining room and then also somehow makes its way into the living room as well. The sauce completely covers my leg and gets splattered on my daughter's face while she's in her highchair eating. She's completely unfazed, and I can't help but laugh, mainly because I'm not the one cleaning it up.
7 p.m. — Daughter is in bed, and my husband wants to watch this documentary called Free Solo about a man who climbs this giant mountain without any ropes. It's as crazy as it sounds. We rent it from our Apple TV for $3.99. $3.99
Daily Total: $77.47

Day Five

7 a.m. — I'm working from home today since my daughter is sick. Poor thing was up like five or six times last night. I get up and nurse her, change her diaper, and then hold her down while sucking the snot out of her nose with one of those NoseFrida things. I was literally appalled by this when I saw it, but so many moms recommended it and, let's be honest, I will do anything if it makes my daughter feel better. Just picture me wrangling a wild animal trying to suck snot out of its nose with a tube. Parenting is super glamorous, guys.
9:30 a.m. — I have a meeting from 10 to noon, and I know there is no way I can dial-in and watch my daughter at the same time, so I ask my aunt to come over and sit with her since I remember her mentioning to me on Saturday that she was off work today. She tells me she's on her way, and I ask her for a Red Bull because I am dying and can't keep my eyes open.
12 p.m. — Meeting is over and my daughter is down for her nap. My aunt leaves, and I use the time to get some work done. My daughter wakes up about an hour and a half later, and I make us some lunch. At this point I'm starving, and I make way too much food for myself. I eat two chicken burgers and make some sweet potato fries. I share the food with my daughter, and she's only interested in the sweet potato fries. I don't stress about how much she eats, because food before 1 is just for fun!
5 p.m. — My husband gets home from work and takes over baby duty while I make dinner. I make grilled chicken with garlic couscous and green beans and avocado toast for my daughter because it's a safe option I know she will eat. She also snacks on some low sodium turkey lunch meat while the food is cooking. I wasn't really hungry since I ate a late lunch, so I take a few bites of the food out of the pan and then pack the rest up for lunch tomorrow.
7 p.m. — Daughter is bathed and in bed, and I hope she sleeps better tonight. My husband and I are on the Apple TV looking for something to watch, and I see that Free Solo is on Hulu! I fall to my knees and cry. I am so salty we paid for it when it was free for us the whole time. We settle on the Michael Jackson documentary on HBO. This shit is absolutely wild and is hard to watch. We shower and then head to bed. We're homebodies, if you couldn't tell.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

5:30 a.m. — My husband's alarm goes off, and I roll back over and go to sleep. My daughter got up at 4:45 crying, and I went into her room and nursed her back to sleep. My mom is going to come watch my daughter for the first half of the day and then my husband is going to leave work early to watch her the rest of the afternoon. She probably could have gone back to the sitter today since she hasn't had a fever in three days, but I want to give her another day of rest at home.
8 a.m. — My mom gets to my house, and I head to work. I stop at Starbucks on the way and use the remaining money on my gift card for a chicken sausage bacon biscuit and a Grande iced chai latte ($9.20).
8:30 a.m. — I settle into work and get my file ready to submit to payroll. My work friend IMs me and asks if I want to meet her at the Starbucks in our cafeteria. I tell her I already had Starbucks this morning, but I will meet her down there to chat. My other work friend texts me and asks if we're still on for lunch today. I really don't want to spend money on lunch, especially since I have leftovers, but I never get to see her anymore since she works from home now. She says she will pick me up at 11:30, and we decide on Chuy's because we both love their jalapeño ranch and it's close by.
12 p.m. — We get to Chuy's and I order two steak tacos and a water. A Coke sounds really good, but I hate spending money on pop at restaurants because it's way too expensive. My tacos come out and they're crunchy even though I ordered soft. I really don't care enough to say anything, though. On my way back to work, I text my husband to remind him he needs to leave work early to go home so my mom can leave. His memory isn't the greatest, and I have to remind him of just about everything. $14
12:45 p.m. — I get settled back into work and check emails. I see I have an appointment at the dermatologist in a couple weeks, but I can't make the appointment because my sitter has an appointment that morning and I can't take my daughter to her house until early afternoon. I call them to reschedule it for a few days later. I have been looking forward to going to a dermatologist for a while now because I suffer from mild acne and some redness. I always spend a lot of money on skincare products, and I think I can find better help at a cheaper price by going to a doctor. Plus, I am starting to wean from breastfeeding, so I won't have to worry about anything not being safe to use while nursing.
1:30 p.m. — I pull up Google Sheets and look at my credit card and medical bills. I have spreadsheets with every bill and credit card I owe money to sorted by smallest balance to largest, and I'm working on paying them off with the snowball method. I'm not in such a hurry to pay off the medical bills, since none of them have interest accumulating. I would love to not have them hanging over my head anymore, though. I make a few extra payments on my credit cards since I get paid three times this month. I also add another medical bill to my spreadsheet. My daughter recently had allergy testing because we thought she was allergic to peanut butter, and I got the bill in the mail yesterday — it's for $1,500. My insurance will not pay anything until I reach my $3,000 deductible. Just when I start getting ahead on my medical bills, I am set back another $1,500. I make a note to call them tomorrow to set up a payment plan.
3 p.m. — I have some free time and decide to go onto Ulta's website because I got a gift card for my birthday. I have been needing some heat protectant spray for my hair and have been wanting to get some kind of silk scarf to sleep in at night to try and help my hair not be so scary in the mornings. I settle on Joico's Thermal Protectant spray, humidity blocker finishing spray, and a heat set blowout perfecting crème. They are buy two, get one free, and it comes with a free gift. I also find a satin scarf on clearance for $4.47. I need to get to $50 for free shipping, so I also add in some Burt's Bees tinted lip balm and some Korean beauty sheet masks that are buy one, get one half off. After my gift card and $3 reward, I pay $11 even. $11
5 p.m. — I get home from work, kiss on my baby, and my husband asks what's for dinner. I say grilled chicken and veggies and he groans and says he's tired of chicken and wants Taco Bell. His comment annoys me because he doesn't help me order groceries and doesn't put any effort in helping me come up with meal ideas. I prefer to make quick, easy dinners. I only get a a couple hours with my daughter in the evening since she goes to bed so early, and I don't want to spend that time cooking. I ask him if a chicken quesadilla will suffice. I make myself grilled chicken and roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and onions. I make his quesadilla and we give our daughter lunch meat and a baby food purée. I have come to the conclusion that veggies only taste good roasted when they're fresh and not frozen. No more frozen veggies for me. I don't care if it's cheap and easy, it doesn't taste the same.
6 p.m. — I wrangle my daughter into a cute dress so I can take some 10 month baby pictures for her baby book. I get maybe one good picture out of her. Afterwards, my husband gives her a bath, and I start to put laundry away. Then I try to get her dressed and put lotion on her, but she has a complete meltdown. It's hard being a baby.
6:30 p.m. — I start warming a bottle for my daughter and ask my husband to help me hold her down so I can suck some more snot out of her nose. Once her bottle is done, I ask him to give it to her and put her to bed. My husband makes a comment and says he figured I would want to put her to bed since I haven't seen her all day. I tell him I don't appreciate him shaming me and making me feel bad for not putting her to bed and that I am trying to clean up the kitchen from the dinner I made and put the laundry away that I do every week.
7 p.m. — Baby is in bed, so I take a shower. I quickly realize that I'm so sensitive and annoyed tonight because I'm about to start my period. After I get out of the shower, I brush my lashes and put on some Sunday Riley UFO oil.
7:30 p.m. — I see my husband must have grabbed beer on his way home today ($10.80). I take one out of the fridge and turn on the new Amy Schumer standup special on Netflix. My husband watches some robot show on his iPad. $10.80
9 p.m. — We head to bed, and I put on Drunk Elephants Protini moisturizer. My husband mentions that he thinks he's getting sick, and I weep a little on the inside. I would much rather take care of a sick infant than a sick man. Men do not handle being sick well, and I don't want to take care of two babies.
Daily Total: $35.80

Day Seven

5:30 a.m. — My husband's alarm goes off, and I am dreading today. I didn't sleep well last night at all. My mind would not shut off, and I couldn't get comfortable and sleep. My daughter did seem to sleep better last night, though. My husband plays with my hair and rubs my scalp while reading the news on his phone. He gets up to get ready for work, and I roll over to try and sleep for a bit more.
7 a.m. — I get a text from my sitter that her son is sick, and she needs to call off today. Ugh. I feel really bad asking my boss to work from home again, but she's cool with it.
7:30 a.m. — It's probably best that I stay home with my daughter today because she is acting like a damn fool this morning. I feel awful she is still sick and doesn't feel good. I give her a waffle for breakfast, but everything is pissing her off. I put her back to sleep around 8 because she clearly needs it. She goes back to sleep quickly, and I realize I have no caffeine in my house and my life is over as I know it. I get online to pay my car payment since my husband got paid today. I also see that he stopped and got McDonald's for breakfast on his way to work. $4.96
11:30 a.m. — My daughter has already taken two short naps, and I decide to run out to get some lunch so we can get some fresh air. We go through the drive-thru at Cane's. I just think it's okay, but their Texas toast and coleslaw sound good. Plus, I can share the chicken with my daughter. We get home, and girlfriend is ravenous. I peel the breaded skin off the chicken, and she scarfs it down. I also give her some baby food puree. It's always a good feeling when your kid eats. I never know when we sit down to eat if she'll eat her food or throw it on the floor to the dog. She then proceeds to wipe her face off on her white shirt sleeve. What kind of idiot feeds their infant while they're wearing a white shirt? Oh wait… $8.06
3 p.m. — My daughter gets up from yet another nap. She is sleeping more than usual because she's still not feeling well. I go into her room to get her, and she's standing up in her crib smiling so big at me when I walk in. That little smile makes all the hard work worth it.
4 p.m. — My husband calls and says he's on his way home from work. I ask him to pick up some formula from Walgreens because we're completely out. While he's there I ask him to also get Mike and Ike Zours because it's my favorite candy and I can only find it at Walgreens. He gets $20 back in cash while he's there. $35.99
4:30 p.m. — My husband asks what we're doing for dinner. I tell him I just don't have the energy to cook tonight and he brings up Taco Bell again. I guess he's not going to give up on getting it. I agree, because who doesn't like Taco Bell. I'll take what I can get. $14.43
5:30 p.m. — I put the last piece of bread in the toaster to make avocado toast for my daughter and…I burn it. I try to give her just the avocado and some low sodium turkey lunch meat, but she is more interested in throwing it to the ground for the dog. He doesn't mind.
7 p.m. — Daughter is bathed and put to bed. My husband watches the robot show again on his iPad, and I start watching Big Love on HBO because my husband says he thinks I'll like the drama. Not sure what he is trying to say…
9 p.m. — Bedtime! I put on some moisturizer and quickly fall asleep after taking a Benadryl earlier. My husband stays up a little longer to keep watching Netflix on his iPad.
Daily Total: $63.44
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