A Week In Maui, HI, On A $44,100 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Today: a finance consultant who makes $44,100 per year and spends some of her money this week on fish and chips.
Occupation: Consultant
Industry: Finance & Accounting
Age: 30
Location: Maui, HI
Salary: $44,100 net (taxes are paid by our business)
Paycheck Amount (1x/month): $3,675
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $750 (my portion, I live with my fiancé)
Car Loan: $300 (1.9% interest rate)
Student Loan: $166.67 (0% interest rate)
IRA: $200
Health/Dental Insurance: $20 (my portion — on my fiance's health insurance)
Cell Phone: $68.22
Electricity: $50
Cable/Internet: $70
Savings For My Son: $50
Gym: $0 (We have Kaiser Active & Fit, so we pay $200 at the beginning of the year and have to go a minimum of 45x/year to get a full refund. We have done this the past two years and have gotten it back every year.)
Gym Daycare: $15
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Day One

8:45 a.m. — I walk to the post office with my son in his stroller to mail our tax forms after working for a few hours in the morning. It is nice weather... warm with some clouds so it's not too hot. I pay for postage and our tax forms are sent! Whew! $18.78

9:30 a.m. — We walk to a coffee shop for a cold brew, churro donut, and a SoReal bar. My 16-month-old son decides to walk around the entire cafe...so I proceed to follow him with my cold brew. I finally get him to sit down on the bench. Then he lets me take cute pictures of him raising his water cup in the air to cheers me. We walk back home and I get back to work while he plays with his toys. $14.75
11:30 a.m. — I go to the dentist and bring my son. My son falls asleep on the way there and stays asleep until we get home. It goes well and I call my dad on the way back home. He is suffering from lack of sleep due to daylight savings...something that we don't have to deal with — perks of living in Hawaii.
2 p.m. — My fiancé comes home early after having a follow-up dentist appointment too! He's okay and now we're both working from home together the rest of the day.
4:30 p.m. — I take a break from work to check the mail and I get three packages! I get a package from Sephora, my engagement ring (I proposed to my fiancé and then ordered myself a ring for $12.97), and my wedding dress from Lulu's. We are eloping on the beach, so it is a cute, spaghetti strap, eyelet mini dress.
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8:15 p.m. — I finally finish working and eat soup and a homemade milkshake for dessert.
8:45 p.m. — We watch Netflix, play, and put our son to sleep at some point. We continue to watch Netflix after he's asleep and end up going to bed at some point, having sex, and falling asleep.
Daily Total: $33.53

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — We wake up and I get straight to work. My son is the craziest crying baby today and it's a really, really hard day. I call my sister around 10 and chitchat while working. It's always so nice talking to her. We had a falling out five years ago and now we've recently rekindled our friendship.
12 p.m. — I text my friend who also has a baby to see if she wants to meet up for a beer later. She's down and invites a mutual friend.
3:30 p.m. — I finally stop working and my son is still throwing a fit...I'm just so over it and can't wait to leave the house because he's always super good (aka not a crying baby) whenever we're out.

4 p.m. — I finally head up for beer. One friend is there and the other shows up right after me. We drink beer, hang, and talk, and my son flirts with the girls playing cornhole nearby. Once the girls leave, he is super active and walking around. So, I just follow him with my beer, interact/play with him and try to still stay in the conversation with my friends (which is impossible).
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6 p.m. — I text my fiancé telling him to come meet us because my friends are leaving and I don't want to leave yet. He shows up 15 minutes later. I get another beer and we eat fish and chips and chat about our days. I close out and pay before heading home around 7. $50.36

7:30 p.m. — We get home and chill. My son falls asleep easily around 8 and we proceed to fall asleep on the sofa while watching a movie. It has been an exhausting day.

Daily Total: $50.36

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — I start working right away and my son is his normal self (yay)! I make my daily smoothie: frozen blueberries, greek yogurt, Amazing Greens powder, and water. I drink it while working. My son has his normal daily first breakfast of dry Life cereal and water.
12:45 p.m. — I stop working and get ready to go to the grocery store. I want to walk down, but I also want my son to take a nap...so I decide to drive. We get pinto beans, anaheim chiles, sweet onions, and a zucchini. My son does not fall asleep on the drive...fail. He cries when we get into the house and I realize he pooped his diaper. So I change it while he kicks and screams and then give him a bottle. He falls asleep mid-bottle! I have quiet and want to listen to a podcast but my phone is only at 12%. I realize I need one of those wireless charger things. I decide to talk to my fiancé about it tonight because he was also thinking of getting one for the house. He has one at work and loves it. $11.33
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3:30 p.m. — I stop working and pick up/put away dishes/etc until my fiancé comes home. All of the kids (he has three older kids from a previous relationship) come for dinner. We make tostadas for dinner and make cookies for dessert. Super yummy. We all hang out until he takes them home.
6:30 p.m. — I work until my fiancé gets home. Once he gets back, we have a chill night, just playing until our son goes to sleep, Netflix, beer, and good conversation.
10:45 p.m. — We're trying to plan our wedding for May and start looking at wedding officiants, photographers, places, etc. We check out VRBO and find a great place that has bedrooms and includes a pack 'n play for our son. We decide to pull the trigger. We get excited about our wedding and start watching a Netflix show, but end up having sex and then falling asleep. $812.83
Daily Total: $824.16

Day Four

8 a.m. — I wake up, make my smoothie, work, and make phone calls to officiants for our wedding. They were all really nice and helpful. I start cooking beans with the ingredients I got at the store yesterday.
11:15 a.m. — I take a break from work to play with my son. I usually take small breaks throughout the day and play with him, but today I close my computer and spend an hour with him. Throughout the day, I am constantly watching him, making sure he has enough water, changing his diaper, and giving him snacks/lunch/etc. I really want to go to the gym, but I don't feel comfortable putting him in the gym daycare or touching all the weights/etc without talking to my fiancé about it. I decide that we need to talk about it tonight. We have taken the last few weeks off because of my broken wrist (broke it while snowboarding in February) and our dental work (we both couldn't really eat without pain, so we didn't eat much, which meant low energy). We both want to get back to it though.
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12:15 p.m.— Back to work :( I text my bff from high school for good podcast recommendations. She recommends Hardcore History and I get right to it.
5:30 p.m. — We all go to Banana Republic to find a white shirt for my fiancé for our wedding. We find it and it's $22. Score! He pays for it and we walk around and check out all of the surf shops for a white shirt for our son. None have it. I look at Mahina, a super cute store that I never get to shop in. I find a few cute things and one that is 50% off! I get excited and try it on. It's a cute, tiny crop top. It looks good, but I definitely have to maintain this weight or be skinnier. And definitely would not fit in it while preggo or breastfeeding, which is the plan before the end of the year...so I put it back and don't get anything.
8:30 p.m. — We are hungry! And it's my fiancé's first day off antibiotics, so we want a beer. We decide to go to Maui Brewing — our go-to spot. We each get a celebratory beer and he buys. We go home to make dinner. Yummy. We stay up until midnight... have another beer, watch Netflix, chill, migrate to our bed, have sex, and fall asleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

8 a.m. — Work is blah today. I only want to work until 11 but end up working until 2. I make some calls to florists for my wedding Haku/flower crown while working. It is going to be tricky because we fly in on Saturday and are getting married at sunrise on Monday. No one is open on the weekends in Kauai and the Maui florist doesn't think it will survive all weekend. More bad information about the coronavirus so I'm starting to feel kind of anxious.
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2 p.m. — I finally stop working and start doing some chores. It is the kids' weekend so we have some cleaning up to do. My fiancé comes home at 4.
5 p.m. — We walk to Safeway for a Redbox movie and a free donut for the kids. My fiancé and I get some beer for us and a few other things for the kids this weekend. My fiancé buys because idk... he's a gentleman or something like that.

6 p.m. — We have an early dinner (beans and scrambled eggs) because we're all super hungry. Then we play a game of lotería, update our Safeway monopoly board, and then just hang out and watch our Redbox movie. We got Spies in Disguise. It's cute, but I'm mostly distracted with all this coronavirus stuff. I am a historically anxious person, but I try not to think about it at all and have a beer and watch the movie. After all of the kids go to sleep, we hang and talk together. We decide on an officiant and photographer! So, my fiancé Venmos the photographer the deposit of $100. We stay up until midnight again, have another beer, watch another movie, and just hang out and talk.

Daily Total: $0

Day Six

8:25 a.m. — We wake up super late!!! Our son's swim lesson starts at 9 a.m. No way are we going to make it in time, but we start getting ready anyway. At least he will get some time in the pool learning survival skills...our son won't know or care if we're late.
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9 a.m. — Wow, it took us 30 minutes to get ready and out the door. We suck. We get there at the expected 30 minutes later. My fiancé and son jump right in (my wrist is broken.... so I can't do this session, boo.). He does so great and we are so glad we made it.
10 a.m. — We need to run some errands while we are in town. Old Navy to get our son a white shirt to match his dad for our wedding and two pairs of pajamas. I get a $3 St Patrick's day shirt and my fiancés older son gets a shirt and shorts. My fiancé has an Old Navy credit card so he gets everything discounted and it's $37 on his card. We then go to Target and get two tubs of toddler formula, PJs for my fiancés older son, shredded cheese, bleach. My fiance pays for it on his Target credit card and I will pay half of the credit card when the bill comes this month.
12:15 p.m. — We finally get home and make some lunch. We have nachos! Homemade beans, cheese, chips, and salsa. After lunch, I work for an hour and everyone else chills/plays.
4 p.m. — We go to the beach with the kids. It is overcast and the water is a bit cold. We chill, kids play in the sand, my fiancé and I play some football catch...then head home after an hour and a half.
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6 p.m. — We get home, shower, and dinner. We have rice, sausage, and zucchini. Our son has beans. After dinner and clean up, we play a card game called Unstable Unicorns. My fiancé wins. His older son and I play for second winner....and it goes on foreverrrrrrr. It's an intense game. I get super tired and slump on the sofa after the game ends.
8 p.m. — Our son goes to sleep early tonight...it has been a long day. We all stay up and watch Netflix. I read that the first case of coronavirus on Maui was confirmed today and start getting anxious again. My fiancés' older son finally goes to sleep around 9:30. My fiancé and I have a beer and watch The Coldest War on Netflix. It was good! Eventually, we go to our bed, have sex, and fall asleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7:45 a.m. — We wake up early because we want to go to the beach today. My fiancé's older son, F., has been asking for breakfast sandwiches with bacon, so he walks to Safeway to get bacon with my fiancé. They also get ingredients for mud pie. I make a blueberry/yogurt/flaxseed/Amazing Greens powder smoothie and drink it while they are gone. I have the extra egg and two slices of bacon while they eat their sandwiches. I end up finishing F.'s sandwich. Delicious.
9:45 a.m. — We leave the house and go to the beach. It ends up being a super beautiful beach day, the water is super clear, and the beach isn't crowded. F. goes into the ocean by himself for the first time and our son does great in the ocean. My fiancé and I play some smashball and football. We all play in the sand and in the water. We pack up and leave around 12:30. We shower when we get home and make mini tacos. Then, I fall asleep on the couch. I guess I was tired...my fiancé ends up working a bit while I am asleep and the boys just play.
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3:30 p.m. — We go downstairs and play some laser tag. Omg, I am tired again and kinda sweaty. We all drink water and relax. My fiancé and I end up talking about coronavirus. Costco has been crazy all week, we decide we should go Monday night about an hour before they close. We need our regular Costco stuff (cheese, eggs, bars, wipes, beans).
5:15 p.m. — We realize it's after 5 and we still haven't made dinner...we decide to walk to Safeway and get frozen pizza. We get a garlic chicken alfredo and a five-cheese. I pay. F. has dinner with us and a slice of mud pie and then we drive him to his mom's place. $11.54
7:50 p.m. — We get back home and our son falls asleep on the way home. We successfully transfer him to his crib without waking him up. We each have a beer and watch a Netflix movie. We briefly talk about our new coronavirus exercise routine and decide we can do some things at home at night. I guess I fall asleep....because I wake up and it's the credits. Fail. I try to get a second wind, but I start falling asleep again. So, we go to bed and cuddle.
Daily Total: $11.54
Editor's Note: This diary was written before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and current CDC guidelines about social distancing and travel restrictions were put into effect. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

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