A Week In Ski Town, CO, On A $165,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We're asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Today: a consultant who makes $165,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a J.Crew cashmere sweater.
Occupation: Consultant
Industry: Consulting
Age: 29
Location: Ski Town, CO
Salary: $165,000 base + $30,000-$40,000 annual bonus
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $4,900
Net Worth: $55,700 (Assets minus liabilities) Assets: ~$20,000 in my checking account, $75,000 in a 401(k), and $35,000 in mutual funds. Total Debts/Liabilities: $74,231 to my parents. (Grad school was very expensive, but also worth it as my salary more than doubled. I am lucky that my parents gave me a loan with 3% interest, which is significantly below market rate.)
Debt: $74,231 (Student loans, mentioned above)
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $0. I'm currently living with my parents during the pandemic so I can pay off my student loans faster.
Debt Payment: $5,000 (I'm overpaying this right now because I'm not paying rent)
Storage Units: $150 (for all my things until I move out of my parents' house and back into my own apt)
Donations: ~$50-$100 (NPR, She Should Run, the Biden campaign, and Planned Parenthood)
Cell Phone: $0 (work pays)
Peleton App: $0 (sister pays)
Netflix: $0 (parents pay)
Medical/Vision/Dental Insurance: $187
Mutual Fund Investment: $3,400
401(k): ~$1,200 with an extra 3% of my salary matched by my employer
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Absolutely. While both my parents came from middle-class families (my dad was a first-generation college student and my mom grew up without much guidance or support), they both paid their own way through college and graduate school. My parents always told us that they wanted to pay 100% for our undergraduate college education. Graduate school was paid for on my own dime, but they fronted the money.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
Money was a common, open topic growing up. We grew up learning that "not buying a latte today will allow you to buy two in ten years." I was given an allowance but was expected to use that money to fund any discretionary purchases, aka going to the movies, presents, beauty products, and "fun" clothes. In kindergarten, my mom took me to the bank to open up a bank account and that was when I began saving.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was as a summer camp counselor in ninth grade. My first real job was as a sales associate at Gap between my freshman and sophomore year of college. I worked in retail every summer during college to supplement the menial (and in some cases non-existent) pay I received from political internships in D.C. Up until then, my parents gave me an allowance to pay for any personal purchases/expenses.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Not really, no. My parents have always lived well within their means. Frugality is pretty ingrained in me. I don't think I ever purchased a full-price item of clothing until I was 26 (a pair of black Lululemon leggings for $110 and I have zero regrets). I always knew that my parents had enough money to live comfortably and could support me if I ever needed it.
Do you worry about money now?
Worry? No. Think about it A LOT? Yes, especially now that I am in debt for the first time in my life via my grad school loans. I'm also beginning to think about buying a home and/or starting a family in the next few years. Even though my salary has gone up a lot since pre-grad school, I'm more concerned about money than ever before.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
22(ish). Right after college, I moved back home with my parents for six months before I landed a non-stipend, paid job and could afford to move out. And now (at 29), the last few months when I've been living with them during COVID. However, my parents still pay for a lot of family-related activities and expenses: family vacations, my portion of the family cell phone (prior to it being covered by my job), and the occasional Costco run. I am very grateful that I can live with them now without worrying about being a financial strain.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
While not "inherited," my parents paid for undergrad which was huge. I didn't fully appreciate it until going to grad school, but now, I thank them for their gift regularly. On top of this, I did receive a $10,000 inheritance a few years ago that went directly toward grad school.

Day One

7:30 a.m. — And I'm up! I normally wake up around 7, so this feels like sleeping in. I can hear my parents are already awake in the kitchen, so I pull myself out of bed and head to the kitchen for coffee and oatmeal. Every morning, unless I'm not at home, I have a bowl of oatmeal consisting of old fashioned oats, chocolate protein powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon, frozen berries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sliced almonds. Pour milk over it, nuke it for two minutes in the microwave, and you have yourself the best way to start your day. I ~occasionally~ mix things up with the nut options, but otherwise, this is what I've had every morning I'm at home for the last five years. Why break something that works? I eat the oatmeal with a huge glass of water and a cup of coffee with skim milk.
9 a.m. — I decide that today is the day for us to put up all our Christmas decorations. Our tree has been sitting in the garage for the last week, but now that it's officially December, I want to put everything up! I convince my dad to help me move the tree into our living and proceed to decorate it, hang up stockings, and set out all the mini home decorations. My dad brews some more coffee and puts on Spotify's Jazzy Christmas playlist. We finish setting everything up right before lunch.
12:30 p.m. — Reheat and eat some leftover soup for lunch with a side of baby carrots and skinny popcorn. After lunch, I decide to spend a few minutes going through all my clothes and figuring out if there are any items to give away. I try to have a minimalist mindset, and while that's still a work in progress, one thing I am good at is getting rid of things I no longer use or need.
2:15 p.m. — Break to exercise. I finally change out of my sweats into workout clothes: GapFit spandex shorts, an OV crop top, and an oversized t-shirt from college. I do a Jess Sims 60-min Peloton full-body bootcamp spin workout class — she's the best and I can already feel my quads and arms burning by the time I roll off the bike. Afterward, I shower and put on an oversized sweater and frayed Madewell jeans in preparation for this afternoon's date!
4 p.m. — My BF arrives. It's adorable; my mom invited him over for dinner and game night because she wants to get to know him better. We've been dating since August, so it's still very new, but I am a big fan. This relationship has definitely been the silver lining of this pandemic; I highly doubt we would have started dating if I hadn't moved back in with my parents this summer with the understanding that I would be here for 6-12 months. But because of that, we can take it slowly, continue to see if this is something both of us see as being long-term, all before we need to make a decision of whether or not to go long-distance when I eventually move to S.F. for my job. I invited him to come an hour early so we can cuddle and watch an episode of The Crown together.
5 p.m. — We wander into the kitchen after the episode is over to help my mom cook and set the table. Dinner is turkey chili, a spinach salad, and roasted kale chips. We expand the dining room table and BF and I sit on one corner while my parents sit on the other. My family is operating with this weird venn-diagram of pods. I am in my parents' pod. I also have my BF in my pod, but my parents decreed that BF is not in their pod. They think that this way, if he gets sick, we'll have some warning and I can quarantine myself away from my parents. I think it's silly, but I obviously love my parents so if this strategy makes them feel safer, I support it. However, logistically, this means when BF comes over, my parents and BF all wear masks and keep six feet apart from each other at all times. I however don't have to wear a mask with the three of them and can enter all their personal space bubbles….it's weird, but the world we're in right now is weird, so I'm going with it.
7 p.m. — BF and I volunteer to clean up after dinner so we do dishes and then set up a game of dominos. We had started a game after Thanksgiving dinner the last time he was over for dinner, so we decide to resume the same game. In the latter rounds, it looks like my BF will win, but my mom pulls out a W!
9 p.m. — I walk BF out to his car to say goodnight before he drives home. Ahhh he just makes me so happy. We are still very much in the honeymoon phase. We make plans to see each other Tuesday after my doctor's appointment, we kiss goodbye, and I head back inside to get ready for the upcoming week and bed. Change into my PJs and floss, brush teeth, and wash my face with a Cetaphil cleanser. Use my newest skincare purchase, Olay's retinol moisturizer all over my face (I was Insta-influenced, but the cream really is so silky!) In bed by 9:45 and do a 10-minute Peloton meditation class before falling into a deep sleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

6:15 a.m. — Wake up to my alarm. This week we have team meetings that start around 7 every day with our east coast peeps (most weeks they start at 8) so it's going to be tough. But, the big plus is that it means we'll be done in the early afternoon. Start the pot of coffee and make my regular oatmeal for breakfast. I head back to my room with 15 minutes to spare to change into my "work clothes" aka more professional athleisure attire. I throw on a long-sleeve OV top (the cloudknit fabric they have for their sweats is v soft) with a forest green Patagonia pullover and a pair of OV warmup leggings in black. Brush my teeth and put some Drunk Elephant vitamin C serum all over my face followed by some Olay moisturizer with SPF 15. Quickly make my bed and sit down at my desk to start work!
7 a.m. — First meeting is on. Woof. I should mention in the beginning of this diary that this week is training week for us — normally my hours are much longer with fewer Zoom meetings, so despite the early morning starts, this is actually a mini-vacation from our regular work days.
11:45 a.m. — Scheduled one hour break so I head to the kitchen to whip up some scrambled eggs with spinach. I love breakfast food and would pretty happily have it three times a day. I've recently started only cooking the eggs first in the skillet on medium-low heat and adding the milk to the pan a couple of minutes after. It makes them so much softer and smoother!
12 p.m. — Back to work I go, this time with some green tea in hand and a banana. Training over Zoom is draining, but I'm glad we're still doing this vs just postponing it for another six months until the pandemic is over and we're all back together in the office again.
3:40 p.m. — And done for the day! Go on an afternoon trail run with my dad a couple of miles away from my house. Not my finest, but I'm just so happy to be outside in the sunshine, even if it is 30 degrees outside. Pro tip: tuck your shirt into your leggings when it's below freezing. When I don't do this, my stomach and torso get so cold so this has been a lifesaver. End up making it 4.5 miles in 40 minutes!
5 p.m. — Do a mini weight workout and shower. I go to the kitchen to be a sous chef for my mom who is cooking a new tandoori chicken recipe that you can cook without a tandoori oven. It's AMAZING! A solid option for a winter pandemic where we all have a bit more time at home and want to expand our cooking repertoire.
7 p.m. — My dad realizes he hasn't canceled Disney+ like he planned to after all of us were able to watch Hamilton AND we found out the live-action Mulan movie is now free (!), so we sit down to watch it. It is phenomenal. The whole plotline is way better; big fan of woman empowerment and having the happy ending be about getting your dream job, not your dream guy. 10/10 would recommend.
9:45 p.m. — Bedtime routine, in bed by 10 with a Peloton meditation class. Asleep by 10:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7:20 a.m. — Wake up later than normal and change into a black Patagonia better sweater, ripped black Madewell jeans, and an OV crop top. I'm really feeling the all-black look this morning and want to be comfortable, but also feel strong and empowered given what's on my to-do list today. I head to the kitchen for the same breakfast as always and bring it down to eat in front of my computer for my first Zoom meeting of the morning.
8:30 a.m. — Multi-task because I have a $50 off coupon at J.Crew and they're having a 20% all cashmere sweaters sale right now. End up buying two plus a satin headband. Total comes to $176.33 with tax after using the $50 off code. $176.33
10 a.m. — I log off from work and drive down to the hospital. I've been dreading this all week — I have an appointment to get my current IUD removed and a new one added. I have the Kylena, which is supposed to last for five years, but even though I've only had it for four, my period, cramps, and PMS systems have all been resurrected over the last two months so I decided to get it replaced! Thankfully all of this is covered by my health insurance so I don't have to worry about paying for anything.
10:45 a.m. — I love my gynecologist. I took two ibuprofen beforehand, and while the removal wasn't bad at all, the insertion was painful, but the pain only lasted a couple of minutes before subsiding. And yet, as she finishes clearing everything up, I start sobbing, not because of the pain, but because of all the emotions. When I got my first IUD four years ago, I went into the appointment thinking it was going to be the only time I'd get something like this, and that five years later, when my IUD was removed, it would be because I was happily married and ready to start trying to have kids. So getting a new one implanted just months before my 30th birthday feels so demoralizing. It feels like a reminder that I didn't achieve the personal goals I set for myself four years ago.
11:40 a.m. — After attempting to describe all these emotions to my doctor, she leaves to get me juice and graham crackers, then gives me air hugs (which is hilariously ironic given her hands were up in my body just minutes before), and tells me to take my time. I text my boyfriend to tell him I'm done and leaving the hospital. Since he couldn't come into the appointment, he wanted to meet me afterward for lunch and coffee, which I love. He took today off to spend with me, and while I went into my appointment thinking I might cancel my plans with him, I realize after the procedure that I really want to see him.
12:10 p.m. — Meet up with BF at my favorite brunch place and order takeout scrambled eggs, avocado toast, and some amazing orange spicy marmalade. He orders a breakfast sandwich and we both get drip coffees. BF pays, saying it's the least he could do given the procedure I just had and we eat on a nearby bench (it's still 35 degrees outside so not ideal for a picnic lunch). I tell him a bit about the actual procedure, but mostly just explain my thought process and what it felt like emotionally signing up for another five years of not having kids (obviously I can reverse the decision at any time, it's not binding for five years, but still, that's how it feels in the moment). After talking it through with him, I feel better. I also have a horribly huge pimple under my nose, super red eyes from crying so much, and overall just feel gross and after laughing/tearing up when saying all of this, BF tells me I look beautiful. He's amazing.
1:15 p.m. — We walk around the neighborhood looking at homes and discussing what it would be like to buy a home around here. This is literally my favorite activity, but without gloves, it starts to feel a little cold, so we decide to go back to my house to watch The Crown. I had already told my manager that I planned on taking a sick day for the rest of the day after the procedure and still feel great about that decision. I send my roommates, aka my parents, a heads-up text that BF is coming home with me and we caravan back to my house.
1:40 p.m. — We get back to my house and head to the basement and end up cuddling while watching two episodes of The Crown. This is exactly what I needed for today. He leaves shortly after to run some errands.
3:50 p.m. — I drink a cup of coffee while reading my emails on my phone (but still not logging in to my work computer so I can feel checked out) and then decide I need to get moving because endorphins are a great pain relief. Get onto my non-Peloton spin bike, access the Peloton app on my iPad and take a 30-minute cycling bootcamp class. Shower and then go to the kitchen to help my mom with dinner — mushroom risotto, sautéed green beans, kale chips, and a salad.
5:55 p.m. — Sit down to eat dinner with my parents. We end up spending most of the dinner discussing the vaccine and guessing about when everything will feel like normal again (aka when I might move out…hahaha).
7 p.m. — After dinner, I cozy up on the living room sofa to listen to podcasts (Fat Mascara is SO good!) and needlepoint (my favorite pandemic hobby). I've really tried to lean into my grand-millennial tendencies.
8:45 p.m. — Feeling exhausted so I decide to take advantage of the light workday and get ready for bed. I change into my PJs, floss, brush my teeth, and get into bed. I haven't written in my gratitude journal recently (another habit started during the pandemic) so spend a few minutes writing out three things that happened today I'm grateful for and then turn off my light around 9:20.
Daily Total: $176.33

Day Four

6:15 a.m. — Wake up to coffee being brewed. Sleepily head to the kitchen and make myself some oatmeal to eat with the coffee while listening to NPR's Up First. Change from my sleep sweats to my work sweats (aka a different colored Patagonia pullover and Lululemon leggings). Brush my teeth, Olay moisturize my face, and put on some earrings to feel somewhat pulled together before sitting down at my desk).
7 a.m. — Log in to work for the first meeting of the day. The EST is great when we end early in the afternoon, but terrible in the mornings (and I'm a morning person).
9 a.m. — Head upstairs between meetings to eat a banana and brew some earl grey tea to have with a splash of milk. Back down to my computer to keep working.
11:15 a.m. — I'm hungry and have a meeting from 12-2, so decide now is the best time to eat lunch. Heat up some leftover pizza (veggie pizza with smoked salmon on top — don't knock it until you try it, it's so good!) and eat it while scrolling through Insta and my personal emails. Back to grind at noon with some more earl grey tea.
3:30 p.m. — And just like that, I'm done for the day! It's 45 degrees and sunny outside, so I decide to take advantage of it by going out on a run/walk. I change into a Tracksmith long sleeve top, Athleta sports bra, and OV leggings (yes, basically all my clothes are athleisure and I'm totally okay with it). My favorite running shoes are Adidas Ultraboosts; I'm onto my third pair in four years — they're comfortable and minimalist so it doesn't feel like you're trying to run with weights attached to your feet.
3:50 p.m. — Start the run and get into a routine of running for four minutes, walking for one. Initially, I do this because I wanted to make sure my IUD and overall body are okay since I only had the procedure 24 hours earlier and then because I keep running into so many deer! As in, an entire herd! There are 50 of them all standing in the forest on the side of the road, including quite a few bucks; so beautiful and not afraid of me at all. Definitely not my fastest run, but I end up feeling just so happy and grateful that I was able to get outside.
5 p.m. — Home after five miles and take a fast shower before starting on dinner. I try to make dinner once/twice a week to give my mom a break and also because I love to cook. I decide to sauté and then fry cubes of tofu in ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, stir fry some peppers, broccoli, and carrots in a peanut sauce made from some almost expiring peanut butter we have, and cook some soba noodles. Mix them all together, top with sliced green onions and salted cashews and you have a salty, cozy, warm, protein-filled meal! I make a spinach salad as the side and put a bowl of clementines on the table and call it dinner!
7:45 p.m. — End up on the couch with a huge cup of tea, my latest needlepoint project, listening to the latest episode of NPR's Code Switch podcast. I am a person of routine and this is definitely my happy place. I end up being Insta-influenced to buy a beautiful borderline costume-y gold rhinestone headband on Etsy. $18.75
9 p.m. — Somehow feel exhausted despite not doing much today, so decide to lean into it and get ready for bed. I put on my PJ sweats (different from all my athleisure sweats), brush my teeth, put ROC retinol cream on my forehead and on the lines around my mouth, and get into bed. I do a 20-minute Peloton relaxing meditation class, but end up falling asleep closer to midnight because I can't stop my brain from thinking about all the potential future paths re: my future move, my BF and the inevitable necessity to go long-distance (at least temporarily), my career, and how they all might fit together.
Daily Total: $18.75

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — Alarm abruptly wakes me up after a really poor night of sleep. I stumble out of bed and upstairs. My dad wakes up at the same time as I did, so he makes the coffee while I make my breakfast. Barely have time to eat a few bites (but do have enough time to grab a full thermos of coffee) before heading to my room to get ready for my 7 a.m. meeting start. I go for the casual athleisure: black Tracksmith sweatpants, a J.Crew chambray button-up, and a black vest. Top it with a headband and the WFH Zoom look is complete!
7 a.m. — Does anyone else find it awkward to eat at a Zoom meeting? There are only six of us, so we all have our cameras on, everyone basically sees everything. I finish the coffee but will have to eat the rest of my breakfast after this meeting ends.
9 a.m. — Meeting done! I head to the kitchen to reheat my bowl of oatmeal and get some earl grey tea with milk. Say hi to my mom who I didn't see before I started work and head back to my desk after 15 minutes for my next session.
12 p.m. — Break for lunch and heat up the leftovers from last night for dinner. Tofu veggie stir fry day two tastes just as good as day one! I eat quickly so I can get outside for a neighborhood walk before having to stare at the screen some more. Back to Zoom for our final session at 12:30.
3:30 p.m. — And we're done! I should clarify that my days usually aren't this light (an average week, I clock in 60-65 hours) so I am really trying to take advantage of all this free time. Since I'm already half in workout gear and feeling pretty antsy, I decide now is a great time to workout! I switch my chambray button-down shirt for an Adidas tank and find another Jess Sims Peloton bootcamp bike class. Have I mentioned before how great she is? She is so motivating! After the workout is over, I shower and strip my sheets to do some loads of laundry because it's starting to pile up. My parents have some dirty clothes too so I throw those in with mine and do a couple loads.
5 p.m. — I act as my mom's sous chef again for tonight's dinner: spicy yellow daal with smoked paprika roasted cauliflower. The daal is great, but the cauliflower is AMAZING! Easiest recipe ever: cut the cauliflower into little pieces, drizzle olive oil over them, and then sprinkle with smoked paprika and sea salt. Roast at a high temp for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
7 p.m. — Sit down to watch Olympic Dreams. There are a few quirky fun lines, but overall I'd give it a 6/10. Watch if you're running out of things to discuss, see, and/or just want to zone out.
9:30 p.m. — Evening routine: wash face, nighttime moisturizer, brush teeth. Put on a 10-minute Peloton relaxing meditation class and fall asleep around 10:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

6:15 a.m. — Alarm wakes me up. The worst, but necessary this morning. I am giving practice interviews to grad students all morning, which is not exactly something I can do while eating oatmeal over Zoom and still look somewhat professional, so I'm up early to be ready with plenty of time. I change into real clothes today after breakfast — a pair of my new favorite Rag & Bone faded 90s jeans (the most expensive jeans I've ever purchased, even after Nordstrom's Black Friday discount, but they're so comfortable and worth it), a white J.Crew button-down shirt, and a white Everlane sweater. Feeling very energetic and ready to represent my company while also providing recruits with feedback to help them prepare for their interviews next month.
7 a.m. — Let the interviews begin! There are some great ones and there are some not as great ones. Giving practice interviews is always interesting because I get to see how a variety of people tackle the same question in different ways. While each interview is scheduled for 40 minutes with a 10-minute break in between, I end up running over every time trying to provide as much constructive feedback as possible to each candidate. I literally don't move from my chair for almost five hours. Finish the interviews and spend the next few minutes going through my notes before checking in with HR to let them know that the interviews are done and that everyone showed up.
12 p.m. — I head to the kitchen to whip up some noodles and turkey for lunch. I cook up the noodles and once they're ready, add sliced turkey, broccoli slaw, soy sauce, miso paste, chili pepper paste, and pumpkin seeds. Protein, carbs, good fats plus super easy to make. It's one of my favorites when it's gross and cold outside. Taylor Swift's album dropped last night so I have a few minutes to listen to the first few songs. "No Body, No Crime" is my favorite as of now — Swift is just SO good at using songs to tell stories; this is why she's consistently #1 ranked, regardless of the genre.
3 p.m. — Power walk around the neighborhood during my 15-minute break between meetings, coffee in hand. I've been having some dull cramps off and on today, so decide the walk is my workout of the day. Nothing wrong with taking a rest day!
5 p.m. — Done with work!!! I go up to the kitchen to help my mom cook dinner — tonight is baked salmon with capers, roasted red potatoes, sautéed green beans, and blueberries. I'm in charge of the green beans and sauté them with garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and a lot of olive oil. They come out surprisingly well! While the potatoes and salmon are cooking, my mom and I go out for another 20-minute walk. We end up talking about what it's like to be a parent (especially a mom) and still be a full-time worker, which she was for the first 10 years of my life. I'm getting to that point of being about the same age as my mom when had me and it's interesting to learn about the decisions she made when it came to starting a family and her professional aspirations and ambitions.
6:15 p.m. — Dinner is ready and on the table. We eat around 7, get some popcorn and sit down to watch Downhill, a Julia Louis-Dreyfus film about a family on a ski vacation in Europe that came out pre-pandemic in 2020. It's really good! 9/10. After the movie ends, I find out that my mom has never seen Veep, so I convince my parents to watch the first episode. Still so amazing, but also cringe-worthy because the Veep version of the White House seems tamer than our current executive branch. I am so ready for 2021.
10 p.m. — Head to bed after washing my face with the Cetaphil cleanser, putting some Olay moisturizer on my thankfully almost-gone pimple (I read that moisturizing it helps prevent scarring — MD derms, please weigh in here!), and brushing my teeth. Start a 10-minute Peloton meditation and fall asleep before it ends.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7:30 a.m. — Wake up and I am ready for breakfast. Whip up my typical oatmeal and pour myself a cup of coffee with a dash of milk. Eat and drink while listening to the latest episodes of Up First and The Daily.
9:30 a.m. — Despite the chilly 18 degrees, my parents and I decide to head out on our traditional weekend family run along a dirt country road in the neighborhood. I change into a long sleeve fleece turtleneck I got from an old race + two pairs of leggings layered on top of each other + a fluffy older Columbia softshell that I use on winter runs + some old ski gloves. I top it all off with a fleece gater, sunglasses, and a fleece ear warmer headband. There are about three inches of fresh snow on the ground, which is a little dicey in the beginning, but my legs start to get used to the constant slipping and I get into a groove. End up running a little over five miles, which I'm pretty happy with!
11 a.m. — Home and take a long shower before changing into some non-athleisure clothes because I have a little socially-distanced social activity this afternoon! I put on a pair of black Madewell jeans, white J.Crew shirt with a fun ruffled collar (it reminds me of being a monk, but I'm embracing it), black Everlane cashmere sweater, and black Ariat waterproof booties (it's still snowing). Top it off with a gold scarf, some jewelry, and call it.
12 p.m. — I head to the kitchen to heat up some leftover salmon and potatoes for lunch and snack on baby carrots while waiting for the water to boil for some lemon ginger tea. I sit down to drink my tea while reading the latest book on my list, The Giver of Stars. So far, 7/10, but it's an easy, quick read.
2:30 p.m. — Head downtown to meet C., a friend from grad school who's visiting this weekend with friends. Get to the bar and realize there's a huge line. My BF joins and expresses concern about the line, saying he'll only come in to meet my friend and then leave. He's driving home for the holidays soon and doesn't want to risk it. Thankfully, once we get in the bar and go up to the rooftop, there are only two people up there: C. and her friend! I order a hot toddy and BF orders a water. C. is already pretty drunk, which starts to feel awkward as she keeps wanting to get closer and closer to talk. How do you politely ask people to step back? My BF, who's feeling better after realizing no one else is around, wears a mask the whole time and I put mine back on once I'm done with my drink. C. gets the cue and also masks up. TG. C. has a tab, so I Venmo her for my drink. After an hour, BF and I head back to my car, have a mini makeout sesh, and then go our separate ways. $15
5:45 p.m. — Get home to see my parents have already reheated leftover homemade enchiladas my mom cooked last week, and there is one left! So perfect. It's moments like this when I am so pumped to still live at home despite being almost 30. Sit down with them to eat and catch up about our afternoons. After dinner, we head downstairs to watch the latest episodes of The Amazing Race. Unsurprisingly, living with retirees leads me to lead a retiree lifestyle on the weekends and I've fully embraced it. I check my email on my phone in between shows and find out that I got placed on a new consulting team with a manager and a bunch of team members who I've worked with before and love! Yes!!! It will make this Monday so much better.
9 p.m. — Once again, wash my face with the Cetaphil cleanser, put some ROC retinol on my forehead and Olay face moisturizer everywhere else, and brush my teeth. In bed around 9:30 and I jot down a few things I'm grateful for in the gratitude journal. Text with the BF for a few minutes to make plans for tomorrow, then turn on a 30-minute Peloton meditation workout. Asleep by 10.
Daily Total: $15
Money Diaries are meant to reflect an individual's experience and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.

Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.

Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here or email us here.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series