A Week On The Jersey Shore On A $335,000 Joint Income

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 Director, Customer Growth & Experience working in management consulting who spends some of her money this week on F Bombs.
Occupation: Director, Customer Growth & Experience
Industry: Management Consulting
Age: 32
Location: Jersey Shore
Salary: $335,000 ($210,000 for me, $125,000 for hubby)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $5,000 and $3,600 respectively
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,800 (4-bed, 2.5-bath about three miles from the beach) Student Loans: $1,050 (both mine and husband's)
Car Lease: $499 (my car, my husband has paid his off)
Daycare: $1,600
Car Insurance: $168
Utilities: ~$250-400 (varies seasonally)
Cell Phones: $200 (closer to $265 but work reimburses $65)
Cable/Internet: $185
Gym: $56
Gymnastics: $600 for the fall, with $200 installments over three months
Rent the Runway Unlimited Membership: $149
Computer/Wayfair Credit Cards: $450 combined (we're paying off some furniture and computer purchases with 0% APRs)
Spotify: $11
Savings: $1,500 (every few months we'll make larger deposits after we see what's leftover from our discretionary spending)
401(k): I max mine out, $18,500 for this year
IRA: husband maxes his employer IRA at $10,000
HSA: max this out at $6,750
Charities (annually): $4,500 (husband's church offerings, Planned Parenthood, local food kitchens, Clean Water Action)

Day One

7:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I have the flexibility to work remotely, and I typically do so on Mondays if I'm not traveling. My daughter, D., runs in for some morning snuggles before my husband gets up and struggles with her about putting on clothes. Ugh, threenagers, am I right? I quickly get dressed (Athleta workout pants and a college sweatshirt) while they're distracted, then drop D. off at daycare.
8:45 a.m. — My husband and I decided to try the Keto diet (lifestyle?) about a week ago, so our meals have changed pretty significantly. I opt for a big bowl of berries and two snack-sized Vermont cheddar cheeses. I also mix myself a Rook Pumpkin Spice cold brew with coconut milk and Stevia. (Side note: I have never been a coffee person ever, but over the last year I've gone through some health issues that have made it really difficult to stay awake, plus an active toddler. I discovered that I really like this brand of coffee because they don't use any syrup for their flavoring, just different kinds of spices. I'm now officially a coffee person.)
12:30 — We're going to an NJ Devils hockey game this Friday, so I order D. a pair of noise-reducing headphones on Amazon ($15.95). I also see their deal of the day is up to 50% Paw Patrol toys. I guess I'm starting my Christmas shopping early. Damn targeted ads…I'm such a sucker for them ($16.75). Then it's back to work with a few meetings this morning. I use my lunch hour to go for a short jog around the local park. Then, I take a quick shower and use the remaining time to throw together an egg scramble for lunch: three eggs, a tomato, some red onion, kale/spinach mix, and goat cheese. I top it with a diced avocado and salsa. I grab a grapefruit seltzer and eat through my next few meetings. $32.70
4 p.m. — I head over to my therapist for a session. Having someone to talk to has made a real difference for me while going through family medical issues (myself and others) this year. The session is free because I hit my deductible ages ago (hospital stays will do that). Afterward, I pick up D. from daycare and we head to the park to enjoy the last of the late-day sunlight.
7 p.m. — We cook dinner at home (an interesting chicken parm wrapped around asparagus recipe, with roasted garlic broccolini). I eat this for dinner while D. snacks on cucumbers, a PB&J, goldfish crackers, and apple juice. We do her bedtime routine before I return downstairs to finish up some work. I get a Mint app alert that our bi-weekly "oh-shit fund" transfer went through ($750, included in monthly savings). We're currently rebuilding this after a few house and family-related depletions. We like to have five or six months worth of fixed expenses available for emergencies and right now we're only at three. I head to bed with the goal of getting to sleep before 11.
Daily Total: $32.70

Day Two

5:30 a.m. — Whyyyyy. I throw myself out of bed before I can snooze my alarm and get ready. My typical skincare routine is Sunday Riley Good Genes serum, Caudalie Beauté Elixer, and Caudalie Moisturizer. My makeup routine is Glossier Boy Brow (obsessed), Tarte eyeshadow in Drive, Laura Mercier mascara, and a bold lip (MAC Diva). I'm headed into the city for a training in my home office so I spiff myself up — there will be a lot of directors, managing directors, and partners in the room. I throw a pair of Stuart Weitzman blue heels into my backpack and head out to catch the train. I park in the station lot ($4.35). I buy 10-packs of train tickets as I need them since I'm only in the office once or twice a week, so I use a ticket I purchased last month. $4.35
8:20 a.m. — A late train (curse you, NJ Transit) and a pre-purchased subway ride later (I top up as needed), I rush into my office for a two-day training course. I packed two cheese sticks, berries, and my cold brew of choice last night, so I shovel them into my mouth before it starts. My husband, R., grabs a local coffee from Rook at home (I got him hooked). $4.20
1 p.m. — My firm provides lunch today. Happily, they have fish, chicken, and roasted Brussels sprouts (my fave) so I don't have to worry about difficult food choices. R. has leftovers from last night at home.
5 p.m. — My training day ends a little early and I beast out of the room to catch an early train home. I use a pre-purchased subway swipe and train ticket home. The balance on my MTA card is running low, I'll probably have to top up tomorrow.
7:30 p.m. — I'm finally home. My husband has figured out how to unfreeze and cook salmon (quite the accomplishment), which we put over salad with some veggies and avocado. We heat up some minestrone soup for D. and she surprises us by asking for some “leaves” from our salad. She eats them! I'm amazed. I take D. upstairs for PJs and teeth-brushing. R. then tags in to read bedtime stories. We usually split bedtime routines in this way when we're both home.
9 p.m. — My jack-o-lantern needs finishing so I do some last-minute carving and get him out on the porch. Better late than never, right? I put on The Nightmare Before Christmas while I fire off a few emails and fold toddler laundry. R. does the same across the room (ah, 21st-century love) then purchases tickets to a college basketball pregame event in November. I prep coffee and snacks for tomorrow. I'm in bed by 11:30. $75
Daily Total: $83.55

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I'm somehow up a little easier today. Same skincare and makeup routine. Today's outfit includes black pants and sleeveless top with the most incredible RTR blazer. I throw on a pair of Adidas Superstar sneakers (so glad these are back in style), grab my coffee and breakfast (same as yesterday), and head out to the train.
6:15 a.m. — Another day, another parking pass ($4.35) and back into nap mode once I'm aboard (activated a previously purchased ticket). At Penn Station, I top up my metro card so I don't have to worry about doing it on my way home this afternoon ($22). $26.35
12 p.m. — Early lunch provided by the firm again. Mostly sandwiches, which is sad because I have to discard the bread (this is probably a sin somewhere, I'm sure). The Mint app on my phone informs me that R. grabbed some Keto-friendly lunch from Chipotle ($9.70). At 3:15, I duck out early so I can get home in time to pick up D. Fortunately, the training program is running ahead of schedule so I'm not missing a lot of new info. Pre-paid metro swipe and pre-paid NJ Transit ticket home. $9.70
5:15 — I pick up D. from daycare and we head over to see my dad who was recently hospitalized after a fall. He's doing better, but he's got a lot of physical therapy ahead of him. After an hour or so we head home. On the way, I stop by McDonalds and grab a happy meal for D. ($6.85). I make myself sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, and green beans (plus an extra helping for R. when he gets home) while letting D. watches two short My Little Pony videos. We settle in for playtime with Jeopardy for background noise (D.'s fave) before going through the bedtime routine. $6.85
9:30 p.m. — I wrap up watching Hocus Pocus for the fifth time this month right as R. walks in the door. We catch up on each others' days then he heads to the kitchen and I head to bed. Mint alerts me to an Xbox purchase R. made. $10.65
Daily Total: $53.55

Day Four

8 a.m. — Oops, we all oversleep. We rush D. to daycare with Halloween costume #1 for her Halloween parade later today and get there just in time for daycare-provided breakfast. I stop at Rook on my way home and get two pumpkin spice cold brews with coconut milk ($8.06). I hop on a few work calls then set about to wrap up research and review a few projects that my team sent over while I was in training. $8.06
12:30 p.m. — I have a great call with one of the managing directors that I support. I have been in my new role at a new firm for a few months now and only over the last few weeks have I felt that I've been able to get my arms around how to do my job here. It's always nice to see your intuition validated by an impartial external source. Imposter syndrome is real. I pop into the kitchen and make a quick egg scramble for lunch for myself and R. (eggs, spinach/kale mix, peppers, tomato, and mozzarella cheese).
3 p.m. — I wrap up work early and R. and I head off to D.'s daycare for the annual Halloween parade and class party. We pick up fancy Halloween donuts from a local bakery to donate to the class party ($42). After the party, we head home, assist D. with a costume change (two princess costumes in one Halloween — thank you Target PJ collection) and head out for neighborhood trick or treating. We meet up with the family I texted earlier in the week and our kids have a blast. The rain holds off and my latest RTR order arrives — score! $42
7 p.m. — We fall off the Keto wagon hard and go through a bunch of Halloween candy. Whoops. Tonight's bath night, so R. takes our sugar-fueled toddler upstairs to do that, bless him. I catch up on Twitter, watch some SNL Halloween sketch highlights, then head upstairs for storytime. The winds are really howling and it's freaking D. out. She's pretty inconsolable. Despite our attempts to console her, she sneaks into our room around 2 a.m. and we're all so tired we just accept it. She does make a good snuggle buddy.
Daily Total: $50.06

Day Five

8 a.m. — Ugh, oversleep again. I get up with D. and get her dressed, then R. takes her to school. I get a ping that my monthly gym membership is charged (noted above). I half-heartedly think about canceling since I haven't been in a few months, but with winter coming up it's probably worth keeping since I won't be up for outside running once it dips into the 30s. I text R. to bring coffee home with him. He stops at the bank to take out some cash for the weekend and grabs me their newest bottle of cold brew — toffee! I'm out of coconut milk, though, so a taste test will have to wait. I catch up on a few blogs (Ask a Manager, Always Right, and Corporette are my absolute favs and I visit each of them daily) then get to work with meetings, project reviews, and some research to respond to a client's proposal request. $20
12:45 p.m. — I am not in a cooking mood so we head down the street to Chipotle for a Keto lunch of carne asada, guac, salsa, cheese, and lettuce ($24.10). We sadly reminisce about all the great journalists and bloggers pushed out by the recent Deadspin drama and wonder where Drew Magary is going to post his annual Williams-Sonoma holiday catalog piece (one of our favorite holiday traditions is to read this to each other). $24.10
4 p.m. — Our cleaning service finishes for the day ($100). Later, I do a quick upper body circuit in my living room before showering. We throw on our Devils regalia, grab D.'s jersey, and head out to pick her up on our way to Newark. We stop to get gas ($30) on the way and pay $20 for parking. $150
7 p.m. — Our tickets come out of our membership package that we pay for in a few installments throughout the year. We're able to flex the number of games, seats, seat locations, etc. we want, which is awesome (and way better than season tickets, tbh, who has the time to go to 40 games a year?). We make the truly terrible mistake of trying to buy keto-approved food here, which involves a lot of burgers/sausages without buns and water. No beer and no rolls?! Next time I'll eat in advance... At least D. gets some Auntie Annie's pretzels to enjoy ($82.50 in various food and drinks, none of which are very good). We head home after the second intermission so we don't have a toddler meltdown in public. We're asleep by 11. $82.50
Daily Total: $276.60

Day Six

8 a.m. — D. comes into our room and we all snuggle for another hour. We finally roll out of bed at 9 and D. watches cartoons while I prep breakfast for her — granola, fruit and veggie squeeze, and milk. Side note: did you know Blue's Clues has been rebooted and there's a new Steve who is super good looking?!
11 a.m. — After D.'s gymnastics class, we head out to Wegman's for our weekly food shopping trip. We buy chicken cacciatore (Pre-made! In a bag! Cool!), shrimp, zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, assorted salad, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese sticks, coconut milk, peanut butter, cream cheese, coconut oil, napkins, fruit/veggie squeezes, toothpaste, tea, and probably a few other things I forgot ($181.37). We then head over to Target to grab a variety of seltzer and dry shampoo. I obviously end up with a bunch of stuff I didn't need as well: a pair of cute red velvet universal thread pants, a plain white T-shirt, a white and blue flannel, a shirt for D. to wear at Thanksgiving, a Frozen coloring book, and some bath bombs ($120). $301.37
6:30 p.m. — The three of us are going out to a friend's birthday dinner at a famous sandwich place a little further north. There's a table of 10 of us (kids included) and we end up with what looks like five pounds of ribs, an open face pastrami and cheese, and a few sides. Everything is crazy good and we roll out of there in blissful food comas with plans to meet up again with this crew before the end of the year sans kiddos. We split everything six ways so the birthday boy doesn't pay. $90
Daily Total: $391.37

Day Seven

7:45 a.m. — D. sleeps in today and I so need it. D. and I go downstairs to give R. a little extra time to sleep. She eats blueberries and a granola bar and I have a bowl of Greek yogurt with berries and settle into the Saturday New York Times (we have a weekend subscription and I typically end up going through both on Sundays). Really I'm just here for the main, travel, metropolitan, and real estate sections. D. plays with a Trolls toy she recently received and I try out the new toffee coffee. It is a little too sweet for me. I also purchase some pre-made Fat Bombs from Amazon for R., who really likes them for his office days. $9.97
9:30 a.m. — I have a fuzzy parent moment when D. discovers the Frozen coloring book I bought at Target yesterday. She breaks out her crayons and says “oh my gosh...Thank you, mom, for getting me this coloring book!” This is definitely my favorite age, tantrums aside.
12 p.m. — R. takes D. to church (he's religious while I lost that part of me during Catholic school as a kid. I support him raising D. with that tradition since I will likely counterbalance that once she's old enough to start asking questions), so I take the opportunity to go for a run. It. Is. So. Cold. Like hat and gloves cold. I can't imagine how the NYC marathoners are doing their thing today. I get two and a half miles in before I shower and do my morning skincare routine (yes I know it's the afternoon now). We make egg and veggie scrambles for lunch, then drop D. off for some grandparent time with R.'s parents. We use the opportunity to search for a new suit or two for R.
5:30 p.m. — Well that was successful. We end up finding two sharp suits, a tie, and two funky Ted Baker shirts. R. looks awesome and 10 years younger. We had money socked away for this (it's been on his radar for a few months), so I put it on my Nordstrom card and activate a triple points day. His total is $1,902. Eek. Considering his last suits lasted for nearly seven years, we can rationalize this purchase. I pick up a new shirt for work on our way out ($89) and look forward to a butt-ton of Nordstrom notes. We head back to R.'s parents for a family dinner, watch some football, then head home for a bath and the bedtime routine. $1,991
9 p.m. — D. is asleep so R. and I watch last night's episode of SNL before calling it a night. Not as good as last week's but a few funny bits. We DVR Jon Oliver and will watch that tomorrow night after D. is asleep. I actively try to be asleep before 11 most nights with varying success, so we are heavy DVR users.
Daily Total: $2,000.97
We want to know! Do you have a finsta (fake Instagram)? What do you use it for? These days, it's commonplace to have (at least) two Instagrams — you know, one for public consumption, and the other for more personal purposes. Tell us about your finsta here for a chance to be featured on the site. Is it ironic? Strictly for posting NSFW selfies? Mainly for stalking exes' new hookups? We want to hear it all!
How much time do you spend on Instagram? If you find it difficult to go an hour without checking your Instagram — you're definitely not alone. Instagram addiction is a real thing, and sometimes it can be shocking to find out just how much time we spend on the app. For a Refinery29 story, we're looking to hear from our audience about how much time they spend on Instagram, and how it makes them feel. Fill out the form here for a chance to be featured!
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.
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.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series