A Week In Denver, CO, On A $140,000 Salary

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Today: a tech designer who makes $140,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Peeps.
Occupation: Designer
Industry: Tech
Age: 32
Location: Denver, CO
Salary: $140,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $3,996.02
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,465.64 (my half, split with my husband, C.)
Student Loans: $0
Car Payment: $316.42 (my half, split with C.)
Car Insurance: $77.71 (my half, split with C.)
Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance: $73
Spotify: $9.99
Netflix: $7.99
Amazon Prime: $100/year
Cell phone: $111
Climbing Gym Membership: $82
Dropbox: $99/year
Savings: $500
401(K): $300
Audible: $16
Joint "Allowance" Account: $500 (This is an account I share with my husband for dog expenses, house cleaner, and utilities expenses.)
Joint Wealthfront Investment Account: $500
Wedding Repayment Plan: $500 to C. (I currently owe him about $3,000 out of $6,000 from our wedding expenses last fall.)

Day One

6:45 a.m. — My husband, C., wakes up and runs over to the coffee shop to work on his startup. It's Saturday, so I sleep in a bit.
12 p.m. — I work until about noon. C. comes back from the coffee shop and we do some work on each other…then we quickly throw the climbing stuff into the car and head out to the crag with the dog. We stop on the way to grab sandwiches. I get a veggie sandwich and a kombucha — C. pays. The sandwich is super gross and vinegary, though, so I end up snacking all day on cheese, peanut butter pretzels, and a leftover cookie. We climb all day and it's pretty fun, even though I'm pretty rusty since we've been skiing our faces off all winter. Our dog happily makes friends with all the other dogs at the crag, chases some sticks, and has a great day.
7:00 p.m. — We leave the crag and head to a hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern place where I get a falafel wrap. Halfway through dinner, a friend texts me that she has an extra ticket to see My Favorite Murder live tonight and wants to know if I want to go! I do, but first I check Slack to see what my weekend workload is, and miraculously the project has been ramped back, so I likely won't have anything to do on it until Monday. I pay for our dinner ($22.40) and Venmo my friend for the ticket ($45). C., being the awesome husband that he is, drives me (smelly, in ripped climbing pants) to the theater. $67.40
10:30 p.m. — The show is SO GOOD. Despite it being Saturday night, instead of getting drinks with my friends, I hustle home in a Lyft to get my gear ready for a big day in the mountains tomorrow. $17.15
Daily Total: $84.55

Day Two

6:45 a.m. — C. and I are up with the alarm — we pack up our ski stuff and I make a smoothie and coffee, and we hustle out of the house. We drop our pup at doggie daycare.
8:15 a.m. — We meet our four friends and set up a car shuttle, then we ski uphill, otherwise known as backcountry skiing (yes, this is a thing) to the top of a steep ridge. We ski down a narrow couloir into a beautiful valley — then boot pack up another mountain. We're above 11,000 feet for almost nine hours. Throughout the day I drink a Gatorade, eat two Luna bars, and drink a Soylent. This sounds gross, but eating at high altitude during athletic activity is hard for me, so I do what works. On our second line of the day the snow is not great, but the weather and views are amazing and our first ski line was awesome. Happy Sunday indeed! We are all wrecked.
5 p.m. — As we're skiing out, C. and I realize that, with the shuttle back to our car and the weekend ski traffic, we're not going to make it in time to get our pup from doggy daycare before they close (facepalm). We call a friend who lives nearby, and they grab her. Whew.
6:30 p.m. — Back in the car, we eat some victory Cheetos! Everyone is starving, so we grab a quick dinner with our ski partners. C. and I split a Margherita pizza, which is just okay. He pays. We stop on the way back and grab gas (we take turns and it's C.'s turn).
8:30 p.m. — We swing by the liquor store for a bottle of nice whiskey (I pay, $34.55) for our friends as a thank-you for picking up our dog from daycare. When we pick her up, she and our friend's dog have totally bonded — mental note that we'll have to get these two pups together soon! $34.55
9:45 p.m. — After showering, unpacking all the things, C. and I zone out on the couch. I remember that I need to sign up for summer ice hockey, so I pay the U.S.A. hockey fee ($46.50) and our summer league fee ($265). I'm stoked to get on the ice with the ladies again. I also get a request for a phone interview from a job I applied for! I'm super unhappy at my job right now, and I'm looking for my next career move. My salary is currently pretty high, so it's tricky navigating the Denver market, but I'm determined to not take a pay cut at my next gig. C. and I immediately pass out soon after. $311.50
Daily Total: $346.05

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — Awake with C. returning back to bed from the shower — I convince him that we didn't have quite a full enough day yesterday, so we, ahem, get the day off on the right foot. ;)
8 a.m. — I'm up...aaand we're out of coffee. C. texts me from a coffee shop about a mile and a half away that he forgot his allergy medicine, so I take the dog on a walk to deliver it to him and he buys me a cup of coffee as a thank-you. I walk the dog back home and make myself a smoothie. We're basically out of everything, so it's not the best smoothie (except I add a bit of leftover fresh ginger, which is good!).
9 a.m. — I work remotely, so I park myself at my home office and get into it.
12:30 p.m. — I take a break and run to the grocery store. We're having people over for dinner tonight, so I get some things for C. as he is cooking and food for the week for me (hamburger buns, veggie burgers, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, lettuce, pickles, La Croix, coffee, chocolate chips, butter, almond milk, a tomato, cheese, eggs). $69.43
1:15 p.m. — I get home, heat up spinach-cilantro soup à la Samin Nosrat that I made last week, and hop onto a work call. Then more werkwerkwerk.
5 p.m. — I head out and have a super quick chiropractor appointment to adjust my ribs and shoulder. Ahhhhh, relief! Then I get back and walk the dog. The weather is perfect — how is it going to snow on Wednesday?! $35
6:30 p.m. — A bunch of folks working on C.'s startup come over, and he whips up elk burgers. I bake from-scratch chocolate chip cookies (underbaked to perfection) and make a lemon-arugula Romano salad. The elk burgers made on the Green Egg (a charcoal grill) on brioche buns are SO GOOD. C. and his crew hold a startup meeting for a big event they have at the end of the month. I'm helping out on the research side and listen in. I drink two beers that his coworkers brought over.
11 p.m. — Everyone finally leaves and we both pass out.
Daily Total: $104.43

Day Four

7:15 a.m. — C. snoozes forever. I wake up and take a quick shower, feed the dog, make coffee, make a smoothie (finally with the right supplies: blueberries, strawberries, almond milk, banana, spinach, flax seed).
8:15 a.m. — I hop on the computer and get to work. I see I have an email from a friend who works for the company I'm phone interviewing with on Wednesday. We make plans to meet up and chat about the company on Friday.
10 a.m. — C. and I say goodbye for a few days because he is traveling for work. I head out to a dentist appointment. On the way, I drop off a fecal sample at the vet because the pup has been having some stomach issues that a bland diet hasn't cleared up completely. I drop her off at doggy daycare. The dentist appointment turns out to be more involved than I had planned. I leave numb and annoyed! They bill me later through the mail.
11:45 a.m. — Working from my office/coworking space today. I have to pay for parking ($3.75). I try to sip on a (free) La Croix without drooling all over myself. I have a Babybel because I'm starving, and I have meetingsmeetingsmeetings. $3.75
5 p.m. — The vet calls and says the dog has a pretty nasty bacterial gut infection along with giardia. I head out and grab the dog from doggy daycare, then head to the vet for drugs. The drugs, the fecal test, pill pockets, and her annual vaccine ends up being $106.62, but it goes on our shared account ($ noted in monthly expenses). I take her for a quick three-mile run, then put my work clothes back on and hope I smell okay for a work dinner!
7 p.m. — Pay for parking again ($3.75), then work dinner with our out-of-town coworkers! We order a bunch of shared plates (kale salad, pork shoulder, fish, shishito peppers, fried pickles, meatballs), and I have a cocktail. We also share some desserts, and I order a decaf cappuccino. Conversation centers around our company and how we're all losing faith in it. It's a bummer, but it's nice to be real about what's going on. One of our coworkers picks up the check and expenses everything. $3.75
9 p.m. — I jam home. On the way I stop at the grocery store to get more supplies for the dog's bland diet (rice, baby food). $18.86
11 p.m. — I watch some old episodes of The Magicians and read a bit of Death Note (a graphic novel), then head to bed. I wake up a few times throughout the night because C. isn't next to me, but at least the dog is!
Daily Total: $26.36

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I finally wake up after snoozing for a bit. Shower, smoothie, coffee, computer, walk the dog. She's feeling pretty lethargic from the antibiotics, which is good timing since we're expected to get a blizzard today! It's a good day for her to nap and recover.
12 p.m. — I have a meeting through lunch, so I grab a cookie from a burnt-ish batch I made last week.
2:30 p.m. — I have the phone interview and don't get great vibes from the guy I'm talking to. My friend whom I'm meeting with on Friday says the company is really great, so I'll give the company a chance when I talk to their design director next week.
3 p.m. — I'm starving after the phone interview, so I eat the last of the spinach-cilantro soup, then take the dog for a short walk in the blizzard. I end up dropping my house key and get locked out. I try to break in through the front windows, but the house is locked up pretty good (this eases my Italian grandma worrywart fears of somebody breaking in!). After going back to the dog's poop spot for a third time in the blowing snow, I finally find the key, cancel the locksmith that I called, and a cold wet dog and I head back into the warmth!
6 p.m. — I eat leftover arugula salad from the other night, along with the last of fresh soba noodles from a week ago with a simple dressing of sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha. C. texts that his flight is canceled because of the blizzard, so he's not coming home until tomorrow. :(
6:30 p.m. — I head out to the climbing gym and climb with a friend for a few hours. I almost send a 12! Another friend shows up, and we decide to all get drinks after.
8:30 p.m. — Post-climbing drinks with what turns out to be a solid crew! It's nice catching up with everyone. I get two cocktails, and we all share some fries. $23
11:30 p.m. — I get home and quickly pass out snuggling with the dog.
Daily Total: $23

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — I wake up and make coffee. My stomach is grumbly, so I don't make food right away. I hop onto the computer and check email/Slack and do a bit of work. Then I take the dog for a walk before a recruiter is supposed to call me.
9:30 a.m. — The recruiter calls, and I'm really excited about the company and position she tells me about! She seems unfazed about my salary ask (higher than my current salary, fueled by a desire to beat C.'s salary because we're competitive...and us ladies need to make up that wage gap amiright?). I'm being super patient with this job hunt, so my next move is the right one.
11 a.m. — I finally work up an appetite and make a smoothie. I also eat half of one of the burnt-ish cookies because #breakfastofchampions. C. messages me from the airplane (via GChat) that he's on his way home and wants to hang out together tonight. We're both busy people, so sometimes we have to be proactive about seeing each other. He comes home shortly after and decides to work from home today.
1 p.m. — My stomach is still feeling slightly off, but I want to get a short run in. I take the dog to our nearby snow-covered park, put on My Favorite Murder, and do a light three-mile jog. Then I go home and make lunch of an apple with the last bit of Justin's Cinnamon Almond Butter (so good, kicking myself for forgetting to buy more) and tuna mixed with lemon and olive oil on a rice cake dusted with TJ's Everything but the Bagel seasoning. (Side note: We don't usually shop at TJ's — I think their stuff is kind of junky #sorrycommentsection — but we make a once-a-year trip before hunting, because they have a great dried/packaged section.)
3 p.m. — C.'s startup is written up in a popular online magazine! I'm so proud of him.
6 p.m. — I make dandan noodles from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice, but substitute the pork for a bit of elk chorizo. C. and I sit down and have a nice meal together (supplies for noodles came from a very exciting trip a few weeks ago to the Asian grocery store). We talk about goals for the year — C. notes that he doesn't have any big "relationship" goals this year since we got married last year, and neither of us wants kids anytime soon (sorry to both our moms, who are obnoxiously clamoring to be grandparents). I joke that we could buy his-and-hers jet skis (kiddddding!). We talk about our taxes — we're thankfully getting a decent refund this year, partially from C.'s electric-car purchase. We clean up our dishes and chase the dog around the house, then walk her up to the park for some ball chasing. I have two Thin Mints from the freezer.
8 p.m. — C. and I come back from the park and "hang out" for a bit, then I plop down to do some job searching/help with C.'s startup with The Magicians on in the background while C. snoozes for a solid hour.
11 p.m. — Read Death Note until I can't keep my eyes open.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Wake up, quickly feed the dog, and get ready to go meet my friend who works for the company I'm interested in/interviewing with.
8 a.m. — I buy myself and my friend coffee, and we chat for the next hour about the company. It sounds awesome and totally up my alley! I send the recruiter another note after my meeting letting him know how excited I am about the opportunity. I hang out and do a little more work before heading back home. $7
9:45 a.m. — I'm totally vibrating from too much coffee. I head home and make a quick smoothie and jump into a meeting. My day is packed with meetings, so I do a quick doggy daycare drop-off since the dog appears to have recovered from her stomach issues (yay!) and is bouncing off the walls.
11:45 a.m. — I make it through my next meeting with a Thin Mint and a La Croix.
1 p.m. — I make a quick tuna/Everything but the Bagel seasoning on a rice cake. While I eat, I grab Chelsea Handler's new audiobook, along with Dark Matter on Audible using a few of my unused monthly credits.
6:30 p.m. — C. comes home and we pack up the truck for the weekend (we're camping/climbing). I try to pack a bunch of leftover food in the house, including some excellent frozen red sauce and meatballs that will make a great easy Saturday camping meal. We also have a fridge full of beer (we cook/host, our friends bring beer — it's a great exchange), so I pack 12 beers to share. I pack up the dog's special bland diet food and we're off. We stop by Chipotle because C. is "bonking," aka he's going to eat his own hand if he doesn't have dinner soon. He gets a burrito, I get a (kinda gross) salad that I eat about half of. C. pays.
7:30 p.m. — We swing by the grocery store to get some random snacks/lunch/supplies for the weekend, including firewood, Peeps (for roasting over the fire), apples, dried fruit, cheese and crackers, bagels, lox, cream cheese, half and half (for C., I take my coffee black), Red Hot Blues, and possibly some other random things I'm forgetting. We divide and conquer, so I pay $40.16 for whatever ends up in my basket. $40.16
7:45 p.m. — Gas — because it's my turn. $44.78
9:30 p.m. — We get to camp and make a fire. The dog runs around smelling all the things. We each drink about half a beer, chatting and relaxing before crawling into bed.
Daily Total: $91.94
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