A Week In Dallas, TX, On A $73,850 Salary

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 lead development manager who spends some of her money this week on a reindeer onesie.
Occupation: Lead Development Manager
Industry: Live Events
Age: 28
Location: Dallas, TX
Salary: $73,850 w/ discretionary bonus
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,118.70 after taxes, and insurance
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,275
Student Loans: $300 (No other loans, I paid off my car last month with my bonus, which was $7,880 this year)
Utilities: $60-$90
Cable/Internet: $100
Netflix: $12.99
Spotify: $9.99
Hulu: $0 (My sister pays for this in exchange for my Netflix info)
Car Insurance: $146.63
Renters Insurance: $77.25 every two months
Amazon Prime: $119 annually
Cell Phone: $0 (Thanks to a generous uncle who put me on his phone plan back when I was in high school. I've offered to start paying, but he laughs me off.)
Savings: $480

Day One

7:30 a.m. — Wake up to pee and snuggle back in bed because it is way too early.
9 a.m. — Okay this is better. Get up to shower and I realize I'm a bad adult and forgot to wash my makeup off last night. I use my Green Clean Farmacy makeup remover and move through my normal face routine, Ole Henrikson cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. I make myself a cup of coffee and reheat leftover wings that I have. It's Sunday and I don't have any plans other than to meal prep for the week so I get on Pinterest for recipe inspiration. I settle on a recipe for chili and a baked chicken leg recipe.
11 a.m. — I start to do actual chores so I sort my clothes to do a few loads of laundry. While the clothes are going I order my groceries via Amazon Fresh. I used to love going to the grocery store every week, but I really can't pass up free two-hour delivery. I order ground beef, a pack of chicken drumsticks, garlic, diced tomatoes, chili powder, beef broth, strawberries, jalapeños, onion, limes, broccolini, tomato paste, cumin, and frozen cauliflower risotto. The total comes to $39.05, but I use an Amazon gift card that I already had. While on Amazon I also order an exercise ball to use in place of my desk chair when I work from home. I use the rest of my gift card and my leftover balance is $5.23. $5.23
12 p.m. — Another load in the washer and my friend G., texts me that the IMDB app has Degrassi: The Next Generation online for free. We text each other as we binge, commenting on the major glow ups of Emma and Liberty.
1:58 p.m. — Groceries are delivered to my front door, Amazon FTW. Back to Degrassi.
4:30 p.m. — Today was the epitome of a lazy day, and I love it. I decide to start the chili and take a break from my binge. As the chili simmers, I switch from Degrassi to Netflix and watch a few Christmas movies to get in the holiday spirit. I'm asleep by 10:30.
Daily Total: $5.23

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off, but I'm not ready to get up. I snooze until around 6:50 then get up and do my morning routine. I shower, do the same face routine as yesterday morning, and pull up my weather app to see today's forecast. I live in Texas so even though yesterday was 75 and sunny, today the temp will progressively drop to the 20s. I decide on grey slacks, with a black sweater and black boots. I'm super slow in the morning so I make myself a cup of coffee and head to the office around 8:15.
8:30 a.m. — I have a great commute for Dallas and work about five miles from my apartment. I settle into my desk around 8:30 and fill up my water bottle. I sort through my emails and work on a presentation due in a few days. The coffee and water hold me off so I skip breakfast.
10 a.m. — I sit with my boss for our weekly one-on-one meeting. There were a few big organizational changes announced for my team last week so we check in on how I'm feeling about the changes as well as my upcoming projects.
11:50 a.m. — I head home for lunch so I'm not constantly eating out. I heat up some leftover chili and sprinkle on cheddar cheese and add a dollop of sour cream. While I eat, I watch a few Youtube videos until it's time to head back into the office.
1 p.m. — I get back into the office and deal with connectivity issues. While I wait on IT to fix my hardline internet connection, I read a few Money Diaries on my cell.
4:10 p.m. — I blow out of the office as soon as I'm able. My boss is super flexible about my hours as long as my work is done. After working in sales for three years and constantly being glued to my email, I'm happy to be able to move into a department I'm not only more interested in, but offers a better work-life balance.
4:30 p.m. — I get home and decide to do a bit of hotel vs Airbnb research for an upcoming trip to Paris and Amsterdam in May. My friend, G., and I have finally settled on dates and put our flights on hold to book later this week. She's tackling the Paris leg while I'm looking into Amsterdam. I'm deep into neighborhood searches and blogs before I decide to make dinner.
6 p.m. — I throw a bunch of spices on chicken, put it in the oven, and prep the broccolini. While I cook I talk to my dad on the phone. We've been working on rebuilding our relationship over the past couple of years after a tumultuous divorce between my parents. Today we discuss the cold front that came in and he offers to buy me a new coat once I settle on the one that I want. This is probably a guilt gift after years of no gifts, but hey good coats are not cheap and I'm not above taking it!
8 p.m. — Once I finish dinner and prep the leftovers for the rest of the week, I'm back to my trip research and my Degrassi binge. I also succumb to peer pressure and decide to start writing my own Money Diary. A friend of mine was published a few weeks ago and thinks I should write mine. I've been putting it off for a few weeks now because A) this is such a personal thing to document and to share on the internet and B) the week I initially started journaling was also the week I received my yearly bonus and I went a little crazy with the spending.
11:30 p.m. — Realize it's getting pretty late and my mind is nowhere near shutting down. I put some passionflower drops into a mug of tea and let that put me to sleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off and I actually don't lounge around in bed. I shower and go through my normal face routine. Since I'm actually ahead of schedule I decide to do my makeup. I put on my Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (Caracas), Mac blush (Hipness), and Anastasia Beverley Hills brow Wiz pencil (Ebony). I make my normal coffee, cut up some strawberries for breakfast, and head out by 8:10.
8:30 a.m. — I arrive at the office and start on my emails before my team meeting later this morning.
11:30 a.m. — I head home for lunch and eat the drumsticks and broccolini that I made last night with a Topo Chico. I fire up Disney+ to see what all the hype is about and get super nostalgic when I see So Weird is on the platform. I opt for the yearly option of $69.99 a year which will be billed after my seven-day free trial. I know if I start it now I'll never want to go back into the office so I add it to my watchlist to watch later. $69.99
4:30 p.m. — I wrap up work and head over to Target to get a gift for a friend who is about to have a baby. The goal is to get in and out of Target only sticking to items on the registry. I leave the store spending less than $100 so I count that as a win even if I didn't stick to my plan. I get her diapers, nipple covers, a cute Christmas onesie, plain white onesies, gift bag, tissue paper, gold hoops, Aveeno cleanser and moisturizer, and pens to round it out. $91.18
6:30 p.m. — I make it home and see my Sephora package was delivered. I unbox my package and decide to try out my new face mask by Jet Lag. I'm not feeling particularly hungry so I snack on flax seed crackers and a glass of wine. Once I put together my gift and put away all my Sephora goodies, I browse the net for a coat. I find two possible options and send them to my dad.
9 p.m. — I pour another glass of wine. I am officially done with looking at coats and decide to look at possible handbags for me to buy on my trip to Paris. I know it's super early, but at least I'll have saved for whatever I plan to buy right? Around 10 I decide to try out the Laniege lip mask and am super pleased with the texture and scent of it.
Daily Total: $91.18

Day Four

7:30 a.m. — I get to sleep in today as I'm working from home, but holy hell the Laniege lip mask is everything I never knew I needed. It's an overnight mask and my lips have never felt so damn supple! I shower and do my normal morning routine minus throwing on clothes. Full disclosure, I don't usually do the full routine when I WFH, but I'm meeting a friend for lunch and want to be able to throw on my clothes quickly as I head out later. I make a cup of coffee and am online by 8.
9:30 a.m. — My friend, K., calls so that we can pick a place for lunch and a time. We decide to meet at a favorite Mexican restaurant of ours at 11:15 since she has a call she needs to be back for at 1:30. I push through emails and finish up a presentation that I worked on yesterday and send it to my boss to look over.
11:15 a.m. — I arrive at lunch gift in tow and proceed to dive into the chips and salsa and order a sweet tea. My friend arrives and we decide to get a cup of queso before ordering. We chat about the baby and if she plans to come back to work once she has the baby (we work at the same company, but different teams). We used to be on the same sales team so we also chat about the other people that I used to work with and what we think will happen with all of our recent organizational changes. I order the carne asada quesadillas and she gets chicken enchiladas. We split the check, but I pick up the queso. $20.57
12:30 p.m. — Back home and work for the next couple of hours before my afternoon meeting. I catch up on my podcasts (The Read, The Friend Zone, Juicy Scoop) while I respond to emails. The podcasts totally help me get through the day and not nap which I totally want to after those quesadillas.
4 p.m. — Meeting is over with and I power down. I decide to pull out my wax kit and go to work on my underarms, legs, and chin. I used to shave until a few months ago when my PCOS randomly flared up my hair growth. I wanted an option that would slow down the growth and hopefully thin the hair out as well. It's worked so far, but it's much more labor-intensive than shaving.
7:30 p.m. — I start a minor debate in the group chat that I'm in. I share my final two coat contenders and one friend, D., gives positive feedback but my other friend, G, who was a fashion design minor thinks both options will age me and won't flatter me because I'm hella short with large boobs. She at least offers an alternative that is similar in style, but has a different cut that she thinks will flatter my boobs more. I decide to sleep on it before making the final decision. I heat up the rest of the quesadillas from lunch for my dinner and they are still amazing.
9 p.m. — I get ready for bed, with the same skincare routine and decide to pull up Disney+. After browsing a few options, I decide to turn on the Parent Trap and fall asleep to dream of finding my own Nick Parker.
Daily Total: $20.57

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — I wake up to pee and can't fall back to sleep. I scroll the net until 6:30 and the dash to get ready for work. It's a no-makeup day, but I am also over this twist out so I slick my hair into a bun.
8:30 a.m. — Even though I've been up for a while I still can't manage to get to the office any earlier. I boot up my laptop and work until I need food.
11:30 a.m. — I'm officially over my leftovers at home so I go over to Chick-fil-A to get their cobb salad with grilled chicken. I catch up on Money Diaries while I eat my lunch. I love when I read a juicy one because I know the comment section will be on fire! $8.65
4 p.m. — I struggle to stay awake through the rest of the day and leave promptly at 4. I debate heading to Central Market to pick up a particular roast of coffee that I prefer but decide against fighting the traffic. I head home and shop for a wedding I'm attending next month. I end up getting a few options as backups and a sweater that I fall in love with. Three dresses and a sweater later my total is $110.97 with a 55% off promo. $110.97
7:40 p.m. — I'm binging a few more episodes of Degrassi and then I heat up some chicken and cook the frozen cauliflower risotto in the freezer. I'm pleasantly surprised by the "risotto." While eating my sister calls and we talk about different scents that she can try for the oil diffuser I gave her a few months ago. We also chat about when she'll be coming home for Thanksgiving in a few weeks since she's away at college.
9:30 p.m. — Since I've been so tired today I call it an early night and turn in for bed so hopefully I have more energy for tomorrow!
Daily Total: $119.62

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — It's Friday and I'm working from home today! I do my morning face routine, but add my exfoliator (Clovertree Apothecary Deep Cleansing Scrub). I try to get as much done as I can this morning before my first meeting which usually goes over. I make a cup of coffee to hold me over until lunch since I'm not hungry.
8 a.m. — G. just texted me that she's booking the flight that we reserved for our trip. We confirm the flight numbers one more time before submitting!!! I have a ton of reward miles from when I traveled for work so this trip costs me 60,000 miles, $103.15 in taxes and fees, and $28 for trip insurance. Amsterdam and Paris here I come!! $131.15
11:30 a.m. — Meeting is over with and I throw on some clothes so that I can head over to my nail shop. It's super close to my apartment and I know that my favorite nail tech will be there today. I choose a cute pink/brownish nude color for my dip power and pedicure. My nail tech and I talk about movies we've seen lately and our holiday plans. $96
12:30 p.m. — Once my mani/pedi is done I run over to grab a quick lunch at R Taco. I order two tacos and chips and queso. $10.55
1 p.m. — I'm back at home and working up a storm until around 4:15. I begin to change for a girl's dinner I'm headed out to. I text the group chat to see if we're dressing up or down for dinner. My girls and I try to do this once a month trying new restaurants. We decide cute-casual so I put on a cute oversized sweater, black jeans, and booties that make me so tall! I then proceed to try my new Nars foundation and really love this new formula. I do a light contour, apply blush, and fill out my brows.
5:45 p.m. — After fighting rush hour traffic, I finally arrive at the restaurant. My friend, D., is already seated so I greet her and order a flavored martini from the happy hour menu. We also get a free order of edamame on the house since my friend is a first time guest. Other friend, G., arrives and we start catching up with each other on our weeks. We order a few rolls, I get an order of the Ungagi Nigri and a spicy tuna roll. At some point, we decide to take sake bombs so we place an order for that and proceed to plan a holiday party that D. is planning. $30.55
10:45 p.m. — I text my friends that I made it home, and proceed to shower, wash off my makeup, and catch up on last night's Grey's Anatomy and How To Get Away with Murder. This week's episode was amazing and is a full circle moment for Meredith.
12 a.m. — Head to bed and scroll through social media until I pass out.
Daily Total: $268.25

Day Seven

8:15 a.m. — I wake up and pull out my work laptop. There was a CRM release overnight and I do a quick check to make sure everything that I need works as tested (it does). I send a quick email to my team letting them know the release went fine. I get up and prepare to head into my office to help a friend's mom who is having a luncheon there.
10 a.m. — I arrive and am quickly put to task to help set up tables and pass out name tags and raffle tickets as their team enters! It's an awesome program and I also help clean up afterward. I pack up a to-go plate since there's lots of leftover food from the caterer. I pack enough chicken, tilapia, green beans, salad, and mashed potatoes to last me a few days since I hate cooking on the weekends and it'd make me feel more responsible if I didn't order from Postmates tonight.
2 p.m. — Cleanup is done and I head over to Central Market to pick up a blend of coffee that costs double on Amazon. While I'm there, I also pick up a couple boxes of Teapigs caffeine-free teas. I prefer to drink these at night with my passionflower drops instead of something that would wire me back up. $22.72
4 p.m. — I do a light clean of my apartment, putting away clothes and dishes that I cleaned a few days ago. Degrassi is, of course, playing in the background and I get through Ashely's goth phase, Paige pressing charges against Dean, and Craig's father dying.
8 p.m. — I guess I took a nap and we are now on season three where Manny decides to change her image. Who remembers that crop top, low rise jeans, and blue thong? #iconic. I head up some of the leftovers from the luncheon today. I decide to give Degrassi a break and switch over to holiday movies! Who else loves those super cheesy romance movies where you know the ending, but can't help but watch? Tonight I decide to try Let it Snow on Netflix and I love it! I watch a trailer for an upcoming movie called Holiday Rush and, of course, I add it to my watchlist so that it's at the top of my list when it's released!
Daily Total: $22.72
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