A Week In Scottsdale, AZ, On A $57,000 Salary

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This week a Digital Marketing Specialist working in technology who makes $57,000 per year and spends it on king-size sheets.
Occupation: Digital Marketing Specialist
Industry: Technology
Age: 24
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Salary: $57,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,900
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $800 (for my half — my fiancé and I just bought a condo)
Student Loans: $0 (thanks Mom and Dad!)
Car Lease: $250
Spotify/Hulu: $5
Netflix: $0 (thanks to my fiancé)
Electric: $50-$75
Gym: $90 (reimbursed by work)
Health Insurance: $0 (covered by work)
Cell Phone: $0 (staying on the family plan until my parents kick me off)

Day One

6:30 a.m. — My alarm isn't set to go off for another 45 minutes, but somehow I'm already awake. I just didn't sleep so well last night. Thankfully, I'm working from home today. I recently got a new job that allows me to work from home and it's a total game changer! I see out the window that it's really dark, and I'm wondering if it's going to be an unusually rainy day. I throw on my clothes to take my dog out, only to realize it's pouring rain. Poor pup will have to wait a while longer. I use my Keurig to make my morning coffee and log on to my computer.
10:15 a.m. — Budgets, budgets, budgets. It's the end of the month, which means we are watching our marketing budget like crazy to ensure we don't overspend or run out of budget before the end of the month. I realize I haven't had breakfast yet, whoops! I walk the ten steps to the kitchen to heat up a Trader Joe's Egg Bite. It's one of my go-to quick breakfasts that's still pretty healthy. Ever since I got engaged in March, I've been on a health kick.
12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime! I heat up leftovers from last night's dinner — shwarma chicken thighs and cauliflower rice. Yum! That truly hit the spot. It's cleared up outside, so I finally take my dog out and then get back to work. I manage some campaigns while watching Deal or No Deal re-runs in the background. I love work from home days!
4:30 p.m. — I finally log off my computer for the day. I'm meeting my friend, F., for dinner. I usually don't go out to eat on Monday nights, but F. has been super busy on weekends so we are fitting in our dinner date where we can. I stop by Nordstrom Rack on my way to dinner to return a dress I bought a few weeks ago, but decided I don't really love. While I'm there, I find some other items. My fiance, H. and I just bought our first home and a new king size bed to go with it so I grab an extra pair of sheets. I also pick up two candles (I'm obsessed with candles) and Becca Ultimate Coverage Foundation. I put it all on my Nordstrom Card so I can earn points. $120.49
5:30 p.m. — After I finish my shopping, I meet F. for dinner. I order a caesar salad with shrimp and she gets a chopped salad. We talk about wedding planning, my new job, and the new condo (yeah, I've taken on a lot this year). She tells me about her boyfriend's new job and her work aspirations for a promotion. We laugh and enjoy the time catching up. We get separate checks to each pay for our own meal. $14.89
Daily Total: $135.38

Day Two

7:15 a.m. — I wake up to the sound of my alarm. I throw on leggings and t-shirt and take the dog out. He gets distracted by landscapers and won't go number two. I pray he doesn't have an accident in the new condo while I'm at work today. We get back inside and I make a cup of coffee in the Keurig. I then proceed to start my morning routine. I use my curling wand to add subtle curls to my already wavy hair. I put on primer, foundation, Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow, bronzer, highlighter, blush, and mascara. I then put on a pair of jeans and a blue floral blouse. My office is pretty casual, which I would say is typical for Arizona. I grab my pre-packed breakfast and head out.
8:15 a.m. — My new office is only 10 minutes from the condo and it's the best! I've always had a commute of about 25-30 minutes so this is truly a blessing for me. I get to work and start in on updating the budget spreadsheet while I eat my Oikos Triple Zero Strawberry Greek yogurt. This is my other go-to breakfast. I chat with my coworkers about their weekends since I wasn't in the office yesterday.
11:30 a.m. — Lunchtime! I order a poke bowl from my favorite place. I get greens with salmon and shrimp topped with cucumbers, edamame, crab meat, and crispy onions ($12.35). My boss brought her dog in today (our new office is pet-friendly — the best!) and asks if I'll pick up a bowl for her as well. She places her separate order so she won't have to pay me back. I drive the five minutes to get our food and bring it back to the office. I eat at my desk today because I have an appointment after work and need to leave right on time. $12.35
4 p.m. — After a slow afternoon, I'm thrilled to leave work. I head over to my monthly eyebrow wax appointment, a necessity to avoid a unibrow situation. I have a package with European Wax Center so it covers the cost of my service ($20), but I tip my waxer $5. $5
4:45 p.m. — I get home just as H. is pulling in. He takes our dog out and I get started on dinner — I'm making steaks with roasted sweet potatoes. H. comes back and we chat about our days. I remind him that we have a meeting with our wedding planner tomorrow (she is a lifesaver — I don't know how I would be able to plan this wedding without her). H. has been really involved in the whole wedding process, much more than most grooms.
8 p.m. — After dinner, we clean up the dishes and decide to cuddle up on the couch. The dog hops up to join us while we watch the finale of Bachelor in Paradise. I am obsessed with the entire Bachelor franchise and have been watching since the first season (I was like seven and have no idea why my parents allowed me to watch it). The finale is three hours with the reunion so it's pretty late by the time we finish. I wash my face with Cetaphil and add some Rosehip oil and moisturizer and then it's lights out around 10:30.
Daily Total: $17.35

Day Three

7:15 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Same morning routine — take the dog out, do hair and make-up, get dressed, and out the door. When I arrive at work, my boss isn't in yet. She usually doesn't get to work until closer to 9. I spend a little time reading Money Diaries and going through my emails. I like to ease into the workday.
11:30 a.m. — It's lunchtime! I work dangerously close to a TJ Maxx and have a bad habit of going over there to browse during my lunch break. I find a mini size of my Drybar dry shampoo and stick it in my cart. I also find dish towels and a cute coffee mug. The total comes out to $32.89 and I think this is the least I've ever spent here. I head back to the office and heat up my leftovers to eat at my desk. $32.89
4 p.m. — The rest of the afternoon passes slowly. For some reason, the mornings just go by so much quicker than the afternoons. I leave right around 4 to head to our meeting with our wedding planner. I'm so excited to really get started on the planning.
4:30 p.m. — We meet with our wedding planner, L., at a local cafe. I'm not hungry, but I order an iced peach tea to sip on while we discuss finalizing our band contract and deciding on a videographer. H. wants to have a videographer that uses drones to capture a wider view of the venue. Of course, these are the details he cares most about. We spend an hour browsing videographers, but don't end up choosing one. $3.56
5:45 p.m. — We are home for the day! H. takes the dog out while I get dinner going. Tonight I'm making sautéed shrimp with caesar salad. Not super exciting, but it's fast and healthy. After we eat, I put together my leftovers for lunch tomorrow and clean up around the kitchen. I decide to FaceTime my parents since I haven't spoken to them in a few days. They live back in my hometown, about 2,000 miles away from me so I try to speak to them a few times a week. After we hang up, I curl up into bed with Cosmopolitan magazine and read until I get too tired. Lights out around 10:15.
Daily Total: $36.45

Day Four

7:15 a.m. — It's Thursday and payday! I have some bills due so I use my paycheck to take care of those. H. will Venmo me his half when he gets paid next.
8:15 a.m. — I arrive at work and there's already some drama about managers stepping on each other's toes. I know this is going to add stress to my day. On top of it, the screen protector on my phone has cracked — better than the screen itself I suppose. I order a new three-pack on Amazon ($11.78). It will arrive tomorrow so I just have to be very careful with my phone until then. $11.78
2 p.m. — I was right. Today has been a bit of a rough day, but I'm making it through. I'm a bit of an internal optimist so I try to keep things light and positive. We have a meeting with the team and then I take a walk to clear my head.
4:15 p.m. — Out for the day! I have no plans after work today and I kick myself for not bringing my gym clothes. I find that exercise helps relieve stress, but it looks like today won't be the day. I could go home and get my gym clothes, but it's out of the way from the gym and once I'm home, I typically don't want to go back out. I get home and plop down on the couch with my dog. I pet him and try to calm myself. I really wish I could have a big glass of wine, but I'm not drinking as part of my new health plan.
5:30 p.m. — H. gets home from work with Chipotle bowls for dinner, which he pays for. I get a chicken bowl with lettuce, cheese, and black beans. It's delicious and I'm thankful that I don't have to cook after such a long day. After dinner, I put on my favorite hair mask that makes my hair feel like silk and take a long, hot shower. I put on my comfiest pajamas and get into bed early. Lights out by 9:30 because I'm just exhausted.
Daily Total: $11.78

Day Five

7:15 a.m. — Friday is here! I'm so excited for the weekend because we have a lot of fun plans. I am an extreme extrovert and I thrive in social situations. Today, my company is providing lunch so I don't bring one with me. I pack up my yogurt for breakfast and head into the office. The morning passes quickly. We have an all-staff meeting that takes about an hour and then I have a lot of work to finish.
11:30 a.m. — Lunch is here! It's make-your-own-tacos from a local Mexican food chain. I put some lettuce in my bowl with carnitas, cheese, veggies, and black beans. Delicious! After lunch, I get back to work. My boss has brought in her foster puppy and he's the cutest little thing. He keeps running around and hiding under my desk. I debate whether I should adopt him, but decide not to because we have our hands full with our dog and our new condo doesn't mix with a not potty-trained puppy.
4 p.m. — The end of the day! It's finally the weekend, woohoo! We have plans for a double date with H.'s friend and his girlfriend. I head home to take the pup out before dinner. H. arrives home and we head to the Italian restaurant where we are meeting friends. I order a salad with mixed greens, chopped nuts, feta cheese, and shrimp. H. orders a pizza ($32.56 with tip). He pays. We enjoy some conversation with friends and talk about our upcoming wedding. We haven't seen them since we got engaged so they ask to see my ring and want to know all about wedding planning. I indulge them with some details we have planned. We end the night around 9 because we're all pretty tired from the work week. We get home around 9:30 and go right to bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

8 a.m. — I hate that I can't sleep in much anymore. I slowly make my way out of bed and kiss H. good morning. We cuddle for a few minutes before getting up. We are going to see H.'s nephew's hockey practice this morning. I throw on clothes and grab a sweater since it will be cold in the ice rink. We meet H.'s parents and brother at the ice rink. It's so cute watching H.'s little nephew skate.
11 a.m. — When skating practice is over, we head to the grocery store. H. and I typically do our big grocery trips on Saturdays. We buy apples, bananas, strawberries, cotton candy grapes (the best, you have to try them), steaks, chicken, almond milk, eggplant, cauliflower florets, sweet potatoes, ground beef, pickles, parmesan cheese, and Greek yogurt. H. and I split the cost. $65.89
1 p.m. — We get home from the grocery store and put all the groceries away. I call my best friend, B. and we reminisce about our recent girl's trip and talk about our plans to meet up over Thanksgiving. I make a big effort to keep in touch with my old friends because I live so far away. Like I said, I'm a social butterfly. My friends and family mean everything to me.
5:30 p.m. — I start getting ready because H. is taking me on a date tonight to my favorite restaurant. I love it when we spend quality time together. I touch up my makeup and get dressed in a comfortable dress with a jean jacket. We head out to make our dinner reservation on time. I order my favorite dish there, skirt steak with maple bourbon sweet potatoes. It's so good and I end up taking some home. H. pays ($76.54 with tip). After dinner, we go to the movies to see Hustlers. The movie reaffirms that J-Lo is truly ageless, but we both think the movie is just okay ($25 for movie tickets). I pay since H. paid for dinner. After the movie, I'm pretty wiped so we go home and get ready for bed. $25
Daily Total: $90.89

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I love Sundays! Mostly because I usually don't plan a whole lot and get a chance to relax at home with my dog. As much as I'm an extrovert, I still need my downtime. I make coffee in the Keurig and then make some scrambled eggs and bacon for H. and I. He is so thankful that I made breakfast. His love language is definitely acts of service!
10 a.m. — I lounge around the house for most of the morning. I put a load of laundry in the washing machine and watch old reruns of Friends in my PJs. I love Friends — I consider myself mostly a Monica with a little Rachel mixed in. When the washer buzzes, I move the clothes to the dryer and decide I should probably get out of my pajamas for the day.
1 p.m. — After getting dressed, I head out to my manicure appointment. I'm extremely loyal to my manicurist, as she's the only one who can make my nails actually last two weeks without chipping. I get the dip polish and today I pick a plummy purple. After all, fall is coming! My nails turn out great and I leave satisfied per usual. $45
2:30 p.m. — Home! H. has fallen asleep on the couch. The dog hears me come in and follows me into the bedroom to watch me put away the laundry. Yes, I'm the person who puts away the laundry the same day she does the wash. I told you I'm a Monica! Just as I'm finishing up, H. wakes from his nap. We cuddle and talk about what things we still need for the house. We debate whether to buy these items or wait to register for them for our wedding. We decide to wait for now. We spend the rest of the day hanging out at home, enjoying a quiet Sunday.
Daily Total: $45
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