A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $214,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Today: an engineer who makes $214,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Justin's Honey Peanut Butter.
Occupation: Engineer
Industry: Tech
Age: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $214,000 (Base Salary: 1$28,000, Cash Bonus: $16,000, Stock Bonus: $70,000)
Net Worth: $200,000 in stocks and investments, $89,000 in a 401(k), $32,000 in an IRA, $8,000 in a HYSA, a car worth $9,000, and a bike worth $2,000
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $3,452
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,450 (I live in a four-bedroom apartment with three housemates (G., S., and U.). We all pay equally. When shelter in place/work from home started, S.'s girlfriend, J., came to stay with us)
Debt/Loans: $0 (I bought my car with cash. My bachelor's degree cost about ~$100,000, which I split equally with my mom and dad. I paid off my third within a couple of months thanks to generous starting and relocation bonuses.)
Climbing Gym: $87 (continuing to pay even though they are closed)
NYTimes: $15
Phone: $0 (paid by work)
Spotify: $0 (My mom pays for a family plan)
Dental, Health, and Car Insurance: $0 (On my dad's family plan)
Utilities: $75
Pre-Tax 401(k) Contribution: $1,500
After-Tax 401(k) Contribution:
$1,968 (I do a back door rollover into my Roth IRA every quarter)
Company Stock Purchase Plan: $984 (I can buy our stock at 25% off, up to 10% of my paycheck.)

Day One

8:30 a.m. — I wake up and my stomach isn't feeling great. Probably because of all the wine and homemade snickers bars I had last night playing card games with my housemates. Or it could just be that sometimes my stomach feels bad in the morning. I make tea and get on my first call of the day.
11 a.m. — I eat a banana, almond butter, and some TJ's granola. Now that I spend all day within 15 feet of the kitchen, any semblance of a normal eating schedule has gone totally out the window.
12:30 p.m. — I have a break in meetings and do half an hour of yoga. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but yoga seemed like a nice new thing to try while I have more time. At the end, I'm slightly closer to touching my toes and feeling way better than I did this morning.
3 p.m. — I head out for an hour-long run. There are fewer people on the trails at odd hours, so I don't feel as bad not wearing a mask. When I get back, I rinse off and make some copycat Annie's Goddess Tahini dressing. I eat a "salad" that is actually just a bowl full of arugula. I also eat a bowl of Ben and Jerry's and two frozen toffee cookie dough balls. They never stood a chance of becoming real cookies.
8 p.m. — I'm done with work and most of my housemates are done cooking in the kitchen. I start on my project for tonight. I've been saving wine bottles with pretty labels to upcycle into candles. At first, I tried to score and thermally shock the bottles, but I only ever succeed in making shanks. Now I just peel off the labels and stick them onto glass jars. Close enough. I only have enough wax left to make two candles. I reheat some leftovers and join my housemates who are watching Free Solo on Disney+. I order another 10-pound bag of candle wax ($27.25 with shipping). $27.25
10:30 p.m. — I do a bedtime meditation and rub my Curology prescription on my face. And there you have the extent of my quarantine beauty routine.
Daily Total: $27.25

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I wake up at a more normal time today. I rarely use an alarm (even before shelter in place) and am very committed to getting eight hours of sleep every night. Sleep is so so so important for your health. I pull on the same leggings and sweatshirt I wore yesterday (new undies though!) and make a chai latte. U. and I unload the dishwasher — it didn't go well last night. I clean the filter and we load the dishes that are still dirty back in. I take my latte back to my bedroom/office and start on emails.
10:30 a.m. — I put on a mask and head to the corner store to get bananas. Bananas are a shared house item, so I Splitwise the cost. I eat a couple bites of banana and put the rest in a smoothie with soy milk, coconut milk, greek yogurt, protein powder, and some frozen peaches for later. $1.63
11:30 a.m. — I change and go on a bike ride. SF has closed a bunch of roads to cars to make distancing easier. It's drizzling today and not many people are out. When I get back, I have just enough time to rinse off and grab my smoothie before a 1 p.m. review.
4 p.m. — I eat another bowl of arugula with tahini dressing, pour a glass of kombucha, and make some popcorn with butter and nutritional yeast. I eat the popcorn with chopsticks and keep working.
8 p.m. — Done with work! Especially since no one is in the office here in CA, we are relying a lot on our teams in China, so I tend to work later to interface with them. It makes me kind of uncomfortable — my company has been following different local/international guidelines, which means the policies are different based on where you are located. I feel like my co-workers in China are expected to put themselves at risk just because it's technically okay in China, even though I don't think it's much safer than here. I reheat some leftovers (homemade whole wheat pasta with squash, tomatoes, and turkey meatballs in spring pea alfredo sauce). I have some Talenti strawberry sorbet for dessert. It's my turn to deep clean the bathrooms in our apartment this month. I put on some old paint-splattered PJ's from the back of my closet and get to it.
9:30 p.m. — J. is baking zucchini muffins and saves me a muffin-sized amount of batter. We all eat muffins and discuss if SF should municipalize the cities power infrastructure. This month, my goal is to close my Apple Watch move ring every day. I still have a tenth of my ring to go, so I do some hang-boarding before meditation and bed.
Daily Total: $1.63

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — I scroll through social media and the NYTimes for at least an hour. It's another rainy day and I love my bed. Once I start getting work texts, I get up and make a chai latte.
12 p.m. — After an intense morning, I reheat the last of my pasta and meatballs. Reformation is having a sale. Tempting. I add two dresses, jeans, and a top to my cart before quitting out of the browser. I don't need any more fussy dresses and at this point who knows? Maybe I will never have to wear jeans again.
12:45 p.m. — It's not currently raining, so I take a bike ride. When I get back, I brush out my hair with my trusty tangle teaser to get ready for a shower. I have a lot of hair, and showering is a process. In addition to Function of Beauty shampoo and conditioner, I use one of those silicone spike-y scalp brush things, a wide-tooth comb, and a vibrating silicone face cleanser. Clearly I'm easily convinced by Instagram ads. It's time for a new outfit — sweatpants and a Madewell cashmere sweatshirt.
2:30 p.m. — I sit down for a meeting with my manager — microfiber towel still wrapped around my head. We discuss the timeline for me returning to the office. Looks like I'll be going in part-time starting in about a month, and he explains the process for getting me designated as a "business-critical" employee who can access our lab. To be clear, I am definitely not an "essential" worker in terms of keeping our country running. After the call, I eat a bowl of arugula (with Brianna's poppyseed dressing this time), a banana, some PB, and cookie dough. I'm running low, so I order another 28-ounce Justin's Honey PB jar on Amazon ($7.99). S. texts our chat that he's doing a TJ's run, so I have him pick up some soy milk for me ($9.25 for milk and my share of other communal items). $17.24
5 p.m. — My next hour of meetings is audio only, so I put on a mask and go for a walk.
7 p.m. — I pack up a weekend bag, some food, and drive to my boyfriend's (A.) place for the weekend, stopping by my dad's on the way. I sit outside while my dad sits in the garage and we catch up while my youngest stepbrother runs around outside. My dad is increasingly worried about his aging parents who don't really seem to grasp social distancing. We call them for a bit on speakerphone to check-in. My stepmom brings out a homemade rhubarb cobbler and a Costco pack of TP for me (hallelujah!).
9:30 p.m. — I arrive at A.'s house. He has three housemates and they are watching Knives Out. We decided after talking with all our housemates back in March that we would keep visiting each other during shelter in place. I've already seen the movie, so I retreat to A.'s bedroom and check in with our China team.
Daily Total: $17.24

Day Four

7:30 a.m. — I'm up, but A. is still sleeping. He has refused to shave his face since the start of SIP. It looks bad, but the way the mustache feels is worse. I still think he's cute and will support his facial hair goals. I put on a mask and walk to the market by A.'s house while it is still early. I get spinach, chicken, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, butter, avocados, and a cucumber. $32.65
11:30 a.m. — I ordered a swimsuit from Aerie a month ago. It shipped, but haven't seen any USPS updates in two weeks. I know everything is slow, but I feel like something went wrong and this package is lost forever. My size is now sold out in the rust color I wanted, but there are still a couple left in black. I order it — if the original eventually shows up, I will return it. It's not like I'm gonna be going to the beach anytime soon anyway. I email customer service and set a reminder to call next week if I don't hear anything about a refund. I have, throughout the course of the morning, eaten things including (but probably not limited to) a banana, herbal tea, Quaker oat cereal, and nachos. $39.03
1:30 p.m. — After an hour of unproductive discussion about the exact wording and formatting of some slides, I'm cranky. I take a walk around the block to calm down and help A.'s housemate with a puzzle for a bit. I don't have to finish updating the slides until next week, but I don't enjoy making slides and want it to be done.
2:30 p.m. — Done with slides. A. makes some lemon and white wine chicken for our lunch. My team has a new policy where we get half a day off per week because working from home is challenging. I'm loving working from home, but I know some of my co-workers (especially those with kids) are having a rough time. I'm absolutely still taking my free half-day, though. I hang up the hammock in the backyard and get my kindle. I'm re-reading Dune (inspired by Timothee Chalamet's posts about the new movie on Instagram).
4:30 p.m. — A. is done with work, so we drive to our favorite park for a hike. We hike for a couple of hours until the sun starts to set and the wind picks up.
7:30 p.m. — A. wants ice cream. I offer to drive to the store because I need to fill up on gas, which I do while he shops. A. ends up getting no less than three kinds of ice cream as well as various other groceries. When we get back home we sample all the ice cream flavors, pour some wine, and reheat some beans and rice. $48.19
9:30 p.m. — We light a candle and snuggle in bed to read.
Daily Total: $119.87

Day Five

9 a.m. — A couple of our friends bike over and we catch up with them in the yard. They brought us some tomato seedlings! I have a mango, some Mini-Wheats, and soy milk with honey.
11 a.m. — A. has gotten good at baking sourdough bread during SIP. Today's loaf is ready for scoring — I opt for a smiley face and we put it in the oven. We bought a 50-pound bag of flour at the start of the pandemic and have no regrets.
2 p.m. — After doing some kitchen cleaning and eating fresh bread with butter, we drive up to the hills for a bike ride. During the ride, I eat a cliff bar with a packet of Justin's PB.
7 p.m. — We are back and are hungry. I more than doubled my move goal on the bike ride alone. I snack on some chips and salsa while we start cooking lentils and spinach for dinner. Once the lentils are simmering, I take a shower.
8:30 p.m. — I start making brown butter toffee cookie dough. A. reminds me that we can't bake anything tonight because the cleaning paste needs to sit in the oven overnight. I, of course, knew this, but feign surprise. I eat cookie dough for dessert with a glass of wine while we watch Blindspotting.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

9:30 a.m. — After a lazy morning in bed, I make some tea before a FaceTime chat with a group of friends. I put on a sundress and my Rothy's and head into the backyard. Several of my friends went home for SIP so we are all scattered around the country, but everyone is adapting to the changes and holding up well.
11 a.m. — A. and I go for a casual bike ride around the neighborhood. All the roses are blooming and it smells divine. I have a bowl of arugula with real Annie's goddess dressing and some sourdough.
12:30 p.m. — A. works on his motorcycle and does some maintenance on my bike while I make scones. I make one batch of strawberry mint (I've been really into fresh mint lately) and one batch of Arizmendi copycat cherry and corn scones (sounds like a strange combo but they are amazing). I bake a couple and freeze the rest. We split one of each kind of scone. I feel conflicted that A. was doing handy work while I baked since it is such stereotypical gender roles. Should I have been helping him? A. points out that feeling pressure to conform to anti-gender roles is not far from feeling pressure to conform to stereotypical gender roles, and that we should just do what we want. Today, I wanted to bake and he wanted to work in the garage.
3 p.m. — I fry up sausage and some bell peppers before heading into the backyard to plant the tomato seedlings. A. makes Bloody Marys and we both read outside for a bit.
5 p.m. — The Bloody Mary was strong, and it's about all I can do is continue reading for the next hour or so. Then A. and I make tacos.
7:30 p.m. — We do an hour-long yoga session and I'm pretty tempted just to fall asleep after. My legs feel like noodles. I still have work to do on my move ring though, so I go out for a walk.

9:30 p.m. — We watch a couple episodes of Midnight Gospel with the house before bed (free through a housemate's Netflix).

Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — Breakfast today is yogurt, an amazing mango, granola, and emails.
11:30 a.m. — A. makes some very fluffy blueberry buttermilk pancakes. After we eat, he needs to go to his office to pick up some things from a coworker so we bike over together. It's pretty wild biking through all the totally deserted office parks. On the way back, we stop at Lowe's and A. picks up a hummingbird feeder.
3 p.m. — I take a break from work to FaceTime my mom and oldest brother. He's in college and decided to stay in his apartment until his semester lease ended, so he just got back home. My mom got the virus but recovered without needing to go to the hospital. She is doing great, but my brother is a bit lost. His summer internship was canceled and it seems really unlikely that he will find another job in the current environment. We discuss him traveling to Montana to help our grandparents out, but the logistics of quarantining him first need some more work. I eat a banana with PB, arugula, and cookie dough after the call.
6 p.m. — We pack up my car to head back to my place. As soon as I back out of the driveway, one of the rear tires pops. Ugh. We decide this is a future problem and move everything to A.'s car. Now that his motorcycle is running again, it's no problem for me to keep his car for the week. He will bike back down to his house at some point.
7:30 p.m. — Done with my last meeting of the day! Every Monday, we rotate one person orchestrating dinner for our house. It is G.'s turn and he is making Korean pork lettuce wraps with a refreshing soju melon cocktail. We all help with the final dinner preparation and sit down to build our wraps.
8:30 p.m. — On to dessert! We make mochi balls with red bean filling and play some rounds of Code Names while we eat the mochi with ice cream.
10 p.m. — Everyone pitches in to help clean up before heading to bed.
Daily Total: $0
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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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.

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