A Week In Toledo, OH, On A $100,000 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.
This week an engineer working in Industrial Design who makes $100,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on farmers market carrots.
Occupation: Engineer
Industry: Industrial Design
Age: 27
Location: Toledo, OH
Salary: $80,000 + $5-$10,000 of overtime + $5-$10,000 bonus
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $1,700 after all the 401K, HSA, and all that
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $915 (I live alone in a one-bedroom converted warehouse apartment downtown)
Loans: $0 (I have been driving the same car since I was 16 (bought it used) and I paid off $40,000 in student loans in June!)
Renter's Insurance: $11
Car Insurance: $30
Water: $50
Electricity: $60
Netflix: $12.99 (everyone and their mom mooches)
Phone: $50 (venmo my parents)
Heath Insurance: $0 (My company covers the monthly cost for medical/dental/vision)
HSA: $117/paycheck (My company also contribute $500/year)
Savings: $500 (I have $5000 in an emergency fund and the rest I am saving in a high-interest savings account for a new car)
Roth IRA: $300 (I will use bonuses to max it out at the end of year)
Investments: $300 (This goes into a mutual fund that balances itself. I also contribute $50/month into stocks. I am failing at learning/understanding the stock market so this money is basically throw away.)
Internet: $60 (for internet that barely works)
401K: I use a Roth 401K through my company. I invest 12% and my company matches and an additional 3%.

Day One

7 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I snooze it until 7:45. At this point, I'm going to be late to work and I berate myself as I run around grabbing clothes and getting ready. I grab my bag, a bagel that's a little too stale at this point, and some leftover mushroom gnocchi in a vodka sauce for lunch. I'm out the door by 8:05 to start my 15-minute walk to work. I forgot a jacket and it is too cold to have forgotten a jacket.
10 a.m. — I have client meetings all morning and manage to stress eat half my lunch when my project manager and the client get very tense over my time onsite. My company is trying to be better about not sending me to client sites for extended periods of time, and I just got back from a two-day trip to the client's plant. They want me to come back next week and I really don't want to. I spent four months of the summer traveling for work and would like to not kill all the house plants I just bought.
2 p.m. — After more meetings, it is agreed I won't have to go back until next month! I eat the rest of my lunch and dive into the detailed design.
6 p.m. — I got lost in my design and now I am late leaving work! I swear I'm not normally this bad (I'm lying, I'm a trash panda, I'm always late). I run to my car and head to the suburbs to meet some friends for dinner. We try Bar 145 and their burgers do not disappoint! We also split an appetizer of porgies. I only moved to Toledo two and a half years ago (from the south — big change!) so they get to reminiscing to when they used to party at this bar in their early 20s. We agree to schedule a throwback girl night next week. I'm so blessed to have found such a great group of girls that have made this city home for me. $21.37
10 p.m. — My best friend who lives in Philly calls. She is the only friend I have maintained since childhood and we have stayed close through all the moves. She is killing it in healthcare after graduating from grad school and it's great to catch up. We talk for an hour before I shower and head to bed. I'm so tired I forget to put on all my Drunk Elephant stuff.
Daily Total: $21.37

Day Two

7 a.m. — I snooze my alarm until I'm late again. This makes almost a full month without wearing makeup during the week. I can't wear anything onsite in a plant and I keep getting up too late when I'm in the office. I love makeup, but not more than sleep, apparently. I grab a very stale bagel and the leftover carnitas I made Sunday with some lettuce for lunch. Out the door at 8:03, until I walk outside and realize it is raining. I head back in for my poncho and grumpily trudge to work.
12:00 p.m. — I eat my carnitas salad and wish I had brought hot sauce as I sit through more lunch meetings. I put myself on mute and try to chew quickly so I'm not caught with a full mouth.
7 p.m. — My boyfriend, Y., comes over after he gets out of class to hang out and eat dinner with me. I travel a lot for work and he is working full time and going to school at night, so it is hard to get time together. He graduates this year and I am hoping things will ease up then. I make us rosemary chicken and roasted root veggies. We fall asleep watching Criminal Minds. I wake up at 1 a.m. and move to the bed. He heads home because he has to be up early for work. I'm asleep long before he gets home.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7 a.m. — Surprise! I snooze my alarms until it is too late to put on makeup. The bagels are officially too stale to chew, so I will grab free fruit from work for lunch. I throw some makeup (Make Up Forever primer, BadGal mascara, Anastasia brow pencil, and a Bite lipstick) into my bag for a networking event tonight. There is no rain and I remember a coat, so I'm fully adulting this morning.
12 p.m. — A vendor comes in for a lunch and learn. This is an hour about various ribbon blenders. Riveting stuff, but actually pretty useful for the project I'm currently on. I need all the help I can get in convincing an old-school client to come into the 21st century.
5:30 p.m. — I realize I am out of dish detergent and razors. I walked to work and downtown Toledo is officially classified as a food desert (that means there are no grocery stores nearby) so I order them both through Amazon. They will be here tomorrow. $24.81
8 p.m. — My close friend lives above me in the same building, so I go up there to watch Friday Night Lights (I missed the boat when this show came out). She brings popcorn and I bring chips and salsa. Not a healthy dinner, but a fun one! It's good catching up and laughing with her. We grill out on our roof a lot in the summer together, but she coaches high school cheerleading in the fall and winter so has been busy lately. We agree to go on a double date a Redwings hockey game next week. She orders the tickets and I Venmo her for two tickets for Y. and me. I tumble down the stairs and into bed, happy and full of popcorn. $72
Daily Total: $96.81

Day Four

7 a.m. — I decide to embrace being late and stroll in with a chai tea latte. To defend myself, I am never really that late. My office has flexible hours and my boss is in a different office, so he doesn't care when we work as long as we have billable hours and answer the phone when he calls. I am the youngest and the only woman on 90% of the projects I am on, so I tend to represent all millennials and women for the team. My office is very conservative, so I try to stick to more a traditional schedule to be taken seriously by my coworkers. $5.35
1 p.m. — I had a terrible morning! I didn't realize that the door to a room in the plant was a custom roll-up door and now my equipment will not fit. I will have to redesign it or knock out a wall to get it installed. I get an almond chicken wrap and some apple slaw from Fowl and Fodder to cheer me up. It doesn't work. $17.41
7 p.m. — I get off work pretty late trying to fix my mistake. Y. stops by with Kroger sushi and listens to me curse out whoever decided to install a custom door in the 1970s for an hour. He makes me laugh and feel better, but I would not recommend Kroger sushi. We talk about a future together and it scares me. We've been together for two years and I do love him, but he is a born and raised Ohio boy, and I want to get back to the south where my whole family is someday. My parents and I are very close (I talk to my mom almost every day) and I haven't lived within four hours since I was 18. I have always put my career first, but I can't imagine never moving back to the south. Taking the next step with Y. will solidify that I will be in Ohio long term. I take a long shower and wish I had a bathtub to drown today in.
Daily Total: $22.76

Day Five

7 a.m. — I wake up early and ready to take on the day. I was hard on myself yesterday and I am determined to do the best job I can at work today and then leave it behind and enjoy the weekend. I enjoy the walk to work and eat free once I get there.
12 p.m.— Lunch is a frozen chicken tikka from Trader Joe's (there is no TJ's around here, but I drove 45 minutes to Ann Arbor last weekend and swung by on the way home). One of my old clients calls and asks me to help him quote a new spiral freezer. I'm not in sales, but I pass him off to my manager and I'm pretty happy about it. It is great that they trust me enough to call me directly. I struggle with a lot of impostor syndrome, but I am finally setting into my career and gaining confidence in my abilities.
5 p.m. — It's is the weekend! Y. and I go to his parents' house for dinner. We have beef tenderloin and potatoes — very Midwestern. Y.'s parents really like me, which I love. He took longer than most people to get his life together and they think I am partly responsible for him recently getting on track. I think he chose to get his life on track because he realized everyone around him was moving on in their life, so now he is working twice as hard to catch up. I am just excited for him to graduate and have more time and money. I love to travel and I want him to come with me more. He heads out to meet up with his friends, and I head home to get ready for my night out.
9 p.m. — Because I live downtown, everyone comes to my house before we go out. I always have alcohol for everyone to pregame with. We get ready together (Make Up Forever primer, Giorgio Armani luxurious silk foundation, Naked palette, fake lashes, Tarte contour (you need the Nars Ita brush in your life), and Becca highlighter) We head over to the Tin Can and bar hop all night. I buy a round of drinks or two. Things get fuzzy. I must have gotten pizza on the drunk walk home. $62.62
Daily Total: $62.62

Day Six

7 a.m. — I wake up on my couch in a pile of pizza crust with my friend, M., on the other side. I zombie crawl through my trashed apartment for water and Advil before falling asleep on the couch again. I regret everything.
10:30 a.m. — I wake up again and still feel like dying. M. is awake and playing videos on her phone at a level that pierces into my skull. She helps me clean up before heading home. I shower and meet a different friend who lives across the street to walk to the Toledo Farmers Market. The growing season has passed, so the market is a lot smaller now, but there are still plenty of people. I buy local eggs, a croissant to help my hangover, some carrots that still look good, and an everything bread loaf from the local baker. I feel more alive after the croissant. $25
3:30 p.m. — I walk to Frickers, a local sports bar, to watch the Clemson game. I invite everyone I can think of, but the Ohio State game is at the same time so I'm fighting a losing battle. To my surprise, L., a friend who lives down the block, shows up. I haven't seen much of him since he got his latest girlfriend. It's nice to have someone to watch the game with and to catch up on his life. I nurse a drink and a small order of chicken chunks, so I leave the bartender a major tip and pay in cash. $25
7 p.m. — I meet up with the same group from Friday night to go to the Walleye hockey game! They are a local hockey team with a large following and the stadium is walking distance from my apartment, so we all meet there and walk over. My friend's ex is sitting near us — what terrible luck. We spend most of the game distracting her from what we promise her is his cousin, not a new girl. I buy her a drink because she needs it. $13.31
10 p.m. — Everyone is ready to head downtown again, but I am struggling. I am learning how to use the word no. When I first moved here, I said yes to everything in an effort to make friends. It was so much fun, but I was always exhausted from running from thing to thing. Plus, I was blowing my budget every month. Drunk me loves to pay for everything. I politely decline and head home to get ready for bed. I'm proud of myself for not overdoing it.
Daily Total: $63.31

Day Seven

10:30 a.m. — Y. picks me up for brunch at a local diner. It's our favorite place and he pays! I got eggs and bacon with a potato hash and am stuffed.
12 p.m. — We go back to my house to study. He is studying for a test in his accounting class and I am studying for my state boards. I test to become a Professional Engineer soon and am really stressed about it. It comes with a huge bonus and the ability to sign my own drawings and designs.
6 p.m. — We come up for air and realize we are starving. I'm out of groceries so he drives us to Meijer to pick up groceries for the week. I'm terrible at budgeting at grocery stores. I buy chicken, lamb, ground turkey, potatoes, deli turkey, tomato, lettuce, tortillas, cilantro, pineapple, asparagus, onions, garlic, trash bags, and I stock up on my spices that are running low. We grab frozen pizza for tonight because I'm too lazy to cook everything I just bought. $127.26
8 p.m. — We eat the pizza and I run a load of laundry. I convince Y. to sleep over because I sleep better when he is around. I call my mom and catch up while Y. is in the shower. I miss her and she is planning to come visit soon, which is huge because she hates planes. I remember all of my serums and I convince Y. to try a pore strip. He is amazed. I will make a skincare freak out of him! I curl up in bed around him and it feels like home.
Daily Total: $127.26
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