A Week In The Suburbs Of Boston, MA On A $132,000 Joint 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 events coordinator who makes $67,000 and spends some of her money this week on a Cadbury Creme Egg.
Editor's Note: Today's entry was pulled from the Money Diary archives and was written before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.
Refinery29 will be taking a Day of Pause tomorrow as we adjust to this new reality. There will be no Money Diary on Friday, but we will be back on Saturday.
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Occupation: Events Coordinator
Industry: Environmental Services
Age: 28
Location: Boston Suburbs, MA
Salary: $67,000
Husband (K.'s) Salary: $65,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,840.31
K.'s Paycheck (1x/month): $2,700 + a commission check that varies each month
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,000 (It's actually $1,864.67, but we pay $2,000 monthly and put the extra toward to principal)
Loans: $0 (K. and I were lucky to have parents/grandparents that paid for college and own our cars)
Life Insurance: $131.10
Electricity: $50-$120
Oil: $250/tank fill (they typically fill the tank every two and a half months over the winter)
Dental Insurance for K. and Me: $11.92 (taken out of my paycheck pre-tax)
Health Insurance for K. and Me: $231.33 (taken out of my paycheck pretax)
Vision Insurance: $3.68 (taken out of my paycheck pre-tax)
Internet: $94.95
Unlimited Barre Membership: $169
Pet Insurance: $54.92
Audible: $14.95
Disney +: $6.99
Hulu: $11.99
NY Times: $4
Patreon: $10
HSA: $43.48 (taken out of my paycheck pre-tax)
401(k): $170.67 (taken out of my paycheck pre-tax, current total is around $6,000)
IRA: I maximize my yearly contribution. Current total is $12,000.
Short-Term Savings Account: $50,000
Brokerage Account: Typically between $600-1,000 per month, current total is $25,000.

Day One

5:05 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I lament once again that I don't have a long weekend this week and get up to get ready for work. I grab navy blue pants, a green tank top, and a navy sweater. I put on basic makeup for the day (Smashbox BB cream, Becca blush, eyeshadow from the Naked2 palette, Marc Jacobs eyeliner, and Sephora LashCraft Big Volume mascara). I start my car so that it warms up while I finish getting ready (I got an automatic car starter for Christmas and it's easily the greatest gift ever), feed the dog, fill her water bowl, and take her out. I kiss my husband (K.) goodbye and head to work. I just let the dog out quickly in the morning and K. takes her for a walk before heading to work.
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6:20 a.m. — Ugh, none of my podcasts released a new episode this morning because of the holiday so I'm stuck with the radio for my drive to work. K. and I were out of town last weekend so haven't hit the grocery store yet. I stop by Starbucks to get an almond milk latte and spinach and feta wrap ($9.52 from my preloaded Starbucks card).
6:30 a.m. — Get into the office and start working for the day. I get to work at 6:30 every day so that I can leave the office at 3:30. It may sound crazy, but these hours shave at least 30 minutes off my commute each way.
11:45 a.m. — Didn't have food at home to pack for lunch so I order a sandwich and seltzer water from a local shop through GrubHub ($19.69). $19.69
1:30 p.m. — I get a call from a job that I interviewed at two weeks ago and they extend me an offer! The base salary is a 20% raise from my current position. I thank them for the offer and ask for time to review the offer/benefits that they are going to email me. I've been unhappy at my current company for a while so I am excited about the offer but definitely want to make sure I take the time to review everything before accepting. I immediately text K. to tell him the good news.
3 p.m. — K. went to the grocery store to get some food for the week. He got yogurt, apples, bananas, coffee beans, kale, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, spinach, garlic, eggs, sharp cheddar, and a frozen pizza. $52.92
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3:30 p.m. — Done for the day! Leave work and head to a dentist appointment I have this afternoon. I grind my teeth at night and ground through my old night guard. I got measured for a new one a few weeks ago and now have to pick it up. I call my dad on the drive to talk about the job offer and get his advice.
4:45 p.m. — Done at the dentist! Of course insurance doesn't pay for my night guard (because apparently paying for a cracked tooth after years of grinding is better?) so I have to pay out of pocket. I cover the cost but get an itemized receipt so that I can reimburse myself through our HSA ($695). I listen to more of Over the Top on Audible on my drive home. My gas light comes on while I driving home so I stop for gas ($30.67). $30.67
5:30 p.m. — I get home, kiss K., and play with the dog for a while. Then I take a body shower while K. warms up the frozen pizza for dinner. I feed the dog and fill her water bowl, then pour myself a glass of wine and we settle down to watch Better Call Saul.
10 p.m. — We finish season 4 of Better Call Saul. I get ready for bed, washing my face with Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser and take the dog out. We get into bed and I read for about 30 minutes before going to sleep. I am currently reading Where The Crawdads Sing and enjoying it so far.
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Daily Total: $103.28

Day Two

5:05 a.m. — Nope.
5:50 a.m. — Shit. I meant to snooze my alarm and accidentally turned it off. I rush to get ready and throw on clothes (black pants and a black polka dot sweater). K. says he will take care of the dog this morning. I grab the lunch I packed last night, a plain yogurt, and my makeup bag, and race out the door by 6:05. I listen to What A Day and The Daily on my commute.
6:30 a.m. — I get to work right on time. I go to the office bathroom to quickly throw on my usual makeup and then make a cup of coffee for the morning. I settle down at my desk and eat my yogurt while starting work for the day. I remember that I have granola in my desk so I add some to my yogurt.
9 a.m. — Done with the few meetings I had this morning. Grab more coffee on the way back to my desk.
11:30 a.m. — I call the company that gave me the job offer to negotiate a few things. They agree to provide me with stock options on top of my salary. The commute for the new job would be an hour each way, but they also agree to allow me to work from home three days a week. I ask if I can give them an answer by the end of the week and they agree. Feeling good about my negotiating, I warm up the soup that I brought for lunch and eat at my desk.
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3:30 p.m. — Pack up and head out from work. Listen to more of Over The Top on my drive. Once home, I take the dog for a walk and change for my barre class.
6 p.m. — Home from barre. I take a quick body shower then ask K. what he wants for dinner. K. had a late lunch at work so he isn't hungry. I'm feeling lazy and am not in the mood to cook so I just boil some pasta and throw pesto on it. We watch The Bachelor while I eat. K. likes to pretend that he doesn't like the show but will also suggest it before I do every Tuesday.
8:30 p.m. — After The Bachelor we start the first episode of the new season of Narcos: Mexico, but I'm exhausted and end of falling asleep halfway through.
9:15 p.m. — Bedtime routine and take the dog out then we head to bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

5:05 a.m. — Alarm goes off and I'm up and getting ready for work. I throw on navy tights, a striped navy dress, and a navy sweater. I put on some makeup and head upstairs. I turn my car on while I pack breakfast (apple, greek yogurt, chia seeds, peanut butter, honey) and feed/water the dog. I take the dog out then head to work. I listen to What A Day and The Daily on my commute again.
6:30 a.m. — I get to work and make a cup of coffee. I eat breakfast while I start working for the day.
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11:15 a.m. — I don't have lunch and want to go to a nearby Mediterranean place to get a salad. Parking is a nightmare near this place so I head out early to grab my salad. I get a greek salad with chicken ($10.16). I head back to work and eat at my desk while reading a Money Diary and listening to Keep It. $10.16
1 p.m. — This day is dragging. I make more coffee from the office kitchen to get through this afternoon.
3:30 p.m. — Done for the day! I finish Over The Top on my drive home. Once home, I take the dog for a walk and change/head to barre.
6 p.m. — Home from barre. I walk into the kitchen and see that K.'s cooking dinner. He's making baked chicken thighs, potatoes and carrots, and spinach. I take a shower while he finishes cooking. I typically cold brew coffee so I set some up to brew for the next day.
7 p.m. — I pour us each a glass of wine and we sit down to eat. After eating, we watch an episode of Narcos: Mexico. I eat a small bowl of Jeni's ice cream while we watch. We start a second episode, but I can tell I'm going to fall asleep about halfway through.
9 p.m. — Bedtime routine then I take the dog out and head to bed. K.'s not tired yet so he stays up for a while. I fall asleep immediately.
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Daily Total: $10.16

Day Four

12 a.m. — The dog is having a pup-mare and is loud enough that she wakes me up. K. comes to bed while I'm trying to fall back asleep.
5:05 a.m. — Time for another day! I grab black tights, a blue and black striped dress, and a black cardigan and go get ready for work. Again, I turn my car on while I pack breakfast (apple, greek yogurt, chia seeds, peanut butter, honey) and feed/water the dog. I take the dog out then head to work. I listen to What A Day and The Daily on my commute again.
6:30 a.m. — I get to the office and make a cup of coffee then eat breakfast and get to work. It's going to be a busy morning because I'm taking a half-day today. I have another job interview this afternoon. I don't want to make a final decision on the offer I have until after this interview so that I have all of the data.
8:30 a.m. — More coffee. We have a webinar this morning so I'm making sure any last-minute details are all set and talking with the speakers to make sure they are prepared.
12 p.m. — Done with the webinar! I have more coffee while finishing up work for the day.
12:30 p.m. — I pack up and head to my interview. I listen to this week's episode of Hysteria on the drive over.
1:10 p.m. — I get to the job interview a little too early to head in so I eat a granola bar in my car while I wait. I head in 10 minutes before my interview.
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4:30 p.m. — Done! I enjoyed meeting the team but had a few red flags come up when I asked about the company culture. I'm now set in my decision to accept my job offer from the other company! I drive home while listening to this week's The Bechdel Cast. They're covering Center Stage this week so I'm really excited for this episode!
5:30 p.m. — I rush in and take the dog for a walk. K. and I then change into jeans quickly and get ready to head out. We're meeting up with friends to go to the Banff Film Festival World Tour tonight. As we're leaving, K. notices that there is some kind of car fluid on the driveway where I usually park and suspects that something might be leaking... fun. I need an oil change anyway, so I'll call the mechanic in the morning to set up an appointment.
6 p.m. — We get to the area where the theater is and find parking on the street. I pay the meter ($2.80) and we meet up with friends at a pizza place next to the theater. K. and I split a pizza with mushrooms, sausage, ricotta, and a balsamic vinegar. K. also gets himself a bag of chips ($13.91). $16.71
7 p.m. — We stop at CVS to get candy on our way to the theater. K. and I get Milanos, Sour Patch Watermelons, a Cadbury Cream Egg, and a seltzer. We then head to the theater to find seats. My friend bought the tickets a month ago, and we all Venmoed her when she bought them. $18.08
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10:30 p.m. — Festival is over! We say bye to everyone and head home.
11 p.m. — Take the dog out, bedtime routine, and then quickly fall asleep.
Daily Total: $34.79

Day Five

5:05 a.m. — It's finally Friday! I grab a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt and get ready for the day. I turn my car on but don't have to make breakfast this morning because we have bagels in the office on Friday. I feed and water the dog, let her out, and then hit the road.
6:20 a.m. — I'm early and want better coffee then the free coffee at work. I stop at Starbucks for an almond milk latte. I have enough reward stars on my card so this drink is free!
6:30 a.m. — I grab a bagel when I get into the office and start working on the follow up from yesterday's webinar. One of the perks of coming into work so early is that I have my pick of bagel flavors and we haven't run out of cream cheese yet (we go through this every week, I cannot for the life of me explain why we don't start ordering more cream cheese so that we don't run out).
9 a.m. — I send my signed offer acceptance over to the company and am really excited about this new position! Despite my excitement, I am also dreading telling my manager during our weekly check-in today. I am definitely ready to move on from the company but I do like my coworkers.
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11 a.m. — Back to my desk after my check-in with my manager. She is definitely sad that I'm leaving but said she understands. Now that the hard part is behind me, I'm officially really excited. I snack on leftover Sour Patch Watermelons that are still in my purse while I keep working.
12:30 p.m. — I grab the sad salad that I packed for lunch and eat at my desk. While I eat, I submit my HSA reimbursement from my dentist appointment earlier this week. I also get a notification that my challenge to a parking ticket I received a few weeks ago was declined (ugh). I street parked during my last book club meeting and paid the meter through when meters turn off for the night. Apparently the street changes to resident parking only after meters turn off even though there were NO signs indicating that. I bite the bullet and pay the ticket ($82.20). My new audible credit also charged this morning (listed in my monthly expenses), so I buy Disappearing Earth, which is the next book for book club. $82.20
3:30 p.m. — Done for the day! I start Disappearing Earth on my drive home. I pop home to take the dog for a walk then change and head to barre.
6 p.m. — Home from barre. K. and I chat for a while and decide to go to our favorite restaurant for dinner tonight to celebrate my new job.
8 p.m. — We split the octopus appetizer. K. eats a salad and gets an old fashioned. I get the bolognese and a glass of prosecco. I only eat about 1/4 of my meal and pack the rest to take home ($82.90 with tip). $82.90
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8:30 p.m. — It's my old college roommate's birthday and he's having people over to celebrate. K. decides to stay home because the dog is sad when we both start to get our jackets (this happens a lot on weekends, she's a master at pulling on heartstrings) so I head out on my own. I'm tired so don't plan on staying late, but I do want to see my old roommate.
Daily Total: $165.10

Day Six

12 a.m. — Oops so much for not staying late. I finally head home from the party.
12:30 a.m. — Home. I do my usual nighttime routine and take the dog out then crash into bed.
7 a.m. — Why can't either of us sleep in? I'm going to a later barre class than usual this morning so don't have to get up immediately. We hang out in bed.
7:45 a.m. — Get up, get dressed, and head to my 8:15 barre class.
9:30 a.m. — After barre, I meet up with friends for brunch. It's been a few months since the last time we caught up so I'm excited to see them! I order iced coffee and an eggs benedict with guacamole and bacon. We split the check three ways at the end of brunch. $18.66
12 p.m. — Home from brunch. I shower then tackle the mountain of laundry that's accumulated. I also clean the house while the laundry is going. K. is outside cleaning up the yard. I see that he went to the hardware store at some point this morning ($9.55). $9.55
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2 p.m. — It's nice out so I take the dog for a hike. We walk over to the woods near our house and I let her run off-leash.
4 p.m. — K. and his brother are going to hang out with some friends tonight. K.'s brother comes over and we chat for a while before they head out. I then settle in for a night of relaxing with the dog (my favorite kind of night). I also finally filter the coffee I set up a few days ago.
7 p.m. — I feed the dog and heat up my leftover bolognese. I see that K. paid for his dinner while out ($30.24 with tip). I watch the latest two episodes of This Is Us while I eat and cry my eyes out (typical). After I eat, I work on the penguin sack that I'm knitting for K.'s pregnant cousin. $30.24
9:30 p.m. — I'm exhausted. I do my usual nighttime routine, take the dog out, and head to bed.
Daily Total: $58.45

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — Wake up and get ready for barre.
7:50 a.m. — First barre class is done. I usually double on Sundays because it makes me feel good heading into the week. I brought coffee and a granola bar from home for between classes so I snack while I wait for the next class.
9:15 a.m. — Home from barre! K.'s not feeling great so he's still relaxing in bed. The dog is still tired from our hike yesterday so she's content lying in bed as well. I shower and put away some laundry from yesterday.
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10 a.m. — I ask K. if he's hungry and he says he isn't. I make myself two eggs, two slices of Canadian bacon, toast, and cheese. The dog hasn't eaten her breakfast yet and stares at me with her cute/manipulative eyes so I put some shredded cheese on her breakfast as well. She eats as soon as she gets what she wants. K. gets out of bed and asks if I'm down for a lazy day. I 100% am.
10:30 a.m. — K.'s cousin's baby shower is in two weeks and we still need to order a gift. I find their registry and order them bottles, a pacifier, and a few onesies ($50.69). I also order early introduction peanut, tree nut, and egg powders to help them prevent food allergies. I have some green yarn in my Amazon cart that I order as well. My sister is also pregnant and I am going to make her kid a Yoda hat after I finish the penguin. We received a lot of Amazon gift cards when we got married three months ago and are still working our way through those. We use some of our gift card balance to pay for this order ($118.73, in gift cards). $50.69
4:30 p.m. — We've watched a lot of Narcos: Mexico and are almost done with the season. We're getting hungry but neither of us feels like cooking so we order Thai food. Our usual place isn't open (how dare they) so we decide to try a new place. I get two orders of chicken pad thai and an order of scallion pancakes. $40.26
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7 p.m. — I feed the dog and take her out.
9 p.m. — We finish Narcos: Mexico. Usual night time routine, take the dog out then head to bed.
Daily Total: $90.95
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