Today: A woman who believes actions express priorities.
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
5:30 a.m. — It’s Friday, and I wake up for my 6 a.m. yoga class. I purchased a $30 unlimited month of classes on Groupon for a local yoga studio called NuPower, which offers heated, sculpt, and regular yoga classes. This morning I tried the sculpt yoga class, and I leave feeling refreshed, despite the early wake up call.
I don’t have to be at work until 9:30 a.m., so I use the extra time to make a tasty sweet potato hash for breakfast. I add one sweet potato, one regular potato, one Russet potato, and chorizo from Sam’s Club.
Part of my morning routine also involves vitamins. I take a lot of vitamins (at least according to my boyfriend and friends), but my stomach is incredibly sensitive to preservatives so I can only tolerate certain brands. So far, Garden Of Life has worked really well for me, and I take their multivitamin, iron, and calcium supplements.
I recently took a religious trip to India and our tour guide told my family your allergies go away if you eat basil every day for two years. So now I take these holy basil supplements in pure hope that someday I will be allergy free!
The multivitamin costs $22.50, the iron supplement costs $10.20, the calcium costs $18.30, basil costs $27.95, and the Ashwagandha costs $19.99.
3 p.m. — An afternoon slump hits me and I feel like snacking. Typically, I eat an apple with almond butter, but decided against that today as I’m going to have a large dinner with friends. So I opt for some ginger tea with collagen peptides from Vital Proteins. The collagen isn’t essential for me, but it’s very hard for me to find a protein powder that won’t cause my allergies to flare, so this works great for me. It costs $24.99, and the tea costs $3.
7 p.m. — I head to dinner with my friends, and honestly, this is the best for my mental health. My love language is quality time with people I adore, and I love this three hour dinner. We talk about everything from future kid’s names to money market accounts. My boyfriend pays for dinner, so it’s free for me.
11 p.m. — I would rate the importance of my nighttime routine a 15 out of 10. I don’t go to sleep unless it’s complete, and the most important part of this routine is journaling. Each night, I write down three things that I’m grateful for. On tough days, they range from “a warm bed” to “access to feminine products.” On better days, they range from “a meaningful conversation” to “feeling valued.” Nothing is too big or too small for my gratitude journal. After ample journal time, I pick up my Bible, read a guided devotional, and say my prayers. My journal cost me $3 from T.J. Maxx, my devotional is free from church, and my Bible is so old, but it was free from my church.
Daily Total: $159.93
11 a.m. — I have a lazy start to the day, and a slight headache. I make some hot tea with my Vital Proteins collagen peptides, and heat up some leftover breakfast hash. And, of course, another round of vitamins. My boyfriend and I have plans to go rock climbing indoors at a local spot called The Crag. This is the perfect start to the day because the weather has been atrocious in Nashville. I have a rock climbing coupon through my Nashville City Saver book. If you buy one day pass, you get one free. I cover my boyfriend and myself for a total of $24.04.
3 p.m. — I made a New Year’s intention to attend Adoration or Confession once a month. My spiritual health is very important to me, and I have a great confession with my priest. I often compare myself to others. I am incredibly guilty of envy. Based on the conversation with my priest, I decide that I am going to give up Instagram for Lent. I mindlessly scroll ALL THE TIME. Pooping: Scroll. In bed early: Scroll. Watching TV: Scroll. It’s a horrible habit that I intend to break. Hopefully, putting a boundary on Instagram will help me sleep better, be more present, and lessen the weight I feel to keep up with the Joneses. Instead, I’m keeping up with my spiritual health, and that’s free.
9:30 p.m. — I arrive home after birthday drinks with a friend, and decide I need some relaxing time. I watch a few episodes of You on Netflix. After some time spent on my new obsession, I go through my nightly routine. I drink some water before bed because alcohol typically gives me a headache (it literally happened this morning!). Somehow it’s 11:30 p.m. when I look at the clock and I decide I need to sleep. Luckily, relaxation is free.
Daily Total: $24.04
8:30 a.m. — I wake up with a headache. Again. I need to get groceries between 8 and 9 a.m. using a service my grocery store uses calls Kroger Pickup, which is usually about $5, but free the first three times. I chose this grocery pick-up time slot to force myself to get up and be productive. Man, do I hate my former self for doing this to my present self. I slump out of bed and make my way to Kroger by 8:52 a.m. — just in time! Although I love grocery shopping physically, I’ve heard that you save money by shopping online. I had to give this a try in hopes that I could get my grocery bill down. It worked. I end up spending around $50 less than if I had gone inside the store. Although the grocery store brings me joy, I think I can limit my grocery trips to once or twice a month in order to save this kind of cash. I head to Whole Foods to pick up other specialty items, including Peterson’s sugar free bacon, which is fantastic. Both the Kroger and Whole Foods combined cost me $42.
1:30 p.m. — I head home and begin my meal-prep for the week. I am an avid meal-prepper love being ready for the week. Chicken thighs are always cheap and easy, so I pop those in the oven while I prepare fish filet for lunch and Pasteles en Hoja (basically Whole30 tamales). Although, I decided to give up Instagram for Lent, Instagram has provided me with some amazing Whole30 recipes. I will miss these, but I know I can count on my friends to send me good ones while I’m away. I also subscribe to my favorite food bloggers emails! I won’t miss much — and no cookbook costs.
Daily Total: $42
7 a.m. — Wake up, read the news, pack food, and get ready before meeting one of my close friends for breakfast. I love having breakfast dates with my friends. It’s cheaper than dinner, and it starts my day on the right foot. I silently started Whole30 yesterday to get my digestion back on track (and eliminate the headaches). I get the sauerkraut hash from Fenwick’s, which is $15.61 with a tip. I love catching up with my friend and hearing about her life.
9:15 — I arrive at work with a kombucha in hand. I drink GT’s kombucha because it’s one of the few kombuchas approved by Whole30, and I love the way it makes me feel. I’ve been drinking kombucha for about two years now. I’ve got my roommate, boyfriend, and even my parents hooked on it. It cleans me out (for real) and makes me feel healthy. I used to drink one a day, but I have made budget cuts so I drink about three per week now. These kombuchas were on sale at Kroger this week for $3 each.
6 p.m. — Each Monday after work, my boyfriend and I attend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class at my boyfriend’s church. The class was $50 (per couple) for nine weeks. We split it, and it’s the best $25 I’ve ever spent. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck since I graduated college. I never had a budget before I began this class. That might surprise some people, but I didn’t have a credit card until last year. I was pretty good at monitoring myself with my debit card. As I’ve aged a bit, I enjoy nicer things, such as my Vital Proteins or a nice dinner. Unfortunately, my paycheck doesn’t permit as much as I’d like. One of my New Year’s intentions was to get a better handle on my finances and I am taking steps to make that a reality.
Daily Total: $43.61
6:20 a.m. — Wake up to pack my gym bag and head to Title Boxing. My work pays for about three workout classes a week, so it’s free. Boxing leaves me sweaty and feeling empowered. The coach even compliments me on my kicks, which makes me feel awesome that I’ve kept my flexibility.
11 a.m. — I call my therapist to schedule another appointment because I had to reschedule my last appointment. I started therapy almost a year ago after encouragement from a friend and my parents. I was having a difficult time and they suggested I bring in a third party to help me work through the situation. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. Although I couldn’t find a time this week that worked with my therapist, I book an appointment that will cost $30. Luckily, my therapy center works on a sliding pay scale.
7 p.m. — My boyfriend and I are both singers, and participate in a community choir. We rehearse once a week and are the youngest people in the group by about 20 years, but couldn’t possibly love it more. It’s such a wonderful way to put life aside for two hours and focus on making something beautiful. It’s a fun activity to do together that uses our brains to read music. Dues are $50 a semester.
Daily Total: $80
6:30 a.m. — Because my workout starts a little later today, I decide to meditate for five minutes. Another one of my New Year’s intentions was to meditate for at least five minutes a day, twice a week. I purchased the yearly Headspace subscription with part of my Christmas bonus. I bought it while it was discounted at $57.53, and haven’t regretted it. Although my goal was five minutes twice a week, I find myself meditating at least 10 minutes three times a week. It’s been another great investment in myself. Now I’m off to barre class, which is such a body burner. It’s through work, so it’s free.
4 p.m. — Snack time! I bite into an EPIC chicken sriracha bar, which is $23.91. My work snack drawer is pretty extensive. I like to joke that I’m constantly hungry, so I always keep emergency snacks on hand. Packaged snacks in typical rotation are: Chomps sticks, Go Raw Superfood Cookie Crisps, and LÄRABARs. Next, I fill up my Camelbak water bottle, which cost $15.99. I try to drink two liters of water each day. I typically do a pretty good job of it, but today, I’ve only had one — I need to catch up.
Daily Total: 97.43
4:30 a.m — I intended to do a yoga sculpt class this morning, but sometimes your body has other plans for you. I’m wide awake at 4:30 a.m. with a tickle in my throat, so I cancel my yoga class. Sleep comes first.
7 a.m. — Ahhh, much better! I wake up, read the news, meditate for 15 minutes with Headspace, read a daily devotional, do some laundry, and get ready for work.
10 p.m. — After an eventful evening, I walk through the motions of my evening routine. I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. for a hot yoga class. After the 4:30 a.m. wake-up debacle this morning, I spritz some lavender essential oil, which is $7.92 for a bottle, on my pillow and massage it into my temples. Not taking any chances tonight.
Daily Total: $7.92.
Self-Reflection: Looking back, I am really proud of myself this week. After documenting this week my only real critique would be that I need to go to bed earlier, so that I can create a consistent morning routine. I set many attainable New Year’s intentions and I accomplished so much of what I desired. Every day is a work in progress, but I know that these small steps of self-care really add up. Mostly, I notice how much happier I am compared to last year.
Weekly Total: $454.93
Refinery29 does not test out the services or products in this series, and does therefore not necessarily endorse them.