A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $95,000 Salary

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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.
Today: a Growth Manager working in Retail who makes $95,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on blueberries.
Occupation: Growth Manager
Industry: Retail
Age: 26
Location: San Francisco, California
Salary: $95,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,500
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $2,100 (for my half of a 2-bed, 1.5 bath)
Student Loans: $200 (I have $15,000 left to pay off)
Utilities: $15 (for my half, they go up in the winter)
Gym: $34 (full price is $84 but my work covers $50)
Internet: $22 (for my half)
Phone: $0 (thanks Mom & Dad!)
Health Insurance: Currently going without, but starting a new plan on Oct. 1 that my company will pay for
Netflix/HBO: $0 (thanks, fam)
Spotify: $9.99
Savings: $600 ($150 transfers automatically from my checking to savings every Friday)
Credit Card: $0 (I use it for pretty much all of my non-monthly expenses but I never carry a balance)
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Day One

8 a.m. — It's Monday. Alarm goes off at my boyfriend D.'s apartment. We snuggle for a little bit but we're both out of bed by 8:15. He showers, I don't because I showered the night before. We're neighbors so I often go home to get ready for work but today I brought everything that I need: Aveeno face wash, Aveeno oil-free moisturizer with SPF 15, Sephora mascara, clothes — I'm easy. I forgot deodorant so I borrow his. It's a little manly, but I like smelling like him. I kiss him goodbye, we make plans to see each other tomorrow night, and I bike ~30 mins downtown with my headphones in.
10 a.m. — After a one-on-one meeting with my manager, I make myself a chai tea with a splash of oat milk and a snack of mixed nuts and blueberries from the communal kitchen. Our office snacks are pretty good. We get bagels every Monday, but because I ate a bowl of pasta last night, I skip it today.
11 a.m. — I have a walk and talk meeting with a coworker. We grab lattes (matcha for me) from a nearby cafe and she pays with a corporate card.
12 p.m. — I step out to grab lunch at a nearby Mediterranean spot. I order a bowl with marinated eggplant, Moroccan carrot salad, roasted cauliflower, and roasted beets. The to-go box must be like three pounds of food. I scoop a reasonable portion into a bowl and stash the rest in the fridge. I have a pluot for dessert. $13.01
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3:30 p.m. — After back-to-back meetings, I take a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air. When I get back I pour myself more tea and have a few more bites of my lunch.
5:30 p.m. — I change into leggings, leave work, and bike to a 6:15 p.m. yoga class with my best friend, M. Usually I'd pay $24 for this class, but she's a member of the studio and gets two free guest passes per month. Class is a dream.
7:45 p.m. — We bike home together because M. is also my roommate. I have a near-miss where a crazy driver almost hits me, very scary. I yell at him at a stop light (as expected, he's the worst of the worst). At home, I heat up some butternut squash soup that I made yesterday, shower, and we watch Bachelor in Paradise on our new projector — best $80 I've spent in 2019.
10 p.m. — I call D. before bed and I fall asleep on the phone.
Daily Total: $13.01

Day Two

7:50 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I give myself 10 minutes to get up. I have chamomile tea, two fresh figs, and a handful of blueberries for breakfast while scrolling through Instagram. I hop on my bike and head downtown for work.
10 a.m. — My stomach is grumbling so I make myself a pantry snack of blueberries, raspberries, and mixed nuts.
12 p.m. — Lunch time! I heat up more of my butternut squash soup and cut up a pluot. I quietly pat myself on the back for not spending a dime on lunch today.
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2 p.m. — I learn that a project that I've been working on for the last few weeks has essentially been canceled — kind of a bummer to have wasted time like that. I take my daily stroll around the neighborhood and call my mom.
5:30 p.m. — It's book club night with my team from work. We head to a neighborhood bar and discuss Sally Rooney's Normal People over glasses of red wine and a cheese plate. Honestly, the book was not for me — I couldn't get into Rooney's curt style of writing. I Venmo my coworker for the food and drinks, which are surprisingly very affordable for this town. $16
7 p.m. — I call D. to see what he's up to. He asks if I want to go to the climbing gym, but I'm just a tiny bit too tipsy for that. We agree that he'll come over after the gym. I race home on my bike. It's warm out (rare for SF) and there's no traffic and I love this city.
9 p.m. — M. comes home and we project Bachelor in Paradise on the big screen again. I heat up the last of my soup and roast some delicata squash. For dessert I have a few figs.
10 p.m. — D joins the BIP party. When it ends, him and I make plans for a fancy date tomorrow night then we do the NYT crossword together before snuggling and falling asleep.
Daily Total: $16
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Day Three

8 a.m. — D. leaves before me because he's meeting up with a friend for breakfast. I take my time getting ready and have my usual tea and fruit. I turn on an episode of The Sopranos while I curl my hair. I'm on my bike by 8:40.
12 p.m. — On Wednesdays, my company provides team lunch. Today it's Latin fusion food. I eat pescatarian so while there's lots of meat, I opt for crispy tofu, roasted veggies, and green salad.
1 p.m. — My team has a three-hour brainstorm (woof). In the middle, I grab a snack of fruit and nuts because lunch didn't quite fill me up.
4:30 p.m. — I present a project I've been working on to the CEO of my company. Eek! It goes well and I'm giddy afterwards. I snag my backpack and bike home to get ready for my date.
7:15 p.m. — I try on a few date outfits and I land on a black Oak + Fort blouse, a colorful midi skirt that I got from a consignment shop, and a pair Miista heels I just bought. I put makeup and jewelry on with The Sopranos playing in the background. D. comes over to my house to pick me up and he's adorable, wearing a blue blazer and khakis and holding white roses for me. Swoon. I trim the roses while he calls an Uber. He pays for the ride.
7:45 p.m. — D. got promoted two weeks ago to a Senior PM and I also got converted from a contractor to a permanent employee at my company. At the time, we were in a really big fight so we didn't properly treat ourselves. Now we're in a much better place and ready to celebrate each other. We have a reservation at a newish SF seafood restaurant that got a Michelin star this year. I love that he loves good food as much as I do. We order fried blowfish, grilled scallops, a radicchio salad that requires a bib to eat, a potato that blew my mind, and a hen of the wood mushroom. It's divine. He also gets antelope tartar. We generally share everything, but I don't partake in this one. D. generously pays — I fight him on it, but he wins. I don't look at the bill, but it must have been over $200. His birthday is next month and I'm going to treat him to a dinner equally as lux. I grab the Uber to his house and I find out I have 50% off my next five rides — woohoo! $7.57
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10:30 p.m. — We get ready for bed, snuggle, and fall asleep. I wake up SO sweaty and thirsty in the middle of the night (likely from the ice cream sundae with sea salt caramel that we split for dessert) and D. gets out of bed to get me a glass (truthfully, a Nalgene) of water. Have I mentioned he's the best?
Daily Total: $7.57

Day Four

7:10 a.m. — The alarm goes off at D.'s house. I really don't want to do walk of shame in last night's outfit so I snag a Patagonia sweater and a pair of Teva's from D. I had a pair of Lululemon sweatpants at his house so I throw those on. I look silly and, of course, I run into an old coworker on the four-minute walk to my house.
8 a.m. — I shower, moisturize (Aveeno for my face, Glossier for my arms and legs), and do my minimal makeup routine (just mascara). I browse The Bachelor Reddit (my guilty pleasure) while snacking on blueberries. It's supposed to be 80 degrees in SF today, so I pick out a breezy Zara blouse and loose fitting Banana Republic linen pants. I roll them up before biking to work. My wet hair dries in the wind.
12 p.m. — I get lunch with a new coworker — we pick up Mixt salads. We eat in the Redwood grove outside of the Transamerica pyramid. I regret getting both avo and cheese, it's a little too rich. $11.85
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3:30 p.m. — I get distracted by work and start looking into refinancing my student loan. I've never considered it before, but it seems like I could get a lower interest rate by switching loan providers. I text my mom to see if it's a good idea and she says it could be really smart depending on the rate and fees. I make a mental note to circle back to this.
4 p.m. — D. texts me crossword clues. We rarely solve a Thursday crossword and unfortunately I don't think today will be an exception. M. texts to say she'll miss me this weekend, she's heading to a wedding in LA.
5:45 p.m. — I take a call with a potential freelance client. I've never freelanced before, but seems like it could be easy money — she'll pay $60 an hour. If we're being honest, I'm not super career-driven and ultimately my goal is to work part-time/remote. I feel like this could be a good opportunity to dip my toes in.
6:15 p.m. — I bike home, change into workout clothes, and walk to D.'s house. We had planned on going to the climbing gym, but then we second guess ourselves because we're both tired and hungry. Ultimately, we decide to go. We walk there and climb a few routes.
8:30 p.m. — After climbing, we walk to a nearby Vietnamese spot for bowls of pho. I pay ($24.85 + 3.72 tip). Over dinner, we work more on the crossword, but can't quite finish it. I can't finish my pho either and take the rest to go. I walk home and D. says he'll come over later. On the way I stop at a market near my house and grab a pint of blueberries ($4.99). $33.56
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11 p.m. — I fall asleep during an episode of The Sopranos and I wake up to D. knocking on my door. I let him in and promptly fall back to sleep.
Daily Total: $45.41

Day Five

3 a.m. — It's hot and my windows are open. The noise outside my apartment is unbearable. D. can't sleep, so he walks home and I'm bummed about it.
7 a.m. — Up early today because I'm grabbing breakfast with a friend, O., who I used to work with. I take a quick shower without washing my hair. It's supposed to be over 80 degrees again today, so I wear a Madewell tank and light Madewell pants. Tucked in together they look like a jumpsuit, which I love. I toss a Free People jacket in my bag because my office gets cold. I bike 15 minutes to the restaurant.
8 a.m. — The breakfast spot is the one of the best in the city, which is why it's best to go during the week. On the weekend, the wait can be two hours, but today there's a table ready right when we get there. We order coffee and split a slice of coconut mochi cake. I get the breakfast sandwich and instead of the potatoes that it comes with, I ask for mixed greens. We chat about work and life. The bill comes, we split it evenly and make loose plans to see each other this weekend ($23.19 + $4 tip for my half). $27.19
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9:10 a.m. — I bike the rest of the way to work, taking the brand new bike lane by the new Chase Center. It's so smooth and nice.
12 p.m. — My team orders Greek food from a popular SF chain and it is covered by work because we're celebrating a new coworker who just joined this week. I get a salad that has white sweet potato, kale, pickled onions, and yogurt dressing ($13, expensed).
2 p.m. — It's Friday afternoon and I'm distracted from my work. I Google laser eye surgery and find out that it's generally not covered by insurance, but I can use pre-tax dollars to pay for it. Lately my contacts have been irritating my eyes and I hate wearing glasses, but can't see without them either. It might be time for a change. I make plans with my friend, B., over text to hangout and watch a movie tonight.
4 p.m. — Because it's Friday, I skip out of work a little early. I bike straight to D.'s house because he's leaving for a weekend climbing trip to Yosemite. When I arrive, he seems off and it makes me anxious. Earlier in the week I thought I would join him on this trip, but then it seemed to me like I wasn't invited so I didn't push it. We talk through it and in the end we understand each other a little better. I send him off and bike back to my house.
6 p.m. — I heat up my pho from last night and play an episode of Black Mirror. For dessert I have a few squares of chocolate and some blueberries.
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8 p.m. — B. comes over and we catch up on life — dating, school, work. The Hills: New Beginnings plays on the projector, but we talk over it and online shop as relief from a long week. I don't buy anything but I "heart" a few things on TheRealReal that I may come back to. We make loose plans for the following night and she leaves around 11:30. I get ready for bed.
12 a.m. — Lights out. I browse IG for a few mins before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $27.19

Day Six

8 a.m. — No alarm today, but I'm an early birdie anyway. N. texts me to say that she's heading to Sausalito with a friend for brunch and to visit the Heath Ceramics showroom; she asks if I want to join. I do! I quickly get dressed, wash my face, and brush my teeth. I water my plants before heading out. I BART downtown and N. picks me up in her friend's car. $2
10 a.m. — We drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. We arrive at the showroom and it's heaven — artwork in the form of everyday homewares. I have a few Heath pieces, but today I don't have the urge to buy much. I pick up a small ramekin ($8.90) that I'll use to hold Malden salt in my kitchen and a greeting card ($5) that I thought was cute. $13.90
11 a.m. — We drive to a popular Puerto Rican restaurant in Marin and there's almost no line! Woohoo. I get a vegetarian combo plate with rice, beans, salad, and plantains. I finish everything but the rice. $10.85
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12 p.m. — After brunch we get back in the car and head to Oakland where N. lives. She drops me at BART and I take it back to the city. $3.50
1 p.m. — Instead of going straight home, I knock out some errands while I'm downtown. First, I pop into Aritzia to try on sweaters and wool coats. I try on 10 things, but nothing fits right. I pass on it all. Next, I go to Target to buy white crew socks ($11.87). Next weekend is a friends birthday in Sedona, AZ and we want to surprise him with a summer camp theme, so I'm in charge of buying things to tie-dye and friendship bracelet materials. I stop at a craft store for bracelet supplies. They have the string ($6.39), but sadly no alphabet beads. I make a mental note to check Amazon later. $18.26
2 p.m. — I walk a block to Trader Joe's to get groceries for the week. I get tuna, farro, mushrooms, figs, greens, and creme fraiche for a risotto I'm planning to make. $29.48
2:30 p.m. — I hop back on BART to get home. $2
3 p.m. — When I get off BART, there's a man selling fresh cut fruit from a cart. I buy a quart of mango and then walk home. Wow, I need a nap. I fall asleep while Mindy Kaling's new movie Late Night plays on my computer. $5
5:30 p.m. — I awake and run to the library to pick up a few books that have been on hold for a few days: Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, and Conversations with Friends (though I'm not sure I'll get to this one given my thoughts on Normal People).
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7:30 p.m. — I heat up a Trader Joe's veggie tamale and curl up with my new books. I start reading Less.
10:30 p.m. — Shower, then call it a night.
Daily Total: $84.99

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Every weekend I go for a long run and then meet up with my friend, R., and we get brunch together (we call this tradition bRUNch). We run anywhere between six and 20 miles. Today I'm running eight. I throw on Nike leggings, a sports bra from Old Navy that I've determined to be the best running bra I've ever had (let it be known), and an SF marathon long sleeve athletic shirt. I lace up my HOKAs and take off. This is usually my favorite part of the week. I listen to the 99% Invisible podcast as I jog through Golden Gate Park. I end up at the beach, take it in for a minute, then continue on up a big hill to our brunch spot.
11:30 a.m. — R. & I are seated outside and I order baked eggs. It's a stewy mix of eggs, veggies, broth, and comes with two big pieces of sourdough to dip in it. I also get coffee. He gets a bagel with lox. We catch up about our jobs, our boyfriends, and plans for the Sedona trip next week. We split the bill evenly, but I tip a little more because I got coffee ($23.57 for my half). $23.57
12:30 p.m. — I'm far from home and Uber is pricey, but there's no other good option so I select Pool. $9.09
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1 p.m. — I shower, moisturize, and throw on athletic shorts and a long sleeve tee. I have an urge to shop and get something new and cute for Sedona. I leave my house and walk ~45 mins to a shopping street that I love. I pop into Oak + Fort, Marine Layer, and a local SF shop called Azalea. I can't find anything that I like, but I do get lucky at a boutique that I've never been in. I leave with a white boat neck sweater ($65) and a pair of striped shorts ($29). I stop at Everlane on my walk home, but alas nothing. I'm craving a boba tea, but when I pass by my usual spot there is a MASSIVE line (damn this gorgeous weather), I pass and agree to make myself a smoothie when I get home (same same but different). $94
3 p.m. — I stop at the market near my house and grab a bottle of Pinot Grigio for the risotto I'm making tonight and a non-dairy yogurt. $8.08
5:30 p.m. — I call my Mom, clean my apartment, and paint my nails.
7:30 p.m. — I make my mushroom risotto, using a recipe from Sam Kass's Eat A Little Better. Have the Obama's eaten this very same risotto? It's pretty likely. I play an episode of Queer Eye in the background while I cook. D. calls to tell me he's back from Yosemite and M. texts to say she's not coming home tonight because her flight was delayed. I finish cooking, eat, then pack the rest in Tupperware for this week's lunch.
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9 p.m. — I pack a bag and walk to D.'s house. We talk about our weekends and watch The Sopranos as we fall asleep.
Daily Total: $134.74
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