A Week In Indianapolis, IN, On A Joint $116,500 Income

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Today: a grants manager with a joint income of $116,500 who spends some of her money this week on duck food.
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Occupation: Grants Manager
Industry: Nonprofit
Age: 28
Location: Indianapolis, IN
My Salary: $56,500
My Husband's Salary: $60,000
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,621
My Husband's Paycheck (2x/month): $1,690
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,042 (including escrow)
Car Payment: $316/month (this is a loan my husband took out before we were married, but we now have joint accounts for everything)
Utilities: $250
Car and Home Insurance: $144
Health Insurance: $120
HSA: $290 ($145 taken out of both our paychecks)
Internet: $50
Netflix: $0 (parents' account)
HBO NOW: $15 (just for GoT Season)
BarkBox: $34
Savings: ~$3,000 (Our goal is usually $3,500 but some months (like this month) unexpected expenses cut into this)
Retirement: I'm not eligible to contribute to my 401(k) yet, but part of our savings will go to max out my Roth IRA. My husband's work contributes 12% of his salary (not as a match), and we are also maxing out his Roth IRA. I plan to up both of our contributions next year when we have our car paid off.
Day One
8:30 a.m. — I get up, change, and then let the dog outside. While we are outside, I feed and give water to our ducks (instead of backyard chickens we have backyard ducks). I also let them out to roam for the day. I head back inside to eat breakfast and notice the dog is puking in the backyard. I go to check on her, but don't see anything. I decide to work from home in the morning to make sure she's feeling okay.
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11 a.m. — As I'm working I get a call from the Department of Child Services (DCS) placement line asking if we can take a five-year-old girl. She also has two younger brothers, but we are only licensed for one child. Our first foster placement left several months ago, and I'm feeling ready to jump back in. I'd like to say yes to the whole sibling set and get a waiver for our license. I tell them I will call them back after talking to my husband. I call my husband, and he is not as into the idea, which is really disappointing. He says he'll call me back, so he can think about it.
12:30 p.m. — I get into work and find that we are having a surprise party for someone who is retiring. We have food and talk, and I finally get a call back from my husband. He doesn't want to accept the placement since we are currently in the process of being approved to adopt from foster care. I know he's right, but I'm really disappointed. I hate saying no to placement calls.
5 p.m. — I head out of work and stop at my sister's to pick up presents for my nephew's birthday. She bought them on sale, but said I could buy them from her since it's what we were planning on getting him anyway. I get a few snuggles in, load up the gifts, and Venmo her $30. After leaving my sister's, I go to Tractor Supply to get duck food. I also find a duck waterer on clearance that I hope will be less messy ($60). $90
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8:30 p.m. — I head out to meet a friend for a drink. We each get a mug because they are on sale, and we split an order of fried pickles. It's nice to catch up and she tells me her and her boyfriend are planning on moving in together. I'm not a huge fan of her boyfriend, but she seems happy so I'm happy. We get our bill and find out the appetizer was half price, so it's only $5 for the app and beer. I tip $2. After, we go to the bar where her boyfriend works and get another drink. He covers our drinks for us. I finally head home around 11. $7
Daily Total: $97
Day Two
9 a.m. — I snoozed about five times too many, and now I'm running very late. Luckily, my work schedule is very flexible and there isn't a certain time I need to be there. I make myself a power greens smoothie and let the dog out. I also feed the ducks and fill up their pool. I'm out the door by 10.
2 p.m. — I pack up my stuff and head out only to realize I locked my key in my car. I am so mad at myself. Usually my car screams at me if I leave the key inside, but the battery in the key died overnight. UGHHHHHHHHHH. I call a locksmith, and they tell me it will be about 45 minutes. I spend the time looking into the cost of a second key because this is the second time I've done this. $55
3:30 p.m. — I get home and finish up some work and then take the dog in the backyard to work in my garden. My husband, J., comes home early to cut the grass before it starts raining, and I head inside to make us an early dinner since I never ate lunch. My friend sent me a free Blue Apron box, so I make the lemon and oregano shrimp recipe. I'm skeptical, but it ends up being really good.
6:30 p.m. — After J. cleans up dinner, we decide to rewatch last week's episode of Game of Thrones. I didn't fully appreciate it in the moment, so it's nice to rewatch and also be allowed to talk this time. Afterwards, we hang out in the backyard for a little bit, and I put the ducks in their pen since it's almost dark. At first putting them up was total chaos, but now they know the routine, and they wait at the door until I tell them “Go to bed,” then they jump in and wait to be fed.
10 p.m. — I watch TV and relax the rest of the night and then head to bed. J. stays up to watch a basketball game, so I tell him I'll see him in the morning.
Daily Total: $55
Day Three
9 a.m. — Wake up, shower, let the dog and ducks out, and get ready for work. I make a piece of avocado toast with the bread and pickled onions I made last weekend and it's amazing. I head to work around 9:45 and get there a little after 10.
12:30 p.m. — I've been working on organizing my office all morning. I have more important things to do, but there is so much paper everywhere I can't think straight. It takes a few hours, but I feel much better afterwards. We get free lunch at work and today is beef Stroganoff. It's good, but I'm really trying to eat healthier and I think I may just have to accept bringing my lunch.
5:15 p.m. — I finish up some progress reports and get a text from my mom that she's at my work to pick me up. We are going to see Waitress tonight as a belated birthday gift. First we head downtown to a Mexican restaurant and split chips and guac. We both get two tacos and a margarita. She pays.
6:30 p.m. — We're done with dinner early, so we walk to some shops and I buy a guest book for the bridal shower I'm hosting in a few weeks ($15). We go to another restaurant by the theater to get another drink. Their new cocktail menu is Mean Girls-themed so I get the “You Can't Sit With Us” and my mom gets the “That's so Fetch.” By the time we are done, we are cutting it close. I pay for our drinks ($25 with tip). $40
7:30 p.m. — The show starts! It's really cute, but the guy behind me keeps humming along with the music. I do my best to tune it out, and I even get a little teary-eyed at the end. Thanks PMS. The show is over around 10:30, and I get home a little after 11. I wash my face, do my skincare routine (all cocokind), brush my teeth, and head to bed.
Daily Total: $40
Day Four
9 a.m. — I spend too much time snoozing again. I get up, feed the ducks, and get them a clean pool of water. I check on my greenhouse and there are still no seedlings. I watch the ducks play in their pool for a little bit while the dog does her business and then head inside to get ready. I change, put on a little concealer and mascara, and eat another slice of avocado toast with the pickled red onions.
12:30 p.m. — Today's lunch isn't great, and I'm still hungry after. I decide I'll start packing my lunch next week.
5 p.m. — I spent the afternoon working on progress reports and I got all but one done! They are not necessarily difficult, but they require pulling 20 data reports each. I'm feeling very done for the day, so I head home. When I get there I let the dog out and check on the ducks. It's pouring rain, so the dog is mad and the ducks are in heaven.
6 p.m. — I make the other Blue Apron meal we got. It's Za'tar spiced chicken with roasted vegetables, and it is very good. We sit down to dinner and talk about our days. While J. cleans up the dishes, I take the dog in the other room to watch TV and keep her out of his way. Afterwards, J. heads to Costco to get a few things we need (paper towels, cat food, shampoo, dog treats). I intend to be productive but end up just sitting on the couch and watching TV instead. $110
10 p.m. — I'm more tired than I should be, so we both decide it's time to head to bed.
Daily Total: $110
Day Five
9 a.m. — I keep snoozing because I'm having some crazy dreams, but I finally get up and get in the shower. I let the dog out, feed the ducks, and let them out to roam. I'm not really hungry, but know I will regret not eating breakfast, so I make a couple frozen waffles.
10:30 a.m. — It's payday for J., so I spend some time paying a few bills and updating our budget. We didn't save as much as I wanted this month, but I'm okay with it because we had a lot of unexpected expenses come up (health bills, the duck coop, emergency vet visit). I do all of the budgeting and tracking because I'm obsessed with it, and J. has zero interest. I look at our May budget and I'm having a hard time finalizing it. We are taking a long weekend trip for our anniversary, and I want to set aside enough to have fun, but not go overboard.
12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime again. Today we are having pork loin, rice, and salad. I spend a little time reading Reddit and then finish up my final projects for the day. I'm done with everything I need to do for the week around 2:30, so I pack up and head home. I spend some time with the dog and then head out for a haircut.
4:30 p.m. — I get my haircut, and luckily it's super quick ($65). Then, I stop at the grocery to get some food for the weekend. I get hot dogs, chicken sausage, poke, olives, strawberries, pasta, pasta sauce, and a few other things ($60). $125
6:30 p.m. — My friend comes over and brings her dog to play with ours. We cook outside and talk, but go in after an hour since it's getting chilly. The dogs have a lot of fun in the backyard, but when we try to move inside they won't calm down and it's really hectic. J. offers to take the dogs outside while we watch a movie. THANK YOU J.!
Daily Total: $125
Day Six
7:30 a.m. — I'm not sure why I have such a hard time waking up on weekdays, but am up bright and early on weekends. I get up and take the dog out, take care of the ducks, and get some coffee. Then I put the dog back in bed with J. and hang out on the couch with the cats.
9 a.m. — We head to our adoption training class. We were originally supposed to take this class a month ago, but the trainer never showed up. The class gets started, and we talk about the potential issues and behaviors adoptive children face.
11:30 a.m. — We had planned to go home for lunch, but they shortened the lunch break so we just run to Culver's instead. I get a crispy chicken sandwich and J. gets chicken tenders. We eat quickly and then get back to class. $17
4 p.m. — Class is over. We learned that it will still be awhile until we are officially adoption approved. After we're approved, we can start interviewing for children and once there is a match, the kids would start transitioning into our home slowly. I'm anxious for the process to go faster, but I also am trying to live in the moment and enjoy the time we have now. After the class, I drop J. off at home and go pick up my brother's dog to stay at our house while he's out of town.
6 p.m. — Finally home and have the dogs settled. Of course it's raining and muddy, so they are rough housing inside. I heat up some leftovers for J. and make myself a poke bowl. When my brother's dog stays over we have to separate the dogs to sleep (otherwise they won't), so around 9, I take our dog in our bedroom and J. takes the other dog to the guest room. I watch a movie and then head to bed.
Daily Total: $17
Day Seven
7:30 a.m. — This time, it's the dogs that wake me up. I get up and let them out to play then start wrapping the presents for my nephew.
10 a.m. — We head out and drop my brother's dog off at his apartment, then go to the party. We are a little early and I don't want to be in their way, but turns out half the party is early so it doesn't matter. We get some pics, drinks some rosé, and have lunch. It's fun to have everyone together, but the attention the first grandchild gets is INSANE. I find J. in the back of the room hiding from all the bouncing and clapping and baby voices.
2 p.m. — We leave the party and head to the movie theater to see Avengers: Endgame. We each get a beer and a bag of popcorn to share ($20). The movie is great! The movie theater validates parking, so we don't have to pay. $20
7:30 p.m. — We've spent the last few hours cleaning after all the doggie playdates and finally sit down to dinner. J. has frozen lasagna and I have the rest of the poke.
9 p.m. — Game of Thrones time! We have all the pets fed and settled and we open a GoT beer my brother got me. It's the Battle of Winterfell tonight, so we are tense and super excited. I'm Team Sansa since day one. We watch the episode, and it is awesome! I know some people will complain about it, but whatever. We rewatch the last 10 minutes so we can see everything and then head to bed. I'm not ready for this show to be over!
Daily Total: $20
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