A Week In Dallas, TX, On A $120,000 Salary

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 Senior Account Executive working in IT who makes $120,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on mules.
Occupation: Senior Account Executive
Industry: IT
Age: 27
Location: Dallas, TX
Salary: $120,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $3,252.27
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,381 (I just purchased my first home in June. It's a duplex and it's perfect.)
Loans: $0 (thanks mom and dad)
Car Insurance: $130
Car Note: $417
Spotify: $9.99
Hello Fresh: $45/week
ASOS Free 2-Day Shipping Subscription: $19/year
Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Showtime (Power is a must), and Netflix: $0 (mom and dad are the real MVPs)
Gym: $27 (online fitness subscription, Obe — discovered it on LinkedIn and now I'm a fan for life)
Home Depot Credit Card: $100 (I did renovations on my duplex and received 15 months of special financing)

Day One

6:15 a.m. — I wake up early because it's Friday and I'd rather get to work early on a Friday so that I can leave at a decent time to begin the weekend. I walk my rescue pup, M., who enjoys sniffing every single mailbox along the way. I get back, feed M., take a shower, and grab a yogurt and Larabar on the way out the door. Since moving into my new place, my commute is now 15 minutes in traffic, which is rare for the Dallas Metroplex.
7:40 a.m. — I get to work and do a solid four hours of work. I eat breakfast and take my Lupus medicine. I have a personal goal to drink two tumblers of water before lunch and I'm already one down by 8:15. I leave work for lunch around 11. I typically go home since I live so close and it helps me to avoid spending money at The Original Chopshop (my weakness).
4 p.m. — I leave at 4 on the dot (it's Friday, don't judge). So ready for the weekend! I head towards home to pick up a prescription (my health insurance is fantastic, and I can't believe my meds are under a dollar). When I get home, I let my dog out and then head to my friend, T.'s, house to chaperone her furniture sale to someone via Facebook group. Is there anything Facebook can't do? $0.35
7:30 p.m. — The girls want a night out, so we go to a seafood restaurant near my house. I've been pescatarian for about two months now and it's been an extreme benefit to my health and overall daily energy. I've already scoped the menu knowing I'll be starving. I order a linguini with mussels. $39.24
10:10 p.m. — I head home and pass out. So much pasta, so tired!
Daily Total: $39.59

Day Two

9:20 a.m. — M. loves sleeping in on Saturdays. He's a snuggle monster, so any additional time he gets in bed with fur mom, he takes complete advantage of. I take him for a short walk and make breakfast. By make breakfast, I mean granola and coconut milk. I promise it's not as boring or flavorless as it sounds.
10 a.m. — I have two uncooked Hello Fresh meals that I received this week, so I make both back to back to have for later. My friends and I are holding one another accountable for only eating out one or two times a week. We're all on a save money, buy a house, and travel goals kick. Two of my friends plan to join the club and buy a house next year.
11:30 a.m. — I take a quick shower and head out to get a pedicure. I'd normally get a full set/pedi, but I damaged quite a few of my nails during the move and I'm holding out on my nails until they grow out a bit. I already reserved my favorite nail tech, B., and get the Pomegranate Pedi. $40 plus tip. $50
1 p.m. — I head to the Audi dealership to get my car inspected for annual registration (adulting sucks). They threw in a free car wash, so I can't complain too much. $25.50
2:15 p.m. — I stop by World Market on the way home because….WINE, furniture browsing, and WINE. I go a little crazy and get six bottles along with candles and oil diffusers. I love it when my home smells like a field of gardenias, and World Market has the best gardenia and rose-scented candles. $149.26
4:05 p.m. — I get home and feed M. (thank goodness his food delivery came on time today). Once the pup is fed, I call my mom. We chat about what we're going to do for my dad's birthday, which is early November. Our tradition is to get floor tickets to a Mavs game — last year, we saw Lebron in action and he really is that dude. I've been scoping games, but floor seats for the game against the Lakers start at $2,300, which I can't justify. We end our convo still not knowing what to get dad. I then chill on the couch and finish Shari Lapena's novel, A Stranger in the House. So sad the book has come to an end.
6 p.m. — I'm not really in the mood to start another book just yet, so I decide to rent The Sun is Also a Star via Amazon Prime. It's not my typical go-to. I'm more of an action/superhero movie fan, but I love Yara Shahidi and #supportblackgirlmagic. Two hours of Charles Melton was so worth it. $5.99
8:35 p.m. — I play with M. a bit and watch YouTube makeup tutorials I'll never recreate before my heading to bed.
Daily Total: $230.75

Day Three

9 a.m. — M. wakes me up by scratching the covers off my face. I take him for a morning walk (it's oddly cool for a summer morning in Texas). We get back to the house after he plays with my neighbor's pup. I feed him, turn on some music, and start cleaning. Sundays are my cleaning days. This cleaning day, I'm reminded I should probably be an adult and get a new vacuum cleaner.
11 a.m. — I eat breakfast, take my medicine, and head to Target to look at vacuums. I leave Target with a new storage bins for M.'s toys and no vacuum. In my defense, I didn't see the vacuum I wanted in the store. I'll order it online eventually. $32.45
1:25 p.m. — I get home, play with M. for a while, and browse the internet. There's a West Elm couch I want to buy to replace my existing one, but I recently found out I need to replace a few air ducts in my attic (guess I'll be responsible and refrain from temptation). Instead, I opt for a pair of Warby Parker glasses since I had my prescription updated last week ($145). I also spot a pair of Steve Madden heeled mules I've been eyeing are now on sale for half the price. I own them in yellow and want a neutral color. No-brainer ($57.93). $202.93
3:30 p.m. — My homegirl, D., comes over so we can watch Power. She's a James fan, and I'm a Tommy fan. He's so reminds me of my shopping habits. We've been annoyed after every episode this season, and this episode's no different.
7:15 p.m. — D. leaves after a long debrief of the episode and I clean up from our wine and appetizers. My homegirl, W., wants to go to Deep Ellum. I let M. out, shower, get dressed, and head out. We go to a rooftop bar and enjoy two cocktails and share an appetizer. $29
10:35 p.m. — I drive home, take a quick shower to rinse off and fall asleep with M. resting by the foot of my bed.
Daily Total: $264.38

Day Four

6:15 a.m. — I wake up to my alarm, which is Drake and Partynextdoor's, "With You." It really sets the vibes for the morning. I walk M., feed him, and do my morning routine. I brush my teeth, shower, and wash my face with Ole Henriksen's Truth line. It's AMAZING — completely life/skin-changing. I pick out my outfit for the day thinking how badly I need new work clothes. I pack my breakfast and head out.
7:40 a.m. — I listen in on a few calls and run mock calls with a new hire before heading home for lunch. I eat my Hello Fresh meal, watch Marrying Millions (D got me hooked on this Lifetime series). I head back to work and browse Barnes and Noble for new releases and mystery faves. Thankfully, I don't see anything that piques my interest. I spend way too much money on books.
4:05 p.m. — I leave work and call my mom for the drive home. My mom and I are extremely close and talk probably five times a day. She mentions that my dad got a job he interviewed for and that he'll be moving to Oklahoma for it. Funny enough, when I was a kid, my dad relocated to OKC for a job. My dad has always been my career goals, and this new job is a huge opportunity. I'm super proud of him, and my mom and I spend the rest of our chat planning a small celebration for him.
4:40 p.m. — There was a wreck on the highway, so it took me a bit longer to get home. After taking care of M., I eat leftovers from my Hello Fresh delivery. I check the mail and see that my ASOS package arrived. I ordered four tops and a pair of work pants. I liked one top and the pants so much, I order them again ($43). This may be weird, but when I like a piece of clothing, I buy it in multiples. I own four pairs of J Brand's Low-Rise Ankle Skinny Jeans in Demented. $43
7 p.m. — I shower early since I know I won't be going anywhere for the rest of the evening. I tune into Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood. Trash TV keeps me sane and this is one of my faves, so I don't miss a single episode.
9:15 p.m. — For some reason, I'm exhausted and turn in for the night pretty early.
Daily Total: $43

Day Five

7:05 a.m. — I hit the snooze button at least five times this morning. I must have been super tired from the weekend. I take M. for a super short walk since I'm running late to work. I hurry back to shower, fix my lunch (leftovers from Hello Fresh), and head out to work.
8:15 a.m. — I still get to work before my boss, score! I get right to work after eating breakfast. I end up working through lunch and leave at exactly 4.
4 p.m. — I head home and call my friend, B., during my commute. He's a contractor working on a project out of state and won't be back in TX for another five months. After our chat, I give M. a ton of attention. He's not a fan of days I work through lunch.
6:25 p.m. — My other friend comes over to hang out. I'm seriously considering creating a YouTube channel based around home ownership, corporate struggles, salary negotiation, working in corporate as a minority, etc. We brainstorm together and he starts creating a digital logo for my brand.
8:45 p.m. — Once he leaves, I shower, and rent another movie. This time, The Dark Phoenix. I missed it in theaters, and it was next on my list of must-watch movies. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it didn't disappoint. Marvel gets me every time. $5.99
11:05 p.m. — I stay up after the movie to chat with my dad about his new opportunity and head to bed shortly after.
Daily Total: $5.99

Day Six

6 a.m. — I wake myself up and take care of M. Once M. is fed, I do my regular morning routine. I chat with my mom while I get ready for work and head out, forgetting to grab breakfast.
11:35 a.m. — I head home for break time. My Hello Fresh meal was delivered this morning and Lobster Ravioli and Shrimp is on the menu for lunch. I just started cooking about a year ago. I learned by subscribing to SunBasket. I canceled my membership after a few bad experiences in delivery/quality of food. My mom began ordering Hello Fresh, sent me the referral promo code, and I haven't looked back since. It keeps me from spending hundreds of dollars at the grocery store.
12:50 p.m. — I'm back at work and have invites to so many calls. I accept them all, take the first call, and play a game of pool in our break room. I get an email from my former colleague to review his resume and submit him for a position at my company. I mentored him at our last company, so I do so happily.
4 p.m. — My mom is staying the night with me tonight, since she has an early flight out of an airport super close to my house. She promises to take care of M. while I head to Standard Pour for happy hour with the girls.
5:15 p.m. — Standard Pour has $5 cocktails and appetizers for their happy hour menu. I order two gimlets and pretzels ($24 with tip). $24
8:10 p.m. — I head home and shower. My mom and I chat for a while before we decide to start a Netflix series. About 15 minutes in, we're questioning our selection, The I-Land. The cast seemed promising, especially gorgeous, Alex Pettyfer, but *spoiler* he turns out to be a total creep within the first five minutes.
9:05 p.m. — I realize we've both fallen asleep in the middle of the episode. I turn the TV off and head to bed.
9:35 p.m. — I can't sleep, and out of boredom, I respond to this guy who's been trying to take me on a date for a week. We decide to go out the next evening. He seems like a nice guy, not my usual physical type, but my type hasn't seemed to work, so why not?
Daily Total: $24

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — I typically work from home on Wednesdays, but I had a required in-person workshop, so I'm working from home today. I take M. for a walk, longer than our normal walks. Once he's fed, I make breakfast: fruit smoothie with a side of eggs and avocado. Despite my online gym membership, I honestly don't work out much, so I try to be conscious of what I eat.
7:40 a.m. — I brush my teeth and wash my face. On work from home days, I'll put on a nice top since most of our calls are via video. I steadily work until about noon. I get so much more done when I work from home. I'm hoping I can work remotely in my second year here.
12:30 p.m. — I spend my break washing my hair. I designate work from home days as wash days. I decide to do a deep conditioning mask and a quick twist out (no more video calls for the rest of the day). I know there's going to come a day when my hair is in “Bye Felicia” twists and someone on the call will turn on their video expecting me to come on camera as well. Oh well, #freethenatural.
4:45 p.m. — After multiple client outreach calls/emails, M. rubs, and snack breaks, I'm done working. I get a text from last night's boredom guy, N., to confirm tonight's plans. I totally forgot, hence the Felicia braids. It's at this point that I realize I gave the rest of my leftovers to my mom and I don't feel like cooking tonight. N. seems nice and I'm hungry, so I confirm that tonight still works.
5:20 p.m. — I debate whether I should take down my twists and waste a good twist out for this date that may or may not result in me getting married by 30. I quickly decide that whoever my husband turns out to be, will need to accept me for me and my twists. I finesse a cute turban around my head, throw on a summer dress and heeled mules. Wash day, but make it fashion.
7:10 p.m. — I head to the date, 10 minutes late (I send him a courtesy text). He's picked a cute restaurant I've never been to on the edge of Uptown. N. compliments the head wrap and I can tell we are going to have a good time. After about an hour and a half of chill conversation, the check comes. He pulls out his credit card before I could even grab my purse. I offer to split, and he declines like a true Southern Gentleman. I thank him for the date and head home.
9:45 p.m. — Once I'm home, I send N. a text thanking him again for the date. I realize then that I probably won't go on another date with him. He was nice, but there wasn't much chemistry. Hopefully, the feeling's mutual and we can avoid the awkward “I'm not that into you” text.
10 p.m. — I browse a few online sales before I fall asleep. I find myself back on West Elm's website. I add the Tencel Sheet Set and a vase to my cart and checkout. $146.34
Daily Total: $146.34
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series