A Week In New Haven, CT, On A $63,000 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: an academic librarian working in higher education who makes $63,000 per year spends some of her money this week on the Charlie Brown Christmas vinyl.
Occupation: Academic Librarian
Industry: Higher Education
Age: 27
Location: New Haven, CT
Salary: $63,000
Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $3,367.28
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,350 plus an extra $100 to the principal each month — paid from my joint account with my fiancé. We bought a home this summer.
Student Loan Payment: $280 plus extra $70 to principal
Credit Cards: I am digging out of some credit card debt that I accumulated in graduate school and from moving across the country for my job, so I pay a couple hundred dollars a month.
Internet: $40
Commuter Train Pass: $100 pre-tax
Streaming Services: We're on my fiancé's parents' HBO Go and Netflix accounts and our friend's Sling account (so we can watch NFL RedZone).
Phone: My parents still pay for my phone.
Car: My car is paid off, and I pay $492.10 for car insurance twice per year.
Savings: 10% of my paycheck goes to a joint savings account with my fiancé.
403b: 10% of my pre-tax paycheck

Day One

8 a.m. — I oversleep and miss my train, so I drive and pay to park at work. Not the end of the world — I have to do some shopping after work anyway, since we're hosting people for Thanksgiving. The meter expiring at 1 p.m. means I'll be taking an unanticipated but fortuitous half day at work. $5.75
1 p.m. — See ya next week, work! Before running my errands, I stop at Panera for a bagel and drink. $5.50
1:30 p.m. — Super productive Target run. I pick up some last-minute breakfast food since we're hosting guests until Friday, a table runner, and some Pepto Bismol to prep for the Thanksgiving feast we're cooking up. $27.44
8 p.m. — Some of our guests have arrived! They sat in horrible traffic from Boston to drive down, so we treat them to some New Haven-style apizza (yes — there's an a!) for dinner. $36.80
Daily Total: $75.49

Day Two

9 a.m. — We wake up a little hungover after a spirited evening of beer tasting and board games. We eat cold, leftover pizza for Thanksgiving breakfast. Definitely grateful there are leftovers.
1:45 p.m. — The rest of our guests have arrived! Two of our guests prepare a mouth-watering spread of snacks to tide us over until the big meal, including baked brie and chicken wings. The wine is flowing. It's going to be a good day. We play Dominion.
6 p.m. — We cook dinner for everybody. My fiancé got a grocery store gift card at work as a holiday bonus, so we were able to get pretty much everything (turkey, green bean casserole, potatoes, cranberries — the works) for free! Everybody is pretty drunk at this point and we play Exploding Kittens, watch Bring It On, and call it a night around 11:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

10 a.m. — We eat the eggs I picked up at Target a few days ago scrambled with Thanksgiving leftovers. It's divine. Some of our guests leave to try to hit the Black Friday sales before they have to return their rental car.
12 p.m. — We head to our favorite record store since they're having a big sale. We leave with three new records (The New Mastersounds, Woods, and Whitney) as well as some $0.50 Christmas records. Traffic is a little crazy, so we don't do any other shopping. $44.73
4 p.m. — While we kill time before our friends' train back to NYC, we hit up a new brewery for a couple hours. We each have two beers, split some pretzels, and play Cards Against Humanity. Our guests picked up the tab out of gratitude for us hosting Thanksgiving. Any time!
5:30 p.m. — We hit up the grocery store for some Hawaiian rolls and cheese to make sandwiches with our leftover turkey and ham. We also pick up some onion rings and settle in for a low-key night at home watching Netflix and cleaning up the aftermath of hosting a full house. $17.36
Daily Total: $62.09

Day Four

12:30 p.m. — We love going to craft fairs and finding cool Christmas gifts for our family and friends, so we hit up a craft fair at a brewery after a slow morning and more leftovers. Unfortunately, the crafts aren't great, so we each have a beer, cut our losses, and leave. $13
1:30 p.m. — The CT Brewers Guild has a fun brewery passport program where you collect stamps for prizes. Since we're already in the area, we pop into a brewery in Hartford that we've never been to before and each get a drink. $14
2:30 p.m. — is getting crazy. After the second beer, I'm really into the idea of getting more beer passport stamps, so we go to yet another brewery. Because I ride the new commuter train, I get my first beer for free! However, we end up buying two four packs of cans and a metal tacker sign to add to our collection. $58.60
6:30 p.m. — We drive home and hang out with the dog for a little bit before heading out to dinner. We rarely eat out, so this is a treat. We split a pizza and some fancy short rib fries. I don't drink anything but water, since we had such a crazy afternoon. $34.82
8:15 p.m. — Continuing date night, we head to the movies to see the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. We get popcorn and a soda to share. I've missed going to the movies since we canceled MoviePass, so this is super fun even though the movie is just okay. $35
Daily Total: $155.42

Day Five

10 a.m. — There's a state park about 45 minutes away we've been wanting to check out, so we gas up the car. The hike is amazing! The dog has a great time romping around the woods and we enjoy a waterfall, poorly marked trails, and scenic views. Definitely coming back here in the spring when everything is alive again! We skipped breakfast, so we have some snacks on the trail. $30
1 p.m. — Continuing the beer passport madness, we split a flight of beers on the way home from the hike at a brewery we've never been to before! $11
2 p.m. — We settle into an afternoon watching NFL RedZone on our friend's Sling account. We're in a fantasy football league together, and things are getting pretty competitive this close to the playoffs! I work on some crafting projects for an upcoming fair I'm selling at, and we continue eating Thanksgiving leftovers. They're finally almost gone.
Daily Total: $41

Day Six

8 a.m. — I'm back into my bike-to-train commute routine this morning. It's Cyber Monday and I don't have any meetings, so so I peruse the deals at work and end up buying fancy Christmas plates/bowls/etc. for my mom from Williams-Sonoma and a bunch of 70% off picture and poster frames from Michaels. $230
12:30 p.m. — I'm pretty hungry come lunchtime and am tempted to buy something, but I stick to my super old macaroni and cheese leftovers from last week.
5:30 p.m. — We go to Kohl's to pick up the Charlie Brown Christmas vinyl. (Weird place to get vinyl, right? But it was sold out everywhere else.) I buy a new pair of jeans, too, since they're on sale and mine are all falling apart. $34.71
7 p.m. — My fiancé made turkey stock from the Thanksgiving turkey, so we add all the random vegetables in the fridge to the pot to make a pretty tasty soup. And we eat really stale leftover bread. At least the leftover pie is still good?
11 p.m. — Snapfish is having a wild sale, so I make my future mother-in-law a photo calendar with pictures of our dog. I did this last year, and it was such a hit that it's expected pretty much in perpetuity now. $13.71
Daily Total: $278.42

Day Seven

8:15 a.m. — Go to get blood drawn. (I have to do this once a week because of a medication I'm on.) On my way back to work, I pick up a coffee because it just feels like it's going to be a long day. $3
9:30 a.m. — Ticketmaster is having a sale! I pick up concert tickets for New Year's Eve in NYC and am thrilled to have saved $35. $53
12:30 p.m. — My predictions were right that this would be a long day, so I buy a half sandwich and tip $1. It's extremely satisfying. $5
5:30 p.m. — We go to Michaels to pick up my order from yesterday, and end up getting a bunch of shatterproof Christmas ornaments to hang up on our tree outside, too. $21
6:15 p.m. — For some reason we're craving hot dogs for dinner, so we pick up hot dogs and buns at the grocery store before heading home for an evening of crafting projects and watching The Great British Baking Show. $7.88
Daily Total: $89.88
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