A Week In Long Beach, CA, On A $167,000 Salary

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Today: a Global Digital Marketing Director working in Fashion who makes $167,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Coolhaus ice cream.
Occupation: Global Digital Marketing Director
Industry: Fashion
Age: 26
Location: Long Beach, CA
Salary: $167,000 ($127,000 salary + $40,000+ freelance consulting)
Paycheck Amount (2x/month + $3-4,000 freelance monthly retainer): $10,000
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,075 (for my half of the rent)
Student Loans: $0 (Skipped out on college)
Credit Card Payment: $1,100 (Credit Card consolidation, 12 Months)
Car + Gas/Electric Costs: $550 (Electric plug-in car)
Car Insurance: $115
Health Insurance: $57
Netflix: $13.99
Hulu: $5.99
Squarespace: $25
Gym: $10
Dropbox: $10
Adobe: $30
Nespresso: $50
Internet: $60
Gas: $45
Electric: $70
Tax Withholdings: $867 (Quarterly freelance tax withholdings for quarterly filings)
Phone: $0 (Boyfriend pays phone + phone bill in exchange for my utility payment, around the same)
Retirement: $1,000
Investment Portfolio: $2,000 (I created a customized investment portfolio with my financial advisor for home savings and extra retirement)

Day One

8 a.m. — Monday. My alarm goes off at 7:15, but I snooze it until 8. I need that pre-alarm in order to slowly wake up. I used to wake up at 5:50 to commute from Long Beach to Los Angeles every day for six years, but finally I work a job 10 minutes away. It is life changing what you can do with the three hours not sitting in traffic. My boyfriend, L. wakes up at the same time to get ready for work and take care of the dogs. I make myself a Nespresso then pack strawberries and a banana for snacking so I don't tempt myself. I recently downloaded the 30-Day Fitness Challenge app, so we will see how far I stay the course. I leave the house and put The Office on audio in my car and listen to the episode where Michael Scott starts his own paper company and then gets bought out by Dunder Mifflin. The Office = my life.
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9 a.m. — I hop on Skype and kick off the week with my direct report who is currently based out of our European office. We touch base about when we will see each other next and I check in to see how he is doing now that he works across the world. My call runs over with him and I realize I need to meet with my VP. We discuss new opportunities for me to expand my role into a more general direct to consumer experience, and how I can help support him with the new org structure that is rolling out. Short and sweet, I leave that meeting feeling productive and with purpose.
10:30 a.m. — I used to work all throughout the weekend, but now I finally can resist the urge and mute my work phone over the weekend. The con: I come back into the office on Monday with 60 emails sitting in my inbox. I spend about an hour catching up and answering all the emails (inbox zero is my motto). I check in with the social media team and send feedback for the upcoming week of content planning.
12 p.m. — If there is one thing I've learned, it's take your GD lunch break! Our office is close to a Vietnamese restaurant, so I step out to get some tofu pho. $11
2 p.m. — Back at the office, I make myself a Nespresso and take a look at my packed week of meetings. I realized I have 22 meetings this week because I forgot to block out my calendar. So I sip my espresso and start blocking out my calendar for this and next week.
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5 p.m. — L. texts me that he's heading home. I grab my gym bag and head to the gym. I forgot my water bottle at home, and only have a LaCroix (I don't even like sparkling water!) from the work fridge to hydrate myself, ugh. Can't wait to burp while working out. The gym is really busy, so I run a mile and head home.
8 p.m. — L. and I were supposed to cook bulgogi kimchi fried rice, but we realized that cooking rice would take an hour, and we're too hungry to wait, so take the dogs to a new restaurant by our place. L. gets a pork rice bowl, and I get a Viet deli meat banh mi. Since L. bought dinner, I end up picking up four patê sô pastries for later. $7.50
11 p.m. — Post shower, I indulge myself in my nightly skincare routine. I wash my face with Keana peach baking soda (just picked up from my recent Tokyo trip), mask with the Summer Friday Overtime mask, balance my face with CoQ-10 toner from Indie Lee, calm my very sensitive and slightly red skin with Dr. Jart Cicapair serum (going through my fourth bottle this year), Biossance Squalane + Peptide eye gel, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide face moisturizer (I alternate between the Drunk Elephant on dryer skin days and Sunday Riley Tidal Water Cream or Saturday Skin Balancing Act for days that just need light moisturizing), and finish off with Caudalíe Vine[activ] Overnight Oil. While I lay in bed, I work on my freelance stuff: email marketing, website merchandising, and up-keeping ads. I then squeeze in five mins of French on Duolingo before falling asleep.
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Daily Total: $18.50

Day Two

8 a.m. — I was planning on sleeping in today but wake up before my alarm could go off. I get ready for work which consists of watching The Office while doing my routine. Morning skincare/makeup routine: Drunk Elephant Beste face wash, Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, Dr. Jart Cicapair serum, Bioré UV Aqua Watery Essence sunscreen (this is the best sunscreen ever, don't believe the Glossier Sun Shield hype is all I am going to say), Tarte Amazonian clay foundation, Tarte Amazonian brow powder, Bobbi Brown bronzer, 1 Day Tattoo eyeliner (better than Kat Von D Tattoo Liner), and a swipe of Glossier Haloscope for the cheekbones.
9 a.m. — I pack strawberries, a banana, and a sumo orange for work. Meetings run back to back until 2. I have 30 minutes to eat between my meetings, so I order food from the office cafeteria: tofu rice bowl with curry sauce. I eat my lunch while scrolling through Money Diaries and end it with a Nespresso shot. $8
2 p.m. — I shut my office door and pretend like I am not at the office so I can fully concentrate and get at least three tasks crossed off from my list within the next four hours. Next thing I know, I'm looking at the clock and it's 6. I need to get on that day three of 30-Day Fitness Challenge, so I head over to the gym.
7:45 p.m. — I finish my workout, stop by my office to wrap up by answering any remaining emails, and write my to do list for tomorrow. I stop by Whole Foods to pick up on a couple of snacks: Coolhaus ice cream, Brekki overnight oats, and a bag of Skinny Dipped Almonds. L. and I prepare dinner together — he's my sous chef, so usually he preps/wash and I do the cooking. We use leftover bulgogi to make kimchi bulgogi fried rice. I finish off the seasoning and tasting of the dish and L. says this has been the best meal he's had since Seirinkan (our favorite restaurant), so I feel very blessed. $17
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10 p.m. — We lay in bed together and share a small portion of Coolhaus ice cream while I study French on Duolingo for 15 mins (I made it a goal of mine to learn a third language this year and picked French specifically because I visit France four times a year for work).
11 p.m. — After my study, L. and I have some time to catch up and then fall asleep watching Iron Man 2.
Daily Total: $25

Day Three

6:45 a.m. — I wake up 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I start the day off with The Office, of course, while I do my skincare/makeup routine and get dressed. I dress in a Madewell denim button up, relaxed Carhartt pants, and Gucci loafers. It's a relaxed but power look for my meetings with our C-level officers.
8 a.m. — I make myself a Nespresso latte and pack a lunch bag (strawberries, Brekki overnight oats, and leftover bulgogi kimchi fried rice). As soon as I arrive to the office, I make myself a cup of Yamamotoyama green tea and head into the first early bird meeting.
12 p.m. — Though I packed lunch, my coworker convinces me to go out. I can't turn down pho, so we head over to a pho place that specializes in free range chicken pho and comes with a side of amazing ginger fish sauce dip. $15
3 p.m. — I run to a meeting and get excited for my upcoming projects. L. texts and asks me if I am free, so he can stop by the office to give me my early birthday present. I open the gift, and it's the new large fanny pack in white perforated leather from Clare Vivier. This man has great taste, and I am very impressed since I remember seeing this on Clare V's instagram a few days ago and admiring it (but I never told him!).
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5:30 p.m. — I catch up with my best friend who recently moved to Portland. I tell her about the Clare V purse and she tells me that she helped my boyfriend pick the color. Great teamwork. Mid-conversation, my mouse batteries die so this must be the universe telling me to go home since I was at the office until 8 yesterday.
7 p.m. — I finish my Day four of 30-Day Fitness Challenge. Today's workout is extremely painful because my muscles are so sore — I should've replaced HIIT with a hot yoga class today. I shower, skincare regimen, and prepare dinner. L. eats leftover pizza and I re-heat the bulgogi kimchi fried rice from last night and boil a package of Neoguri ramen with a poached egg. I end the meal with a few spoons of Talenti ice cream; it's the layered cherry chocolate chip cheesecake (I might have the munchies after I took a couple of puffs from my Pax).
9 p.m. — In bed, I pull up my budget tracker app to track my spending. I have a master finance calendar that looks at my projected spending over a year, month, and week. So as a discipline, I manually log into my budget tracker app for all my spendings so that I can ensure I am spending within my limits. This behavior might be a lot, but it "sparks joy" in me.
Daily Total: $15

Day Four

7 a.m. — Holy crap, my muscles are so sore I can barely get out of bed and walk today. I wake up feeling completely winded. I do my morning skincare/makeup routine and place an order via Philz mobile app for iced rosé coffee with oat milk. I decide to take L.'s car to work today because it's parked behind my car and I'm too lazy to move/repark his car (L. doesn't mind because my car is more luxurious and is electric, so better for his longer commute). On the way to work, I pick up the rosé coffee and taste it. I did not realize I would enjoy rosé in my coffee. The coffee liquid is actually a dark pink and the foam on top is a beautiful swirl of white and pink. $4.60
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10 a.m. — I take a bite of the Brekki overnight oat and see mold spores in it. I should just make overnight oats myself — I make a mental note to prep this in the future. I throw away the Brekki and eat a bowl of strawberries instead while answering emails and hopping on morning calls with our agencies.
12:30 p.m. — I finish up a morning of conference calls and meetings. At this point, I am extremely hungry and exhausted. Being an introvert, these meetings take a lot of energy. I get a chicken burrito bowl for lunch, finish half and save the other half for later. I head to Petco and grab a Wellness Marrow Roast treats for my dogs. On the way back from the office, I stop by Starbucks for a pick-me-up. I get the strawberry acai refresher. This is a lot of spending within an hour, so I record my transactions into the budget tracker app and check where my spendings are at for the week. $23
3 p.m. — I thought I was winded this morning when I woke up, but at this point just simply sitting at my desk, I'm experiencing extreme exhaustion. I think that I am about to get my period soon. I spend the rest of the day in meetings.
6 p.m. — On the way home, I stop by Trader Joe's to purchase some things for my overnight oats (coconut milk, dried coconut flakes, super seed and ancient grain blend) and pasta (marinara and ground beef). I quickly get home and meet my business partner/friend D., who I'm starting a skincare line with. We run through a Google Slide deck, set goals, create a timeline, look at the competitor landscape and try on a bunch of skincare product to discuss what smell/texture/feel we like or dislike. $19
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10 p.m. — I lay in bed and work on my consulting work for email marketing. After I finish, I spend about an hour on the Sephora app looking at skincare product and marveling at their app from a technical standpoint. I think they could improve on some UX gestures, but I am in awe of how much data they have and can probably target/suggest based on a user history. I am just nerding out at this point.
Daily Total: $46.60

Day Five

7 a.m. — Friday! I wake up 10 minutess before my alarm goes off and go through my skincare/make up routine while watching The Office. I put on a dress and a fuzzy oversized sweater, Gucci loafers, and the new Clare Vivier fanny pack my boyfriend got me.
8 a.m. — I take my own car today because it has the HOV lane sticker (in CA, electric cars qualify for a carpool program) to ride in carpool by myself, since I'll be driving through LA for five hours. I get to Wide Eye Open Palms café, where I am meeting my mentee, V. My mentee arrives, and we order nut milk granola cereal with peach and cherries, turmeric chai for V., espresso and matcha for myself. The total is $40, but I put this on the company card. I catch up with V. on how many units she has left of school, what she would like to learn more, advice on career path, and discuss about some potential temp-to-hire/internship opportunities. Then I head out to my next meeting. ($40.00 expensed)
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1:30 p.m. — I have a meeting over drinks and vegan food. I order the taster menu: Caesar pepita salad, cactus tamal, potato taco and ginger tea. The media partner I'm meeting with pays for the meal. I pick up my car from valet ($5) and tip them another $5. As I drive away from the valet, I realize they left my car on the entire two hours I was at the restaurant. My odometer is the same, but I lost 15 miles worth of charge with the car on that long. I am extremely annoyed and regret the tip. $10
3:30 p.m. — Today's weather is gloomy with some light showers, so I put on a playlist of FKA Twigs, Kelela, and Billie Eilish to fit the mood for the two hour ride to my hair appointment. Last minute, I change my mind about the bangs and go with just a short blunt cut. I tip $25 for the $75 cut. $100
6 p.m. — The drive home is going to take an hour and a half, so I make a pit stop for boba. I order a snack-size dumpling and lychee boba (no sugar) for the road. I get back on the road and put on The Office audio and start laughing by myself in the car. $8
8 p.m. — I lay in bed as soon as I get home and put in a Grubhub order for spicy honey Korean fried chicken and rice. I lay in bed, hit my Pax (because it's Friday/made it through 22 meetings/lasted five on the road) and watch Nathan For You. $40
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Daily Total: $158

Day Six

8 a.m. — My alarm goes off early today because we have a loaded schedule. Wake up, skincare/make up routine, and make myself a cup of coffee. L. and I head to La Verne so he can run some errands while I make a quick Target run to buy my coworker's son a birthday present. At Target, I purchase a Bouncy Boing toy (birthday present), hair ties, a Mother's Day card, wrapping paper, and accessories. $40
11 a.m. — L. and I arrive to the birthday party on time, which means early since we were the first ones. I was not ready for a Hawaiian food gut buster brunch, but I am totally going for it: spam musubi, fried rice, and French toast. We thank our friends and head over to the Echo Park Craft Fair. I get close to pulling the trigger on some Beatrice Valenzuela slides, but hold back. I get thirsty and purchase a green drink and dried chili mango from Moon Juice because that is my only choice. It's hilarious how this costs $18. $18
5 p.m. — I finally make it back home and do a quick change into comfier clothes, a Madewell jumpsuit and sandals, and head out to get my broken nail repaired. My nail technician refuses to charge me even to my urging, so I tip her. $5
7 p.m. — I have been craving bolognese, so I stop by Trader Joe's for a restock: Italian sausage, chopped mirepoix veggies, popcorn, green juice, orange juice, apples, strawberry crate, cherries, tomato, apricot, medjool dates, olive oil, eggs, and two frozen pizzas. L. helps me prep, wash the dishes, and feed the dogs while I cook bolognese rigatoni. I make a mental note that I have not done the 30-Day Fitness for two days in a row, but forgive myself because I have been extremely exhausted with very packed days. $65
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10 p.m. — A quick skincare routine and I crawl into bed early so I can get some rest since tomorrow will be packed balancing freelance projects and Mother's Day.
Daily Total: $128

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I wake up at a decent hour today feeling much more rejuvenated. I create a task list for the day in bed: clean house/water plants, finish freelance in the morning, do skincare planning, then head over to my parent's house to Mother's Day, head back home, squeeze in a workout, and resume skincare planning. Alright, time to get a move on. I freshen myself to start the day with a therapeutic skincare regimen and mask with Summer Fridays Overtime. I clean and water the houseplants while masking. L. is just getting up and has to work this Sunday, so I leave the house briefly to grab coffee from Starbucks for both of us — cold foam cold brew for myself and iced white chocolate mocha for him. $9
11:30 a.m. — I finish my freelance work and decide to prep overnight oats for the week. I also wash and prep all of the apricot, strawberries, and cherries in the fridge. If I don't clean them in a batch, I'll be lazy and put off eating fruit. I watch some bizarre but hilarious Nathan For You episodes while cleaning fruit. It's Mother's Day, so I call my mom to see if she is free to stop by Kate Spade to try on this bag I think would look good, but also be practical for her everyday usage. I'm reminded that it's past lunch time, so I feed the dogs and make myself a small bowl of rigatoni from last night.
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1:30 p.m. — I get ready to go Mother's Day shopping. I rewear the Madewell jumpsuit, layered with Carhartt quilted army jacket, Madewell slides, and the Clare Vivier fanny pack. I put on "Plein de Bisous" by Lewis OfMan and get on the road to my parents house — I love this song.
2 p.m. — I get to my parents' place thirty minutes before my mom. She decides that timing is irrelevant and starts cooking, lol. I knew I packed my Pax pen for a reason, so I take two puffs, watch Billie Eilish YouTube videos, and start drafting strategy for the skincare business while using my parents' poodle as an ottoman.
3 p.m. — We finally leave the house and head down to the mall. I already had the Kate Spade Margaux bag in mind for her. She tries it on and is feeling a little bit indecisive, so we decide to take a lap around the mall to check out other options. While at Sephora, I exchanged the Summer Friday R + R rose mask (too sticky and not moisturizing enough) for Bobbi Brown contour stick and Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry ($23 for price difference). I also find a belt for my BEAMS dress I got in Harajuku last month ($65). I am excited to wear this for my birthday next week! I try to get my mom to pick something, but her intrinsic frugalness keeps her from making a decision. She picks out a bracelet from Banana Republic ($50) – and I let her think that she won this time. I'll place a Sephora order for new foundation, blush, and eye palette, and skincare for her to arrive at my parent's place later this week. $138
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5 p.m. — On the way home, we swing by 85º Bakery to grab some pastries and cake for the family. I pick out some breads: two choco breads, two coconut twists, two egg tarts, two hot dog breads (don't knock it til you've tried it), a macadamia cookie, two sea salt coffees, a strawberry sea salt cream slush, and three cake slices (blueberry cheesecake, tiramisu, mango brûlée). I usually get a lot so that we can split between my parents, brother, and I. $40
7 p.m. — For dinner, my parents made sesame seed grilled beef spring rolls. We end the dinner by eating some pastries and sharing green tea. I say goodbye to my parents while their dog starts whimpering because he can't come with me (their dog loves being at my house because of our two dogs that he can play with).
9 p.m. — I take a shower, pack my lunch, lay out my outfit for tomorrow (it's not excessive to re-wear my jumpsuit three days in a row if its all different people who see me right?), do my nightly skincare routine, and climb into bed. I work for an hour on the skincare business plan in bed while L. watches Game of Thrones. I'm still on the fourth season, so I put on headphones and avoid the screen in case of any spoilers. When he's done, I put my laptop away and we fall asleep to Barry together while cradling the dogs in our arms.
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Daily Total: $187
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