A Week In Los Angeles, CA, On A $42,000 Salary And A $900 Monthly Allowance

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.
This week: an account manager working in public relations who makes $42,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a Mini Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter.
Occupation: Account Manager
Industry: Public Relations
Age: 25
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Salary: $42,000 + $900 allowance from parents
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,421
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $700 (I live with my boyfriend, B., and he pays the remainder of the rent, $2,100, since he has a higher salary than me. He also pays for the utilities.)
Loans: $0 (College was paid for by my generous parents.)
Gym: $125
iCloud Storage: $.99
Car Lease: $399
Planned Parenthood Donation: $10
Housekeeper: $75
Savings: Automatically save $300, and usually whatever is left over at the end of the month. My company is small and doesn't offer a 401(K) plan at the moment, so that is currently on pause.
Health & Car Insurance: $0 (My parents cover this until I'm 26.)
Amazon: Use my parents' account
HBO Go: Use my aunt/uncle's account
Netflix: Use my parents' account
Hulu: Use my parents' account
YouTube TV: Use B.'s sister's account
Postmates Unlimited: $9.99

Day One

6:25 a.m. — Up and at 'em! I wake up, take my anxiety medication, and start getting ready to make my 7 a.m. dance-conditioning class at the gym. I pre-packed my gym bag/set out my workout clothes last night, so getting ready is a breeze. I kiss my boyfriend, B., goodbye and rush out.
7:50 a.m. — Class is over! I definitely missed it — I haven't been in a while, since couples therapy has taken up my Tuesday mornings, but our therapist is on vacation, so I was able to make class this week. Even the teacher noticed I hadn't made it in a while, which makes me feel good, in a weird way, like he notices me during class. Is that weird? I quickly shower, blowdry my hair, and get dressed. Lather on some La Mer moisturizer.
8:55 a.m. — I stop by Starbucks on my way to the office to pick up a tall iced chai tea latte and resist the urge to grab anything else. I use my mom's Starbucks app, as she graciously lets me from time to time. Thanks, Mom.
9:15 a.m. — Settle in for the day and begin going through my emails. Some of my clients are based in Europe, so I have a good amount of emails in the morning. I give my intern some tasks and have more emails than usual, since my direct report is out of the office for the week. I order a breakfast sandwich from the café downstairs. $6.20
12:45 p.m. — Lunchtime! I snack on a handful of cauliflower that was left over from a meeting on my floor (which we share with other companies in different industries) and have the delicious nectarine I bought from the farmer's market earlier this week.
3 p.m. — Starting to crash. I have a fun-size bag of peanut M&Ms from the office kitchen and make plans to meet up with my parents for dinner. I also invite B. and he agrees, which is a semi-surprise since his work schedule is crazy and he is always working long hours.
5:45 p.m. — I sneak out of work a few minutes early and head over to my parents'. We drive to a house in Santa Monica they are thinking of purchasing as an investment property. It's definitely a fixer-upper, and they decide to put in an offer later this week! We drive straight to dinner and meet B. there.
7:45 p.m. — Sushi time! We order a feast, including Brussels sprouts, shishito peppers, salad, spicy tuna on crispy rice, popcorn shrimp, albacore sashimi, albacore belly, spicy tuna rolls, and chicken for B. since he doesn't eat sushi. Beer for B. and my dad, and Diet Coke for me and, of course, mochi ice cream for dessert. We have a great time, and my parents treat us. B. and I part ways, since he needs to finish up some work at the office after dinner.
10 p.m. — Get ready for bed by brushing my teeth, applying Sunday Riley night oil (truly the best), and taking my migraine medicine, melatonin, and birth control before scrolling through Instagram and eventually falling asleep.
11 p.m. — I feel B. crawl into bed, and he cuddles me as I drift back into sleep.
Daily Total: $6.20

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — B. left early this morning for an overnight trip for work, but I remember him kissing me goodbye. I get ready and drive over to the office.
9:30 a.m. — I settle in at my desk and grab a coffee from the office kitchen. It's delicious, and I'm very thankful not to be purchasing coffee every morning. I'm alone at the office today, so I start tackling items on my to-do list. I'm already hungry but decide to wait for lunch.
12 p.m. — I drive over to the local mall and get Shake Shack for lunch, since I'm craving a burger. I get a double Shack burger, fries, and a large Diet Coke. I definitely over-ordered as usual, but it still hits the spot. $16.86
12:30 p.m. — I pop into Sephora to buy a mini Becca highlighter in Champagne Pop, since mine fell on the bathroom floor and completely shattered (it was shattered before and I was still using it; now it just fell everywhere and is unusable). I like the mini, since I don't use makeup every day. I call my direct report in our NYC office on my drive back to go over a few things and get back into work mode once I arrive at the office. $24.09
5:30 p.m. — I leave the office and make my way to a cobbler in Westwood to drop off a pair of B.'s work shoes and my Gucci slides — they both need some serious love. The shoe repair lets me know they'll be ready in two days, and I let B. know so he can pick them up. I drive home, park my car, and walk over to the UPS store, since I got a package returned because it was "missing an invoice" when it clearly wasn't. They are just as confused as I am and decide to re-ship the package. I leave them my number just in case they have any questions. I walk back home, call a friend who lives in NYC and catch up, and then get sucked into my Instagram feed.
7:05 p.m. — I drive to Beverly Hills for a massage that my mom scheduled for me. She is ending her membership and has a few leftovers. Since she recently got surgery, she decided to gift me one. Angel! I stop by the liquor store downstairs to use the ATM to get cash for the tip. $15.50
8:45 p.m. — That hour was heavenly. I stop by my parents' place to thank my mom in person and drop off a suitcase I borrowed from them, and then I drive home. I procrastinate a bit, take a shower, and decide I'm hungry around 10:15, so I make a quick bowl of linguine à la vodka and catch up on this week's Below Deck Med. I like to watch my trashy TV when B . isn't home to annoy me about it.
11:45 p.m. — Get in bed, take my medicine, and fall quickly asleep.
Daily Total: $56.45

Day Three

7:40 a.m. — Wake up, snooze for ten minutes. I get up to use the bathroom, wash my face, brush my teeth, and then get back into bed with my laptop for my 8 a.m. call with my London-based client.
8:50 a.m. — Post-call, I get dressed and decide to stop by my favorite bagel shop for an everything bagel with cream cheese and an iced coffee. $6
9:35 a.m. — Arrive at the office only five minutes late! Quickly settle in, eat my bagel, and start to tackle my inbox. I decide I'm going to have a productive day.
10:30 a.m. — My productive day is put on hold when I realize it's PAYDAY! I have two items in my Revolve shopping cart that I pull the trigger on: Oribe dry texturizing spray, since I want to start lightly curling my hair (I still need to buy the actual iron, which I will do next week during the Sephora sale) and a graphic tee. $131.40
1 p.m. — I break to give my boss my lunch order. She usually orders lunch for our small office once a week. This week we order from Tocaya, a "modern organic Mexican" spot. Basically just small portions, for expensive prices, but it's still good. I order the Tocaya salad and grab a few peanut M&Ms from the office kitchen as a pre-lunch treat. We also take this time to catch up on our newest client and the objectives/strategy.
2:44 p.m. — Lunch arrives way later than expected, but it's okay since I'm still full from my breakfast. We eat in the office kitchen, and I snag a Diet Coke to go with my salad. I try to limit myself to a few sips, since I know how bad diet soda is for you and don't really feel terrible throwing the rest away. Back to work after lunch!
5:30 p.m. — My boss has been leaving early all week, so it's been nice to leave early as well! I drive the 20 minutes home and start tidying up the apartment, since it gives me a sense of relief. I wash the dishes from my pasta last night and take out the kitchen and bathroom trash. I wipe down all the counters, dining table, and coffee table and settle in on the couch to watch another trash reality TV show, 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way. I get through 3/4 of the episode before YouTube TV decides to stop working, and I take it as a sign to focus my attention elsewhere. I start working on my best friend's résumé. She lives in NYC and just graduated from grad school and asked me to edit her résumé, which I gladly do since I love her.
7 p.m. — B. texts me and lets me know he's landed safely. He calls me on his drive home to assess the dinner situation, and we both land on ordering from a local BBQ spot. I place the order through Postmates and get wings, a pulled-brisket sandwich, and a side of corn. The food and B. arrive at the same time. $30.66
9:30 p.m. — B. is exhausted and falls asleep by 9:30, once I get out of the shower. Alrightyyyyy then! I take my evening medicine, pop into bed, and scroll on my phone before falling asleep.
10:30 p.m. — I think it's about 10:30 when I'm woken up by B. elbowing me in my eye while he's turning over in his sleep. OW!!! I'm so annoyed but can't be that mad, since he's asleep and obviously didn't know what he was doing? I start to cry because it's kind of traumatic to be woken up this way. Am I a baby? Whatever. I fall back asleep.
Daily Total: $168.06

Day Four

7 a.m. — B. gives me his usual morning kiss goodbye, and I tell him about what happened last night. He immediately apologizes and checks my eye to see if it's bruised. Thankfully it's not, but I'm half-asleep and still grumpy.
8:30 a.m. — I get up for real and see that my friend texted me letting me know she's done with her grad-school finals and is a free woman! We make plans to see each other this weekend. My other bestie, who now lives in Texas, is also here for the week, so I quickly text her asking if dinner next week works for her. I take my medicine, get dressed, and drive to the office. Traffic is always better on Fridays.
9:30 a.m. — Settle in, grab my coffee, and call my direct report in NYC to go over client updates. B. texts me on my way to work and apologizes again, and I'm still not really having it. I feel like a brat, but I just need some time. I make plans with my mom to hang out after work today, and hurry to get projects done since it's a SUMMER FRIDAY!
1 p.m. — I head out and drive straight to my parents' house. I quickly make a piece of frozen cauliflower pizza from Trader Joe's in the toaster oven and eat it during our drive to Home Goods. Mom drives.
3 p.m. — I LOVE Home Goods. I buy a few picture frames, a vase, a new comforter set, and a few more knickknacks. My mom drops herself off at the gym since she's late to the yoga class she's teaching, and I drive her car back to her house and grab my car. $155.38
4:30 p.m. — I get home and unpack my goodies from Home Goods and start putting everything away. Around 5:30, B. asks if he can grab a drink with his coworkers after work. We ask "permission" out of respect for each other's time, and I never really say no, unless I made plans for us that he is unaware of. I say of course and read my book on the couch.
7:30 p.m. — B. gets home, and we start talking about this morning. He calls me ridiculous, which I really don't like, and that leads to a tiff. I know I was overreacting, but we're both really stubborn. We take some time to ourselves to cool down.
9:30 p.m. — We talk about it and both apologize for our wrongdoings. We decide to walk over to Chipotle to grab a quick dinner. I get one veggie taco, B. gets a quesadilla, and we get chips/queso to share. B. pays.
11:30 p.m. — Nightly routine and off to bed.
Daily Total: $155.38

Day Five

9:45 a.m. — Wake up and snuggle — it's hard to get up on a Saturday morning! B. and I get dressed and head over to a family friend's house for breakfast. I eat half a bagel with cream cheese and a slice of tomato/onion on top.
11:30 a.m. — B. and I head to West Elm, since they're having an epic sale on their coffee tables, and we are in the market for a new one. We find one and also pick out a side table for our living room. B. pays the $690 for the tables.
1 p.m. — I drop B. off at the office so he can get some work done, and I swing by the Brentwood Country Mart to get my favorite notebook and a card for a wedding we're attending next weekend ($26.28). I find that when I have a great notebook for work, my job is a bit easier to manage, since I can write down my long to-do list and not forget anything. I then pick up a half order of the BBQ chicken salad from CPK (my guilty pleasure) and eat it at home ($16.35 including tip). $42.63
3:30 p.m. — I solidify our plans for the evening by making a last-minute dinner reservation at Laurel Hardware for B. and one of my closest friends from high school, who I was texting with yesterday morning. There are still some items for my apartment I need, so I go to Crate & Barrel's website to see what I can find and end up buying three vases that B. can pick up from the store tomorrow. Since we renewed our lease, I've been giving our apartment a little update this month, hence all of the home shopping lately. $92.91
8 p.m. — B. gets home, and we start getting ready for dinner. I call an Uber at 8:30 to take us to West Hollywood. $15.20
1 a.m. — Dinner was delicious. We get cocktails and share appetizers, pizza, pasta, and steak frites. The three of us always have a good time together and are too full to go out after dinner. We drop my bestie home in the Uber that B. orders and split the dinner three ways. We get home around 1 a.m. and crawl into bed. $75.78
Daily Total: $226.52

Day Six

7 a.m. — Sunday! I wake up briefly when B. kisses me as he leaves for the office. Did I mention he works crazy hours?! I feel bad and wish we could snuggle.
10:15 a.m. — Wake up for real this time and take my time getting up. I lounge around the apartment, text with my cousin about our plans for this evening, and begin to get ready for the day.
11:30 a.m. — I walk to the farmer's market, upset that B. is missing today, since this is our weekly ritual. I buy a bunch of plums from my favorite fruit vendor and walk around a bit more. I decide not to buy flowers this week, since it's been an unusually high-spending week for me. $13.25
1 p.m. — I stop by Mendocino Farms on my walk back for a salad. It's my first time here, and I'm impressed with the customer service. I take my salad to go and walk the five minutes home. $14.92
1:15 p.m. — I might have been impressed with the customer service, but the salad was so mediocre. Don't have plans to go back. I wash all of my fruit, tidy up the apartment, text with B. about our plans for the afternoon, and hop into the shower. B. gets home by the time I get out, and I quickly blowdry my hair and get dressed in another outfit.
3:30 p.m. — B. and I pick up my cousin and her boyfriend from their place, which is super close by, and we head over to the Hollywood Bowl for a summer jazz night! I'm so excited to spend time with them. We're all very close and get along well. We stop by All About the Bread to grab sandwiches. Cousin's bf pays. We also stop at Ralph's for beer and chips. B. pays.
5:30 p.m. — Arrive at the Bowl, and I park at our friend's cousin's place that's a five-minute walk from the venue. Very convenient! We settle on the turf and eat our sandwiches and chips. We sip on rosé and beer. Unfortunately, I have a headache and am driving, so I only have a little rosé with my sandwich. The concert starts at 6, but we're having such a good time and want to wait until the line dies down, so we end up entering the venue at 7:30.
7:30 p.m. — Once we enter, we get a large popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, and more beers for our crew. B. pays. We get to our amazing seats just as the Commodores get on stage. We make friends with the people around us and start JAMMIN! Dave Koz is on next, and he sounds amazing. I take in the moment, as I'm very happy to be here with people I love so much.
9:45 p.m. — We sneak out right before the show ends, since we all have work early tomorrow and don't want to get stuck in traffic leaving the venue. I drop off my cousin and her bf, and B. asks to stop at McDonald's for a McGriddle. I get a small vanilla milkshake, too. He pays.
11:15 p.m. — Tucked into bed with my favorite person, and I fall asleep happy.
Daily Total: $28.17

Day Seven

7:45 a.m. — Up for the day. B. kissed me goodbye earlier. I snooze for ten minutes and start getting ready. Drive to the office and make it in time for our 9 a.m. meeting.
1 p.m. — Two calls down, and my coworker and I are ready for lunch. I place an order for us from California Chicken Cafe on Postmates, and she Venmos me for her portion. I get a wrap with a small side of pasta salad and tip the driver. $17.97
1:30 p.m. — I see that Abercrombie is having a 30% off site-wide sale, and I buy two pieces that were sitting in my cart. Their dresses fit me well since they have petite options, which not many stores have. I buy one midi dress and one long-sleeve bodysuit. $88.30
2:20 p.m. — Food has arrived! We eat at our desks. I have half of my wrap, save my pasta salad for dinner, and save the other half of my wrap for lunch tomorrow.
3 p.m. — I Venmo my cousin for last night's concert ticket. I also text B. to do the same. She got us great seats for this price, so I consider it a steal! $62
5:40 p.m. — I head out to pick up B. and my shoes, since he was too busy at work this weekend to pick them up from the cobbler. They were $50, but B. Venmos me immediately.
6 p.m. — I get home and immediately start laundry in the shared laundry room downstairs. I tidy up, watch some TV, and eat my small cup of pasta salad for dinner. B. mentions he's playing poker with his coworkers after work and will be home around 9:30 p.m. I clean out my sock and bra drawer. Is it just me, or does everyone have like 50 bras in their drawer, but only wear a select few? It feels really good to clean! $3.25
10 p.m. — Start getting ready for bed, and B. gets home. He thanks me for picking up our shoes and doing the laundry and cuddles me till we drift off to sleep.
Daily Total: $171.52
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