A Week In Albuquerque, NM, On A $64,279 Income

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, as part of Your Spending In Your State: a manager working in casino gaming who makes $64,279, per year and spends some of her money this week on La Croix.
Occupation: Manager
Industry: Casino Gaming
Age: 31
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Salary: $59,279, plus a $5,000 yearly bonus paid quarterly
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,691
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $840 (I live alone.)
Student Loans: $250
Car Payment: $312
Netflix: $13
Hulu: $15
Amazon Prime: $13
Internet: $45
Electricity & Gas: $80-$100
Car Insurance: $145
Cell Phone: $120
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Day One

5:50 a.m. — I wake up to start my week. (Since I work in the gaming industry, my week starts on Tuesday instead of Monday.) I hit snooze a few times and then take my dog for a quick walk while my coffee brews. I'm already running late, so I get ready in a rush. My assistant and I have a busy week ahead of us, so I stop to get us both bacon breakfast burritos from one of my favorite spots. $11.83
11:35 a.m. — The morning goes by quickly and after I accomplish five of the 25 items on my to-do list, I reward myself with lunch. I call a few work friends, and we head to one of our go-to restaurants for a quick bite. My boss sees us heading out and joins. I order a chicken sandwich with fries and an iced tea, and my boss picks up the tab ($7.35).
3:45 p.m. — The afternoon has been filled with meetings and problem-solving. My assistant and I decide we need a break and take a walk to the convenience store. I pick up a candy bar for sustenance and resist a sundae from Dairy Queen. $1
5:15 p.m. — I arrive home, feed my animals, and contemplate what I should make for dinner. Nothing seems appealing, and I didn't defrost any chicken, so I opt for takeout. I got an email for free delivery from Grubhub, so I order from a local taco place. I order enough for lunch tomorrow. $25.85
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10 p.m. — I get into bed and follow up on a few work emails I received throughout the evening. Then I read some articles before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $38.68

Day Two

5:30 a.m. — I wake up with the first alarm that goes off and let the dog out to do her business. Wednesdays are very busy for me, I have to be at work by 7:30. I make coffee and toast and eat it on my drive. My tank is a little less than a quarter full, so I stop to fill it at a local gas station in my neighborhood. $32.18
1:30 p.m. — I'm unable to take a break until well after my normal lunch hour. I didn't realize how hungry I was. I forgot the leftover tacos from last night in my fridge, so I go make a salad at a salad bar ($2.32). While eating, I text my boyfriend, who lets me know he can spend the evening with me. He wants a home-cooked meal, and I oblige. He agrees to pick up a pre-seasoned pork tenderloin on his way to my place. $2.32
5:30 p.m. — I arrive home, and my boyfriend and his pooch are already there. He is a saint and has already walked the dogs, so I start on dinner. I make the tenderloin, some garlic mashed cauliflower, and asparagus I had in the freezer. We eat dinner while watching 90 Day Fiancé.
8 p.m. — We decide to take the dogs for a walk to work off dinner. I live in a relatively active part of the city and there are several shops along our normal route. We pass by a custard shop, where we get a sundae to share. The woman at the shop recognizes us and gives us free dog treats. $4.35
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10:30 p.m. — Get into bed. My boyfriend finishes up some work while I read and catch up on the celebrity gossip for the day. The dogs are peacefully asleep at our feet dreaming of puppy ice cream cones.
Daily Total: $38.85

Day Three

5:50 a.m. — Alarm goes off, but my boyfriend convinces me to hit the snooze button and get into work a little late. I get out of bed, text my assistant to let her know I'm running late, and get ready. While I'm in the shower, my boyfriend makes coffee, toast, and eggs, and lets the dogs out for their morning business. I head off to work while he heads back to bed, both dogs taking my place on the bed.
11:30 a.m. — Another busy morning of meetings, but I manage to get away for lunch with my normal work crew. I brought my leftover tacos from Tuesday, but find that the tortillas are now inedible, so I get some rice and piece together a taco bowl. $0.85
3 p.m. — I take a break from work and browse Groupon, where I find a deal for tickets to the Nutcracker ballet. I text my boyfriend, convince him it will be fun, and purchase the tickets. He tells me he was able to work from home today and is still at my apartment. He wants to grill hamburgers for dinner and asks me to pick up a few things on my way home. $106
4:40 p.m. — I pick up hamburger buns, chips, cheese, tomatoes, and avocado. When I get home, the burgers are almost done. We eat while watching a few more episodes of 90 Day Fiancé. Then we clean up and head out to run a few errands. $16.76
6:45 p.m. — I'm out of a few of my beauty essentials, so we go to Sephora. The saleswoman convinces me to try a new night cream, and I spend more than I had originally planned. $103.71
8 p.m. — My boyfriend and I hit up our favorite liquor store on the way home and pick out a bottle of Scotch to enjoy over the weekend. It's his turn to buy, so he pays ($75.83).
10 p.m. — The dogs are restless, so we decide to take them for a quick walk before settling in. We return from the walk and get into bed. I pick up a novel I've been reading, and he returns a few work emails before drifting off to sleep.
Daily Total: $227.32

Day Four

5:50 a.m. — I wake up and decide to try to be on time to work. As I get ready, my boyfriend makes coffee and offers to make me eggs. I decline and opt for toast so I can eat it on my commute to work. He heads back to bed with the dogs, and I head into work for the day.
11:15 a.m. — I have lunch again with my work friends. I get chicken strips and an iced tea. $7.35
1:30 p.m. — I get a text from my boyfriend saying he has to head into the office and won't be at my apartment when I get home.
4 p.m. — I leave work early to make my standing nail appointment. This is the only thing I budget for that is completely frivolous. I enjoy feeling pampered for a few hours every other week. I get a pedicure and manicure this time, but since the weather has changed, I've only been getting pedicures once a month. $65.43
6 p.m. — I get home and take the dog for a walk, resisting the urge to pick up dinner at one of the restaurants on our regular route. I get back home and warm up a leftover hamburger from last night. Then I settle in and catch up on This Is Us while eating.
10:30 p.m. — Get into bed, read celebrity gossip, and FaceTime with my parents to confirm their travel plans for the holidays.
Daily Total: $72.78

Day Five

8 a.m. — Saturday! I'm able to sleep in a bit. My sister stops by and convinces me to take her to breakfast. We drop by one of our favorite waffle places, where I get a ham and cheese waffle and a latte, and she gets an eggnog waffle and coffee. I pay, since she's a poor college student. $23.41
2:30 p.m. — I get ready to head into work, and I text my assistant to see if she's eaten. She hasn't, so I pick us up a late lunch from Chick-Fil-A and get my day started. $17.08
10 p.m. — Saturdays are typically work-event days, and sometimes I end up working well into the night. Today, I'm lucky and can leave at a relatively reasonable hour. I head home, let the dog out, and get a sad face for not taking her for a walk. I snack on some yogurt I have in the fridge and settle in for the night.
12 a.m. — I read for a while before drifting off to sleep.
Daily Total: $40.49

Day Six

8 a.m. — I'm able to sleep in again. I wake up, let the dog out, make some coffee and a breakfast burrito, and get ready for a Humane Society event I'm attending today.
10:30 a.m. — My friend and her dog arrive to pick me and my dog up for the event. She already bought us tickets and won't let me reimburse her, so I insist on buying lunch. We attend the event and meet a whole bunch of new dog friends.
1 p.m. — We grab lunch at one of the food trucks. I get a Thai chicken wrap with a La Croix, and my friend gets a Frito pie and a Diet Coke. I pay. We sit at a table to eat while the dogs run around and play. $23
430 p.m. — I want fajitas for dinner, so I run to the store after dropping the dog off at home. I pick up some chicken, bell peppers, tortillas, sour cream, and a few other essentials for the week. My boyfriend texts to say he'll be over later in the evening. I tell him I'll have dinner ready, and he's excited. $34.56
12 a.m. — We spend the evening watching the first three Planet of the Apes movies, eating fajitas, and enjoying Scotch. The we get into bed and fall straight asleep.
Daily Total: $57.56

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Finally get out of bed and get the day started. One of our favorite thrift stores is having a sale, so we decide to head over. While I get showered and ready, my boyfriend makes coffee and an egg scramble from the leftover fajitas.
11:30 a.m. — Starbucks drive-through time. I order a iced green tea, and my boyfriend gets a dirty chai latte. I have a free drink with my Starbucks app, so we only have to pay for one. I pick up the tab so I can get the points. $4.35
2:30 p.m. — I find a few good things at the thrift store and walk away with an 11-piece tea set, a few glass pitchers for tea, and a liquor decanter. The tea set will be a gift for my friend's upcoming birthday. My boyfriend found some electronics that he's going to resell on his Ebay page. We pay separately for our items. $43
4:30 p.m. — We get home and realize we haven't eaten since breakfast, so we order BBQ from a local place via Grubhub. I get ribs, and he gets brisket. He ordered from his app, so he pays ($53.40).
7:30 p.m. — We take the dogs for a walk and stop for a custard sundae. Our normal cashier isn't there, so the dog treats aren't free this time. $8.54
10 p.m. — We get into bed, and I return some work emails. Then I indulge in my nightly celebrity gossip before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $55.89
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.
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