A Week In Portland, OR, On A $60,000 Salary

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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 marketing assistant working in management consulting who makes $60,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on bao buns.
Occupation: Marketing Assistant
Industry: Management Consulting
Age: 25
Location: Portland, OR
Salary: $60,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,743.14
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $575 for my share of a one-bedroom apartment, including pet rent. (I split with my boyfriend.)
Student Loans: $490
Car Loan: $260
Credit Cards: $600 monthly
Car Insurance: $80
Phone: $90
Utilities: $150
Youtube TV: $35
Tidal Music: $14.99
Orangetheory Fitness: $159.99
Savings: $400
401(k): $250
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Annual Expenses
Renters Insurance: $124 annually

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I wake up early to go to a 7 a.m. Orangetheory class. Saturday mornings are the only days they have 90-minute classes at my studio, so I make it a priority to go. I hate that I have to pay for parking every time, but I guess it's better than taking public transportation. $2.10
9 a.m. — When I get home, I buy reusable produce bags on Amazon. Since I moved to Portland, I've been inspired to be more eco-friendly, and these bags will be perfect for grocery shopping. $12.99
10:30 a.m. — My boyfriend, E., and I head to the other side of town to try a breakfast place I saw on Instagram. E. is currently unemployed, so I've been picking up most of the checks. We get a piece of crumb cake, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, and an open-faced egg salad sandwich to take home. It's delicious but overpriced. We skip on coffee because the place is getting too crowded. I spend the rest of the day stuffed and tired, so I take a nap in preparation for a concert tonight. $28.80
5 p.m. — We pick up food from a local Asian restaurant to take to our friend's apartment for a pregame. We get three bao buns, a spicy chicken sandwich, papaya salad, coconut rice, spicy peanuts, and sweet and spicy wings. We told our friend that we would pick up dinner if he picked up beer. $48.13
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5:30 p.m. — Friend lives in the city, so we have to pay for parking again until 7. $2.60
7:30 p.m. — It starts to rain, so we take an Uber to the concert but our friend pays. Once we arrive, we head to the bar for a round of drinks. E. pays for the first round, after which I decide this will be my last beer, since I'll be driving home later. The concert is really great. E. and friend continue drinking and take turns paying for rounds. I'm actually happy I stopped drinking because I want to be a functioning human in the morning.
12 a.m. — We take an Uber from the venue back to our friend's apartment, and then I drive us back to our place. E. falls asleep in the car. I crash as soon as we get home.
Daily Total: $94.62

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — I wake up pretty late after an exhausting night. E. doesn't feel well (probably from all the drinks he had), so I go food shopping on my own. I eat Whole 30-style during the week so my groceries can get pretty expensive, but I don't mind since I'm buying mostly fruits and vegetables. Today I buy shrimp and pasta (zucchini noodles for me), Greek salad, tacos, chicken with potatoes and broccoli, and bun-less turkey burgers. I also have to get Gatorade and ice cream for E. and some feminine care items for myself. $137.71
10 a.m. — I head to Petco to buy some litter and treats for my cats. I have three cats, so I'm super self-conscious about my apartment smelling like cats. The cashier asks if I want to donate to help homeless animals and I can't say no, so I donate $2. $21.98
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12:30 p.m. — The grocery store didn't carry the dairy-free coffee creamer I use, so I purchase a pack of four on Amazon. Thank goodness for next-day shipping. I spend the rest of the day meal prepping chicken and sweet potatoes and binge-watching True Blood using my parent's HBO GO account. $14.99
5 p.m. — I cook shrimp, pasta, and zucchini noodles for dinner. I can't bear to pay for prepared zucchini noodles, so I always buy zucchini and spiralize it myself. It takes time, but it definitely saves money.
8 p.m. — We remember E.'s niece's birthday is on Friday. I go on the American Girl website and order an outfit for her doll, shipped right to her house. $36.20
Daily Total: $210.88

Day Three

6 a.m. — I work until 2:30 p.m. E. does chores around the apartment between job searching and prepping for a big interview later in the week.
12 p.m. — I've been really interested in Ayurveda lately, so I purchase a Kindle e-book on its healing benefits. $12.99
2:45 p.m. — I go to a 3 p.m. Orangetheory class. This one is only an hour, and I have to pay for parking again, which sucks. I should really total up how much it costs me every month. I forgot to pay one time and didn't get a ticket. I wonder how many times I could get away with not paying before I actually do get ticketed. Is it worth it? Probably not. $2.60
4:45 p.m. — We have an appointment at the vet for one of the cats. She was vomiting last week and has a cut on her head. Call me a helicopter mom, but I'd rather get her checked out now than have to take her to the emergency room. The vet does a standard check up and tells us she's fine. $49.50
6 p.m. — E. complains all night long that we took the cat to the vet despite there being nothing wrong with her. We make Greek chicken salads for dinner. After dinner, I spend about an hour reading my book about Ayurveda. I decide to start a morning routine and set my alarm for 5:30 so I can stretch and set intentions for the day before I start work.
Daily Total: $65.09

Day Four

5:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I stretch out in bed, something I often forget to do because I'm always in a rush. I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth, splash cool water on my face, and wash my hands to start the day. I make a pot of coffee and do a few stretches while it brews. I decide that I'm going to drink warm water with my vitamins and wait 30 minutes before having coffee.
9 a.m. — It's a slow work day. I'm planning a bridal shower for my sister in May, and I end up finding a cheap flight today, so I talk to E. about how long I would be gone for and then book it. We recently got a travel card, so we can at least earn miles for our bi-monthly trips back to the east coast. $296.91
3 p.m. — I end up cancelling my 4:15 Orangetheory class. I'm tired and, quite frankly, don't feel like going. At first I feel guilty, but I also don't skip workouts very often, so I cancel. $12
3:45 p.m. — I talk with my sister on the phone. She tells me that she's ready to order her wedding invitations. I designed them, so I offer to order them for her. I order 100 invitations, envelopes, and envelope stickers. $67.88
6 p.m. — E. and I cook dinner together. This is probably my favorite part of my day. It reminds me of my childhood — my family always cooked and ate dinner together.
Daily Total: $376.79

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — I wake up early again to go through my morning routine. I'm not sure if I like it because I find myself constantly looking at the clock waiting for 6 a.m.
6 a.m. — Another full day of work. E. now has confirmation of a date and time for his interview. I ask him to pick out his clothes so we can decide if they need to be dry-cleaned.
11 a.m. — I go to the gym in my apartment complex instead of Orangetheory. While I'm there, I refill the laundry card. The laundry room in our apartment complex takes pre-paid card payment rather than coins. We do three to four loads every week since I have so many workout clothes that need to be washed. $30
4 p.m. — We decide that E.'s clothes don't need to be dry-cleaned, so I spend most of the evening learning how to tie a tie and then steaming all of his interview clothes. We try a new recipe for dinner — Whole30 Broccoli Chicken Ranch Potatoes. The cats have been rowdy at night lately, so I spend 30 minutes playing with them before I decide it's time to hit the sack.
Daily Total: $30

Day Six

6 a.m. — I wake up, and it's snowing! I'm grateful that I work from home and don't have to drive anywhere.
11 a.m. — Once the snow stops, I go to the apartment gym. Sometimes, I feel guilty about going to the gym during the work day, but I'm paid hourly and am not eligible for overtime because I work from home. Consider it my lunch break.
2:30 p.m. — A recruiter contacted me last week about a job opening for a marketing coordinator at a local non-profit organization, so I head downtown for a 3 p.m. interview. I pay for two hours of parking since I'm not sure how long it will take. $4
4 p.m. — The interview was okay. I was more nervous than I usually am. They asked a lot of scenario questions that felt repetitive. On my way home, I stop by Starbucks. I get a grande cold brew for myself and a grande iced caramel macchiato for E. $7.70
6 p.m. — We make bun-less turkey burgers and green beans for dinner. We spend the evening cleaning up. I decide that I'm too tired to do anything else and go to sleep early.
Daily Total: $11.70

Day Seven

5:30 a.m. — I continue with my new morning routine, which now includes loading and unloading the dishwasher. Self-care is not always easy.
11:30 a.m. — It's a slow day at work. I do some online shopping for an upcoming trip to visit E.'s parents in Florida. I purchase a dress, two rompers, a tank top, and sneakers. Online shopping is my weakness. I always tell myself I'll return some stuff, but I never do. At least I spent enough to qualify for free shipping. $137.39
2:30 p.m. — I go to Orangetheory and pay for parking. I love going on Friday afternoons — it totally sets the tone for the weekend. I wish E. would come with me, but he's not interested in exercise the way I am. $2.60
5:30 p.m. — We go to our favorite restaurant for dinner. They serve breakfast all day long. E. has a beer and chicken and waffles and I have a coconut milk latte and a buffalo chicken hash. We get sausage and bacon to share. The restaurant has “clean” menu options and they are transparent about where they source their ingredients from, which I find so important. They also include gratuity on the bill to make sure their employees earn a living wage and can afford health insurance. Even more of a reason to love them! $58.18
Daily Total: $198.17
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