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A Week In Oxnard, CA, On A $48,000 Salary

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Today: a marketing manager who makes $48,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a wedding dress.
Occupation: Marketing Manager
Industry: Agriculture
Age: 31
Location: Oxnard, CA
Salary: $48,000
Net Worth: ~$698,875 ($674,000 in home equity (I inherited it, paid off and live here now with my mom), $3,588 in checking, $900 in savings, $14,490 in wedding savings account, $5,897 in my 401(k) minus debt).
Debt: $2,025.75 in credit card debt. I paid off my student loans during lockdown.
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,463
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Pilates Gym: $199
DoorDash: $5
Progressive Insurance: $89
Health Insurance: $68.12
Amazon Prime: $14 (I've since cancelled this).
Donations: $75
Water: $12 (my half).
Electricity: $30 (my half).
Internet: $25 (my half).
Cell Phone: on family plan.

Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Yes. My mother was a teacher so education was emphasized. I did community college for four years while taking care of my grandmother, then transferred to a state school on scholarships and grants after she passed. I took out an $18,000 loan that I paid off aggressively during the shutdown.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
The conversations about money were about how we had no money. My mom has always been a single parent and there isn't much money in teaching. We nearly lost our home in 2008. We were always borrowing from my godparents or my grandmother to make ends meet.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
Financial stress and some food insecurity at home made for bad grades at school. Because of the bad grades my mom never wanted me to have an after-school job, which now, looking back, was maybe part of the cycle. I started babysitting after school and on the weekends. Anything I made went towards groceries and lunch money, and sometimes towards bills.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Do you worry about money now?
I have to remind myself that I'm okay now and I can relax. However, with interest rates and housing prices what they are, it's hard not to worry. My fiancé and I tried to buy a home in 2020 but we were always outbid. With interest rates now, we've kind of given up for the moment.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
That's a complicated question. I would say that I was on my own in college and when I lived on my own but now that my mom and I live together again, we're pretty financially intertwined. I have my fiancé but if I lost my job it would be rough on all three of us.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
My grandmother left my mom and me her house, for which I will be forever grateful.

Day One

5:30 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm and have my Keurig coffee while watching part one of the Real Housewives Of Potomac reunion. A hot water line cracked so I have to turn the main water line on and off from the outside while I get ready. I walk my dog, K., and make my food for the day. My fiancé, E., picks me up and we carpool to work.
9 a.m. — I have a meeting with my boss. A product campaign keeps getting delayed by our CEO's micromanagement. It's a good meeting overall.
12:15 p.m. — Warm up some minestrone soup and add cotija cheese and chili flakes. I text my wedding dress shopping group chat about an appointment this weekend and read Love in the Time of Cholera. A big storm is coming through and I'm not a good driver so I order my groceries for delivery. I already got my produce for the week at a farm stand down the street from my work so I'm just getting meats and some snacking stuff. $117
5 p.m. — E. picks me up. My groceries were delivered and my mom put them away before I got home. The house is covered in plastic for a plumbing demolition this weekend. I help E. install a new battery in my mom's car and then bring it to the shop. We have a potential buyer for the car coming by this weekend and the money from the sale is going to help pay for the repairs. Lots of moving parts this week.
6:30 p.m. — E. feels a cold coming on so I give him some cold and sinus medicine and he goes home to sleep it off. I walk K. When I get home, I realize I'm out of dog food and I have to drive in the storm anyway. $23
7:15 p.m. — The storm is causing the power to flex. I shower and cook dinner while running in and out for the water valve. Dinner today is chicken, corn and a baked potato. I read Spare until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $140

Day Two

5:30 a.m. — Wi-fi is out from the storm. I make my coffee and give K. her joint supplement. I read more of Spare until it's time to get ready. E. is home sick today, I have a dentist appointment this morning and my mom needs to borrow my car for her part-time job while hers is at the shop. We decide she'll come with me to the appointment and then drop me off at work after. I move my Pilates class to tomorrow and have to pay a cancellation fee. $10
9 a.m. — I get a new filling at the dentist and can't move my mouth too well. I really wish I had my car to go buy Tylenol.
12 p.m. — My mouth is moveable finally so I DoorDash a Beyond burrito, a soft chicken taco, crinkle fries and a Diet Coke from Del Taco. I inhale it while watching YouTube compilations of NBA fails. $15.46
12:30 p.m. — I need new backless Spanx for trying on dresses this weekend so I buy a pair on their website and add two-day shipping. $86.24
2:15 p.m. — My mom's car is ready at the shop and she needs me to go with her to pick it up. My mouth is giving me a migraine so I don't fight her on it and clock out early.
4 p.m. — On the way back from the shop, my mom's car starts shaking so it has to go back on Friday. I take some Advil and nap with K. for an hour. When I wake up I take her for a long walk before the blizzard hits tonight. The wi-fi is back on when I get back so I FaceTime my friend while we cook dinner. I make barbecue chicken and very soft broccoli.
9 p.m. — I take more Advil, shower and do my nighttime routine. Before I shut off the water, I fill some water jugs. I watch Dateline until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $111.70

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — Good morning! K. wakes up happy and there is a break in the rain so we do our morning walk early. After, I get back in bed and read until it's time to get ready. E. is still out sick today and my mom is nervous about her car so we decide she'll drop me off and pick me up from work, then go with me to Pilates. At work, I munch on a muffin and some protein bites from home and drink my coffee while going over our department budget.
12:15 p.m. — I make instant ramen and add leftover spinach and corn. E and I FaceTime and he sends me a Spotify playlist of possible ceremony songs.
5 p.m. — Pilates class! I love my studio and my instructor is so kind. We're both getting married in the fall so we update each other on our plans after class. E. texts me that he picked up his brother's best man suit so I send him money from the wedding budget for it. $146.30
7:30 p.m. — This blizzard is wild. When my phone says there is going to be a break in the storm, I run out to turn on the water. In what can only be described as Olympic-level cleaning speed, I put dinner in the oven, start the water for dishes, refill our water pitchers, shower and wash the dishes and countertops. On the rush back from turning off the water, hail starts to come down. I get dinner out of the oven and rewatch Shotgun Wedding on Amazon.
10 p.m. — I listen to the rain and text with E. about our days. I fall asleep mid-message.
Daily Total: $146.30

Day Four

6 a.m. — Disaster, I'm out of K cups. How's a girl supposed to get through home demolition, car troubles and wedding planning without coffee? I have some water with lemon and watch reruns of Real Housewives of Orange County on Peacock. I may be juggling too much and I may be uncaffeinated but I am not married to David Beador and that is something to celebrate. With the rain coming down, K. and I wear our raincoats and go out for a much shorter morning potty walk. Back at home, I bundle her up in a blanket and E. picks me up for work. We both ran out of time to make lunch today so we'll go out on a lunch date. I eat instant oatmeal at work.
12:30 p.m. — For lunch we go to a small restaurant with a fireplace near both of our offices. We split a chicken tortilla soup and a tri-tip salad while our jackets dry near the fireplace. It's nice to have this time to be with each other. Afterward, we stop by his grandma's church and make a payment for the wedding ceremony. We get there as the office attendant is closing early due to the storm. California, amirite? Again, I pull money from our wedding fund. $200
4:30 p.m. — When I get home, my Nuuly rental is on the porch. This is my last free month of a two-month trial. It's so helpful to not have to buy new outfits for wedding events and work that I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a membership for the year.
8 p.m. — E. and I decide on breakfast for dinner. We make gluten-free pancakes and soy chorizo tacos. The storm is really loud. We spend most of the night cuddled up on the couch and watching it come down out the window. We alternate between sharing a glass of red wine and drinking Abuelita chocolate. When I start to fall asleep, E. heads home and I wash up for bed. Goodnight.
Daily Total: $200

Day Five

8 a.m. — I wake up 30 minutes before my morning Pilates class. I quickly change into a workout set and my wool coat, brush my teeth, put on moisturizer and I'm out the door. Still no coffee at home, I stop at a coffee shop on the way home and order a hazelnut latte, an Americano for my cousin (who is fixing our plumbing) and a café vanilla for my mom. When I get home, the demo is in full effect and cold rain is coming down. Guess I'm staying in my room today. I play fetch with K. while drinking my latte. $14
12 p.m. — I can't cook with the water off so I order us all pizza, salads and soda. $50
2 p.m. — There is so much snow in the mountains nearby, E. and I decide to go drive around to see it. We stop at a cute candy shop and I buy some for us. $8
5 p.m. — My cousin texts me that the work is done for the day. E.'s in the mood for Korean food so we stop and get dakgangjeong and yookkae jang. He pays. We take the food back to my house and watch Puss in Boots on Peacock. E. goes home after and I ride on my Peloton. I don't pay for a membership so I search "Janet Jackson rhythm ride" on YouTube and follow some random instructor on there. It's a really good ride so I subscribe to her.
10:30 p.m. — Showered and in bed, I go through our ceremony booklet. I pick out the readings and prayers. I put on Dateline and prep my hair for tomorrow. Something about Keith Morrison describing how someone lit up a room really settles my mind enough to sleep.
Daily Total: $72

Day Six

8 a.m. — What's the best part of waking up? A really old tub of Folgers in your cup. My mom found some deep in the cabinet and life is good. The storm is gone for the day so K. and I successfully take a long walk. Back at home, I make chilaquiles.
10 a.m. — The white Anthropologie dress I rented is a little too sexy for today so instead I wear these cool Triarchy jeans with my own top and leather jacket. As I leave for mass, my cousin comes in to finish the plumbing. I fill up my car with gas. $30
11:30 a.m. — After mass I make it to our neighborhood pool to watch E. teach his swim class. One of his students swims on their own in the deep end for the first time. Their parent and I scream and clap, it's awesome.
1 p.m. — The person who was going to buy our car cancels on us. I'm about to freak out but when my cousin finds out we were selling the car to pay for the plumbing, he makes a last-minute offer to buy it off us instead. Turns out his stepson has been asking about it. The plumbing was going to cost $4,000 and the car is barely worth $3,500 so it's a fair trade to us. My mom is happy the car is staying in the family and his stepson is stoked.
2:45 p.m. — We go to the dress shop. After two months of looking and lots of sad tears, I FINALLY FOUND MY DRESS! E.'s mom gifts me my veil. To celebrate, my mom pays for dinner for everyone at our favorite restaurant. My best friend and I jam to the Backstreet Boys the whole way home and send E. a million videos celebrating. $2,366.05
9 p.m. — WE HAVE WATER! I take the most luxurious shower and clean my room. Dateline and sleep.
Daily Total: $2,366.05

Day Seven

5 a.m. — E. sends me a piece by Bach. If he likes it, I like it. Ceremony music done! I make some bad Folgers, watch RHOC, get ready for the day and head to the office with my Pilates bag. No walk today because it's raining too hard.
9 a.m. — Meetings, avocado toast from home and a ton of emails this morning. But I do get a reimbursement check for $868.64 so I'm celebrating.
12:45 p.m. — Lunch with E. at the marina by our offices. We eat our sandwiches and watch the stormy waves.
5 p.m. — Pilates center and balance class. My instructor gives us an extra 10 minutes of stretch. Love her. I stop at E.'s after. I Postmates us some hot Nashville chicken with macaroni salad and red beans and rice. E. makes a salad and we have sex while we wait for the food. $23.49
8:45 p.m. — I get another reimbursement check when I get home! This one is from the radiology lab I went to a month ago. Apparently my insurance decided to cover it. I get back $358. My Spanx also came in but I don't actually need them for my dress so back they go. I take K. quickly up and down the block so she can go to the bathroom while the rain is lighter.
10 p.m. — Showered and wearing another face mask in bed. I cuddle with K. and text with my college friend group chat until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $23.49
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