A Week In Milwaukee, WI, On A $340,000 Joint 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: a healthcare leader working in healthcare who makes $340,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Cracklin' Oat Bran.
Occupation: Healthcare Leader
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 32
Location: Milwaukee, WI
My Salary: $180,000 (plus bonus opportunities)
My Husband's Salary: $160,000 (plus bonus opportunities)
My Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $4,460
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $3,920
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,257.65 (monthly payment includes taxes and home-insurance premium)
My Car Loan: $1,500 (I'm overpaying it)
Husband's Car Lease: $325
Student Loans: $0 (paid off $40,000)
Cell Phone: $70.37 (work subsidizes for both of us)
Internet: $74.62
Sling (love my Bravo!): $26.26
Energy Bill: $100-200
Microsoft Office for Personal Laptop: $7.38
Hulu: $1.03 (amazing Black Friday deal!)
Netflix: $13.65
iCloud Storage: $0.99
SiriusXM Radio: $20.40
Spotify: $10.50
Cleaning Person: $350 (2x/month)
Gardening Service: $110 (only in spring/summer)
Pest Management: $34
Daycare: $1,120 (for our baby, K.)
Family Gym Membership: $49 (subsidized by work)
Peloton: $40.99
Savings: ~$4,000
Insurance: $797 (We pay this amount every six months.)
Amazon Prime: $119 (annual)
Capital One Annual Fee: $59
Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee: $450
Financial Note: We recently completed a year-long $100,000 home remodel, but we paid that as we went.

Day One

5:50 a.m. — I took today off of work to get caught up on some household items and to relax after a very busy weekend and late night last night, but I'm woken up by our baby, K. I breastfeed and help my husband, E., get K. ready for daycare. E. takes K. to daycare.
7:45 a.m. — I enjoy being a little lazy and watching the beginning of the Mueller hearing — he has an intense day ahead of him! I decide to treat myself to an al fresco breakfast of an iced cinnamon mocha latte and kale eggs Benedict. My husband and I set aside $750 each month that we can treat as fun money — we have to use this money on purchases for ourselves and can save up the money to buy big, fun things for ourselves without the other person. This idea has saved us from many a money argument. This is a fun money purchase for me! $15.47
11:30 a.m. — I do two loads of laundry and some other household chores and then head to a meeting. I am serving on the leadership council for a local women's leadership organization. A healthy lunch of salad is provided! We discuss the organization's strategic plan and have some spirited conversations.
1:30 p.m. — I drive to Target while breast pumping in my car (multitasking at its finest). K. just had a doctor's appointment, and we were told to try fragrance-free and dye-free laundry detergent because he has sensitive skin. I buy the detergent pods because they are so convenient. I also pick up some Aveeno lotion to try. $29.76
4 p.m. — After finishing household chores, I pick up K. from daycare. It is beautiful out, so I take him for a walk around the neighborhood and then feed and play with him until it is time to make dinner. I make the HelloFresh sweet and smoky chicken breast, roasted broccoli, and mashed potatoes.
7:30 p.m. — After putting K. down for bed, I pour myself a glass of Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley and eat two Dove dark chocolates and two Dove mint dark chocolates. I go online and purchase a ticket for myself to attend an event that my leadership organization is putting on in October. I always enjoy the event, and they have an amazing keynote speaker slated. E. and I watch an episode of Madame Secretary on Netflix. $125
9:30 p.m. — I check Mint before bed and see that E. spent some of his fun money on a panini ($9.55) for lunch and a cup of coffee ($2.17). I do my nightly routine, which includes a brief journal entry (I've been keeping a journal for over two years, and I love reading to see how much my life has changed in that time!). $11.72
Daily Total: $181.95

Day Two

5:40 a.m. — I quickly hop in the shower and then feed K. and help my husband get him ready for daycare. I then go to the gym for a quick treadmill walk while watching the Today show.
7:30 a.m. — I decide that I want an iced mocha from Starbucks to go with the frozen breakfast sandwich I packed from home. $4.57
11:30 a.m. — I go through emails and then sit on a conference call for a while. I'm enjoying my light morning so far! I get chicken enchilada chili to go with the fresh fruit and veggies I brought with me from home for lunch. I eat while on another conference call. $5.14
4 p.m. — I finish my last meeting and pick up K. at daycare. If I pick him up before 4:30, I usually get to breastfeed him at home and don't have to pump a third time at work.
6 p.m. — E. gets home, and we do a quick neighborhood walk before having a fast dinner of leftover Italian beef and peppers (plus spicy giardiniera for me) and strawberries.
7 p.m. — I do K.'s bedtime routine, and E. goes to the pharmacy — he has a chronic condition, and the prescription copays are expensive. After K. is asleep, I eat some dark chocolate and finish my book while E. cleans the kitchen and rides the Peloton. $157.52
9:30 p.m. — I check Mint and see that E. took himself out for a nice lunch of salad and sticky toffee pudding cake ($33) and got a cup of coffee ($2.17). $35.17
Daily Total: $202.40

Day Three

6 a.m. — K. wakes and I feed him and then get him and myself ready for the day. We have a nurse coming to our house at 7 to do a health screening and blood/urine testing for life insurance for E. and me. I have a policy, but we are increasing it. With E.'s chronic condition, we are hoping that this policy gets approved as he is, overall, very healthy. If we get approved, our monthly premiums will be $1,300, which is a lot, but we want our family to be financially okay if anything horrible were to happen to either one of us. We also see this as diversifying our investment strategy. After the nurse leaves, E. takes K. to daycare, and I heat up a frozen breakfast sandwich and make a Keurig hot chocolate to drink.
9 a.m. — First pumping session of the day. I am on the board for a statewide professional organization, and they sent an email to all members asking for more donations to their political conduit fund. The donation is not tax deductible, but I feel that it is important to have the funds to move the mark on some important healthcare legislation in our state. $150
11:30 a.m. — We have a staff recognition event with free lunch, and they asked leaders to serve food. I head over to another location to do this, and on the way, I stop at the library to get a new book they have on hold for me (I love the library!) and at Costco to fill my gas tank. $33.76
1 p.m. — Second pump session of the day, and I sign myself, E., and K. up for a local fundraiser walk later in the summer. I donate $50 on behalf of each of us. $150
3:30 p.m. — Not many meetings today, and I was super efficient so I finished almost everything on my task list today — this very rarely happens, and I'm so happy! I head to a local grocery store to get some groceries. I buy low-sodium turkey lunchmeat (did you know you can freeze unused lunchmeat? This has been a game changer for me!), potato salad, coleslaw, salami, honey pistachio cream cheese, Swiss cheese, two types of cheese spread, cheddar cheese slices (we are in Wisconsin, after all), veggie spring rolls, milk, Greek yogurt, Cracklin' Oat Bran, Bisquick pancake mix, shrimp cocktail, olives, spring mix, orange juice, chocolate-covered marcona almonds, and dark chocolate toffee. $125.11
6 p.m. — My in-laws come over to watch K. so that E. and I can have a date night! I pack up some of the groceries I bought earlier, along with Ritz crackers and a chilled bottle of rosé from Provence for us. We go to a local performing-arts center and listen to a free outdoor concert while enjoying our picnic and wine. The weather is perfect, and the music is great — we are so happy!
9 p.m. — This is when our date nights are over now! We get home, I pump and check Mint — E. treated himself to a breakfast of coffee and a grain bowl ($15.33) and an afternoon cup of coffee ($2.17). I also pack for our day trip tomorrow — you don't pack light when you take a baby with you! $17.50
Daily Total: $476.37

Day Four

5 a.m. — Apparently, K. doesn't understand that it is the weekend and wakes up earlier than usual! I get up with him and feed him.
5:30 a.m. — E. is awake and gets ready for the day. I get K. and myself ready, and we are out the door by 6:40! During the drive, E. and I discuss getting our will executed and decide who we will ask to be K.'s guardians if something horrible happens to both of us. You know, just a light conversation at 7 in the morning.
8:15 a.m. — We arrive at my mom's house in the Chicago suburbs. I wake up K. and feed him, and then I get in the driver's seat because my mom hates how E. drives.
10:15 a.m. — After a little bit of stop-and-go traffic (this is part of the reason I no longer live in Chicago!), we arrive at the Indiana/Michigan state line to pick blueberries. This is a family tradition, and we freeze the berries so we enjoy them throughout the year! K. only lasts about 10 minutes because it is hot in the sun! My mom sits with him in the shade so I can pick until he needs to eat again. E. and I pick five pounds between the two of us. We buy five more pounds that were picked by the farm for my mom, since she watched K. pretty much the whole time. E. also gets a blueberry lemonade to drink, and we are back on the road! $32
1:30 p.m. — We stop at a local barbecue restaurant near my mom's house and pick up lunch for the three of us, plus my siblings. I order a chopped salad, and E. orders a rib and barbecue chicken platter. It all totals $61, but my mom pays since we paid for the blueberries. We take the food to my mom's to enjoy with my siblings.
2:30 p.m. — After feeding K., we put on his swimsuit and he and I enjoy my mom's pool for a little bit. It's nice because at this point in the day, half her pool is shaded, so I can keep K. out of the sun. My mom loves watching him enjoy her pool and getting to dry him off when we decide he's had enough.
3:30 p.m. — After a massively dirty diaper, we are back on the road. While E. and K. nap, I listen to SiriusXM — going back and forth between the Hits and CNN stations. We have to fill up the gas tank just before we get home. Once home, I feed K., and E. and I eat picnic leftovers for dinner. $37.70
7:45 p.m. — K. is asleep, and I hop online and order frozen breakfast sandwiches and burritos from Schwan's. They will be delivered to our front porch on Monday afternoon ($34.72). I also order some pre-made meals (kale salad, beef fajitas with Mexican corn, and pea pesto pasta salad) from a local woman-owned business, The Real Good Life ($67.90). These will be delivered to our front porch on Wednesday afternoon and will cover lunches and dinners on Thursday and Friday! At this point in my life, I am all about convenience! $102.62
8:30 p.m. — I'm exhausted from all the fresh air, sun, and driving and fall asleep on the couch while E. watches Madame Secretary.
Daily Total: $233.32

Day Five

4:55 a.m. — K. starts to babble, and his SNOO bassinet hears him and starts to rock in an effort to put him back to sleep. I can tell it isn't going to work — he is awake for the day, so I get out of bed. Usually, Sunday is my sleep-in day, but I actually feel rested since I went to bed so early last night. I feed K. and then we read books before I put him in his activity gym and I watch the last reunion episode of RHONY. I know my days of watching adult TV are limited...
8:15 a.m. — Before K. is done with his nap, I make blueberry pancakes for breakfast. E. rides the Peloton, and I feed K. when he awakes. Then I enjoy a nice bubble bath while E. watches K. E. does some online shopping and buys a pair of shorts that are on clearance at J.Crew ($16.93), crowdfunds a sweater for fall (apparently, a tactic to decrease the amount of clothing waste in landfills), and buys a shirt at Taylor Stitch ($298). $314.93
11 a.m. — We pack up some beer and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, blueberries, and the coleslaw and potato salad I bought on Friday night and head to E.'s work building downtown. We meet friends of ours to watch the Milwaukee Air and Water Show from the rooftop. Our friends bring homemade chicken salad to go with our sides. It's great because their little kids can run around while we watch some of the show and eat our picnic!
1:30 p.m. — The kiddos have had enough, and we want to try to allow for K. to have a proper nap. We decide to stop at Purple Door for delicious ice cream. E. gets purple moon in a waffle cone, and I get Nutella brownie blast in a waffle cone. So freaking good! $12
2 p.m. — E. mows the lawn, and I do a load of laundry and read baby-food cookbooks while K. naps. I love to cook and can't wait to resume more cooking once K. is a little older. E. and I pick our two meals for next week from HelloFresh. I put together an activity station that I bought K. from Amazon during Prime Day. $47.95
6 p.m. — We eat frozen Omaha Steaks filet mignon and twice-baked potatoes with steamed broccoli for dinner. My mom gifted the Omaha Steaks to E. for his first Father's Day.
9:30 p.m. — I get ready for bed and realize that K. is really congested. I use the NoseFrida on him, and we set up the humidifier and use cans of tuna to elevate his SNOO bassinet safely. He falls back asleep after crying a bit.
Daily Total: $374.88

Day Six

5 a.m. — We were up twice overnight to suck snot from K.'s nose — poor guy. He wakes up, and I ask E. to wake up with him so I can sleep more.
6:15 a.m. — I'm awake and decide to check K.'s temperature. For babies under six months, it is recommended to use a rectal thermometer. I'm not looking forward to this. It turns out to be no big deal, but it does cause K. to poop! Good news — no fever, so he can go to daycare.
9 a.m. — One meeting down! I drink an iced chai tea latte that I made for myself along with reheated blueberry pancakes and worry about K.
12 p.m. — Busy morning! I eat my lunch while watching an interesting webinar. I brought a salad of spring mix, blue-cheese crumbles, blueberries, turkey breast, and honey-tangerine dressing — yum!
1 p.m. — While pumping, I call a spa to make appointments for myself and some friends in a few weeks! I'm excited for my massage — I haven't had one since I was pregnant!
4 p.m. — I pick up K., and his favorite daycare teacher said he wasn't himself today, but he never had a fever. I feel bad for the little guy, who is still very congested.
6 p.m. — I feed K. and then steam up our bathroom and sit there with him and use the NoseFrida a lot. He is doing a lot better and even smiling! E. gets home and makes HelloFresh chicken-pineapple quesadillas.
8 p.m. — Bedtime went well, and I go for a neighborhood walk after E. finishes with the Peloton.
9:30 p.m. — I check Mint and am amazed to see this is a zero-dollar day for both E. and me — he brought a soup for lunch and didn't go out for coffee because he was so busy.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

5:30 a.m. — Wake up for the day. We were up twice last night, helping K. with his congestion — he seems a bit better this morning. I feed him and then get myself ready, as I am leading a 7 a.m. phone conference. Whenever I have to meet with physicians, it typically has to be at 7 a.m. or 5 p.m., because they are with patients all day long. Luckily, I don't have too many regular meetings with physicians, so we've been able to make this schedule work with daycare and everything. E. gets K. ready for the day and drops him off at daycare. I make myself a large iced chai tea latte and frozen bagel pouch from Schwan's for a quick breakfast.
12:30 p.m. — It has been a busy morning of meetings and being interviewed regarding potential healthcare legislation in our state. I stop briefly to eat the same type of salad that I brought yesterday and to pump for the second time.
4 p.m. — After a busy afternoon of meetings, I get my eyebrows and upper lip waxed. I've been going to the same person for the past six years — I trust her and really like her! $38
6:30 p.m. — K. is feeling better, but is still much more needy than usual and wants to be held. This is making it difficult to make the HelloFresh dinner of roasted vegetables and haloumi cheese. E. comes home and takes K. so I can finish dinner. We eat dinner outside before I start K.'s bedtime routine.
7:45 p.m. — K. is asleep, and I call one of my best friends who lives in Indianapolis while I put together K.'s high chair that I bought during Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale.
9:30 p.m. — Before going to bed, I check Mint and see that E. went out for lunch and got a salad. $10.55
Daily Total: $48.55
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