A Week In NYC On A $100,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We asked a millennial woman how she spends her hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.)

Today, we're featuring an architect in NYC, spending her tax return.
Industry: Architecture
Age: 30
Location: Brooklyn (Works in Manhattan)
Salary: $100,000 base + $15,000 bonus
# of roommates: 0
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1275.00 for a studio (It's a teeny place and has its flaws, but I refuse to move since the rent is so cheap.)
Loan payments: $225.00
Utilities: $40 (electricity); $90.88 (internet); $18 (gas)
Gym: $60
Transportation: $116.50, through TransitChek
Phone Bill: $120.31
Savings: $100 a month into a Roth IRA; $500 a month into a savings account. My goal is to save $10K a year for five years to help with a down payment on an apartment.
Hulu: $8.70 (I dropped cable over the summer and do my TV watching through Hulu now.)
50 GB iCloud plan: $0.99 a month
Yearly Expenses:
Renters Insurance:
$249.00 (required by my building)

Day One

7:00 a.m. — Coffee with milk, and my Blue Apron box of groceries arrives. It's three meals for two people, but for a single person like me, that's six meals. $59.95 9:00 a.m. — Took the morning off and go to brunch with my mother who is visiting; she's flying back to California in the afternoon. $22. 2:30 p.m. — This will be a weird week for me; I got my tax return earlier this week, so I've decided to go ahead and spend it on a few big purchases. I book a plane ticket for a summer trip with a friend. $249

8:00 p.m. — I work too much and often too late, leaving me with cab rides home and lots of delivery. I'm still at the office, so I cab home ($44.34) but will reimburse it. $0.

9:00 p.m. — I cook one of the Blue Apron meals for dinner. It's a struggle to cook after working a long day, but I am trying to force myself to do it. The Blue Apron boxes help since they are easy and interesting.

Total: $330.95

Day Two

6:00 a.m. — I leave my house to go to the gym at my office. This is actually the first time I'm doing this, but I never have the energy to go to the gym after work. I'm also a very routine morning person with coffee and the Today Show. Getting ready takes me forever, so this is going to be a big change in my life if I can keep it up. 8:00 a.m. — Monthly payment for my season tickets to NYCFC, the professional soccer team that plays at Yankee Stadium. The whole season was $550 or so, but you can split it into interest-free payments. $54.90 9:00 a.m. — I get some coffee and avocado toast at 'wichcraft. $7.35

12:00 p.m. — Lunch from Blue Dog Cafe. There aren't a lot of food options near my office, and we don't really leave work for lunch, so different caterers come to our building every day. $13.00 7:30 p.m. — Tacos, side of guac and chips, and beer at Otto's Tacos. I get dinner and drinks with a friend every other Tuesday. We try to keep it cheap. $16 Total: $91.25

Day Three

7:00 a.m. — Coffee and milk while getting ready. 8:00 a.m. — I buy three yogurts for today and the rest of the week, since I keep granola in my desk drawer to mix it in. (Note: this plan failed. It's Sunday now and two of those yogurts are still in the fridge because I kept going out for breakfast at 'wichcraft. Avocado toast is just so good!) $6.00

9:00 a.m. — Coffee at Starbucks, before eating the yogurt and granola. $2.78

12:00 p.m. — The caterer who came to my building today is Kati Roll, I get two rolls and a salad. $18.50

2:00 p.m. — I have been slowly breaking my old headphones over the past two years, so I finally bought some new ones today from Bose. $151.50

8:00 p.m. — I buy two zucchinis and a pack of string cheese to snack on at the corner store. Blue Apron never comes with enough veggies in my opinion. $5.26

Total: $184.04

Day Four

6:00 a.m. — Leave for the gym. 9:00 a.m. — Avocado toast and coffee from 'wichcraft. $7.35 12:00 p.m. — Takumi Taco. $17.42

9:00 p.m. — I worked late again, so I take another cab home ($38.40). I'll reimburse the ride home. $0 10:00 p.m. — Calexico delivery for dinner. A small salad, nachos with steak, plus tip. I know it's not healthy but I just worked a 12-hour day and well, it's what I wanted. $27.54 Total: $52.31

Day Five

9:00 a.m. — Coffee and a protein box at Starbucks. $8.49 12 p.m. — Lunch — side salad of kale, salmon, cauliflower, and beet salad. $12.00

7 p.m. — Beers at a NYCFC soccer game (three at $12 each). I normally would have had dinner at the game, but my friends kept handing me parts of their meals, so I ate that instead. $36.00

Total: $56.49

Day Six

10 a.m. — I get a breakfast burrito, grapefruit, and side of potatoes for breakfast delivered. I didn't really eat a real dinner, so I was hungry. $19.28

2 p.m. to 7 p.m. — I go shopping with my sister and a friend. I don't really go shopping all that often, but once or twice a year, we go out to a mall. Today is that day. I use my tax return money to buy:
- Lululemon pants and a pair of capris. Yes, I know they are ridiculously priced but they are just amazing and I only buy them a few times a year. Plus, I believe if you like your workout clothes, you'll go to the gym more. $206
- A nice Madewell blouse for work and going out. $59.50
- A J. Crew linen shirt and hair accessory. $57.48
- Two throw pillows for my couch from Crate and Barrel. $85.50
- A MAC powder blush and brush cleaner solution at Nordstrom. $39.95
- Two bath towels, two hand towels, and a bath mat from Restoration Hardware. I haven't bought new towels in about four years, so it was time. $152.43
- A birthday gift for my brother-in-law and a candle for myself from Williams-Sonoma. $40.50 7:30 p.m. — Dinner at BCD Tofu House after shopping, and I bring home leftovers. I've never been to this place and it was so good! Will definitely be back. $33.00

8:00 p.m. — Last stop, Mitsuwa, a Japanese grocery store. I buy a few veggies, basic sauces, and also a few treats that you can't find in normal grocery stores. This kind of store reminds me of being with my family. $30.21 Total: $723.85

Day Seven

10:00 a.m. — I buy shampoo and conditioner in liters with pumps from Amazon. They last a couple of months this way. $44

12:00 p.m. — Nine pairs of panties and two bras from Hanes. I didn't find the kind I liked at the mall yesterday, and I have a $15 coupon code plus free shipping. $94.98

1:00 p.m. — Leftovers from dinner last night for lunch before getting some work done. 7:00 p.m. — I cook the last two Blue Apron meals I have. Ate one portion of one, will eat the second for lunch tomorrow, and the other meal will be two dinners over the next few days. Then I get back to work. Total: $138.98
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. Have a money diary you'd like to share? Send it to us at

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