A Week In Atlanta, GA, On A Joint $146,000 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 yoga instructor who makes $26,0000 per year ($146,000 when combined with her partner) and spends some of her money this week on flowers.
Occupation: Yoga Instructor
Industry: Fitness
Age: 29
Location: Atlanta, GA
My Salary: Approximately $26,000
My Partner's Income: About $120,000
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): About $900
My Partner's Paycheck Amount (Weekly): Varies, but it's usually around $2,500
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage & HOA: $1,750 (We own a townhome in the city. Our mortgage is $1,500, and HOA dues are $250.)
Car Payment: $600
Credit Card Debt Payment: $2,000
Netflix: $13
Hulu: $12
CrashPlan Computer Backups: $22 for two separate computers
iPhone For Life Program: $120 ($60 for each)
CompostNOW: $29
Co-Op Produce: $86.98 per week

Day One

5:40 a.m. — I'm big on making food at home, and after a holiday weekend of dining out every other meal, it's nice to make my partner breakfast, sneak in a little nap, and then get up. I wake up and make myself a hot lemon water (detox, am I right?), and then am out the door.
9:30 a.m. — I teach my 9:30 a.m. yoga class and then am off to run a few errands. I drop by the post office to return a pair of shoes that don't fit right. Shipping is $7.81, which isn't too bad, but I still wish there had been a prepaid return label. $7.81
11:30 a.m. — Then I hop over to the local French florist. The place is sooooooo bougie, but everything there is undeniably beautiful. I set a budget of $50 for two small arrangements. I'm told the smallest and least expensive start at $35 each...and I cave. I head back to the studio, and I'm a little early for class, so I trawl IG for a bit before heading in to teach my second class for the day. $80.31
1 p.m. — I'm pretty gross after the second class, and I have to run home to rinse off before heading to everyone's favorite place, DISNEY! Nah...just kidding. The DENTIST! I feel so bummed about all of the money you give to these people to put you in pain for an hour while they go crazy on your teeth and make you feel like a schmuck for not flossing daily. I tell them I will do my best moving forward. I leave with a bag of goodies and a $283 bill. $283
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6 p.m. — When I get home, I shower, whip up dinner, and finish everything just in time for my partner to come home so we can decompress, eat together, and drink some tea before heading to bed.
Daily Total: $371.12

Day Two

9 a.m. — I wake up, have my daily lemon water and vitamins, and it's off to the studio. This morning's class is small. They get smaller once summer hits, so I'm not surprised. After class, I hang out with another instructor and her daughter and live vicariously through her as I hear all about her summer travel and camp plans. Oh, to be 14 again...I digress. When I come home, my partner is just getting ready for work, so I make her breakfast and a lunch to go, and she's on her merry way. I start some laundry, whip up a big carafe of tea, and sit down to start a Webinar.
5:45 p.m. — I teach my last class of the day and pop over to the grocery store because we need some conditioner, but while I'm there I also pick myself up a box of granola bars I've been craving that remind me of my childhood. #JustAsDeliciousAsIRemember. $20.98
7 p.m. — When I get home, I check my email and see that our co-op produce box weekly charge has hit my account. We're a vegan household, so we go through tons of produce every week, and I love knowing it's all organic and mostly local ($86.98).
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9 p.m. — Wrap up my night by whipping up some quinoa bowls for dinner with leftover veggies and assorted frozen things in the freezer, folding laundry, and binge-watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Netflix. (Another throwback to my childhood, #TGIF amiright?)
Daily Total: $20.98

Day Three

7 a.m. — I wake up earlier than usual on Thursdays for an early morning class I teach, but today I feel extra fatigued and have a feeling of being sick. I take an elderberry supplement in the hope that it will help kick out this questionable sinus stuff, and take my lemon water to go.
11:30 a.m. — After my classes, I head back home and crawl in bed with my partner for an hour before she heads off to work. She got home at 4 a.m. and goes in at 1:30 p.m. today...so it's not looking like she'll have the “early night” on Friday we were hoping for. It's nice to have a job right now where I can be home so we can spend a few minutes together before she has to leave for the day. I whip us both up some apple cider vinegar drinks and lunch and settle into the couch for some more Sabrina once she leaves.
5 p.m. — After a few hours of alternating between being productive with dishes and laundry and finishing the final episodes of Sabrina, my partner texts me to see if I want to get dinner. I excitedly say yes and pull myself off of the couch and throw some “out of the house” appropriate clothes on (really just my partner's joggers and a tank top) and pop over and grab us Thai food ($32.54). I park and then we sit in the back of my car like it's a picnic and chat about our days. It's going to be a long night for her, but this is a nice break for both of us. I head home and make myself some tea and start cleaning and priming our new water filter that got delivered today before crawling in bed and endlessly scrolling through Instagram and falling asleep. Tomorrow is Friday, which means NO ALARMS! $32.54
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Daily Total: $32.54

Day Four

12 p.m. — My partner got home late (early? 3 a.m....), so we cuddle in bed this morning and I continue to doze here and there. When we get up, she gets ready for the day and I whip up the only thing in our kitchen: loaded oatmeal. Berries and flax and chia and coconut milk...yum! When she comes downstairs, she's sweet enough to carry in the two boxes of produce that were delivered to the front door this morning. I simultaneously continue to run water through the new water filter while I wash produce, all while wondering what on earth I am going to make for lunch. I end up snacking on fruit and chug some kombucha before heading to teach.
4 p.m. — I drop by the grocery store for just parsley for a pesto I'm making tonight, but I also leave with cookie dough and more apple cider vinegar. I see a trend here — going to the store hungry after work is a terrible plan. When I get home, I clean up the house and set up the stand for our new water filter. I wrap up the night with a bowl of pesto and some NBC. $20.97
Daily Total: $20.97

Day Five

8 a.m. — I wake up earlier than my alarm. I know she went to bed earlier, but I wake my partner up just before it's time for me to leave for work, and we ride together to the yoga studio so she can practice during my class. Since I teach at the studio full-time, she gets free classes, too!
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11 a.m. — After class, we're off to the airport — not to travel, though. We filled out global entry paperwork a while ago and finally have our interviews. I'm so looking forward to being able to use the pre-check lanes. This also means we now obviously have to plan a big trip, right? On our way, I make a quick Starbucks mobile order and grab myself an iced passion tea with no sweetener, extra ice, but no extra water. I don't feel #basic at all! $3.52
2 p.m. — We're in and out in less than 30 minutes, which is perfect because I am starving. We leave the airport and drive back to our side of town to get lunch at one of my favorite taco restaurants. We sit outside and enjoy the warm (almost summer) air and snack on tacos and guac. $47.61
8 p.m. — We head home and take a little nap before heading back out for the night to a fun woo-woo store to buy some new crystals. I find one that says it helps to reduce stress, and I figure it can't hurt. I also snag a keychain I've been eyeing for weeks...a perfect rainbow. How fitting! $24.55
9 p.m. — Then we walk over to an outdoorsy store and grab another few things. Mostly stuff for my partner's job, but we manage to find a really awesome sling for our water bottle for when we go on walks. $22.93
12 a.m. — Our plan is to hit up Thai food for dinner, but when we get to the restaurant, it's closed. We head home and end up having a much better evening at home anyway, dancing in the kitchen to some records we haven't listened to yet. I make us vegan boxed macaroni-and-cheese and some crispy potatoes. We finish the night with me falling asleep on the couch and her shutting down the house before waking me up to meet her in bed.
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Daily Total: $98.61

Day Six

12 p.m. — We sleep in, but I stand corrected by my partner that it doesn't count as sleeping in when you go to bed at 3 a.m. We've been wanting to get out into nature and really connect with the earth, so we plan an outing. First stop is food at a build-your-own-grain-bowl place. I grab a gluten-free brownie and turmeric lemonade, too, just to feel like I'm living on the edge. $32.77
1:30 p.m. — We stop into Lululemon and I peek at some new yoga pants, but even with my discount for being an instructor, I pass.
2:30 p.m. — We drive about 30 minutes north and end up at a local park that has a paddle-board rental and launching dock. We have one of our own that's already strapped to the roof rack, so we just rent one more board ($28) and we're off! We get to see so much while we're out on the water. Beautiful trees, lots of people also enjoying their water day, and even some teenage boys showing their bravery (stupidity) by cliff jumping...no thank you. $28
6 p.m. — When we turn around, we realize the dark clouds we had seen are now on top of us. We paddle as hard as we can and just barely miss getting caught in the storm. We high-five for teamwork and decide on a celebratory dinner of takeout Thai on the couch. I find myself saying that I wish every Sunday was this easy, and make a mental note of that to carry through. After a sweet treat, we go to bed before midnight, and since I don't have to work tomorrow, I set my wake-up alarm to get up with my partner tomorrow. $34.86
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Daily Total: $95.63

Day Seven

5:25 a.m. — We cuddle through two snoozes before getting up. I run downstairs and make my partner a quick breakfast of blueberry oatmeal and a chickpea salad for lunch. Those are the only staples left in the house, since today is shopping day! I kiss her goodbye and manage to fall back asleep for two hours. Then I start my day at 9 a.m. by answering emails and family texts. I hop downstairs and make my morning lemon water and sneak back into bed with all of my favorite vegan cookbooks to plan this week's menu.
12 p.m. — By noon I have just about everything worked out and a mile-long list for the grocery store. Honestly, if some of the things weren't so specific, I would just Instacart/PrimeNow everything. The perks of living in the city are not something to take lightly. But today I arrive at Whole Foods and get front-row parking (which never happens). Shopping takes about 90 minutes and produces a pretty hefty bill. My eyes bulge, but I remember that I haven't really been grocery shopping for a few weeks, and we needed to refresh some more expensive staples. $338.42
2 p.m. — I'm still missing a few things that I'll need to make meals this week, so I head over to a smaller grocery store and snag the rest of my items that Whole Foods either doesn't sell or didn't have in stock. I'm excited to try some new recipes — gluten-free peach muffins and dill millet salad are the two that sound the most exciting! $17.40
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3 p.m. — I spend the rest of the afternoon putting all of the goodies away and meal-prepping for the week. I like to have lots of tasty things on hand to try and reduce our spending, and I think it has been working! I make us mushroom toast with a side of vegan lentil macaroni-and-cheese for dinner. #Yum.
Daily Total: $355.82
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