A Week In Bakersfield, CA, On A $50,000 Salary

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.
This week, we're featuring moms and their spending during the back-to-school rush. Per Deloitte, in the United States alone, back-to-school season is the second biggest shopping season of the year, "touching 29 million households and accounting for $27 billion in sales." Since women are usually responsible for household purchases, wherever they are in the country or in the world, we wanted to see what it's like for women with children of a variety of ages, in a variety of locations.
Today: a quality evaluator who makes $50,000 per year. She spends some of her money this week buying Vans and Converse sneakers for her kids.
Occupation: Innovative Quality Evaluator — fancy title for listening to and auditing calls for bill collectors, and then training with them
Industry: Collections (specifically student loans)
Age: 36
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Salary: $50,000. I'm paid hourly and also receive a bonus, which varies between $1,200 - $4,000/month.
Paycheck (2x/month): $900 after taxes and insurance for my first paycheck, and about $2,500 after taxes, etc. because of my bonus.
Child Support: $500 — $400 current and $100 in arrears — for three kids ages 9, 13, and 17
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,414, including insurance and taxes
Car Payment: $450
Auto Insurance: $135 for two cars (My 17-year-old son drives)
Cell Phone: $240
Cable & Wi-Fi: $91
Electric: $290. I have solar, and I'm on equal payments after my true-up statement this year.
Gas: $20
Water: $100
Gardener: $80. He comes every other week.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Netflix: $11
Gym: $30
Gas: $120 for both cars

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