A Week In The Bay Area On A $135,000 Income

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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.
In partnership with Intuit, we’re excited to share a new series of Money Diaries featuring entrepreneurs and freelancers. Thanks to Intuit’s suite of financial tools, including Mint, Quickbooks, and Turbotax, women everywhere are able to power their own prosperity.
Today, we have a marketing freelancer who makes about $135,000 per year. She uses TurboTax to file her taxes and Quickbooks to run the books for her boyfriend's business. Her business has been growing, so she plans to use Quickbooks in 2019 for hers as well. This week, she spends some of her money on burgers for her and her boyfriend.
Occupation: Marketing Freelancer
Age: 29
Location: Bay Area, CA
Income: ~$135,000 A year
Average Monthly Income: $11,000
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage/PMI/HOA/Taxes: $1,350 (My boyfriend and I split it 50/50, even though the house/loan is in my name only.)
Loans: $0 (I paid off my student loans two years ago and my car this year!)
Insurance: $550 (This includes car, home owner, and medical. I opted out of dental and vision.)
Internet/Electricity: $0 (My boyfriend pays this.)
Spotify & Hulu: $4.99
Netflix: $9.99
TrainerRoad: $12.99 (This is a cycling training subscription — it's better than spin class.)
Phone Bill: $130
New York Times Subscription: $12
Savings: I already maxed out my IRA this year, so I put leftover money in a secondary investment account.

Day One

6:15 a.m. — I get up and walk the dog. My boyfriend has been traveling for work for the last week, so it's kinda nice to have him home. We get back, and I make coffee and plow into work emails for the day. My new client sent back a signed contract. I'm not really excited because I have a lot of work right now, but it's a favor for a friend of mine. The total contract amount for my portion is $4,000 for a month of work, and I'm able to pass on another couple grand for a different project. For my freelance work, I do marketing consulting and copywriting. So sometimes it's big campaigns, and other times it's writing tweets. I’m also a working artist and do light art installations and art direction with my boyfriend’s business. (He does lighting design for concerts/tours and corporate events.)
12:30 p.m. — I do emails and phone calls and then play fetch with the dog. For lunch, I dig through the fridge and manage to make a sandwich. Then I remember to pay the dog license renewal, which I do online. $29
2 p.m. — I open a bottle of wine. (I spend about $100 a quarter on wine from each local winery I'm a member is three at the moment.) I have an afternoon of copywriting ahead of me and don't want to think about it too much.
6 p.m. — My BF wants to go out for dinner, so we go to our favorite Thai place. He gets pho, I get pad thai, and we split fresh rolls and hot tea. I take a little over half of my entrée home for another meal. I pay. We go home, and he works while I read (shout out to the library). In bed before 10 p.m. $40.66
Daily Total: $69.66

Day Two

10 a.m. — The water in our complex is turned off today because they're doing some major repairs, which I paid for as part of a special assessment from the HOA a few months ago. We decide to drop the dog off at doggie daycare and head to a coffee shop to work for a bit since my boyfriend owns his own business and also works from home. I order an oat milk latte, and he gets coffee and a pastry. His business picks it up. ($13 expensed)
12:30 p.m. — We go out for lunch and get seats looking out at the marina and order sandwiches. He gets a beer, and I get a margarita. His business picks up the tab again, since we really do discuss work. ($61 expensed)
2 p.m. — We need to run by our business storage for something, but before we do that we divert to a beer garden. I pay for two craft beers and tip. $14
3 p.m. — After beers and errands, we swoop the dog from doggie daycare. My boyfriend pays for doggie daycare, even though I offered ($38). We go home, make dinner, and chill.
Daily Total: $14

Day Three

10 a.m. — Been up since 6 a.m. working, as usual. I make toast from bread I baked over the weekend and remember to Venmo my friend who referred a client. ($100 as a thank you.) Then I work on cropping images for social posts. $100
11:45 a.m. — Last week, I called my mortgage provider to see about getting the PMI dropped from my loan. It's only $97 a month, which isn't a ton, but I'll take my $1,200 per year back. The cheapest way is to get an appraisal and show increase in value, which should be doable. I make something to eat at home to make myself feel better about this boring purchase. $580
4 p.m. — BF and I head across town for a meeting about an art installation we're doing. He drives, so I take a conference call for a client while in the car. After the meeting, we get drinks. I order a whiskey sour (and end up getting a second one, because his drink is massive). ($32 expensed)
6 p.m. — We go home and eat leftovers from earlier in the week. I decide to book a last minute flight to Seattle to see a friend next week using travel points. $6.50
Daily Total: $686.50

Day Four

9:30 a.m. — Barre! My phone keeps ringing as I walk in the door. Living the freelance dream, I guess. $18
11 a.m. — I head to the grocery store afterwards, since it's across the way from the barre studio. I pick up salad stuff, ravioli, and pita chips. I don't have my wallet, so use my iPhone to pay with my boyfriend's credit card ($37.41).
5 p.m. — The afternoon is a disaster. I manage to inhale a bag of pita chips and leftover hummus in the meantime for “lunch.” BF gets home and hasn't gotten anything done, so he's in a panic about how unproductive his day has been. I let him work and start tonight's dinner — pesto veggie pizza with a salad.
Daily Total: $18

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — Fridays are my invoicing days, and usually banking cleanup too. Since it's the end of the month, I transfer my monthly “payment” to myself ($3,200). I also pay my health insurance bill. I need to remember to put it on autopay.
7 p.m. — It's another crazy day. I work from home and graze the fridge for lunch, but my BF comes home and wants to go out dinner. We settle on sushi and run into my friend's ex-fiancé! My boyfriend pays ($71).
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

10 a.m. — Sleeping in! I get up, make coffee, and start cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I also clean the house, which takes about an hour — the perfect amount of time for waiting for the dough to rise. After breakfast, my BF fixes the trainer (I snapped the belt a couple weeks ago) with a new replacement part. I do a chill hour of working out with TrainerRoad on it to make sure everything works.
2 p.m. — We run a few errands and get a late lunch. Burger, salad, and two hibiscus margaritas for me, and a burger, fries, and a beer for him. I pick up the tab. $50
6 p.m. — I don't bother to make dinner, since we ate such a late lunch. We binge through Maniac on Netflix. Afterwards, I decide I'm in the mood to make dinner for friends tomorrow and host, so we start a group text to see who is in.
Daily Total: $50

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Get up…coffee…and get on the trainer. Today is a less chill interval anaerobic workout. I fight through the whole thing.
10 a.m. — Now that we're making dinner for people (Oktoberfest-themed with my grandmother's recipes), we have to buy groceries and other stuff. We start at BevMo for beer and port for cooking, but I have a coupon and buy some gin and whiskey, too. $70
10:30 a.m. — I also want black nail polish for fall — so we hit up Ulta and I stick to my one item list. $9.25
12 p.m. — Finally make it to Whole Foods. I pick up my list which is: two pounds of flank steak, one pounds of bacon, red cabbage, granny smith apples, potatoes, chocolate chips, heavy cream and coffee. My BF adds a few other things (cheese, bagels, vegan cream cheese, fruit) and we get out of there. $110
2 p.m. — I spend the rest of the day cooking, which is kinda fun — I'm in the mood. I make everything but the gluten-free crackers from scratch. Meal includes: soft pretzels, red cabbage, boiled potatoes, wurst, sauerkraut, beef rouladen, and flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and a berry-chia seed jam. Friends come over at 6 p.m. Everything is easy and fun!
Daily Total: $189.25
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