A Week In Bentonville, AR, On A $92,000 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 project manager who makes $92,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on Topo Chico.
Occupation: Project Manager
Industry: Urban Development
Age: 29
Location: Bentonville, AR
Project Manager Salary: $68,000
Paycheck Amount (Weekly): $829.37
Airbnb Income (Monthly): ~$500. (My boyfriend, B., and I have an attached guest suite in our house that we list on Airbnb.)
Rental Duplex Income (Monthly): $1,500. (I moved to Arkansas from Dallas last year, but I kept my duplex there to rent out instead of selling it.)
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,149.74, plus $500 extra principal each month.
Student Loan Payment: $0. (I got a half scholarship and my parents paid the rest of my tuition.)
Electricity: $230
Home Insurance: $120.15
Phone Bill: $87.86
Wifi: $65.73
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Subscription: $7.95
Lawn Mowing Service: $27.06
Coffee Subscription: $22
Water Bill: $56 at the Dallas rental, and $52 in Arkansas. (B. pays the latter bill.)
HOA fees: $24. (Paid by B.)
Car Insurance: $74.24
Savings: $500
401(k): $566.67
Democratic Party Of Benton County Donation: $10
Spotify: $10.81
HBO Now: $16.11
Hulu: $8.62
Blue Apron Subscription: $51.95
Yoga Membership: $88
New York Times Subscription: $8
Netflix: $10. (Paid for by B.)

Day One

7 a.m. — I wake up to do last night's dishes and feed the cat, who wakes us up between 7 and 7:30 every morning with her desperate need for attention and food. I make a breakfast of fried egg, avocado, and sliced grapefruit. B. makes a French press with coffee from our monthly subscription.
8:45 a.m. — I head to my first meeting of the day: a networking group that gets together for coffee every Thursday morning. I drink water, since I just had coffee at home.
11 a.m. — The meeting ends and I stop by another coffee shop before driving back to the office. I get a small cappuccino ($3.25) and an everything bagel ($3.10), since I figure this will be my chance to eat lunch. $6.35
3:45 p.m. — After typing away on a report that's due next week, I leave for a dentist appointment because I desperately need to get my wisdom teeth removed. It's just a consultation, so I'm not charged. I also stop for gas on the way. $24.62
5:30 p.m. — I get home and am hungry. I eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I was supposed to take for my lunch, and then go about getting the Airbnb ready for the guest we have checking in tomorrow.
7:30 p.m. — My boyfriend gets home and we go on a bike ride to enjoy the 72 degree weather and grab dinner out. He works at a bike shop and just built me a new bike, so we want to test it out. We talk ourselves into a fancy French dinner and share baked brie, Caesar salad, filet mignon, and red wine. I pick up the $120 check. We head home around 10 p.m. to pack for our trip the next day. $120
Daily Total: $150.97

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — We wake up, have a morning romp, and proceed to worry about the cat since she didn't wake us like she usually does, and we've been hearing coyotes in the neighborhood at night. She turns up shortly, though, and all's well. I make a breakfast of sweet potato hash and fried eggs. B. makes the coffee, feeds the cat, and loads up our bags for the trip we're taking this weekend. B.'s running in a race out of town.
9 a.m. — I hop on my bike to head to my first meeting at a coffee shop downtown. I order a Topo Chico since I just had coffee at home. $1.50
12 p.m. — I stick around the coffee shop to work for a while after my meeting, and then bike to the office. When I get in, I eat the peanut butter and jelly I packed for lunch (our fridge was looking pretty empty this morning), along with Thin Mints that a coworker brought.
5:30 p.m. — I leave work and stop at the grocery store for road trip snacks. I get fig bars, Snickers, and a few other things, and try to load it all in my bike basket. $15.59
6:30 p.m. — I arrive home just in time to throw our bags in the car, fill up the cat's food and water, and head to pick B. up from work so we can head straight to our destination. We stop in Tulsa for dinner at a nicer place since it's our first time checking out the town. I'm starting to feel guilty about my impulsive dining habits... $110.39
10 p.m. — We arrive in the town the bike race is in, get everything ready for tomorrow morning, shower, and pass out.
Daily Total: $127.48

Day Three

6 a.m. — We rise early so B. can get to his race in time. He eats breakfast at the hotel while I pack up our bags, and leaves to get his registration packet. I mosey into town and stop to get coffee and a breakfast sandwich on the way. $7.13
8 a.m. — Race starts, and that's my cue to explore. I find friends and head towards a coffee shop with the book I brought. I get a cup of tea. $2.94
11 a.m. — We leave to catch the riders at the midpoint, and I stop for gas on the way. $32.49
2 p.m. — I thrown B. his water bottle at the halfway point, and decide to go for a run. After six miles, I'm hungry but want to wait for B. to eat lunch. I stop at a convenience store for a Topo Chico and a bag of chips. $3.26
3 p.m. — I head back to watch the finish and pick up way too many celebratory beers at a local brewery. $30.04
4 p.m. — As I wait for B. to roll across the finish line, I scroll through Airbnb and book us a place for our trip to Atlanta for my sister's engagement party in a few weeks. $212.49
6 p.m. — The race is over and after cleaning up and swapping stories with friends, we grab dinner at a food truck. We each pay for our own meals. We pack up the car for the three-hour ride home and immediately fall asleep when we get there. $17.41
Daily Total: $305.76

Day Four

9 a.m. — We sleep in a little bit this morning, which feels good. I make a breakfast of red potatoes, broccoli, and fried eggs. B. makes the French press, and we drink it while watching episodes of Queer Eye. I think we've both cried during every episode.
12 p.m. — We finish cleaning up the house for the next Airbnb guests. I sign us up for a massage workshop at my yoga studio this afternoon for $25 each. $50
3 p.m. — Massage workshop is over and we run a few errands. We get groceries for a potluck we have later tonight ($25.42), and then stop at Lowe's for air filters and curtain rod holders. (We've had our curtain rod leaning up against my dresser for about three months because I got the wrong size holders.) $64.75
7 p.m. — I prepare the kale salad I'm bringing to the potluck and we head over. We hang around drinking wine and talking until 11:30, then head home, play with the cat, and pass out after sexing.
Daily Total: $114.75

Day Five

8 a.m. — I hit snooze a few too many times, so I don't have time to make breakfast, as I have a standing 9 a.m. meeting every Monday. I stop by the drive-through coffee place on the way for a cappuccino and a breakfast taco. $11.94
11 a.m. — Between tasks and meeting, I look up flights for our trip to Atlanta. They're still $345, so I hold off. I'm hoping the prices will go down, but I tend to wait for this to happen and usually all they do is get more expensive.
1 p.m. — I'm pretty involved in local politics, and one of the candidates in my district calls me to ask for support at a fundraiser she's hosting next weekend. I agree to give $250, and log in to her website to submit the donation. $250
2 p.m. — I use my lunch break to grocery shop, since we have friends coming over for dinner tonight. I buy two bottles of wine, ingredients to make jackfruit tacos for four, fruit for breakfast, and ingredients to make a big pot of veggie soup for the week's lunches. $94.98
6 p.m. — I arrive home, take a shower, feed the cat, and start dinner. Our friends arrive at 7:30 and stay until 10. We clean up the house and go to sleep.
Daily Total: $356.92

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — Woken up by the cat. I get up to feed her and get ready for work. I prepare a breakfast of yogurt, muesli, banana, and blueberries, and make the coffee this morning since it's B.'s day off. I head into work early.
10 a.m. — I have a meeting at a coffee shop with the crew that I organize an indie craft show with in town. I order a mocha and pick up my colleague's drink order, too. We expense it because we're doing pretty well this year. ($11.39 expensed)
12 p.m. — My lunch meeting gets cancelled, so I go home for lunch to eat leftover tacos.
5 p.m. — I'm home from work and sneak in a quick run and a snack of Fig Newtons before heading to a community meeting at 6 p.m.
8 p.m. — We're both home and I make a Blue Apron bucatini recipe with ingredients that have been sitting around for a week. We catch up on Sunday night TV and head to sleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7 a.m. — I wake up, get ready, and make breakfast tacos with corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, avocado, and salsa. B. goes into work later than me, so I ask him to finish up the Airbnb room before the guests get here at 2 p.m. It's beautiful out, so I ride my bike to work.
12 p.m. — I go home for lunch and eat a random assortment of food including toast with butter, marshmallows, and leftover black beans. As much as I want to say that saving money is my motivation for eating at home, I really love having the escape during the day, since working in an open office as an introvert really drains my energy.
6 p.m. — I head to the coffee shop for my 6 p.m. meeting. I order a Topo Chico and banana bread ($5). My friend and I are organizing a pop-up shop together, and I put the cost of our Squarespace website on my credit card ($144) while we're setting it up. Hopefully we'll make the money back. $149
8 p.m. — I come home and roast potatoes, cabbage, and carrots, and serve it with leftover chicken and a tahini kale salad for dinner. We watch the third Hunger Games movie and eat ice cream afterward.
Daily Total: $149
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