A Week In Boston, MA, On A Joint $180,000 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.
Today: a safety professional working in pharmaceutical research and development who makes $90,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on grape jelly at Target.
Occupation: Safety Professional
Industry: Pharmaceutical Research & Development
Age: 30
Location: Boston, MA
My Salary: $90,000
My Husband's Salary: $90,000
Combined Paycheck (Biweekly): $4,539. (My health insurance and train pass come out of my paycheck and my husband's dependent care FSA and HSA come out of his.)
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,538
Student Loan Payment: $132. (My husband already paid his off.)
Car Loan: $300
Couch Payment: $50
JetBlue Credit Card: $1,100. (We have a total of $5,500 that we are trying aggressively to pay off.)
Water Bill: $35
Daycare: $1,200. (Our daughter goes to an in-home daycare three days a week, and my mom and mother-in-law watch her two days of the week.)
Sewer: $140
Gas & Electric: $350
Internet & TV: $135, which includes Netflix and Hulu
Gym Membership: $25
Pet Insurance: $65
Cell Phone: $185
Savings: $650, through Digit
401(k): I contribute 10% of my salary and my work matches 6%. My husband puts in 5% of his salary and his work puts in 10%.
Commuter Rail Pass: $82, which comes out of my paycheck
Charitable Donations: $100 or more, depending on the month

Day One

5:45 a.m. — I wake up after only hitting snooze once, make coffee, let the dog out, do a quick meditation on my Calm app, and then get ready. As soon as I go downstairs to make my lunch, my toddler wakes up, so I get her while my husband showers and gets ready. I finish making my lunch and packing my stuff for the day.
6:35 a.m. — I walk to the commuter rail, hop on the train, and transfer to the shuttle at the station to my office, which is free for employees. I get my coffee at work and also have a leftover cupcake for breakfast (so healthy, I know!).
12:30 p.m. — I go for a quick lunchtime run and then eat lunch at my desk – PB&J, carrots, and a Diet Coke from home. I also buy a cookie from the work café. $1.61
4 p.m. — I meet my husband to carpool home. He drives and we listen to NPR and discuss politics. We pick up our daughter at daycare and stop by Whole Foods to grab salmon for tonight. I think about buying other items but resist. $8.89
5:30 p.m. — After we get home, I cut a sweet potato into cubes and toss it into the oven. I change my clothes while my husband cooks the salmon, and then I entertain our toddler with a series of stretches for a fitness challenge I'm doing; she climbs all over me. We eat dinner and my daughter insists on switching plates with me. She also thinks sweet potato cubes are cookies (apparently anything we put in the oven to bake = cookies right now) and gladly eats a lot of them. After dinner, we play and I do the dishes and straighten up. Then it's bath time and pajamas. It's my night to read so we read six books before I put her in her crib, say goodnight, and she's out. I am incredibly thankful she goes to sleep so easily.
8 p.m. — I watch This Is Us on Hulu in the basement with a bowl of ice cream. (My husband doesn't watch the show, so he's upstairs.) Around 8:30, I go upstairs, do a quick meditation through Calm, and shower before reading in bed. I fall asleep around 10.
Daily Total: $10.50

Day Two

7 a.m. — We get to sleep in today because we have a preschool tour at 9 a.m. today; my daughter gets a chance to play in a classroom to see if she likes it. Luckily, she loves it and so we do, too, so we pay the $725 registration fee. This new school will be five days a week and our monthly care cost will increase to $2,095. My mom picks our daughter up from the tour and takes her home because it's her day for childcare. My husband and I go to work. $725
10:30 a.m. — I have a morning of meetings and grab coffee and a KIND bar from my desk. We're having a catered lunch at 1 p.m., but I get hungry around 12 and grab chips and a cookie from the café. $2.16
4 p.m. — Leave work with husband and head home. It snowed and sleeted during the day so my husband starts shoveling. We have playtime and I check the mail; there's a $160 refund check from our pet insurance, and I mobile deposit it.
6:45 p.m. — For dinner, my husband makes tomato, cucumber, and feta salads for us, and chicken nuggets, tomato, cucumber, and blueberries for my daughter. We sit down around 6 and my daughter basically has a tantrum all of dinner. First, she wants my food, then she wants to eat sitting on my lap, then she doesn't want to eat. After dinner, I hang out with our daughter while my husband cleans up. (She won't let me go in the kitchen to clean and it isn't worth the battle.) We start bedtime but I have to leave to go to a Mason jar salad party with fellow challengers from the exercise group I'm in! I grab bring along snacks: an opened bag of pita chips and tzatziki from Costco. I feel slightly bad about the open bag of chips, but it's casual and no one cares. I hang out for about two hours and make three Mason jar salads.
9:30 p.m. — I'm home and ready for bed. I finish up a book and go to sleep at 10.
Daily Total: $727.16

Day Three

5:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I snooze it once and then roll out of bed to get ready and let the dog out. Make coffee for myself, pack my lunch (Mason jar salad), and start my car because it's chilly out; I also throw salt on our steps to de-ice them. I didn't get to see my daughter this morning because she actually slept in a bit. (She usually wakes up when she hears me going up and down the stairs.) The commute takes about 45 minutes, and I drink my coffee while driving.
8:30 a.m. — The worksite I'm at today provides snacks for employees, so I grab a Naked Green Machine smoothie and peanut butter crackers with coffee.
11:45 a.m. — I was going to run at lunch but decided not to, due to a combination of icy sidewalks, sore feet, and general laziness. I eat my chicken and berry Mason jar salad and follow it up with M&M's. I drink have two Diet Cokes (one from home and one free from work). I have a Diet Coke addiction ... and a sweets addiction.
1:30 p.m. — Call the YMCA to register my toddler for a tumbling class. She swims with my husband on Saturday mornings so this is something for the two of us to do together on Sundays. $115
4:30 p.m. — On our way home, my husband stops to get contact solution for me ($13.06). I do a quick workout for my boot camp challenge while my toddler plays on me. Dinner time for the toddler, but she barely touches it because she's been snacking all day. After dinner, it's quick cleanup, playtime, and then a workout class at the gym. $13.06
7:45 p.m. — I get home from my workout class, and my husband has made pizza for dinner. As soon as I walk in the door, my daughter wakes up and starts crying, so I go up and rock her for a little bit. Then it's dinner, Olympic viewing, reading, and bedtime!
Daily Total: $128.06

Day Four

5:30 a.m. — TGIF! I want to get to work early to crank out some risk assessments. I get up and get ready, and remember to take the train pass out of my car so my husband can use it and have a Diet Coke and a Luna bar during the drive.
8:15 a.m. — I order a watch band for my husband. I got him one for Christmas but it was too big, so I returned it and got a refund. The new band is $0.95 more, so I pay the difference. $0.95
11:30 a.m. — Grab snacks. I was going to run, but the locker room is closed for maintenance. $3.87
4:30 p.m. — I meet up with my husband for the drive home. He took the train in this morning (which is paid for by his work), so I drop him off at the station to get his car and then he goes to the gym. I go home and squeeze in a quick, three-mile run before daycare pickup. I get my daughter and then we swing by the library to grab museum passes. My husband runs into the store on his way home and picks up ice cream sundae makings. $24.29
6:30 p.m. — My husband and I order dinner after feeding our daughter. He picks it up while I do bedtime. I get a steak tip pita roll and he gets some type of sub. $17.87
9:30 p.m. — Post-dinner conversation includes our credit card debt and vacation. We want to start using our JetBlue account for monthly expenses so that we get the points, but we need to pay off the balance first. So we pay an additional $900 towards it for the month. Watch the Olympics and then go to bed. $900
Daily Total: $946.98

Day Five

6:15 a.m. — Our toddler is in bed with us so we stay there for as long as possible. We get up around 6:45 and make breakfast for the kiddo and coffee for us. We're getting new cable installed this morning and they just called to say they can come early, so my husband and daughter head off to swim lessons and then the grocery store while I do a quick workout and wait for the cable guy.
9:30 a.m. — Husband and daughter get home with the groceries: spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, yogurt (lots, because my daughter loves it), peanut butter, apples, bananas, ice cream, frozen pizza, bread, pita, and organic whole milk ($95.59). My husband usually buys a donut for me from the Dunkin' Donuts at the grocery store, but he left it on a shelf along with his coffee! My daughter got her two Munchkins while shopping, though ($2.99). $98.58
12 p.m. — We play at the park, have lunch, and then put the toddler down for her nap before I go out for my run. When I get back an hour later, the cable guy has finished but we need to fix our dryer vent; it came off while he was installing something. It takes a few attempts but we're successful!
3:30 p.m. — Toddler is up from her nap and has a snack. Now we're off to Target. She needs valentines for her daycare class (yes, toddlers exchange valentines apparently). We go to Nordstrom Rack on the way because my husband and I both need new work shoes. We each get a pair. $79.86
3:30 p.m. — At Target we buy grape jelly, Hershey's Kisses, valentines, Luna bars, and something else I'm forgetting. $20.48
4:30 p.m. — We also get gas for my car while we're out. $30.61
10 p.m. — My husband goes out with friends while my daughter and I hang out and do dinner and bedtime. After she's down, I watch the Olympics and chill until my husband gets home around 10.
Daily Total: $229.53

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — We bring the toddler in bed with us again so that we can hopefully get more shuteye. We're successful for a bit and then start our day.
8:30 a.m. — It's rainy and dreary. I am already sick of being inside so we go to IHOP for breakfast and get eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, pancakes, and home fries; my daughter gets a fun pancake with a smiley face on it. $41.12
3 p.m. — Most of the day is spent doing laundry, relaxing, and making lunches for the week. After my daughter's nap time, we leave for a free trial of a local indoor play space. Our toddler burns some energy at the playgroup, and we get to socialize.
8 p.m. — We eat breaded chicken and green beans for dinner. I hate Sunday evenings because Monday is right around the corner. I stay up too late watching the Olympics (OMG, Mirai Nagasu, I love you!) and then can't fall asleep. I think I finally doze off around 11.
Daily Total: $41.12

Day Seven

5 a.m. — My alarm goes off but I sleep for another 30 minutes. After that alarm, the toddler starts stirring. (I think it's time to push bedtime back so she'll sleep later.) I get up and give her the lovey that fell out of her crib, and then I get ready. By the time I'm done at 6 a.m., she's up again, so I get her while my husband gets ready. I'm out the door around 6:20 and at work by 7 a.m. The house cleaners come today (but, spoiler, when I get home, I'm not thrilled with the job they do). $100
11 a.m. — I bite the bullet on an Amazon order sitting in my cart with vitamins for me (Krill Oil Omega-3, vitamin D, and Floradix), dog food, and pouches for the toddler. $172.17
12 p.m. — I eat a salad from home (it has spinach, tomato, cucumber, bell peppers, berries, feta, and balsamic vinegar) and then go for a walk. Come back and grab a churro from a catered lunch at the office.
4:30 p.m. — I pick up my daughter from daycare and head home. We have pasta and meatballs for dinner, and my husband does bedtime while I go to a workout class.
9 p.m. — I come home and we watch the Olympics before going to bed.
Daily Total: $272.17
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