A Week In Brooklyn, NY, On A Joint $192,000 Salary

Photo: Courtesy of Badger Balm.
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 manager who makes $102,000 per year and spends it on sleep balm and floor tiles.
Occupation: People Manager
Industry: Tech
Age: 29
Location: Brooklyn, NY
My Salary: $102,000
My Paycheck (2x/month): $2,729.39 twice a month, plus $1,750/quarter for bonus
Husband's Salary: $90,000 with salary and commission
Husband's Paycheck (2x/month): $1,928.88
Additional Income: $22,800 annually in rental income. We are 100% joint — joint checking and joint savings. Our money gets lumped together to pay our bills (which is unfortunate for my husband, because I have more debt because of law school).
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $3,414.31 mortgage. We own a row house in Brooklyn. We live on the ground floor and rent out the second floor.
Student Loans: $1,169 (Thank you, law school.)
Car Loan: $174
Husband's Student Loans: $156
All Other Monthly Expenses
Water: $50
Dog Walker: $350
Cellphone (Sprint): $225
Car Insurance: $157
Internet: $55
Electric: $179
Running App: $10
Gas: $166 (for our apartment and tenants)
Birchbox: $11
Pet Food: $200 (for our cat and dog)
Church Donation: $200
Amazon Prime: $100/year
Dog's Physical Therapy: $378/month. He has hip dysplasia and goes to water therapy twice a month.
Savings: At least $500/month. My husband handles all of our money, and has a savings/paying-off-debt strategy.

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I struggle out of bed. I'm definitely not a morning person. Dragon (our 75-pound pit bull-mastiff cuddle machine) doesn't want to get out of bed either, but he needs to be walked before I go to work, or I'll regret his energy level later. We do a lap around the park!
9:15 a.m. — I work for a tech company and we've got tons of snacks and coffee at the office. I grab a banana and coffee and start working. Lots of meetings and tasks to power through this morning.
12:30 p.m. — I'm starving and it's my lucky day: Our team is testing out new caterers. Our office has catered lunch on Wednesdays, but our current caterers have been hit or miss on quality. I'm pretty skeptical of the sparse salad bar the test caterer brings, but it turns out to be super tasty and filling — and they bring very delicious chocolate-chip cookies. I hope they get added to our rotation.
5 p.m. — My husband calls and tells me the Yankees-Indians game we were going to tonight has been postponed until tomorrow night because of rain. Unfortunately, we are already booked tomorrow night with a charity fundraiser event! We are originally from Ohio though, so I know my husband really wants to go to the Indians game. Screw it. We'll go to the baseball game and charity event. We repurchase baseball tickets. $122.27
6:30 p.m. — We already paid for a dog walker this evening, so we decide to go out to dinner. It was our four-year wedding anniversary a month ago, and we tried to go to Hart's in Brooklyn but they were booked. We decide to try getting in again ... and of course, it's an hour wait. The restaurant is tiny, so we go to the bar next door for a drink while we wait. I order a wine, and my husband gets a beer. $20
6:45 p.m. — We get called back to the restaurant after 15 minutes. I chug my wine and we head over. I'm already drunk off the glass of wine I chugged, so we order a ton of food! Two appetizers, two entrees, and dessert. The food's pretty good but my husband and I agree that the previous restaurant in the same space had a more interesting menu. I recommend the clam toast, though. $152.43
10:30 p.m. — We Uber home. $8.50
Daily Total: $303.20

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — The struggle is real, but it's a running day, so I have to get up. In May, my mom was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive bile duct cancer. She passed away in July, and I've started running to help manage my grief. Plus, I hope to get to a point where I'm able to do a charity run. I'm using a subscription app to that says it can take you "from couch potato to 5K." So far, it's working.
9:15 a.m. — On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we have cold brew on tap in our office lobby. I grab a Stumptown Nitro and a banana and get to work!
12 p.m. — Today's a catered-lunch day in the office. I eat light because I know I'm going to binge on stadium food at the baseball game. It's really the only reason I agreed to go to the game!
3:30 p.m. — My husband and I head up to Yankee Stadium. We will be the best dressed people there since we're wearing our cocktail attire for the charity event after. (Yep, my husband is in a full suit.) Once we arrive, I immediately get a ridiculously overpriced beer and hot dog — it's wonderful! I guess there's also a baseball game going on ... but I make a second trip for another hot dog and cheese fries. I've been waiting all day for this! $58.25
6:30 p.m. — We don't get to see the whole game but the Indians were winning when we left! We head back downtown for the cocktail charity event, which is raising money for various charity affiliates around the world. We mingle, drink, and listen to live music. There's a silent auction and I force my husband to bid on tickets to Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler. It's Bette Midler; she's amazing! I can't even think about Beaches without crying. In the end, we're outbid. I wish we had the funds for a bidding war, but we don't. Instead, we donate to the foundation. $100
10:30 p.m. — My feet hurt like hell from my heels so we Uber home. $36.96
Daily Total: $195.21

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — It's a dog walk day. Dragon and I take a lap around the park, then I head into work.
9:15 a.m. — I'm in my normal routine: coffee, cereal, and get to work. We have a four-day weekend this week as a Summer Friday perk, so I'm slammed trying to cram work in.
12 p.m. — Hungry! My coworker and I head to Whole Foods for sushi. I know their sushi is expensive, but the other sushi place nearby can sometimes be a bit "off," and I don't mind paying the extra few dollars. $15
8:30 p.m. — I pick up the dog and husband and head to dinner at Sauvage with my dad and sister. It has been a very hard summer for all of us. Since my mom passed away, I've been making a point not to take my loved ones for granted, and spend as much time with them as possible. We order tons of food, and my wonderful dad pays.
Daily Total: $15

Day Four

6:30 a.m. — Even though I have the day off, it's a run day. So, I get up and go.
11 a.m. — Dragon and I chill around the house and pack. Tonight, we are headed to East Stroudsburg, PA to go canoeing down the Delaware river tomorrow. We try to go canoeing at least once a year. I'm a high-stress person and canoeing calms me.
5 p.m. — My husband's home! We load up our Jeep and are on our way. We make a pit stop for beer (canoe + beer = ca-brewing) and a granola bar. $15.36
7 p.m. — Traffic in the Holland Tunnel was awful, and this trip is taking forever. The granola bar wasn't enough and I'm in a hangry rage. Thankfully, we see an exit with a Cracker Barrel. Their chicken and dumplings are too good to pass up! Since we have Dragon with us, we order take-out. Pro tip: You can order take-out and eat al fresco on their rocking chairs and it's delightful! I'm a sucker for their general store and buy Badger Sleeping Balm ($6.99), chocolate covered coffee beans, and chocolate covered marshmallows. $43.64
9 p.m. — We arrive at the Super 8 and get their last pet-friendly room, but unfortunately, there are two double beds. That means my husband gets his own bed and Dragon and I share. Dragon refuses to sleep alone. $114
Daily Total: $173

Day Five

8 a.m. — Uh-oh. It's cold and the weatherman is calling for rain in the afternoon. We get ready fast and head out for canoeing to beat the rain.
9 a.m. — We stop by Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast, and I order a donut and a coffee. It's my lucky day because they accidentally give me two! $7.17
9:15 a.m. — Our canoe trip will take around five hours, so we stop by Subway for sandwiches for lunch later. I make my own salami and veggie creation and grab chips. $10.25
10 a.m. — We've got our canoe rented and loaded up. We strap on Dragon's lifejacket and off we go! Dragon swims like a rock, so he loves the safety of the canoe. The river is so peaceful and quiet. It's pretty chilly and early, so there's no one out but us. $100
12 p.m. — We pull up to shore to let Dragon run around in the woods and eat lunch. Dragon goes nuts racing everywhere and splashing in the river. It's too frickin' cute.
3 p.m. — We are off the river and headed home. My husband saw that we passed a Dairy Queen on our way here and wants to stop for ice cream. It's cold, so I order a hot fudge sundae and a small vanilla for Dragon. $8
3:15 p.m. — There's a DIY car wash next to DQ and our car is in bad need of an interior and exterior cleaning. We load up on quarters and I go hard on cleaning. $20
6 p.m. — We're back in Brooklyn, surprisingly sunburned and sore-armed from paddling. We order Chinese food and work on a puzzle. Yes, puzzling is cheesy but it's so relaxing — and we're doing a Botticelli painting. $65
Daily Total: $210.42

Day Six

8:30 a.m. — My husband's pretty religious and I support him by going to church with him. Plus, I'm not opposed to learning. We stop for pastries and coffee at Paris Baguette before church starts. $10
2:30 p.m. — Cleaning and cooking all afternoon. I also really need to stop puzzling.
8 p.m. — We were home all day, so we decide to go to Barboncino for dinner. It's a 20-minute wait, so we grab a drink at the bar. They pour me what is essentially a bowl of wine for $9. Not bad. I highly recommend their soppressata pizza with hot honey. Salty and sweet! $88.60
Daily Total: $98.60

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — I have the day off for Labor Day, but it's a run day — my longest run yet and I'm nervous. I even had an anxiety riddled dreams about it. But to my surprise, I do it, and it isn't that bad. There must be something to this interval training.
9 a.m. — We own our house and my husband and I have been slowly renovating it ourselves. Right now, we are tiling our bathroom. The tiles for our shower floor are too big for our shower slope so, we head to Home Depot. After much searching, we find the perfect-sized marble mosaic hexagons. We pick up a few more supplies and head home. $206
12 p.m. — My husband and I argue about the placement of the tile for a while before we start making the cuts. If we don't get the shower right and end up with leaks, we'll be screwed out of all the time and money we've already put into it. Finally, all the floor tiles are dry-laid.
8 p.m. — We are tired from the weekend. We decide to stay in and order dinner. There's a Thai place I'm obsessed with even though it's kind of pricey. We order pad see ew and basil chicken. Movies and puzzling for the rest of the night. $57
Daily Total: $263
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