A Week In Chicago, IL, On A $65,000 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.
Ahead of National Twins Day, we present Twin Week, where we’re tracking the spending of five sets of twins. Just because twins share the same DNA, doesn’t mean they share the same money habits, so we thought it’d be a fun experiment to compare and contrast the way millennial twins are saving and spending. Here’s a set of twins living in Chicago, IL.
This diary: a social media planner working in advertising who makes $65,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a secondhand Madewell denim jacket. Her sister is an analyst.
Occupation: Social Media Planner
Industry: Advertising
Age: 25
Location: Chicago
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,962
My Husband's Salary: $75,000
My Husband's Paycheck Amount: $1,660 (not biweekly, because they’re on some weird financial pay schedule)
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,350 (My husband and I share all expenses.)
Student Loan Payment: $146
Gas: $47.30
Electric: $36.61
Gym: $70
Internet: $50
Movie Pass: $10
Netflix: $0 (Thanks, Dad!)
Spotify: $9.99 for three months
Hulu: $0 (Thanks, twin!)
Adobe Suite: $10
401(k): My company matches my contribution. (Is it bad that I don't know exactly how much it is...?)
Public Transportation: $100

Day One

6 a.m. — I wake up early twice a week to workout before work. (I only do this in the summer when the sun is up at 6 a.m., though — otherwise I can't get myself to pull the covers off my face and get my butt out of bed.) After my workout, I drink coffee at home and eat a knockoff Quest bar that my husband and I buy in bulk.
12 p.m. — My husband and I make a point of grocery shopping every Sunday for the week. I religiously bring my lunch to work with me every day unless a vendor is taking my team out. Today it's grilled chicken, kale, and lemon poppyseed dressing.
3 p.m. — I've had a pounding migraine all day and I'm supposed to go on a boat after work with a vendor. I take some Advil from our company's free stock pile.
5:30 pm - My migraine hasn’t subsided, but I’m determined to enjoy the the private yacht trip. My office is only a 10-minute walk from the harbor, and the weather is perfect weather outside, so my coworkers and I decide to hoof it to the docks.
6 p.m. — I’m on a boat, and it’s amazing. Food and drink were brought by the vendor, so I’m chilling with a rosé and a pounding migraine. If I have a migraine, it might as well be on a yacht. Right…?
9 p.m. — I offer to order the Lyft for me and a couple coworkers after the three-hour vendor booze cruise on the lake. I'll expense it at work tomorrow. ($12.41 expensed)
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

9 a.m. — I wait in line at the Starbucks in my office. Every Friday a vendor buys our agency coffee from 9 to 10 a.m. I order a nitro cold brew with sweet cream, and they comp it. ($5.45 expensed)
12:30 p.m. — I work along the river, so I take my homemade salad outside for some summertime sunshine.
3:45 p.m. — It’s Friday and summer, so I leave the office a little early and take the train home.
6 p.m. — My husband, twin sister, her boyfriend, and I meet up for dinner at a local burger place. It used to be BYOB so we bring our own bubbly, but once we get there we find out they changed their policy. I stick with water, a truffle burger, and fries, and my husband gets a cheeseburger, fries, and a draft beer. We'll save the bubbly for later. $32.50
9 p.m. — We all head back to my sister’s house and crack open the bubbly and watch Netflix.
Daily Total: $32.50

Day Three

9:30 a.m. — I'm a "micro-blogger," so I get invited to events hosted by brands. This one is brunch at a place on the other side of town. The food and drinks will be free, so we take an Uber there. For some reason I have 40% off Uber. $7.36
12 p.m. — We finish the blogger brunch, take some photos, and then order a Via to take us home. It's been raining all day, so Lyft and Uber are quoting us $40 for the same ride we paid $10 for on our way over. $8.34
1:30 p.m. —It’s still raining, so I don’t feel guilty about watching The Bold Type and cuddling my cat.
3 p.m. — My sister comes over after her brow wax, and we hang out and listen to music. We live less than a mile away from each other, so we hang out nonstop over the weekends. She's throwing a little taco dinner party with our other friends tonight and asked if my husband and I could bring guac and salsa. We pick up some pre-made guac and salsa that were on sale. Sorry for being a cheap-o, twinny. $10.07
7 p.m. — My husband and I head over to my sister’s house for the taco party with our guac and salsa in tow. She provides the alcohol and meat, and our other friend brings the chips and tortillas. I help myself to lots of tacos and cuddle her foster dog.
11:30 p.m. — My husband and I take the bus home from my sister’s house. We could walk the 0.7 miles, but we’re full and tired.
Daily Total: $25.77

Day Four

10 a.m. — I go to the same tabata workout class every Sunday morning, and it’s my absolute favorite. The class is hosted at my gym, so I don’t have to pay extra for it.
11:15 a.m. — I was supposed to go to brunch for my friend’s birthday, but the weather is shitty so we reschedule for later in the week. My husband went to a movie since he thought I was going to brunch. We usually go to the grocery store after my class, but this week I go home instead.
12 p.m. — I eat scrambled eggs at home and watch more of The Bold Type on Hulu. I have to watch it when my husband isn’t home, or he will tease me mercilessly. This is marriage.
2 p.m. — I have a box of TJ Maxx returns, so I take the bus over to the store and get $69 back. While I'm there, I pick up two candles for our apartment, since we're burning through the ones we have. $15
3 p.m. — I have a fashion blog that focuses on affordable/secondhand fashion, and I haven't been to the resale shop by my apartment in a while. I also have a pair of jeans I think they might take. It's a successful shopping day, and I find a Madewell denim jacket, three blouses, and a pair of shoes. They take my jeans and credit me $11 to use in store, which I use toward my purchase. $88
4 p.m. — It's still raining, so my sister comes over to bake a special treat. I have the KitchenAid and the base ingredients we need already (eggs, flour, sugar, etc.) so she brings the mix-ins.
7:30 p.m. — Since we didn't make our normal grocery run today, we have to pick something up for dinner. I offer to grab sandwiches for my husband and me from a corner bodega. The subs come with complimentary chips (score!). $14.38
Daily Total: $117.38

Day Five

7 a.m. — Back to reality. I get up and grab myself a cup of already brewed coffee. My husband and I switch off scheduling the coffee to be brewed for the next morning. I don’t buy fancy coffee during the week.
8:30 a.m. — I commute to work using public transportation. It isn’t so bad, since I have an amazing podcast to listen to. Shout out to Binge Mode: Harry Potter.
12:30 p.m. — We didn’t go grocery shopping last week, so I’m stuck having a hodgepodge lunch that consists of a peanut butter sandwich, Pink Lady apple, cheese stick, and blueberries. Yes, a five-year-old would also be happy with this lunch. I’ve packed my lunch my entire life (well, since middle school), so buying lunch seems like a waste of money to me.
5 p.m. — My husband and I order groceries from our local grocery chain's delivery service. (The first delivery is free and we get an extra $20 off.) $93
Daily Total: $93

Day Six

6 a.m. — Another early morning workout day. I’m trying to add some more cardio (I usually focus on weight training), so I skip the gym and go for a 3.5 mile run along the lakefront. I see the sunrise and think I should do this more often.
1:30 p.m. — It’s a busy work day, so I eat my normal salad at my desk. I hate not taking a lunch break, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
6:30 p.m. — My husband does most of the cooking, but tonight I want turkey tacos, which is the one dish that I make. We have all the ingredients from our grocery haul earlier this week, so I get to cooking and we watch Sharp Objects and eat plantain chips and guac. I love Taco Tuesday.
10:30 p.m. — I have been eyeing these wide-leg pants from Target for a while now, and I see a blogger post about them while I'm laying in bed scrolling. I look them up and see that they're on sale now. I don't need further convincing, and I make the decision to purchase them. $21.59
Daily Total: $21.59

Day Seven

8 a.m. — I'm really over hearing about the Nordstrom anniversary sale, but I've been wanting these Spanx leggings for a while, and they're half off. Naturally, they're out of my size, so I do some Googling and find that Spanx is price-matching Nordstrom's sale price. I take the plunge and buy them. $62
2:30 p.m. — My company is hosting a women’s creative panel and one of the co-founders of Refinery29 is on it. I go, and I’m inspired.
5:30 p.m. — My husband meets me on the river before an event we have tonight. I'm wearing a cute outfit, and I brought my DSLR to work so he could take some blog photos of me. He takes my pics, and we walk to the event. Working in the Loop is the best.
6 p.m. — Another blogger event tonight. This time it's hosted by a tequila company. I'm so excited because tequila is my favorite alcohol, and it's on one of Chicago's amazing rooftops. My husband and I get there and find out it's not open bar, but we do get two free drink vouchers, so we drink up and peace out.
7 p.m. — We're in a weird part of the city for public transportation, so we get an Uber home from the tequila event and my husband makes us waffles from the goodie bag we got from the other blogger event earlier this week. $9.51
Daily Total: $71.51
Read my twin's diary, here.
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