A Week In Dallas, TX, On A $51,625 Salary

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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.
Today: an associate contracts specialist working in aerospace who makes $51,625 per year and spends some of her money this week on an Old Fashioned.
Occupation: Associate Contracts Specialist
Industry: Aerospace
Age: 24
Location: Dallas, TX
Salary: $51,625
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,521.46
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,078 for a studio apartment
Car Payment: $238.62 (I have around $13,000 more to pay off.)
Student Loans: $96.98 (I have $9,000 in student loans.)
Utilities: $90
Internet: $52.20
Car Insurance: $110
Credit Card: I pay off my balance each month.
Phone: I'm on my dad's plan.
Spotify: $10.81
Netflix: $14.06
Annual Expenses
Renter's Insurance: $233
Amazon Prime: $50 (My sister and I split it.)
Savings: I opened a brokerage account and moved $3,000 into it. I have around $10,000 in a high-yield savings account, and I like to keep $2,000-$3,000 in my checking account.
HSA Account: $700 (My employer puts in $500 a year.)

Day One

5:20 a.m. — "Where Is My Mind" by Maxence Cyrin wakes me up. I grab my basal body thermometer and take my temp. I started practicing the Fertility Awareness Method last August and have come to love learning more about my body. Seeing my chart come together after a cycle is complete makes me so happy. My temp reads 97.5, which confirms I'm in my follicular phase.
5:30 a.m. — Next I start my skin-care routine, which consists of Kate Somerville Acne Detox cleanser, Kate Somerville Anti Bac Benzoyl Peroxide, UFO Sunday Riley Oil, Josie Maran Argan Oil, the new Sephora eye cream (amazing!), and sunscreen by Image. I brush out my brows, curl my lashes, and then move on to my closet. Today's outfit consists of Paige dark denim skinny jeans, a gray ruffle-sleeve top, and my Vince platform slip-ons in black suede. Then I put on my gold initial necklace and my Apple Watch ( I love tracking things).
5:45 a.m. — I prepare my morning drink of eight ounces of water, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a capful of apple cider vinegar. I mix it all together and relax on my couch for five minutes, scrolling through Instagram before I leave for the day. I say goodbye to my aloe plant, open my blinds to give her some sun, and then grab my lunch.
5:55 a.m. — I've got my Madewell tote on my shoulder, lunch in hand, and I'm ready to go! I make the walk to my car and turn on my Spotify. "Joy" by Bastille comes on and puts me in a good mood.
6:30 a.m. — I've arrived! We can arrive at work anytime we want — we just have to get nine hours in, so I tend to be an early bird so I can have more time to myself after work. I park my car, use the crosswalk (does anyone else fear crosswalks?), scan in, and then climb up stairs to my floor...gotta get my steps in.
9 a.m. — So far it's an easy morning. Just finishing up some admin tasks from over the weekend. I eat my apple and a couple of raspberries and take a chug of water from my Hydro Flask. I tend to drink 70 ounces of water while I'm at work.
11 a.m. — It's my favorite time of the day...lunch! I made myself a chickpea wrap with avocado, barbecue sauce, spinach, and vegan Violife cheese. I have a side of baked zucchini.
4 p.m. — My afternoon meeting is over, and now it's time for my snack of barbecue plantain chips and cashews. After I'm done I call it a day.
4:34 p.m. — I'm meeting my friend tonight to hang out, so I decide to make a quick dinner of cauliflower gnocchi, veggies, and a pumpkin tomato sauce. I make double so I can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
6:30 p.m. — I leave my apartment and head to my friend's. We talk about life, boys, and have lots of laughs! We've known each other our entire lives and are both about a year into our big-girl jobs. We've grown up together, and I love catching up.
9 p.m. — I'm back home and decide to take a shower and do my nighttime routine. I recently started using the Brazilian 4 Play body wash by Sol De Janeiro, and it smells SO good. Once I'm out, I wash my face with Sunday Riley Micro Dissolve Cleansing Oil and Kate Somerville Acne Detox (I double cleanse at night), and then exfoliate with First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I apply Good Genes on my forehead and chin, moisturize with Sunday Riley's Tidal/Argan Oil, and then apply my Sephora eye cream. Next I'm off to bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

5:20 a.m. — My usual soft piano music wakes me up, and I take my temperature. This morning it reads 97.7.
5:30 a.m. — I do my usual morning skin-care routine, brush my brows, and curl my lashes. My outfit today consists of Paige dark denim skinny jeans, a Madewell leopard pullover, Vince platform black suede shoes, my initial necklace, and my Apple Watch. I go to the kitchen to make my drink and open my blinds for my plant.
5:55 a.m. — Time to go! I grab my bag and head out the door. Today I decide to start my day off with Carly Rae Jepsen's “Want You in My Room.”
6:30 a.m. — I've arrived. I do my usual walk to my desk and check my emails. I finish up the Dr. Death podcast while I organize my inbox.
9 a.m. — My morning meeting is over, and I eat my apple and raspberries. I daydream about margaritas and the beach, and then I'm back to work. It was fun while it lasted.
9:30 a.m. — My coworker and I were chosen to go to a baseball game, so we go pick up the tickets on the next floor. We get to go watch a game in our company's suite, and this is my chance to network with the bosses. I'm slightly nervous for it!
11 a.m. — Lunch! I eat my leftover cauliflower gnocchi, veggies, and pumpkin tomato sauce. I'm always too nervous to use the microwave because I'm weird, so I eat it cold. Our lunch is only 30 minutes long, and I usually spend it scrolling through my phone reading news stories.
12 p.m. — The meeting that I lead begins. I remember when I first started leading meetings, I was so nervous I'd mess up and make a fool out of myself. Now it seems like second nature. I'm pretty proud of how I've grown these last few months. I'm still very shy, but I think I'm starting to find my place.
2 p.m. — Snack time. I made some broccoli last night with coconut oil, TJ's Everything but the Bagel seasoning, and lemon pepper. I've been doing well with my water intake and steps today, and I think I'll hit my goal! I realize that I forgot to pay my toll tag, and I'm mildly freaking out because I'm not sure how long I'm past due! When I log in, it says I'm two days late and will be charged an additional $10...darn. $79
4:30 p.m. — I'm almost home, and some mean person behind me decides to honk at me even though it's obvious I can't go! I really dislike when people do this, but whatever. Once I'm home I do an ab and leg workout and then take a shower. I wash my face and apply my favorite Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Mask. It's green and makes me look like an alien...aliens are real, so it's a perfect way to show my dedication to them. Please abduct me.
5:30 p.m. — The mask is off, and I do my regular nighttime routine. I'm starving, so I decide to make a dinner of quesadillas. I make two and save one for lunch tomorrow.
7 p.m. — Time for my me time of chilling on the couch and being lazy. I watch some YouTube videos, download podcasts (My Favorite Murder and Crime Junkies), and watch another episode of The Handmaid's Tale. I try to walkie-talkie my sister on my Apple Watch, but she denies my request. How rude.
9:45 p.m. — Ahhh, sleep time. I always put myself to sleep by dreaming about how I want my life to be.
Daily Total: $79

Day Three

5:20 a.m. — My usual morning alarm wakes me up, and I take my temp. It reads 97.2.
5:30 a.m. — Skin-care routine is complete, and today I decide to wear a gray-and-white floral shirt, Paige dark skinny jeans, Vince platforms in gray suede, initial necklace, and Apple Watch.
5:45 a.m. — I mix up my daily drink and scroll through Instagram. Then I'm out the door and head to my car. I start up my playlist, and "Sleeping Alone" by Flatland Cavalry comes brings on the feels.
6:30 a.m. — I make it to my desk and start the new Crime Junkie podcast.
11 a.m. — Lunch! I eat my leftover quesadilla and drink some water. Once I'm done I start the Herbalife Swindled podcast and knock out some work.
4:20 p.m. — And I'm outta here! It's such a nice day out today, and I enjoy the feeling of the sun after being inside all day. I decide to head to Starbucks since it's double-star day. I already have money loaded on my app, so I get a grande iced vanilla latte with almond milk. The person in front of me orders THIRTY TWO different drinks, so my order kind of gets forgotten, which is understandable. I eventually get my drink and head to my mom's house.
5 p.m. — I take the toll road because it's faster ($5). My mom bought me a piece of salmon, so I go in to grab it and say hi to my doggies! I recently moved out of my mom's house after saving up some money, so it's nice to come back to see her. It was a huge step for me to finally leave, because I felt like I was leaving my mom behind with her alcoholic boyfriend. I have noticed a tremendous improvement in my mental health and happiness. I finally have peace and stability again after years of feeling really down. $5
6:15 p.m. — I'm back at my apartment, and I decide to do an ab, leg, and arm workout. I love working out, and it's a necessity for me after sitting at my desk all day. After I'm done, I prep my salmon with barbecue sauce, cut up some potatoes, zucchini, and broccoli, and throw it in the oven.
6:45 p.m. — I take a shower and do my nighttime routine. My dinner is ready, so I plate it up and add some avocado. I make extra again for lunch. While I eat, I watch an episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix while texting a few friends. I decide to paint my nails a pretty red by OPI. I'm going out to dinner with some friends tomorrow after work, so I want to look snazzy!
8:30 p.m. — I download a few more podcasts — Stuff You Should Know (the Tylenol murders were CRAZY) and The Shrink Next Door. I get a text from my sister, who still lives with my mom, saying that my mom's boyfriend is drinking again. Each time the drinking starts again, it gets worse, and his behavior becomes even more repulsive. I feel sad that my sister, mom, and the animals have to be in that house with him. I've learned the hard way that I can't do anything to stop the situation, but it still hurts me. I sometimes feel guilty that I finally decided to leave. I try to forget about it and to pack a bag with my outfit for after work tomorrow and call it a night.
Daily Total: $5

Day Four

5:20 a.m. — Time to wake up again. Today's my last day of work for the week! We have Friday off.
5:30 a.m. — My skin care is done, and now I'm in front of my closet deciding what to wear. I choose my white snake-print top from Reformation, black Paige peg-leg ankle jeans with exposed buttons, and my trusty Vince platforms in black suede. My usual necklace and Apple Watch complete the look.
5:45 a.m. — I drink my drink and decide to unload my dishwasher so I don't have to do it when I come home late tonight. I grab my lunch and forget my coffee, which is depressing.
6 a.m. — I walk to my car and decide to start my day off with "Suge" by Dababy. The sunrise is extra beautiful today, and I enjoy my drive.
6:30 a.m. — I'm at my desk and decide to listen to an episode of the Chernobyl podcast. I also see that my friend sent me an enneagram meme, and it's SO me. I'm a very obvious 4. I'm pretty busy this morning. I take a break to eat a biscuit my sister made, along with some raspberries and water from my trusty Hydro Flask.
11 a.m. — Lunch! I eat my leftover cold salmon, potatoes, and some avocado. My manager messages me and thanks me for my hard work this week, which makes me smile! I really love little appreciation messages. I sometimes still struggle with finding my place at work and making friends.
2 p.m. — Broccoli time. I just really love broccoli. I'm still working on the project I was working on this morning. I'm making progress, but it feels never-ending!
4 p.m. — It's officially the weekend, and time to go see my friends! I load $10 onto my Starbucks card and stop by to get a grande iced vanilla latte with almond milk to entertain me on my drive. $10
5:45 p.m. — I've arrived and decide to change into my dinner outfit in my car. I switch the jeans to my dark-wash ones, put on a black Zara ruffled knit sleeveless top, change my shoes to black Steve Madden Kirsten wedge sandals, and switch my bag over to my black Gucci Petite Marmont Wallet on a chain. This was a present to myself after I got my job. It's my baby, and I love it.
6 p.m. — I decide to walk around while I wait for my friends. I pop into a cute shop and buy a Father's Day card for my dad. It says My Dad Is Cooler Than Your Dad. I think he shall enjoy it. $6
7 p.m. — My friend is here! We decide to meet outside our favorite Mexican restaurant, Mesero. We discuss all our stories and laugh a lot. I seriously love my friends so much. I order a margarita mixed with sangria, shrimp nachos, and a side of rice. $37
8:30 p.m. — We move on to a rooftop bar to sit on the patio and continue our discussions. We decide to go golfing soon and plan a date/time. I get a water and a drink called Teaches on Peaches. $10
11:01 p.m. — I'm home. I look at my phone and realize one of my potential love interests, C., texted me after ignoring me for four days. He said he forgot to reply...which is questionable. I've been trying to move on from a friends-with-benefits thing I have with another guy named E. We've known each other since high school, and it's been two years on and off. Our communication is horrible, and I think we're both scared. It makes me sad, because I actually like him, but I need to move on. I ignore the text and take a shower. I complete my nighttime routine and go to sleep.
Daily Total: $63

Day Five

10:15 a.m. — It's my Friday off! I sleep in, and it feels great. I take my temp and it's 97.9. I mark it as questionable, since I woke up later than normal and consumed alcohol last night. I call my sister to talk for a little while and to see how she's feeling. I eventually get up and do my morning routine. Today I'm wearing Lululemon Hotty Hot II shorts in graphite purple, Lululemon Swifty Tech short-sleeve shirt in serene blue, and my Nike Free Runs in light gray. I fill up my Hydro Flask and grab my Cuyana black mini tassel bag and head to my car. I turn on my playlist to Taylor Swift's “Story of Us” and drive to my favorite coffee shop.
10:45 a.m. — I park and order a latte with almond milk. The cashier is new and coos at me like a baby saying awwww, you're so cute. I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm 15 or something. People always think I look a lot younger than I actually am. $6.45
11 a.m. — I drive over to TJ Maxx to get my dad a golf shirt for Father's Day. It has UV protection technology! $16
11:30 a.m. — I'm right by Home Goods, and it's too hard to resist. I end up buying a glass jar and two fridge organizers. $17.29
12:25 p.m. — I call my mom in the car and tell her what my plans are for the day. On the way back to my apartment, I go to Anthropologie to look around, and I manage to resist buying a candle. My favorite sandwich place is in the area, so I stop by and get a sandwich on sourdough with mustard, turkey, lettuce, red onions, and avocado. $11.56
2 p.m. — I watch an episode of Jane the Virgin. Then I go on a 40-minute walk to get some vitamin D. Then I use the elliptical in my apartment's gym for 25 minutes and do some arm exercises.
4 p.m. — I'm meeting a couple friends tonight for dinner, so I take a shower. I wash my hair, which means a blowdry is necessary. Next I put on my Maison De Soir black kimono robe, light my favorite Diptyque candle, and turn on my makeup-applying playlist. I wear makeup about twice a week, so it's always fun to get all made up. I moisturize and use Milk's Hydro Grip Primer. Next I put on Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, NARS creamy concealer, and Milk's powder. I do my eyebrows with an Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil, apply NARS Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush, curl my lashes, put on some Dior Iconic mascara, and then top it off with Buxom gloss in Rose Julep.
5:30 p.m. — It's almost time to go. I'm wearing Paige peg-leg ankle jeans, a black bodysuit, my Gold Gemma Tkees sandals, and my Gucci wallet on a chain. I spray Indigo by Nest, put on my gold initial necklace, and then chill on the couch and take pictures of myself to admire my work. We meet at a ramen place. I get veggie ramen and a melon margarita. $20.30
7:30 p.m. — One of my friends and I decide to head over to a bar nearby. He opens a tab, and I get two sangrias. He kindly pays. We swap stories, and I bring up my potential love interest, C. Tipsy me decides it would be a great idea to text him, so of course I do. He promptly responds and asks me about my day and if I want to come over later.
9:30 p.m. — We move on to another bar and recruit our other friend to come out. They both know about my situation with C. and E. and encourage me to expand my horizons. I get a drink called The Great Depression and then an Old Fashioned. $26.73
10:30 p.m. — My phone buzzes, and I'm hoping it's my favorite toxic person, E. Alas, it's C., and he asks me what I'm doing. My friends want to meet him, so I suggest we go to his apartment. C. says to come over, and my friend who isn't drinking drives. We arrive, play pool, and chill. C. is super nice and attractive. He has his life together, and he actually likes me. I decide I should probably give him a chance.
3 a.m. — My friend drops me off back at my apartment. I take a shower, do my nighttime routine, and pass out.
Daily Total: $98.33

Day Six

10:30 a.m. — I wake up and don't even bother taking my temp due to my alcohol consumption last'll skew my results. I'm always very anxious when I first wake up after a night of drinking, so I chill in bed, drink some water, and then do my morning routine.
11:15 a.m. — Today I'm wearing black Lululemon leggings, a gray Swifty Tech short-sleeved shirt, and my gray Nike Free Runs. I grab my Cuyana bag and head out to get a coffee. I notice my gas light is on, so I stop to fill up. $30
11:30 a.m. — Coffee secured. I get a vanilla iced latte with almond milk. $6.45
12 p.m. — I head over to Target to run some errands. On the way, One Direction starts playing on the radio. They were my life back in the day, and I was heartbroken when they broke up. I buy some disinfecting wipes and toilet cleaner. $16.22
12:45 p.m. — I'm starting to get hungry, so I make potato tacos with guacamole, green onions, vegan cheese, and black beans.
2 p.m. — I'm tired today, and I need to recharge my introvert batteries, so I take it easy and watch The OA while eating an orange. I'm still feeling anxious from last night, so I try to go walk it out on the treadmill at the gym and listen to an episode of The Shrink Next Door.
5:30 p.m. — I'm nice and sweaty, so I take a shower and do my nighttime facial routine. I'm not really hungry, but I make veggie fried rice for later.
7 p.m. — Hunger has struck, and I dig into my rice while watching another episode of The Handmaid's Tale. C. texts me and asks if I want to hang out tomorrow night. I'm not sure, since I have to wake up early the next morning for work. I'll ponder it. I'm still confused about how I feel.
9:30 p.m. — I eat some Annie's bunny fruit snacks and then head to bed.
Daily Total: $52.67

Day Seven

10 a.m. — I wake up, take my temp (97.1 — I'm still in my follicular phase), and do my morning routine. My outfit today consists of black Lululemon Hotty Hot shorts, a plain black V-neck, my gold Tkees, and my Cuyana bag. I put on gold Ray-Ban aviators and head out the door. Today is my weekly lunch date with my dad and sister.
11 a.m. — I arrive at the restaurant and order a baked potato grilled cheese with avocado. We all talk about our weeks and have a great time. My dad pays.
12 p.m. — Next we head to Whole Foods. This is our Sunday tradition dating back to when I was in high school, after my parents got divorced. My dad gives my sister and me a $50 grocery budget each week, and we all go together to shop. If I need anything else during the week, I'll buy it myself. I snag two avocados, broccoli (duh!), green onions, spinach, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, gala apples, raspberries, vegan cheese, almond-milk creamer, cashews, five gallons of high-pH water, and barbecue plantain chips. I say bye to my dad and head to my mom's.
1:30 p.m. — I head to my eyebrow salon to get my brows threaded. I've been going to the same place since I was 12 years old, and they're the only people I trust to touch my precious brows. It costs $10, and I leave a $3 tip. $13
2:30 p.m. — I decide to go to Trader Joe's on the way back to my apartment. I get some paper towels (I feel like they have the best deal on them), zucchini, and cauliflower gnocchi. $10
2:50 p.m. — I go to a new coffee shop my dad told me about at lunch and get an iced vanilla latte with almond milk. $7.50
4:50 p.m. — I do a load of laundry and take a shower. Tonight for dinner I'm going to have a salad with garbanzo beans, avocado, potatoes, green onion, and vegan ranch. I make extra for lunch tomorrow. I also cut up an apple and pack my snacks/coffee for work tomorrow.
6:30 p.m. — Time to be lazy and watch my shows on the couch. I choose an episode of The Rain. I decide I'm not going to go over to C.'s tonight and that I just want to have some time with myself to think about things.
9:30 p.m. — I pick out my outfit for tomorrow and pack up my bags. Time to go to bed and start it all over again.
Daily Total: $30.50
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