A Week In Englewood, CO, On A $64,760 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 test engineer working who makes $64,760 per year. This week, she spends part of her paycheck at an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant.
Occupation: Test Engineer
Industry: Aerospace
Age: 23
Location: Englewood, CO
Salary: $64,760
Paycheck (Weekly): $818.28
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $824. (I share a four-bedroom townhome with three other girls.)
Car Payment: $533
Student Loan Payment: $545
Savings: $200
Electric, Water, Trash, TV & Internet: Varies, but usually ~$60 after a four-way split
Car Insurance: $156
Spotify: $11
Climbing Gym Membership: $79
Disney World Annual Pass: $43. (I have been a Disney pass-holder for four years, after attending college in Florida.)
Additional Expenses
Retirement Savings: $99.63/week. (8% pre-tax deduction with a 4% company match.)
Medical, Dental, Vision & Special Accident Insurance: $15.05/week (pre-tax)
HSA Contribution: $14/week (pre-tax)
Long-Term Disability Insurance: $3.42/week (post-tax deduction)

Day One

6:15 a.m. — My alarm goes off much later than usual. I don't need to get in until 8 a.m. (instead of my usual 7 a.m. arrival time) because I'm going climbing tonight after work and will stay later than usual at the office. We work flexible hours, and as long as I get my nine hours in every day, no one really cares what time I come in or leave.
7:45 a.m. — Get to work and find a chocolate-chip muffin scone in the break room! I bring my lunch every day and don't usually eat breakfast, but I'm not one to refuse free food. I take it back to my desk and eat it with the coffee I brought from home.
12:15 p.m. — Take a break from working (and IM-ing my friends) to warm up the beef stew I brought from home. I prepared a huge crock-pot of it on Sunday and have been eating my way through it this week. I don't meal prep per se, especially because I get bored of the same meals after so many days, but I do occasionally make large batches of things. One more day left!
1:30 p.m. — The friend I'm supposed to go climbing with tonight shoots me an IM that he's been sneezing all morning and might have to bail. Bummer. Clearly, some sort of illness has been spreading around the office. I think about the Mucinex in my purse (since I've also been sick the past few days), but decide to wait until later to take my next dosage.
4:45 p.m. — I am outta here! My climbing partner officially bails, but I go anyway to get time on the hangboards and tension board.
7:20 p.m. — Home from the gym and I am starving! My roommates beat me home and to the stove and I'm sadly stuck devouring goat cheese and beet crackers until they finish cooking.
7:45 p.m. — Find a leftover quinoa, tofu, tomato, and cucumber mixture in the back of my fridge that probably needs to be eaten soon. I throw it on the stove and make a stir-fry with leftover bacon grease from my roommate's dinner (LOL, super healthy) and coconut aminos mixed in. I sit down on the couch to enjoy my strange concoction.
9 p.m. — Time for How to Get Away with Murder! I watch Queen Viola Davis slay, as per usual, and then shower and go to sleep. Lights out around 10:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

5:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off way too early, but at least it's Friday! I snooze a few times before finally getting out of bed to get ready for the day. Brush my teeth, wash my face, and then grab my thermos full of coffee. I'm out the door at 6:30 for my 30-minute commute.
7 a.m. — Sadly, there's no free food in the break room today. I settle in to read emails and daydream about the weekend.
11:10 a.m. — I succumb to my hunger and warm up the last of my beef stew.
12 p.m. — Finally hear back from a boy I've gone on a few dates with, L.*, about whether he's free to hang out on Saturday. He's not, and I'm somewhat annoyed. He has poor texting skills, and we barely communicate at all outside of our dates. I channel my annoyance into finally setting up a date with the other guy I've been messaging, B.*, who suggested that we see a horror movie together sometime. I research tomorrow's movie times at the theater near me and send him suggestions.
3 p.m. — It's officially the weekend! I basically sprint out of the building to my car. I am very ready to be sitting on my couch, but first, I need to stop at Party City to pick up decorations for our Super Bowl party this weekend!
3:30 p.m. — After some playful banter with a Patriots fan, I escape Party City without doing too much damage. I get plates, napkins, and a tablecloth. $16.91
5:45 p.m. — All my roommates are home, so we start cooking our HelloFresh meal. A friend of mine from college periodically gives us her free boxes, and tonight it's turkey pesto burgers. They turn out delicious, and it is always fun to share a dinner with all four of my roommates.
8:30 p.m. — One of my roommates and I settle down on the couch to watch 50 Shades of Grey. We want to see the new one when it comes out in theaters, so we have to catch up on the previous ones. When it ends, we put on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and my roomie comments on how I moan more about Guy Fieri and his food than I did over Christian Grey.
11 p.m. — Finally go to sleep.
Daily Total: $16.91

Day Three

7 a.m. — Up early! I have a lot of errands to run today, and I want to get a quick climb beforehand. My partner bails but since I'm already awake, I decide to go anyway.
10 a.m. — I am exhausted after about an hour on the tension boards. I still have time to kill before my eye doctor appointment, so I run to Starbucks for a cold brew and a breakfast sandwich. The total comes to $8.93, but I pay with my preloaded Gold card. It's absolutely gorgeous out, so I sit on the patio.
10:40 a.m. — Next stop: eye doctor. I escape mostly unscathed. I pay $91 from my HSA for the contact fitting and optomap, and another $121.20 out of pocket for my contact lenses. (I don't have enough money in my HSA to cover both.) I have a $100 rebate on the contacts, which brings that total down to $21, and I will eventually reimburse myself via my HSA! $112.20
11:15 a.m. — Next, I hop over to Trader Joe's to buy ingredients for my Super Bowl wings, including soy sauce, pickled jalapeños, sriracha, balsamic vinegar, honey, and brown sugar, and then some things for myself: green juice, half and half, mandarin oranges, cheddar rockets, granola bars, cookies, and frozen chicken tikka samosas. $40.07
12 p.m. — I head to Sam's Club to buy frozen wings but decide that a 10-pound bag is way more than I need. I go to Walmart instead where I get two bags (eight pounds total), blue cheese dressing, and sesame seeds. $26.80
6:30 p.m. — I never hear back from B. about our potential date (which is amusing, considering he was the one who put the most effort into keeping our conversation going). My roomie and I join some friends for all-you-can-eat sushi and we gorge ourselves. One friend pays and we all pay him back on Venmo. Even though we had grand plans of going out downtown, after I get home, all I can bring myself to do is lay on the couch until bedtime. $33
Daily Total: $212.07

Day Four

9 a.m. — I wake up feeling incredibly rejuvenated. Today is the Super Bowl! I make my way upstairs to get some coffee and prepare my wings for the crockpot.
10:30 a.m. — I'm a little hungry, so I make myself toast with cream cheese and a “man-mosa” made from Coors Banquet and orange juice.
1 p.m. — One roommate and I and get a six-pack of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA for the party. $12.93
4 p.m. — People start arriving! We have an absurd amount of food, so everyone fills up plates and settles in to watch the game.
8:30 p.m. — The Eagles win and I am ecstatic. Having grown up in Maryland, I am a diehard Baltimore Ravens fan, but I will happily root for anyone to beat the Patriots. My friend from Boston storms out of our house but everyone else seems to have a great time. We are left with lots of leftovers, which is good because I didn't buy a lot of lunch food for the week.
9:30 p.m. — Take a quick shower and get in bed by 10 p.m.
Daily Total: $12.93

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I snooze for a little bit before performing my usual routine: brush teeth, wash face, grab lunch and coffee, and leave by 6:30.
7 a.m. — Get to my desk and the first thing I do is log in to pay my credit card bill for the month. I split most of my expenses between two different cards, and I typically end up with a statement balance between $500 and $600 on each.
11 a.m. — I've already eaten my apple and the leftover quesadilla I brought to work. Luckily, I still have wings and other snacks but I'm thinking today is going to be a long, hungry day.
4 p.m. — Escape work and head home to devour as many Super Bowl leftovers as I can before my class at the climbing gym tonight. I eat a leftover grilled cheese, hummus, and too many hot Cheetos.
6:10 p.m. — Fill up on gas on my way to the gym. My SUV has a 22.5-gallon tank, so filling up is always a little pricey. $39.01
6:30 p.m. — I signed up for the sport lead climbing class about a month ago and it is finally happening! It feels good to be finally taking it — I've wanted to take this class forever but I broke my ankle about a year ago and that really set back my climbing abilities. Because I am a gym member, I get a discounted price for the class. $39
10:30 p.m. — Finally home after the three-and-a-half-hour class. It went super well but now I'm exhausted. I find a box of pizza on the counter and steal a slice before making my way downstairs to shower and go to bed.
Daily Total: $78.01

Day Six

5:30 a.m. — Ugh. I'm up way too early for how late I stayed up last night. I'm scheduled to be on shift in the test lab today, so I have to be at work at 7 a.m. I muster up the energy to get out of bed and get my day going.
7 a.m. — Make my way to the lab this morning instead of my usual building. Lab shifts are a nice break from my usual day-to-day desk work. (It's not as great when said shifts are during nights or weekends, though.)
10:45 a.m. — Our test this morning doesn't take the whole shift, so I pack up my things and jump in my car to drive back to my usual building. I didn't get the chance to snack at all this morning and I'm ravenous. I eat a leftover grilled cheese sandwich while catching up on emails.
12 p.m. — I see an email from the automatic job search I set up within my company. I love my current job, but I have long said that if this job became available, I would definitely apply. I get an immediate wave of panic-induced adrenaline and manage to update my résumé and pump out a cover letter within the next hour. I send my manager an email telling him about the position, too. I hope he approves and is willing to help me through the process!
2:30 p.m. — I'm craving Diet Coke but the vending machine won't take my credit card for some reason. Sadly, I have no cash and my craving has to go unsatisfied.
4 p.m. — Head home and eat way too many Super Bowl leftovers. I feel like I've been insatiable since the party. While sitting on the couch swiping, I see that Bumble is offering a week-long free trial of their Bumble Boost subscription. I decide to sign up. Hopefully, I'll remember to cancel this in a week before they charge me for the one-month subscription. I add a reminder to my Google Calendar just in case.
7:15 p.m. — All my roomies are home, so we watch last night's episode of The Bachelor. Thank God he finally got rid of Krystal!
9:30 p.m. — Bedtime.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and OMG I feel great. I sleep in an extra hour today because I'm going climbing tonight at 5:30 again. It is amazing how much better that extra hour makes me feel.
7:20 a.m. — It's Double-Star Day at Starbucks, so obviously, I have to get my points. I get a venti skinny vanilla latte for $5.12 and pay with my preloaded Gold card.
2 p.m. — Finally get a text back from B. — almost a week later. Apparently, he just disappears on the weekends? He asks if I want to do something this weekend, and I say yes.
5 p.m. — Leave work and head to the gym.
7:15 p.m. — Back home, where I warm up leftover grilled cheeses for dinner and then eat them in the living room while chatting with my roommate about boys and Valentine's Day plans.
9:30 p.m. — Bedtime! So glad that tomorrow is the last day of my work week.
Daily Total: $0
*Name has been changed for anonymity.
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