A Week In Paris On A $25,668 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. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.) This week a Events, Partnerships And Promotion Coordinators working in Fashion who makes $25,668 a year and spends it on pastries and train tickets.
Occupation: Events, Partnerships and Promotion Coordinator
Industry: Fashion
Age: 21
Location: Paris, France
Salary: $25,668 (24,000 euros)
Paycheck (once a month): $2,139 per month (2,000 euros), but I only get about $1,600 per month after taxes and benefits. Monthly Expenses
Rent: $0. It would be too expensive to live in Paris on my salary, so I'm living at my grandma's appartment
Spotify Premium: $4.99 (with student discount)
Monthly Metro & Bus Pass: $39 for half of it (my work pays for the other half)
Meals: ~$92. My work gives me $9.60 in meal tickets for each day that I work, which I can use at most restaurants and cafés for lunch, but half of that money is taken from my salary.

Day One

8:30 a.m. — I wake up and have a pain au chocolat for breakfast leftover from yesterday. I get ready and head off to work. 1 p.m. — I head out of the office and go to my favorite lunch spot. I get a veggie sandwich and a fresh juice, which ends up costing $12.80, but I use one of the meal tickets I get from work, so only end up spending $3.20. 6 p.m. — I take the bus home and stop at the grocery store to buy some food for the week, since my grandma is leaving on Thursday to go to her countryside house. I get chocolate, salmon filets, soup, frozen mashed potatoes, granola bars, and a lemon. $26.10 9 p.m. — My grandma has made fish and veggies for dinner, which we eat while watching some TV. I then go to bed and watch old Sex and the City episodes until 1 a.m. Daily Total: $29.30

Day Two

8:30 a.m. — I wake up late today and have bread and Nutella for breakfast (well, an organic "Nutella" chocolate paste). I get ready and head to work. 1:15 p.m. — I head out for lunch with a few girls from my work. I get pasta and an orange soda, which costs me $10.30, but I used one of my meal tickets and end up only paying $0.68. 3 p.m. — I'm bored at work and looking at beauty and fashion blogs. I stumble upon a cute lipstick from MAC. I go check it out on the website and end up buying two lipsticks. $41.70 6:15 p.m. — I leave work and head to my parents' house for dinner to see my other grandparents who just arrived from the south of France. We have a couple drinks and eat roasted pork with some veggies. 10:30 p.m. — My dad drives me home after dinner. I go to bed and watch Sex and the City until 1 a.m. Daily Total: $42.38

Day Three

8:15 a.m. — I get up and have bread, Nutella, and orange juice for breakfast. I get ready and head out to work for a morning of meetings with some of our partners. 1 p.m. — I head out to lunch and go back to my favorite lunch spot. I get a veggie sandwich, a juice, and a cookie, which I save for later. It ends up costing me $15 but I only pay $5.45 with the meal ticket. I go back to work at 2 p.m. for more meetings. $5.45 6 p.m. — Once again, I am bored at work and browsing clothing websites looking for a work-appropriate dress. I end up buying a pair of jeans and a dress. Oops! $246.00

6:30 p.m. — I leave work later than usual at 6:30 p.m. because I really want to finish a translation that I've been working on for almost a week. 8 p.m. — I have dinner with my grandma since she's leaving tomorrow. We eat fish, rice, and a beet salad while watching TV. I find an old murder mystery TV show that I used to watch a few years ago. They changed the cast, but it's still good. We watch three episodes and I go to bed. Daily Total: $251.45

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — I get up late again and eat bread and Nutella for breakfast. I try to leave the house on time, but there is a power cut in the metro. 10 a.m. — I get to work really late. 1:15 a.m. — I head out for lunch to the usual spot, get a veggie sandwich and a juice, which is only $3.20 after the meal ticket. $3.20 2 p.m. — I'm supposed to write something for our next collection presentation, but I have no inspiration, so I snack on some chocolate. 6:15 p.m. — I leave work and go to meet my sister, who is staying at my place tonight. While I wait for her to get ready, I go to the store to pick out some body wash. $4.15 6:45 p.m. — My sister finally meets up with me. She decides that she wants Chinese food for dinner, so we stop by the Chinese place to get takeout. I'm not having dinner with her, though, since my best friend is coming from South France for the weekend. I pay. $4.90 8 p.m. — After dropping my sister at my place, I go pick up my best friend from the train station. We head back to my place to drop off her bags, and then go to a Spanish tapas restaurant. I order two glasses of sangria and a Spanish tortilla, and we eat lots of bread. It's nice to catch up after not seeing her for over a month! We leave the restaurant by 10:30pm, and I go home and go to sleep early. $15.50 Daily Total: $27.75

Day Five

8:15 a.m. — I didn't sleep very well because my sister kept moving in her sleep and she woke me up at 7 a.m. when she had to go to school. I have my usual breakfast of bread and Nutella. I get to work late (as usual) and work while snacking on chocolate. 1:15 p.m. — I go out for lunch. My favorite place doesn't have the sandwich that I like so I go to another place. I get a chicken sandwich and a bottle of sparkling water. It costs $10.4, but I use one of my meal tickets. (They're really convenient!) $0.75 3 p.m. — I have a few work projects that I really want to finish before tonight, since it's Friday and I don't want to get home late tonight. 6:30 p.m. — I stop at the bakery on the way home to get a baguette ($1) and then head home, where my friend is waiting for me. I decide to make pasta but realize that I don't have what I need for the sauce. I head back out to the grocery store and buy stuff for the pasta sauce and for another salmon recipe that I've been wanting to try ($9). I get tomato sauce, pancetta, onion, a lemon, honey, and thai curry paste. $10.00 8 p.m. — We make pasta, drink a bottle of wine, have our own little dance party at my place, and get ready to go out. 10:30 p.m. — We go to a bar and I pay for the first round of drinks since my friend doesn't have cash. I get a second drink, which costs $7.50, but I don't have enough cash on me so I only give the bartender about $7.30. She's nice and doesn't mind. I'm happy! We listen to the music, drink, dance, talk. I run into one of my friends from middle school, who recognizes me. We decide to organize a middle school reunion for all the people who are living in Paris. $23.30 1 a.m. — We go to another bar, but when we try to get a drink they say that they only take cash. We don't have any cash left, so we call an Uber to head home, and I pay. When we reach home, we eat a lot of bread to try to sober up before going to bed. $16.00 Daily Total: $50.05

Day Six

10 a.m. — One of my friends who lives in the U.S. calls to tell me about her date. We talk for a while until I get hungry. I go to the kitchen but realize that we ate all the bread last night when we got home. I have a glass of orange juice. I also clean the house a bit since we left a mess before going out last night. 12:30 p.m. — We're both starving so we head out for lunch and decide to go to a little burger place to get burgers and fries. My friend pays for the meal to pay me back for the drinks and Uber from last night. 2 p.m. — We spend an hour walking around the neighborhood until she has to meet up with some other friends. Before heading home, I stop by a bookstore and get two books. $15.60 4:15 p.m. — On my way home, I stop by the bakery to get a baguette and a chocolate pastry. At home, I watch an episode of Gossip Girl (my guilty pleasure) while eating my pastry and doing my makeup. I head out of the house at 5 p.m. to go to church for my cousin's communion. The church is on the opposite side of Paris so I have to leave early to make sure I'm not late. $2.30 7:45 p.m. — Mass finally ends, and I head to my uncle's house for a quick glass of champagne before heading home. My friend has been waiting for me at home for half an hour already, and she's sitting in the lobby because she doesn't have the keys to get inside the apartment. I really want to take an Uber home, but force myself to take the metro to save money. 9 p.m. — I make pasta for dinner for my friend and me. We were supposed to go out, but we're both pretty exhausted from walking around so much. She goes to bed by 10 p.m. and I stay up until 1 a.m. watching TV. 1 a.m. — I try to turn on my computer to watch one last episode before sleeping, but it's apparently broken. I freak out for a bit and message my brother, but he's not helpful and I decide to leave it for tomorrow. Daily Total: $17.90

Day Seven

9:30 a.m. — My friend wakes me up and we have my usual breakfast of bread, Nutella, and orange juice. We get ready while I try to fix my computer. 12:30 p.m. — I manage to fix my computer! We decide to go to the cinema, and I have free movie tickets that my dad got from his work. Free movie! 2:30 p.m. — The movie ends and we head home. On the way, I get a baguette from the bakery ($1). We also stop at a Lebanese food restaurant to get takeout. We get two chicken shawarma and I pay ($10.70). We go home and eat while watching TV. $11.70 3:30 p.m. — I buy a train ticket to go visit my friend in South France in a couple weeks. She decides to take a nap, so I use this time to catch up on New Girl. $139.80 5:30 p.m. — We head out to go on a long walk. Around 6:30 p.m., we decide to take a break for drinks. I order two drinks and my friend covers what she owed me from lunch. I pay for the rest and we walk back home. $8.50 8 p.m. — We get home. For dinner, I decide to try a new salmon recipe. I've never cooked salmon before, so I'm a bit scared of how it will turn out, but I glaze it with garlic, honey and lemon and it tastes amazing! 10:15 p.m. — My parents are going skiing next weekend, so I decide to buy a train ticket to go with them. I go to bed and watch some TV until 12 a.m. $58.60 Daily Total: $218.60
Editor's Note: All prices have been converted to the U.S. dollar. Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior. The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here. Have a money diary you'd like to share? Send it to us at

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