A Week In Flushing, Queens, On $11/Hour

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.
This week: a student and public relations intern working in the fashion industry who makes $11/hour and splurges on an Elizabeth and James purse.
Occupation: Student and PR Intern
Industry: Fashion
Age: 22
Location: Flushing, Queens, New York
Salary: $11/hour
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): about $350
Monthly Expenses
Housing: I live in off-campus housing, which is $7,805 a semester with a meal plan.
Transportation: $116.50 for a MetroCard.
Cell Phone: My brother pays.
Health Insurance: I'm on my family's plan.

Day One

11 a.m. — I wake up and make breakfast: avocado toast with spinach and tomato, fried eggs, and a glass of tangerine juice. I love breakfast and always make sure I have enough food to make for it.
2 p.m. — My MetroCard expires tomorrow, so I refill it on my way to my hair appointment. $116.50
4 p.m. — I finish my hair appointment at Devachan salon. I have really curly hair that has been damaged, so I need to go to a top-notch place. $158.95
6:30 p.m. — I don't have time for grocery shopping and don't have anything to make at home, so I snag some Chipotle. $9
11:59 p.m. — I watch the infamous Oscars mix-up (congrats to Moonlight!) and go to bed.
Daily Total: $284.45

Day Two

7 a.m. — I'm on spring break right now, but decide to stay in town and work an extra day at my internship to get some extra cash. I make a bagel with cream cheese and two hardboiled eggs for breakfast, and a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich with snacks for lunch.
5:15 p.m. — I need to get home to complete a homework assignment. I don't have time to go grocery shopping and make dinner, so I grab a salad from Chopt. $19
8 p.m. — I'm giving up junk food for Lent soon, so I get some candy and buy my boyfriend an Arizona Sweet Tea. $3.99
10 p.m. — Bedtime, because I'm super-tired.
Daily Total: $22.99

Day Three

7 a.m. — I still need to go grocery shopping, so I eat two soft-boiled eggs for breakfast and another PB&J for lunch.
12:45 p.m. — It's my lunch break. I eat the food I brought to work and then go to DavidsTea for an iced peach matcha tea. $4.36
5:15 p.m. — BCBG on Madison Avenue is going out of business, so I have to see what they have. I don't buy anything because they're closing up by the time I get there — and also because I need to be an adult and buy groceries.
7 p.m. — It's my last day before Lent to consume my favorite junk-food treats, so my boyfriend and I go to one of our favorite pizza spots. He pays.
8 p.m. — Time to buy groceries! I was running low on some key things and getting tired of PB&Js. $35.57
9 p.m. — Now that I actually have food, I prepare everything for tomorrow's salad.
Daily Total: $39.93

Day Four

8 a.m. — I go to mass for Ash Wednesday and then head to work around 9:45. On my way to the office, I grab an iced peach matcha tea from DavidsTea. I'm addicted at this point. $4.36
2 p.m. — I eat the salad I made at home last night for lunch.
6 p.m. — Instead of going back to BCBG, I go to the Elizabeth and James sample sale to see if they have a bag I've been eyeing... They do. $194.89
8 p.m. — I make chicken and broccoli Alfredo for my boyfriend and I to eat. I didn't have bread to make garlic bread, so we order some from up the street. $2.73
Daily Total: $201.98

Day Five

2 p.m. — Leftover pasta for lunch. I like making pasta for dinner because then I don't have to worry about making lunch beforehand for the next day.
7 p.m. — I need a few more groceries, so I run to the store really quick. $11.67
Daily Total: $11.67

Day Six

9 a.m. — I wake up and make breakfast at home. I eat an egg and Fig Bars because I don't have time to make a meal.
11:45 a.m. — My boyfriend and I catch a matinee showing of Get Out, on me. $20.21
1:15 p.m. — We're starving afterwards, so we get Mexican food at Blockheads across the street; he pays.
2 p.m. — After eating, we check out the new Raymond Pettibon exhibit at the New Museum. I loved the waves (and paid for both of our tickets). $24
4:30 p.m. — We pick up my boyfriend's sister, and then I pick up some of my beauty needs from Bed Bath & Beyond. $18.17
7 p.m. — My boyfriend buys us oxtail to eat before we meet up with some of his friends ($21.50).
8:30 p.m. — We meet up with some high school friends at a bar in Queens. Neither of us drinks anything, but I decide to smoke some hookah. $11.50
Daily Total: $73.88

Day Seven

10 a.m. — I wake up, have a quiet morning to myself, and make pancakes.
2 p.m. — Some of my beauty products have run low, so I decide to run a few errands. I replenish some of my products; and get new utensils for my dorm, a very belated birthday gift for my boyfriend, and some soup. $115.52
5 p.m. — I do some laundry and cleaning that needed to get done at home.
8 p.m. — My boyfriend comes over. I finish my oxtail from yesterday and we watch Sing Street.
Daily Total: $115.52
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