A Week In Fort Lauderdale, FL, On A $48,000 Salary

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Today: a data analyst working in data science who makes $48,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on beer.
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We checked in with the OP, whose boyfriend, D., was part of a Hurricane Florence emergency response crew, and she said, "He was stationed in the Carolinas for two weeks following the hurricane, but otherwise we were not greatly affected." If you'd like to help those affected by Hurricane Florence, here's a list of resources.
Occupation: Data Analyst
Industry: Data Science
Age: 26
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Salary: $48,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,451
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $650 (I live in a three-bedroom house with a roommate. The house was paid off by my parents years ago. My roommate and I pay $1,300 towards the property taxes and insurance collected at the end of the year, and the monthly HOA.)
Student Loans: $0 (75% of my undergrad was covered by a scholarship, and the rest I paid for by bartending throughout college.)
Other Loans: $100-$200 (I owe $300 on a loan I took out for a laser hair removal, with no interest until August 2019.)
Car Payment: $0 (My car was paid off in 2016.)
401(k): $80 per paycheck, and my company matches 100% of this
Phone: $150
Internet: $40 for my half
Electricity: $60-$80 for my half
Water: $40 for my half
Gym: $10 (I'm currently training for a half marathon and don't have much time to go to the gym, so I've frozen my membership for a few months. I spend $10 instead of $32 and don't have to pay an initiation fee when I'm ready to go back, probably in three to four months.)
Savings: $500

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I wake up and reality hits me — I'm incredibly hungover. My boyfriend, D., asks if I want to go to the gym, but there's no way I can do anything with this headache, so I pass and go back to sleep for a bit.
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9 a.m. — Okay, now the sun is shining, and I feel a little better. D. comes back, grabs a beer, and takes a shower while I throw on a swimsuit. We head down to his condo's pool and lounge out listening to the waves on the beach behind us. We rehash our night and talk about our upcoming trip to his hometown next month, but after some time in the sun we're both hungry, so we change and head to brunch.
10:45 a.m. — We're both craving Eggs Benedict, so we head to Boatyard. I order a Bloody Mary to help bring me back to life, and D. orders both beer and coffee. We order the bimini bread to start and then both hit up the Eggs Benedict bar. The chefs let us try all the different sauces and sample a bunch of stuff. Everything is delicious, and we both feel much better afterward. D. pays our bill and tip, but I ask our waitress if the chefs at the breakfast bar get tipped out, and she said no, so I also slip them a tip on our way out. $10
12 p.m. — We stop at a runner's depot on our way home, where I buy a running belt ($45). I ran my first half marathon this year and now I'm training for my second! I've been putting a little more effort into my training and gear this time, and I'm excited to see my time get better. I pass on a pair of compression socks that seem overpriced, since I think I can get them cheaper on Amazon. $45
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1 p.m. — We're almost home when I see a sign outside our local brewery advertising a rescue dog event. I scream, "Puppies!" and D. immediately pulls into the lot. It's an event for dogs who are rescued from being illegally dumped in the Everglades, and they have a ton of dogs in the brewery. I donate $10, which gets D. and me both wristbands for beer discounts. We play with a bunch of puppies and share a beer at the bar (I pay, $6 with tip). This brewery is where we had our first date over a year ago, so we're both a little sentimental and talk about how badly we both want a dog. $16
2 p.m. — Back at D.'s apartment, we turn on the Dolphins vs. Titans game and flip back and forth throughout the rest of the afternoon, as the game has several weather delays. It ends up being the longest game in NFL history, but D. jokes that at least my team was winning for almost six hours straight. Fins up!
9 p.m. — It's late, and I've been here all weekend, so I pack up my things and head home. When I get there I unpack, shower, get my things ready for tomorrow, and do my skincare routine – Cerave wash, Paula's Choice BHA, L'Occitane Aqua gel moisturizer, and 3% retinol cream. Lights out by 10:30.
Daily Total: $71

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — Monday morning! I get up, wash my face, and let my outdoor kitty back in and feed her. I grab my breakfast, lunch, and some snacks and head out by 7:15. I have an hour-long commute to work, which is a bummer.
8:30 a.m. — Sit down at my desk and start going through emails while eating my breakfast sandwich – Dave's Killer Bread with Sriracha ginger hummus, turkey, and cheese. I also eat a banana and drink some coffee with almond milk. (My office provides coffee.) I sift through emails until my midday meetings.
1 p.m. — I take lunch a little later, since I like to step away from my desk to eat. I meal prep once a week, so I reheat my brown rice with roasted zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots with grilled chicken and spice it up with some Tabasco I keep in my purse. I scroll through social media and look up the hurricane forecast. There's a lot of activity in the Atlantic right now, with over five active systems. Having grown up in South Florida, you learn to stay vigilant during peak season.
4:30 p.m. — Finally done for the day, I start my hour-long commute back home. On my drive, D. calls and tells me he's been put on the emergency hurricane response crew and is heading to the Carolinas to help with the Hurricane Florence effort. He'll be gone for three weeks and he leaves tomorrow morning. I'm taken aback by this and am nervous for his safety, but excited for him because I know he lives for this. I change my plans around and tell him I'll come over before he leaves.
5:30 p.m. — I get home, greet the kitty, let her back outside, and change into my running clothes. I start out on my run but not even a mile in I decide to reprioritize, since it hits me that D. will be away for three weeks, and that could be longer if the hurricane is bad. I turn back and head home, shower, pack a bag, throw on a cute cozy outfit, and put some more food in my cat's bowl. My roommate will let her in on her way out tomorrow. I head over to D.'s at around 7.
9:30 p.m. — D. and I are both pretty antsy. I have some toast with eggs and hot sauce (breakfast any time of the day is my jam) and we share a couple beers while he packs. We cuddle for a while and head to bed around midnight.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

5 a.m. — D. wakes up, grabs his bags, kisses me on the forehead, and heads out to work. I sleep in a bit later.
7 a.m. — I wake up, get dressed, and put on some makeup. I cook two scrambled eggs and grab fruit from D.'s fridge on my way out, along with the lunch and snacks I packed yesterday. He left me his keys, so I make a note to come back and clean out his fridge when I have time. D.'s condo is much closer to my work, so my commute is only about 20 minutes today.
8:30 a.m. — Sit down at my desk and answer emails until my midday meetings. I break for lunch around 1 p.m. and have the same thing as yesterday – brown rice, veggies and chicken with hot sauce. I check in with D. and tell him how proud I am of him.
5:30 p.m. — I'm finally home, where I greet the cat and let her back outside. I eat some fruit and peanut butter-filled pretzels, and then change into my running clothes and go for a five-mile run. My running plan is pretty straightforward, and currently has me averaging five runs a week, and an average of three miles per run. Since I only ran one mile yesterday, I run five today to catch up. It takes me 55 minutes and I'm drenched in sweat by the end. I think running this early in the day sets me back — it's too hot and humid in South Florida still.
7:30 p.m. — After my run, I shower, stretch, unpack, and do my skincare routine. I cook some protein pasta with leftover chicken from my meal prep and sauté mushrooms in red sauce. Then I hang out with my roommate for a bit. I'm in bed by 10:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

6:30 a.m. — Hump day! That run last night has me wiped, so I snooze a bit and almost lose track of time. Guess I'm going pretty casual today with dark jeans and a loose sweater from a Hall & Oates show. I pack up my breakfast, lunch, and snacks, let in and feed the kitty, and head out by 7:20.
8:30 a.m. — I sit down at my desk and eat my breakfast – turkey and cheese sandwich with hummus – and greet my boss, who has been on vacation for the last few weeks. It's so nice to have her back. I spend the rest of my morning checking in with clients and updating documentation. I snack on a banana and a tangerine.
1 p.m. — I break for lunch and have the same thing as I've had all week – rice, veggies, and chicken. I catch up with D., who is waiting for the storm to hit. I'm really praying for the people in North Carolina. It makes me very sad to think of how much people can lose in storms like this.
4:30 p.m. — I head home, where I greet and let out the cat and eat a quick sandwich. Despite my sore legs, I head out for a three-mile run. Then I take a cold shower, eat leftover protein pasta and chicken, and chat with my roommate for a little.
8:30 p.m. — I foam roll my legs, watch Ozark, do my nighttime skincare routine, and go to bed by 11.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

6:30 a.m. — I am beat, but I'm also really excited to have a rest day. I get dressed and put some makeup on, let the cat back in and feed her, and head out by 7:15. I only bring breakfast and some snacks today since I'll be leaving the office early for an appointment and there is a food truck scheduled to be outside today.
8:30 a.m. — I barely have time to eat my breakfast sandwich and grab coffee before my team meeting starts, where we discuss data issues.
11 a.m. — We decide as a team that we'll reward a member of another team who has helped us tremendously recently. This guy has helped our team fix a lot of bugs in our system, so we put in a request to send him a $50 gift card through our employee recognition program. My coworker and I type up a quick thank you note to include with the card. The gift is expensed through the company. ($50 expensed)
1:30 p.m. — Turns out I don't have time to stop at the food truck today – I'm late to my appointment. I need to have blood drawn because I have a small procedure scheduled next week. I head out of my office to my appointment and then straight home afterwards to finish out my day there. When I get home, I reheat some pasta and snack on an avocado and a banana. My blood work has no copay, but I'm sure I'll get a bill in the mail in a few weeks that'll be ~$50. My insurance isn't the greatest, and I have a high deductible I never meet.
6 p.m. — Finally done with work after making up the time I missed during my appointment. I'm exhausted from my long day, so I spend some time cuddling with my cat. I shower, do some laundry, and order a Publix sub via the online app. I go to pick it up and also grab concealer I ran out of. $18
10:30 p.m. — I finish my skincare routine and head to bed early. I'm so excited that tomorrow is Friday!
Daily Total: $18

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — TGIF! And it's payday! I get dressed in my casual Friday best, let the cat back inside to feed her, and then prepare my own food – snacks and half of the Publix sub from last night. I'm out the door by 7:15 a.m.
8:30 a.m. — Free bagels at the office today, so I head to the break room and snag a cinnamon raisin. I think about how everyone went nuts over the Cynthia Nixon bagel order — I haven't tried it, but it doesn't sound so bad! Salty and sweet, what's not to love? I don't go as bold today, and just stick with walnut and cinnamon honey spread on my toasted bagel.
1 p.m. — I break for lunch and eat the rest of my Pub sub from last night.
4:30 p.m. — You guessed it, time to head home. When I get home I finish my laundry and chat on the phone with my best friend. I decide to wait until nighttime to go for a run, since I don't have to be up early tomorrow.
8 a.m. — I head out for my three-mile run. The humidity is low since it rained already and the sun went down, so it feels really nice out. I have my best run yet this week and feel really pumped about it! I take a cold shower at home and text D. for a bit, and then make leftover chicken with carrots and broccoli for dinner. I put on a face mask and watch a few episodes of Ozark before going to bed at around 1 a.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

9 a.m. — It feels so great to sleep in! It's a beautiful day out, so I quickly get a swimsuit on and make a quick egg and avocado toast breakfast before heading to the beach.
11 a.m. — I park in D.'s condo and walk across the street to the beach, where I lay out and swim for a bit. My friends are at a bar watching the college football games, but I'm not really interested in that today. After some time in the sun, I head upstairs to D.'s apartment, where I clean out his fridge. I decide that I want to surprise him when he gets back, so I make a note to pick up more beer, make his favorite dish, and get a little welcome home banner to make sure he has a nice house to come back to after these three weeks are up. On my way out, I grab some peppers and potatoes that have yet to go bad to take home with me.
3 p.m. — I need some groceries, so I drop by Publix to pick up for the week. I buy zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, avocados, raspberries, blackberries, bananas, chicken, ground turkey, sliced turkey, eggs, deli cheese, canned beans, diced tomatoes, bread, and a couple spices I ran out of recently: chili powder, garlic powder, and bay leaves. $86
3:30 p.m. — I fill up my gas tank on my way home. This should last me a week. $45
5 p.m. — Time to meal prep. I start by sautéing the mushrooms, peppers, and onions and then adding ground turkey, diced tomatoes, and a bunch of spices: chili powder, cumin, garlic, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I let the chili simmer on the stove while I marinate chicken, chop the veggies, and start cooking rice. I roast the veggies and bake the chicken and then put everything into containers: three lunches of rice, veggies, and chicken and two of turkey chili. Lastly I mix up some old fashioned oats, maple syrup, chia seeds, and hemp seeds with vanilla concentrate and cinnamon, and bake it low and slow for some homemade granola. Boom, breakfast and lunches are done.
8:30 p.m. — I run another three miles, basking in how nice it feels after dark. After I take a cold shower, catch up with D. who's leaving Charlotte for the North Carolina coast tomorrow morning, and catch up on some reading.
Daily Total: $131
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