A Week In Hamburg, Germany, On A $65,000 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 clinical project manager working in pharmaceuticals who makes $65,000 per year and spends it some of her paycheck this week on Kanebo Moisture Rich Lotion. Editor's note: All prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.
Occupation: Clinical Project Manager
Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 29
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $3,300
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $682.50 for my half. (I live with my boyfriend in a three-bedroom apartment. We split the rent evenly. Worth every penny.)
Student Loan Payment: $200
Transportation Pass: I pay $61 and my employer pays $46
Health Insurance: I'm on German statutory insurance. My employer pays 8% of my salary, and I pay 7%.
Dental Insurance: $25
Gym Membership: $69
Netflix: $10
Phone: $30

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I oddly wake up an hour before my alarm rings and get ready for work. I'm the first in the office, as everyone somehow has the flu. Luckily, the clinic I work at is above a grocery store and a very well-stocked drug store. I can't resist the urge for chocolate today, so I pop downstairs and get some, as well as gluten-free müsli and almond-rice milk. $7.45
1 p.m. — My boyfriend and I recently made hummus and millet-parsley salad, which I bring today for lunch. I take my lunch break a little early and sit on the fluffy sofas between all of our offices. I notice my boyfriend got a little garlic happy on the salad, but at least I don't have to go buy lunch today.
6 p.m. — I decide to leave work a little early and continue one of my projects at home. I try to cook as many meals as I can at home; I have celiac disease, which is not the easiest in Germany. I go to the grocery store around the corner from my apartment and pick up spinach, bean sprouts, goat cheese, lactose-free milk, and other odds and ends. By the time I finish my work, I'm too tired to cook. Boyfriend eats leftover gluten-free pizza from the weekend, and I just drink some tea because I'm not hungry. $10.86
Daily Total: $18.31

Day Two

7:50 a.m. — I slept terribly last night and wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I get ready quickly for work with my boyfriend. He makes me espresso and steamed milk every morning, which saves me money on coffee. As usual, I forget my thermos at home and I have to turn back and run upstairs. Coffee is life.
10 a.m. — I have about 100 emails when I get to the office. However, since I'm in a grumpy mood, I decide to restock some of my skincare that I've been holding off on rebuying. After filling my cart eight times with different things, I finally decide on Kanebo Moisture Flow Rich Lotion and my signature perfume, which has been empty for a while. Retail therapy always brightens my mood. $137
1 p.m. — Since I was too tired and not feeling well yesterday, I didn't make anything to bring for lunch today. I run down to the supermarket and grab a salmon California roll and yogurt. I always chat with the workers who roll the sushi — they know to make me gluten-free rolls. The yogurt reminds me of what I used to eat as a kid in the U.S. $8
7 p.m. — I was sick most of last week and my boyfriend was too, so we decide to spend tonight in. Normally on Tuesdays, I go to the gym and he has psychology class, but we both skip. We make a salad for dinner, cuddle up on the couch, and begin to plan our upcoming Japan trip. I'm already thinking of all the Japanese skincare products I'm going to buy there. We're both super tired, and I fall asleep to an audiobook.
Daily Total: $145

Day Three

1 p.m. — The day has flown by. I have some deadlines and backed up emails from missing work last week. I eat a jar of salad that I made last night, and then run downstairs and buy a couple of a things, including a large bottle of water since I am incapable of drinking the right amount of fluid. $4
7 p.m. — I meet up with a friend to go to the gym. After having the flu for approximately two weeks, I am thrilled to finally be able to move around again. She isn't feeling so well, so we take it easy on the elliptical machines and chat. She's actually joining my company in two months, so we exchange office gossip. (I used to work at her old company.) She drives me home and we go to a small Venezuelan hole-in-the-wall arepa shop next to my apartment. Due to the lack of gluten-free options in Hamburg, I am a regular here. I get two arepas with black beans and plantains. I haven't seen her for a while, and I think it's my turn to treat. Arepas and freshly squeezed mango juice are the perfect end to Hump Day. $19
Daily Total: $23

Day Four

9 a.m. — A handyman is coming to repair the floorboards under the heater in our apartment, so my boyfriend and I both work from home for the morning to let him in. We have a breakfast of avocado, cheese, and our favorite: Ei im Glas (soft-cooked egg plopped into a glass with spring onions, fig mustard, salt, pepper, and herbs to garnish). I make an appointment for a 90-minute Thai massage after work ($55), and go into the office around lunchtime. $55
3 p.m. — My perfume and moisturizer have arrived! There's a package station right outside of my work, so I go pick them up. It's 12 degrees here, and I am happy to go home soon, enjoy a massage, take a bath, and hibernate until tomorrow.
8 p.m. — I forgot that I promised to stop by a friend's house tonight to help her with her taxes. Somehow, I have become the German tax expert in my group of friends. I leave the massage super refreshed, shower off, and walk 20 minutes to her apartment. She is making us dinner, so I buy strawberry sorbet for dessert. We catch up, as she has been on vacation for a couple of weeks, and then finish the rest of the entries for her taxes. I take the bus home because it's far too cold to walk. I double cleanse, try the new softener, use my beloved Alpha-H, and squeeze into my bed with my boyfriend. So happy tomorrow is Friday. $6
Daily Total: $61

Day Five

6 a.m. — Boyfriend is still sleeping soundly when I leave for work, so I pick up a coffee on my way to the office to snap out of my pure zombiedom. I take some patients to their treatments, and five hours later I am back at my desk going through my emails. $2.75
1 p.m. — My coworkers and I order poke from a nearby place. I get the truffle tuna bowl. Can't wait for the weekend! $12
5 p.m — I pick up a bottle of wine and vegan gummy bears to take to a friend who is going back to the States on Monday. She comes over to our place, and we talk about going to a birthday party later, but the weather makes us not want to do anything. When 11 p.m. rolls around, we all decide to call it a night and open up another bottle of wine at our place. I whip up gluten-free burrito bowls and make homemade tortillas from ingredients I bought last week. Thick blankets and freshly fried tortillas make for a good night. Wow, winter has turned me into a hermit.
Daily Total: $14.75

Day Six

11 a.m. — We sleep in today. I meet the same friend from last night to do last-minute vintage shopping, and find an amazing acid wash denim jumpsuit with rhinestones ($84). I came, I tried it on, and it conquered me. I also return a dress I bought from & Other Stories. It's far too cold to be outside, so we go back to our apartment. $84
5 p.m. — My friend goes home and my boyfriend and I go to a play that friends of ours are acting in. We get there and have a couple glasses of wine. The play starts at 7 p.m., and we sit in the theater bar until then. Drinks and tickets are paid for by our friend, whose family owns the theater. We settle into our seats for the show.
11 p.m. — We're back at the theater bar, taking rounds of vodka shots. I buy a round for everyone. We chill there for a while, then head to one of our favorite bars in the Schanze. We know the bartenders, who give us a discount on drinks. Our apartment is a mere couple of skips away, and we decide to call it a night around 1 a.m., though our friends have a second wave of energy and decide to stay out. As it is still frigid out, I order us a cab ($5) and we're home in four minutes. Sweatpants on, movie on, boyfriend and I out. $45
Daily Total: $129

Day Seven

10:30 a.m. — We wake up around 10 and realize one of our friends slept in our guest room. We forgot we gave him the keys last night! I round the boys up, and we make breakfast with leftovers we have. Our traditional Ei im Glas, as well as a couple of salads. Plus, bacon and hot sauce. Perfect hangover food.
3 p.m. — We all settle in on our couch and immerse ourselves in a Netflix binge. Luckily, it's still snowing outside and we're all hungover. Needless to say, no one feels bad about having a day in. Our friend decides only fries will cure his hangover, and I walk to the nearby emergency apothecary and get aspirin for all of us. $5
8 p.m. — Our friend leaves and we continue our lazy day mainly on the couch. We take a quick break and do yoga in our living room, before scrounging up leftovers for our dinner. I've been eyeing a pair of corduroy mom jeans online, and decide to order them. Nothing says obsession like having eight pairs of cord overalls and culottes. I check my work email so I won't have any surprises tomorrow morning. The weekend went by way too fast, and we don't have enough food in the house to meal prep for the week. Oh well. We fall asleep with the lights on at 11 p.m. and wake up bright and early for Monday! $55
Daily Total: $60
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