A Week In London On A $108,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennial women 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.)

Today, a single American expat living in London, discovering a new FWB situation and buying books for friends.
Industry: Media & Information Services
Age: 29
Location: London
Salary: ~$108,400 + annual bonus
Paycheck Amount (1x a month): ~$5,348 (minus taxes, and 5% of my salary goes to my 401(k)/pension)
Household: Currently looking for a new flatmate Monthly Expenses
Rent: I pay around $1,373 for one bedroom in a two-bedroom flat ($2,630 for the whole apartment)
Loan Payments: None! While I officially have no student loans, I pay back my mother $750 monthly.
Utilities: $173 for internet, electric, and council tax
Transportation: $180
Phone Bill: I pay my family’s cell-phone bill back in the U.S.: $125
Health Insurance: N/A Monthly Subscriptions/ Donations
Spotify: $13
American University Radio: $10

Day One

9 a.m. — WFH this morning and make myself a Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, then head into the office. 12 p.m. — I’ve spent the last two weekends traveling (Tel Aviv and Rome, respectively), so I have had zero time to grocery shop and cook at home. Lunch out it is. Truffle-stuffed raviolini at the Italian deli. $8.67 4 p.m. — And sometimes you need an afternoon snack of gelato. $5.78 5 p.m. — I order HelloFresh (like Blue Apron) and use a coupon code for three free meals. My first order will arrive Saturday. $28.91 6 p.m. — Quick pit stop (pun intended) to pick up deodorant. $4.34 9 p.m. — Uber home after a late night at the office (expensed). 9:30 p.m. — Necessary run to Tesco for sausage (protein) and vegetables. Check and check. $24.58 Daily Total: $72.28

Day Two

7 a.m. — Every Wednesday I do morning yoga with friends at their home gym. We take turns paying the instructor, and it’s my turn this week. $72.28 10 a.m. — Need to replace my foundation and swapped Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup (my first foundation ever!) for the Naked Skin One and Done with SPF! $36.14 10:30 a.m. — Head into the office late; thank goodness for flexible work schedules and East Coast colleagues. 12 p.m. — Another lunch out of lamb and hallumi from the Leather Lane Market. $8.67 6 p.m. — I head home to meet potential new flatmates. I get distracted reading, etc., and skip dinner. Daily Total: $117.09

Day Three

8 a.m. — Morning Pilates class (from a package I bought previously) 9:30 a.m. — Feeling lightheaded since I haven't eaten since lunch yesterday. I pick up a cappuccino and a poached egg, avocado, and toast. I do some emailing. $11.56

11:30 a.m. — Pick up a dress I had altered and then head into the office. $14.46 12 p.m. — I buy some tickets for a Sofar gig that a friend’s playing on Sunday. $18.07 4 p.m. — Late lunch of ham-and-cheese sandwich from Eat. $4.34

8 p.m. — I meet up with a friend’s sister whom I met a few weeks ago. We have a great time getting to know each other, and I'm disappointed we only met so late on her trip. I treat her to dinner at Sager & Wilde. $92.52 11 p.m. — I go to a "members only" club in Soho. My friend grabs drinks. Daily Total: $140.95

Day Four

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — I work from home today, make lunch at noon, do more work. 7 p.m. — Meet up with a coworker before a concert. He has the munchies, so we go to McDonald's. He pays for this bad decision. 8 p.m. — We rock out at the Leon Bridges concert in Brixton. 11 p.m. — I'm heading home with a friend? A friend with benefits? With just benefits? Not sure, but going with the flow. Daily Total: $0

Day Five

10 a.m. — Tube home from friend with benefits (as long as there are benefits!). I shower, change, "put my face on," as they say. 11 a.m. — Stop by my local French bakery and grab a cappuccino before another trip to Brixton, this time during the day to check out the market. $4.34 12:30 p.m. — Catch up with a friend who is currently completing her master's, discuss urban design and violence. I treat her to Thai lunch. $28.91 1:30 p.m. — I wander around Brixton market and pick up a Matt & Nat wallet and a cute black skirt from The Keep. $88.18 4 p.m. — Tube over to Borough Market area. Need a cappuccino, and queue in Monmouth. $4.34

5 p.m. — I leave my friend and make my way home, stopping by Waterstones to buy books for friends. Nothing brings me greater joy than sharing my love of literature with those I love. I buy 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris. $39.03
6 p.m. — I stay in tonight to read and watch the Masters Tournament on the telly, with a late-evening dinner of eggs, tomatoes, and toast. Daily Total: $164.80

Day Six

10 a.m. — Sleep in, and I feel great. I hang out in my PJs reading New Yorkers on the couch. 12:30 p.m. — Brunch (split delicious ricotta hotcakes, courgette fritters, tuna and avocado, brown-rice salad) at Granger with a couple who recently moved here from Singapore. $33.25 3 p.m. — It’s been nearly a month since my last climbing session, and it feels so good! Catch up with my regular climbing partner, whom I haven’t seen in months. Bought an 11-session package ages ago. 5:30 p.m. — Stop by Tesco to buy some necessities. $8.67 6:30 p.m. — I receive my HelloFresh order! I don't have time to cook anything, so I just bake a frozen pizza before the concert. 8 p.m. — I head out to see my friend’s band, Nova Neon, play a Sofar gig in London. Super fun experience as always. I chat up the MC and get his number; we start texting and making plans for something later in the week. Daily Total: $41.92

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Stop by my local coffee spot for a cappuccino and croissant before heading into the office. $4.34 1 p.m. — Soup for lunch, plus some fruit for a snack. $9.40 2 p.m. — Friend visiting from Geneva books ballet tickets for Wednesday. She owes me for our most recent trip to Rome, so I don’t need to pay anything. 7 p.m. — I leave the office, faff around on the internet reading nonsense, snacking on bread and hummus. College diet, much? 9:30 p.m. — Put in another hour of work before bed. Daily Total: $13.74
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