A Week In Los Angeles, CA, On A $65,000 Salary

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Today: an account manager working in tech who makes $65,000 per year and spends it some of her money this week on a paint brush.
Occupation: Account Manager
Industry: Tech
Age: 25
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Salary: $65,000 + ~$5,000 commission annually
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,700, plus commission and $125 for my commuter subsidy
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,300 (I split this with my roommate.)
Utilities: ~$65
Student Loan Payment: $0 (My grandparents helped with college, and I can't thank them enough!)
401(k): $405 (I contribute 15% of my income and my employer matches 3.5%)
Health Insurance: $16.50
Car Insurance: $98.15
Gym Membership: $120 (This includes three sessions of personal training a month plus access to all gym locations. Normally it would cost $170, but I get a $50 monthly stipend from my work.)
Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go: $0 (My roommate graciously pays for Hulu and Netflix, since I provided the SmartTV. I use my family's HBO Go login — thank you mom and dad!)
Spotify: $9.99
New York Times Subscription: $12
Savings: I put my entire paycheck into my online bank's savings account and transfer money as needed into my checking account. I have a great APY in my online bank and make a ton of money on my savings from interest. I found this method helps me save more money in the long run!

Day One

6:15 a.m. — My alarm goes off, since I'm supposed to hit the gym for a training session at 7. Great way to start Monday!!!! (I always regret making these appointments for Mondays but hey, ya gotta do what you don't want to do sometimes.) I always try to get to the gym 15 minutes before my appointment to warm up on the treadmill a bit, but I fall back asleep and then rush out the door at 6:50.
7:45 a.m. — My trainer kicked my butt this morning with a HIIT workout that I asked for — I should have known better. I started weight training almost a year ago now and it was the BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. While sessions of personal training are pricier than I would normally spend on a gym membership, they've taught me so much. I'd recommend it to anyone. I quickly body shower when I get home, put a little dry shampoo in my hair, blow dry the sweat, grab my lunch and my art supplies for a class I have later, and I'm out the door.
8:30 a.m. — I get to my office and park in the back. I usually take the metro, but I have an art class after work that I need to drive to. I get to answering emails and reading up on the daily news. (I always get caught up on the news before more emails start coming in.)
12:45 p.m. — I realize I forgot to bring a large canvas for my art class tonight. I'll be working on finishing a smaller study and then bringing that to life on a larger scale, so I run to Blick Art Materials to get a new canvas and a better large brush for class. $23.18
1:30 p.m. — I put together my salad I made in bulk last night for the week (arugula, goat cheese, apricots, chicken, pecans, and tomatoes). I scarf that down and get back to work for the remainder of the day.
4 p.m. — After some long meetings regarding new entertainment clients we're bringing on, I walk around the block to get some sunshine. I run to CVS and grab Chapstick (because my lips are the MOST chapped) and a fruit bar. The Chapstick is nearly $4 (what) but the lovely woman at CVS tells me I have a $5 in extra bucks coupon, so I pay NOTHING. MWAHAHA. I walk out feeling like I've successfully cheated the system.
5:30 p.m. — I finish up work emails and then I grab a snack from our kitchen at work to tide me over during my art class (abstract oil painting).
9:30 p.m. — Finally home from class!! I chat with my roommate, who I haven't seen in a few days since she was out of town. Then I heat up a microwaveable chicken biryani dinner, because I don't feel like cooking. I do my night routine wash my face, Ole Henriksen night cream and moisturizer, and relax.
Daily Total: $23.18

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — I sleep in a bit today, since I don't have to be at work until later. When I get up, I hop in the shower. I'm out the door to work by 8:30, listen to the news until I can't take it anymore, and then put on some music and jam out.
9:30 a.m. — I make my breakfast at the office and pour myself a cup cold brew for. Answer emails and work on some outstanding internal requests.
10:30 a.m. — My manager and I have a quick one-on-one, and she invites me on an international business trip at the end of the month. I’m so excited!
12:30 p.m. — I brought my lunch, and join a few coworkers to chat while we eat.
6:15 p.m. — I change into gym clothes at work and head to a gym where my friend is teaching a fitness class. (I get in for free!!) I warm up, attempt some pull-ups, and then sweat my butt off in class.
8:20 p.m. — Class ends and a bunch of us go to a place for Taco Tuesday and margaritas, since it's National Tequila Day and I am a sucker. I get two tacos and a marg. $14
Daily Total: $14

Day Three

6:50 a.m. — Wake up and skip the gym this morning. I take a quick body shower, grab my lunch, and drive to the metro, where I park my car and hop on the train. My work pays for a commuter subsidy program, so my card is fully covered.
8:15 a.m. — I get into the office, casually make breakfast, and chat with a coworker about a date she had last night – JUICY DEETS. We dissect post-date texting protocol, etc.
12:30 p.m. — It's a coworker's birthday, so a bunch of us eat in the cafeteria and munch on the cake she brought. I eat my usual packed salad.
5 p.m. — I head out of the office. I have to catch the metro downtown to get to my second volunteer training at a center for women experiencing homelessness. I grab a Bird scooter ($1.16) and whiz my way to the metro. $1.16
6:10 p.m. — Training starts at 6:30, and we discuss setting boundaries with the women, proper de-escalation techniques, trauma informed care, and active listening. It's honestly great practice for everyday life in addition to volunteering with the women at the center. I meet really great people at the training as well.
8:30 p.m. — The center is in downtown Skid Row, and I don't feel super comfortable walking by myself to the metro at this time. I grab a Lyft to the metro center to catch the next ride. This metro ride is a little uncomfortable, since there's a group of some older folks getting slammed on Sailor Jerry in my car. It ends up being fine, so I hop off at my stop and grab my car from the station and drive on home. $6
10:20 p.m. — I finally get home!! I eat leftover chicken curry my roommate gave me full access to, watch a quick episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, and head to bed!
Daily Total: $7.16

Day Four

8 a.m. — Wow, I am EXHAUSTED. I roll around in bed for a little and force myself to jump up and down to wake up a bit. I pack my gym bag, grab my lunch, and head out the door!
12:30 p.m. — I run out to a shop nearby to find a card for my coworker's birthday. After, I head back to the office where I eat my salad and an orange. $4.50
6 p.m. — I drive over to my friend's place in Venice to work out at her gym in her apartment complex. She wants me to show her weight training tricks. We work on chest and arms and do a little ab set. I am dead.
9 p.m. — I get back to my place and cook up quinoa, mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed kale, tempeh, and throw in pickled onions I made earlier in the week for a yummy bowl. I throw chutney on there because I put it on everything and watch Rosemary's Baby for the first time. I hit the hay around 11.
Daily Total: $4.50

Day Five

5:40 a.m. — I wake up early to surf with my friend, E. I pack clothes for the day, a towel, and my wetsuit, grab my lunch and surfboard, and head out around 6 a.m.
6:20 a.m. — Arrive in Venice. Parking is free until 8 a.m. here and there's no one around, which is eerie, but I love it. We hit the water for about an hour and I get my ass whooped a few times. This really is the best way to start the day.
8 a.m. — I shower in an outdoor shower near the beach in my swim suit, using shampoo and soap I brought. Then I change in the beach parking lot in my car and get myself ready to get to work.
8:45 a.m. — I get into work and have my normal office breakfast.
1 p.m. — I heat up my lunch of leftovers from last night's feast and eat with coworkers.
2 p.m. — My company hosts a party to celebrate some volunteer work we did. I get two scoops of vegan ice cream and then wish I got regular ice cream.
5:30 p.m. — A bunch of us are going for a drink after work, so naturally we start drinking a bit early, and I grab a Stella from the fridge in the office. The team walks over to a bar around the corner, and I grab a happy hour beer and chat with coworkers. I have plans for later, so I keep it to one and head out by 7:30. $7
8 p.m. — I get home and take a quick power nap. I have a date tonight with someone I've been seeing for the past few weeks. He works at a nice restaurant in West Hollywood, so I head over there in a Lyft at around 10:30 for dinner and a drink. He gets a discount, so he pays. Usually I would offer to split, but I decide to let him cover it this time. We take a shot of mezcal before we leave (woof) with his coworkers. Then we head to his friend's 30th birthday at another bar. I buy us a round of PBR tall boys. $16
12:30 a.m. — I did something I'm not super proud of. Another guy I've been seeing and am very attracted to contacts me at around 9 p.m. and wants to meet up. It's a casual relationship. I tell the date I'm currently with that I'm not feeling well and then take a Lyft ($6) to my house to meet up with the other guy — whoops! $6
Daily Total: $29

Day Six

8:45 a.m. — My man friend leaves. I am horribly hungover. I guess a long evening of drinking will do that to you. I go back to sleep until about 10:30.
10:30 a.m. — I get out of my bed with gumption to get water and Advil. I have not been this hungover in a long time. I attempt to read in bed in hopes of distracting myself from my crippling anxiety from a night of drinking. I heat up Indian food leftovers for lunch and watch an episode of Chef's Table on Netflix. I feel extremely guilty for doing nothing today. I usually try to jam pack most of my weekends, but today I am trying to give myself space to just relax.
3 p.m. — The only thing I have the energy for today is laundry. I do my sheets and a load of clothes while resting. Then I start watching the new HBO show Sharp Objects, which is FANTASTIC. Can we talk about how much of a queen Patricia Clarkson is???
8 p.m. — After a day of dillydallying, I take a Lyft to meet friends for a beer prior to going to a Mötley Crüe cover band festival. I don't even particularly like hair band music, but the event is at the world famous Whisky a Go Go and friends and I are making a pilgrimage for our love of the late great Jim Morrison, who blessed these holy grounds. $7
11 p.m. — We head into the Whisky a Go Go. My friend covers my ticket out of the kindness of her heart. I grab one drink here ($7) and leave it at that to avoid the headbanger of a hangover I had earlier. We watch quite a few bands of older gentleman (in their 40s and beyond) live out their 80s rock and roll fantasies in ass-less chaps and large wigs. It is hilarious. My friend and I split a Lyft ($3.58) home at around 1 a.m. $10.58
1:15 a.m. — I get a hankering for a grilled cheese, and make a delicious one. I'm talking grade A muenster cheese. I get a text from the guy I went out with on Friday. I invite him over and let him know I'm interested in only PG activities today. He comes over, we watch an episode of Sharp Objects, and fall asleep and cuddle.
Daily Total: $17.58

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I wake up and make my man friend and myself chai tea lattes. We chat about plans for the day and I walk him out. I throw on gym clothes and head to the gym for some much-needed cardio.
11:50 a.m. — Feels good to sweat, baby!! I head to a Fedex near my gym to ship a painting I made for a childhood friend who lives in New Mexico. It's a large piece, so the shipping comes out to 35 buckaroos. She graciously agrees to pay for the shipping cost, as supplies and canvases add up!! She Venmos me and we are even, Steven.
1 p.m. — After I make myself egg whites and chorizo sausage for breakfast/lunch, I decide to head down to the beach to tan and read. I park at my office nearby and the parking is free!
1:45 p.m. — I hit the beach and read a few chapters of The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia. It's in the genre of modern magical realism, and I'm really giving it a try, but it's been a bit hard to get into. I hate not finishing books, so I'll trudge on.
6 p.m. — I get home and eat leftovers of my tempeh sweet potato bowl and watch the newest episode of Sharp Objects. I AM ADDICTED THIS SHOW.
8 p.m. — My roommate gets home from a trip and we catch up on our weekends. She got her nipple pierced in an adult scavenger hunt, and shows me the goods. This is hilarious. I hit the hay around 10, as I have a big day at work tomorrow.
Daily Total: $0
Edit note: We have made some edits to this diary to protect the identity of the diarist.
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