A Week In Los Angeles, CA, On A Joint $1,500,000 Income

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.
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Today, we're really excited to feature a new diary from one of our all-time favorite diarists: an executive director working in corporate finance who makes a $275,000 base salary plus $225,000 annual bonus per year and spends some of her money this week on an Hermès bracelet. (Note that the diary was written this winter.)
You can read her first diary here. We interviewed the OP for the Money Diaries book, where she spoke candidly about the way her wealth has complicated her relationship with her family. Tune in tomorrow for a sneak peek of that Q&A (plus some additional questions we didn't have room to include in the book). If you're a member of our Facebook group, you can get a sneak peek at the Q&A this evening.
Occupation: Executive Director
Industry: Corporate Finance
Age: 34
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Joint Income: $1,500,000
My Salary: $275,000 base plus $225,000 annual bonus
My Husband's Salary: $225,000 base plus $775,000 annual bonus
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $7,238
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $5,954.59
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,995
Health Insurance: $127.50 per pay period
Housekeeper, Gardener, & Pool Guy: $863
My Husband's Student Loan Payment: $967
Cable/Cell Phone, Solar Water, Gas, & Netflix: $835
Car Leases: $755 for one and $759 for the other
Life Insurance, Car Insurance, & Jewelry Insurance: $1,904 (This is mostly life insurance.)
Wine Club Shipments, Dry Cleaning, Groceries, Kid Expenses, & Subscriptions (Sirius Radio, ABC Mouse, Texture, Beachbody): $1,447
Annual Expenses
Private School: $30,000
Tax Allowance: $15,000 (We set aside money, as we have to pay more than is deducted from our paychecks.)
Travel Expense: $30,000
Shopping Allowance: $10,000
Charity Allowance: $12,500
Christmas Shopping: $7,500
Entertaining Expense: $6,500 (We host several parties at our house throughout the year. We like to entertain.)
Additional Financial Info
Total Savings: ~$646,000 (Half is liquid and half is in retirement accounts.)
Rental Property: We own a small rental property in addition to our home. We bought this property before we bought out house — something I think everyone who lives in an expensive housing area should do.
Mortgage: $800,000
Total Student Loans: $100,000
Mortgage On Investment Property: $400,000

Day One

5:30 a.m. — My husband decides he is awake and thinks it’s a good time to contemplate life aloud. He literally wakes up his seven-months-pregnant wife to mention that he was thinking that “it may be possible to move if your company requires it, after all.” I groggily remind him that “I am still asleep” and tell him to get up and go watch TV in the living room. DON’T WAKE THE PREGNANT LADY!!
6:15 a.m. — I get up to do a light 20-minute workout. I am huffing and puffing through what would normally be an easy workout. Then again, I have already packed on 30 pounds, so I've become my own set of weights. After taking 10 minutes to lie on the floor after finishing said workout, I manage to get myself up, take a shower, and get dressed. At seven months pregnant, my hair is in a low ponytail (I am taking cues from Meghan Markle), and I dress in my all-black and stretchy pregnant lady work uniform.
7:50 a.m. — The kiddo is up and dressed, and lunch is packed. We have eggs on toast for breakfast. We leave with classroom snacks in tow. (It’s our week to provide classroom snacks to the overpriced preschool that we send her to.) I drop her off at school and head to the office.
8:40 a.m. — At the office and already looking for more food. Luckily I have a banana and a yogurt in the fridge. Time to get to work — I have a couple calls and loan docs to review.
9:30 a.m. — I quickly call my husband to discuss dinner plans for tomorrow night. We are celebrating! Yesterday I was told my 2017 bonus number, and it is an all-time record of $225,000. That is Holy Shit money. Not quite F-you money. This is my first year at my new job, but I negotiated a guaranteed bonus for my first year because I knew I was leaving a very cushy job and walking into a difficult role. It has been way harder than I expected, but eight months in, we have made a lot of progress. I think they eventually want me to manage the office, but they are definitely seeing what I am capable of before handing me the title. I also call our sitter and arrange for her to come tomorrow evening to babysit. The hubby and I decide to try to get a last minute reservation at Otium in DTLA. I am already dreaming of the roast duck, a dish I like so much that I won’t share it with anyone.
11:45 a.m. — I thought I had a lunch meeting today at Craft. Turns out I mixed up the weeks. Since I'm already there, why not enjoy a nice solo lunch? I have a great salad plus a funnel cake for dessert! I love a fancy solo lunch. Wish I could’ve had wine. $62.56
1 p.m. — I get a call from one of the wine clubs we belong to. My card has expired and needs to be updated. I give the new info and they charge me for the wine ($224.96). I will just stare at it until I give birth.
1:30 p.m. — Coffee meeting with a new hire. We discuss shared clients and strategize about how to help each grow our respective businesses. He's late, and pays for my decaf cappuccino ($3.25).
4 p.m. — Feeling terrible — I think it was the workout this morning. I have been sluggish all day. I'm heading out early, with documents to read when I get home tonight. If I make it home before my husband picks up the kiddo, I can squeeze in a quick nap.
4:45 p.m. — Drive home, and on the way up the hill I see my sister (who lives with us in our guest room) coming down to drop off my housekeeper at the bus stop. I turn around and follow them so I can pay the housekeeper $150, because hubby didn’t leave enough money for her. Get home and the house is wonderfully clean. I eat a snack, get in bed, and take a catnap.
6:30 p.m. — Hubby and kiddo still aren’t home, and I am starving. They're picking up dinner because I don’t like messing up a clean kitchen. They finally get home, and I scarf down a lettuce-wrapped burger. $37.50
7 p.m. — Kiddo and I take a bath, and I put on her jammies, read her a story, and put her to bed. She gets up three times before finally going down, and everyone is in bed by 8:30. I am not ready to go to bed, so I play on my phone. I end up buying some Old Navy maternity clothes. They were in my IG feed. I feel like my phone is listening to me. $116.32
Daily Total: $216.38

Day Two

6 a.m. — Wake up with a terrible stomach ache (indigestion). I have no idea what is causing it, but I am miserable. I don’t get up until almost 7, which makes the morning a little hectic. We all get dressed and get the kiddo ready for school. I'm again dressed in a uniform of all-black and stretchy. No time for breakfast. Not great, but we gotta go.
8:05 a.m. — We leave for school, but five minutes into the drive I realize I left my phone at the house. (My phone is easily more important than my right hand — I'm a leftie.) We turn around and head back to get it. By a miracle, my daughter isn't late for school. The traffic gods were on our side today. I buy a plain bagel and a cup of tea, and get to the office for my morning meetings. $7
9:30 a.m. — My sister shoots me a text that she can sell me her $440 Bloomingdale's credit for $250. She is a stylist and sometimes has store credits after jobs are done. Rather than spending them herself, I buy them off of her for halfish. We have an argument that she should give it to me for free since she lives in my house for free, but I am going to let that one go. $250
11:30 a.m. — Get to Bloomie's early and stop by the Nespresso boutique to get two cases of Nespresso pods ($299). Then I meet my sis at Bloomie's and pick out this gorgeous leopard print coat from Theory. It is $761, but with her credit I end up spending $321. Can’t wait to wear it out tonight. Pop into Sephora to grab a new mascara ($28). $648
12 p.m. — Lunch with my team at Javier’s. We have a new hire we're welcoming to the team. ($189.90 expensed)
2:30 p.m. — Pick up a call from an unknown number. Turns out it's my alma mater is asking for its annual donation. I increase from $275 last year to $500. I really need to get more organized about our charitable donations. They are very haphazard right now. My credit card is smoking today, and it's only 2:30. $500
5:30 p.m. — Come home and play with my hubby and the little one. My dad stops by to say hi, and we discuss some of the planned renovations that we are going to do to the house. He's a general contractor, and we need to add a bedroom and bathroom — new baby means we need more space. Buying a new house isn't an option — L.A. house pricing is obscene, and we really love our neighborhood. Sitter shows up, and we head out to dinner.
7:30 p.m. — We have a wonderful dinner at Otium. No duck on the menu tonight, but the pork chop is delicious! It was nice to have some one-on-one time with my hubby. We have a brief argument about my curiosity about having a home birth. He is very pro-hospital. I had a routine birth at the hospital last time, but I have an increased fear of doing it again because there's been a lot of recent news about how medical interventions during hospital births can sometimes result in adverse and fatal results for mothers. Plus my mom easily and successfully delivered three babies at home, aided by a midwife. My husband is really afraid of something happening to me at home and not being able to get to the hospital in time. He says his life would be over if anything ever happened to me. My heart is melted, and we end have a really good time. $217
9:30 p.m. — I am almost falling asleep at the wheel. We get home, pay the sitter $75, and go straight to bed. We laugh at how old and tired we are and how different we are now that we have a kid. We say that we should have sex, but laugh because neither of us is interested. We cuddle and fall asleep. $75
Daily Total: $1,697

Day Three

6 a.m. — Wake up. Go back to sleep.
7:50 a.m. — My daughter is still asleep, and she will always be my favorite child for allowing us to sleep in. Once we're up, I make waffles, eggs, and coffee.
9 a.m. — We recently decided to hire a Saturday-morning sitter to allow us to have some free time during the weekend. She shows up and takes the kiddo to the park to play.
10 a.m. — We're considering hiring an au pair to live with us once the baby comes. The program coordinator interviews us, reviews the program, and tours the house.
12 p.m. — Hubby and I go to lunch at one of our favorite spots, AOC. $90
2 p.m. — I stop to pick up dry cleaning on the way home. $26
3 p.m. — Get home and pay the sitter ($80), hang out with the little one for about 30 minutes, and put her down for a nap. We lay down, too, and...three hours later we wake up. Guess we were tired! We decide to stay in and relax, eat leftovers, and play with the little one. She's in bed by 8:30, and then we Netflix and chill. $80
9:50 p.m. — Book two tickets for a trip to San Francisco for a friend’s wedding. $427
11 p.m. — Kid wakes up four times during the night. Note to self: no more three-hour naps.
Daily Total: $623

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — Kid sleeps in. We sleep in. I wake up tired. This baby is doing HIIT in my stomach. We decide to go out to breakfast at our fave spot, The Larder. I have an Earl Grey tea latte and eggs and bacon, and I am fed and happy ($74.01). We head to the farmer's market and meet up with friends. All the kids run around and have fun. They insist on going into the petting zoo, which I find slightly inhumane and gross. Those poor animals. My kiddo is a gentle soul and shows a lot of kindness toward the animals, which warms my heart. I yell at a kid who steps on a turtle and glare at her mom for allowing her to do it. Then I pick up yogurt and hummus at the store ($27). We go to lunch with friends, and the waiter at Il Pastaio looks horrified to have three toddlers walk into the restaurant, but our kids are well-behaved. Pasta and bread makes happy kids. So fun hanging out and catching up ($91). We walk to Rite Aid and get ice cream and M&M's ($7.50). $199.51
2:30 p.m. — Nap time. Kiddo goes down. I take a shower, put in a deep conditioning treatment, and then nap. Hubby goes to the grocery store and picks up steak, potatoes, and broccoli for dinner, plus eggs, milk, bread, berries, apples, yogurt, ground turkey, cookies, and Kind bars. I love him. Little one wakes up and crawls into bed with me, and we snuggle and watch cartoons. She decides she wants to go into the spa. Hubby takes her because I can’t. $75
6:30 p.m. — Kiddo and I take a bubble bath and I have to wash and condition her hair. It takes forever. She has this mound of beautiful auburn curls that I have to meticulously deep condition and detangle. She’s patient because I only do it once a week. Hubby makes dinner and we sit down to eat. He is getting better and better at cooking. I clean up the kitchen, and we put the little one to bed.
Daily Total: $274.51

Day Five

6:20 a.m. — After two snoozes, I roll out of bed and get ready. I straighten my hair, which takes 45 minutes. Kiddo has a doctor’s appointment this morning, so we have a little more time to get ready. I let her sleep until about 7:45, while my husband and I get ready at a more relaxed pace. Hubby comments that I look beautiful pregnant, and I almost start to cry. His timing is always good — I was starting to feel like a beached whale. I also have to do my daughter's hair, which she hates. I have her trapped in her high chair, and with lighting quickness get her into a cute high pony. I woke up with a fair amount of energy, but I can feel it starting to drain. We head to the doctor, and she's quiet because she knows she has to get a flu shot.
9 a.m. — Traffic cooperates and we get there on time. The shot is quick, and she handles it like a pro, so we stop to get her a donut for doing so well. Getting her in and out of the car seat is really starting to turn into a workout for me. I get a donut, too, for keeping my anxiety under control during the shot. I drop her at school and then head to the office. I am not feeling very well. My energy levels are plummeting, and I am a little lightheaded. I am going to have an early lunch and see if that helps. If not, I'll work from home the rest of the day. $3.67
11:45 a.m. — Feeling better after sitting down for a bit and eating some almonds and an orange. I knock off two calls and answered about a dozen emails. Head to lunch with two colleagues. I lament to them that I'm not feeling challenged at work and that my management isn't holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to my role at the company. I took a calculated risk in coming to work here, and I am not sure it's working out. Not much to do about it now, though, since it hasn’t even been a year. They are sympathetic, but agree it's too soon to do anything about it. We move on to happier topics and enjoy some salads and a few laughs. $20
2:50 p.m. — Reach out to my senior manager to discuss some of the challenges I'm having. She is amazing. I have gotten such great advice from people when I've asked for help. She totally re-energizes me. I've been craving a cookie all day, so I go downstairs and get one with a cup of tea. $5.50
4:45 p.m. — I have a prenatal chiro appointment — 30 minute massage and a back adjustment ($175 plus $5 for parking). Afterwards, my back feels so much better and I am ready for a nap! $180
6:15 p.m. — Home and straight to bed. Hubby and baby girl go for tacos, and they bring me home one. I fall asleep watching them play. I am getting really bad indigestion/heartburn. I had this last time I was pregnant, but it's more intense this time. I wake up and help get the little one to bed, read her stories, and clean up the kitchen. Back in bed by 9 p.m. Hubby is already asleep. I play on my computer and go to bed by 10. $35
Daily Total: $244.17

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — Wake up. Kiddo has a dentist appointment at 7:40. I help hubby get her dressed and ready. I realize that I feel like absolute crap and need to take it easy. I shoot off an email and tell the team that I'm working from home and then go back to bed. When I wake up at 9 a.m., I feel a lot better. I'm still tired, but staying home was the right idea. I crack open the laptop and start working. This kid is my belly is really taking up a lot of space. I feel like I can barely breathe half the time. The kicking woke me up last night. I make eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast.
11 a.m. — Go online and look for a pair of black tennis shoes. My footwear is getting increasingly casual. I buy a cute pair of Tory Burch slip-on sneakers. $216.88
11:30 a.m. — Seriously, these pregnancy hormones are strong. I forgot that it was bonus PAYDAY!!!! I check my account and there are six figures that weren’t there yesterday! The depressing part is the $65,000 of taxes that were deducted.
12 p.m. — I make a sandwich for lunch, get on a few more calls, and work on some projects. I take a quick nap at around 3.
5 p.m. — I pick up the little one from school, bring her home, and make her dinner. Ground turkey, rice, and broccoli with teriyaki sauce.
7:30 p.m. — Go to my hairdresser. I wear extensions, and I was long overdue to have some new ones made. I'm annoyed because I always end up spending more than we discuss. The plan was $1,400, but it ends up costing $2,500. I'm paying for high quality Italian hair. She really does have the best stuff, and I know this hair will last as long as a good purse, but I am still annoyed. $2,500
Daily Total: $2,716.88

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — Feeling better this morning as I force myself out of bed. The day at home did the trick, and I feel rested. I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday and I need to make notes to make sure I talk to him about my symptoms. I have eggs, toast, and a latte for breakfast, and we are out of the house by 8. I drop off the kiddo and make it to the office by 8:45. Calls, emails, and more work on the business plan, which I need to wrap up today.
10:30 a.m. — I have a few minutes in between calls, and I quickly go online to buy the hubby Laker’s tickets for his birthday. His BFF is coming into town for a bachelor party they are both going to, and the timing works out that he will be able to go with my husband to the game. (I don't want to go. Stadium chairs and my back are not a good idea.) I splurge on good tickets because it’s his 35th birthday ($897). I also pay off the credit card bill from December ($10,397). $897
11 a.m. — Too hungry to wait for lunchtime. I go downstairs and get a veggie wrap and a cookie to eat at my desk. $18.88
12:30 p.m. — Run out to get my brows and upper lip waxed because my lady had a last minute opening. It took walking outside in broad daylight to realize that what I thought was a black and white striped sweater is actually navy and white. I wonder if anyone else noticed. Brows look great, and I feel like a new woman ($65 plus $15 tip). I go next door and pick up two juices from Pressed Juicery ($13.10). $93.10
1 p.m. — Pop over to Hermès. I've had my eye on this grey enamel bracelet for a while now and it's time to make it mine. I get it in rose gold. So chic. $833.13
2 p.m. — Back at the office, and I have a dizzy spell. So odd. I call my OBGYN's office and wait to hear back. Hopefully it's nothing, but I haven’t been feeling well lately. Call hubby to fill him in and tell him I will call him back once I speak to the doctor.
3 p.m. — I'm hungry again. I swear, eating is becoming a full time job. I get a weird craving for a hot dog and go downstairs to get one. Haven’t had a hot dog in years. $5.18
3:30 p.m. — Speak to the doctor, and he isn’t concerned. I have an appointment in a few days and I agree to keep him posted if anything changes.
5 p.m. — I go to pick up my daughter, and my husband picks up dinner from an Italian spot in DTLA. Pizza, salads, and meatballs. His parents stop by for dinner. My daughter is very close with my mother-in-law and gets so excited when they get to spend time together. It always warms my heart. I love that she is close with her grandparents. $101.96
7:30 p.m. — Bedtime routine, and the lights are out in the house by 8:30. Everyone is exhausted, fed, and happily asleep.
Daily Total: $1,949.25
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