A Week In Los Angeles, CA, On A $135,000 Salary

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Today: a video editor working in film and television who makes $135,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on almond flour.
Occupation: Video Editor
Industry: Film & Television
Age: 29
Location: Los Angeles, CA
My Salary: $135,000
My Paycheck (Biweekly): $3,650
My Husband's Salary: $105,000 (We got married late last year and haven't combined our finances through a joint account or anything yet. We keep our accounts separate, but split a lot of expenses or trade off paying for things.)
My Husband's Paycheck (Monthly): $6,000
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $3,100 (split with my husband)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I'm really grateful that my parents paid for school.)
Health, Vision & Dental Insurance: $0 (PPO insurance is included in my union dues.)
Internet: $70 for crap internet
Utilities: $0 (husband pays)
Netflix: $11 (I pay for Netflix, and my husband pays for HBO.)
Credit Monitoring Service: $20 (I had my identity stolen years ago, so I'm extra careful.)
Roth IRA: $300 (I don't have a 401(k) option through work since we have a union, and the company pays into my union pension.)
Orangetheory: $129 for eight classes
Gym: $20
Planned Parenthood Donation: $15
ACLU Donation: $15
NPR Donation: $10
NY Times Subscription: $10.50
Car Payment: $0 (It's paid off!)
Auto & Renter's Insurance: $150
Savings: $1,000
Additional Expenses
Union Dues: $170, quarterly
Amazon Prime: $100/year (My husband shares my account.)

Day One

5:30 a.m. — Wake up, take the dogs out briefly, and have coffee with my husband, H., to start the day. I leave for the gym at about 6:15, and he leaves for work not too long after. I sit all day, every day at work, so my run/gym time every morning is pretty much non-negotiable. When I get home from the gym, I make a smoothie and take the dogs for a proper walk. Our dogs are a high-energy breed and require a lot of exercise, which is fine by me. I shower, get ready for work, and get into the office early because I know I have a lot of work ahead of me today.
8:30 a.m. — Get to work and eat the breakfast I brought — a hard-boiled egg, toast, and half an avocado. Yes, I am THAT PERSON who takes up half the fridge with their food from home.
1:30 p.m. — Take my (union mandated!) 30-minute lunch break. I heat up my chicken and veggie soup and eat outside with my coworkers so that I actually see other humans today.
4 p.m. — You know those people who are like: "Omg, I totally forgot to eat today!"? I am not one of those people. It's time for a snack, so I dive into my bag o' goodies in the fridge. Yogurt and berries.
8:45 p.m. — I'm spent, and head home. The good thing about leaving late is that there's less traffic, so at least there's that! I work late often, but I always try to at least get home for dog-walking time so H. and I can catch up and chat about our days. I get home and we walk the dogs, and then go to bed around 10.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

5:30 a.m. — Wake up, take the dogs out. Then: coffee, gym, dog walk, shower.
9 a.m. — Get to work a little early, but not as early as I had hoped. I bought the puppy with me today. I love that we get to bring dogs to work. Grab my breakfast from the fridge (same as yesterday).
11:45 a.m. — I take a break for a little online shopping. On Amazon, I order a book from a podcast I listen to, Dear Madam President. There are about 30 people in my position and only three of us are women; that isn't abnormal for my industry, so I like to read books and articles by women about their careers for more perspective. I also buy wireless headphones and organic tampons ($0 for everything, since I have an Amazon gift card balance that covers it). After that, I buy two bras online from Victoria's Secret because the ones I have a basically falling apart ($60). Finally, I buy a skirt and top on ModCloth that have been sitting in my cart for a while ($96). I've been trying to update my wardrobe (slowly), because I am a 29-year-old woman and literally all I wear are jeans and t-shirts or athleisure. $156
1 p.m. — Heat up my lunch and eat while I'm working. I use my break to take the puppy for a walk.
5 p.m. — Snack on plantain chips, blueberries, and almonds. I have to grab a handful of the chips and then put the bag at the back of my snack drawer, or else I will eat the whole bag in a single sitting.
7:30 p.m. — Since I'm working through dinner, I expense a red curry with chicken from a Thai place I like. I'll eat my prepped food tomorrow instead. ($12.50 expensed)
9 p.m. — Head home. On days like this, I'm glad to be paid hourly and make overtime. I'm home before 9:30. We walk the pups and go to bed by 10:30.
Daily Total: $156

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — Wake up. Dogs. Coffee. Go to my Orangetheory class, which starts at 7. I really like the workouts, but I've been thinking about canceling because it's a hassle to get to the location. We'll see.
8:45 a.m. — At work early-ish again (my normal start time is 9:30), and I get right to it. Breakfast today is two hard-boiled eggs and oatmeal. I remember that we're out of a few staples at home, so I place an order on Thrive Market for protein powder, almond flour, a few sauces I like, gluten-free pasta, and a couple other snacks. $68
1 p.m. — I heat up my homemade stir-fry and eat outside. The dog walker came today, so I Venmo her. $25
5:15 p.m. — I'm tired — time for an internet break! I have been lusting after the new Volvo XC60, and build one online. It comes out to $48,000. I know I can get a good amount for my car, but still, it's nice not having a car payment. Sigh. I just got a pretty nice raise, but H. and I are working toward buying a house. Even with our combined incomes, we can't afford anything around here.
7:30 p.m. — Eat dinner at work — chicken veggie soup from earlier in the week. While I eat, I research Mexico City because we're planning a trip there later this year. I'm ready to go, like, now.
8 p.m. — Producer is happy with my work, and we send cuts to the client. I head home after. H. and I don't want kids but I honestly don't know how people in my industry have children with these hours. It makes me think that's a factor in why there are so few women at higher levels in my industry, which totally sucks! A lot of the men I work with do have children. Their spouses must not work? Or they work part-time? Or work a job with, like, normal hours? I don't know, man. It seems impossible.
Daily Total: $93

Day Four

5:30 a.m. — Alarm. Dogs. Coffee. I decide to go for a run today, but when I walk outside it's raining, so I go to the gym up the street instead. I'll run tomorrow.
9:40 a.m. — I'm in a little late for work, but oh well. I swear traffic is always worse on Thursdays. My nine-mile drive takes a maddening 45 minutes, but I have the puppy with me at work today, so I give him belly rubs and everything is better. I eat breakfast while troubleshooting issues I've been having with my computer for the last couple of days. While we're waiting for client feedback, I check in with other producers to see if there are any other projects they need me to work on. Usually, I edit two to three projects at a time, depending on their timelines.
10:15 a.m. — Client got back to us already with notes (that was fast!), so I work on revisions. H. booked plane tickets for a trip we're taking next month to Detroit to visit friends. He tells me I don't need to, but I Venmo him for my ticket. $361
1:30 p.m. — I put in a lunch order through the company today since I have to work through lunch again. I scarf down saag paneer outside with my coworkers and then take the pup outside for a potty break before getting back to the grind. ($13.20 expensed)
5 p.m. — Grab a string cheese and tea. I'm not feeling especially creative today and could use a little caffeine.
7:15 p.m. — My producer left, soooooo ... I'm getting out of here. I go home and eat dinner with my husband! It's a frickin' miracle!
Daily Total: $361

Day Five

5:45 a.m. — Morning routine and a run. There's a 7.5-mile route I like that takes me along the beach and back. It's overcast today but still beautiful, and the surfers are out on the water.
9:30 a.m. — Get into work, make my breakfast, werk, werk, werk. It's payday, so I check my pay stub. My increase has kicked in (yay!), and I worked 25 hours of overtime over the last pay period, so there's nice a boost in my check.
1:30 p.m. — On Fridays, some of us ladies at work do a happy hour in the afternoon, and I figure I'll host in my office today. I brought a bottle of wine in with me because we still have so much leftover from our wedding. Gotta have snacks, too, so I run out to Trader Joe's. $12.70
4:30 p.m. — It's lady wine time, the highlight of my Friday. (Or the week?) It's so awesome to have more women working here now.
7 p.m. — I'm home! H. and I walk to dinner at a Mexican place up the street. It's so nice that we can easily walk to places in our neighborhood. I get two tacos à la carte, and he orders enchiladas. He pays.
Daily Total: $12.70

Day Six

6:15 a.m. — I wish I could sleep in on the weekends but I'm up without an alarm. I walk the dogs and watch a few episodes of Catastrophe on Amazon until my husband wakes up. He's up about an hour after me, and we go to our local coffee shop. The old guys are sitting outside as usual. A new hipster coffee shop opened in the neighborhood recently, but everyone still goes to the old spot. A latte for me, and a vanilla latte for him. $7
9 a.m. — We make breakfast. H.'s friend is getting married soon, so H. is helping him find a suit today. I clean up around the house — I swear I sweep up a new dog off the floor every week with all this fur! I should just hire a cleaning person.
12 p.m. — I bought a Groupon a while back for a Pilates place, so I use it today. I feel kind of "meh" about Pilates. While I'm out, I run a few errands. I stop at Target for makeup remover and a new pillow and walk out with a bunch of other shit ($121). Then it's off to the grocery store to get all our food for the coming week. (We trade off on who pays each week.) I buy chicken, ground turkey, apples, spaghetti squash, cheese, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, eggs, coffee, and cream ($95). Then I fill up the gas tank ($59). I throw together a salad with chicken when I get home. $275
4:30 p.m. — Weekend happy hour is the best! H. and I walk to our local spot to meet up with friends. We're seeing Super Troopers 2 tonight and have tacos and margaritas beforehand. It's a different Mexican place than last night — ah, the wonders of L.A.! H. pays.
8 p.m. — I buy movie tickets for everyone, and my friends pay me back for theirs ($34 for H.'s and mine). The movie is hilarious and terrible, but the first Super Troopers was a staple for my brother and me back in the day, and the nostalgia is worth it. We go to a bar after; H. has a drink, but I don't want anything. $34
Daily Total: $316

Day Seven

6:45 a.m. — I'm up. Head to Orangetheory for an 8 a.m. class.
11 a.m. — We're going to a vintage Porsche show that my husband bought tickets to. H. is a big car guy; I know nothing about cars, but I like to look at them. It's a really cool outdoor event. He looks at all the cars, and I pet all the dogs.
2 p.m. — Pick up lunch from Mendocino Farms on the way home. Their sandwiches are so good! $24
5:30 p.m. — I start cooking a bunch of veggies and protein to meal prep for the week. It takes almost two hours total, but now H. and I both have breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week. He helps out, but honestly, it goes a lot faster if I just do it, so it starts with us both cooking and ends with me taking over.
7:30 p.m. — We eat dinner and catch up on Westworld. We rewatch the season finale from Season 1 as a refresher (I mean, who can remember?!) and then start the Season 2 premiere. It's a great show, but god, these episodes are long. It's 10 p.m. by the time we're done, and the Sunday scaries are very real.
Daily Total: $24
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