A Week In Manchester, NH, On A $47,500 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 social media specialist working in tech who makes $47,500 per year and spends some of her money this week on an iced chai.
Occupation: Social Media Specialist
Industry: Technology
Age: 23
Location: Manchester, NH
Salary: $47,500
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,500
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $500 (I live in a shared house with two roommates.)
Student Loan Payment: $900
Car Loan Payment: $233
Credit Card Debt: $40-60
Hulu: $7.99
Netflix: $0 (I mooch off my parents.)
Spotify: $7.50 (I split it with my sister)
Car/Renters Insurance: $141
Internet: $20 (split with my roommates)
Electric: ~$40 (split with my roommates)

Day One

8 a.m. — When I wake up, my room is about 80 degrees. I don't have A/C, and while the luxury of sleeping in on a weekday (today's the 4th of July!) is nice, I forget how quickly it gets hot once the sun is up. I quickly get out of bed and jump in the shower.
10:30 a.m. — I decide to drag one of my roommates with me to the outlets. I went yesterday searching for overalls to wear for the 4th, and instead found a jumpsuit I loved on sale. I didn't get it (I was holding out in hope of finding overall shorts), but now I want to go back and grab it. While waiting in the checkout line, I see face mist that I know I'll desperately need on a day this hot, so I grab it. $19.50
12 p.m. — The same roommate and I make a pit stop at Target to buy lawn chairs. The host of the party we're attending later told us she only had a handful, and neither of us own them, so we each grab one. $10
12:15 p.m. — We both decide that Starbucks is a necessity today. I grab my usual — venti iced chai with a pump of cinnamon dolce syrup. My roommate gets a frappuccino. $4.85
2:30 p.m. — We get in the car to head over to the party and stop at the store on the way to grab chips (on sale!). $4.50
5 p.m. — At the party. It's about 95 degrees out today, and we're all sweltering in the heat. I regret wearing a heavy denim skirt today. We stick our feet in a kiddie pool for relief. It's hard to enjoy a BBQ when you feel like you're melting. I definitely don't regret buying that face mist.
8 p.m. — We head over to the fireworks the town puts on. It's definitely one thing I love most about New Hampshire. Tiny towns do cutesy things for the holidays. We stake out a place to sit and I'm incredibly grateful that I bought a chair to sit in so that I don't have to deal with wet, bug-infested grass. We spend the next hour and a half taking sparkler pictures, enjoying the food and drinks we brought with us, and hanging out.
9:30 p.m. — The fireworks begin! For a small town, the show is pretty impressive, and we have perfect seats to watch the display. They continue for 45 minutes, and I forget for a little bit that I have to go to work tomorrow.
11 p.m. — We get home and I debate whether or not to take a cold shower to cool myself off before sleeping in my (still incredibly hot) bed. I decide against it, and simply wash my face to cool down a bit. I Instagram one of the sparkler pics, and then double check my alarm to make sure it's set for tomorrow morning.
Daily Total: $38.85

Day Two

5:45 a.m. — I wake up from the heat before my alarm goes off. I'm not used to such oppressive heat and I'm grateful to spend my day in an office with A/C all day. I stay in bed until 7, then shower, get ready, and make my usual breakfast of high-protein multigrain everything bagel with cream cheese and yogurt.
8 a.m. — I'm practically running out the door to get to work on time.
10:30 a.m. — I'm halfway through my morning and struggling to make it through. I regret not taking today off — most of my office is off for the rest of the week, so it's incredibly quiet. I have another hour and a half before lunch, so I power through tying up a couple of loose ends on projects before I order something to eat.
12 p.m. — I order lunch from a cafe down the road from my office. This current job I have is great, but it's further outside the city, so there aren't many lunch options. I get a chipotle chicken panini and chips, but opt not to get my favorite salted caramel iced chai to save a few bucks. $14
6 p.m. — I get my monthly brow wax. My brows are aggressive enough that I could probably go every three weeks, but my thick framed glasses cover up some of the bushiness. I found my current brow master when I was at my old job in my old apartment, walking distance from the spa. Now it's a bit of a drive from my office and out of the way, but it's hard to find someone who is so good with thick brows around here. She does an amazing job (as always), and the total comes to $15, plus a $3 tip. $18
6:30 p.m. — I run to Walmart to get a sewing kit. A pair of pants I love somehow ripped down the side the first time I wore them, and I'm determined to fix them instead of buying another pair. I flirt with getting a cute swimsuit (they have shockingly adorable swimwear!) but decide to hold off. $1.15
7 p.m. — I get home and immediately change out of my work clothes. It's about 85 degrees in my room and 80 degrees downstairs, so I try to find the lightest clothing possible. I recently ordered jean shorts and a swimsuit from American Eagle, and the package arrived today. The swim top is AMAZING, but I hate the shorts. I toss them in my work bag so I can remember to return them tomorrow. It's way too hot to cook, so I decide to eat cereal for dinner.
Daily Total: $33.15

Day Three

6:15 a.m. — I wake up early again. The heat wave is supposed to break today. I look out my window and it's pouring rain outside. It's still super dark in my room, and I don't want to get up.
8:30 a.m. — I pull into work, and the parking lot is nearly completely empty. I wonder how many people are going to be in today, since it's a holiday weekend. My sister and two friends are coming up for a visit tonight and I'm hoping that the day will fly by.
11:30 a.m. — Since the office is so sparse, the company president decides to treat us all to lunch. I packed my own (like I do most days) but am thrilled to get something different than my sad sandwich. We order from a local place, and soon the office is filled with junk food. I grab a few buffalo wings and onion rings, and then eat the peach I brought.
4 p.m. — The managers decide to close down the office early and let everyone go an hour before typical closing time. I am THRILLED. The rain has cleared and the weather is absolutely gorgeous.
4:45 p.m. — I decide to use my extra time to run to the mall before my guests come up. I return the shorts and decide to browse a few other places. I spot a pair of flowy vertical striped linen pants that I love. Both of my roommates have similar pairs, and I've been dying to find some. Being plus size, it's definitely tougher to find some trendier items, so I snag these ones. Thankfully, they're on sale for half off, and I don't have to pay sales tax (one of the perks of being in NH!). $20
10 p.m. — My three guests arrive, and we're all STARVING. We decide to check out a local BBQ place that I haven't tried out yet but have heard a ton of great things about. We sit on the patio and enjoy the live musician they have for the evening. It's a small crowd for a Friday night, but still a great vibe. I get a brisket sandwich with caramelized onions, horseradish sauce, and cheese — and it's AMAZING. We head home for the night and I get my guests settled in. $19.30
Daily Total: $39.30

Day Four

6:15 a.m. — Another semi-early wake up call. Normally I enjoy sleeping in on weekends, but with a two-hour drive ahead of us, we want to get up early to make sure we get on the road. We're heading up to Portland, ME, for the morning, and making our way down the coast. I get up and shower first, and put on my new linen pants.
8:20 a.m. — We get gas and hit the road! $26.20
8:25 a.m. — Dunkin' is an absolute must for this road trip. I've been bringing my Yeti cup everywhere as a reusable cup, which saves me roughly 50 cents every time I buy coffee. I figure it'll add up to the cost of a cup eventually. $4.61
12:40 p.m. — We spend the morning wandering around the Old Port, checking out the shops and the boats. I refrain from buying anything because I know that this will end up being a more expensive weekend than most. We head down the coast for lunch. Parking is relatively cheap at $5 an hour, especially for a garage close to most of the attractions in the city. I pay for three hours. $15
1:50 p.m. — We arrive at the Lobster Shack, and the line is MASSIVE. But the view is stunning — we're right on the water. I hate seafood, so I just get a burger and onion rings, and my sister offers to pay since I paid for gas and parking. We soak up the view for a little while.
4:40 p.m. — After lunch, we drive down to York, ME, to get ice cream and visit the lighthouse. I get a salted caramel milkshake, and my friend covers mine, since the place is cash-only. I definitely don't mind the trade-off. We walk down to the lighthouse and sit on the rocks by the water. The sea breeze feels amazing.
5:15 p.m. — We head down to Portsmouth, NH. Portsmouth is one of my absolute favorite cities to walk around, and since we're all still full from ice cream, we wander around for a few hours before dinner. There's a live concert going on, and we pop into a handful of shops. The weather is absolutely perfect.
9 p.m. — We go to a brewery for dinner. Honestly, any place with good beer and good food is my jam. We all get different beers and food to taste, and it's a perfect way to end a long day. $25
Daily Total: $70.81

Day Five

8 a.m. — My guests have to leave early, so I send them off. I climb back into bed to get a little more sleep before waking up to go to church.
10:30 a.m. — I go to Dunkin' again and grab a late breakfast on my way to service. Normally it takes me hours to go through my large iced coffee, but I somehow drink it all in 45 minutes. $7.31
2 p.m. — After church (and hanging out after service), I run to Target and the grocery store, which has become my post-church ritual of sorts. I'm going on vacation soon and I want to get leggings to wear for outdoorsy activities, but I decide to hold off until after payday this week. My grocery bill is much lower than usual, since I got a free trial of a meal kit service that will last me through half the week (until payday!). I get the essentials for my breakfasts and lunches and a few other necessities and call it a day. $32.14
6:30 p.m. — I make one of the meal kit meals for my dinner. I consider myself a pretty good cook, and the meal I chose is a little on the basic side, so I'm not amazed by it. But it's still tasty and I got it for pretty much nothing, so I'm definitely not mad about it. I put the leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow night.
Daily Total: $39.45

Day Six

8 a.m. — Every Monday morning, we have a team meeting at 8. The rule is my boss buys breakfast every week, but if you show up after 8 on the dot, you have to pay for it. Not wanting to drop $30 on coffee and bagels, I always leave my house about 15 minutes earlier than I need to, just in case. I arrive at 7:50, secure my spot at the conference table, and snag a bagel.
2:45 p.m. — The day is feeling longer than usual (probably because of my lack of sleep this weekend), so I run to a nearby coffee shop and grab an iced chai as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. I make a mental note to a) not buy anymore coffee this week and b) to go to bed early tonight. $4.74
6:15 p.m. — I get home from work and throw all the stuff from my dinner last night into a foil packet that I toss in the oven. It actually tastes better today, since the flavors have melded a bit and my reheating method rehydrated a lot of the dry elements.
8:35 p.m. — I'm packing up for a trip to Canada next week and I debate whether to take my camera with me. I don't want to carry my full camera bag, but I'm nervous about just tossing the camera into my backpack. I browse Amazon for a neoprene cover and find one I like. I hate spending money on gear (especially things that I don't know if I'll use a ton), but for $15 I decide it's worth it. Plus, I use my parents' Prime account, so I don't have to pay for shipping, and I know it'll come in time. $15
Daily Total: $19.74

Day Seven

7 a.m. — I wake up late for work and consider skipping making my breakfast and lunch at home, but I decide to suck it up and be a few minutes late rather than spending money on food. I figure I'll treat myself instead after getting paid tomorrow.
2:28 p.m. — I hit a mid-day slump. Since it's my last week before vacation, my brain is just not in work mode. I consider running out to grab a snack (my office doesn't have vending machines, which is a blessing and a curse) but decide instead to rifle through my drawers and snack on some Craisins I find. I am SO looking forward to dinner tonight.
5:30 p.m. — I make a quick grocery store trip to pick up some essentials. Mainly some salty snacks for work and juice. While it totally makes me sound like a child, I pretty much exclusively drink a mix of Simply Mixed Berry fruit juice and water (75% water, 25% juice). I know I drink more liquid when it's flavored, and I've been trying to drink at least 50 ounces a day. I mean, it definitely isn't the worst thing I could drink. I grab ice cream while I'm there, because, after all, it's summer. $9.73
7 p.m. — I make my other meal kit dinner. This one is significantly better than the other, but I'm still not wowed enough to keep my subscription. I make a mental note to cancel my account.
Daily Total: $9.73
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