A Week In Miami On A $138,000 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.
This week: an attorney working in government who makes $138,000 a year and spends it on a Florida Panthers hockey game.
Occupation: Attorney
Industry: Government
Age: 32
Location: Miami, FL
Salary: $138,000
Monthly Expenses
Housing Costs: $2,500 (husband pays)
All Other Monthly Expenses
Flywheel Membership: $300
Cable & Internet: $150 (husband pays)
Electricity: $30 (husband pays)
Netflix: $9.99 (husband pays)
Hello Fresh Delivery: $280
Contribution To Joint Savings Account: $1,000
United Way Charity Contribution: $40
Parking At Work: $50.08

Day One

8:30 a.m. — My husband texts me from the office that he forgot to lay out money for our cleaning lady. I run to the ATM and take out $100; $80 for this week's cleaning and an extra $20 to fund the laundry card she uses to wash our clothes. When I get home, it's just about time for me to be at work, so I grab a piece of brioche off the counter and slather it in almond butter for a breakfast on the run. I grab some tea for free at the office to get in my caffeine fix. $100
2 p.m. — With all the fuss this morning, I forgot about bringing lunch. Apparently, I got so lost in the work shuffle that I didn't realize I was starving. I head around the corner for a salad (avocado, olives, tomatoes, caramelized onions, buffalo mozzarella, and pesto dressing) at my local semi-Cuban soup, salad, and sandwich joint. I drink water in a S'well bottle I brought from home. It keeps my water cold all day! $11.36
4:38 p.m. — I'm an attorney by trade, so I don't pay for anything I don't get. Last week, my Hello Fresh delivery came with rotten produce, so I complained and received a $10 credit toward this week's delivery, bringing the weekly price down from $69 to $59. However, this week, I was supposed to receive my Hello Fresh delivery Monday evening, but today is Tuesday, and it still hasn't arrived. I've already called the company to inquire and sent a few emails regarding a possible remedy, but no response. The tracking information says my delivery is indefinitely delayed. There is no way I'm eating rotten steak for any price. I pull up my American Express account and dispute the $59 charge for this week. Hello? Fresh?
4:45 p.m. — My husband and I both do well, and we more or less keep completely separate finances. I moved in with him just prior to our marriage, so he was already paying the rent and utilities. I pay for my own expenses, my own car payment, our entertainment, and most of our food and other incidental expenses. We've been meaning to work out a better system, but we at least both agree that "what's mine is yours" and vice versa. Based on the status of my Hello Fresh delivery, I text my husband that he is in charge of buying groceries for tonight's dinner. He picks up ingredients to make this amazing chicken-shawarma recipe that we've been obsessed with of late and chickpeas so we can mix up some hummus. He also picks up a bottle of white wine. What a guy.
6:30 p.m. — I head to FlyBarre for a 45-minute workout, part of my monthly membership. I walk there and back for a little extra exercise and enjoy the beautiful Miami sunset.
9 p.m. — The husband and I cook the shawarma together and sit down for a late dinner and this week's episode of 24, the show you love to hate. The meal is excellent.
Daily Total: $111.36

Day Two

7:45 a.m. — Time for breakfast. I pull some pre-sliced pineapple out of the fridge and toast up another piece of brioche. We're out of almond butter, so I eat it plain.
9 a.m. — I grab a free cup of tea at the office and get down to work. I've got a deposition scheduled later this afternoon, and I've had ideas spinning in my head all night about the best strategy to take.
1 p.m. — Leftover shawarma for lunch.
2:45 p.m. — Hello Fresh finally gets back to me about my complaints and offers to credit my account for the next two weeks' worth of groceries: $69 per week. I'm still not happy about this week's situation, but I'm willing to stick with the service long enough to forget about it.
5:45 p.m. — I'm in the middle of planning a birthday party for my husband in Vegas, and I'm shelling out the dough for show tickets for a group of us. I should be reimbursed for $400 of the $600...but I'm not holding my breath. $600
7:15 p.m. — Speaking of birthdays, tonight we're out for Indian food to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. The husband picks up our portion of the tab.
11:45 p.m. — One of my friends sends me the $200 she owes me for the Vegas show tickets via Venmo.
Daily Total: $400

Day Three

6 a.m. — My husband's cell phone starts ringing with urgent work calls that neither of us is ready to deal with. I make myself a Nespresso and a bowl of oatmeal and bring both with me back to bed. I check my work calendar to make sure I have nothing scheduled early, and I start responding to a few work emails from bed.
7 a.m. — I look up a bar deal my friends are buying in Vegas. It's a daytime pool party with a "Spring Break" theme. Sounds a little too much like the parts of home I already avoid. I pull up the pricing just to see: The event costs $20 for men and $10 for women. I roll my eyes, and close out the browser in disgust.
9:30 a.m. — Considering how early I was up, I somehow manage to arrive to work late after sitting in Miami traffic/construction/mass incompetence. I've already had my coffee for the day, but I make myself a cup of tea at work anyways.
11:15 a.m. — I get an email about an online sale at Intermix. I've been eyeing a shirt with an original retail price of $125. Last I looked, the shirt was on sale for $79, and I got as far as adding it to my shopping cart before I bailed. Today, I see that the shirt is an additional 30% off. $125 down to $55.30. Never pay retail! With tax and shipping, my total comes out to $69.88, but I'm feeling pretty good about my price-stalking. Sometimes it pays to be patient. $69.88
1:15 p.m. — It's my coworker's birthday, and my work section takes her out to a local seafood joint. I'm lucky to work in such a supportive environment. Three of us split the bill for four people. $55.25
5:30 p.m. — I realize my Plan A for this evening's dinner is still rotting in a delivery truck somewhere. I swing by Publix and grab some ground turkey, an onion, a zucchini, a spaghetti squash, and a jar of Rao's tomato sauce (the best!). I try to stay on task, but I also end up grabbing a new jar of almond butter and a birthday card for my husband's friend (the one whose birthday was last night) because it's just such an on-point card. $40.76
6 p.m. — My parents are visiting this weekend, and I see that our home hockey team is in town playing the Florida Panthers. My dad is a huge hockey fanatic, and my husband and I have been meaning to get to a game. Plus, I want my parents to have a little fun while they're in town. I pick up four tickets for Saturday night. $282.60
6:30 p.m. — Back to FlyBarre for the second class of the week.
9 p.m. — Dinner is served! We pull up my husband's Amazon Prime account that he got for work and watch a few episodes of our latest obsession, Justified.
Daily Total: $448.49

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — I woke up at 5 a.m., saw that it was still dark out, and stayed in bed another hour thinking about how I should probably get up and do something productive. Eventually, I fell back asleep. I wake up to my husband leaving the house for work. I make another bowl of oatmeal and a Nespresso. Before leaving the house, I make a lunch-meat-and-brioche sandwich and grab an apple for lunch. TGIF.
1:30 p.m. — Lunch in the office lunch room with coworkers, watching the rain fall down the windows outside.
7:32 p.m. — We use Postmates to order dinner from an amazing pizza place that is both difficult to reach and has a very small dining area. There are a lot of tourists in town this weekend for a music festival, so we're trying to lay low and avoid mass chaos. The husband had a rough work week and just wants to decompress in pajamas, which works for me. We get sucked into some true-crime series on A&E. $50.78
Daily Total: $50.78

Day Five

7 a.m. — I grab an apple and some almond butter for breakfast and do some work on my computer in bed.
8:30 a.m. — I sign my husband and I up for a charity walk in honor of one of my best friends' daughters, who was born with a genetic disease. We will both also probably make separate donations to the walk and try to do a little fundraising. We hope to travel to attend, but even if that's not possible, there are ways to show up without actually showing up for the people you care about. $40
9:30 a.m. — I hit up the FlyBarre. I realize I haven't been to Flywheel all week and that I'm gonna die tomorrow when my husband and I go to our usual Sunday class.
12 p.m. — We meet up with my parents at their hotel and take a walk around Miami Beach. We visit the free Miami Beach Botanical Garden and see a group of turtles sunbathing, a tree with naturally rainbow-colored bark, and a Japanese garden.
2 p.m. — We take my parents to a sidewalk café for lunch and pick up the tab for everyone. $82
7 p.m. — We drive to the hockey game. Parking costs $20, but my parents have the cash on hand to cover it. My husband buys himself two beers and a hot dog, and he buys me a bottle of water and a soft pretzel. He also buys my mom a bottle of water. My parents apparently snuck their own snacks into the arena...
Daily Total: $122

Day Six

8 a.m. — I eat another slice of brioche (starting t0 get stale) with almond butter for breakfast.
9:30 a.m. — My husband and I hit up a Flywheel class together. He scores exactly 100 points more than I do. Show-off.
10:30 a.m. — My husband hasn't eaten breakfast and wants to head to our local bakery on the way home. He buys two cookies and a breakfast pastry. As soon as we get home, we each eat a cookie.
12 p.m. — We take my parents to brunch at an organic restaurant. I have a quinoa-and-roasted-vegetable salad with a fried-egg-and-avocado purée, as well as steamed matcha-and-cashew milk. My parents pick up the tab.
2 p.m. — We drive my parents about an hour south to a fruit-and-spice park in Homestead. Admission is $8 per person, and I purchase all the tickets. My parents love trying the star apples, jackfruit, and ice cream beans and seeing all the fruit trees. $32
3:30 p.m. — While we're down in farmland, I fill up my car with gas for the week. It's way cheaper outside of the city. $32
3:45 p.m. — We stop for ice cream on the way home at a place that I've been meaning to try, but that is too far to drive to for just ice cream. My parents pay for our three kiddie cups and my husband's milkshake.
4 p.m. — My mom writes me a check to reimburse me for not just my parents' hockey tickets, but all of the hockey tickets. Score!
7:30 p.m. — We grab some Mexican food for a last dinner with my parents before they head home. We pick a place we can walk to, so there's no driving or parking to deal with. My husband drinks two margaritas at dinner and picks up the tab. His parent tolerance is running low.
9 p.m. — I'm pretty sure I couldn't eat another thing, but my dad wants to go to a macaroon store across the street. He doesn't want to be the only one eating a macaroon, so my husband and I reluctantly agree to try one as well. My dad pays for the three macaroons. My parents thank us for a great weekend, and we drop them off at their hotel.
9:15 p.m. — HOMELAND. This season is so, so, so, good.
Daily Total: $64

Day Seven

8 a.m. — Monday morning already? I head into the kitchen still half asleep and discover that my husband actually bought four cookies yesterday at the bakery, not two. Cookie for breakfast? Yup. It had peanut butter in it, so it sort of counts as protein.
9 a.m. — Free tea.
12:45 p.m. — I brought some leftover pizza and salad from Friday night's dinner for lunch. My husband is very anti-leftover, so I try to make use of whatever I can during the meals I eat without him.
4:30 p.m. — I head into the office kitchen for another cup of tea, but somehow end up leaving with a cup of hot chocolate, instead. This is what happens when you start your day with a cookie.
5:30 p.m. — My husband has to work late, so I pick up a prescription for him and grab a jar of Advil while there. Last time, we went cheap and bought some generic ibuprofen liquid gels, which mostly burst. We were picking the pills off the sides of the jar, where they were stuck in pools of some kind of petroleum jelly-like substance from inside the pills. I'm only buying the real stuff from now on. I do pick up a package with a $1 coupon attached to it, which the cashier applies at checkout. $16.49
6 p.m. — I am intending to go to our local supermarket, which is relatively cheap, but my right foot has some kind of Freudian complex and drives right past it to the upscale organic market. Inside, I buy two boxes of gluten-free granola bars, a box of gluten-free cookies, raspberries, mango-coconut chia pouches, and a bottle of white wine for tonight's dinner. $38.32
6:30 p.m. — I unload all the groceries, which inevitably turns into cleaning out my fridge. I decide to keep the brioche in the freezer to make bread pudding. I end up throwing away two types of cheese that have turned green, the now eight-day-old lunch meat, leftovers from Thursday night's dinner, and some sour cream I find that expired last month. We tend to do a little better with the leftover situation when we don't have guests in town, but I'm not going to pretend that this isn't pretty normal.
7 p.m. — Hello Fresh has arrived! Thank goodness, because if I had to figure out how to make dinner with what we currently have on hand, it would've been a serious win for Postmates.
7:30 p.m. — I throw in a load of laundry that doesn't need to go in the dryer. In the Florida humidity, it's probably going to take the next three days to dry in my living room. $2.25
9 p.m. — Wasabi-lime salmon with white wine is served!
Daily Total: $57.06
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