A Week In Minneapolis, MN, On A $68,888 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: an HR business partner who makes $68,888 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on a "fiesta" bowl.
Occupation: Human Resources Business Partner
Industry: Telecommunications
Age: 34
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Salary: $68,888
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,783
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,260, including property taxes and insurance. (My boyfriend pays $600.)
Student Loan Payment: $240
401(k): $316. (6% of my income.)
Medical, Vision & Dental Insurance: $88, pretax
Sling TV App: $22
Phone Bill: $50. (I'm on a family plan with my parents and boyfriend.)
Car Insurance: $80
Utilities: ~$250
UNICEF Donation: $7

Day One

8 a.m. — I wake up feeling lazy, so I grab a cup of coffee and relax while watching Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. I've been hooked on cooking shows lately, even though I would never bother to make any of the recipes. I finally get up and make breakfast: eggs, garlic rosemary potatoes, and toast for my boyfriend and me. I'm not usually a big breakfast eater, but I'm hungry today. Then I get myself ready for the day and run errands.
12:15 p.m. — I spent most of the day yesterday working on our house, and need to get a few things to tie together the bathroom I just painted. The house is from the 1920s and I love the charm its age brings, but one downfall is the super tiny bathrooms. First stop is HomeGoods to find a new shower curtain. I don't find one I like, but I pick up new kitchen towels ($10), a utensil holder ($9.99), and a shower curtain liner ($5.99). Next stop is a little Mexican place close to my house that makes amazing guacamole ($3.02). We're going to a friend's place later and I'm bringing chips and guac. $29
1 p.m. — Next, I stop by Target and score a curtain on sale ($7.48), plus a few groceries, including a bag of Sour Patch Kids ($15.78). $23.26
4:55 p.m. — Arrive at my friend's home, which is about 20 minutes away. It's beautiful, but something about a neighborhood where all the houses are identical except for their varying shades of beige kinda creeps me out. I have a good time seeing friends, drinking a few Coors Lights, and stuffing my face with queso.
Daily Total: $52.26

Day Two

7:01 a.m. — Woke up a bit late this morning after hitting snooze too many times. Quickly get in the shower, get ready, and make a quick smoothie of frozen cherries, half a banana, almond and coconut milk, and a bit of organic yogurt. It's delish! Pack that to bring along to work, feed the pup, and head out the door. I have a half hour commute in, so I finish my coffee on the road.
11:35 a.m. — Lunch is being catered today and I wander down to find food. I get a house salad, fruit, and a roll — I don't know who picked the restaurant but the food is terrible. As predicted, I'm starving by 2 p.m. But, hey, it was free.
5 p.m. — I make a quick payment on my credit card before leaving the office ($142). I try to use credit cards for almost all purchases and then pay my entire balance each month. It feels safer than using my debit card, and I like the bonus of getting points and cash back. My commute home is annoying and takes longer than usual. I'm really hungry when I get home and immediately inhale leftover chicken tacos with cilantro lime rice. YUM. I take the pup for a walk, watch a few episodes of Chopped, and crash by 10:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:50 a.m. — Wake up, shower, grab coffee, and get ready for the day. I make a smoothie and feed the pup before heading out the door. Arrive at work just before 8:30 and start going through emails. I have a meeting right at noon, so I heat up my leftover chicken and rice to eat at my desk a little early today.
4:38 p.m. — Leave the office and go to a friend's birthday dinner. We're meeting at a Russian restaurant in St. Paul, so it's a bit of a trek. On my way, I buy a nice bottle of sparkling wine ($33) from a nearby wine shop. I arrive 15 minutes late per usual, but no one minds. I order a Moscow Mule and chicken Kiev for dinner ($38). It's tasty and the portion is huge, so I plan to bring half home. I have a great time and get to try a new place, which I love to do. $71
8:50 p.m. — Back at home, my boyfriend is finally replacing the light in the bathroom. (We've had to use a lamp for the past few days.) We also decide to change the fan — the joys of home renovation never end!
Daily Total: $71

Day Four

7:50 a.m. — Finally roll out of bed feeling a little tired. Luckily I'm working from home today, so I don't have to venture out into the cold. I'm over this winter and ready for warmer weather. I make myself a smoothie and a cup of coffee and get to work. I check my personal email and notice an email from my doctor's office letting me know about a bill I need to pre-pay, which catches me by surprise a little. I'm going through IVF and recently had my egg retrieval, but I ended up having to freeze all the eggs due to being overstimulated. I wasn't expecting an extra cost for that, so I'm feeling a little bummed out. The process has been pretty intense, physically and financially. I make the payment so we can schedule the frozen transfer and send an email to the business office. $2,750
1 p.m. — I heat up my leftovers for lunch today and they're a little dry. Blah. Later, I take a quick break and walk the dog. Not my favorite things to do when its 15 degrees out, but it's not as bad as I anticipated.
5:30 p.m. — Boyfriend gets home and brings groceries. I usually do the cooking but he's in charge tonight. Steak, potatoes, and veggies are on the menu. He's not the greatest of cooks, but I appreciate the effort. We relax after dinner and I'm in bed by 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $2,750

Day Five

6:55 a.m. — Roll out of bed and start my usual routine. I remind myself to look for a fan replacement with a light because it felt a little dark in the shower this morning. I make a smoothie and drink my coffee while I get ready.
8:20 a.m. — Go through my pending items for the day at work. I have a long meeting at 9 that ends early (yay!), so I'll have a little more time to work on other projects. I take a minute to make a quick payment on my Nordstrom card ($187). I bought a new Rebecca Minkoff laptop bag on sale last month. I'm trying to get better about spending on things I want versus need, and this was a little slip up. $187
12:20 p.m. — A coworker asks if I want to grab lunch; since I didn't bring anything with me today, I'm game. We end up at Crisp & Green, which I haven't tried before. I get the fiesta bowl with chicken, black beans, avocado, peppers and brown rice. The bowl is good and large, so I save almost half for tomorrow. $12.51
1:30 p.m. — Back at work, I remember it was my mom's birthday earlier this week. I Venmo my sister my half of the cost of our gift to her. $33
5:45 p.m. — Get home from work and make dinner: pasta with chicken, capers, and artichokes. I make pasta often because its so easy and I love it. Chat with the boyfriend about a call I had with my doctor's office. I'm so over this IVF process and just want it to be done. I drink a glass of wine and we relax watching the Wild hockey game (they lose). I'm in bed by 10:30.
Daily Total: $232.51

Day Six

6:25 a.m. — TGIF! I'm up a little earlier than usual today because I have an early meeting, at least a half hour away. I arrive right on time and work from there until about noon. I decide not to go into the office and work from home for the rest of the day. I swing by the car wash on my way back, which I've been putting off for too long. My SUV is covered in salt and dirt. I wait in line for roughly 30 minutes but in the end it's worth it. I was starting to forget what color my vehicle was! $11
6 p.m. — My sisters swing by my house at 6 p.m. because we're going to a visitation for my aunt's ex-husband, who just passed. I haven't seen him in many years but we want to show support for the family. We bring a card and I contribute money. $10
8 p.m. — The event is nice and afterwards, we're hungry, so we go to a bar to meet up with friends and grab a snack. We end up at one of my fave places on Eat Street. I get two Summit EPAs and French fries. Afterwards, we swing by a pinball bar and I play a few games. I'm terrible, so I give away my extra tokens ($2). $17
10:45 p.m. — I'm tired and and grab an Uber home. Pretty much go straight to bed at 11. $10.88
Daily Total: $48.88

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — Saturday morning! I love lazy weekend mornings and I'm feeling extra lazy today. I spend a good part of the morning snuggling with my pup and drinking coffee. At 10:30 a.m., I finally get up to make breakfast. My boyfriend is working on the house, so I make us eggs and breakfast potatoes. Then it's back under the blankets on this freezing cold morning to go shopping online. I'm looking for storage cabinets and a new vanity for my bathroom. Nothing is really doing it for me, and it doesn't help that my options are limited because my bathroom is so small. I also look on Google Flights for weekend trip ideas. I'm dying to get out of this miserable weather and I need sun! It's mostly wishful thinking, though, as I likely won't have time in between upcoming work trips.
5 p.m. — I spend the rest of the day cleaning my house and attempting to clean out my closet (rather unsuccessfully). We get sushi for dinner and order our usual spicy tuna, California roll, and shrimp tempura to-go from a little place by our house that we love. I also get the green curry with shrimp because I love having leftovers and their curry is so good and spicy. My boyfriend picks up the food and pays, and we spend the rest of the evening drinking wine and watching hockey.
Daily Total: $0
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