A Week In Minneapolis, MN, On A $60,000 Salary

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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, as part of Your Spending In Your State: a recruiter who makes $60,000 per year. This week, she spends some of her money on bowling with friends.
Occupation: Recruiter
Industry: Staffing
Age: 27
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Salary: $60,000 plus ~$1,000/month in commission
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,689
Monthly Expenses
Housing Costs: $812. I live in a townhouse in Northeast Minneapolis with two roommates.
Student Loan Payments: $403. My parents also contribute $200/month.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Car Payment: $250 for my leased car
Credit Card: ~$300. I'm trying to quickly pay off a balance of $1,000.
Health Insurance: $128.52
401(k): $354.98
HSA: $50, and my employer matches.
Apple Music: $10.99, although I've been thinking about switching to Spotify.
Donations: $37.87. I donate monthly to an environmental organization to offset my carbon footprint. They have a calculator to figure out how much you impact the environment. I also donate $20/month to Planned Parenthood.
Savings: $1,000. I'm aggressively saving (usually my entire commission check) because I'll be a full-time intern for the better part of a year in 2018.

Day One

9:30 a.m. — I slept in this morning and it feels amazing. Slowly meander downstairs and make myself a latte with almond milk and my breakfast staple: oatmeal with peanut butter, bananas, and pomegranate seeds. It's so good! One of my roommates is also up and we start an episode of The Sinner. We started watching last week and can't stop. It's a great crime thriller that is full of twists and turns.
12 p.m. — Having a lazy day and the roommate and I decide to do a puzzle. We venture out to Target and pick up a Christmas-themed, 1,000-piece puzzle. She buys and I'll Venmo her for half, or pick up the next puzzle. (Minnesota winters tend to cause a lot of shut-in weekend days.) I pick up popcorn kernels because we're out and we make popcorn all the time. When I get home, I reheat the lentil soup I've been eating all week. $3.29
3 p.m. — Finished a few more episodes of The Sinner and we've completed the outer edge of the puzzle. My other roommate is home after a night out and he joins.
7 p.m. — We're going out with a few friends tonight and we stop by a local grocery store to pick up frozen pizzas and beer. I buy the pizzas and my roommate buys the beer. $10
7:30 p.m. — We watch the Badgers vs. Ohio State game at my friend's house while we get ready to go out. This is one of my favorite groups to get together with, and it's always a guaranteed good time. We sneak in a couple of whiskey shots.
10:30 p.m. — We head out to a dive karaoke bar in our neighborhood. We've been regulars here for the past five years and it's one of the best spots in NE. It's packed so we can't find a table and opt for the bar instead. We order a round of drinks and a round of “Vegas Bomb” shots and we all toss in cash to cover. It looks like it's going to be an hour and a half wait to get in for karaoke so we decide to move on. $20
11:15 p.m. — We head to another great dive bar that's only a few blocks away. We split a few more pitchers of beer and nachos. My roommate throws the drinks and food on her card — she'll send out a Venmo for my portion later. We finish the night at a fun dance spot down the block. They're playing a fun mix of 90s/early 2000s pop which is the best to dance to. I cover the Lyft home. $6.97
Daily Total: $40.26

Day Two

9 a.m. — Definitely feeling the effects of last night, I crawl out of bed and make myself a latte. We watch last night's episode of SNL and agree that the night got a little out of hand. I put an egg on top of an English muffin with a little avocado — just what my hangover needs.
12 p.m. — More episodes of The Sinner and the puzzle. I don't have a lot of grad school homework this weekend so I'm okay with taking it easy. Next weekend, I have a huge project due so I won't have much downtime. I heat up leftover rice pilaf I have in the fridge from last week.
5 p.m. — We finished the puzzle and The Sinner; I'd consider that a productive day. It's a “use up what's in the fridge” kind of day, so I make myself an egg salad using the last of my groceries. My roommate Venmos me for my portion of last night's drinks and food. $24.88
8:30 p.m. — I finish up some homework that I've been putting off all weekend. I'm getting my MA online part-time to become a school counselor and it usually involves a lot of online discussions. I crawl into bed early and fall asleep faster than normal probably thanks to the late night last night.
Daily Total: $24.88

Day Three

7 a.m. — It's a struggle to get up this morning, especially with the dreary day outside. It's been unseasonably warm and it's supposed to rain today, which is unheard of for December in Minnesota. I make myself a latte to try and wake up a bit.
8:10 a.m. — I head into work (a few minutes late) and respond to missed emails from the weekend while I eat my oatmeal. I usually keep breakfast ingredients in the fridge and at my desk so I always have food on hand for the morning. It's going to be a busy day; I have a full day of interviews with candidates scheduled. I like meeting with people and it helps the day go by faster.
9:30 a.m. — My roommate and I talk about going to The Disaster Artist tonight. We're big into Oscar season and try to see all of the movies that are getting Oscar buzz. It's showing at Uptown Theater and probably won't go to wide-release so I buy us two tickets ahead of time. $22
12 p.m. — Lunchtime! I usually eat with my team and we have a café in our building that does soups, salads, sandwiches etc. It's perfect for days like today where I'm running low on groceries. I end up ordering a grilled cheese sandwich and fruit. I tend to eat much healthier when I don't eat out, oh well. $5.57
4 p.m. — Head home for the day. I'm definitely glad the Monday workday is over. I do homework and reheat more lentil soup. I've been eating this for six days but I still have a lot left. Figuring out portions for one person can be a struggle sometimes.
7:15 p.m. — Head to the movie with my roommate and I buy us popcorn to share. This is one of my favorite theaters to see movies at and this movie does not disappoint! James Franco gives quite the performance and we're laughing out loud for the entire movie. Highly recommend! $7
10:30 p.m. — Home and in bed. I fall asleep to an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, my guilty pleasure. I think they're pretty funny.
Daily Total: $34.57

Day Four

6:45 a.m. — I wake up today to a handful of text messages from my coworkers and my boss. It rained and snowed all last night and the temps are now below freezing, so the roads will be pretty unsafe. Because of that, most people are working from home. I don't live far from the office so I decide to go in.
8:30 a.m. — It took me an additional 30 minutes to get to work (a lot for my short commute) and I'm one of the only people in the office. I actually have a lot to do and have a very productive morning because there is no one around to chat with or be distracted by. I'm not super hungry so I grab a few Wasa crackers I have in my desk and top them with avocado.
11:45 a.m. — I'm starving at this point and decide to order from Urban Sub because they deliver. I get my favorite vegetarian wrap, which is super delicious. I try to eat meat-free during the week unless I go out. I browse my favorite daily news sites while I eat and am thoroughly enjoying the office being so quiet. $10.16
2 p.m. — I decide to go home to avoid the evening traffic because the roads are still pretty bad. The ride home is treacherous and I'm glad to finish the day from the warmth of my living room. I got paid today, so I transfer $1,000 into my savings account. I get a commission check once a month and I've been putting it all away for when I'm a full-time intern next year. I'll be unemployed for the better part of a year, so I've been saving for a while now.
4 p.m. — My roommates are busy tonight, which is good because I have errands to run. I'm completely out of food and I'd usually go to Trader Joe's, but there isn't one near the other places I have to stop. I settle for Cub and get stuff for curry: chickpeas, zucchini, onion, sweet potatoes, garlic, coconut curry sauce and rice, as well as English muffins and avocados for breakfast. $32.13
4:30 p.m. — I head over to Target to grab Christmas candy, more Christmas lights, and some of my skincare and makeup necessities. Last stop is Home Depot to look at Christmas trees. We don't have room for a big one, and they don't have many real little ones, so I settle on a five-foot fake tree that's pretty cute. Checked a lot of my list tonight! $82.91
6:30 p.m. — I head home and make the curry; it's hearty, delicious and a nice break from the lentil soup. One of my roommates comes home and we spend time listening to Christmas tunes and decorating our townhouse. I love this time of year and how festive the weather makes it feel.
8:30 p.m. — We watch last night's episode of The Voice on Hulu and make popcorn. I crawl into bed around 10.
Daily Total: $125.20

Day Five

8 a.m. — The roads are much better today. I'm less busy this morning at work. I start the day off with an English muffin topped with avocado and a cup of coffee. I'm a creature of habit and never really get sick of avocado toast or oatmeal.
11:30 a.m. — My company likes to be pretty festive around the holidays which is always fun. Today, over lunch, we watch Home Alone in a conference room. I heat up leftover chickpea curry and snack on the popcorn and cookies that someone brought in for the movie.
4:30 p.m. — Head home and finish an assignment that is due today. Luckily, it's a lighter assignment and doesn't take much time at all. I usually have two, four-credit classes each quarter, but one of my classes ended after six weeks instead of 10. The lighter workload is just what I need closer to the holidays.
7:30 p.m. — My roommate volunteers at U.S. Bank Stadium during Vikings games and they're doing a volunteer holiday appreciation event tonight where he can invite a few guests. They're showing Elf on the big screens and everyone sets up on blankets picnic style on the field. The vendors are selling select items for a reduced price, so I grab a hot dog and eat some of the complimentary popcorn and water. $1.50
10:30 p.m. — Go home and to bed. I haven't had a chance to visit U.S. Bank Stadium since it was built so it was fun to walk around and explore the stadium and toss around the football.
Daily Total: $1.50

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — I get up to shower and find my roommate beat me to the bathroom. The only annoying thing about living with roommates is the timing of getting ready in the morning, and that I share my bathroom with a guy. Oh well. I make a latte in the meantime.
8 a.m. — I get into work and there is a hot chocolate bar set up in the break room. I help myself to a coffee/hot chocolate mixture and make an English muffin with almond butter. I have interviews until lunch so it will be a busy morning.
12 p.m. — For lunch, I heat up my leftover chickpea curry and eat in the café downstairs with my coworkers. I welcome the much-needed break. When I get back, I send out an email about supplies we need for our holiday volunteering event. We're donating necessity baskets to an organization that helps homeless youth and I'm glad to be leading the efforts.
5 p.m. — I run to grab happy hour with a couple of girlfriends. I normally wouldn't be out every night, especially considering my school workload, but it seems like everyone tries to catch up before the holidays and I try to make time for friends I haven't seen in a while. We go to a new spot, in my neighborhood which was converted from an old strip club. I have a signature rum cocktail and a glass of white wine. We split small plates of crispy rice, mango salad, and egg rolls. The food was really good and I can't wait to come back for dinner sometime. $26.88
7:30 p.m. — My roommate and I say our goodbyes and head to a friend's place for dinner. My friend and his girlfriend invited us over and we couldn't pass up the opportunity for someone to cook for us. I grab beers from our fridge for us to share. The couple lives in our neighborhood and we get together often. It's such a good time; they made us an amazing veggie curry with naan.
9:20 p.m. — Go home, glad to be climbing into bed. I feel a cold coming on and I probably need a decent night's sleep.
Daily Total: $26.88

Day Seven

6:40 a.m. — Unfortunately, I was right. I wake up congested and feeling a little off. I pop a DayQuil before I head to work and make sure to drink a ton of water.
8 a.m. — I stop by the convenience store downstairs to grab Emergen-C. It's more expensive than running to a drug store, but you pay for convenience. I buy three packets for the next few days to hopefully knock this cold out. $3.27
11:30 a.m. — Grabbing lunch today with an old coworker and a few of my current coworkers. I haven't seen her in a few months and it's nice to catch up. We go to Cooper's, which is close to my office and has great lunch specials. We split pub pretzels and spinach and artichoke dip, and each get a lunch special. Nice way to break up a Friday! $23.89
7 p.m. — My roommates and I have been planning to go bowling at one of our favorite spots for a while now. It's definitely not a family bowling kind of place, and the drinks are usually flowing. A few other friends meet us and we have dinner before we bowl. We grab a bunch of bar apps to share and I'm digging the cheese curds; we also split a few pitchers of beer. My friend grabs the bill — which he does not need to do! — so my roommates and I whisper and plan to cover bowling for everyone.
8:30 p.m. — We bowl two games and have a blast. We also finish off a few more pitchers of beer and a couple of shots that were initially intended for the losing teams, but we all partake. My roommates and I covered bowling and the group splits the drinks. $53.68
11 p.m. — We head over to another karaoke spot that's a lot of fun. I don't usually sing, but my friends are pretty entertaining to watch. I'm definitely enjoying tonight, although I'm sure I'll regret the drinks in the morning considering my oncoming cold. I'll be shut-in the rest of the weekend completing a final project so I don't mind having a little fun tonight!
Daily Total: $80.84
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