A Week In Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, On $24/Hour

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.
Last month, we looked at severalMoney Diaries from moms leading up to the beginning of the back-to-school season: One mother had older childrenwho were increasingly independent; another mom was a graduate student on active duty in the military; and another diary featured a stay-at-home mom with twins starting preschool.
This week, we're taking another look at scholastic Money Diaries — this time from college and graduate students. Today: a law student and clerk who makes $24/hour and spends it on Aveda shampoo and a nail file for her pet bird.
Occupation: Law Clerk & Third-Year Law Student
Industry: Commercial Real Estate
Age: 25
Location: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Salary: $24/hour. My husband earns $16/hour.
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,300. When I work full-time during the summer, I take home about $1,300 per check. My husband and I share accounts, so his check (2x/month) is $1,100.
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $1,500 for a three-bedroom duplex right off the Mississippi. We chose this location when we moved from Wisconsin so I'd be close to school and my husband had easy access to the main highway to get to his job. We rent just the upper unit of a home and have no roommates (unless you count our dog, three cats, and bird).
Loan Payments: $83 per month for the husband's. He went to technical college so his loans were approximately $8,000 when he graduated. Once I am done with school, we plan to pay his off as soon as possible because I have approximately $125,000 in loans from undergrad and law school to pay off. Anytime either of us works overtime, we contribute to my loans, which generally works out to $1,000 per year.
CarPayment: $165, but we try to pay $200
All Other Monthly Expenses
Utilities: Generally $75/month for heating, cooling, and electric. All other utilities are included in our rent.
Cell Phone: $50 to my mom and stepdad. We still share a plan.
Health Insurance: $122 to cover both of us on the most basic plan ever
Savings: $200 to our general account; $500 from my earnings to our “Saving for a Home” account and $190 to my IRA (employer matches).
Spotify: $15 for my husband and me
Netflix: $10
HBO: $15
Apple Storage: $2.99
Gym: $0. My best friend from law school is an instructor at a local yoga studio and I am her plus one.
Metro Pass: I can get a pass for $90 through school. The one I am currently using was bought over a month ago and it's still good; it has already paid for itself.

More from Work & Money


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.