A Week In New York City On A $55,000 Salary

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Today: a paralegal working in legal who makes $55,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on tea.
Occupation: Paralegal
Industry: Legal
Age: 23
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $55,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,537
Monthly Side Hustle Income: I make anywhere from $100 to $300 from mystery shopping, and $100 to $400 from content editing. It tends to vary a lot by season, though, and usually the total from both is in the $200 to $500 range.
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $900 for my share. My ex-boyfriend, who I currently still live with (see more on this below), pays $1,200.
Student Loan Payment: $50
Medical & Dental Insurance: $0 (I am on my dad's insurance.)
MetroCard: $121 for unlimited monthly card
Utilities: ~$50 for my share, which includes electricity and internet
Cell Phone: $75
Donations: $50 to a local Humane Society
Gym: $0 (I got a free year-long membership through mystery shopping.)
AMC Stubs A-List: $19.99
Tidal: $14.99
HBO Go: $7.50 (My ex and I split this.)
Roth IRA: $300 (My current employer doesn't offer a 401(k), so I make the max annual contribution to my Roth IRA. I have $10,000 in it right now.)
Savings: $700 (I have $20,000 in a two-year CD. I also have a $10,000 emergency fund in a high-yield savings account, and about $500 invested with Robinhood just for fun.)
Travel Fund: $400 (I have $1,600 in it right now.)

Day One

7:45 a.m. — I awake to the sound of A. leaving for work. With a sinking feeling, I remember that he is now my ex. We broke up a few days ago after three and a half years together and four months into a new lease. I wasn't really expecting it, but it also needed to happen. I'm still getting used to the idea, and am trying to figure out what to do about the apartment. He said he's perfectly fine with riding out the lease, since moving out would be very costly for us both. The thought of staying is weird, but so is the thought of moving out.
8 a.m. — I'm up and getting dressed for work. I have a pretty easy commute, and I'm not a breakfast person, so I get to sleep in relatively late. After throwing on some tinted moisturizer and mascara (my makeup routine is down to five minutes ever since I got my brows microbladed — would highly recommend!), I'm out the door by 8:30.
8:55 a.m. — I pass a pair of dirty women's underwear on the ground at the subway station where I transfer. I love New York!
9:10 a.m. — The train was running slow and local, so it takes me longer than usual to get to the office. Most of the attorneys don't get here until 10, so it doesn't really matter exactly when I get in as long as it's before 9:45. But I usually like to get here earlier to get a head start on the day without any interruptions. I make a Mandarin tea using the office's Keurig and settle in at my desk.
11 a.m. — After powering through some basic organizational tasks, I take some time to work on a coding project. My workload varies wildly depending on my cases, but I normally have a lot of down time. My bosses are very laid-back, and they don't mind if I work on side projects when I have nothing else to do. Lately, I've been brushing up my coding skills. As much as I like the people here, I'm not as interested in the practice of law as I thought I was going to be, so I've decided not to go to law school. That was my plan since I was 15, so it was a big decision to make and I'm still adjusting to it. I'm thinking about moving into the tech sector, and although I don't want an engineering role, I enjoy coding and want to improve.
12:35 p.m. — Time for lunch! The main perk of my job is that lunch in the building's café is free. I grab some tuna and salmon nigiri, a side salad, berries, and an Ito En jasmine tea. The other paralegals and I chat about office drama.
1:30 p.m. — I handle a minor but ridiculous graphic design crisis after we return from lunch. Since it's a small office, the paralegals get to wear many hats. Some days that's a good thing, but today, not so much.
5:15 p.m. — We all head out a bit early since it's been a slow day. I hop on the subway using my monthly pass to meet my best friend, L., for happy hour. Once we're at the bar, we get two drinks each while catching up on each other's weekends. She generously covers my drinks.
7:30 p.m. — Another friend of ours wants to meet up, so we both walk back to my place after happy hour to change. I pick up some Amazon packages on the way in — supplies for the Caribbean cruise A. and I were supposed to be taking in a few days. His timing really sucks. It's with my sister and her girlfriend, though, so I'll still have fun without him.
8:30 p.m. — L. and I meet up with our friend at a somewhat divey bar in Hell's Kitchen. He insists we order frozen mojitos and tequila shots. We swap dating horror stories, and I feel better. $24
10:30 p.m. — We decide some food is in order, and stop at a nearby diner. I get a grilled cheese and curly fries, with ranch, of course. By the end of the meal, we're tired and a bit drunk, so we just split the bill three ways. $21
12 a.m. — I get a call from a friend as I'm walking out of the subway. I fill her in on what happened with A. as I walk home, since she's out of town at the moment. She's incredibly comforting, as always. I'm so glad I have such great friends to rely on. I chat with her on the stoop for a few more minutes before going inside, since I know A. is asleep already and I don't want to wake him. After a quick shower, I do my nightly “routine” of just one step. I have super, super sensitive skin that reacts badly to a ton of stuff, so all I can do is slap on some prescription moisturizer and call it a day. Then I get into bed and quickly pass out.
Daily Total: $45

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I awake again to the sound of A. leaving. I try to fall back asleep but am unsuccessful, so I get up. After my quick routine, I'm out the door. I stop by the mailbox and am happy to discover that one of my mystery shopping paychecks has arrived.
9:10 a.m. — The train is slow again today, so I get in a bit later than usual. I grab a bottle of water from the office kitchen, since I feel a strong need to hydrate after last night. I settle in at my desk and check my Robinhood account before getting started on some case law research.
11 a.m. — I get a lead on a new editing job, and I spend some time researching the company. I'm surprised to see that the rate is about a fifth of my usual — maybe the projects are much quicker? I apply anyway, since if it turns out that I have to move soon, I'll need all the extra income I can get.
12:30 p.m. — I head down to lunch in the café with my coworkers. I get an Ito En tea with arugula salad, some fruit, and a few fried green beans because I couldn't resist. We discuss my living situation, and they are adamant that I move out ASAP. Sigh.
3 p.m. — I finish prepping trial materials and take a few minutes to review my monthly expenses and cash flow. With my three different side hustles, money comes in erratically throughout the month, so I spend a fair amount of time keeping track of it all. I don't take the extra income into account when I make my monthly budget, since I don't want to rely on it. Instead, I transfer whatever's leftover in my checking account into savings at the end of the month (in addition to my pre-budgeted savings). I'm happy to see that I can probably save about $500 extra this month.
4:45 p.m. — Done with work for the day, so I browse apartment listings on StreetEasy for a bit. I see some cute studios within my budget — they're certainly much more than I pay now, but I can technically afford them if I reduce my savings and travel budgets. On principle, I'm not crazy about the idea of spending more than a third of my take-home pay on rent. I get that this is New York and it's not unusual to pay more, but some of these are over 40% of my current take-home, which is too much.
5:10 p.m. — Most of my office has left already due to the Jewish holiday, so I leave a bit early to meet a friend for a mac and cheese happy hour in Flatiron. $13
6:30 p.m. — After dinner, we grab tea at a nearby coffee shop and talk about her job — she works at an startup that's currently hiring. The work sounds interesting, and she says she really enjoys it, so I'll think about applying. $4
7 p.m. — The weather has cleared up, so I suck it up and walk the three avenues to the train. When I get home, I pick up some packages: more supplies for the cruise (biodegradable sunscreen, etc.) and a new Alexander McQueen cardholder to replace my old one, which is falling apart. A. gets home shortly after, and we have a brief but civil — even friendly — conversation about our respective days. He tells me he's decided to go to his hometown for a few days while I'm on the cruise. I agree that it's a good idea. Taking some time to regroup away from the city will be helpful for us both.
10 p.m. — I search for jobs while watching a few episodes of the new season of The Great British Bake Off. I see a few promising opportunities — ones I actually might be qualified for — but I'm a bit nervous about the prospect of leaving my current job sooner than I'd anticipated. Even though I'm not ready to apply to anything just yet, I still save some postings. Then it's 30 minutes of teeth whitening strips, a quick shower, and off to bed.
Daily Total: $17

Day Three

5:30 a.m. — I'm awakened by A. getting up to test the A/C. It wasn't working when I went to bed, and he's been tossing and turning all night, which was making it hard for me to sleep. The A/C is working again, but I'm awake now, and my brain decides it's time to dwell on stressful things.
8 a.m. — I manage to fall asleep for about 45 minutes before my alarm goes off. I can't bring myself to care about my appearance today, so I do my morning routine faster than usual, and am out the door in 20 minutes.
8:50 a.m. — The trains actually worked today, so I arrive at the office at my normal time for the first time this week. After grabbing some water from the kitchen, I settle in at my desk and notice that the tickets to the Leon Bridges concert that A. and I were supposed to attend have sold. The email says I'll get the money in five business days.
10 a.m. — Today is a Jewish holiday, so I expect work to be extremely slow today. I do a few quick organizational tasks and have basically finished my work for the day. I take a minute to pay off my credit cards, since Friday is payday. I have four credit cards — my original starter card I got five years ago, a great general rewards card, a dining and travel rewards card, and a high signup bonus card. I rarely use the first one; I just put a few charges on it every few months to keep it active, since while I have a high credit score, my average account age is low due to my newer cards. Right now, I'm primarily using the high bonus card since I have to meet the minimum spend by November. I was planning to use the credits on airfare for a Greece trip with A. next summer, but now, who knows.
12:30 p.m. — There are literally three people in the office today, so I'm annoyed we didn't just get the day off. Luckily, one of the partners tells me I can leave early. I do a quick research project for him until lunch. I get an arugula salad, some berries, and a dollop of hummus with an Ito En. My coworker and I discuss his nightmare roommates, and I'm reminded of how very much I don't want to live with strangers again. (I had a very bad experience before living with A.)
1:30 p.m. — After lunch, I work on my résumé, retooling it so I can have a version for each type of job I plan to apply to. I spend another hour or so perusing AngelList. I see more incredible opportunities, which is encouraging but also makes me feel a bit pressured time-wise. I force the stressful thoughts aside so I can turn to some coding.
3 p.m. — I'm free! I decide to run across the street to Sephora to pick up a concealer that actually matches my skin tone. I rarely repurchase products (there's just so much to try!), but this time I go back to Urban Decay Naked Skin. It's thick, which I like, but doesn't give me milia (those annoying little flesh-colored bumps) like other rich formulas do. $13
4 p.m. — After an insanely slow trip uptown, I'm finally off the train. I head into a nail salon close-ish to my apartment for a pre-cruise pedicure and gel manicure. They tell me the wait is half an hour, but I like this place since they include a free Baby Foot-style foot peel with a pedicure, so I wait. I don't get pedicures too often, but I always have my fingernails done. I think it's something to do with the fact that I wasn't allowed to wear nail polish until I was 18 (Catholic schools, smh). $68
6:10 p.m. — Two whole hours later, I emerge with peach-pink nails. As I walk home, a random man decides to walk beside me and sing/shout “Sweet Dreams” at me. I've lived here for over a year and am still not quite used to the constant barrage of street harassment.
8 p.m. — While waiting for my nails to dry fully, I have a Wallaby peach Greek yogurt. I don't have much of an appetite today, so I probably won't eat a full dinner. Afterwards, I head to the gym. There's been a lot going on this week, and I'm pretty mentally and physically exhausted, so I'll probably only make it to the gym twice. Normally, I try to go three to four times a week.
9:30 p.m. — I'm home, showered, and settled on the couch with a glass of wine from my Winc delivery (this is my first shipment — not sure how I feel about it yet). A. gets home, and we chat a bit. I'm conscious of new boundaries as we talk, but it feels very normal. We watch the first episode of the (very terrible) new Jack Ryan series before going to bed.
Daily Total: $81

Day Four

8:10 a.m. — I get up after hitting snooze once. I try the new concealer, and it's still a bit too yellow for my skin tone. Sigh.
9:10 a.m. — The train was both horrifically slow and horribly crowded today. I get into the office and give one of the admins the receipt from a client lunch to expense. Then I grab some water from the kitchen and settle in.
9:40 a.m. — I check Southwest and notice their prices have gone down for the New Orleans flight I've been looking at. I buy the ticket using my credit card. I'll transfer the money from my travel savings account later. $240
11:10 a.m. — I check my email and see emails from two of my main retail weaknesses: ThirdLove and Reformation. ThirdLove has restocked their lace plunge bra in my size! I'm a 30G, so bra shopping tends to be a struggle. I like that ThirdLove has extended sizing, including half sizing, and their products are gorgeous and so high-quality. (I swear I don't work for them.) As for Reformation, they've released a new line of alpaca sweaters, and I love fall and am a sucker for a cozy sweater. I browse but I don't buy anything. I like to keep things on a wishlist for a month or so, and if I still want them, I'll budget for and buy them. But I suspect I won't want this $250 sweater in a month.
12:35 p.m. — Lunchtime! Probably because of my failure to eat dinner yesterday, I'm feeling the need for carbs, so I get a vegetable quesadilla and Ito En.
2 p.m. — I get a new case and spent the rest of my workday reviewing the materials.
5 p.m. — My boss comes to my desk to discuss holiday scheduling. I get the days I wanted for Thanksgiving, so I book that flight (on my card, with the money to be transferred from my travel fund later). He also generously gives me another Friday in December so I can fly to San Francisco for my sister's college graduation. But the majority of my office doesn't celebrate Christmas, so he only wants to give me Christmas Eve and Christmas — meaning I'd have to fly home from California on Christmas night. I gratefully accept the other days for now and decide to bring up the Christmas issue again later. $510
6 p.m. — I head to St. Mark's for a quick pre-movie dinner at a fun Korean fusion place with L. and another friend. We each order a few small plates and complain about our respective job struggles. Our other friend has been searching for a job for quite awhile now with no success, which makes me a bit nervous about my own impending job search. After dinner, I notice that the editing job I applied to a few days ago wants to set up an interview! I schedule it for after I return from the cruise. $16
7:30 p.m. — We walk a few blocks to the movie theater to see A Simple Favor. I'm not particularly interested in it, but L. loves movies like this, and since I have AMC Stubs A-List, I don't have to be as discriminating. The movie is free with my A-List pass.
9:45 p.m. — I actually really enjoyed it! It was dumb, but hilarious (probably intentionally?). Also, Henry Golding. I'm obsessed.
11 p.m. — I get home and find A. asleep on the couch with the next episode of Jack Ryan playing. I wake him so he can get into bed, and then I shower and hop in bed myself. I text my sister about cruise logistics until my whitening strips are done, and then pass out promptly.
Daily Total: $766

Day Five

6:20 a.m. — I wake up to the sound of my building's entryway fire alarm going off. It's been doing this a lot lately. I don't bother trying to go back to sleep, and I check my bank account instead. I see that my paycheck has been deposited, so I immediately transfer $300 to my travel fund and $150 to my IRA. I don't set my savings on auto transfer, since I change the monthly allotments fairly often, and I also just find it really satisfying to do it manually.
7:15 a.m. — I'm up and getting ready in a rush, since I don't want to have to listen to the alarm any longer. I'm out the door 20 minutes later.
8:30 a.m. — I arrive at my boss's townhouse (he's fancy), where he and a few other partners are hosting a fundraising breakfast for an awesome progressive candidate. I'm so excited to meet her and hear her speak (and to play with my boss's puppy!).
10 a.m. — The candidate was amazing! As difficult as the last few years have been politics-wise, I'm glad to be alive in a time when so many strong, incredible, and inspiring women are taking their futures into their own hands by running for office. Feeling uplifted, I snag a free pastry on the way out and head back to the office to get started on some case review.
12:30 p.m. — Lunch time! I grab an arugula salad, a few pieces of nigiri, and some seared portobello mushrooms with my usual Ito En. We discuss our collective confusion over how Halloween works in semi-adulthood.
2:30 p.m. — I head to Brooklyn for a client's sentencing. These are always hard, especially since I have mixed feelings about the morality of what we do here as a criminal defense firm.
4:30 p.m. — I'm back in the office and done with work, so I finish off the day with some quick coding.
5:30 p.m. — I'm freeeeeee! I stop by the ATM to withdraw cash for the cruise, just in case.
6 p.m. — I get home and discover, much to my horror, that the fire alarm is *still* going. I can't live like this!! My neighbor says he's called management, but given their track record, I'm not optimistic that they'll fix it. I put on some music to try to drown it out. I then start a load of laundry and finish up packing. It feels like I'm bringing so much stuff, but inevitably I will forget something.
7:15 p.m. — Packing complete, I head to the gym to squeeze in a quick workout.
8:30 p.m. — Back at home, I put on whitening strips and Nair it up. I wait for it to work and then hop in the shower.
9:30 p.m. — We drink some rosé and watch another episode of Jack Ryan, then A. heads out to meet a friend. I go to bed, since I have to be up early to catch my flight to Miami. I realize I had only rosé for dinner. Ah well — I'm not a real adult and I don't pretend to be.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

4:30 a.m. — Ugh, this is horrible. No one should be awake at this hour. There's something about knowing I have to get up super early that makes me sleep terribly, so I'm extra tired. I reluctantly drag myself out of bed, throw on some clothes, and call an Uber to the airport. Mercifully, the fire alarm has stopped. $15
5:15 a.m. — I arrive at the airport and check my bag before heading to the gate. I'm surrounded by middle-aged white people dressed in Hawaiian prints. Evidently we're all going to the same place. There was no one else in the PreCheck line, so I'm pretty early to the gate — blech. I'm normally more of an arrive-as-the-plane-is-boarding person. $25
7 a.m. — And we're off! I haven't been very excited for this cruise, for a number of reasons. Obviously, I didn't think I was going to be flying solo, and third-wheeling my sister and her girlfriend isn't exactly my idea of fun. (They're both super extra and their vibe can be a bit intense.) But weirdly, when I get settled in my seat and take in the stale plane smell, my mood lifts and I'm excited again. It's a vacation, after all! I'm taking a week off of work, I get to stuff my face and drink as much as I want, and I'll be with my sister, who is my best friend in the world but who I don't get to see often enough. It's going to be great.
9:15 a.m. — After sleeping for most of the flight, I wake up half an hour before landing. I peruse the detailed itinerary I made for us, with everything planned out to the half-hour. I made a brunch res at an upscale place on the beach, but right now I'm really just feeling Mexican food. I've tried virtually every place in the city that people call “authentic,” but none of it remotely resembles the food I grew up eating in California.
9:35 a.m. — Just before we land, a dog crawls under the seat in front of me!!!! My row-mates and I pet him, take photos, and generally fawn over him until we land. Best day ever!!!
10 a.m. — I meet up with my sister, C., and her girlfriend, T., at the baggage terminal. It's so good to see them both! We decide we do want Mexican food, and take an Uber to a well-reviewed local spot. I cover this one since I know they'll get me back later. $20
11 a.m. — We arrive at the restaurant, and it's delicious! Definitely the closest thing I've had to food from home in a long time, which makes me so happy. While we eat, the three of us catch up and decide what we want to do on the ship today. C. pays for my meal.
12 p.m. — We Uber to the cruise port and join the horde of sweaty, grumpy people trying to get aboard. T. covers the Uber.
12:30 p.m. — We're on the ship! We hand off our luggage to the porter. I only have a $10 on me, so that's what I tip him. We then head up to the deck to take in the views and enjoy a poolside drink ($10) while we wait for our rooms to be ready. The drink is very strong, but too sweet for my taste. $20
1:30 p.m. — The rooms are ready, so we head down to check them out and bring in our luggage, which has been left by the door. We all promptly pass out.
2:30 p.m. — We're awoken by a horribly loud in-room announcement. Apparently there's some kind of safety training we have to do. We go upstairs to our designated emergency area, check in, and stand around in the sweltering heat for half an hour until the presentation starts. They basically tell us to put a life jacket on in case of emergency, and that's about it. Exasperated, we head to the deck for some fresh air once it's over.
3 p.m. — We relax at a table overlooking the water while C. and I call our dad to wish him a happy birthday. He and I don't get along, so I try to keep it short. When we get off the call, C. tells me that on her trip to see him last week, he told her he has two other children besides me, my two sisters, and our half-brother. I'm taken aback at first, but then I decide that it's not exactly out of character for him, and C. agrees.
4 p.m. — We decide to wander about the ship a bit before dinner. We spend a few minutes walking around the casino, and then we stumble upon the arcade, where we play games for 20 minutes or so. We crush the basketball and bean bag toss games. My onboard account card isn't working, so C. covers the cost.
6 p.m. — We change for dinner and head upstairs early, since we're hungry. We go to the formal dining room and are seated at a table with an ocean view. I get a Caesar salad to start, grilled shrimp and a baked potato for my main course, and a cheese plate for dessert. Best life! C. gets croquettes to start, lentils with basmati rice for her main course, and tiramisu for dessert, and T. gets cured salmon to start, mahi mahi with ratatouille for her main course, and caramelized cheesecake for dessert. The flavors aren't all complementary and the food is quite heavy, but we have a great time anyway.
8:30 p.m. — After dinner, we fix my onboard account card. Then we hang out in C. and T.'s room, playing gin rummy and smoking with T.'s pen. (We're a very exciting group.) I head back to my room early since I'm exhausted.
9:30 p.m. — Sadly, it seems I'm going to be restricted to a five-minute shower unless I want to flood the bathroom. I realize this slightly too late, and I have to wring out the bath mat. I then do my quick routine and hop into bed, at which point I remember my room is toward the back of the boat — and I can feel the engine rumbling. It's rhythmic and kind of soothing, so I don't think it'll keep me from sleeping. It feels weird to be here without A., but I try not to dwell on it, and I still fall asleep relatively quickly.
Daily Total: $80

Day Seven

8:30 a.m. — I'm surprised I slept in this long, since I fell asleep really early yesterday. C. and T. are late risers, so I know they won't be up for a few hours. I cave and decide to buy the internet plan. It's insanely slow, and I have immediate buyer's remorse, but I don't want to go the entire week without email. $49
10:30 a.m. — I get dressed for the day and slather myself in sunscreen. When I can't wait any longer, I head to their room and knock until T. opens it. T. and I combine efforts to haul C. out of bed.
11 a.m. — We have brunch in the main dining room. We share a fruit plate to start, and I order a salmon Benedict, C. gets two eggs with hash browns and bacon, and T. gets a bacon Benedict. It's delicious, made even better by the fact that it feels free, even though technically we just already paid for it.
12 p.m. — We head out to the main deck pool. I force C. to take some photos of me for my (eventual) dating app profiles before I get all sweaty in the sun. She's an Instagram genius, so somehow a few of them actually look decent enough to use.
1 p.m. — We lie in the sun (fully sunscreened, of course) on an upper deck for a bit before heading down to the bar and pool area. C. orders a pitcher, but I don't want to get dehydrated in the sun, so I just get some water. We put our feet in the pool and watch the festivities — they're having cocktail-mixing, lip syncing, and hairy chest competitions. It's shockingly inappropriate given the presence of children — somehow, a grandma ends up spanking a man's bare ass during the hairy chest competition — but it's hilarious. Music is blasting, everyone is dancing, and it's a great time. I'm surprised at what I'm seeing — most people are young, attractive, and ready to party. C. and I are glad we chose the fun cruise.
1:30 p.m. — We stop for a quick snack at the burrito stand, where I get a mini vegetarian burrito.
3 p.m. — We head inside to change and go to afternoon tea. The tea is meh, but it doesn't cost extra, so I'm not mad about it. C. and T. get in a spat about seeing other people, which is an ongoing fight for them. Along with the other guests at the table, I awkwardly sip my tea and pretend not to hear.
4 p.m. — We stop by the arcade for 50% off games. C. and I have a blast shooting aliens, throwing skee balls, and knocking down little clown dolls. T. is still mad, so she plays a driving game by herself. $5
5 p.m. — We head up to the topmost deck for a round of mini golf. C. beats us handily. She's hungry, so I call to move our steakhouse reservation from 8:30 to 7. We then head to our rooms to get ready. After showering, I apply some tinted moisturizer, concealer, powder foundation, blush, bronzer, highlighter, and setting powder. I then do a quick cut crease with a cat-eye and apply natural-looking lashes. It's “elegant night,” meaning we have to dress up for dinner, and C. wants to go all out for pictures.
7 p.m. — We arrive at the steakhouse, which is on the top deck and has great views. Since it's the first elegant night, we get a free bottle of wine with dinner. The waitress explains that the free merlot is “young” and “sharp,” and we are flattered that she thinks we can tell the difference. I order the tomato bisque and lobster, T. gets the escargot and filet mignon, and C. gets the stuffed mushrooms and lobster ravioli. It's all delicious, even for us pescatarians.
8:30 p.m. — Dinner is over, and we're basically incapable of movement. We decide to rally, since we're all dressed up. We hit the casino for a bit, since T. likes to gamble. She plays blackjack while C. and I watch.
10:30 p.m. — After several rounds of free drinks (thanks to T.'s continued gambling), we decide to head to one of the ship's “clubs.” Much to our surprise, it's pretty lit when we arrive. We dance to Latin trap jams for a half hour or so before going to get more drinks. T. decides we should do some bright blue shooters. I have no idea what's in them, but it doesn't look promising. I drink it anyway — it's predictably terrible, and I'm sad I paid for it. $10
11:30 p.m. — Back at the club's bar to escape a pair of creepers. T. thought I would be into the Scandinavian-looking one, but I am definitely not. Apparently I failed to communicate my disinterest, because they followed us to the bar. Helpfully, T. tells them that I'm single, at which point I escape the bathroom.
12:30 a.m. — We end the night sitting on some lounge chairs outside the club. T. spends a solid half hour trying to convince me to date her brother, who is extremely religious and deeply obsessed with their mom. I laugh at first, and then realize she's completely serious. I take this as a sign from the universe that it's time for bed, and I head back to my room, realizing it's actually not so bad to be single.
Daily Total: $64
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The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
Have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing diaries, we're looking for potential diarists along the following theme:
Your Spending In Your State: We want to run one Money Diary from a different state each week. Want to rep your state? Submit here! In particular, we're looking for diaries from Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Mississippi.
Calling all entrepreneurs: We want to hear from you! If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, we’d love to feature your Money Diary. Submit here.
Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!
Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

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