A Week In New York City On A $125,000 Income

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: a public relations manager working in design who makes $120,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on iced coffee.
Occupation: Public Relations Manager
Industry: Design
Age: 34
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $120,000 + annual $5,000 bonus
Paycheck Amount (Monthly): $6,954
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $0 (My husband and I keep our finances separate but cover different portions of our essentials. He pays the rent, utilities, cable, and internet and I pay for the majority of items related to our daughter.)
Student Loans: $0 (I went to school in-state and my parents paid my tuition.)
Phone: $109.35
Health/Dental/Vision Insurance: $50
Health FSA: $41.67
Transit Card: $127 (pre-tax)
Hulu: $5.99
Netflix: $12.99
Gym: $70 (My husband and I split our family membership; this is my share.)
Housekeeper: $130 biweekly (My husband and I split this cost.)
Indoor Playspace Membership: $72.94
401(k): $300 (50% employer match. I currently have around $28,000 saved.)
Savings: $500
Credit Card Payment: $1,500 (I currently have about $7,500 in credit card debt that I am furiously trying to pay off.)

Day One

6:10 a.m. — I wake up to my daughter yelling “mama” from her crib; I grab her from her room and make a toaster waffle and slice a peach for her breakfast. She usually sleeps later, so I am groggy and unprepared for this. I stumble around trying to get ready while she plays with stickers, watches Toy Story 2, and eats breakfast.
8:15 a.m. — Nanny arrives. My nanny is amazing and insanely punctual. She is the reason our home runs with any semblance of order, and we adore her. I take the subway to work and read on the train. I am attempting to read 52 books in 52 weeks this year, so I try to read a few pages whenever I get the chance. Right now, I am reading My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Brathwaite, which is fantastic.
9:06 a.m. — I arrive at work and my stomach is growling, but I didn't pack any breakfast. I peruse the Ritual app, which one of my coworkers introduced me to, and see that Lenwich is having a 50% off any order of $5 or more promotion. I order an egg and cheese on a roll and a large hazelnut coffee. $3.42
1:30 p.m. — My daughter needs a lunchbox for camp, which starts next week. Camp is also vegetarian and nut-free, so I need to buy some additional groceries. I take a break from work and walk to Whole Foods, where I buy milk, nectarines, plums, cucumbers, watermelon, nut-free butter, snap pea crisps, frozen waffles, yogurt pouches, a Bento-style lunchbox, and coconut butter cups ($48.92). I stop at Target on the way back to work to buy potty training rewards: Toy Story stickers, gummy worms, and watercolor paints. I am not above bribery. ($9.76) $58.68
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3:15 p.m. — I refill my water bottle and eat the coconut butter cups. I spend the afternoon taking care of work while listening to a Fresh Air interview with Christina Applegate. I just finished binge-watching Dead to Me, and I am longing for more Christina Applegate content.
6 p.m. — I head home to play with my daughter while my husband gets ready to leave on a weekend fishing trip. We put the kid to bed around 8, then decide to order pizza for dinner. My husband pays. We watch When They See Us while we eat.
Daily Total: $62.10

Day Two

6:15 a.m. — My husband leaves early in the morning on his fishing trip, which means I get to shower before work. He has to be at work much earlier than I do, and it's difficult to shower and get ready after my daughter wakes up, so he generally gets to shower in the morning and I do my routine at night. My daughter is still sleeping, so I take advantage and shower/get ready before she calls for me. Girlfriend is up around 7, and it's time for more waffles and peaches for breakfast. We watch Sesame Street while she eats. Nanny arrives, I draw several Elmos on my daughter's easel per her request, and then I leave for work. I read on the subway.
8:57 a.m. — I arrive at work, still thinking about my delicious Lenwich breakfast from yesterday. I stop there again for a repeat egg and cheese and hazelnut coffee order, but this time, without the discount. $6.84
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1 p.m. — I leave work, since we have summer Fridays. I pay my nanny the same amount weekly regardless of number of hours worked (unless, of course, she works overtime), which means the next five hours are mine! I take advantage of this time and run a ton of errands. First, I visit TJ Maxx to pick up a birthday present for my daughter's friend's party next week. I buy a couple of wooden toys, three books, and an inflatable pool and sunscreen for my daughter ($51.06). I also return a pair of pants to Zara. Finally, I pick up some new bras and underwear at Gap ($58.82). $109.88
3:30 p.m. — I am famished and meeting a friend for drinks later, so I stop at Sweetgreen. I get the seasonal elote salad and it is delicious. I read at the table while I eat. $13.61
5:30 p.m. — I stop by a friend's birthday happy hour for 30 minutes before I have to run home to relieve my nanny. Normally I would have her stay so that I could visit longer at happy hour, but I worked late twice this week and my husband is traveling. I down a glass of Pinot Grigio in record time. It costs $8, and I tip $2. $10
8 p.m. — My daughter is in bed, and I have the place to myself. I spend the evening organizing laundry and watching The Handmaid's Tale. Wild Friday night!
Daily Total: $140.33

Day Three

7:15 a.m. — We wake up a little later today (past 7 is late on a weekend with a toddler) and make more waffles and peaches for breakfast. We switch it up this morning and watch Peppa Pig.
8:30 a.m. — We are out of the apartment and the first stop is to drop off a massive amount of laundry. Normally we do it ourselves, but the machines in our building are currently out of order. A bottle of detergent sprung a leak in our linen closet resulting in a bunch of sheets/towels to wash, so the load is heavier than usual. Honestly, the cost of wash and fold is worth it as opposed to posting up in the laundry room on a gorgeous day.
10 a.m. — We head to the first playground of the day. On the way home, we stop at a farmer's market and buy sourdough bread and a chocolate croissant for my daughter and me to share ($8). We also stop to pick up my dry cleaning ($39.50). $47.50
12 p.m. — My daughter is napping. I check my bank account and notice that I have been charged for the third installment of a CSA I'm doing through work. We will start receiving farm fresh vegetables next week and I'm excited to try some new recipes. $66.25
4 p.m. — My daughter is awake, and we start the trek to the Upper West Side to meet a friend for dinner and to see her apartment. Luckily, riding the subway is akin to Disneyland for a toddler, so my daughter is PUMPED to take not one, but two trains. I refill my emergency Metrocard since my nanny keeps our monthly card on nights and weekends. $16.50
6:30 p.m. — After playgrounding for about an hour, we go to Tacocina for dinner with my friend and her husband. I order a Paloma and chicken, fish, and carnitas tacos, and we all split guac and Mexican-style street corn. Our bill comes to $130.28, and I Venmo $40 for my portion. $40
Daily Total: $170.25

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — We sleep in (lol) until 7:45 since we were out late eating tacos last night. My daughter rides her scooter and we go to Dunkin' Donuts for a chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles — a special weekend treat. $2
9:30 a.m. — Playground #1 of the day. My daughter makes friends with an older boy and they chase each other around for close to two hours. On the way home, we stop at Whole Foods to pick up a few more groceries for the week. We get peaches, watermelon, salsa, an avocado, spinach, milk, salmon, and peanut butter sandwich crackers. $40.78
1 p.m. — Nap time — every parent's favorite time of day! Instead of napping myself, which is what I feel like doing, I meal prep for next week. I make wild rice in the Instant Pot, sauté Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, soft boil a few eggs, and dice some beets for easy veggie bowls. I watch a couple of episodes of Killing Eve and snack on popcorn and almond butter cups.
4 p.m. — My daughter is up and it's raining, so we decide to go to our gym, which has an indoor pool, for swim time. We splash around in the pool for awhile before heading home for dinner. My daughter goes to bed around 8 and I watch the first two episodes of the new season of Big Little Lies and read in bed before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $42.78

Day Five

6:15 a.m. — Hubs is still on his fishing trip, which means another morning shower! I am able to get ready and drink my coffee before my daughter wakes up. Once she's awake, I make peanut butter toast for her with a sliced peach. Nanny arrives and I am out the door.
1:30 p.m. — Break for lunch. I eat one of the bowls I meal prepped yesterday and brought from home — wild rice, beets, Brussels sprouts, squash and a soft boiled egg with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning and tahini sauce.
6 p.m. — I head home, listening to an episode of the Longform podcast with the author Sloane Crosley on the train. I don't usually like short stories, but I am thinking of reading her newest collection, Look Alive Out There. I really enjoy her writing and it's interesting to hear about her process.
8 p.m. — My husband returns from his fishing trip! While he is showing our daughter photos of the fish he caught (thank goodness he has found a captive audience for this, since I am completely uninterested), I make salmon and spinach for dinner. The salmon sticks to the pan, and the dinner turns out pretty terribly. We eat it anyway. I also make my daughter's lunch for her first day of camp, which consists of apple slices, a yogurt pouch, a soy butter and jelly sandwich, and snap pea crisps.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

6:45 a.m. — Hubs is back, so it's back to business as usual. I get out of bed, empty the dishwasher, make coffee, and prep my daughter's breakfast, yet another waffle with fruit. My nanny arrives at 8:15, and I stay a little longer at home to give her camp instructions, draw many Elmos, and finally head to work and listen to the Mom Rage podcast on the subway. I love the two women who host the podcast and I always look forward to a new episode each week.
9:03 a.m. — I arrive at work and decide that I'm going to need Starbucks to survive this day. I order a tall iced coffee with coconut milk and add $25 to my app. The rest of the day is a blur of meetings and a site tour, which are always fun. $25
6 p.m. — I stop at Trader Joe's on the way home from work because we have somehow eaten almost all the groceries that I bought on Sunday already. I buy ground beef, shredded cheese, an avocado, nectarines, strawberries, frozen waffles, bread, frozen tempura chicken, vegetable fried rice, cauliflower gnocchi, almond butter cups, Greek yogurt, cherries, and pretzel thins. If it feels like all I do is buy groceries, that's correct. Honestly, living with a toddler is like living with a professional athlete. They. Eat. So. Much ($63.63). I also stop at Old Navy to buy more summer PJs for the kid since they're on sale. I buy a pair with planets and a pair with sunglasses on them, and a pair of striped bike shorts. Kids' clothes are so cute ($27.78). $91.41
8:30 p.m. — One of the many reasons that I am thrilled that my husband is back from fishing is because he usually cooks dinner. Tonight, he makes tacos, yasss. He has also brought home some rosé cider and more almond butter cups for me. We decide to start watching Schitt's Creek because everyone we know loves it. We watch a couple of episodes while we eat. I set a goal to finish my book before bed and stay up too late reading before falling asleep around midnight.
Daily Total: $116.41

Day Seven

6:45 a.m. — The day begins anew. I wake up, get ready, drink coffee, make more fruit and waffles, and we watch Toy Story while my daughter eats. We are gearing up for Toy Story 4 by watching all of the old movies, and honestly, they hold up! My nanny arrives, and today, before I can leave for work, my daughter requests that I draw a few sharks.
9:01 a.m. — I order a coconut milk iced coffee from Starbucks and stop to pick it up on my way into work. I pay with the app. Once at my desk, I drink my coffee and eat my Greek yogurt, which is coconut- and almond butter-flavored and a little slice of heaven, plus some cherries. Today one of my coworkers brought vegan donuts. I eat a piece of a matcha coconut donut and a piece of a PB&J donut. This is some vegan wizardry.
1:25 p.m. — At lunchtime, I go to the Apple Store to get my headphones repaired. Once I meet with the employee at the Genius Bar, they tell me it will be a $99 repair fee, or I can buy new headphones for $150. I decide on the third option, which is to borrow some superglue from the model shop at work and repair them myself. Success!
6 p.m. — I head home and take my daughter to the playground for an hour. We run into her camp friend, and her mom and I spend most of the time chatting. Before we leave, we exchange numbers, which is really nice because, since I work full-time, I don't have many mom friends and I don't often meet my daughter's little buddies. The girls hug goodbye, which is very cute.
8 p.m. — My daughter is in bed, and I decide to redeem myself after the great salmon debacle by making Trader Joe's fried rice and tempura chicken. We turn on Schitt's Creek while we eat and then I clean the bathroom and kitchen because my mom and brother are visiting tomorrow!
Daily Total: $0
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