A Week In New York City On A $50,000 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 account coordinator working in public relations who makes $50,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on beer.
Occupation: Account Coordinator
Industry: Public Relations
Age: 24
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $50,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,553
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,438 for one bedroom in a four-bedroom apartment
Student Loans: $0 (I went to an affordable public school that my parents offered to pay for.)
Health Insurance: $0 (I'm on my mom's plan.)
Utilities: $40-$70
Metro Card: $127 (taken out of my paycheck pre-tax)
Cleaning Lady: $22
Spotify + Hulu: $10
Netflix: $0 (My mom pays.)
Juul Pods: $18 (monthly subscription for two packs)
Savings: I have $5,000 in a regular savings account and $5,000 in a high-yield savings account. Not currently contributing monthly because I'm comfortable with my safety net, and I also can't afford to.

Day One

8:05 a.m. — My alarm rings and pulls me out of some really weird dream that I can't remember involving a crazy cat and an unfriendly Dunkin' Donuts cashier. I stumble into the bathroom to wash up, moisturize my face, apply mascara, and throw on a black-and-white striped jumpsuit. I make a quick breakfast of a few pieces of salami and Havarti cheese on a piece of bread, throw it in my bag, and am out the door in half an hour. I catch the crosstown bus to the train and then take it to work.
9:30 a.m. — I make an iced coffee when I get to the office and pour myself some water. I scroll through Twitter and catch up on emails to start off my morning while eating the makeshift breakfast sandwich.
12:30 p.m. — The rest of the morning is spent on a client call and sending emails and inviting media to an upcoming event. I break for lunch, which is a plate of mashed potatoes, two katleti (Russian meatballs), asparagus, and cauliflower, all of which my mom cooked and I snatched from my parents' house when I visited on Sunday.
3 p.m. — I spend the afternoon half working on a client report, half browsing the web. I hear there's leftover lunch in the common area from a meeting, so I head over and snag some. I always feel like I need something sweet after lunch, even though I'm generally not a sweets person.
5:30 p.m. — The day is finally over, and I head out of the office to catch the train uptown. I sit by Central Park and talk to my mom on the phone while I wait for my friend E. to meet me. She asked me to come to a jazz show with her after her date bailed last minute (because men are trash), and I'm happy to catch up and have a much-needed drink. We're both hungry, so we stop by some random “gourmet” deli where I get a slice of chicken Caesar salad pizza and a regular slice and a bottle of water, and she gets a soup. We quickly eat outside before heading over to the theater. $9.80
9 p.m. — The show was lovely, and I genuinely enjoyed it despite not being a huge jazz fan. There was a two-drink minimum, so I got two glasses of house Pinot Grigio that were undrinkable and tasted like vinegar. I finished them both anyway, obviously. E. put our drinks on her card, and I Venmo her for my half, plus tip. We take the train back downtown and then a bus. I get home, wash my face, and head to bed, where I scroll through my phone for half an hour before passing out. $35
Daily Total: $44.80

Day Two

7:55 a.m. — I'm up before my alarm because my anxiety will occasionally wake me up around this time to get in the bathroom before my roommate takes a lengthy shower and makes me late for work. Wash up, moisturize, mascara, and throw my hair up into a third-day greasy ponytail. I put on loose pink summer pants and a black T-shirt. Then I let in the cleaning lady, who comes once a month to just clean the apartment's common areas while I throw together my breakfast with the salami and cheese and am out the door. I also grab my workout clothes with me, fully knowing I will likely get too lazy and go straight home after work.
9:15 a.m. — Iced coffee, water, eat sandwich, Twitter, emails, etc.
12:30 p.m. — It's a slow day and I didn't bring lunch from home, so I go outside to pick something up. There's a farmer's market, and I walk through it with a child-like glee because there's something so adorable about a farmer's market in the middle of Midtown. I buy three white nectarines ($2.25) and a few buttermilk biscuits ($3.50). Then I walk over to a nearby deli and pick up a tuna wrap for actual lunch ($9.80) and walk back to eat at the office. $15.55
1:30 p.m. — We get a building email that there is lunch being served. I'm pissed that I paid ten bucks for lunch. I grab two slices of pizza (one for later) and two cookies (one for later) because I can't say no to free food. I spend another hour sitting around chatting and eating with coworkers before heading back to my desk.
5 p.m. — The rest of the day is filled with client reports and emails. At 5, I join some coworkers for happy hour. Halfway through my first beer, I remember my plans to go to the gym and consider setting it down unfinished and leaving…until I strike up a conversation with a really cool woman from the office next door. We polish off our beers and get another, and before I realize it, it's been an hour. Definitely not going to the gym.
7:30 p.m. — I catch the train and the bus home and hop in the shower immediately to wash my hair with enough time for it to air dry. I have really long hair that takes a while to dry, and I hate using a blowdryer, so on hair-washing days I am in for the night and cannot do anything else, lol. Two of my roommates and I spend the rest of the evening on the couch, and we start Fleabag. I eat one of the biscuits and one of the nectarines I purchased at the farmer's market earlier.
10:30 p.m. — I brush my hair once it's dry and crawl into bed to swipe through Hinge for a bit before passing out.
Daily Total: $15.55

Day Three

8:05 a.m. — Alarm, bathroom, etc. I put on a paisley black-and-white dress. I throw a chambray button-down in my bag to cover up in the office, throw a biscuit and nectarine in my bag for breakfast, and head out.
9 a.m. — I stop by the pharmacy before walking into the office because I need to restock on some toiletries. I pick up deodorant and makeup remover. $20.66
12:30 p.m. — It's summer Friday, and I'm trying to get through my work so I can leave early, which doesn't leave a ton of time for lunch. I eat the cold slice of pizza I put aside yesterday at my desk while working on a report.
2 p.m. — It's the last day in the office for our interns, so we got a huge cake. I stuff two pieces in my face, even though I haven't had a proper lunch because I have low blood sugar and can't afford to crash and get the shakes. I'm almost wrapped up for the day, so naturally one of my clients sends an email with a last-minute request.
4 p.m. — The task is done, and I head out of the office only an hour later. I'm heading over to my friend's apartment to hang, but decide to stop by Zara to return some items first. I pick up a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and a skirt to buy, but end up not paying because of the exchange. I actually get $8.90 refunded after the return.
7:30 p.m. — I spend a few hours hanging out with my friends. I'm starving and they're both meeting two other guys for dinner later, which I'm not joining because one of the guys is a friend who tore my heart clean out my chest a few months ago, and I have cut him out completely. I Seamless pork dumplings, popcorn chicken, and two bubble teas to my friend's apartment. He Venmos me for his bubble tea. I head out when he lets me know the others will be meeting him soon, as I don't want to run into them in the lobby. $25
12 a.m. — I spend the rest of the evening watching Fleabag on my couch, wash up, and head to bed.
Daily Total: $45.66

Day Four

10:30 a.m. — I've been up, tossing around and half sleeping since 8 a.m., but I finally get out of bed. I walk over to Starbucks to pick up an iced coffee. I don't need to spend the money on this and will almost always make my own breakfast, but Starbucks is a solid walk from my apartment, and otherwise I would have no reason to leave my apartment in the mornings, which I like because it makes me feel like a real person. I'm not sure if the money in my account will cover my coffee, so I reload it with $10. $10
1 p.m. — I throw an egg on top of some bread with salami and cheese and drink my coffee while watching Fleabag. My friend comes over to pregame, because we're meeting friends at the MoMA PS1 Warm Up Saturday series. I have two White Claws that he brought with him as I get ready, and remember to go online and buy the actual ticket to the event. $20
2:15 p.m. — I call the Uber because I have 50% off. I make a mental note to Venmo request my friend for half but end up forgetting. $10
4:30 p.m. — We get to the venue, and it's a perfect hot day for an outdoor music event. There's hammocks and bars everywhere. I get an aperol spritz to start with, which my friend and I both agree is disgusting, but I finish it anyway. Later on I try a pre-bottled cocktail that tastes like all juice and no vodka, and then have two beers and a hotdog. My friend gets me a third beer because they're at the front of the line. $65.96
7:30 p.m. — We decide to head out, and I call an Uber back. Everyone Venmos me for their share, so I only pay $4. $4
12:30 a.m. — We go to a bar to get real food and keep drinking. I get a roasted cauliflower and Gruyere dish and two Allagash beers. One friend pays, and we all Venmo her ($37). Some people leave and I'm left as the third wheel, but I stay for one more beer ($10). $47
1 a.m. — I Uber home, wash my face, and hit the hay. $4.27
Daily Total: $161.23

Day Five

11:30 a.m. — I wake up at around 8 again but spend a few more hours drifting in and out of sleep. Finally I decide to get up and head over to Starbucks, mostly to force myself to get out of pajamas and go outside for a minute. I get an iced matcha latte with the money already on my card from yesterday.
2 p.m. — Most of the afternoon is spent on the couch watching Fleabag. I make eggs to put on bread and cheese (ran out of salami, sad). I finally get up to throw two loads of laundry in and have to put money on my roommate's laundry card because I have no idea where mine is. $10
5 p.m. — In between laundry and TV, I realize the chicken I took out of the freezer earlier will never thaw in time to make for dinner, so I order a Greek salad with chicken on Seamless for dinner. I finish Fleabag (and am so heartbroken — what an absolutely amazing show, and I cannot believe there won't be a third season) and watch the final episode of Big Little Lies, then last week's episode of Euphoria. When I'm caught up on those, I start Six Feet Under. $12
10:45 p.m. — I don't even realize how late it is, and I still have to put the laundered sheets on my bed. No more TV. I change my sheets and am fast asleep.
Daily Total: $22

Day Six

7:55 a.m. — I'm up 10 minutes before my alarm because I hear bedroom doors opening and closing, but no one is in the bathroom, so I dart up and get in there before anyone else can make me late. I throw on a short-ish red dress that is cute, casual, and office-appropriate and head out.
9 a.m. — I'm at the office a half hour early, but someone is already in, so I can't even cherish the quiet time before the day starts. I make an iced coffee and sit on Twitter for a bit while the internal engine gets heated up.
12 p.m. — I've been starving for the last hour, so I break to go to Dos Toros for a burrito bowl. It's mediocre at best and makes me miss Chipotle, but I was too lazy to walk the extra block. I'm beating myself up for spending money on food, but I really did try yesterday! That damn un-thawed chicken. I vow to not spend any more money eating out this week. $11.63
5:30 p.m. — The rest of the day is spent on calls and working through various client items, waiting for the day to end. I stop by the grocery store in my apartment building's plaza that I typically try to avoid because it grosses me out, but I only need sweet potatoes, broccoli, and parchment paper, which is not worth standing on a Trader Joe's line for. Normally, I would do a TJ's haul on Monday after work, but I don't feel comfortable spending money on one this week. $13
7:30 p.m. — I attempt sweet-potato fries in the oven, along with some oven-roasted broccoli with a buttery garlic-lemon drizzle, and throw a few chicken breasts on a pan on the stove. Everything comes out mediocre at best, but that is the upside of only cooking for yourself. I'll eat it no matter what it comes out like. The fries are disappointingly soft and mushy. I eat on the couch while catching up on last night's new Euphoria, but can only get halfway through it when my roommate joins me on the couch to watch The Bachelorette. I have exactly zero interest in the show but prefer winding down in the living room rather than being locked away in my bedroom, so I've been watching with her every week.
10:30 p.m. — The show wraps up, and I empty the dishwasher so my roommate can fill it, wash my face, and go to sleep.
Daily Total: $24.63

Day Seven

7:55 a.m. — Up before my alarm again. I get half ready by 8:30 when I hop on a client call while I continue to get ready. The call goes a little long, so I have time to clean my room up a bit while listening. I put on a white T-shirt with ruffle sleeves and white and light blue striped jeans, throw last night's leftovers into my bag, and am out the door by 9 a.m.
9:45 a.m. — Iced coffee, Twitter, emails, general existential dread.
12 p.m. — I spend the morning following up on press releases and fielding media requests. I'm starving, so I heat up the leftover chicken, sweet-potato fries, and broccoli. There's cake for the office birthdays, so I take a slice for now and save one for later.
3:30 p.m. — I hear my coworker opening a bag of animal crackers and immediately descend upon her. I don't know what it is, the flavor or the nostalgia, that makes me obsessed with animal crackers. I have a fistful.
5:30 p.m. — Out of the office and straight home. One of my roommates and I get into the elevator at the same time, and decide to head back down to the gross grocery store because she wants to pick some things up for dinner. I'm not sure what I'll have for dinner tonight, so I grab my wallet despite knowing I don't want to buy anything. She picks up some stuff for tuna salad, but I behave. Back in the apartment, I have a can of sardines with some bread for dinner. I know people might think this is gross, but I've never thought anything weird of sardines, as Russian households have several cans in the pantry, and I grew up snacking on them in between full meals.
10 p.m. — My roommate and I spend the rest of the evening on the couch, first watching reruns of Friends and then the finale of The Bachelorette. I internally berate myself the entire time for not watching the Democratic debate instead, especially because I don't even enjoy Bach, but I figure I can catch up on what I missed at work in the morning, and promise to watch the second leg of it tomorrow. After the Bachelorette finale, I wash my face and hop into bed, where I spend 15 minutes on Hinge talking to a guy who seems pretty decent so far. I decide to stop answering because we've been sending novels back and forth to each other, and I'll just ask him if he wants to get drinks tomorrow morning.
Daily Total: $0
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