A Week In New York, NY, On An $85,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennial women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.) This week an art collection manager who makes $85,000 per year and spends it on horseback riding and omakase.
Industry: Art
Age: 31
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $85,000
Paycheck Amount (2x per month): $2,100 Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: I own a shared apartment and personally pay $582.45 in condo maintenance fees, property taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.
Grad School Student Loans: $833
Transportation: $20 for gas. We recently gave up our spot in a garage because even if we get seven parking tickets in a month, it would still cost less. We just have to move the car every other morning — ugh.
Phone: $95.11
Health Insurance: $162.40, deducted from paycheck
Subscriptions: Netflix, Hulu, Squarespace, Lightroom: $33.53
Housekeeper: $160 for a biweekly cleaning; I pay $53.33
Gym membership: $132.60
Savings: $800 into joint savings, $458 into Roth IRA, $400 into various funds.

Day One

10 a.m. — I make myself a Nespresso at work. 12:30 p.m. — Seamless Thai food for lunch: I order two different soups (saving one for dinner) and four dumplings. $24.71 2:30 p.m. — A sweater I've been wanting from Steven Alan is an extra 40% off right now, but their website is out of my size. I discover the very last one at their store in Portland, and have it shipped. $129.85 6:00 p.m. — I pick up a few things at the grocery store on my way home. Oranges, pears, grapes, plastic wrap, almond milk, baking soda, oatmeal, and carrots for my horse (more on this later). I consider a box of arugula but nothing sounds worse than choking down a cold salad in the winter time. $27.72 7:15 p.m. — Yoga class at my gym. 8:30 p.m. — Reheat the extra soup from lunch while FaceTiming a friend. Daily Total: $182.28

Day Two

9:30 a.m. — I suck it up and pay for a monthly music production service because I need it for various freelance projects. There was a time in my life (ahem, grad school) when I would have pirated the software, but now that I can afford it, I'm trying to atone for my sins. $99 12:30 p.m. — I cobble together a lunch out of things in our communal work fridge. My boss insists that it always be stocked with food for everybody, which is awesome! 2:15 p.m. — I return a bunch of excess items ordered awhile ago for our wedding (i.e. extra materials for favors, an overly ambitious eyeshadow palette that I will never use). It's $160.50 back total. 7 p.m. — "Athletic" yoga at Equinox. The teacher is a teeny tiny drill sergeant who often makes this class full of ripped, shirtless dudes weep. It's hilarious and painful. 10 p.m. — My husband gets off work and we're both starving so we decide on sushi at one of our favorite spots. We order the omakase, two beers, and a bottle of sake. $218 Daily Total: $317

Day Three

10:30 a.m. — A double Nespresso at the office because it feels like it should be Friday but definitely is not. 4 p.m. — Our dishwasher is possessed, so I run home to meet our repair guy/appliance exorcist. The total cost is 53.34, but we'll split it. $26.67

6:30 p.m. — Appointment with a therapist, who is thankfully in my network. She's new to me and I'm not entirely convinced it's worth the expense yet. $40

8 p.m. — Emerge from therapy hungrier but no wiser, so I meet a friend for an impromptu dinner in the neighborhood. I get the pot au feu with chicken meatballs— it's the quintessence of comfort food. $52.14

Daily Total: $118.81

Day Four

10 a.m. — It's Friday so I pick a flavored Nespresso pod instead of the usual, black-as-tar Ristretto. 2:30 p.m. — I get a fancy salad and iced tea for lunch from Maple. It's all worth it for that free cookie. $16.02 7:20 p.m. — My boss very kindly gave me a bottle of perfume for Christmas. Unfortunately, the scent smells like something a much zestier woman would wear, so I trade it in at Sephora for a brow pencil and newfangled eye cream, and pay the difference. $18.98 7:40 p.m. — I need to get a dress altered for an upcoming wedding. (Everything from Reformation seems tailored for 10-foot-tall Amazons...) The mom-and-pop alteration place nearby quotes me $125. I ask if there's a cash discount and they knock off 10% (always ask)! I leave a $20 deposit and will pay the rest when I pick it up. $20 9:00 p.m. — Weirdly non-hungry, so I snack on some cheese from the fridge while watching Planet Earth II (greatest Christmas gift ever from my best friend, who gets my obsession with David Attenborough). Daily Total: $55

Day Five

12:15 p.m. — My husband and I share a very tame brunch because we feel a bit bad about our sushi extravaganza this week — just coffee, French toast, and a salad for me. Does it even count as brunch if you eat salad? Somehow I doubt it. $22.05 1:50 p.m. — We catch a matinee of Rogue One. It's not the greatest film ever made but we enjoy it a lot more than that pile-of-hot-garbage The Force Awaken. (Too soon? Come on, the plotting was SO weak.) $16.25 5 p.m. — I buy groceries to make a giant pot of bolognese for dinner (which should feed us for a good part of the week): celery, ground beef, thyme, onion, and a bottle of Barbera. It simmers for three hours, so we drink the wine and graze while trying to grapple our way through season 2 of Man in the High Castle. $32.04 8:30 p.m. — My book club is reading Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin this month, so I order it. Using my work Amazon Prime account so I can get it ASAP. $8.78 Daily Total: $79.12

Day Six

8 a.m. — I drive out to Long Island to go horseback riding. I fully admit it's a bougey hobby but I love animals, the fresh air keeps me sane, and it gets me out of the city every weekend. My horse enjoys the post-grooming carrot snack. $85 10:30 a.m. — Frozen-footed and covered in horsehair, I make oatmeal with almond milk and try to thaw out in the warmth of the kitchen. 2 p.m. — My husband and I meet up with two friends for a much more exciting brunch than yesterday's. They're all in the food industry, so we order somewhat extravagantly and the kitchen sends out (and comps) the remainder of the menu, from three different kinds of pate to some very fancy pizza bagels! $51.97 Daily Total: $136.97

Day Seven

8 a.m. — It's Monday and my husband has to move the car, so I buy us coffees and keep him company while he dodges the cops and the street cleaner. The New York City street-parking scene is a whole ecosystem unto itself — David Attenborough should narrate it. $7 9:30 a.m. — I usually avoid dropping off dry cleaning until I actually have absolutely no clean sweaters left, so I have to pay for the build-up of two or three weeks-worth of items turn. $49.05 12:15 p.m. — I walk around the corner and get a poké bowl with zucchini noodles, tuna, and all the fixins because those are free! $17.78 3:30 p.m. — Uber out to a far-flung work meeting. Why is every Uber a Toyota Camry? It's $35 but I expense it. 7:15 p.m. — I reheat Saturday's bolognese and grate a mountain of cheese onto it. Daily Total: $73.83
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