A Week In New York City On A $45,000 Salary

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Today: a brand coordinator working in fashion who makes $45,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a pink happy face mug.
Occupation: Brand Coordinator
Industry: Fashion
Age: 25
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $45,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,462
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Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,200
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I attend school full-time as well as work full-time. I joined the workforce right out of high school and was going to school part-time until a year ago, when I decided to enroll full-time. I pay for my schooling in full.)
Internet & Electric: $70
Cell Phone: $0 (Thanks, Ma!)
MetroCard: $121
Spotify Premium & MoviePass: $20

Day One

4 a.m. — Wake up to pee and cannot go back to sleep. This is highly unusual, and I irrationally blame the melatonin I took last night for disrupting my sleeping pattern; I usually wake up at 8:30 a.m., pee or no pee.
4:30 a.m. — My heart is racing, and I somehow feel energized. I realize there's no way I'm falling asleep again, so I try to get through a short book my pseudo-boyfriend, R., lent to me. I'm only 20 pages in so far, and it's not pulling me in. However, the book is pretty short, so I decide to power through.
7 a.m. — I begin to get hungry, so I make a green tea and eat some Honey Bunches of Oats with Trader Joe's seeds and soy milk. I have 10 pages left in the book; it's called The Hour of the Star. Initially, I didn't like the story, as I found the author to be a bit pretentious and overly descriptive, but at this point I'm really enjoying it. Also, I did a quick Google search and was pleasantly surprised to find that the author is a Brazilian woman.
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8:30 a.m. — I finish the book. It's definitely one of my favorites. I still have a bit of energy from the green tea, and decide to clean the kitchen. I've oddly become a super neat/clean person at age 25; the switch was really abrupt. I just woke up one day and was like, "I NEED WINDEX."
9 a.m. — My friend and I are going to Boston next weekend to see Lykke Li, so I purchase my return ticket. My parents will also be in town for the week (very exciting), and I'm not sure what kind of trouble we're going to get into, hence the one-way ticket. $22
12:30 p.m. — I work from home. I've been using a meal delivery kit called Plated on and off for a little over a year now. The meals are a bit pricey, but always delicious! I recently bought one box (which includes six servings) for $72. I make steak, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes from it for lunch. It's insanely good, so I stash away the recipe card. Yes, this is how I taught myself how to cook.
5:30 p.m. — I make my way to my documentary film production class. We watch a wonderful documentary about a talented artist named Inocente. I'm studying film production and have a short shoot coming up next weekend. I can't wait to shoot my own full-length documentary soon!
9 p.m. — I'm supposed to meet friends to celebrate "Taiwanese Thanksgiving," but I'm exhausted from my lack of sleep. They give me ALL THE CRAP for flaking, but I honestly cannot muster up the energy. I'll make it up to them soon.
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930 p.m. — I reheat my leftover Plated meal, hop in the shower, and decide to loaf for the rest of the night. I watch Kathy Griffin interviews until I doze off. That woman is a force to be reckoned with!
Daily Total: $22

Day Two

10:30 a.m. — Sleep in to make up for yesterday. Straight to work (from home). I make green tea and cereal for breakfast again.
2 p.m. — Make Plated meal #2, which is Cuban beef with cilantro rice and red pepper. Not as good as the last one, probably because I didn't add any salt. I'm trying to be a little bit healthier. Let's see how that goes for the rest of the week.
7:30 p.m. — I eat two apples from when I went apple picking last weekend and one Rxbar. Then I head to a French lesson.
9:30 p.m. — Decide to head to the Angelika Film Center, which is on my way home, to see Colette alone. I get there way sooner than expected and have almost a full hour to spare before the movie begins. I check my battery: 17%. No book on me, and I can't even play with my phone? Hop on the train back home. I tell myself I'll attempt this again tomorrow.
12 a.m. — I read Dubliners until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — I head straight to work. Lots of emails and meetings. It's definitely going to be a long day. Eat some Honey Bunches of Oats to get the day started right.
2 p.m. — I head to lunch with my coworker, and we hit up our usual Thai restaurant. The lunch special is only $13, and by New York standards that's a pretty damn good deal. I order fried rice, Thai iced coffee, and Thai salad. I spot my coworker — she'll get me back another time. $30
2:30 p.m. — I've been looking for a cute mug for the last few days now that I'm on this green tea craze. My coworker mentions there's an adorable mug at American Two Shot, so we go in. IT'S EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE EVER WANTED. I purchase the mug and am very excited about it. Yes, legitimately excited about a mug. $15
5 p.m. — Leave work and head to the New York Public Library to check out Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Apparently the NYPL has self-checkout now? Rad. Take a quick walk through Bryant Park. I love to walk through touristy parts of NYC to remind myself that, HELLO, I'M IN NEW YORK. I really try my best to not get sucked into routine. After all, I'm paying $1,200 for a room to be here.
11 p.m. — Finally home. I'm exhausted but I haven't worked out in days, so I suck it up and hit the elliptical in my building. A body in motion stays in motion right? I figure the more I work out, the less exhausted I'll be.
12:30 a.m. — Consider taking a melatonin now that I have a surge of energy. But I decide against it, as I don't want my body to start relying on it.
3:30 a.m. — I'm awake and alternating between reading Heart of Darkness and watching Sweet Digs. Take the melatonin.
Daily Total: $45

Day Four

10 a.m. — Sleep in because I seriously need my seven-ish hours of sleep. Straight to work (from home again). I take a little break and pour tea in my cute new mug. Also, I paint my nails red. I haven't painted them in months!
2 p.m. — Down to my last Plated meal. I make meatballs and cilantro rice. This one is another 10 out of 10 meal.
7 p.m. — Head to Soho to purchase some gold hoops. Someone told me you can find really good deals on gold jewelry in Chinatown. I spot the ones I want and put down a $5 deposit. I'll purchase them on payday tomorrow. $5
8:30 p.m. — Head to French class. My pseudo-BF, R., has been saying he misses me (I saw him four days ago), and I'm starting to miss him, too. I head over to his place after class, and we read and watch a corny spy show on his couch. We knock out at around 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $5

Day Five

8 a.m. — Wake up. R. left a nice button down shirt and a green apple on the table for me. I tend to wear things oversized, so I steal all of his clothes. I decide to steal another sweater to put over the button down. Oh, and as usual, I steal some of his Uniqlo socks. Off to a meeting!
11:30 a.m. — Grab a bagel, some ear disinfectant, and a beet juice with my coworker. She covers the cost of the juice and the disinfectant to make up for the Thai food I bought her the other day. $1.25
2 p.m. — Head over to the Chinatown spot for a quick break and to buy my hoops. My ear is a little irritated, so it hurts a bit to put in one of them. Either way, they're exactly what I was looking for. $55
3 p.m. — Head to my literature class. I'm pretty disappointed in this class, as I chose a professor I had before who I really liked. However, I find all the readings pretty boring and dated. In my last lit class, we read some really interesting novels by Adichie, Achebe, and Diaz, so this really pales in comparison.
6 p.m. — Decide to hang out with my coworker tonight. We meet at MOMA for Free Friday. The exhibit surrounds modern dance, and I'm super into it, as I used to dance modern, hip hop, and ballet growing up.
8 p.m. — The museum closes, so I take my coworker to La Lanterna, one of my favorite dinner spots in the West Village. It's a super dimly lit Italian joint with live jazz. I love this place because it feels like what I imagined NYC would be like before I moved here. We order lasagna, goose liver, and apple pie. Amazing, as always. $22
9:45 p.m. — Down the street, there's a super long line outside of IFC. The M.I.A. documentary is premiering and HOLY SH*T, she's going to do a live Q&A beforehand. Cannot believe MoviePass covers this.
12 a.m. — The film was even better than I expected. I didn't know her father was part of the resistance in Sri Lanka. I also wasn't aware that she spent so much time there. I always assumed she grew up in the U.K. and pretty much stayed there. The film focuses on how she tried to speak out about the genocide going on in Sri Lanka but the media consistently shut her down. The film is thought-provoking and pretty triggering. I am so tired of seeing strong women be ignored, attacked, or torn down by the media. My adrenaline is going, so I go to the gym in my building to let off some steam.
2:30 a.m. — It's really getting late, and my sleeping schedule is already all over the place. I take a shower and go right to bed.
Daily Total: $78.25

Day Six

1 p.m. — I haven't slept in like this in years, and I immediately feel guilty. I really want to be productive today, so as soon as I get up, I work on an essay that's due on Monday. I have some Honey Bunches of Oats with seeds for breakfast while I work.
3 p.m. — I'm having a few friends come over for brunch tomorrow, so I begin planning for it. I make myself a tuna salad and go back to writing.
5 p.m. — I head to the Lower East Side to run to my usual tailor to get a silk purse and a blouse fixed. The wait is 30 minutes, so I walk over to the New Museum — I love their gift shop. I spot a book about Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which is my favorite movie, as well as my best friend's. I decide to get it for her. $20
7 p.m. — I start getting ready for a date with R. tonight. We meet at a cider house. I haven't been drinking lately, so I already feel a bit buzzed off of one cider. Then we head over to a really nice Ethiopian restaurant in Bushwick. It's my first time eating Ethiopian food, and it's a really cool experience. We order a large plate of bread with different toppings, all vegan. He pays, and I agree to buy dessert — a vanilla sundae from Kellogg's Diner. On the way home, we stop by a Dominican bar, and I teach R. how to dance bachata. He surprisingly has rhythm! I get a Stella and R. has water. $22
1 a.m. — We get to R.'s place, and we dance bachata a bit in his living room. Knock out an hour later.
Daily Total: $42

Day Seven

10 a.m. — R. and I wake up. I have my brunch party at 1, so I rush out and buy some last minute eggs, plates, and bread for the brunch. My guests are all bringing something. $10
1 p.m. — Brunch on my roof commences. It's gorgeous out — 70 and sunny. We have toast, eggs, potatoes, bacon, guac and chips, and mimosas and Bloody Marys to top it all off. We're playing the new Lil Wayne album, and it feels like 2010 again. Life is good.
8 p.m. — The rooftop brunch was a success! Unfortunately, this is probably the last warm day of the year, so we'll have to wait until 2019 to do it again. I wrap things up and spend the rest of the night cleaning. I take a melatonin and read Dubliners until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $10
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