A Week In New York, NY On A $135,000 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.
This week: a compliance officer who makes $135,000 per year and spends (some of) it on Kérastase.
Occupation: Compliance Officer
Industry: Financial Services
Age: 34
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $135,000
Paycheck (bi-weekly): $3,035
Monthly Expenses
Housing Costs: $1,700 for my share (split 50/50 with my fiancé)
Student Loan: $86 ($3,500 remaining)
Personal Loan: $331 (two payments remaining!)
All Other Monthly Expenses
Cable & Internet: $100 (my share)
Electricity: $50 (my share)
Cleaning Lady: $100 (twice a month, my share)
Gym Membership: $275. I plan to cancel this, but I am stuck until June.
Charitable Giving: $28 (monthly charge to my credit card)
Cell Phone: $92
Savings: $500
Credit Card: $1,500
Medical, Dental, Vision, FSA: $160 (automatic paycheck deduction)
401(k): $623 (6% automatic paycheck deduction, employer matches 5%)
Whole Life Insurance: $155
Grocery Delivery: $250 (This varies but it's usually $250-$300.)
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8:30 a.m. — At home, I make myself a breakfast of eggs, chicken sausage, and sliced cucumbers using items already in my refrigerator. I head out to work, and stop for a cup of coffee. I normally buy a small, but it's Monday and I need the extra caffeine. $3.27

12:45 p.m. — Since my apartment is walking distance from my office, I can run home and eat quickly if I neglect to pack a lunch in the morning. That's what I do today. I prepare some leftovers and a handful of Thin Mints. I am PMS-ing badly and want something salty and crunchy, so I stop at the bodega for a bag of organic popcorn on my way back to work. $4.49

5 p.m. — Old habits die hard! I'm up to no good and scouring Rue La La for a limited-time bargain. I succumb to its taunting and purchase a pair of earrings for my upcoming wedding ($35.99) and a jar of Kérastase conditioner ($46.99). My internal justification for this purchase goes something like: I need conditioner and the jar is HUGE; it will probably last for months! I leave work and head home. I'm not too hungry because I gorged on popcorn, so I eat a small plate of leftover chicken tikka masala, watch TV for a bit, and then hit the sack. $82.98

Daily Total: $90.74
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8:30 a.m. — I use the last of the eggs and chicken sausage to make breakfast, and then I buy a cup of coffee on my way to work. Back to the small size. $2.18

9:30 a.m. — I check my email and see that Sephora is having a VIB special — 15% off; it's not the greatest deal, but it's something. I look at the Kate Somerville products I've been eyeing (I want that Goat Milk moisturizer!) and consider buying a new foundation, but I stop myself after remembering that I don't need either of those items. I do buy a concealer for $26 since mine is at the end, and also score the usual three free samples (I usually get perfume samples because why spend money on a bottle of perfume when you can have a mini one for free?), plus a deluxe sample of Caudalie Glow Activating Serum (this is how they get you addicted!). I feel proud about not having purchased any non-necessities. $28.31

6 p.m. — I leave work and stop at Fairway before hitting the gym to pick up mid-week necessities. I end up straying from my list a little, but I still come close to my budget. I pick up chicken sausage, an avocado, eggs, strawberries, pineapple chunks, Go Raw ginger snacks, date açaí power snacks, a seeded mini-baguette for my fiancé, and a Justin's Peanut Butter Cup at the register. $31.34

7:30 p.m. — I signed up for Sun Basket last month to take the guesswork out of dinner, and I'm still on the fence about it. The portions are a bit small, but I can put up with it because of the convenience factor. The cost for three dinners for two people is $74.95. My fiancé and I split that, and he'll reimburse me $37.48 at the end of the month when we reconcile all our joint expenses. We make the banh mi meal, which is chicken served over salad, but I give my fiancé the baguette I bought to make the meal more filling for him.

Daily Total: $61.83
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8:30 a.m. — I make my usual breakfast at home and then head out to work, grabbing a cup of coffee on the way. $2.18

12:30 p.m. — Same deal for lunch today; I run home and quickly make a salad with leftover grilled chicken and greens, plus some Thin Mints. After I finish eating, I run back to the office to prep for my 3 p.m. meeting.

6 p.m. — A Garcinia Cambogia supplement I took earlier isn't working and I'm hungry. I don't like to work out on a full stomach because it make me nauseous, so I eat some almonds before heading to barre class.

7:45 p.m. — My fiancé is a doll and cooked the Sun Basket meal tonight, so dinner is ready to go when I get home from the gym. We have steak fajitas on gluten-free tortillas, which are delicious. After showering and tidying up a little, I start to make the third Sun Basket meal for lunch since my fiancé doesn't like this one. (Picky, picky.) I'll divide the turkey meatballs and roasted cauliflower into two meals for Thursday and Friday.

Daily Total: $2.18
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9 a.m. — I wake up late but am not good at rushing, so I get ready at my usual pace. Plus, my butt and thighs are killing me from yesterday's barre class, making moving any faster impossible. I make my usual breakfast, get my small coffee, and then head to work hoping no one notices I'm late. $2.18

12:30 p.m. — I heat up the lunch I made last night and eat a Justin's Peanut Butter Cup. My fiancé was right; these turkey meatballs are not that great.

7 p.m. — I finish my class at Orangetheory and walk home in a weird runner's high (slash, wobbly-legged euphoria that's leaving me with a strange grin). I stop at my favorite bakery to get their killer cheddar onion loaf, but they are sold out. I buy three macarons as a consolation prize and head home to a meal of steak and stir-fried snap peas and mushrooms prepared by my fiancé. $8.98

Daily Total: $11.16
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8:30 a.m. — I am a creature of habit! Same breakfast, same coffee. $2.18

1 p.m. — Lunch is turkey meatballs and cauliflower again. I can't believe I'm eating it because it's not good, and I don't actually finish it. I do have a square of dark chocolate and couple pieces of my açaí and cacao power snacks.

6 p.m. — I pick up my dry cleaning. Believe it or not, this price is for only two items! $14.90

6:30 p.m. — I finish barre class and head to Eataly to buy fresh fish for dinner. I get a pound of grouper for $26 and lots of produce: bananas, apples, an avocado, cucumbers, fingerling potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, fresh herbs, beets, arugula, fennel, and an orange to make a vinaigrette. My fiancé and I make dinner together: pan roasted grouper with lemon-thyme butter sauce and herb-roasted fingerling potatoes. We crack open a bottle of wine from our stash and settle in for the evening. $57.99

Daily Total: $75.07
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11 a.m. — I sleep in late, something I rarely get to do, even on weekends. It feels great! After I get up, I start making banana pancakes with a berry compote, while my fiancé makes coffee. We have a lovely Saturday morning and decide to do some spring cleaning.

3:30 p.m. — We take a walk to Eataly to buy sides for the filet mignon we are going to make tonight. We get olives, truffle butter, and other goodies. The total is $49.70; my fiancé pays.

4:30 p.m. — I am dying for a Pressed Juicery Freeze, so my fiancé and I swing by, and it's my treat. After, we go home, finish cleaning, then make a dinner of filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and sautéed kale while catching up on Homeland. $11.90

Daily Total: $11.90
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11:30 p.m. — I take a cardio class at the barre studio. It's not as hard as Orangetheory, but it's still a good burn. I need a few items for lunches this week, so I go buy a bag of popcorn, buffalo chicken, turkey cold cuts, a baguette, a green pepper, pineapple chunks, strawberries, a can of black beans, cilantro, and the Halo ice cream I've wanted to try. (Spoiler alert: It has a weird consistency.) $31.88

2:30 p.m. — After making lunch with the cold cuts, I shower and my fiancé and I give ourselves much-needed at-home facials. I watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress, failing to understand how people can spend so much money on a wedding dress.

7 p.m. — I start making dinner. I take two packs of ground beef from our freezer (included in our weekly grocery delivery service), chop up the onions and garlic I bought, mix them up with olives and raisins from my pantry, and make a Cuban picadillo. I also make white rice, cauliflower rice, and black beans. This should give us dinner for two nights and at least one lunch for me.

Daily Total: $31.88
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