A Week In New York City On A Joint $250,625 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: a law associate who makes $190,000 per year ($250,625 when combined with her husband) and spends some of her money this week on Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.
Occupation: Associate
Industry: Law
Age: 31
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $190,000 (plus my bonus, which will likely be $15,000)
My Husband's Salary: $60,625
My Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $5,290.52
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,768
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Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,300 (Until last month, our rent was $3,500 for a one-bedroom in Manhattan, but we recently moved back to Queens, where we lived for years prior to me starting my job. Now our rent is $1,300 for a two-bedroom.)
Student Loan Payment: $2,806.46 (I have about $250,000 in student loans from my graduate degree and law degree.)
Shared Account: I transfer $1,475 and my husband transfers $1,075 into our shared account after each paycheck to pay for rent, cell phones, cable, gas and electric, our shared credit card, and some savings.
Car: $250 per month for our car lease and about $1,000 per year for insurance. My husband pays for both.
Netflix: I pay $10.99 per month for Netflix, and my friend pays for Hulu. We have been sharing for like a decade.
Rent The Runway Unlimited: $159 (I was spending a lot of money on maternity clothes so I starting using Rent The Runway for work clothes.)
Massage Envy Membership: $80 (I get one 60-minute facial per month. It helps my bad skin dramatically.)
Transportation: $226 (This is for my monthly train ticket on the LIRR. I also use a pay-as-you-go MetroCard for the subway.)

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I wake up at 6:30 to the sounds of my cat banging herself into the door and meowing in an attempt to demand food. I feel bad and am worried she will hurt herself, so I get up and fed her, and decide to feed myself while I'm up. I heat up some leftover pumpkin pancakes and turkey bacon in the toaster. My husband made me breakfast in bed yesterday morning before work because it was my birthday, and he made way too much — not complaining, though. I shower, get ready, pack up lunch (spaghetti squash with Trader Joe's turkey meatballs, broccoli, and pesto), coffee, and snacks for the day (Back to Nature cheese crackers, a banana, and a leftover corn muffin), and head to the train.
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10 a.m. — I get to work just after 10 a.m. and mentally prepare myself for a busy morning. I'm already hungry again, so I eat my muffin (oh, pregnancy) and remember that I have my free birthday Starbucks, so I order a grande mocha from my phone and go grab my free treat.
1 p.m. — I eat my lunch while working on a goal-setting report I have to complete this week (self-assessment is so awkward). My workload trickles off throughout the afternoon and by 6 p.m., has totally dried up. My stomach is bothering me (thanks to this baby taking up all the space where my organs used to live) so I take this rare opportunity to leave the office before 7 p.m.
9 p.m. — My husband picks me up at the train. I'm not hungry because of my stomach when we first get home, but then out of nowhere I am starving, so my husband heats up leftover veal cutlets and mac and cheese that my mom cooked me on Sunday as an early birthday gift. We finish the evening off with some leftover strawberry shortcake and clean out the DVR.
10:30 p.m. — My cat wants to cuddle, so we show her some love. Her fresh-smelling coat from when we had her groomed a month ago has worn off, so I order some cat grooming wipes on Amazon (like face wipes but for your kitty — less dangerous for me than trying to give the munchkin a bath) for $6.49. We go to bed before 11 like happy old people. $6.49
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Daily Total: $6.49

Day Two

8 a.m. — When I wake up, my stomach is bothering me still, but I decide to put in the effort and drag myself to work anyway. I heat up a couple of leftover muffins and hop in the shower. Then I get ready, pack lunch (more spaghetti squash with meatballs and pesto), pour some coffee, and trot to the train. I am late, so I try to safely run, but it's slower than a speed-walk.
11 a.m. — Get to work by 10 and things are extremely quiet at the office. I only like slow days when I have a lot of random personal stuff to get done — otherwise it's excruciating. This is especially true when I don't feel well and have nothing to distract me. I try to fight through it and eat crackers I brought in yesterday, hoping they will settle my stomach.
1 p.m. — My stomach is feeling really bad, so I go up to our cafeteria instead of eating my packed lunch because I want something mild. My food card balance is at zero, so I add $60, which will last me a few months. I order warm grilled chicken with zucchini and mozzarella on a sprouted grain roll and they give me pickles on the side ($7.50 from my card balance). I go back to my office to eat in solitude and still feel sick. $60
3 p.m. — I look into taking an Uber home, but it's $70 and will take as long as the train thanks to traffic, so I decide to fight through it until my husband is done with work so I can take the train with him and have him carry my stuff. I tell a couple of people I'm feeling sick but will be available from home if anyone needs me, and leave the office at 3 p.m. I've been really lucky that everyone has been really cool and supportive about my pregnancy at work despite all of the big law stereotypes. I take a slow stroll to the subway and meet my husband at Penn Station, and then I fill up my MetroCard so I won't have to do it in the morning. $41.90
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3:40 p.m. — When I find my husband, he grabs my bag like a darling, and I buy us a large Jamba Juice Apple 'N Greens smoothie to thank him (he drinks most of it, but it is yum) for $8.57. We take the train and slowly walk the few blocks home and then I get in bed while he goes to my mom's to help her with something. I watch some Keeping Up with the Kardashians that's on the DVR and pet my cat for a little while I wait for him to get home. $8.57
7 p.m. — My husband gets back later than anticipated, so we discuss ordering in instead of him cooking dinner as planned, but we decide to be responsible and save money. He makes us grilled cheeses and frozen sweet potato fries (they're a vegetable!) while I do a little work in bed. Considering I have basically only wanted to eat cheese and carbs since getting pregnant, I am very happy. Plus it's still healthier than takeout. We take a night off of leftover cake because I don't want to make my stomach worse.
10 p.m. — I get a bad craving for dumplings, so we heat up a couple of Trader Joe's frozen pork buns to snack on before bed. I'm pretty sure my husband is trying to get fat in solidarity with me during my pregnancy, because he's really been enjoying (and encouraging) the late-night cravings. We go to sleep at 10:30 because I'm basically old now.
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Daily Total: $110.47

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — I wake up late again, but am out of bed by 7:45, so it could be worse. I take a shower and heat up one of my fave breakfast frozen burritos (Sweet Earth Protein Lover's — it has quinoa in it so it's extra filling and is surprisingly good considering it's vegan and I basically live to eat meat and cheese) and eat it while I get ready. I pour some coffee and pack snacks (a bag of Skinny Pop, a leftover muffin, and a Trader Joe's fruit leather), and run out the door to the train. Too bad there are 20 to 30 minute delays due to an unauthorized person on the tracks at Penn Station. Ugh.
10 a.m. — I stop and buy a water bottle when I get to Penn Station because I forgot to bring one this morning. There are no empty seats on the subway and of course no one offers one to me and the bump, so I stand the whole way downtown (thanks, NYC). I finally get to work at 10:25 and settle in for the day. $2.87
12:30 p.m. — Spend the day at work with pretty much nothing to do. My workload is so inconsistent, it's crazy. Some weeks I work 11 to 13 hour days all billable, other weeks I have nothing to do for days on end. I take a break from nothing to eat my spaghetti squash lunch from yesterday with a bag of Skinny Pop and treat myself to a free hot chocolate from the coffee machine. (I'm trying not to drink too much caffeine, but am craving something warm.) I also have some Milk Bar truffles — they come in pumpkin and they're fantastic — at my afternoon meeting and regret getting the hot chocolate earlier (sugar overload). Otherwise, I spend a great deal of time today trying to remember that I have to save money for the expensive bundle of joy that's about to enter my life instead of buying a Bottega Veneta bag.
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6 p.m. — I have some homemade apple sauce and a muffin that I brought to the office yesterday to tide me over until I get home for dinner and then leave work at 6:30. This is probably the slowest work day I've had in the past four months.
7:30 p.m. — I get on a really fast train that goes straight to the stop before mine, so my husband comes and picks me up. We go home and I make some gravy while my husband plates the cauliflower mash and zucchini chicken meatballs he made for dinner. The cauliflower mash texture is a little off but the food is delicious and everything is better with gravy. Overall, I'm proud of his cooking skills. (He is relatively new to cooking.) We eat the rest of my birthday cake and then call my mom to discuss baby shower venues.
10 p.m. — We watch Criminal Minds and snack on some smoked gouda we had in the fridge (oh, pregnancy cravings). I start getting weird back/hip pains, so I fall asleep with a heating pad around 11. Being pregnant is so weird.
Daily Total: $2.87

Day Four

7:45 a.m. — I wake up at 7:45 and speak to my mom on the phone while heating up the rest of the pumpkin pancakes and turkey bacon (still so delicious). My cat stops by for a visit to my lap so I spend a few minutes showering her with love. After yesterday's quiet day at work, I am in no rush this morning and have resigned myself to taking the late train. I grab some snacks (organic peach yogurt, crackers, and a Trader Joe's fruit leather) on my way out for the day. We have a free lunch at the office today, so I don't bring lunch. I don't want regular coffee today, so I shut off the pot and I make myself a latte macchiato with my Nespresso (best wedding gift ever). I drink it while I walk to the train. The baby tempts me to stop at Magnolia Bakery at Penn, but I stop myself. I get to work around 10:40 and mentally prepare myself for another boring day.
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12:30 p.m. — I go to the lunch and get chicken, rice, and salad.
7:15 p.m. — I find some work to do in the afternoon, and head out for the day at 6 p.m. My husband picks me up from the train, and we get pizza because my friend told me she was eating pizza earlier and then all I could do was think about pizza for the rest of the day. $19.45
7:45 p.m. — After dinner, we stop in the Starbucks next door for some hot chocolate in celebration of it finally feeling like fall. I pay on my prepaid Starbucks card ($8.49). We then go home, clean up a little, and watch TV in bed.
Daily Total: $19.45

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — Wake up early to get the place tidied up for our cleaner who we scheduled to come at 10 a.m. I'm starving, so my husband runs to the diner to grab breakfast while I clean up the bedroom ($23.46 on the shared card). Of course, while he's at the diner the cleaning service calls and says they aren't coming until noon. I take a moment of silence for the sleep I lost for nothing and then eat my breakfast. $23.46
12 p.m. — The cleaning service arrives. One of the cleaners does a really good job and the other one does a crappy job. She left the kitchen in an unacceptable condition and left both doors open when she brought out the garbage so my cat almost got out, and then she didn't even put the garbage in the can. We pay them the $112.50 we owe and give them a small tip of $10. (Tipping isn't encouraged, but I want to at least give them something, especially since one of the women did a good job.) $122.50
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2 p.m. — When they finally leave, we venture out to run some errands, including a trip to Tory Burch for me to try on these booties I want. They are fantastic and 25% off, so I buy them for $324.25. My mom offered to buy me a pair of shoes for my birthday, so she is either going to give me the money for all or part of them back. (I found out after the fact that she didn't mean $300 boots, but for now it's my problem.) $324.25
3:30 p.m. — We meet with someone to try to sell my car, and of course the hood gets stuck and won't open (ugh my luck), so I tell them I'll get it fixed, and we'll meet up another day. I'll find out on Monday how expensive that will be. Hopefully it's not too much, or I'm going to have to up the price of the car.
4:30 p.m. — After that fiasco, we run some more errands, including a trip to Tiffany's because the necklace my husband got me for my birthday has a scratch. They don't have another of the charm in stock, so they are mailing me another one. Because we live in Queens, it costs an extra $0.35 to have it sent to us because the tax is more in Queens than in Nassau County. I have the perfect amount of change in my wallet, so I pay the convenience fee. $0.35
6:30 p.m. — When we get home, we heat up leftover meatballs with cauliflower mash. Afterwards, we're both craving something warm and delicious, so my husband runs out and buys my favorite apple bread pudding. (He pays, so I'm not sure how much it costs, but it is delicious.) We catch up on some TV and go to sleep early.
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Daily Total: $470.56

Day Six

7:15 a.m. — I wake up early to my cat yelling for food (story of our lives). I try to go back to sleep but am too hungry, so I wake up my husband and we agree that he will feed the little angel of death and I will make breakfast. I make us some avocado toast with Applegate bacon (nitrate-free for the win) on one slice and scrambled eggs on the other, plus Nespresso latte macchiatos. I wanted to eat really early because I'm signed up for a barre class later this morning and need time to digest so I don't puke on the rug.
9:30 a.m. — Go to my barre class. $28
10:30 a.m. — I have 20 minutes to kill before my wax appointment, so I meet my mom who is on her way to get breakfast. I get there first and end up buying her breakfast while I wait. She offers to pay me back but I don't let her. $10.50
11 a.m. — I go to my wax appointment, which I prepaid for months ago as part of a package, and tip $12. $12
11:45 a.m. — Pick up my husband at home and we go to Fairway for our weekly trip to the grocery store. I'm making beef and butternut squash stew and cream cheese-filled pumpkin bread later. Can't wait. This shopping trip covers food to cook for dinner tonight with leftovers, food for our lunches for the week, some breakfast items, fruit, snacks, some general household items we ran out of, and a pack of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls because I'm pregnant and have minimal restraint. $127.47
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1 p.m. — After the groceries are unpacked, I go to take a shower and find out the cleaners broke my shower head. I discover this as a piece falls off and water comes pouring out of the side of the shower head and soaks me and half of my bathroom. We call one of our landlords (who happens to be my mother), and she makes me promise not to hire this cleaning service ever again. Luckily, her cleaner wants to start coming to clean for me too every other week, and we figure out the logistics. I'm really allergic to dust, so we have been having someone clean approximately once a month for the past few years with us spot cleaning in between, but recently we decided it's just frequent not enough, especially with the baby coming, so we are trying to set up something more regular. The three of us come up with some plans to make sure there's a working shower for tomorrow morning (a trip to Home Depot is coming) and my husband and I head to pick up my mom.
3 p.m. — We go to the Jericho Cider Mill and pick out some fresh apples, maple syrup, a bag of apple cider donuts, apple pie, and some warm apple cider. My mom gets two small pies and apples and decides to pick up the check. I try to give her money but she calls it a “down payment” on the shoes. We sit down to drink our cider.
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4 p.m. — We go to Home Depot and mom-landlord buys us a new shower head that my husband is going to install.
5 p.m. — Once we finally get home, we start chopping up vegetables, and I cook dinner and lunch for the week while my husband is on shower-head duty. I'm making this delicious beef and butternut squash stew that takes a couple of hours to cook but is worth the wait. I also roast the leftover butternut squash, some leftover potatoes we've had sitting in the fridge, Brussels sprouts, and apples, and cook some Italian sausage for lunch. When it's all done, I split up the veggies in four containers and slice up one sausage per container. It looks and smells delicious. I decide not to make the pumpkin bread this weekend because we have pie.
6:30 p.m. — My husband discovers that instead of replacing the whole shower head we can replace this diverter valve. I really like the old one because it's a regular head with a second detachable, so this is ideal. We speak to landlord-mom, and she gives the okay for us to use the new shower head and orders the valve on Amazon so we can put our old one back when it arrives. She is going to keep the new one as a spare for the building if our plan works out.
7:30 p.m. — Once the stew is done, we slice up some baguette to enjoy with the stew and spend some time oohhhing and aahhhing over how delicious it is. We drop the car off at the mechanic and when we get home, we eat some apple pie, which is delicious and surprisingly not sugary. Then we watch some more TV and go to sleep.
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Daily Total: $177.97

Day Seven

7:30 a.m. — I wake up at 7:30, shower, get ready, and make myself a fried egg with avocado on a bagel thin. Then I pack up my lunch and a bag of snacks (organic peach yogurt, Skinny Pop, a plum, a container of cantaloupe, and a bag of Tiny Tate's), fill my mug with coffee, and head out. I'm excited that it's finally tights season, but not excited that it's misting outside. Someone is nice on the subway and offers me their seat, which I happily accept right after almost falling on a turn (pregnancy balance — also my legs are a little sore from barre).
10 a.m. — While I walk from the subway, I book a 90-minute facial for Saturday. I have a couple of extra months on my membership that I didn't get to use when I was really busy at work, so I am using one and a half for this one. I'll see if my husband wants a massage and can also add him to the appointment if he does. I get to work at 10:10, hopeful that my workload picks up today. (I need the hours for my bonus, ughhh.)
11 a.m. — I do a little work but unfortunately the morning is still slow, so I spend some time on A Pea In the Pod's website because they are having a big sale and I need a few tops that are long enough to cover maternity jeans and a late fall/early winter coat. I bought a puffy coat and have a trench coat, but I definitely need something in between given how cold it was yesterday. I order some stuff, but knowing me, I will return at least half of it because I am super picky. I would just go to the store, but it's hard to find the time/energy, so I just order online and ask my husband or mom to take the return to the store for me. It's a little ridiculous, but it works out. At least this online shopping adventure is productive, but ugh, this is why I can't be slow at work. $577.80
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3:40 p.m. — Finally get some work at around 1 p.m. and stay busy through the evening. In the afternoon, my coworker and I take a Starbucks break. I reload my Starbucks card with $25, and get a mocha and a piece of pumpkin bread ($7.88 off the prepaid card). $25
4 p.m. — Spend the afternoon happily busy. I hear from the garage that my car is fixed, and it's only $54.31, which is great news, so I call them and pay for it over the phone. $54.31
6:30 p.m. — We have an event in the evening at work, so I get some free cheese and pregnancy-friendly sushi to eat and watch my coworkers enjoy some drinks for a little before heading home.
8 p.m. — I have some time to kill at Penn Station before my train, so I grab dinner for my husband from Wasabi and a sparkling water for myself before I get on the train. My husband picks me up from the train and I spend the rest of the evening on the phone with my friend discussing baby shower decorations and her love life before I go to sleep. $22.05
Daily Total: $679.16
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