A Week In New York City On A Joint $315,000 Salary

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Today: a project manager working in construction who makes $135,000 per year ($315,000 when combined with her husband) and spends some of her money this week on soft pretzels.
Occupation: Project Manager
Industry: Construction
Age: 30
Location: New York, NY
My Salary: $135,000
My Husband's Salary: $180,000
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $3,977
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $5,200
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $4,600 (I live in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with my husband.)
Student Loan Payments: $0 (I already paid off my student loans, and my husband had a full scholarship to college.)
Electricity: $120
Cell Phone: $40
Spotify: $14.95
Internet: $101
Netflix: $0 (It's free with our internet package.)
401(k): $0 (We are both expats so we have opted out of 401(k)s in the U.S.)
MetroCard: $121 (This comes out of my monthly paycheck. My husband's is comped through his work.)
House Cleaner: $120 for a monthly cleaning
Mortgage: $0 (I have an investment property back home which is covered by the rent.)
Savings: We put whatever we have left after all of our expenses into our joint savings account. Then we get $1,000 every two weeks redistributed back to our personal account for spending, and what we choose to spend this on is completely at our discretion. We have recently started this at my behest — I am terrible with saving (what's that?) and budgeting (huh?). But now that we are in our 30s and looking into the future, it's important.

Day One

6:30 a.m. — My husband and I are woken up by my alarm, and are both out the door by 7:15. We catch the subway together and use the time to brief each other on what we each have going on today and any other things we need to do — I remind him that we need to book our accommodations for our vacation at the end of the year, and make a mental note to look online at work today.
7:45 a.m. — I grab my morning coffee on the way to work. Our work has a coffee machine, but I really can't handle that pod stuff. Having recently moved from a country that takes coffee VERY seriously, American espresso is one of the few things I refuse to acclimate to. Normally I get a croissant or danish from the coffee shop, but I ate an Rxbar on the subway. $4.75
12 p.m. — I head to the salad bar at the local deli near our work for lunch. $7.41
7 p.m. — Get home and look at the groceries in the fridge. I usually order from FreshDirect once a week and try to stock up on dairy, eggs, fruit/vegetables, and pantry items. For meat, I have a great butcher shop near my work that I go to every two weeks. The quality is great and doesn't break the bank — two weeks' worth of chicken/pork/beef will usually set me back about $25 to $30. I see that the romaine lettuce in the fridge won't last much longer, so for tonight's dinner I whip up a chicken Caesar salad.
10 p.m. — My hubby and I watch TV and hop into bed.
Daily Total: $12.16

Day Two

7 a.m. — My husband has an early call this morning, so he is up and out the door. I get up as I hear him leave and quickly get dressed and throw my makeup on. I'm out the door in 20 minutes and make it in time for my 8 a.m. meeting, medium latte in hand. $4.75
12:30 p.m. — I have a client meeting today that falls conveniently between the hours of 12 and 2, so I ask a coworker who is getting her lunch to grab me some food too. I come out of the meeting at 2 totally famished and am welcomed by the sight of a salad bowl from my favorite haunt (Sweetgreen) sitting on my desk. I pay back my coworker and down the salad hastily at my desk, as I need to prep for another meeting at 3 p.m. $14
5:30 p.m. — I run out of work to make it to my lash extension appointment in midtown. I normally go every two weeks for a touch-up, and it sets me back around $85-$100 every time. But they usually run a promotion on certain days, and today's promotion is 20% on touch-ups. The total is $71 and I leave the lady a $14 tip. $85.06
7 p.m. — My lash parlor is near Koreatown, so I run to the Korean grocer on my way home and pick up a few items — kimchi, green peppers, and a pack of peeled chestnuts to eat on the way home because I am famished! My husband and I have a joint account for rent/utilities and groceries, so this purchase comes out of our joint account. I head home and eat leftover rice from the other day with the kimchi I just bought. It's simple, but delicious. $12
Daily Total: $115.81

Day Three

8 a.m. — It's Friday! I always sleep in a little later on Fridays just because. I get to the coffee shop and order my regular medium latte and get to work at around 8, coffee in tow. I feel like that Paris Hilton meme where she clutches the coffee and the caption is something like "me walking into work with the coffee that made me late." My start time has never been stipulated, but in my industry people come into the office as early as 6 a.m. I'm probably one of the later ones but I still get my work done within the hours I work. When the situation calls for it, I'm happy to start early or stay back to complete the task at hand, but I don't believe in hanging back at the office or coming in early just for show. $4.75
12 p.m. — I decide to go for a walk around the area for lunch, as I feel like I'll turn into a piece of lettuce if I eat another salad. I find a cute cafe close by that seems like it will hit the spot, and I order a spicy tuna sandwich to go. Spot hit. $10
4 p.m. — It's New York Comic Con tomorrow and of course my husband and I have waited until the last minute to get tickets, and now they're sold out. I post on a forum to buy tickets and get a hit after an hour — a couple who bought Friday and Saturday passes can no longer go on Saturday and agree to meet up and sell me their tickets. They are selling them at face value ($55 per ticket), which I agree to instantly — my husband is a diehard nerd and I don't want to miss out on these tickets by lowballing these guys. My husband texted me earlier in the day about how disappointed he was that we missed out on tickets, so I decide not to tell him about my success and to surprise him with the tickets at dinner. $110
6 p.m. — The weekend is finally here! My coworker invited me and my husband to dinner to celebrate her husband's birthday, and since it doesn't start until 7 p.m., we have an hour to kill. We catch the subway downtown and head to a bar near the restaurant where the wines are $5. Yay for happy hour! I get a pretzel because I'm starving and I need something to soak up the alcohol so that I'm not completely useless by dinnertime. $20
7 p.m. — We get to the restaurant at 7 p.m. and meet up with her husband and their friends. My husband is outside and I surprise him with the tickets. The look of instant happiness that washes over his face makes the fact that I will be visiting comic stands and buying posters in a convention hall with over 10,000 people tomorrow while hungover almost worth it. Almost. The bill ends up being about $35 per person. We then go to a bar where we proceed to get a respectable amount of inebriated for people who have an event to attend tomorrow. My husband buys a round for the party. Everyone decides to head to the next bar, so we say our goodbyes at around 11 and get a cab home ($25). $195
Daily Total: $339.75

Day Four

9:30 a.m. — I'm woken up at 9:30 a.m. by the intercom — our cleaner is here. We have a regular cleaner once a month, which sets us back about $120 each time. We have a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, so it usually takes about three to four hours of deep cleaning. My husband and I both hate cleaning, so it's a price that we are both more than happy to pay for a happy marriage. Chores are something we have never argued about, and I'm sure having a cleaner is a big part of why. I'm not too hungover but definitely could've done with a few more hours beauty sleep. Groggily, I head to the shower and get ready for the day ahead. My husband's already up and getting ready for Comic Con. I feel about 80% more human after my shower and then slap on makeup, which takes me up to about 90%. I just need food and I'm all good to go. We're packed and out the door by 11 a.m.
11:20 a.m. — We get off the subway and stop off at a deli with a food bar on the way to the convention. My body is craving greasy food, so I get stir-fry noodles from the hot bar and a fruit salad (balance in all things, right?) and basically wolf it down in silence, much to my husband's amusement. We get to the convention center and are struck by the sheer size of the exhibit. My husband is like a kid in a candy store and we trudge around for around five hours before making our way out. Halfway through, we get what may possibly be the driest pretzel in the history of mankind (so unlike the one I had last night, which is what I was hoping it would be), which sets us back $5. $35
5:30 p.m. — After walking around for hours, we are famished and tired. I booked us a Japanese BBQ reservation for tonight a while back, which is just what we needed after a long day of walking and no food. We order a plethora of meats with frenzied enthusiasm. This, coupled with our lychee martinis, is a perfect way to end the day. Plus we come home to a spotless apartment! $115
Daily Total: $150

Day Five

10:30 a.m. — Sundays are for snoozing and sleeping in! Our body clocks usually wake us up around 7 a.m., but if we're lucky sometimes we fall back asleep for a couple of hours. Today, we successfully snooze until 10:30 a.m., and I could have slept for longer if it wasn't for my rumbling stomach. I get up and make avocado toast for breakfast while my hubby eats the rest of the leftovers from dinner last night. Sundays are usually a day of relaxation for us — we'll either watch Netflix, play computer games, or generally just chill before the work week ahead. My husband works a stressful job in finance, so it's an opportunity for him to de-stress and ready himself mentally for the week ahead.
2 p.m. — I online shop a bit — it's fall and if that isn't an excuse for a new wardrobe, I don't know what is! I pop a few things in my cart from my favorite stores and then realize the value of everything I want exceeds my entire weekly budget, so I regretfully close the tab.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

7:45 a.m. — Today is a public holiday for some (i.e. my husband), but not for me. It's dark and gloomy in NYC today, and it's taking all my will power to drag myself out of bed. I leave my husband snoozing in bed and leave for work. Hopefully, with half of the city off, it will be a quiet day today. I grab an iced latte on my way into work, which is a change from my normal hot latte, but what can I say, I'm unpredictable like that. $5
12 p.m. — I have no meetings at work today, so I use the opportunity to catch up on paperwork and admin stuff. By noon I'm starving, so I run down to the deli and get my usual salad mix. The SCOTUS saga is trending on Reddit, so I read articles and find myself losing my appetite. I go back to something more lighthearted — puppy videos. $8
6:30 p.m. — I get home and my husband and I decide to get takeout. We are both craving Thai, so we order from our favorite Thai restaurant on Uber Eats. We watch the latest episode of Law & Order: SVU Season 20 while eating dinner. God I love this show so much. Olivia Benson/Mariska Hargitay is my idol. $40
Daily Total: $53

Day Seven

7:45 a.m. — I'm surprised by my self-restraint from purchasing any clothes or makeup over the weekend. Previously, I would spend $500 on say, a leather jacket, or $200 on face and makeup products from Sephora in the blink of an eye, so I feel accomplished in that I am taking budgeting more seriously! I grab my regular latte and head into work. $4.75
12:30 p.m. — I have leftover Thai food from last night for lunch.
7 p.m. — I get home and cook a big dinner for the week ahead. I normally cook two nights' worth of food for my husband and me, which means I only have to cook about two to three nights a week. Tonight I'm feeling extra domestic-goddessy, so I make a meatball and vegetable soup, a chicken and potato stew, and a beef stir-fry with rice. It's a resounding success, and I think I've made enough for the next two nights. I wonder how long my frugality will last — this is probably the most frugal week I've had in a long time. Until next time!
Daily Total: $4.75
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