A Week In New York City On A $32,000 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.
Today: a writer who makes $32,000 per year.
Occupation: Writer
Industry: Journalism
Age: 24
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $32,000, after tax
Paycheck (2x/month): $1,215. I make overtime, so this is a flexible number.
Monthly Expenses
Housing Costs: $1,550/month for rent
Loan Payments: $0
All Other Monthly Expenses
MetroCard: $121 for a monthly unlimited
Savings: $75 a month into savings
Spotify: $9.99 per month

Day One

9 a.m. — My boyfriend and I wake up painfully hungover. We're staying at my friend's house on Fire Island, where our night started at a fabulous, classy, cocktail party. We ended up leaving a bar at 4 a.m. with pizza and giant water bottles. Honestly, I'm scared to check my credit card bill, so I don't. Maturity!
1 p.m. — It is the most beautiful beach day. We decide to grab lunch after baking in the sun and chugging water. We eat at my friend's beach club; she puts our fish tacos and calamari on her family's tab at the club.
5 p.m. — Unfortunately, we have to leave and the Sunday scaries are setting in. We hop on the ferry to get back to Long Island, and take the LIRR from Bay Shore back to Manhattan. When we get to Penn Station, we run to the subway back to his apartment. After a long shower, I feel a lot better. $13.45
8 p.m. — After our showers, we walk to Mimi Cheng's for dumplings. We split a bunch of different types; my favorite is the "classic." My boyfriend picks up the tab. We hustle back to his place after we scarf down our food to make sure we don't miss a minute of Game of Thrones. We have a tradition where we watch the show with his brother and his brother's girlfriend, and they can be ruthless — starting the show without us.
Daily Total: $13.45

Day Two

7:30 a.m. — I wake up tired, disoriented, and unprepared to go to work. Is it possible to have the Monday scaries? I decide caffeine is necessary, so I stop by Sant Ambroeus to buy a latte before getting on the train. $4.90
1:30 p.m. — Despite a rough start, it's been a low-key morning. I've been in meetings all morning and had a handful of almonds and pretzels for a midmorning snack. I decide to venture outside to pick up a Sweetgreen salad for lunch. I love the kale Caesar but I get it without tomatoes. $10.65
7 p.m. — I sprint out of work because I forgot that I signed up for a SoulCycle class. I bought the package a while ago and this class is about to expire. I pay for the shoe and water rental because I forgot to bring my own water today. $5
8:30 p.m. — I'm exhausted and stop at by Chloe to buy a quinoa taco salad and sweet potato fries on my way home. At home, I jump in the shower and then plop down on the couch. I have a job interview tomorrow, so I do some preparation while I eat. Before bed, I look in our freezer for something sweet, and am relieved to see a carton of cookie dough Halo Top. I scoop some out and enjoy. $17.31
Daily Total: $37.86

Day Three

6 a.m. — I wake up and continue preparing for my job interview. It's pretty informal, but I want to make sure I'm as prepared as possible. I make myself toast with avocado, olive oil, and sea salt. I also grab a latte from Le Pain Quotidien. $4.63
8:30 a.m. — I take a Via to my job interview because I have to dial into a conference call for my current job while I'm commuting, and I don't want to lose service on the subway. I love Via. It's a little less efficient than Uber but the drivers are always so nice, and it's an affordable service that'll take you almost anywhere. $5.44
10 a.m. — The interview finishes. I think it went well, and I'm interested in the opportunity. Unfortunately, the interview is across town from my office and there aren't any good subway options. I worry that the bus will be too slow, especially since I'm already running late, so I hop in a cab and make it to the office 15 minutes later. $13.80
11 a.m. — It's been a slow morning. My boyfriend has talked a lot about wanting to try yoga, so I sign us up for a Friday morning class at a studio by my apartment. I already have some classes but he's a beginner, so I pay 20 bucks for him to sign up. $20
1 p.m. — I walk to a Mediterranean place and get falafel, rice, and an iced tea. $12.68
7 p.m. — I hop into a Via to meet a friend for a post-work drink. $5.44
9 p.m. — After two glasses of rosé at the High Line Hotel (and plenty of political bashing) with my friend, I see two missed calls from my boyfriend. I power walk to my apartment where he's waiting for me. His job gives him money for dinner if he works past 8:30 p.m. (must be nice) so he buys us a bunch of Thai food, including pad Thai, dumplings, and curry. $30
Daily Total: $91.99

Day Four

8 a.m. — Before hopping on the subway to work, I stop into a new coffee shop by my house. I order a large café au lait, and to my horror, the price comes out to over $5. I've ordered more complicated drinks at other places that have been less expensive. I make a mental note to never come back to this place. $5.13
1 p.m. — I bring in leftover curry and pad Thai for lunch. It's delicious but is making my whole office smell a little funky, so I get a lot of glares from other people.
7 p.m. — I sprint out of work again to make my 7:30 p.m. SoulCycle class. This time, I remember to bring my own water, but I still pay for the shoe rental. After class, I hop on the subway and head home. I'm meeting three friends for drinks in a bit, so I need to shower and make myself presentable. After my shower, I sauté kale I found in our fridge and mix it with goat cheese and toasted almonds. An impromptu and edible dinner. $3
9:45 p.m. — I meet two of my three friends at the Orient Express cocktail bar. I'm not feeling great, so I get a glass of prosecco to calm my stomach a little bit. My friend picks up the tab before we migrate to another bar to meet our other friend.
10:45 p.m. — I pick up the tab for our four drinks at The Happiest Hour. I love the drinks here and it's close to where I live, so I always enjoy getting a nightcap here. I make it my mission to leave before midnight, and I find myself heading home at 11:58. Mission accomplished. $56.62
Daily Total: $64.75

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I wake up tired again, with a sense that I spend my whole life feeling exhausted. I wonder if I should get a Fitbit sleep-tracker to analyze my sleep cycles. I put that on my to-do list before making a coffee, showering, and getting on the subway.
8 a.m. — One coffee isn't enough, so I stop by the coffee shop across from my office and get an iced latte. I also eat an RXBar and a graham cracker. $5
11 a.m. — I remember that I have a wedding to go to in two weekends, and I still have no outfit or dress for the occasion. It's a Hamptons wedding, so it'll probably be dressier. I peruse Rent the Runway and find one I actually like. $157.81
1 p.m. — I take a stroll to Whole Foods to grab my lunch. I get a turkey burger, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and a Pellegrino. $14.19
1:30 p.m. — I'm off tomorrow and going to my friend's house on Nantucket, so I run into the Sugarfina in Columbus Circle to get her parents a thank-you gift for hosting us. I decide on the bento box of alcoholic candy. $30.49
7 p.m. — I leave work and meet my parents at the roof bar at the Viceroy to get a drink. They buy my two glasses of rosé before I hop on the subway. Parents are the best.
9 p.m. — I get to Brooklyn Bowl, where I'm meeting my boyfriend and his friends to see a concert. He already got my ticket online and has a beer waiting for me when I show up. Honestly, true love.
11 p.m. — The concert was really fun but I'm exhausted, so we take the subway back to Manhattan so I can get some sleep. I'm flying to Nantucket tomorrow and need to pack anyway.
Daily Total: $207.49

Day Six

8 a.m. — I wake up to get on a conference call before flying. I stop by O Café to get a cappuccino while I take the call. $4.90
9:30 a.m. — I call an Uber to take me to JFK. I'm being lazy, and I need to stay on this call. $60.68
1 p.m. — Happily chilling on beautiful Nantucket Beach. I'm staying at my friend's family house and they're really taking care of us this weekend!
4:30 p.m. — Unfortunately, by the time more of our friends arrive, the beach is pretty cloudy and misty. We decide to go to Cisco Brewery to eat and drink before our dinner later. I decide to get a Whale's Tail beer. $7
5:30 p.m. — I realize I haven't eaten anything since I downed the free snacks on the plane. I get a chicken quesadilla and chips and guacamole for the table. My friend goes to get more beers for us and she picks up the alcohol tab while I get the food. $17
8:30 p.m. — After the Brewery, we go home to shower before we go out to dinner with her family in town. Her family is incredibly gracious and picks up the tab for dinner.
11 p.m. — We head to The Chicken Box, one of the only bars on Nantucket. The cover is 10 bucks to get in. I pay up and head inside. $10
12 a.m. — I grab two vodka sodas for me and one of my friends. $12
Daily Total: $111.58

Day Seven

9 a.m. — The hangover is not bad! Two of my friends wake up early with me and we decide to go for a walk in town. We see a cute bakery and get coffee. $2.57
12 p.m. — The rest of our gang is awake and ready, so we head to the beach. Our host's parents are throwing her brother a birthday party later on Nobadeer Beach. We go and set up camp, bringing sandwich supplies with us to make lunch.
5 p.m. — The party is getting started. I take up duty as a bartender and drink a side glass of rosé on the side.
8 p.m. — This party is incredibly fun but sun is setting in the next half hour, which means it'll end soon. I swing by the grill and get a burger.
10 p.m. — After packing up, my friends and I are exhausted and decide to call it an early night. No Chicken Box tonight.
Daily Total: $2.57
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