A Week In New York City On A $95,000 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 financial software sales executive working in Saas sales who makes $95,000 per year and spends some of her paycheck this week on melatonin.

Occupation: Financial Software Sales ExecutiveIndustry: Software Sales
Age: 27
Location: New York
Salary: $95,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,256

Monthly ExpensesRent: $1,350. (My boyfriend owns the two-bedroom apartment we live in and I pay him much less than market value.)
Student Loan Payment: $120, from my Master's degree in finance. (I have about $8,000 left to pay off.)
Phone Bill: $110
Gym Membership: $60
Yoga Studio Membership: $99
Health Insurance: $215
Roth IRA: $600
GMAT Study Prep: $99
Metro Card: $121, with my flexible spending card.
Psychiatrist Sessions: $200, not covered by insurance.


Day One

5 a.m. — It's Monday and my alarm goes off. I wake up this early to get in some GMAT studying before work – I'm on the waitlist at my top choice school and am retaking the exam so that I can hopefully make it off the waitlist. Out of the four schools I applied to, I was accepted to one and waitlisted at three. I enjoy getting up early and starting my day productively, but I am looking forward to getting this test over soon – finally, a light at the end of this 14-month tunnel! I chug a glass of warm water with lemon (like I do every morning), but it doesn't go down well for some reason. I eat two eggs with Sriracha for an energy boost.
8 a.m. — Wrap up studying and put on The New York Times's The Daily podcast and then NPR's Up First. No time to linger since I need to be in the office before 9 today to prep for the weekly sales meeting. I brush my teeth and wash my face before getting dressed. I bring my boyfriend his breakfast of peanut butter, Nutella, and sliced bananas on potato bread. I make a point to make him a sandwich in the morning because his Mondays are packed with meetings and he doesn't have time to sneak in a bite at the office. I pack up the grilled chicken ranch wraps I meal prepped yesterday, kiss him goodbye, and head downtown to my office. During my commute, I put on Pod Save America and catch up on political news.
8:58 a.m. — Arrive at the office with two minutes to spare! I make myself a cup of green tea and join the meeting. Every Monday it's the same drill: not enough sales and we need more business. This company is the definition of a boy's club. One of the things I wrote about in my business school applications was the need for women to be more visible in male-dominated industries and to have more of a support system.
12 p.m. — Out of the meeting just in time to jump on a client discovery call. This client found us through a Google search and I need to run through a list of questions to ensure our product is the right solution for his firm. The call goes well and we schedule a follow up demo for him to review our products. I eat yogurt with a banana for breakfast that I brought from home while sending out emails.
1 p.m. — I'm starving, so I go to the kitchen and heat up my chicken wrap. I also have two dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses and a handful of almonds from my snack drawer stash.
2 p.m. — I'm feeling sleepy so I get up to take a walk to keep from falling asleep. I go to a nearby coffee shop and get a slice of lemon poppy pound cake that I buy with a gift card I have.
3 p.m. — Jump on an hour-long client demo with the CFO of a private equity firm. Lots of questions and follow up items. Sigh. The deal definitely won't close this month.
5 p.m. — Leave the office and walk over to the SoulCycle studio a couple blocks away. I make it in time for a 5:30 class with one of my favorite instructors. Her music mashups are on point and I always walk away sore but smiling. Each time I go, I rent shoes and get a water for $5. I figure it evens out, though, since I bring my lunch to work every day. $37
7 p.m. — Stop by the market underneath my apartment building and pick up a baguette, a loaf of potato bread, bananas, kale, basil, tomatoes, pepperoni, spicy turkey, lemons, frozen tater tots, and Swiss cheese. I usually split the grocery cost with my boyfriend but today I'm feeling generous. $66.50
8 p.m. — I pour myself a glass of wine and make sandwiches with the pepperoni and spicy turkey. I bake tater tots, too, and then my boyfriend and I eat dinner while watching Breaking Bad. I never got into the show when it first came out so I'm going through the series for the first time. My boyfriend is re-watching but he doesn't remember much of the plot, so my efforts at getting him to tell me what happens next are useless.
10:30 p.m. — After cleaning up, I get in bed and read A Little Life. I set an alarm for 30 minutes because this book is so hard to put down. Put on the Daily Meditation Podcast and lights are out by 11:30.
Daily Total: $103.50

Day Two

5 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Chug warm lemon water and study for GMAT. Eat two hardboiled eggs.
8 a.m. — Put on the The Daily podcast and get ready for work. Make my boyfriend his usually peanut butter banana sandwich and one for myself for breakfast #2 before taking the subway downtown to work.
10 a.m. — After checking emails and scrolling through the news for an hour, I eat my peanut butter banana sandwich.
11 a.m. — Sit down with my manager to discuss my pipeline and ways to get more qualified leads.
1 p.m. — Today's lunch is another grilled chicken wrap with ranch and whole wheat tortilla. My office has free cashews, peanuts, and almonds so I get a cup of mixed nuts to eat along with my wrap.
2 p.m. — Jump on a demo and make a sales pitch to a firm.
5 p.m. — Out the door! Rush to the subway because I'm trying to make a 5:30 hot vinyasa class in midtown. I've been going to Yoga to the People for the past four years. When I moved away from the city for six months, it was one of the things I missed most. I get their monthly unlimited class pass and try to come twice a week. I rent a mat and towel and buy water before settling in for two hours of class. $5
8 p.m. — Leave the studio feeling refreshed! Decide to stop by Maison Kayser to pick up a baguette and two chocolate chunk cookies. I nibble on the baguette on my way home and then stop by a market to pick up mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and Italian dressing for salad. $45.87
9 p.m. — I shower and then eat dinner with my boyfriend – sandwiches again with a side salad. I make a lemon ginger green tea to stay hydrated after sweating so much at yoga. I'm in bed after eating two melatonin gummies and then I pass out by 10:30.
Daily Total: $50.87

Day Three

5 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Lay in bed for two minutes while procrastinating getting up. I mentally bribe myself with the promise of a delicious breakfast and then I'm in the study groove within ten minutes. I chug my warm lemon water and have a productive GMAT study session. I eat cheddar and fig on the Mayson Kaiser baguette with drizzled chocolate balsamic sauce.
8 a.m. — Same routine: put on The Daily and get ready for work. Make my boyfriend his usually peanut butter banana sandwich and one for myself and then head to work.
9 a.m. — I send out 50 cold emails for work.
12 p.m. — Today's lunch is again chicken wrap with ranch. I usually meal prep on Sunday so lunch for the week is the same every day. I find that as long as I switch it up week to week, I don't get sick of the food. One of the guys on the project management team just got back from Canada and brought maple cookies. I eat two and chat with him about his trip. I learned that he was in Canada visiting his wife's family. This guy is two years younger than me and has been married for a year. It's crazy how different people's lives are.
5 p.m. — Dash out the door and head home. I change into workout clothes and walk to the gym near my apartment. I walk one mile and then run four on the treadmill while watching Gossip Girl. It's so scripted but so addicting.
7:30 p.m. — Stop by the market and grab gnocchi, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, graham crackers, yogurt, and frozen stuffed clams for dinner. Venmo request my boyfriend for half. $32.50
8 p.m. — Shower and then listen to the Good Food podcast while making gnocchi with pesto and kale salad with lemon-shallot dressing. I put the baked clams in the oven and pour myself a glass of wine. For dessert, I layer the graham crackers with sliced bananas and top it all off with Siggi's drinkable yogurt and cinnamon for a healthier version of banana pudding. My boyfriend jumps on a conference call and I make silly faces at him while he's talking.
9 p.m. — My boyfriend is finally off his conference call and we sit down for our meal. I baked way too many stuffed clams and now we'll have leftover for days. Everything was delicious and we're both way too full, but of course there's always room for dessert! We each have a bowl of banana pudding and I head to bed. My boyfriend stays up late working, but I eat melatonin gummies and fall asleep.
Daily Total: $32.50

Day Four

5 a.m. — Alarm goes off and I'm feeling grumpy. My boyfriend was not as quiet as he thought he was when he came to bed at 4 a.m. I got woken up because I'm a light sleeper, hence why I need the melatonin. I chug warm lemon water and attempt to study.
7 a.m. — Today's just not my day. I'm trying to study but I'm just not comprehending the words. I decide to take a break and watch Peggie Neo's Mukbang. It's a Korean-style eating show, which at first I thought was ridiculous but after watching a few episodes on Youtube, I can't stop. Watching makes me hungry so I make a packet of Asha healthy ramen with two eggs and then order another five packs of it on Amazon. $10
9 a.m. — Get to the office and it's a ghost town. Read a few articles in The New Yorker and try to look busy. Order groceries from Instacart and get challah bread, shrimp, broccoli, yogurt, granola, bananas, milk, cheese, eggs, Cape Cod chips, and lemons. I Venmo request my boyfriend for half. $76.50
12 p.m. — Even though I had a big breakfast, I'm starving today. I wolf down my wrap and am still craving something sweet. I decide to head to Duane Reade to grab a chocolate chip Complete Cookie. The cashier talks me into buying three since they're on sale. I've been obsessed with these lately. They have 16 grams of protein and 400 calories per cookie and they taste great. $9
3 p.m. — Feeling sleepy so I force myself to do a lap and grab a La Croix. My office has free La Croix, which is a great perk. I usually eat lunch at my desk, so most days I find myself sitting for eight hours straight. I try to get up every hour to socialize with coworkers.
5 p.m. — Leave the office and head to a Rumble class. It's a 45-minute HIIT/boxing class that has water bags instead of sandbags, which are supposedly better for your knuckles. I've been doing Rumble once a week for the past seven months and have noticed more definition in my abs and arms. Plus all the instructors are hot, the music is great, and the locker rooms are stocked with beauty products. $39
7 p.m. — Shower and then get a text from my friend who's hanging out at a bar in Hell's Kitchen. I'm a sucker for a $5 frozen margarita so I Uber over. It's packed but we grab a table. My friend fills me in on the latest gossip at his office (where I used to work). We're two drinks in when I realize I'm starving. We order loaded nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, and sliders. The food tastes amazing because I'm buzzed and we inhale everything in 10 minutes. We split the check. $84.50
9 p.m. — Get texts from my friends who work in finance and are just getting out of work. I decide to get an Uber and meet up with them at another bar. $15.49
9:30 p.m. — I grab glasses of wine for us and then hang out with my friends and their coworkers. There's talk of getting a table at a rooftop lounge next. All of college, I had a hard time saying no to social obligations and always felt guilty telling my friends when I was staying in. It's gotten better since, but it's still something I struggle with. I tell my friends that I can't go the next bar because I have a 10 a.m. work call and need to be home by midnight. $40
11:50 p.m. — As the group gets ready to move to their next destination, I sneak off in a cab. I set my alarm for 8 a.m., say a quick hello to my boyfriend, and am in bed and asleep by 12:20. $24.76
Daily Total: $299.25

Day Five

8 a.m. — Alarm goes off and I'm hungover. I forgot to chug water last night and my throat feels like it's on fire. I snuggle up against my boyfriend and hit snooze. I stare at the ceiling, willing myself to get up, but I can't. Seriously thinking about calling in sick but decide against it since I'm taking two days off next week.
8:30 a.m. — I begrudgingly get dressed and head out. Grab a bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel from a coffee shop next to the office. I usually don't drink coffee because it makes me jittery, but today I get a black medium roast from Starbucks. The bagel makes everything slightly better. $9.65
10 a.m. — Client cancels the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time. My friend texts me freaking out about her current hookup situation with one of her coworkers. My headache has gotten worse and now the nausea has set in, so I'm not in a place to give good advice.
12 p.m. — I can't tell if I'm hungry or just hungover, but I head out in search of lunch. I decide to get a tuna sandwich from Potbelly and skip out on sides to save money. $11.50
4:30 p.m. — Every Friday, our CEO takes everyone out for happy hour. It's two hours of unlimited drinks and fried appetizers. After two glasses of wine and fries, I've miraculously recovered and am wondering if I should have added whiskey to my coffee this morning. Hair of the dog is no joke!
7 p.m. — Leave happy hour and subway home. My boyfriend is home but working. We decide to order pizza for dinner and he puts it on his Amex. I sit on the couch and watch Gossip Girl until the food arrives. We watch the first episode of Better Call Saul while eating dinner. Then we have more of the “healthy” banana pudding and chat about our respective weeks.
10 p.m. — In bed and reading my book while my boyfriend cranks away on his laptop next to me. He wraps up work and we do the Wednesday New York Times crossword in bed. We don't attempt the Thursday or Friday ones because they're just too challenging. We finish without looking up clues and I fall asleep on his shoulder.
Daily Total: $21.15

Day Six

9 a.m. — Wake up and decide to make peanut butter-and-banana-stuffed challah French toast. I combine eggs, melted butter, honey, milk, and cinnamon and then soak the sliced challah in the mixture. While the French toast cooks, I put together yogurt parfait bowls by layering Siggi's with granola, blueberries, and drizzled honey. My boyfriend comes in the kitchen in search of coffee and is very excited about the breakfast.
11:45 p.m. — Arrive at Yoga to the People for the 90-minute noon class. I show my monthly membership card and then rent a mat and towel. $4
2 p.m. — Get home, shower, and eat a Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate bar, which my boyfriend brought back from his recent London trip. I sit down and start a four-hour GMAT practice test that I purchased from the MBA website. $60
8:30 p.m. — After reviewing my errors, I'm finally done with studying for the day! I decide to make sushi for dinner so I head to the market to grab tuna steak, wasabi, avocado, and pickled ginger. I recently learned how to make sushi and it's surprisingly easy and a lot cheaper than ordering from Seamless. I make six rolls: three spicy tuna and three California. $19.50
9:30 p.m. — Dinner is served and I have a glass of wine with my delicious homemade sushi. One of my goals for this year was to cook more and eat out less. So far, we've only ordered delivery once in three weeks. The wines I've been drinking are from the WSJwine Club. I got a case of 12 wines as a Christmas present and have been making my way through the reds.
11 p.m. — Read in bed with my boyfriend and start Sunday's NYT crossword.
Daily Total: $83.50

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Decide to go to the gym before breakfast. I run on the treadmill for 60 minutes while watching Gossip Girl. Then I stretch and head home, picking up two venti iced chais from Starbucks on the way. I shower and heat up leftover French toast for breakfast with yogurt. $15.34
12 p.m. — Sit down and study for the GMAT. It's frustrating getting the same questions wrong over and over again and not being able to find a satisfactory explanation for the correct answer. I eat more Cadbury chocolate and continue.
5 p.m. — Feeling burnt out, I decide to call it quits for the day since I will be resuming in 12 hours. I make kale salad with lemon-shallot dressing and heat up leftover pizzas for dinner.
6 p.m. — My boyfriend has conference calls until 8 so I decide to meal prep and make chocolate pecan blondies while waiting for him to finish. Run down to the market and grab King Arthur white whole wheat flour, chocolate chips, butter, pecans, vanilla extract, baguette, mixed greens, and tofu. I roast the tofu in BBQ sauce and make four tofu sandwiches with the baguette and mixed greens. I bake the blondies and decide to bring half to the office for my coworkers tomorrow. $35.60
8:20 p.m. — My boyfriend finally finishes his calls and we have dinner and watch SNL. He is very excited about the blondies so he gives me a bear hug and several wet smooches. He always works late on Sunday nights so I say goodnight and head to bed without him.
9:30 p.m. — I finish my book in bed and then order Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You ($14.52) on Amazon for my next read, along with four bottles of melatonin gummies. Set alarm for 5 a.m. and then lights are out by 11. $74.48
Daily Total: $125.42
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