A Week In NYC On A $43,000 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 financial coordinator making $43,000/year who spends it on cabs to and from her boyfriend's place.
Occupation: Financial Coordinator
Industry: Medical
Age: 27
Location: NYC
Salary: $43,000
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $650
Monthly Expenses
Monthly Housing Costs: $640 a month, utilities included. I'm a single parent and live with my aunt and my son.
Monthly Loan Payments: $0 since I qualified for financial aid.
All Other Expenses
Gym membership: $10.45
MetroCard: $31/week, pre-tax
Credit Cards: $70/month. (Why was I so reckless?!)
Savings: I really try to save at least $100/month.
Phone bill: My share on a family plan is $80/month.
Apple Music: I pay $7 and my sister pays the rest of the $14.99 subscription.
Netflix: $0, thanks to my older sister.
Health insurance: $65/week for me and my son. (My son's dad is unemployed at the moment and not helping me financially right now.)

Day One

7 a.m. — I refill my weekly MetroCard before heading to work. $31
8 a.m. — I get to the hospital where we have a Starbucks onsite. I order a grande iced coffee and then go to the cafeteria for tater tots with sausage. I would save a lot more money if I didn't spend so much on food. I almost never cook — I really hate it — so I eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. $6
12 p.m. — I go to the hospital cafeteria and buy a really decent-sized salad for lunch, and I get 15% off because I am an employee. I'm trying to eat healthier and go for salads at least three times a week. $4.40
5 p.m. — I head to my dermatology appointment on the Upper West Side. I have pretty nasty eczema out of nowhere and it's driving me insane. My insurance covers me 100%, no copay.
8 p.m. — Finally home after my derm appointment. I have an allergy test on my back and have to go back in two days to remove it. I spend some time with my son and make him a sandwich for dinner. We cuddle a little bit before bed.
Daily Total: $41.40

Day Two

6:20 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I stay in bed for a little bit and browse through Amazon. Prime is legit a lifesaver. I order some cups for my son and new tweezers because I have no idea where I put mine. I jump in the shower and then get my son ready. After I drop him off at school, I head to work. $20
8 a.m. — I go to the hospital cafeteria and order breakfast and a coffee from Starbucks. I use my discount and then head upstairs to my room. $6
12 p.m. — I'm feeling lazy and decide not to walk to the other side of the hospital for my salad. Instead, I go to my regular café and get a ham and cheese whole-wheat wrap. I have water upstairs, so I don't need to spend money on a beverage. During the week, I only drink water and coffee, no juice or soda. $5.40
5:30 p.m. — I make it home from work and call my boyfriend. We usually see each other twice a week, so we chat for a bit and make plans to see each other tomorrow. I make dinner for my son — mac and cheese and a glass of milk — and we watch Moana on our Amazon Fire stick. (Thanks, babe.)
8 p.m. — It's time for bed.
Daily Total: $31.40

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — I snoozed this morning so I'm rushing to get my son ready for school. I don't have to worry about breakfast for him because his school provides free breakfast. He eats waffles or cereal once he gets there at 7:30.
8 a.m. — I go to Starbucks and have a medium iced coffee and sausage with corned beef hash. $6.00
1 p.m. — I take lunch a little later since a coworker brought me another coffee around 11 a.m. I walk over to the other hospital building and buy a crispy chicken salad. $4.40
5 p.m. — I get to my dermatology follow-up appointment. She checks the allergy test (apparently, I'm allergic to nickel) and gives me suggestions for a new body wash and soap to use. I make a mental note to stop by Duane Reade during lunch tomorrow to pick them up.
6:30 p.m. — I'm really lucky to live with my aunt; she's amazing. She picks up my son from school and feeds him once they're home, usually rice and chicken. Once I get home, I make him a ham and cheese sandwich and we cuddle and watch Wall-E until bedtime. I make myself a tuna sandwich before bed.
8 p.m. — I take a Lyft to and from my boyfriend's house; he lives in the Bronx, about 20 minutes away from me. We catch up on The Flash and cuddle. I almost always pay for my own cabs because I make more money than he does, but when we go out for date night (usually once a week, instead of staying in) he picks up the tab. I leave around midnight and climb into bed when I get home. I'm going to be so tired tomorrow. $40
Daily Total: $50.40

Day Four

6:50 a.m. — I'm so tired! I snooze three times and then force myself to jump out of bed. My son is truly the best kid ever. He's a morning person and never gives me any issues getting him up. I'm blessed! I vividly remember giving my own mother hell every morning before school.
8 a.m. — I have my usual coffee and breakfast at the cafe. I get a cold brew today because it's a little stronger and I feel like a zombie. $6
12 p.m. — I head to Duane Reade before getting lunch. I pick up Aveeno Skin Relief body wash, Aveeno lotion, and a small cocoa butter stick for a nasty pimple I had last week. I apply this at night before bed and it helps with the scar. I also pick up a new shower sponge. $30
12:30 p.m. — I get a crispy chicken salad, grab some water from the cooler, and eat at my desk on break while watching last night's Criminal Minds episode. $4.40
5 p.m. — I go to the beauty salon after work; it's a weekly expense for me. A wash-and-set is $20, plus tip. $25
7:30 a.m. — I go to the supermarket before heading home and do some food shopping for my son. I buy ham, cheese, bread, mac and cheese, milk, juice, cake, and some fruit snacks. $30
8 p.m. — I put the groceries away and call my boyfriend. We chat for a bit and try to decide on Friday night plans while I make my son dinner. I put my son to bed and climb into bed to watch The Blacklist before I go to sleep.
Daily Total: $95.40

Day Five

6:25 a.m. — I don't hit snooze today! I get up and get us ready for the day. My aunt is awake and makes coffee before I leave. I give my son $2 before I drop him off, in case he wants chips after school. $2
8 a.m. — I skip having a big breakfast today and grab coffee and a banana at Starbucks. I don't feel like eating. $3
1 p.m. — I meet an old coworker from my previous job at the hospital for lunch. We go to a Mexican place around the hospital and get burritos and and one margarita each. I pick up the tab. $45
8 p.m. — My boyfriend picks me up and we decide to go see John Wick 2; he pays. We head to his house after and go to sleep since the movie ran pretty late.
Daily Total: $50

Day Six

11 a.m. — I wake up at my boyfriend's. We cuddle for a bit and then I take a cab home. I really wish he would offer to pay... $20
12 p.m. — I arrive home and spend the afternoon with my son. Later, we head over to my mom's for lunch and chill there for a bit.
4 p.m. — I take my son to see the new Lego movie. I buy him chicken tenders and a slushy at the movies. He loves the movie, but falls asleep while it's playing. $40
7 p.m. — We're home from the movies and spend the rest of the day in bed watching TV until bedtime.
Daily Total: $60

Day Seven

9:30 a.m. — My son goes with his dad to his grandparents' house every Sunday, so I usually spend the day at home in bed or doing chores. I get him ready and his dad picks him up at 10 a.m.
12 p.m. — My mom brings me food, bless her heart. I'm in bed catching up on shows from the week. I try and do the bare minimum on Sundays.
6 p.m. — My son is back. I order Chinese food and look over his homework before bedtime. I also iron his uniform for school and my slacks and blouse for work on Monday. $12
Daily Total: $12
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