A Week In Philadelphia, PA, On A $65,000 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 maternal fetal medicine physician who makes $65,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on eggs and bacon.
Occupation: Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician
Industry: Medicine
Age: 30
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Salary: $65,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,600
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,500-3,000 (I don't actually know how much our mortgage is exactly because it's paid by my husband.)
Student Loan Payment: $412 (I'm paying the interest only on a private school loan and income-based repayment on federal loans)
Water: $20-40
Gas: $40-80
Electricity: $175-250 (I really like A/C.)
Gym: $59
Rent the Runway Unlimited: $159
Netflix: $0 (Mooching off a friend!)
Savings: $400
Retirement: 10% of each paycheck, my employer doesn't match
Stitch Fix Subscription: ~$260
Additional Expenses
Bright Cellars Wine Subscription: $68, every three months

Day One

6 a.m. — Wake up 15 minutes later than I wanted to. I roll out of bed and do my Rodan + Fields skincare. I use the Redefine system in the morning, which includes a face wash, a toner, vitamin E and retinol serum, and an SPF 50 moisturizer. Three days a week I swap out the face wash for a microdermabrasion scrub. I also always use their eye serum and cream. PSA: I don't sell the stuff, but it is incredible. My skin has never looked better. Then I put my makeup on — full foundation, concealer for undereye circles, eyeliner, mascara, and blush. Wrangle my hair, which is naturally curly, but I usually straighten it when I have time. Off to work.
7:05 a.m. — Arrive at the hospital and walk directly to the cafeteria for breakfast. I don't always have the time to eat a real breakfast, but since I'm on clinic this entire month, I'm taking advantage. Standard breakfast order includes two scrambled eggs, two pieces of bacon, and two pieces of white (or rye) toast. Also a fountain Mountain Dew, because I'm so, so tired. $5.65
12:15 p.m. — Long morning of OB clinic. It's amazing and I love my job, but the long hours can be tough. I step outside into the sunshine to grab lunch. Chicken and rice from food truck, plus a Coke. $8
8:45 p.m. — Early to bed, since I have to work 24 hours tomorrow. I have a pretty elaborate bedtime routine. After brushing (and flossing!) my teeth, I climb into bed and read an article from a scientific journal. The learning NEVER stops in medicine. Then I read a chapter of You Are A Badass, spend five minutes meditating with Simple Habit, and am out like a light shortly thereafter.
Daily Total: $13.65

Day Two

6:25 a.m. — Wake up. The only good thing about being on call is that my day starts at 8 rather than our usual 6 to 7 a.m. start time. Normal morning routine.
7:15 a.m. — Arrive to the hospital and spend 45 minutes researching the patients I'll be taking care of today. When I'm on call, I oversee labor and delivery, our OB triage unit, our high risk pregnant patients, the postpartum patients, and our gynecology inpatients as well as any consults or emergency surgeries that come in through the regular emergency department. I'll get sign out from the physicians on overnight, but I like to do my own sleuthing as well.
8 a.m. — My coworker brought donuts. Score. I snag a coconut one as I sit through sign out.
11:30 a.m. — Do a C-section and make plans for lunch. Today is my last call of residency. Because of this, one of the other physicians offers to buy my lunch. I don't say no, and order a double cheddar burger with truffle fries from a nearby restaurant ($19).
1 p.m. — Now I want snacks. The labor floor is not as busy as it often is, so I'm able to sneak down to the gift shop and get a soda, a pack of M&Ms, and Mallo cups. 24-hour call is all about willpower and appropriate snacks. Your teammates also make a big difference, and mine are great today. $4.68
7 p.m. — Fresh team members come in. I'm so happy to see them, because we're starting to get super busy. I fill them in on the laboring patients and then we immediately begin discussing dinner. We settle on family style Chinese food. Again, one of the other physicians offers to buy my dinner. I choose sesame noodles, scallion pancakes, and chicken dumplings from the menu.
10 p.m. — Finally get to eat my dinner after some unexpected changes in patient status. It's cold, but delicious.
Daily Total: $4.68

Day Three

12 a.m. — Nobody wants to have a baby, and I'm getting restless. I snack on lemon cake baked by one of my fellow doctor's wives. Amazing. Eating is the only thing that keeps me awake at a certain point on call. I'm often asked if I can sleep during call. The short answer is no; I need to be awake to handle the emergencies that come with delivering babies.
4:30 a.m. — Starving again. Break out a block of cheese and crackers and munch on them while watching my laboring patient's baby's heartbeats.
8 a.m. — Sign out to the oncoming team. It's my last sign out in this role, and it's a little bittersweet. I take solace in the fact that I'll be back on L&D again soon. I'm taking on a new role as a high risk pregnancy fellow, because 1) I love obstetrics, and 2) I just can't stop training yet.
8:50 a.m. — Run to the helipad and take some #basic jumping pictures with my team to celebrate my last call as a resident.
10 a.m. — Home. Showering after a 24-hour call is literally the second best thing in the world. The first best is climbing into bed, which I do as soon as I'm clean. I instantly fall asleep.
3 p.m. — Awake. I lie in bed for a bit and scroll social media while petting my cats. Then I Venmo my co-resident $20 for buying gifts for our program director and administrative assistant. My husband is at work, and I hate sleeping post-call when he's not home. I know I have to get up so that I can go back to sleep tonight. $20
3:30 p.m. — Face routine and normal makeup. I forego straightening my hair because it's raining and I know it'll just get ruined anyway.
4 p.m. — Grab my umbrella and walk to the nail salon. There's a big party coming up to celebrate the end of our residency, and I want fresh nails. Gel manicure is actually the only nail that will hold up to the constant scrubbing that comes with doing surgery on a regular basis, so I spring for gel manicures probably twice a month. Today I also get a pedicure and an eyebrow wax. Yay, self care. $70
5:45 p.m. — Call my husband on the walk home. We make plans to have fast food for dinner, and he tells me he'll be leaving work in 15 minutes.
6:30 p.m. — Husband finally gets home, and we walk a few blocks to our local McDonald's. I order a 10-piece nugget meal with soda for me and two hamburgers and a four-piece nugget for him. He pays.
8 p.m. — Now that we've eaten and showered, we settle in on the couch to watch Westworld with every intention of catching up on a few episodes. After one episode, though, my mind is on overload and I feel like I need to drag my body back to bed.
9:15 p.m. — Abbreviated bedtime routine because I'm so tired. I read an article in our professional journal, meditate, and am out like a light.
Daily Total: $90

Day Four

6:45 a.m. — Slept in so much. Call weekends really wreck my sleeping habits. Luckily there's a provider meeting this morning, so patients aren't starting as early. I do my face routine and makeup but decide not to do my hair since it's raining again and sometimes it looks cute curly.
7:40 a.m. — Make it to work in time to print my teaching for the morning. I go to the nurse practitioner meeting as a liaison to both improve our working relationship but also improve their education. Today we're shamelessly going over a book chapter that I wrote last year on genetic screening. I stop on my way to the meeting and grab my usual breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. I add a Mountain Dew because #call. $5.65
8:30 a.m. — Back in clinic for the start of patients this morning. It's a lighter day than usual.
11:30 a.m. — Done with patients for the morning. Working on prepping for tomorrow's clinic. Tomorrow is all high-risk pregnancies, which are my absolute favorite thing to work on. It takes time, however, to make sure everyone is doing what they should be to stay healthy, so I usually spend all my free time on Mondays getting this in order.
12:15 p.m. — Walk to the cafeteria for lunch. Grab chicken tender, fries, and a bottled water ($8.93). While I'm there, I stop at Au Bon Pain and grab a rice krispy treat for later ($2.69). $11.62
1 p.m. — Abnormal pap smear clinic this afternoon. I work on research projects during down time between patients. I also check out what Bright Cellars is sending me for my wine shipment. Every three months I get four bottles of wine tailored to my taste. I am super into subscription services; they're like a present. Except that I have to pay for them.
4:30 p.m. — We only had four patients show for clinic this afternoon. I'm both happy to leave early, but sad that we can't convince women how important it is to follow up for these abnormalities. I walk to my car in the beautiful weather only to sit in traffic for an hour. This is what happens when you leave early.
5:15 p.m. — Stop to fill my car with gas. $40.22
5:30 p.m. — Arrive home. My husband calls me to say he wants to go to the gym, so I wait for him to get home so I can join him. I do a couple of chores around the house and then settle on the couch to study for my upcoming board exam. I only get five questions in before he gets home.
6 p.m. — We head to the gym, but on the walk there he gets a call from work about a sick patient and has to turn around and go back. I love that we're both in medicine, because we completely understand what each other are dealing with in our careers. I trudge on to the gym by myself and run 3.5 miles on the treadmill.
8 p.m. — Back home and showered. We make Trader Joe's frozen ravioli for dinner. I munch on pistachios and apples while it's cooking because I'm so hungry. Then we eat on the couch while watching Monday Night Raw. My husband has watched his entire life, and now I watch too.
9 p.m. — I get into bed, read an article and then a chapter of my book, and do minutes of meditation. Snuggle up with the husband and both of our cats. Asleep so quickly.
Daily Total: $57.49

Day Five

6 a.m. — I've been really struggling to get out of bed; I successfully snoozed my alarm for an hour today. Finally pry my eyes open for normal morning routine. Out the door by 6:45.
7:15 a.m. — Arrive at the hospital and run by the cafeteria to get breakfast. The toaster (one toaster for the ENTIRE HOSPITAL!) is in use and I don't have time to wait. Eggs and bacon alone it is. $3.41
7:30 a.m. — Clinic is in swing. Run through our list of term patients to make sure everyone has all that they need to deliver safely and get down to updating the list for the next resident to take over next week. It's so weird to think about changing roles. Donate $25 to charity in honor of one of my nursing friends who passed away due to cancer. $25
10 a.m. — Waiting for a patient to be placed in a room. I take this time to check out my Stitch Fix. I receive it monthly, and this time I'm keeping three items — a skirt that I truly thought I would hate but is super cute, a red dress fit for Meghan Markle herself, and a new pair of olive pants. Like I said, I'm a sucker for a subscription service.
12:10 p.m. — Done with clinic for the morning. My husband texts me to say he has a break from jury duty and asks if I want to meet him for lunch. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. I rush out of the hospital and up the street to meet him at a new food hall halfway between us. We both get burgers and I treat. $25
1 p.m. — Back to clinic for our afternoon session. My first patient has the same name as my cat, which is super interesting. She doesn't find that nearly as cute as I do.
6 p.m. — My husband and I are meeting up with my group of residency friends. We're kicking off celebrations for graduation and welcoming the new group of interns to our program. I walk to the subway station and wait 15 minutes with no train. I get frustrated and decide we should drive. We walk back home and drive to my husband's old hospital. We miraculously still have an ID card that gets us in. Only after we're parked do I discover I don't have my ID. This cannot be happening. We drive all the way back home to get it, but Hubs is frustrated and decides he no longer wants to go.
7:15 p.m. — Finally on the train. Arrive to find all my work friends knee-deep in food and drink, so I quickly start my own tab and order a delicious gin and rosé concoction for myself and a friend. I catch up and make small talk with the new interns. They're so scared of starting, and I feel for them because I vividly remember being in their shoes. It's terrifying to make the leap from being a student to being a doctor. Luckily, they're in a great place.
9:15 p.m. — How is it so late already? I close my tab, jump on the train, and text my husband not to go to sleep without me. $42
9:45 p.m. — Home. I jump in the shower and decide not to wash my hair. Thank god for dry shampoo. I'm too tired (tipsy?) to read or meditate, and I fall asleep quickly.
Daily Total: $95.41

Day Six

5:40 a.m. — Out of bed. Normal morning routine. I throw my hair in a high pony and am out the door in 20 minutes.
6:45 a.m. — Get to the hospital and drop off an air mattress for my coworker to borrow for the weekend. I stop by labor and delivery to grab a bag of snacks I left after call on Sunday morning. Then I stop by Au Bon Pain for a bottle of water and a blueberry muffin. $4.60
12 p.m. — Done with clinic for the morning. I spent an insane amount of time on the phone with insurance companies today, which is without a doubt my least favorite part of my job. Luckily my hospital is having an event with adoptable puppies, so my coworkers and I walk over to it. We spend five minutes snuggling dogs and it makes me feel so much better about life. I text my husband pictures, and he responds with a firm no. I guess he's really becoming a cat person after all. I walk to the food trucks near the hospital to get chicken and rice and a soda for lunch. $8
1 p.m. — Back in clinic and waiting for my first patient to be ready. I peruse Rent The Runway. My little brother's wedding is happening in less than a month, and I still haven't found the perfect dress. I have RTR Unlimited during times when I have a lot of events so I can keep dresses for a longer period of time. Today I request a really cute jumpsuit that I'm pretty sure my mother will nix. Maybe I can wear it to the rehearsal dinner.
4:45 p.m. — Last patient didn't show up for clinic, so I'm out a little earlier than normal. I call my parents as I walk to the parking garage to confirm their plans for tomorrow. Tomorrow is my residency “graduation,” and they are planning to come. They still live in a very small Appalachian town, so they get incredibly anxious before coming to the city. I talk through the plans with them while I drive home.
5:30 p.m. — Home. Feed the cats and gather up laundry. Change clothes for a Body Pump class at the gym.
6:15 p.m. — Walk to the gym and talk to my husband on the way. He's coming home from work and stops for groceries. I tell him I don't need anything because I'm planning a big shopping trip this weekend.
8 p.m. — Out of the gym. Feeling deliciously sore from the class. My husband surprises me by waiting at the curb when I walk out. We walk home together.
8:15 p.m. — Arrive home. Shower and start to cook dinner. Macaroni and cheese, TJ's dumplings, and a peanut butter sandwich. Nothing if not healthy.
9 p.m. — Get into bed early because I know I'll be up super late tomorrow night. Read an article, do five minutes of meditation, and I'm out.
Daily Total: $12.60

Day Seven

5:45 a.m. — Out of bed, put on makeup, straighten my hair. Throw on a dress and jump in the car.
6:55 a.m. — Make it to work just in time for our first lecture of the day. Thursday mornings are dedicated to didactics. Since I'm no longer going to be doing gynecology, I bring my laptop to do personal stuff during the lecture.
9 a.m. — W get a break to eat (finally!). I get eggs, toast, sausage, and a large Mountain Dew. Again, trying to prepare for staying up late tonight. $5.12
10:30 a.m. — Leave lecture with one of my coworkers. We're going to clinic early to take her IUD out. Benefits of having a gyn friend — birth control can just be removed whenever you're ready. I'm dying to take my own IUD out, but remind myself that there's a reason I have it. My husband and I are planning a trip later this year to South Africa and then planning to try to conceive, but my ovaries won't stop screaming at me. Being around pregnant women and cute babies every day certainly doesn't help.
11:30 a.m. — Working on administrative stuff in clinic. I don't have any patients scheduled today, which is great because I can't concentrate on anything with graduation tonight. Munching mindlessly on chips I left here days ago.
2 p.m. — There's free ice cream courtesy of the clinic administrators to celebrate graduation. Don't mind if I do. I have vanilla with sprinkles and Oreo bits, because I'm a child. My husband texts me to say my parents arrived safely. He's planning to put my dad to work installing a ceiling fan and outside planter boxes. My dad can literally do anything.
3:30 p.m. — Leave work at the request of my program director so I can go home and get ready for the party. I decide to leave my car in the parking garage and take the subway home to avoid the early afternoon traffic.
4 p.m. — Arrive home to my parents and husband drinking on the couch. I briefly join them in lounging before dragging myself upstairs to shower. I redo my makeup and then parade myself in front of my mother with a few dress options for my brother's upcoming wedding. She clearly likes one better than the other, but it's not the same one I like, so we'll see.
8 p.m. — Graduation celebration has started. It is really an amazing tribute to my class, and, even though I'm not leaving, I feel so sad that many of my classmates will be moving away to start their new jobs. The bond we've formed from learning together is very tight, and it's hard to think about being at the same hospital without them soon.
8:30 p.m. — The ceremony is over, and now it's time to party. We head to the roof for apps and the open bar. I spend a lot of time introducing my parents to my work family. They clearly feel intimidated, so I do my best to make them comfortable.
10:30 p.m. — What a great party. We decide to go home since I STILL have to work tomorrow, and we're throwing another party on Saturday.
Daily Total: $5.12
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