A Week In NYC On An $80,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennial women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar. (Thanks, New York mag, for the inspiration.) Today, a protein-conscious publisher falling into Netflix black holes.
Industry: Publishing
Age: 27
Location: New York, NY
Salary: $80,000
Paycheck Amount (2x a month): $1,590, after taxes
# of roommates: 3 Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,100
Utilities: $21.22
Internet: $11.24
ClassPass membership: $130
Transportation: $116 MetroCard

Day One

7:30 a.m. — Early morning BFX barre class before work. Covered under my ClassPass membership. I usually try to take around 25 classes per month, so the cost per class is low and I get to mix up my workouts. 10 a.m. — Breakfast is a hard-boiled egg. I usually make a batch at the beginning of the week to nosh on for the rest of the week. It’s the perfect little pop of protein. 11 a.m. — Ginger tea with honey. I always keep an assortment of tea in the office for a nice pick-me-up and to save on trips to the coffee shop. 12 p.m. — I make a quick trip to the office café and grab a pack of Doritos Cooler Ranch chips — my guilty pleasure — and I enjoy every last crunchy bite of it. $1.25 3 p.m. — Lunch of tofu, quinoa, and bok choy, and Greek yogurt, blueberries, and honey. I usually cook bulk meals on Sundays and bring it to work on Mondays to last me most of the week. 5 p.m. — My company hosts a free movie screening for all employees. Bonus: Free popcorn. 7 p.m. — Post-movie barbecue dinner with friends. $9.96 10 p.m. —I’m in a Netflix black hole and get lost in House of Cards and cookie-butter ice cream at my boyfriend’s apartment. Daily Total: $11.21

Day Two

9:30 a.m. — Breakfast is another hard-boiled egg and Irish soda bread a coworker made. 10:30 a.m. — A hot cup of peach tea to continue a relaxing morning. 12:30 p.m. — I remember it’s pay day and since it’s the second of the month, 100% goes into my savings account. I’m savings-minded, so I aim to save around 50% of my salary each month and max out my 401(k) and HSA. I don’t put hard limits on my spending, but take small steps to save money by cooking myself, price comparing, and buying stuff that’s on sale. 1 p.m. — Lunch of quinoa, bok choy, and tofu. 3 p.m. — A coworker and I trek to a lovely bakery for an afternoon snack. We both enjoy the best almond croissants New York has to offer. Worth the high price tag. $4 4 p.m. — I have a backpacking trip planned in a few weeks and buy some merino-wool leggings for the trip. They’ll wear well and are a steal at more than 75% off. $21.40 6 p.m. — Getting my workout in at Physique 57 barre. Covered under my ClassPass membership. 7:30 p.m. — My body is screaming for protein, so I quickly eat leftover roasted chicken from last night’s dinner and wolf down an apple courtesy of Physique 57. 8:30 p.m. — Spend the rest of the night at my friend’s, who is hosting a game night. She provides food and we indulge in cake and shakes. Daily Total: $25.40

Day Three

9:30 a.m. — Purchase a Groupon deal for a $50 Target gift card for $40. Also get cash back via a deals site. I’m planning ahead a bit and will definitely be using this when I’m back home in the suburbs. $37 10 a.m. — Purchase new prescription glasses through Warby Parker for $95, insurance pays 100% of the cost. 10:30 a.m. — Finally get to breakfast after my morning shopping spree and eat a hard-boiled egg and clementines. Why are clementines so tiny and delicious? 12:30 p.m. — Lunch of quinoa, bok choy, and tofu, and two more clementines. Again, why so yummy? 1:30 p.m. — Quick cup of ginger tea with honey between meetings. 4 p.m. — I’m menu planning for next week and pick up some wheat berries from Whole Foods. The bulk section is a great go-to place to grab healthy and fairly priced grains. The total cost is $1.10 for a pound, but I don’t take a bag and get a discount. Win-win, helping myself and the environment. $1 5:30 p.m. — I end the workweek with a Pure Barre class. Covered under my ClassPass membership. 7 p.m. — Catch up with my best friend and boyfriend during a dinner at a new restaurant that just opened. We are all savings-minded, so fancier dinners occur maybe twice a month vs. weekly. $10.89 Daily Total: $48.89

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — I have no idea why I’m not sleeping in, but I drag my butt to an early morning class at Barre3 and have an awesome instructor. Best part is I have most of the morning ahead of me. Covered under my ClassPass membership. 10 a.m.— I beat the long lines and make a weekly Trader Joe's run for groceries. I grab turkey, rice cakes, spinach, apples, greek yogurt, cereal, bananas, and blueberries. $31.14 12 p.m. — I make a quick lunch of rice cakes with almond butter, strawberries, and two eggs for a little additional protein. 1:30 p.m. — I’m going to a family party with my boyfriend, so we pick up a cake on the way to Grand Central Station and split the price. $9 2:30 p.m. — We take the train to Connecticut and I promptly fall asleep after my early morning. Yay for quick naps, especially in preparation for a family softball game, barbecue, and making s’mores over a campfire. $12.50 10:30 p.m. — We luck out and catch a ride with a cousin back to NYC. Daily Total: $52.64

Day Five

1:30 p.m. — Today is a rest day, so I sleep in and have lunch at a yummy Japanese restaurant with my boyfriend. We split the bill. $16.50 2:30 p.m. — Help! We’ve fallen into another Netflix black hole. This time, Daredevil steals a huge chunk of our afternoon. 7:30 p.m. — Sushi dinner with my amazing roommates. We order pickup at the joint next to our apartment and gossip over miso soup and maki rolls. $10.34 Daily Total: $26.84

Day Six

10 a.m. — Cheerios for breakfast. 1 p.m. — My lunch is leftovers of rice and fried chicken from Sunday’s lunch and a snack of Greek yogurt, blueberries, and honey. 5:30 p.m. — Challenging workout at ChaiseFitness. The instructor is tough about form and I’m all for that. Covered under my ClassPass membership. 7:30 p.m. — I didn't get to cook yesterday, so I make a batch of turkey meatballs and wheat berries for lunch this week. I make a mental note to pick up onions and garlic. 8 p.m. — I have a hodgepodge dinner of rice cakes with almond butter, strawberries, and a banana, and some meatballs. Daily Total: $0

Day 7

9:30 a.m. —Purchase socks for my boyfriend and some mascara. I use a gift card to pay for the $28.03 purchase and also get a $10 gift card for a future purchase in addition to cash back. 10 a.m. — Cheerios for breakfast. 12:30 p.m. — Lunch from home of turkey meatballs, glass noodles, and steamed vegetables. 1:30 p.m. — Lemon and ginger tea with honey. 2:30 p.m. — Slice up some apples and snack on them with peanut butter. Tip: Whole Foods has a new app and it sometimes offers free gifts with purchase. The peanut butter, priced around $5, was free with a $10 purchase. 6 p.m. — Flex barre class. It’s cardio-based and kicks my butt. 7:30 p.m. —I make myself a green drink and eat some meatballs, eggs, and fruit for dinner. Daily Total: $0
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