A Week In San Diego, CA, On A $125,000 Salary

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Today: an attorney working in government who makes $125,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on A Visit From The Good Squad.
Occupation: Attorney
Industry: Government
Age: 32
Location: San Diego, CA
Salary: $125,000
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,494
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,090 (I rent a two-bedroom apartment with my fiancé and we split household expenses 50/50. This is my half.)
Student Loan Payment: $1,054 (I had scholarships but no parental assistance. I owe $70,000 total and will finish payment in four years.)
Cell/Internet/Cable: $110 (my half)
Utilities: $100-$200 (my half)
Netflix/Spotify: $13 (my half)
Car Insurance: $45
Charity: $150
Transportation: The government covers my $72 monthly trolley pass.
Union: $40
Health Insurance: $150
Personal Trainer: $320
Savings: Varies by month, but averages out to about $500. (I currently have $20,000 in an emergency fund and $6,000 in a wedding fund.)
Retirement: Set to hit $18,500 max, with an employer match of 5%. (My current balance is $85,000.)

Day One

6 a.m. — No matter how much I try, I can't quite turn myself into a morning person. I grab a banana with peanut butter for breakfast on my way out the door. I reach the trolley stop just in time to see the trolley pulling away two minutes before it's supposed to arrive. The next one isn't for 20 minutes, so I order a Lyft. $7.98
7:30 a.m. — Our office manager has emailed us the FBI's guide to suspicious packages. The offices down the street had a (fortunately false!) bomb scare yesterday. That, plus the bombs on the news, has everyone a little on edge. I settle in to work on documents for a case going to trial next week.
9:30 a.m. — I snack on an Rxbar (the only protein bar that doesn't give me the farts!) and a Diet Coke. My coworker stops by with dark rum for the cookies I want to make this weekend! I can't drink and didn't want to buy a whole handle for one recipe.
12 p.m. — I stop to eat the homemade applesauce and pumpkin-turkey chili I packed for lunch. I make a mental note to add more spice to the chili if I make it again. My neck is killing me, and I decide to see if I can book a massage over my lunch break.
3 p.m. — A massage was exactly what I needed. The masseuse is nice enough to give me a discount, and I leave a 20% tip before I head back to work and go over trial strategy with a newer attorney who is acting as my co-counsel. I'm not used to being the one with experience yet. $60
6 p.m. — My brain is mush. It's time to pack it in for the day. This time I take the trolley with my monthly pass.
7:30 p.m. — Home at last. I get things ready for tomorrow and make myself some Trader Joe's red lentil pasta with marinara. First time trying it, and it's only okay. I watch a couple episodes of House Hunters and House Hunters International (and yes, I am judging the shit out of these people) before heading to bed early.
Daily Total: $67.98

Day Two

6 a.m. — I grab Triscuits and cheddar for breakfast and throw chicken breasts in my Instant Pot to cook while I'm at work. Today I give myself extra time and make it to the trolley stop early.
7:30 a.m. — I get some emails answered before a witness arrives to be prepped for my trial next week. My colleague and I go over the case and discuss what areas her testimony will cover and what types of questions she can expect on cross examination.
11:45 a.m. — I use my lunch break to meet up with my personal trainer. Knowing someone is expecting me gets me to the gym even when I don't want to go. We do weights, focusing on arms, and I end with a mile on the elliptical since my knee is acting up. Once I get back to work, I eat the same applesauce and chili lunch at my desk. I made a big batch to last the whole week and now that it's Friday, I'm starting to get sick of it.
6:15 p.m. — I'll need to come into the office this weekend to finish what I need for Monday, which I was hoping to avoid. I can't stay late today because I need to pick up our dog from boarding. My co-counsel and I discuss the best time for us both to come in. The work will go better with both of us there at the same time.
7:30 p.m. — As soon as I get off the trolley, I get in my car and run over to the boarding place we use. They are amazing and always remember our dog's name in addition to taking good care of him. (My fiancé, N., is paying for the cost of boarding.) My dog ignores me due to my ABANDONMENT, but forgives me for tummy rubs. When I get home, I finally get to eat my chicken, and I heat up a bag of frozen broccoli to go with it.
10:30 p.m. — N. arrives home from his trip! ALL THE CUDDLES WILL BE MINE.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:30 a.m. — The dog wakes me up by poking me with his wet nose. It's my turn to get up with him since we trade weekend mornings so we each get to sleep in. Once he's good, I putter around the house and unload the dishwasher, catch up on The Voice, and bake protein and banana muffins to eat for breakfast this week.
10 a.m. — N. wakes up, and we cuddle on the couch with the dog and watch old episodes of Justified. I finally convinced him to try the show a couple months ago, and now he is hooked. I snack on popcorn and an apple with peanut butter.
2 p.m. — We head to our gym. I watch the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina while I do cardio, and it makes the workout feel much faster.
5 p.m. — We meet friends at Eclipse for a double date. They are running a special dinner called Aporkalypse — six courses featuring pork tenderloin, belly, bacon, etc. I make an "Aporkalyse Now" joke, but I don't think my companions are as amused as I am. The food is amazing, but I can barely make it through all the courses because there is so much. (I still do, though!) We prepaid for the $45 dinner tickets, but I buy some cocoa powder and chocolate to-go on our way out. $26.32
7:15 p.m. — We stop at Target to get snacks to take to a Halloween party at a friend's house and I also pick up razors, shaving cream, and deodorant. $17.51
11 p.m. — The party is fun and full of witch's brew, cool costumes, spooky decorations, but we are not-so-secretly old people, so we get home on the early side and I crawl into bed.
Daily Total: $43.83

Day Four

8 a.m. — I curse my inability to actually sleep in and head out to the living room for more couch cuddles since N. got up with the dog earlier. I grab one of the protein muffins for breakfast.
9:30 a.m. — N. drops me off at work on his way to brunch with a friend. We finish what we were working on Friday. I'm lucky that I don't have to work weekends very often, and we accumulate comp time that we can use later. At noon, I finish and get a Lyft to Ocean Beach to meet a friend for lunch. $15.60
12:30 p.m. — My friend and I walk around OB and finally decide on BBQ for lunch. We catch up about relationship stuff, and she tells me how her new job is going. $10
1:45 p.m. — We walk over to check out Run for Cover, a new bookstore. It's tiny, but the selection is interesting and the staff chats with us about their favorite books. I get two books that have been on my list for a while: The Remains of the Day and A Visit from the Goon Squad. $34.48
2:30 p.m. — N. picks me up. He did the grocery shopping while I was at work/lunch and bought steak, turkey, bacon, asparagus, burger buns, granola bars, popcorn, teriyaki sauce, Gatorade, broccoli, apples, oranges, bananas, zucchini, strawberries, raspberries, and Halo Top. We split the total of $80. On the way home, we stop so he can buy a new cell phone since his has decided Bluetooth is an optional and unnecessary function. $40
4 p.m. — We get home, and I sit down on the couch for a minute. I fall asleep and nap so hard I completely miss N. taking the dog out, the dog napping with me, and them leaving for the dog park.
5:30 p.m. — I put laundry in and make the cookie dough I was planning. It needs to chill at least three hours before baking, so I decide to leave it in the fridge overnight and do the actual baking tomorrow after work. When N. gets home, we heat up leftovers for dinner. He eats the remnants of Aporkalypse, and I have the rest of my chicken and broccoli. We clean a bit and prep for tomorrow.
Daily Total: $100.08

Day Five

6 a.m. — Since I have to go to court today, I go full suit and makeup. I grab one of the protein muffins and toss an Rxbar in my bag for later. I catch an early trolley and am at work by 7:30.
8:30 a.m. — I walk from our offices to the courthouse with a couple of coworkers. We stop at Westbean Roasters for coffee on the way, and I get a salted caramel latte (a.k.a. dessert masquerading as coffee). I miss the barista who looked like Thor. $5.50
11:45 a.m. — After court, we get lunch. I get butternut squash soup and a couscous salad. I'm full after the soup, so I put the salad in the office fridge for tomorrow. $15
5 p.m. — I check Facebook on the trolley home. A friend messages me that she shipped the crocheted Jayne hat she made me on commission. It will be a Christmas gift for my fiancé, since we bonded over Firefly when we started dating. I Venmo her $15 plus the cost of shipping, which I think is a steal. $23.45
7 p.m. — N. grills us steak and asparagus while I roast chicken legs he wants to take to work for lunch this week. A friend texts about a Halloween party he is throwing on Wednesday, and we promise to bring drinks. Once dinner is over, I bake the cookie dough I made yesterday and divide the cookies up so we can each take some to work. The rum flavor is stronger than I expected.
9 p.m. — I take the dog out, but he turns his nose up at every patch of grass. N. takes him out 10 minutes later, and he poops immediately. He truly loves N. more than me.
Daily Total: $43.95

Day Six

8 a.m. — I get to work and do general catchup on ongoing cases. I leave the cookies I baked in the kitchen and email everyone that they are up for grabs. Then I walk over with coworkers to observe the first portion of another trial. The issues are complicated, and I like observing how other attorneys handle witnesses. I'm always learning.
12 p.m. — I get back from watching the trial. All the cookies are gone! (Damn, I should have hidden one for myself before I left.) I eat the salad from yesterday along with an Rxbar and banana I brought from home. Then I spend the rest of the day either working on things for the trial tomorrow or catching up on my other cases.
5:30 p.m. — After I get home from work, I head to Costco. We don't get trick-or-treaters, but our friend does and said he didn't mind if I brought full size candy to hand out. I've always wanted to do that on Halloween! I get two boxes and impulse buy a sewing guide from the book section. I've been meaning to get back into sewing, as it's such a useful skill. My mom taught me things as a kid, but there's a lot I still don't know. $54.91
7:30 p.m. — N. grills burgers and zucchini for dinner. We usually switch off making dinner throughout the week, but he has taken the lead since he knows I'm stressed and I am so grateful. I go on the web a little and then head to bed early.
Daily Total: $54.91

Day Seven

6:15 a.m. — I want to get to work super early to review everything, so I am up early. I need as much time as possible, and public transportation takes over twice as long, so I take a Lyft. $15.08
7 a.m. — I realize in my hurry I neither ate nor packed breakfast. I go a few blocks to Achilles Coffee and buy a vanilla latte and turkey avocado bagel. The barista makes a scary pumpkin face in my latte. Happy Halloween. $12.48
8:30 a.m. — We get to the courthouse and set up everything we need for the trial. I only have one or two trials a year because of the type of law I do, and I still get nervous every time.
1 p.m. — It's over. I feel like we made the best case we could, but I have no idea how the judge will rule. He has a great poker face. We stop for lunch on the way back to the office. I get a spicy Thai peanut salad and and my boss treats.
2:30 p.m. — My boss gives me the okay to head home early. I take another Lyft home, though I admit this one time it's just laziness. I take the dog out for a long walk. Once the business portion of the walk is done, I use one of the out-of-the-way grassy areas to work on “stay” and “come” commands. $13.26
6:15 p.m. — On the way to our friend's place, we stop and buy drinks. We are both tired, so we go lowkey on the costumes (Deadpool onesie ftw). It's a small group of people, which is nice after this week. The trick-or-treaters are adorable, our friend treats us all to pizza, and we spend the evening playing Mario Party. $10.47
Daily Total: $51.29
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