A Week In San Francisco, CA, On An $82,600 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 program manager working in media publishing who makes $82,600 per year and spends some of her money this week on collagen peptides.
This OP mentions having an eating disorder. If you are struggling with an eating disorder (or suspect you may be) and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
Occupation: Program Manager
Industry: Media Publishing
Age: 27
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $82,600
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,232.60
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,022 (I live with a roommate and this is my half. I used to live in a one-bedroom apartment and paid nearly $3,000 per month on rent.)
Student Loan Payment: $0 (I benefited from the GI bill for college. I used my saved college fund for grad school.)
Gas & Electric: ~$10 for my half
Internet: $45 for my half
Health & Vision Insurance: $45.79
Renters Insurance: $0 (My parents pay.)
Netflix: $0 (My roommate has an account.)
Phone: $0 (I'm on the family plan with my parents.)
Commuter Benefits: $50 deducted from my paycheck
ClassPass: $0 (covered by my company)
401(k): 12% of my paycheck
Savings: My dad taught me the importance of saving when I was young. I have over $65,000 in savings. I don't think about it much, and try to put away as much as possible at the end of each month.
Annual Expenses
Amazon Prime: $119

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I never set an alarm, unless I have to wake up at an ungodly hour for a flight somewhere. I wash my face with a deep scrub cleanser and clean some dirty dishes that were in the sink from last night. It's Friday, and one of my closest friends, C., is here visiting for the weekend. Her time here is short and she has a lot of friends to see, so I'm going to a morning yoga class with her. My office has a great work-life balance and Fridays are “work from home” days for most of the office.
10:30 a.m. — We head to Saint Frank Coffee after yoga. Two coffees with almond milk are $9.50, but she insists on paying. I thought ahead and brought a small container of collagen with me to the coffee shop, so I add that to my morning brew. I've been adding collagen to my morning smoothies or coffee for almost a year now and haven't looked back. I love what it's doing to my hair and nails. I run home to drop off my yoga mat and walk to work. I have a bus pass, but I try to walk as much as possible.
1 p.m. — I eat my typical lunch at work: Fage yogurt, Justin's peanut butter, a banana, and blueberries. My company has a fully stocked kitchen, so I save money by eating what's provided instead of going out. I eat at my desk while responding to emails. Then, I take a walk by AT&T Park and call my parents after lunch. They live on the east coast, so it's easier for me to call home in the afternoon.
4 p.m. — It's snack time: almonds and dried apples with a lemon La Croix. I leave work a little early because it's Friday. I'm going to a friend's dinner party tonight, and she asked that I bring a vegetable side dish. I stop by Whole Foods on my way home and grab a bag of green beans. $2.99
6 p.m. — I quickly make a green bean salad with tomatoes and lemon dressing. Then I take the bus to my friend's house three miles away. She made us a traditional Moroccan chicken dish that she learned from her recent travels. I haven't seen her in months, so it's great to catch up.
10:30 p.m. — As much as I want to stay longer, I know I'll regret it tomorrow when I'm exhausted. I call a Lyft home. Then I quickly shower, snack on a few dark chocolate almonds, and head to bed. $6.33
Daily Total: $9.32

Day Two

8:45 a.m. — I wake up a little earlier than I would like to on a Saturday, but I'm going to a yoga sculpt class this morning, so it's a good thing. I make a matcha latte in my Vitamix with coconut oil, collagen, and a splash of milk. I decide to take the bus, but I get off a few stops early to walk to class.
12:30 p.m. — I was going to take the bus back, but my friend calls and I decide it's too nice out not to walk home. I hop into the shower to rinse off the sweat and make a breakfast bowl with bananas, blackberries, peanut butter, flax seeds, and milk. I sit in the comfiest seat in my living room and relax by watching the U.S. Open. I played tennis growing up and still follow the major players.
4 p.m. — I head to a community group leader meeting for my church. I co-lead an all-women's group of 20 ladies. When I moved to San Francisco a few years ago, I knew nobody, and this nondenominational Christian church created a space where I was welcomed and could meet other empowering women. We have a leader meeting every six to eight weeks, so it's not a huge impact on my time. It's great to connect with other leaders and hear about what's working — and not — with their groups.
7:30 p.m. — Saturday night is me time, so I turn on Million Pound Menu when I'm home. Then I make dinner and clean out my fridge by roasting broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and butternut squash. I round out the meal with spinach and a tahini curry dressing. My finicky fire alarm goes off and my landlord stops by to make sure everything is okay. That's what you get for roasting veggies, I guess!
8:45 p.m. — I take a shower, watch a few episodes of MasterChef, and snack on almonds and chocolate for dessert. I find cooking shows to be calming, even when Gordon Ramsay is barking at the contestants. Then I read a few pages of a book called Sourdough by Robin Sloan and head to bed. One of the first things I did when I moved to San Francisco was get a library card. After spending all day looking at my laptop for work, I love flipping through the pages of a real book instead of a digital one. And I don't see the point of buying a book unless I really, really like it or can't find it anywhere else. I turn off the lights around 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

9:30 a.m. — I wake up and get ready for church. I put on minimal makeup and let my hair be natural. It's gotten so long recently (thanks, collagen) and I keep getting compliments. I don't have a hair appointment set up anytime soon, and that's okay with me, since it's pretty pricey to get a decent cut in this city. I walk to church since it's gorgeous out (thanks, Indian summer).
12:15 p.m. — I meet a few friends at Blue Barn for lunch. It's expensive, but I promise myself to only eat half so I have leftovers one day this week. I choose a “pick-your-own” salad with kale, jicama, snap peas, berries, flax seed mix, and lemon dressing. $14.24
1:45 p.m. — I walk to Whole Foods for my weekly grocery run. I get zucchini, mushrooms, avocado, bell pepper, and chicken breasts. I plan out all of my dinners for the majority of the week, so I only get what I need. I have a gift card so I use that to buy my groceries ($10.12). I run into my roommate at Whole Foods and she gives me a ride home. Huge win!
3:30 p.m. — Throw a load of laundry into the communal washers and dryers. Although I wish I didn't have to pay for laundry, it's nice that I don't have to go to a laundromat. I read the newest issue of Shape while my clothes are in the washer. I'm feeling hungry since my lunch didn't have any protein, so I snack on an apple and walnuts with a La Croix. $2
4:45 p.m. — I walk to Catholic mass. I was raised Catholic, so I go to mass every week, too. It may seem like a lot of “church time,” but what I get out of the nondenominational church is very different from the Catholic mass. It's part of who I am, and even though I sometimes feel like my whole weekend is church, I'm happy about it. After mass, I walk home and finish reading the issue of Shape. I prep a new recipe for dinner: almond flour-coated chicken with an avocado oil and garlic sauce. I make a side salad of spinach, tomatoes, corn, asparagus, and bell pepper. Pack up leftovers for later this week. Then I take a shower and watch Miss America while snacking on dark chocolate and almonds. Lights out at 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $16.24

Day Four

7:40 a.m. — I wake up, wash my face with the deep scrub cleanser, and make my morning smoothie in my Vitamix. Every weekday, I prep a smoothie based off Kelly LeVeque's Fab Four smoothie plan. It's easier for me to digest and holds me over until lunch. Today's smoothie has milk, cardamom, collagen, strawberries, flax, spinach, and coconut oil. I take the bus to work and get off early to walk the rest of the way.
11:20 a.m. — It's a slow morning because it's Rosh Hashanah and some of my New York-based team is out of the office. I hop on one of the Pelotons at the gym in our office for a 45-minute class.
1 p.m. — I make my typical work day lunch in the kitchen: Fage yogurt, banana, and peanut butter with two cups of coffee. I almost always eat lunch at my desk. Because I work with our New York team so closely, I worry that leaving my desk and email will backfire on me later in the afternoon.
4 p.m. — I take a quick walk around the block and snack on dried apples, almonds, and a lemon La Croix. I leave work a little early today to head to my nutritionist appointment. I was officially diagnosed with an eating disorder two years ago, and I finally found a mental eating coach and certified nutritionist who I like going to. I look forward to my weekly sessions, and have been seeing her for almost a year now. My parents pay because they know I need it and because my health insurance doesn't cover it. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
6 p.m. — I call my parents after my session. I find it's easier for me to process everything when I repeat it aloud to them. My nutritionist is really happy about my progress, and is impressed by how far I've come. I use an app called YouAte as a daily food log so she can monitor my progress throughout the week. So basically, I take photos of almost every dinner I have. It's like I'm an Instagram foodie, but not! Once I'm home, I finish reading Sourdough before eating my leftover Blue Barn salad.
8:30 p.m. — I take a shower and then watch Suits. I love Meghan Markle! I munch on dark chocolate, macadamia nuts, and coconut flakes before heading to bed around 10 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

7:45 a.m. — It's a little harder for me to get out of bed today, but I'm loving the warm weather we're having, so that helps. I wash my face, iron my pants, and prep my morning smoothie. Today I make a macadamia milk, spinach, blueberry, flax seed, and collagen blend in my Vitamix. I put on makeup, throw my hair into a ponytail, and take the bus to work.
10:15 a.m. — I realized this morning that I'm running out of collagen. I typically buy this through Amazon because it's the cheapest, but I have a coupon code to buy it from the Vital Proteins site directly. $37.32
12:50 p.m. — I'm pretty hungry, so I quickly grab my Fage yogurt and banana and put it in a mug (because everything looks better in a mug, right?) with a dollop of peanut butter. I scroll through Instagram Stories while I eat.
2:15 p.m. — My colleague is having a baby at the end of this month, and we go get boba tea from a place near the office since she's been craving it during her pregnancy. She gets a jasmine green tea with boba and offers to buy one for me, but I'm not feeling it. She's thanks me for the gift I bought her from her registry — two onesies and a board book.
3:15 p.m. — I hop on the Peloton bike for another 45-minute ride. I feel guilty for leaving my desk, so I always bring my phone and check Slack and incoming emails in case something important comes up. I'm pretty routine, so when 4 p.m. comes around, it's snack time: almonds, dried apple, and a lemon La Croix. I round out my workday and walk home listening to Spotify. My friend put me on her Spotify family plan a few months ago, and not listening to commercials makes all the difference. The premium plan is not something I would pay for, but I'll certainly take it for free!
5:30 p.m. — Once home, I put down my work bag and change into leggings. My all-women's community group meets every Tuesday evening. We're a large group, so we alternate which apartment we go to each week. My co-leader is leading this week and she lives a little under two miles from me, so I plan to walk. I always bring my dinner with me since I won't get home until after 9 p.m. I pack up leftover almond crusted-chicken with spinach and corn salad.
9:15 p.m. — One of the ladies from my group offers to drive two of us home since it's on her way back. I'd otherwise pay for a Lyft, so I eagerly hop in. I take a shower and wash and dry my hair. Then I grab a fat bomb made from dates, cocoa, and coconut from the freezer. I make these fat bombs in batches and freeze them for quick late night snacks. I put a tablespoon of nut butter on it, because everything just tastes better with nut butter. I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng for a few minutes and then turn off the lights at 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $37.32

Day Six

7:05 a.m. — I force myself out of bed for morning yoga. I'm the leader of my company's wellness committee, which includes a weekly yoga class every Wednesday morning. Getting to work by 8 a.m. can be a struggle, but everyone feels so much better after the class. My company pays for my Lyft rides to work on these days since I have to arrive early to let the instructor in. Weekly yoga is a perk that I'm very fortunate our company sees the value in. ($4.36 expensed)
9:30 a.m. — I change into work clothes after class and pour myself a cold glass of milk with collagen. I don't have time to make my morning smoothie on these days. I've tried making it the night before and freezing it, but it just doesn't taste the same.
12:45 p.m. — I just finished up some unexpected back-to-back meetings, and am pretty hungry. I grab a banana, strawberries, and a Fage yogurt, and add peanut butter. I eat at my desk and check Instagram. I limit myself to Instagram once per day so it isn't a huge waste of my time.
3 p.m. — This afternoon is dragging on. One of my coworkers and I take advantage of the nice weather and go for a walk around the block with her pup.
4:45 p.m. — I leave work a little early because I promised my best friend who lives out of state that I would give her a call today. She got engaged two weeks ago and we haven't had the chance to really catch up. I love San Francisco, but all of my childhood and college friends live on the east coast. Scheduling periodic phone chats helps me feel connected. I walk home while on the phone with my BFF and start to talk about wedding details. It's so surreal!
6 p.m. — When I'm home, I immediately change into leggings and start browsing Pinterest for dinner inspiration. I'm planning on making a rice Buddha bowl with veggies, but am looking for different variations. I decide on a turmeric brown bowl with roasted mushrooms, peppers, and onions. While that's cooking, I read Little Fires Everywhere. After dinner, I wash my face, dry brush, and hop into the shower. I've read so many good things about dry brushing, and while I'm not sure if they're 100% accurate, I like the ritual of it. I watch a few episodes of Suits, snack on macadamia nuts and chocolate, and head to bed at 10 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Because my roommate is a school teacher, she's always up and out the door before me. I hear her making breakfast, but stay in bed until after she leaves the apartment. I'm going out to lunch today, so I decide to skip my breakfast smoothie ritual and bring collagen and maca powder for my morning coffee instead. I iron my top, wash my face, and put on makeup while I listen to Spotify. I'm out the door by 8 a.m. and manage to catch the bus just in time.
8:20 a.m. — I always get off the bus a few stops early to walk the rest of the way to the office — walking helps me clear my mind and prepare for the day ahead. I'm slightly derailed by a protest outside the Moscone Center downtown. All of the buses and cars are being rerouted because hundreds of people are protesting the Global Climate Action Summit. I see two of my coworkers also meandering their way through the crowd, and finish walking to the office with them. Nothing like a little excitement to start the day. At the office, I make my coffee with a splash of milk and cinnamon and add the collagen and maca from home. It tastes like a warm hug!
12:20 p.m. — My meeting-filled morning is done, and I'm ready for lunch. My colleague's last day before maternity leave is today, so we've planned a lunch with two other coworkers at Darwin. I get an arugula and radicchio salad with peaches, cucumber, corn, burrata, and basil dressing. It tastes like summer on a plate! My colleague insists on paying.
3 p.m. — My afternoon is slowing down, and I could really use a good sweat. I hop on the Peloton for a 45-minute ride with Ally Love. I've tried almost all of the instructors, but she's my favorite.
4 p.m. — My lunch was great, but it really didn't fill me up. I snack on dried apples with strawberries and almonds and sip on a lemon La Croix. I decide to swing by Target on my way home. I got an email yesterday about the best loungewear that highlighted a pair from Target. I didn't expect to find them, yet alone like them, but I actually do. These will be perfect for a few upcoming trips I have, and for girls' movie nights. $18.43
5:30 p.m. — My collagen came today as well as a new blender lid for my Vitamix. I contacted the company because it was leaking, and they happily shipped me a new one for free. How I love mail and free things! I'm having zucchini waffles for dinner tonight. My nutritionist and I come up with at least one “homework” assignment each week. These range from trying out new recipes to going out to dinner. I'm excited about this week's homework because it's a take on breakfast for dinner, and I love breakfast food. The waffles are pretty simple to make, and I have everything already on hand. I mix an egg with flax seed, chopped spinach, diced onion, shredded zucchini, coconut aminos, and garlic powder. I top it off with a dollop of yogurt and fresh tomatoes. It's a hit, and I'm glad I have leftovers for the weekend!
8:30 p.m. — I take a quick shower, watch a few episodes of MasterChef, snack on two fat bombs, and then head to bed at 10 p.m.
Daily Total: $18.43
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