A Week In Saskatoon, Canada, On A $59,448 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.
Calling all entrepreneurs: We want to hear from you! If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, we’d love to feature your Money Diary. Submit here.
Today: a medical lab technologist who makes $59,448 per year and spends some of her money this week on Dr. Pepper. Editor's note: All prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.
Occupation: Medical Laboratory Technologist
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 30
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
My Salary: $59,448.87
My Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,524
My Husband's Salary: $53,361 (We don't combine our finances — my money is mine and his is his. But we split do home expenses, outlined below.)
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,371.13 (I put $914.60 into a joint house account every month, which covers our mortgage, property taxes, security system, and a small emergency fund. My husband does the same.)
Car Loan Payment: $305.09 (I paid off my student loan four years ago.)
Daycare: $914.60
Car Insurance: $95.64
Home Insurance: $72.65
Parking: $65.55
Cell Phone: $55.64
Health, Vision & Dental Insurance: $53.35
AD&D Insurance: $45.73
Pension: Roughly $381.08, depending on how much my paycheck is. I'll retire with my full wage before I'm 60 as long as I stay in the province.
Internet, Utilities, Line Of Credit, & SiriusXM: Paid by my husband. (I pay all the daycare fees and groceries.)
Annual Expenses
Amazon Prime: $60.21
Vehicle Package Policy: $228.65

Day One

6:50 a.m. — My husband, T., can't lay in bed any longer and wakes me up as he tries to sneak out of the room. I try to fall back asleep until my alarm goes off at 7:10 a.m. Then I throw on my shower cap and have a quick shower while T. gets our two-and-a-half-year-old twin boys ready for the day. He usually gets them up and fed since his beauty routine consists only of having a beard and brushing his teeth. After my shower, I do a simple makeup look to hide the mombie eye bags and pull on some scrubs. I quickly pack some leftovers for lunch and some granola and yogurt for breakfast. Then I drop the boys off at daycare on my way to work for the 9 a.m. shift.
9:45 a.m. — I grab a mocha and a slice of lemon loaf on my coffee break. I also eat the yogurt and granola I packed since I am hangry this morning. $3.20
11:15 a.m. — I'm working at a smaller satellite lab today. While my partner takes their lunch break, I make five phone calls to track down someone taking care of a patient I am trying to match blood for.
11:45 a.m. — I reheat my lasagna soup and eat lunch in the cafeteria with a couple coworkers from other lab departments. The cafeteria food is disappointing, so I always try to pack a lunch.
1 p.m. — I use the computer at work to renew my work license, because I don't have printer ink at home. I put it on my credit card and then immediately pay it off with money I set aside earlier in the month. Work will reimburse me in a few months for it. It is a ridiculous system and I hate it, but I need the license in order to work. ($190.54 expensed)
2:45 p.m. — I fill my mug with ice water and take my break in the cafeteria with a coworker. She gives me advice about saving for my kids' educations. Apparently I am super late to the game and should have started the moment they were born. I resist the urge to tell her that newborn twins are a whole different story when it comes to finances.
5:30 p.m. — Home time! One of the best parts of my job is that there is always someone to take over where I leave off. I promptly check my brain out for the weekend.
6 p.m. — I stop by the dollar store on the way home to pick up some felt. I'm making our German Shepherd a police badge so he can look like Chase from Paw Patrol for Halloween. The boys are both dressing as Marshall, so I will have a whole pack of dogs. $0.84
6:15 p.m. — I get home and join the family midway through dinner. T. made burnt quesadillas. I still eat one, partially to be nice, and partially because I'm too lazy to make a new one. The boys refuse to even taste theirs. I make the three of us yogurt with strawberries and granola, and T. does his own thing.
7:30 p.m. — The boys go to bed, and T. and I watch The Amityville Horror. I find it pretty cheesy, but I enjoy looking at Ryan Reynolds. Our daycare lady texts to ask if I want to sell her my playpens. She agrees to pay me $91.46 for both of them.
10 p.m. — I wash my face, brush my teeth, apply my Laneige Water Sleeping mask, and lament the fact that the sample-size tub is almost empty. We end up in bed watching Disenchantment on Netflix. Such is the exciting life of parents to twin toddlers.
Daily Total: $4.04

Day Two

7 a.m. — Our elderly Akita Chow mix is whining, and I can hear the boys talking in their bedroom. Time to get up.
7:24 a.m. — Everyone is asking for food. The dogs have kibble with salmon oil (to hopefully help with the shedding!). The boys request dry cereal and apple slices. I have toast topped with peanut butter and honey from a local bee farmer. The boys steal one slice. I also make a giant cup of tea. T. attempts to sleep in before his 10 a.m. shift.
9:30 a.m. — I finish the badge for our dog. The boys love it! T. heads off to work. The boys ask to watch Blippi on YouTube, and I oblige since I know it will keep them occupied for a while. I have a quick shower, switch over the laundry, then fold and put away two loads. I blow dry my hair and do my makeup while helping the boys brush their teeth and take their vitamins.
11 a.m. — The boys are hungry so I feed them grilled cheese and leftover lasagna soup. (I just have soup.) They refuse to eat until I spread the soup out on a plate, and then they happily gobble it up. Between telling the kids to eat nice every five seconds and telling the dogs to stop circling the table like vultures, my mood has gone sour.
11:45 a.m. — Just as I finish washing the boys hands, they ask for a snack. I let them split a pack of Bear Paws and then load them into the stroller. We walk to the playground with the dogs.
1 p.m. — We get home, and the boys snack again (strawberries and yogurt) while I sip on a glass of water. The boys lay down for a nap, and I begrudgingly continue with my chores.
2 p.m. — I switch focus from chores to making treats for Girl's Night: banana bread bars with browned butter icing and warm butterbeer. The theme tonight is Halloween, so we will be carving pumpkins and watching Hocus Pocus. We created Girl's Night so that those of us who are broke and/or have kids can go out without spending a ton of money on sitters or restaurants and bars.
4:45 p.m. — I tag T. into twin wrangling and head out to my friend's house. Everything is delicious, and people even like the butterbeer (which has a bit of rum of course!). I finally get to meet my one friend's new baby. We gossip and visit until about 9:45, when we call it a night. It is so nice to go out and socialize, but we are all exhausted from our busy weeks.
10 p.m. — Back at home. I send T. a suggestive Snapchat to lure him into the bedroom.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:39 a.m. — I can hear the boys talking. I roll over to cuddle T., but he is already out of bed. Score! I doze for a couple more hours. The boys are too loud for me to actually fall into a deep sleep. T. and I try to trade off on twin duty in the mornings on weekends so at least one of us can rest a bit.
8:30 a.m. — I get out of bed and the boys inform me they are hungry again. They follow the hobbit diet. The three of us have some leftover banana bread bars. I convince myself that they must have some nutrition in them from the bananas. Afterward, I help the boys carve their pumpkins. One ends up being rotten inside, which is okay because it means less work for me.
10:20 a.m. — I realize I need to get the roast in the slow cooker now if we intend to have it for supper. I have been planning our meals for about three months now, and I have a love-hate relationship with it. I tidy up the kitchen a bit, and then get annoyed with all the chores I have to do. I apply some Aztec Healing mud mask and use it as an excuse to sit for a bit.
11 a.m. — I call the pharmacy to renew my birth control prescription. Between the provincial health plan and our private plans, the cost will be completely covered. I coerce T. into picking it up when he goes out later today by half joking that he needs to take an active part in our birth control.
12:20 p.m. — The boys are ready for lunch so we have leftover pizza from last night and some raw veggies. T. just has a Clif bar since he plays hockey at 4 p.m. and won't exercise on a full stomach. Afterward, the boys take a nap and I lie in bed with my book, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I end up napping, too.
5 p.m. — I make Yorkshire pudding, broccoli, mashed potatoes, and gravy to go with our roast. The boys think the Yorkshire is cupcakes. Mom win!
7 p.m. — The boys are in bed so I have another banana bread bar and some Halloween candy. I wash it down with an iced tea that T. brought home for me. We stream The Spy Who Dumped Me on our Fire Stick.
9:45 p.m. — We unload/reload the dishwasher, let the dogs out, and then head up to bed. T. watches more Netflix and I read my book.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

6:06 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Get ready for work (quick dip in the tub, scrubs, makeup) and head downstairs. I pack leftovers for lunch and more banana bread bars for breakfast. I write our daycare lady a check for November and head off to work. I arrive early enough that I can skip the shuttle and walk the 1o minutes from the parking lot to the hospital. I find it is a nice quiet time for me and helps me wake up a bit.
9:15 a.m. — I make some tea for break and eat my banana bread. I transfer money into my checking account to cover daycare.
11 a.m. — Lunchtime already! I am mentoring a student today, and the day is going by really fast. I look on Walmart's website and learn that if I order T.'s birthday gift it will show up three days quicker than if I pick it up in store. It is the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, and it comes preloaded with 30 games. My friend lets me ship it to her condo to help keep it a secret. I put it on my card, and then immediately pay it off with some of savings I had set aside for it. $68.37
2 p.m. — Coffee break and I'm dying. I briefly think about getting something from Starbucks but a) the line is super long and slow moving, and b) I can't justify spending $5 on a damn coffee. I end up getting a Dr. Pepper from the vending machine. $1.71
4:15 p.m. — Work is done! I take the shuttle to my car and then pick the boys up from daycare. When we get home, I start on making dinner: French toast with bacon, homemade syrup, and sliced apples.
7:15 p.m. — Send the kids off to bed after a bath and two stories. I think about walking the dogs but T. informs me it is still hella windy outside. I grab some treats and work on commands with them instead.
8:30 p.m. — After wasting time on my phone, I decide to hop in the tub to finish my book. I read for about an hour before crawling into bed, where I set my alarm for the ungodly hour of 5:30 a.m. I end up browsing Sephora's website until 10:10.
Daily Total: $70.08

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — I wake up, and even the dogs think it is too early. Dry shampoo my hair, a lot. I used to be able to go three or four days without washing it, but since I've started taking hair, skin, and nail gummies, I can barely get away with two days. Three is definitely pushing it. Finish getting ready and pack my breakfast and lunch (yogurt with granola and mango and leftover French toast and bacon). I also make the kids' breakfast before heading out the door at 6:20 a.m.
6:40 a.m. — I park and hop on the shuttle. It's common courtesy to be early on the 7 a.m. shift so the night tech can get the eff out of there. I never walk in the morning on this shift — I value my sleep over being up any earlier than I already am.
11 a.m. — Lunchtime, thank goodness. Our analyzer is broken today so we are doing all testing manually. On top of that, we have a student and a new trainee. I literally haven't had two seconds of downtime. It feels nice to sit.
3:30 p.m. — Work day is over! Everyone has been commenting on how tired I look. I make a mental note to go to bed early tonight. I pick the boys up from daycare, and we stop to wash my car since a pigeon decided to use it as a toilet. I'm not very quick or very good at it, and T. later makes fun of me for how much it cost me. I let the boys play at the park for a few minutes before heading home to make dinner. $10.67
6 p.m. — Well that recipe was a dud. It was chickpeas, pasta, and tomato sauce. I end up throwing the leftovers out and help T. with the dishes. He tells me that he got a 2% raise today, his only raise in the last three years. I tell him it's still better than the 3.5% wage cut my employer is trying to put through our union.
7 p.m. — The boys go to bed, and I have a shower. I am still hungry and end up snacking on a Clif bar. T. starts streaming an episode of This Is Us that we missed, and I get sucked in. I finally go to bed at 9:50 p.m.
Daily Total: $10.67

Day Six

5:30 a.m. — Nope, still not a morning person. But today is Halloween! I fix my messy hair and get ready for work. I make a sandwich using leftover roast beef for lunch and pack some veggies and hummus. I brew come coffee, even though I know it will probably make me feel like crud later. I grab a twenty from the sale of the playpens to buy breakfast with and head out the door.
9 a.m. — Turns out I didn't need that twenty after all. There are free donuts and candy in the cafeteria for staff. Breakfast of champions!
11 a.m. — How is the day only half over? The analyzer is still broken, and units of blood are flying out the door. Figuratively, not literally. Everyone seems to need a transfusion today. I eat my sad sandwich and wish it was something better.
3:30 p.m. — The shuttle driver is handing out Halloween treats! How nice of him. I get the boys from daycare and feed them an early supper. T. helps me get them dressed in their Marshall costumes. We also get our German Shepherd suited up in his blue backpack and the badge I made for him. They all look so cute!
5 p.m. — We head out trick or treating. T. leaves a bowl of candy on our steps since no one will be home to answer the door. Later, when we return to dump the boys' buckets, we see the neighbor's kids running off after dumping the whole bowl into their bags. I am not one bit surprised. I guess that is the risk you take leaving candy out like that.
6:30 p.m. — Trick or treating was a success! We send the boys off to bed after letting them have two treats each. I do an extra good job brushing their teeth. T. and I settle in to finish This Is Us. We sneak some candy, too.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

5:30 a.m. — Same morning routine, except I am back at the satellite lab today. I skip making lunch because I have no leftovers, and it's my birthday, so I figure I can treat myself.
9 a.m. — I buy a Cheerio caramel treat from the cafeteria for breakfast, and spend my break reading through all my birthday wishes and responding to people. It's kind of nice to be special once a year! $1.91
11 a.m. — I buy a beef dip sandwich and a Dr. Pepper. The sandwich is flavorless, but I eat in anyways. Why do I keep wasting money on this crap food? $7.24
11:45 a.m. — My coworker is collecting money for someone who has retired. I give her two five dollar bills ($7.62 USD), and hope it isn't too cheap. The celebration is at a pretty expensive restaurant and I don't want to blow my whole budget on this one thing. $7.62
2 p.m. — It has been the busiest two hours. I have a break and sneak a couple Halloween candies from the break room and retreat to the cafeteria. T. has offered to pick up Chinese food for supper, so I text him my requests.
3:30 p.m. — Byyyeee, work! One more shift after today and I will be free for a long weekend!
4:20 p.m. — I have some free time before T. arrives with supper. I make the most of it and wipe down all the cupboards and baseboards on the main floor while the boys play. We are having people over on Saturday for my birthday, and I am super conscious of the cleanliness of our house. It's stupid because our friends know we have kids and dogs, but I can't help myself.
7 p.m. — We get the boys off to bed shortly after supper and then we Netflix and chill. Afterwards we shower and head to bed. Wild birthday!
Daily Total: $16.77
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!
Have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing diaries, we're looking for potential diarists along the following theme:
Your Spending In Your State: We want to run one Money Diary from a different state each week. Want to rep your state? Submit here! In particular, we're looking for diaries from Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series