A Week In NYC On A $55,000 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 woman whose ClassPass schedule can only be interrupted by a serious sinus infection.
Photo: Getty Images.
Industry: Reality TV
Age: 26
Location: NYC (Upper East Side/Yorkville)
Salary: $55,000 base, plus overtime
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $675
Number of Roommates: 1 Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,250
Transportation: $116.50 for a monthly MetroCard (taken from my paycheck in pre-tax dollars)
Health Insurance: $120
Internet: $14
Utilities: $0. We rent a co-op, so all other utilities are covered. I get all of my TV from various streaming services/cable logins that I've stolen from people. (Yes, I feel totally guilty about biting the hand that feeds me, but New York is expensive.)
Savings: $160
ClassPass: $130
Planet Fitness: $10, so I can have a shower near work. A lot of ClassPass studios don't have showers. I work out in the morning, and my apartment is a sixth-floor walkup far from the subway. Once I leave I'm so not going back.

Day 1

11:00 a.m. — I wake up hungover from a friend's birthday party the night before. When there are $5 beers I tend to think my tolerance is waaaaaay better than it is. For breakfast, I make a strong cup of coffee and eat some cottage cheese and pineapple so I don't go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. 12:00 p.m. — I still haven't moved, but my roommate wakes up and now I have a grocery shopping buddy. While he makes himself breakfast, I eat some leftover soup and bread, because hangover. 1:00 p.m. — It's nice out, so we walk a little farther than we usually would and go to the better grocery store. I stock up on apple juice, a big Greek yogurt, Halo Cup ice cream (I haven't seen them in any other store so I get two), pears, apples, green beans, spinach, blackberries, fresh spinach pasta, chicken breasts, a small Amy's frozen pizza, french bread, grapes, and eggs. $80.10

2:00 p.m. — I make a big batch of the chicken, pasta, and green beans for lunches this week while my roommate and I catch up on Empire (all hail Cookie Lyon). I pack up a lunch for tomorrow, and eat a little of the pasta for lunch today. 7:00 p.m. — I meet a friend for dinner at a BBQ place near our houses. I get chicken with a side salad. Restaurants are a lot cheaper when you don't get alcohol. $11.58

9:00 p.m. — We go to see Matt and Ben, a play that Mindy Kaling wrote before she was famous, about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. It is great. The tickets were comped by this discount website I sign up for called Goldstar. I only had to pay a processing fee. $4

10:30 p.m. — We split a cab home. $8.30

Daily Total: $103.98

Day 2

7:30 a.m. — I grab a handful of almonds before my barre class. 10:00 a.m. — Breakfast: Greek yogurt, blackberries, and granola that I made the night before, and free coffee from the office. 2:00 p.m. — Lunch: Some of the pasta and green beans I cooked yesterday, plus leftover short ribs from a dinner with my cousins last week, and a free seltzer from work. 4:00 p.m. — More free coffee from work. 5:00 p.m. — I snack on some grapes from home. 7:30 p.m. — I stop by Dylan's Candy Bar. Our team is surprising our boss with Lion King tickets for his birthday, so I buy the gummy letters so we can write out the surprise. $11.10

8:00 p.m. — I make a spinach-and-cheddar omelette with some toast (breakfast for dinner is everything) and spend the night catching up with my roommate. Daily Total: $11.10

Day 3

7:30 a.m. —On my way to a kettle bell class, I eat a banana that my roommate "borrowed" from his office. My best friend told me this gym is meant to train you for Spartan races, but it was too late to cancel the class without being charged by ClassPass. I'm terrified. 10:00 a.m. — I may stick with barre/pilates/dance classes. Same yogurt, granola, and blackberries as yesterday for breakfast. 2:00 p.m. — I packed, but since it's my boss's birthday, we take him out for lunch at a restaurant near or office. I get a soup and half sandwich, a Moscow mule (because birthday), and the table shares truffle fries. The four of us split the cost of my boss's meal, too. $42.11

4:00 p.m.— I Venmo my friend who bought me a ticket to Daybreaker, an early morning dance party, for later this month. $31.90

4:30 p.m. — Free coffee from work. 10:00 p.m. — After The Lion King, I desperately want to take a cab, but I'm good and hop on the subway. I make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I get home for a quick dinner. Daily Total: $74.01

Day 4

7:15 a.m. — I eat a stolen office banana on my way to spin. 10:00 a.m. — I kill the rest of the pineapple and cottage cheese for breakfast (was too lazy to make my yogurt and fruit last night), and drink free office coffee. 2:00 p.m. — I have the lunch I packed yesterday but didn't eat: baked chicken, spinach pasta, and roasted green beans. 4:00 p.m. — Free office coffee, plus some fruit from an Edible Arrangement sent to my office. 6:30 p.m. — I get out of work half an hour early, so I decide to walk the two miles to meet my friend for a drink. I'm still early, so I grab some pizza for dinner. $6.85 8:15 p.m. — We get drinks and hang out before we see a show at UCB. I take classes at the training center, so the show is free (usually $5). $7

Daily Total: $13.85

Day 5

10:00 a.m. — I took the morning off for a lady doctor appointment. After a barre class, I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat on the walk there. There's a co-pay at the doctor. $15 12:00 p.m. — I stop and grab a latte on the way to work. $4.55 3:00 p.m. — Same lunch as yesterday. 4:30 p.m. — Free office coffee and Girl Scout cookies that I bought from my boss's daughter. 7:30pm — I meet my cousin for dinner at Sweetgreen. I get a cup of soup and a ginger iced tea. $7.35 Daily Total: $26.90

Day 6

10:00 a.m. — I get sent home from work because I look/sound/feel like crap. I eat an office granola bar on the way to (yet another) doctor's appointment. 12:00 p.m. — The doctor says it's a sinus infection. I pick up antibiotics, milk, butter, and Fabreeze on the way home. $18.48 4:00 p.m. — I make some eggs, toast, and tea at home while I binge watch Mozart in the Jungle and die on my bed. I cancel plans for a second date. He already bought the movie tickets so I try to Venmo him, but he won't let me. Daily Total: $18.48

Day 7

4:00 p.m. — I wake up 17 hours after I fell asleep the night before. I've never tripped acid but I imagine this is what it feels like. I am so woozy and all I want to do is keep sleeping, but I make myself get out of bed. I order Seamless and hop in the shower. 5:30 p.m. — I feel a little better after I eat a little tangerine chicken, salad, and a spring roll. I throw the leftovers in the fridge — this will last for 3 meals. $34.74 7:00pm — I don't want to leave my house, but one of my best friends from college is in town from Philly, and we're going out to our other friend's house in Queens for a game night. I grab a bottle of wine on the way. $14.69 8:30pm — Three trains and 90 minutes later, I make it into Ridgewood. 12:00am — I Uber back home because I'm lazy. But I feel okay about it, because I'm also sick. $24.16 Daily Total: $73.59
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