A Week In Upstate New York On A $32,520 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.
This week: a cosmetologist working who makes $32,520 per year and spends it on a color cart makeup trolley.
Occupation: Cosmetologist
Industry: Beauty
Age: 19
Location: Upstate New York
Salary: $32,520
Paycheck Amount (4x/month): $200 - $500
Monthly Expenses
Housing: $0. I live at home with my parents.
Car Payment: $298, but I pay $500/month to pay it off sooner.
All Other Monthly Expenses
Car Insurance: $92
Netflix: $12
It Works: $33
Spotify: $10
Phone Bill: $167
HBO Now: $15
Credit Card Payment: $200
Savings: $500

Day One

9 a.m. — Wake up, shower, and drive to a quick breakfast at the local Dunkin' Donuts with my boyfriend before he goes to college and I head off to do some hair for my family.
10 a.m. — I get to my grandma's place. She wants me to give her a perm so her hair has some body, along with a facial and a haircut. I haven't seen her in a while and she's recovering from a cold, so I hang out with her for a little while after I'm finished. She gives me $60.
2 p.m. — I get home from my grandma's and pick up my Victoria's Secret package in the mail. They had eight-for-$27.50 panties last week and I have a VS Angel Card and decided to splurge. I make a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and write a grocery list for myself. Nobody is home yet, so I take the time to clean my room and tidy up around the house a little. I live at home and my "chores" for the week include cleaning up the house and making sure our dog and cat have clean food bowls.
5 p.m. — I have another client to do outside of work — my sister's friend's mother. I regularly do her highlights; this time we add lowlights and a haircut. She gives me $75 for the hair, plus $8 for a product I bought her, and $18 as a tip.
9:30 p.m. — After doing her hair, I run back home and pick my sister up to come grocery shopping with me at Wegmans, also known as the Mecca of grocery stores. On the way, we stop at the bank so I can deposit my tips and the extra money I made this week. $323 goes into my account: $163 of that is from tips during the week and $160 is from services today. At Wegmans, I get veggies, yogurt, bread, OJ, milk, eggs, and ice cream. $62
10:30 p.m. — We get home and I put all my things away. I keep track of all the tips and extra cash I get in my calendar, and I take care of that while I watch an episode of Game of Thrones before going to bed.
Daily Total: $62

Day Two

10 a.m. — Get up, shower, and go to the BF's house. He has a discount on gas at Tops, so we both get some. I pay for both. $70
12 p.m. — We decide to go out to brunch at a local diner in our town. On the way over, we stop at a friend's house to pick up $10 she owes me for getting her a hair product. My boyfriend and I both get omelets at the diner. He treats — $30 total, plus $5 tip — since I bought the gas.
1:30 p.m. — My BF's grandmother was in the hospital recently so we go out to visit her before we both go to work.
4 p.m. — I work from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight and it's pretty busy. I did 10 haircuts, a color and a wash, and a blow dry. I make $65 in tips and buy a product at work that I'll drop off at a friend's later. She will pay me back when I see her. A coworker's husband brings us a pizza to eat, so I don't have to get anything for dinner.
10 p.m. — I get home from work and get myself ready for Saturday at the salon. I pack lunch and pack my work bag to do a highlight for my sister's friend at her house after work. I pop on Game Of Thrones again while I get ready, and then go to bed.
Daily Total: $88

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — I stay in bed for a little bit until I'm fully awake. In a bit, I finally get up and shower. My mom makes a protein spinach waffle for me, and I eat that with OJ and a banana before finally get myself totally ready.
9:30 a.m. — I get to work a little early to do some computer training before my shift. There's a new video every month for stylists to watch.
2:30 p.m. — I sneak in a break before my 3 p.m. clients arrive and eat chicken salad and yogurt that I brought from home.
6:15 p.m. — I clock out from work and buy a new shave gel and hair mask. We just got new products in our shipment at work and I need to try them. After, I run next door to Sally's to grab a toner for the highlight I have to go do tonight, along with an eyebrow pencil. $31
6:20 p.m. — I stop at the Kohl's in my plaza to drop off the products I bought two days ago for my friend. She gives me the $18 for them.
6:40 p.m. — When I get to the client's house and end up doing a balayage on her hair and cutting her father's hair as well. She pays me $50 and her dad pays $20.
9 p.m. — I get home and eat some mac and cheese from a box we have in the house. I clean up, put away all my supplies, and do a face mask before bed. I count my money: I made $78 in tips from work, $55 from my friend (after tip), $20 from dad, and the $18 back from the friend for the product, so $171 altogether.
Daily Total: $31

Day Four

7 a.m. — I wake up and lie in bed for a bit before getting up. I shower and get ready, and then I see that my mom has made me a cauliflower crust breakfast pizza for breakfast.
10 a.m. — Get to work and open the store. Three people are already waiting at the door for us, and I can tell today is going to be crazy.
2 p.m. — I finally take my break, and eat a salad and yogurt from home again, along with some grapes. Then it's back off to work.
5:45 p.m. — It's super crazy at work because it's the day before school; people are coming back from a break, so everyone wants last-minute waxes and haircuts. I leave work and take the night deposit to the bank before going home.
6:15 p.m. — After I get home, I change out of my hairy clothes and go to my boyfriend's house. I ate dinner there (mashed potatoes and broccoli), and then we go out to the plaza where I work to do some shopping together.
9:30 p.m. — I have a couple of coupons to use (plus my mom's employee discount!), so we go to Kohl's where I want to find a few shirts for work. I spend $31 on a sweater dress and a long cardigan. Next, we go to Target, where I spend $58 on a basket, makeup remover, a notebook, face wash, and a phone cord. Finally, we stop at the bank on the way home so I can deposit my tips from today ($74). $89
10 p.m. — I get home and climb into bed where I watch another Game of Thrones episode before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $89

Day Five

9 a.m. — I'm lazy about getting up today and don't start moving until I shower at 10:45. I do a load of laundry, eat some eggs and toast, and clean the house and my room a little more. (Having a tiny room plus too much stuff means I clean it nearly every day.)
2 p.m. — I lounge around before getting ready for work. I end up spending $15 on the Wish app on for some little things I've been eyeing for a while. I get myself ready for work and eat quickly. I make mini-hot dogs with leftover mac and cheese, and I bring the leftovers with me to work for my lunch. $15
9:30 p.m. — I get home from work. I made $55 in tips today, pretty good for a Monday night shift. I put Game of Thrones on and go to bed.
Daily Total: $15

Day Six

8 a.m. — I wake up and lie in bed for a few minutes before getting up. Work starts at 12 but I have some things to do beforehand, so I get myself ready and head out.
11:30 a.m. — I go to CosmoProf — a professionals-only store — and end up spending $71 on a few things I need to do clients' hair. (I will get paid back for those products later.) I also need to pick up a few color brushes and hair products for myself. After, I run to Target to buy some craft items for work to decorate our back room. Lastly, I run to a bank to finally close out an account I don't use anymore. $86
4 p.m. — I work at a beauty supply store part-time to save extra money, and they're having a one-day sale on a rolling color cart — buy one, get one free. It is a bigger purchase for myself than I would normally make, but it I think of it as investing in my future. I plan to get a house and build an at-home salon. This brings me one step closer to my dream, and it's perfect for storage for my supplies at home. After my employee discount, it costs $68 for both, compared to the regular price of $83 each. $68
4:15 p.m. — Get my nails done. I don't get them done very regularly, but I have a gift card. $27 (including tip)
5:30 p.m. — I get home and make shrimp Alfredo for dinner with my mom, before prepping my carts until they're perfect. I don't mind the investment I've made in them.
10 p.m. — I watch Game of Thrones while I get ready for tomorrow. I'll have a 12-hour day with both jobs, so I don't want to have to run around and forget things. I go to bed right after.
Daily Total: $181

Day Seven

6:30 a.m. — I wake up, shower, and get ready. I'm up earlier than normal because I need to pick up a coworker before work. She's having car issues and I offered to grab her since she's on the way.
3 p.m. — I've made $40 since I started work at 9 a.m. I eat quickly and change out of my hairy clothes before my second job starts at 4 p.m.
8:15 p.m. — I get out of work and run to Wegmans to grab a few things for my mom and me — more O.J., milk, bagels, frosting, lettuce, dish soap, Q-tips, and cotton balls. $21
9 p.m. — I get home, put the groceries away, and then give myself a hair mask treatment. My hair is super dry, so I'll let it sit overnight. I also do another face mask since my skin is really oily and prone to breakouts. While that sinks in, I make myself a tuna melt with steamed broccoli for dinner.
10 p.m. — I decide to paint my toenails quickly before bed and then take off my face mask. I turn on Game of Thrones again until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $21
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