A Week In Orange County, CA, On A $36,420 Salary

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Today: a receptionist who makes $36,420 per year and spends some of her money on Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil.
Occupation: Receptionist
Industry: Land Development
Age: 24
Location: Orange County, CA
Salary: $36,420.80
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,112.37 (after tax)
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $0 (I live at home and will be forever as I've been single for 24 years...)
Student Loans: $300
Car Payment: $250
Phone: $50
HBO: $15 (I pay for HBO and my sister pays for Netflix so we use each others accounts)
Spotify: $10
Savings: ~$100 (5% of my paycheck, this will go up when I finish paying off my student loans. I also contribute any Poshmark money I make, currently I have $3,500 in savings.)
401K: $340 (11% of my paycheck)
Singles Swag Subscription: $40 (This is the best subscription box out there, single or coupled)

Day One

6:10 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Happy Friday AND it's Payday! I recently got a raise, so I check to see my new earnings. I went to the tanning bed last night and stayed in a little too long because my chest is FRIED. Oops. I won't be going back for a while. I get up and do my morning routine — brush my teeth, wash my face, moisturize, and curl my hair. I put on foundation, blush, a little eyeliner, and brush out my lash extensions. I throw on some jeans and a sweater because it's casual Friday, grab my lunch, and make my 40-minute commute to work.
7:30 a.m. — I treat myself to Starbucks on Friday mornings because it's Friday and I made it through the week. I order a grande chai latte with two shots of espresso and use the pre-loaded money on my app to pay. I realize I need gas, and I won't have time to stop after work because I'm getting my lashes filled so I fill up my tank before I go into the office. $37.09
11:45 a.m. — Yesterday I made an impulse decision to get my eyebrows microbladed. I've wanted to do it for a while, and the girl who did my cousin's eyebrows was having a deal on microblading, so I booked an appointment with her for today at 6:30. I put down a deposit yesterday, but I had to purchase a ticket for entry into a tattoo festival. She's doing a discounted rate for microblading because she has a booth set up there. $67.01
12:30 p.m. — I only have a 30-minute lunch, so I bring my lunch every day, which is great for my wallet. Lunch today is a Trader Joe's cauliflower tofu bowl — my go-to when I don't make a salad. I also snack on some cookies from the office snack box because I like to have something sweet after lunch.
3 p.m. — Hello weekend!! I leave work and head straight to my lash appointment. I love getting my lashes filled. It's an expensive habit, but I like waking up feeling like Beyoncé #Flawless. Today I have half-off my appointment with my stamp card. Woohoo! I pay and leave a $5 tip. $50.00
5:30 p.m. — I go home to change and eat something before my microblading appointment. I leave my house around 6 p.m. to find parking and to make sure I'm not late. Parking is $9! I'm not happy about that. I also didn't read the rules about bringing in bags, so I have to pay $5 for clear bag. I'm annoyed. $14.00
7:30 p.m. — Wow that hurt more than I thought it would, but my eyebrows look AMAZING! I'm so happy I did it! I pay the rest of my balance and head home. I don't have any plans tonight, which sucks because my lashes and brows look bomb but whatever, I enjoy staying in and watching movies in bed. I pass out by 10:30. $250.00
Daily Total: $418.10

Day Two

8:15 a.m. — Ugh, why am I awake this early on a Saturday? I told myself I would go for a run this morning, so I get up quickly and brush my teeth before I change my mind. I started running a little over a year ago, and I'm really impressed with myself. My goal is to run a half marathon (hopefully) this year. I don't really enjoy running but I run along the beach so that always helps. Perks of living in Orange County. I run 3.8 miles and wait for my cousin to text me. She's getting married in August, and I'm the maid of honor, so we're meeting for brunch today.
10:15 a.m. — My cousin, L., and I struggle to find parking because apparently everyone wants to eat here today. I decide to use the complimentary valet because I'm hangry and I don't feel like driving around and looking for parking anymore. I order one of the seasonal plates, the Brussels sprout scramble. It comes with caramelized onions, goat cheese, bacon, a side of potatoes and toast with jam. L. orders my absolute favorite, orange ricotta pancakes, and I'm tempted to have a bite, but my food is really good! L. pays for brunch to thank me for all the wedding help. When we leave, I tip the valet because he was nice and kind of cute ($3). After brunch L. and I stop by two stores down the street to find her a white outfit for her bachelorette/bridal shower. She tries on a few things, but doesn't buy anything. We say our goodbyes and I go home to finally shower. $3.00
2 p.m. — I see a therapist every Saturday for my depression. I started seeing one last April after having my heart seriously broken. Last year was really tough for me, but this year has started off a little better. I love my therapist. Last week we talked about the Real Housewives for wayy too long and today she told me when she was younger she got kicked out of the same bar that I did! So we have that in common. My grandma graciously gives me money to pay for my sessions. I pay for today and my outstanding balance and make an appointment to see her next week.
3 p.m. — I stop by Ross to get black socks ($7.53) and then I go to the nail salon. I get my nails done every two weeks because I can't stand having unpolished nails. I get a gel manicure in the color OPI Dulce De Leche because it's my favorite! I pay and give my manicurist a $3 tip ($33). $40.53
7:30 p.m. — I start getting ready for dinner and drinks with my old coworkers. My good friend who I use to work with is moving to the east coast, and I'm seriously so sad. He's my best friend, and when he's gone I'll have no social life. We're going out to celebrate one last hoorah! My brother and I Uber to the restaurant. I pay because I have 50% off my Uber's this week! (3.87) $3.87
9 p.m. — I love catching up with my old coworkers. I miss them a lot. I order fries and Brussels sprouts for the table and I order myself a glass of Cabernet. For dinner, I order mini burrata ravioli with a pesto cream sauce (divine!) and another glass of wine. There's nine of us at the table, so I decide it's easier for me to put down my credit, card and everyone can Venmo me for their part. The bill was $340.15, but I get $240 from everyone. I feel like someone didn't pay enough but whatever. $100.15
10:30 p.m. — After dinner we say goodbye to three friends and the rest of us walk across the street to a bar. I get a tequila soda, and we all sit by the fireplace since it's cold outside. It's not super busy so we all finish our drinks and walk to another bar. $7
11:15 p.m. — This place is always busy. It's a gross dive bar, but it's always fun. My friend V. grabs a pitcher of beer and splits it with my brother and I. We decide we need another pitcher and my brother gets the second one. We dance and drink and somehow it's already 1 a.m. I decide to drunk text a guy I met on Hinge.
2 a.m. — Hinge boy tells me to come to his place, and I'm drunk, so I forget to use my 50% on Uber and grab a Lyft instead. ($12.13) We bond over Game of Thrones, and he puts it on, but we don't end up watching it... I realize it's 4 a.m. and I need to go home. I grab an Uber this time and sneak into my house around 4:15. ($4.33) $16.46
Daily Total: $171.01

Day Three

10:30 a.m. — My dad comes bursting into my room at 10:30 a.m. and tells me to wake up. Little does he know I got home at 4 a.m. I'm very annoyed at this point AND I lost an hour of sleep because Daylight Savings. I'm sure today will be rough. I get up and do my morning routine — brush my teeth and wash my face, but skip out on curling my hair. I go to Trader Joe's before it gets too crowded. I take my dad's credit card and buy groceries to make my lunch for the week. I buy spinach, chicken, feta, two cauliflower bowls, balsamic vinegar, zucchini, a yellow pepper, two oranges, turkey, cheese, and chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels.
3 p.m. — I shower, sit in bed, and snack on tortilla chips while catching up on the TV shows I've missed this week. I decide I want to purchase the Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil I got in my Singles Swag box almost a year ago. I find it on Amazon and have it shipped to my work so nobody will steal the package off my doorstep. My friend V. calls to talk about last night. He tells me he made out with our other friend, and I dish about Hinge boy. I would say both of us had a good night. $31.86
7:30 p.m. — I meet up with my good friend C. from high school and another guy we went to high school with for dinner. C. lives in Europe, so I only see her once or twice a year. We gossip about everyone we went to high school with and what they're doing now and we fill each other in about our lives. Our friend pays for dinner, and I text Hinge boy to see what he's doing.
10 p.m. — I stay at my grandparent's house on Sunday nights because they're old and lonely and it makes them happy. I take my Sunday bath and get dressed and head to Hinge boy's place. This time we actually watch Game of Thrones, and he explains certain things to me because there's just too much going on. I leave his place at 1 a.m. and crash when I get home.
Daily Total: $31.86

Day Four

6:10 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I'm soooooo tired. I guess that's what I get for going to bed at 4 a.m. and 1 a.m. this weekend. I do my morning routine, take my lunch, and run out the door.
12:30 p.m. — Monday's are my busier days at work so my morning goes by quickly. For lunch I have the fajitas and rice my grandma made for me last night. She's the best!
5 p.m. — I've been delirious all day from lack of sleep, so I'm happy it's time to go home. My cousin texts me to come over for Bachelor night, but I tell them I can't make it because I'm exhausted. My drive home is long because I don't want to pay to take the toll road. I drive along the coast, so I get a nice view. Maybe one day when I get paid more I'll splurge and start taking the toll road. For now, I'll jam out in my car to Spotify on shuffle. You never know what will play next! When I get home I take a body shower, wipe off my makeup, and nibble on my sister's chicken pot pie for dinner.
7 p.m. — I hop in bed and start to watch part one of Leaving Neverland on HBO. It's a lot to handle but I finish it and pass out by 10.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

6:10 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I do my morning routine, grab my lunch, and head to work. When I get to my desk, I grab a cup of coffee and fill my water bottle.
9 a.m. — It's a very slow morning. I love my office and the people I work with, but I don't really have a lot to do. I go on Amazon and look up a protein powder I like and consider buying it.
2 p.m. — My rose facial oil arrived! I open it to make sure it's not a fake, and it seems legit. I decide to order the protein powder. $22.99
5 p.m. — I drive home, take a body shower, and consider washing my hair, but then I remember I'm taking a pilates class tomorrow after work so I'll just put dry shampoo in my hair tomorrow morning. I bought a zoodler on Amazon last month, and I still haven't used it, so I whip it out and make zucchini noodles with pesto and turkey meatballs. Delicious!
7:30 p.m. — I hop into bed and watch part two of the , documentary. Personally, I thought it was a little long. I turn the lights out by 10.
Daily Total: $22.99

Day Six

6:10 a.m. — My alarm makes me angry. Same old morning routine — grab my salad for lunch and head to work.
12:30 p.m. — Another slow day at work, but my protein arrives! Gosh, Amazon is so fast these days. I eat my spinach salad for lunch and search the office for something sweet.
2 p.m. — Hazah! A woman arrives for a meeting and brings a chocolate bundt cake AND a cinnamon cake for the office. Perfect timing. I enjoy a slice of chocolate cake and now I'm happy.
5 p.m. — I leave the office and head home to change before my pilates class. I purchased a Groupon last week for eight pilates classes on the reformer for $63. What a steal! I love Groupon. The Wednesday night instructor is really nice and her class is hard. I know I will be sore tomorrow.
7 p.m. — After pilates, I meet my friend V. and his roommate to go bowling, but when we get there they tell us that they don't have any lanes open until 9:30. We decide it's not worth the wait so I go home and shower. I dry and straighten my hair, watch an episode of Game of Thrones, and head to bed around 9:30.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

6:10 a.m. — Alarm goes off. I usually get up right away, but I slept the best I've slept in a long time so it's hard for me to get up right away. I listen to my alarm for about a minute and then I finally shut it off and get up. I do my morning routine, grab my lunch, and head to work.
9 a.m. — I don't have much work this morning, so I FINALLY change my phone payments over to my credit card because it was going on my sister's card, and I would pay her back monthly. I like getting stuff like that done. It was long overdue.
11 a.m. — Last week, my office provided mini pots and succulents for everyone to make their own desk plant. Research has shown that by simply adding a plant to your desk, you can help boost your overall wellbeing. I notice we're out of pots, so I ask my boss if I can take home the leftover soil and succulents. She says yes, and I'm excited to plant my own succulent garden at home!
6 p.m. — I get home and start to make zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs and pesto again. Hinge boy texts me and asks if he can take me to dinner. I'm conflicted. I'm not ready to date, but he's so nice, so I feel bad. I call my friend V. and he tells me to go anyways.
8 p.m. — I stop to get gas ($31.89) and then swing by CVS to grab deodorant, makeup wipes, and a pack of mints. ($15.06) I meet Hinge boy at his place and we head to dinner. $46.95
10 p.m. — We wait 45 minutes for a table, but the food is worth it. He pays, and we go back to his place. I have a really good time, but I feel bad because I can tell he likes me. Why do stupid boys have to break your heart and ruin it for the rest of them?! I head home around midnight and go straight to bed.
Daily Total: $46.95
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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