A Week In Orlando, FL On A $63,000 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 construction manager working in themed entertainment/theme parks who makes $63,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on rum and Coke.
Occupation: Construction Manager
Industry: Themed Entertainment/Theme Parks
Age: 23
Location: Orlando, FL
Salary: $63,000
Paycheck Amount (weekly): $918.79
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $820 (Master bedroom in a three-bedroom apartment with two roommates)
Loans: $0 (I had about $10,000 in student loans that I paid off within a year with my starting bonus and other savings.)
Spotify: $7.50
Netflix: $10
Wi-Fi: $25
Utilities: $40
Insurance: $45 (pre-tax, already deducted from paycheck)
Retirement Savings: $160 (pre-tax, already deducted from paycheck)

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I wake up early for work, so on the weekends I naturally wake up early. I check my phone and realize it's only 7:30. I lie in bed for about an hour or so, checking social media and reading the news. My roommate B. texts me at 8:30 asking if I want to get brunch. I love brunch, so obviously the answer is yes.
9 a.m. — My morning routine is pretty simple. I brush my teeth, then use a tea tree facial toner before moisturizing, and throw on some foundation. I'm going to the water parks later with my friend M., so I don't bother to put on makeup. I take my dog out for a quick walk, get changed, and B. and I head out for brunch.
9:30 a.m. — We go to a chain restaurant by our apartment. It gets busy on weekends, but it's still early so we don't have to wait. We both get coffee, and I order an açai bowl and a side of biscuits and gravy. Our waitress forgets to refill our coffee pot throughout breakfast — and she comps it all together. $18
11:30 a.m. — I head out to the water park to meet M. We go on a few rides and get into the lazy river. Halfway through the lazy river it starts raining. By the time we get back to our bags, everything is soaked. It's still pretty early at this point, but we decide to call it a day because the storm doesn't look like it's going away. We get free admission to the water park because of our jobs, so I don't end up paying for anything.
2 p.m. — I immediately jump into the shower when I get home and then take the dog out for another walk. I tell B. and my friend S. that we should go downtown tonight. I take a quick nap because I realize there's no way I'll make it through the night without it.
7:30 p.m. — I have some leftover crawfish mac 'n' cheese from the other day and use it to make a grilled mac 'n' cheese. I need the carbs to soak up the alcohol for the night. I make a side salad to eat along with it.
8 p.m. — I call my best friend from college while getting ready for the night. We live in different cities, but we call each other every Saturday to catch up on each other's lives.
9 p.m. — My friend S. comes over, and we pregame. I drink a few rum and Cokes, and we chat a bit before we head out around 10. I love going downtown because there's so many people and so many different bars (and the drinks are cheap!). The only downside is that it's far and the Lyfts can add up. I call the Lyft, but we split it three ways. $8
11 p.m. — We bar hop from place to place. We end up going to three or four different places and spend the longest time at a country bar, because they're playing good music (not country). I have three more rum and Cokes throughout the night. $18
1:30 a.m. — We end up at a club that's playing EDM music and is packed. EDM is not really any of our types, but we dance for a little bit and decide to call it a night. I call the Lyft back to my apartment, and we split it three ways. We finally get back at around 2:30. I take my dog out quickly and then go to bed. $11.50
Daily Total: $55.50

Day Two

9 a.m. — I wake up pretty early but lie in bed for a little bit. Drunk me filled my water bottle and left it on my nightstand (go drunk me). I get up at around 10 to take the dog out for a walk and get ready for the day. I'm really hungry, so I make myself some instant ramen.
11 a.m. — I'm almost out of dog food, so I head out to Target. I pick up the dog food, some cleaning refills (Swiffer wipes, dishwashing sponges), makeup remover, a sewing kit, spaghetti, cheese, and milk. I also buy some hoop earrings — I wore my hoops last night and somehow lost just one of them. $65
1 p.m. — I call my mom for an hour or so. I try to call her at least once a week — my dad travels a lot, so she's often at home alone.
3:30 p.m. — I get hungry and realize I don't have much to eat at home. I fly out to L.A. on Wednesday for work, so I don't want to get groceries. I run out to Panera with B. and pick up some sandwiches. We tend to pay for each other a lot and end up switching off who pays. B. pays for both of us. I make soup when I get home and eat half my sandwich. I save the other half to bring in for lunch tomorrow.
5 p.m. — I throw my sheets into the laundry along with a few loads of clothes. I'm hooked on Jane the Virgin and keep watching while I do my laundry. I also do my hair — I use Overtone to maintain an ashy silver on my highlighted hair. I apply the Overtone and let it sit for an hour to grab the most color. I end up finishing the last season while waiting. I then jump in the shower.
8 p.m. — I microwave some steamed pork dumplings from Trader Joe's for a late dinner/snack. I'm looking to move out of my apartment when my lease ends in January, so I spend the next few hours looking at houses/townhouses to rent. I also end up looking at houses for sale. My friend D. and I are moving in together and she is considering buying, so I send her a few links as well.
9:30 p.m. — Bedtime! I use a face wash from Lush to exfoliate and wash my face. I use a salicylic acid moisturizer as a spot treatment since I'm breaking out and then use a facial moisturizer from Lush (Cosmetic Lad) on the rest of my face.
Daily Total: $65

Day Three

6 a.m. — My alarm goes off at 6, and I snooze it a few times. I know I have to get to work early since I have an early meeting, so I get out of bed at 6:15. I get ready in about 15 minutes, take the dog out, feed her, and grab my lunch. I'm out the door by 6:40.
7 a.m. — I'm in early because I have a meeting at 7:15. I get in a little before 7, so I make some coffee and open up my emails before leaving for my meeting. I work as a construction manager, so I spend at least two hours on our construction site every day working with our contractors. This morning's meeting is on site, which is about a five-minute walk from my office.
12:30 p.m. — Mondays are always super busy, and today is no different. I'm running from meeting to meeting — driving from place to place. I get back from a review that's a 30-minute drive from my office at around 12:30 and heat up my leftover Panera and soup that I brought in.
5 p.m. — The afternoon flies by. I have a lot of emails to respond to, and people I need to talk to to get some things resolved. Most of my job involves coordinating and communicating with other people. My phone is ringing constantly throughout the day. I manage to leave work at about 5:15.
5:30 p.m. — I stop to get gas on the way home. I wanted to get to Wednesday without refilling, but hadn't planned on going to the meeting today that was offsite and was a 40-mile round trip. $37
6:30 p.m. — I get home and take my dog out for a short jog to get her energy out. I recently downloaded Bumble again, so I message a few people back. I only check it a few times a day, so I'm probably not the best conversationalist. I make scallops and linguine with a white wine cream sauce. I mix myself a cranberry white peach vodka and throw some frozen fruit in it. I'm 100% a liquor girl over wine/beer/seltzer. I don't normally drink during the week, but today was stressful at work.
7:30 p.m. — I watch a few episodes of Patriot's Act on Netflix. i just started watching it recently and have gotten hooked. Such a good show. My dog comes and cuddles with me while I watch. She's so cute.
8 p.m. — I pack my suitcase for L.A. and make some grilled cheese sandwiches to bring in for lunch tomorrow and Wednesday. I've been trying really hard to meal prep, because I realized I spent so much eating out for lunch.
9:30 p.m. — I take my dog out for her nighttime walk, take a shower, and get into bed around 9:30. I spend about 30 minutes on my phone and playing with the dog before I go to bed.
Daily Total: $37

Day Four

6:30 a.m. — I wake up a little later than normal today. I snooze my alarm four times before I finally get up. I get ready super quickly and still manage to get to work around 7. My boss makes a pot of coffee in the morning, and I grab my Thermos and pour a cup.
11 a.m. — My morning is packed. I run from meeting to meeting and don't get a chance to get to my desk until 11. I have a lot of work to finish up, so I try to concentrate with the time I have.
12 p.m. — My coworker asks me to go to lunch with him and my other coworker. I brought in the sandwiches I made last night, but I haven't gone to lunch with them in a while. We go to a local bar/restaurant, and I order some wings. My coworker ends up paying for all of us.
4 p.m. — My afternoon is packed, too. Today is just a busy day, and I am trying to wrap up everything I can before I leave for L.A. My job is super time-critical, and a lot can happen in a few days. I make a lot of different phone calls and spend some time with my leader to get caught up.
6 p.m. — I don't end up leaving work until about 5:30 and get home a little before 6. I take the dog out to the dog park and let her run around. There aren't any dogs there today, so she gets bored pretty quickly and we go home.
7 p.m. — I'm so exhausted from the day. I spent three hours on site walking around in 95-degree weather and feel disgusting, so I jump in the shower. I make some quick Japanese fried rice (from Trader Joe's) for dinner because I'm too tired to cook anything else. I throw on Bachelor in Paradise to watch while eating.
9 p.m. — I take the dog out and get ready to go to bed. I pass out early.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

6:15 a.m. — I wake up this morning and feel exhausted. Hump day feels, I guess. I get ready and head to work.
7 a.m. — I pour some coffee from the coffee pot and open up my emails. I respond to a few things and then head to site. Today's a pretty busy day, since I want to wrap up some things before I go. I have a few meetings and then spend a few hours on site with our engineers (also I wore a long-sleeve shirt today, which was the worst idea).
1 p.m. — I don't get back to the office until 1. I have the mac 'n' cheese sandwich I brought in yesterday, so I heat that up and grab a Powerade out of our office fridge to rehydrate from being in the heat. I spend the rest of the afternoon on the phone, talking to my leader, responding to some emails, and making sure my backup knows what's going on. I head out early, since I need to go home before going to the airport.
5 p.m. — My roommate drives me to the airport so I don't have to park my car there. I eat my other sandwich while I wait for her to get home and take out D. My roommate is also watching her when I'm gone, and honestly, I'm so blessed with great roommates. I always try to buy a souvenir or desserts to bring back as a thank-you.
6:30 p.m. — I get a little hungry waiting for my flight, but not enough for a full meal. I pick up an Auntie Annie's almond pretzel. $4.14
12:30 a.m. — The flight is about five hours, and I land at 9:30 Cali time (12:30 EST). I'm staying with my friend N. for a few nights. She lives out in Glendale, so I call an Uber to her place. I put it on my business card, since I have a travel stipend for the trip ($45 expensed).
Daily Total: $4.14

Day Six

6 a.m. — I don't have to be in the office until 9, but I had forgotten to turn off my alarms, so I wake up at 6. I lie in bed until 7, then get up to get ready. Since I have a lot of time, I curl my hair and actually do my makeup. I grab my book (Tenth of December) and read while I wait for my friend to get ready.
8:30 a.m. — I grab some cereal, coffee, and fruit from my friend's office. I have a meeting at 9, so I slowly eat my food and make my way to my meeting. I stop by Starbucks afterward to pick up a coffee, because I slept less than I normally do. $2.95
12 p.m. — I made plans to get lunch with a friend from college. We go to the office cafeteria, and I get a sandwich. There's a lot of people, so it takes about 20 minutes to get my food. We chat and catch up, and the hour flies by. $6.73
1 p.m. — I head over to a theme park over here to do a tour. I call a Lyft over, but expense it since it is part of my business trip. I walk around and check out a few things and then call a Lyft to Griffith Observatory. I pay with my personal card. $11.76
3:30 p.m. — Griffith is beautiful. I take some pictures and walk around and look at the exhibits. I love space, and I love that the place is free! I go to the gift shop and find a beautiful black mug with a design of the observatory and buy it. $20
4:30 p.m. — I call a Lyft back to N.'s place after a few hours at Griffith. $11.82
6 p.m. — I get back to N.'s apartment, and we find a cute rooftop bar downtown that we want to check out. We get ready, and N. drives us to K-town to where our other friend lives. H. drives us all from K-town to the rooftop bar, and we find free street parking right outside! Amazing. I order a rum and Coke, and then we get a plate of guac to share. I pay for the guac and say we'll split it later, but I decide not to charge them since they've been driving me around and letting me stay with them. $29.97
9:30 p.m. — We go to a few different bars, but it's pretty dead (probably because it's 9 p.m. on a Thursday night). I grab my stuff and call a Lyft to my hotel in Anaheim for the conference I'm attending tomorrow. The traffic isn't bad since it's so late, and I get in around 10:30 ($45 expensed).
Daily Total: $83.23

Day Seven

7 a.m. — The conference I'm attending starts at 9, so I get out of bed around 7:30 and get ready. I took a quick shower last night, but I take another one in the morning so that I can wash my hair. I blowdry my hair, do my makeup, and then make some of the complimentary coffee in the hotel room before heading out.
9 a.m. — While waiting in line to get into the convention center, I buy a train ticket back into Downtown L.A. for the night. I'm meeting my friends again to go out on the town. $15.70
1 p.m. — I meet up with some coworkers inside, and we explore the show floor and the booths around. We attend a few panels and stop and talk to some people we know. I grab a grilled cheese afterward. $12
4 p.m. — I attend one more panel in the afternoon that goes until 4. My train is at 5, so I head out. I call a Lyft to the train station. $8.14
6 p.m. — The train is so nice — so much better than sitting in traffic. I get into Union Station around 6 and then call a Lyft to my friend's apartment. $13.33
7 p.m. — We go up to the rooftop of the apartment building. It's 30 floors up and has a view of DTLA. We take pictures and watch the sunset — it's beautiful.
8 p.m. — We then head to a vegan restaurant for dinner. I'm not vegan, but my friends are and they swear you can't taste the difference. I order pad Thai, and it's so good! Vegan food can actually be good sometimes! The portions are huge, so I take the rest to go and know that it's going to be the perfect drunk meal. $15.59
10 p.m. — We go back to N.'s to get ready. I curl my hair and change into a black top and skort and drink a little bit before we go out, since the drinks here are expensive! N. calls a Lyft to the bar we're going to — it's a five-story bar that has a bunch of different themed rooms and is super fun. I order a rum and Coke. $12.95
1 a.m. — We hang out and dance for a few hours. The bar closes at 1:30, and N. calls a Lyft back to her place.
Daily Total: $77.71
Want more Money Diaries? Well, you’re in luck — Refinery29 Canada is launching its own Canadian Money Diaries three times a week. (Which means once you’re done with catching up on all our diaries during your lunch break, you can head on over to R29 CA for even more.) You can now experience Money Diaries IRL at 29Rooms Toronto September 26th through October 6th. Buy tickets here.
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 questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series