A Week In Pittsburgh, PA, On A $54,000 Income

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 freelance writer and yoga teacher who makes $54,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on spring rolls. Below, we asked the OP some questions about her career.
How did you get into your line of work?
"I started freelance writing right out of college and have been at it for almost three years. I always knew I loved writing and, for a while, thought I would go into publishing or journalism. But I hated the idea of being in an office every day — it only took one summer magazine internship to find that out! I knew I worked best on my own schedule (I’m an early riser, as you’ll see below), and I wanted to have time to work on my own personal writing projects. So, without really knowing what a freelance writing lifestyle would be, I decided that’s what I would do.
"Yoga was basically my lifeline for getting through a really intense academic environment in college, and given the lack of diversity I was seeing in yoga studios, I figured it was a space I could hold. I did my teacher training my first year out of school and have been teaching for almost two years. I love it and feel so grateful to be paid for this work!"
What are the challenges of being a freelancer?
"The biggest challenge for me is the lack of stability and financial security. One month, I could make $7,000 (before taxes), another month, I could make $2,000. Big difference! Now that I have more regular clients and teach four to five yoga classes a week, I have a general idea of what’s possible, but you never know when the freelance work is going to boom or when it’s going to bust. I’m still navigating how to plan ahead for the slow times (a.k.a Memorial Day to Labor Day, when everyone apparently is on vacation!).
"The second biggest challenge is the feeling of isolation. My rent is a little high for Pittsburgh (though with all the changes, it will likely be the norm soon), but since I work from home, I needed a space that felt really comfortable and supportive. I love where I live, and it’s amazing to work from home, but I definitely miss that sense of community you have when you’re forced out into the world every day. Teaching yoga helps with this, though. It’s just always a tricky balance — especially in winter!
"Another challenge is actually taking time off and having a weekend or a vacation when I’m not working. Freelancing is great for people who are super motivated, but that same motivation can also lead to burnout pretty quickly. (And not having paid time off is a bummer.) I’ve been playing around with what feels right in terms of non-work days, but that’s always changing!"
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a freelancer?
"Be confident about what you can do and charge what you’re worth. So often, it seems like companies hear 'freelance’ and only hear the ‘free’ part. When I started working, I was making $15 an hour (before taxes) for freelance writing work, which is not a lot of money. I was waiting tables at the time and actually making more money from that! Know how much money you need to make each month to live the lifestyle you want and charge accordingly.
"Also, use your network. Some of my best-paying and most enjoyable gigs have come from the most random connections. Once people know you freelance, you never know when they’ll reach out for your services. And if they’re not reaching out, then ask! The worst a company or individual can say is ’no.’ (Well, I guess they could just ignore your email, which always feels worse.) But it’s fine! Keep moving forward. You can do it.
"If you want to do it, go for it! This is an amazing way to have a ton of freedom and feel like anything is possible — because it is. Sure, it may take a bit more legwork, since there’s no clear trajectory, but you don’t need a set path to be happy, successful, or fulfilled. All you need is to know what you want for yourself, and set your focus there."
Occupation: Freelance Writer, Yoga Teacher
Industry: Media
Age: 25
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Salary: Last year I ended up making $54,000. This year, I'm aiming for above $60,000.
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,420 for a one-bedroom apartment (includes parking spot). I live alone!
Student Loans: $0 (My dad generously paid for my undergrad. It's definitely a gift.)
Health Insurance: I'm still on my mom's plan, but I need to figure out how to do this myself in the next year.
Wi-Fi: $40
Phone: $40 (I'm still on my family's plan, but I transfer the money to my grandparents, who own the account.)
Car: I drive one of my dad's old cars. Diesel is about $50 roughly every month.
Spotify: $9.99
Apple Storage: $0.99
Personal Trainer: $200
NYT Subscription: $4.99
Online Streaming Bounce Class: $20
Charity: $35 (Right now my charities of choice are Charity:Water and the ASPCA. One for the humans and one for the animals!)
Savings: 15% of each project goes into my Roth IRA, and 30% of each project goes to taxes. I just opened a couple high-interest savings accounts to keep everything in the right place. My current emergency fund has about $14,000, and my travel fund has about $1,200.

Day One

4:45 a.m. — Sunday is the first day of my work week, so I'm up early to get things started. One of my projects at the moment is reading applications for a local university's admissions department. The read season is about three months long and kind of intense! But it's my third year doing it and the school is my alma mater, so it's kind of fun. It's also nice to know I'll have three months of steady work from at least one client. I put in a few hours and then stop for breakfast.
8:30 a.m. — My body is feeling really good and my energy is solid, so I head to a yoga class. I don't usually take class on Sunday, but it's a nice break from work and I haven't been to this teacher's class in a while. Since this is the studio where I teach, class is free.
10:30 a.m. — I head to teach my 11 a.m. class. It's not far, and since it's in an apartment building, I can roll in pretty close to start time. I arrive with enough time to arrange the room and set up our props.
12:30 p.m. — I'm home, changed into more comfy clothes, and ready for lunch. Today it's pad see ew leftovers from last week's babysitting gig. The family I watch paid for it, which was really nice!
2:30 p.m. — Back to work. I have about three to four different clients that are fairly regular. Right now I have an application-reading gig, a gig for a marketing firm, a gig for a web-design firm, a food company…and I may be forgetting one. It's a lot to keep track of! But it's helpful to have a handful of clients you can count on, since work can be inconsistent. I make some progress on a couple different tasks and am happy with how the week is starting.
5 p.m. — I have to stop so I can figure out what I'm having for dinner. I've used up all of my grocery money for the month, so this week is about getting creative with what's in the fridge! I end up with peanut noodles. Always a favorite.
6:30 p.m. — Time to work on my taxes. It's my second year doing them myself, and it's not too difficult, just time-consuming! I realize I am missing a 1099 form from two clients, so I send emails to follow up with them.
8:30 p.m. — I'm falling asleep at my computer — haven't done that in forever! Time for bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

4:45 a.m. — I'm usually an early riser, but this is early even for me. Weird that it's happening the second day in a row. I go with it and do my morning meditation, tongue scraping, oil pulling, and lemon water. I've studied and practiced Ayurveda for the past two years, and it's become a big part of my life…or at least my morning routine.
5:30 a.m. — A friend and I have been workshopping each other's writing pieces for about a year. She's working on a novel, while I've been experimenting with personal essay and literary nonfiction. I need to give feedback on her most recent revisions, so I sit down and give my comments. Once that's finished, I spend some time working on my own project. It feels so good to have the time to write for myself, I really don't want to stop!
8 a.m. — I do a few more applications before heading out to teach a 9 a.m. class. I don't usually teach on Monday mornings, but I'm subbing for a fellow teacher at the studio. And though it's freezing, the sun is actually out today, which makes a huge difference in these endless Pittsburgh winters.
10:50 a.m. — I get back home, change out of my teaching clothes, and find something comfy to wear. I have a few hours of uninterrupted work time before the afternoon. For lunch I just have some boring bottom-of-the-fridge veggies, unfortunately.
1:45 p.m. — The marketing firm I write for has a weekly content meeting that I attend in person. Today we're brainstorming topics for the next three months. It's always a little intimidating pitching an idea, but it's a great team to work with. One of the content writers is also a teacher at the yoga studio, which really helped me feel comfortable from the start! I don't love all of the topics all of the time, but sometimes I do get to write something really interesting, which ends up feeling really rewarding. Bonus confidence points if it gets picked up by a major news publisher!
3 p.m. — I get a few more applications in before my mom calls. We talk every day on her way home from work, which is nice since we live about four hours apart! One of the biggest downsides of my current work/life situation is that none of my close friends or family are nearby. So I take every opportunity to connect.
5:30 p.m. — I've finished dinner (a quesadilla with rice, caramelized onions, kale, and vegan cheese) and get started on Arabic homework. I've been taking an Arabic class at the library for a few weeks. Although I studied the language in school for a year, it's been at least four years since that class, so I'm pretty rusty. I spend a LONG time writing an intro paragraph about myself. It's cool to see some of the grammar and vocab coming back!
7:30 p.m. — Time to work on my taxes again. I'm super careful about looking out for any possible deductions. As a freelancer, taxes are really the worst. But this year I made my quarterly payments, so I'm hoping my total due won't be too bad!
8:30 p.m. — I do my nighttime face routine. Skin care has become my thing lately, after a literal decade of acne — so I always look forward to this part of the day. My products aren't cheap, but they last about six months, and one of my serums is basically erasing my acne scars! So it's worth it. I call it a night.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

5:15 a.m. — Slept a little later this morning, which I'm kind of bummed about since the past two days were so good for writing. I do my morning routine and put some oats in my rice cooker. This rice cooker has six different settings, and one of them is steel-cut oats! Literally the best purchase I have ever made.
5:45 a.m. — I sit down for writing time, but I'm really distracted. Some days are like this. It's a struggle to get to the end of the hour, and I'm bummed that I won't get a chance to write again until tomorrow.
7 a.m. — I drop my car off for some repairs. My dad likes to keep the old car going, so he'll pay for what needs to be done. I ride the bus back home. It's $2.75 and I use my ConnectCard, so I don't have to fuss with the weird change. $2.75
8 a.m. — I throw on my quick wraps and start my boxing lesson. I meet with a trainer once a week for boxing and strength training. At first I wasn't sure this was the smartest financial move, but it's been almost a year and I can say it's definitely worth it! I love how much stronger I feel and how fun it is. The personal training is $50 a session, but my card is charged monthly.
10 a.m. — I've showered and am ready for a few hours of work. I need to write a first draft for the client I met with yesterday. But first, I finally pull the trigger on buying some bulk dates and cashews. I had been dragging my feet trying to find a good price, but it's all expensive. I get five pounds of each (literally the smallest amount possible from the cheapest bulk place I can find). With shipping, it comes out to $40. The good news is that I just returned a lamp last week, so I have a credit on my card that should cover most of it! $40
11:30 a.m. — My car is ready to be picked up. Since Dad picks up the bill (thanks, Dad!), I just use my ConnectCard to get to the shop. $2.75
12:30 p.m. — Time for lunch! I have zero desire to cook anything, but also zero money for eating out for the next few days. So, some quick udon and back to work.
1:30 p.m. — I'm supposed to teach a group of seniors tonight — we have yoga in their building every Tuesday. But I get a series of separate emails from the group members about unexpected plan changes, and we end up canceling class. That's $30 less for me, but it means I can go to my friend's class later!
3:30 p.m. — Phone call with Mom. I sit down and minimize distractions so I can be more present. I have a habit of multitasking, so I try to treat phone conversations as an exercise in full attention. But then I decide to make dinner while we talk — so there goes that full attention plan! Tonight, it's lentil meatballs and some focaccia I made earlier in the day, along with some greens from my CSA box. I tried the CSA just for the winter. It was kind of expensive, but also fun! I don't think I would do it again, though. I have had more celeriac than I will ever know what to do with. Who chooses to eat celeriac anyway?! After the call, I see an email from a woman I used to work for when I was freelancing for another web-design firm. She asks if she can pass my name along to a peer who may be looking for someone to manage their social media channels. This particular contact has never steered me wrong, so I agree! We'll see if anything comes out of it.
5 p.m. — I clean my apartment and seriously wonder if I can back out of going to my friend's class. I'm pretty tired and just ready to take it easy. But she's a newer teacher and I really have wanted to support her, so tonight seems like my chance! Plus, it's free, so I don't really have an excuse.
6:40 p.m. — On my way to class, I text a yoga teacher friend about my interest in a possible teaching opportunity. She's moving in the spring, and I would love to pick up her classes. She says she'll pass my name along to the manager, and I make a mental note to reach out myself soon. I arrive just in time for class. It's hard to turn my teacher brain off when I'm taking yoga classes now. I spend a lot of time coming back to my breath and modifying shapes, since my body is worn out from working out this morning!
8:30 p.m. — I'm home and literally so ready for sleep. I usually journal a little, but tonight it's just lights out.
Daily Total: $45.50

Day Four

4:45 a.m. — I lie in bed a little bit because today is my long day and I'm not trying to rush. Eventually I pull myself together and sit at my altar to meditate.
5:40 a.m. — After putting some oatmeal in the rice cooker, I sit down to write. Today I'm looking for summer workshops I can apply to. There's one I really want, so I start working on the scholarship application, which requires an intro letter. The deadline is in a few days, so the pressure is on. I read my first draft of my intro letter and decide I sound like a jerk. Great. This will need some serious revising!
7 a.m. — I shower and get dressed. I'm pet-sitting later, so I need to be presentable a lot earlier than usual.
8 a.m. — My mom has been wanting the same rice cooker I have for a long time. I've been keeping an eye on the price, and today it's finally cheap enough that I go for it! It's $113, but I'll use the money I have already set aside for Mom gift purchases. Then I see a cool shibori dyeing workshop happening next week. It's a special price ($25), probably half off what it would normally be, so I go for it. $138
8:30 a.m. — I prep my yoga classes for the week. I teach several vinyasa-style classes and one vinyasa/restorative combo. I've been a lot more inspired in my sequences lately, so planning classes has been really fun.
10 a.m. — I type up a first draft of the scholarship application I wrote out earlier (I like to write by hand first), so I can do more edits on it later if I have time.
10:30 a.m. — I arrive for pet-sitting. It's a pretty low-key situation. I do a bunch of different writing jobs, take the dog for a walk, and drink some of the pet owner's LaCroix (tangerine, and she offered!). I am definitely not team pamplemousse.
3:30 p.m. — I talk to my mom on the phone as I get ready for Arabic lessons.
4:30 p.m. — Arabic time! My brain works so hard, but it feels amazing when my teacher compliments my improvement. It's good motivation to set aside more time for review.
6 p.m. — I make dinner — focaccia pizza, since I have way too much focaccia for one person to eat. I top it with tomatoes, caramelized onions, and spinach. I soak some chickpeas but run out of time to cook them before I have to leave to teach. Guess they'll be soaking overnight! Does this mean they'll be sprouted?
7:15 p.m. — I arrive at the studio. My class isn't for another 30 minutes, so I get myself settled and see who has signed up. A couple people returning, a couple new people — should be a good class! Especially since this one is the vinyasa/restorative combo.
9 p.m. — After class, I stay to talk to the studio manager, as well as a few students who just recently started coming to my classes. It's a great community and a really beautiful space. I feel so lucky to get to teach here!
10 p.m. — It takes some time to wind down after being in teaching mode. But I finally get to bed.
Daily Total: $138

Day Five

5:30 a.m. — It's tough getting out of bed this morning. I snooze my alarm until almost 6. I have a meeting with the application-reading team at 8, so I have to get moving.
7 a.m. — I have about three bites of leftover oatmeal. It's the rest of what I didn't eat yesterday, and honestly, I don't know why I put away such a small amount, but I hate wasting food! I make some golden milk, too, before I head out the door.
8 a.m. — I chat with one of the other part-time readers before the meeting starts. Afterward, I head home to do a little more work and have an English muffin.
9:45 a.m. — I arrive for my babysitting gig. I've never really considered myself a kids person, but I've been watching this one boy since he was a baby, and we're basically family! They just had a second baby and needed some extra weekday help. Today, I take the boy to music class, which is honestly so much fun. The teacher is amazing, and it's great to remember what it's like to just play and explore.
12 p.m. — I check my email when we get back home and find out I'm getting a raise! The client who contracts me to write blogs is giving me $5 extra per blog, starting immediately, as a “thank you” for all of the work I've done for them so far. I am so excited.
1:45 p.m. — I finish getting the boy I babysit his lunch and then chat with his mom a bit after he goes down for his nap.
2 p.m. — I stop at the local Indian grocery store for a lot of spices. I'm leading the Ayurveda module for the current teacher trainees at the studio. The mod is next week, and I want to make a little golden milk mix as a fun gift. I get all the spices I need — mostly organic— for just $18.95! This feels like a total deal, plus I love grocery stores. I also get a samosa, because I haven't had lunch yet and can feel myself shutting down. It's a dollar, so it doesn't feel like a splurge. I'll save the receipt as a work expense to deduct for next year's taxes. $20.02
3 p.m. — I FaceTime with one of my good friends who lives in a different city. Our relationship is really changing — especially since she started dating a guy I don't like — and that's hard, but I'm trying to see how it goes.
5 p.m. — I call Mom, but she's about to have dinner with my grandparents, so she says she'll call back later. I make a batch of almond-butter brownies (literally so good) and then try to figure out what I can make from my pantry for dinner. Pumpkin soup it is! I mean, the pumpkin is canned, but why not? I finish making it when Mom calls back. We talk for a LONG time tonight, mostly about my changing friend dynamics, shifts at her work, and our upcoming mother-daughter trip to Sedona!
7 p.m. — One of my other best friends calls as I'm finishing talking to Mom. I call him back and we chat while he drives to pick up a tux for a cool 1920s-themed birthday party this weekend. It sounds really fun, and I'm definitely living vicariously through him.
8 p.m. — I do a face mask and wash dishes. The afternoon ended up really getting away from me, and I have to get up at 4 a.m. tomorrow (I know, yikes!), so I throw some towels in the wash, put on my oil diffuser, and get ready for bed.
9:10 p.m. — I'm definitely moving slower than I expected, partly because I realize I have to wait up to put the towels in the dryer. The cashews and dates I ordered on Tuesday arrived, and so did the jars for the golden milk mix! I feel like I should open everything today, but I decide to hold off. It can sit in the box another night. I switch the towels over and get to sleep.
Daily Total: $20.02

Day Six

4 a.m. — “Here we go,” I think as I snooze my alarm. This particular wake-up always comes too soon, but since I have to be a functioning human for my 6:30 class, I don't have much choice! No meditation this morning. I throw some oatmeal in the rice cooker, shower, and start getting ready. It snowed last night, so I should leave a little early because cleaning off my car will take forever — my snow scraper is laughably small! But, true to form, I eat breakfast, run through my sequence again, and leave as late as possible. Luckily, I hit all green lights, which feels like a good sign!
7:45 a.m. — Class is over and I head to therapy. It takes a little longer than usual because Pittsburgh never cleans the roads when it snows (cue world's biggest eye-roll). I get in right on time for my appointment. Insurance completely covers my therapy sessions, which is amazing. This reminds me, though, that I need to figure out how to have health insurance as a freelancer, since this is the last year I can be on my mom's plan.
9 a.m. — I head back home for a quick snack before I have to babysit at 10. While I'm home, I text my friend who works at my marketing firm client about my interest in doing some PR for their company. The head of the content team mentioned they were interested in finding someone. I ask about hours and budget, and she says she'll get back to me on that ASAP. It would be great if this works out! I've never done PR before, but part of this freelancing lifestyle is picking things up as you go! Gotta hit those monthly income goals somehow!
1:45 p.m. — I get home from babysitting and have just enough time to eat some leftover soup for lunch before I leave for my first-ever reiki session! On the way, I have to stop at the studio to pick up my paycheck. Our checks are always ready for us on the first of the month, but I forgot to get mine this morning. This is especially exciting because as of this month, everyone is getting raises! Since I've been teaching there a year, I'll be getting $2 more per class, which is so nice. Yoga teachers tend to be way underpaid, so it's great to feel appreciated AND see that appreciation manifest in more money. This studio owner is really the best.
4:20 p.m. — Wow, I am definitely feeling really settled after that reiki session. She used this cool pendulum to see the health of each chakra and then a singing bowl to heal any stuck spots. It's $65 and I leave a $5 tip, but end up thinking I should have left more. There are a lot of people who call themselves energy workers out there, but this woman was legit. I decide I'll leave a bigger tip next time, because I'll definitely be back. $70
6 p.m. — I finish eating leftover lentil balls with sautéed greens and focaccia. I was not feeling the lentil balls or the focaccia, but both needed to be eaten. Now I only have one more big slice of focaccia left, so I'm making progress! I also have some of the brownies I made last night. Since it's a new month, I'll head to the grocery store tomorrow morning. I should probably pick out a few things to make for the week. Instead, I look through the MindBody app and see that this girl I like has signed up with her girlfriend for a partner yoga workshop at the studio this weekend. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I kind of wish I hadn't looked.
9 p.m. — I finish reading a few more applications so that I make my weekly quota. I got my period today, so I make some raspberry-leaf tea. Then I check in with my spending for the week. I think about doing invoices, but decide to wait until tomorrow. I'm ready to be horizontal.
Daily Total: $70

Day Seven

5:30 a.m. — It's my only day without an alarm! Of course, my body is a creature of habit, but I lie in bed for a good 30 minutes, just because I can. I do have a coffee date with a friend from my teacher training at 10, though, so I have to get moving eventually.
6:45 a.m. — After my morning routine, I sit down to do an hour of application reads.
8:15 a.m. — Grocery time! I live within walking distance of Whole Foods, Target, and Trader Joe's, which is so convenient. I start at WF because their produce is the best. I used to sleep with a guy who worked in their meat department ("date" would be too strong a word), and it's still a little triggering to go in. But I haven't seen him there in a while, and I've convinced myself that he moved away. I eye vegan sausages and peanut butter–chocolate sandwich cookies, but they're kind of a splurge. I have some canned jackfruit at home and decide a vegan sloppy Joe will satisfy my vegan meat craving. I end up with pita, tortillas, English muffins (the sprouted-grain kind), broccoli, dental floss, onions, an organic yellow bell pepper, tissues, peanut butter, coconut milk, tomato paste, and vegetable bullion cubes. While I'm there, Coffee Date Friend texts me because she needs to reschedule. No bigs! $37.03
9 a.m. — I arrive at Target moments after they open and head straight to the alternative milks. They sell a protein-fortified nut milk that is like 40 cents cheaper than it is at Whole Foods. I get that, chocolate cashew milk, and bagged organic lemons (though I realize Whole Foods has just dropped its prices on bagged organic lemons, and I can just get these with the rest of my produce next time). On my way to the register, I stop to read an article in People about Meghan Markle's baby shower and pregnancy. (I'm not going to buy the whole mag for just one story — I can't be the only one who does this!) I've been a huge fan of hers ever since she wrote that brilliant piece on being biracial. Being biracial is a huge part of my own identity, and it's just really nice to feel represented. At the register, I come in under budget on my groceries this week! Its a $3 difference, but that adds up! $10.73
9:30 a.m. — I run to the bathroom as soon as I am home because I can tell I've sprung a leak. This is the only downside of menstrual cups. I didn't wear a backup pad this morning, because sometimes I like to live on the edge. Well, we see how that worked out. I also realize I forgot to eat. This is definitely a period-related phenomenon, because I am usually counting down the moments until each meal. I was going to have an English muffin, but forgot that they're still frozen. I have some yogurt and granola instead, but that's really not a meal, so I throw some tots in the oven. Period food at its finest.
10:40 a.m. — I sit down for some more application reads (I'm almost at the next payment tier) and finish up what I can for this week. I do another load of dark clothes and set up my giant clothes-drying rack in the hall. Having a washer/dryer in-unit is something I am grateful for literally every single day.
12 p.m. — I stop for lunch because I'm so hungry! I take some Tylenol with my pumpkin soup and (last piece of) focaccia! I'm so relieved I was able to eat it all before it went bad. Food waste is my least favorite. My motivation to get back to work is really low, and I just kind of want to lie down and do nothing. This is what happens when I don't schedule in a weekend. But work isn't always busy, so when it is, I do what I can to keep up.
12:45 p.m. — That summer writing workshop application is due tomorrow, and I still need to revise my scholarship letter so they like me. I make some turmeric-ginger tea, heat up my heat pack, and sit in my favorite chair. It's the little things, you know?
3:15 p.m. — Oof, this editing session has been a lot. I think my letter and manuscript are in good shape (well, as good as they can be for tomorrow's deadline), but I'd like to print them out one more time, since it's easier for me to catch mistakes on paper. The only problem is my printer is out of ink. Quick walk to Staples. $33.15
4:30 p.m. — I want to work out, but since my energy is kind of low today, I opt for an armband workout from the streaming service I pay for. Mom calls in the middle of it, but since I've done this sequence before, I just put it on mute and keep going. Good news, though — Mom got her rice cooker! She's so excited about it, and I'm so excited it arrived so quickly!
6 p.m. — I am thinking some sesame-soy udon for dinner, so I roast some broccoli and carrots to go with it. I am really craving something crunchy, though, so I order a scallion pancake and vegetable spring rolls from a nearby Chinese restaurant. Meanwhile, this guy I used to date ("date" is the proper word to describe this past relationship) texts me. He just moved apartments and invites me over to catch up. We've tried to be friends, but he's had some difficulty respecting the boundaries I requested when we stopped dating (i.e., I don't want to sleep with you if we're not together. I did that with Meat Department, and it was not great for me!). He asks what I'm doing and I give a long list of things that are supposed to read, "Too busy to see you." But then he suggests I come over after I'm finished. I decline, since it's starting to sound like a booty call. Eventually he suggests I stop by after my class tomorrow morning. That's fine. But, why am I doing this? $7.50
7:30 p.m. — Dinner was really good, but I get full way too fast and my stomach is not a huge fan of the cooking oil. For some reason, I am so sensitive to whatever oil restaurants use to cook their food. I used to work at a vegan Polish restaurant with amazing pierogis, but whenever the guy on the fryer would hand me a pierogi — a total treat, since no one got a dinner break — I would get pretty bad stomach cramps almost immediately after. Anyway, those pass quickly enough, and I decide to take it easy the rest of the night. I'm in bed by 9:30.
Daily Total: $88.41
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