A Week In Kansas On A $46,000 Salary

Content Warning: This Money Diary discusses a dead body and a car accident.
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.
Calling all entrepreneurs: We want to hear from you! If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, we’d love to feature your Money Diary. Submit here.
Hey LGBTQIA++ Community! It’s almost Pride Month and we want to amplify the voices of LGBTQIA++ people. If you're a member of the LGBTQIA++/queer community and have ever thought about filling out a Money Diary, we'd love to feature you! Submit here.
This week, a Printer Technician working in manufacturing who makes $46,000 per year and spends some of her money on coconut oil.
Occupation: Printer Technician
Industry: Manufacturing
Age: 25
Location: Kansas
Salary: $46,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,290
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $880
Car Payment: $350
Phone: $70 (transferred to my dad since I'm still on my family's plan)
Water/Trash: $35
Electric: $50-75 (ranges in the different seasons)
Internet: $50 (Google Fiber is amazing and I will never go back to Spectrum)
Credit Cards: $500-$1000 (depends on the month)
Renter's Insurance: $11
Adobe Creative Cloud: $30 (hopefully once my sister is out of college we can split this payment)
Gym: $0 (apartment has one)
Tone It Up Studio App: $85.99/per year
Netflix: $0 (thanks fam)
Health Insurance: $0 (six months of being left on dad's insurance)
Sam's Club: $45/per year

Day One

7:30 a.m. — I am supposed to leave at this time to go to work…oops. I wake up, get ready, slap on some makeup (including this new eye shadow I just got), and head out the door.
8:15 a.m. — I finally get to work, whoops for being late. That extra sleep really made me feel so much better and motivated though, so I don't mind…
9 a.m. — I finish a few tasks I have been meaning to do, and it eases my mind. Certain things needed to be tested for this project I'm working on, and now I can start writing my report on it, which will take a while.
11 a.m. — My coworkers want to go to this local BBQ joint close to work; my coworker P. owes me lunch for printing him banners, so I say yes! I end up getting a burnt end sandwich with fries. The fries were seasoned and amazing, but the sandwich was just okay.
3 p.m. — I see a cute washing machine thing for your makeup sponge on Twitter, and decide to look it up on Amazon. It's from another country, so it would be expensive shipping and wouldn't get here till next month. I decide I do need to start using a scrub pad for washing my makeup brushes instead of my hand. I add a makeup cleaner pad to my cart, a magnetic empty eye shadow palette, and short bar belly button rings. $27.89
4:30 p.m. — I'm out the door and so happy about this 80 degree weather. Though on my way home the highway going westbound is closed due to a huge wreck. I look over and see a dead body on a tarp. That messed with my mind all the way home, because I'm sure it was someone heading towards the university for finals — all I can think about is how that could've been my little sister or brother if they went to that particular college. Man, if I have kids I'll be the most worrisome mom ever.
5:20 p.m. — I get home and change into leggings, a V-neck, and put on a hat. I head out the door to go to my parent's house that's 10 minutes away since they are cooking out (free and yummy food for me).
6:30 p.m. — My dad grills hot dogs and we pair them with potato salad, Doritos, and no bake cookies. My mom offers me a Truly drink, and I accept.
9:30 p.m. — I have a couple more Truly drinks and then decide to down some water. I really need to go back to my apartment, but I'm having such a fun time with my parents, grandpa, and my brother. We are all listening to music, telling funny jokes, and guessing where the planes that fly above us are headed.
10:30 p.m. — I head home, brush my teeth, take off my makeup, change into pajamas, and pass out immediately. Love when that happens.
Daily Total: $27.89

Day Two

7:20 a.m. — I once again wake up late (10 minutes before I should leave) and scramble to get ready for the day. I put on makeup, change, and I'm out the door.
8 a.m. — I get to work just in time to call into our morning phone call. I check emails as the call goes on and make a list of what I need to do work and non-work wise. I love making lists, so I look forward to planning my detailed day in the mornings. I check the news — turns out the body I saw last night was a student at Kansas University, and he was only 19. So sad.
9 a.m. — I start working on different tasks that need to be done today. I'm starving, so I eat a slice of banana bread I brought from home.
11 a.m. — I heat up one of my meal-prepped meals, and it is rock hard. This isn't the first time it's happened, so I email the company asking for a refund and proceed to order Chipotle on the app. I thought maybe I had reached enough rewards to get a free entrée, but not yet. $8.65
12 p.m. — I get back from eating lunch in my car, I check my email and the company says no refunds, but I can get 50% off my next order…uhhh BYE. I contemplate whether I should go get groceries and just get over the money I had to spend on that meal delivery. Maybe I'll do Walmart pickup for after work tomorrow – it makes things so easy.
2 p.m. — I empty and organize a cabinet at work that has needed major TLC, print a few more things that need to be printed, chat with coworkers about a project, and then finally sit down at my computer to type up a report.
3:25 p.m. — I pull the trigger and order Walmart grocery pickup. I get Mediterranean quinoa steam bags, veggie pasta, black bean burgers, precooked chicken strips, oranges, lemons, brussel sprouts, chipotle chicken sausage, and water bottles. $60.82
4 p.m. — I confirm with my friend whose birthday is today about what time we are meeting up at a local bar. He wants to meet an hour after I get home, so hopefully I can squeeze in the workout I didn't do yesterday, shower, and meet him there. Do you still get your 25-year-old guy friends birthday gifts or just buy him a drink? Oh, adulting, you are fun.
4:30 p.m. — I rush out of the door to head home to my apartment, I take a nap instead of working out (why am I like this?) shower, get ready, and drive towards the bar.
6:30 p.m. — I make my way to the rooftop of the bar, meet up with my friends, and order a whiskey diet coke. Everyone else seems to be ordering food, so I order a side of fries and end up sharing half with my friend.
10:30 p.m. — I did not intend to stay out this late, but we were all having fun so I have a few more drinks as well. $34.40
11 p.m. — I'm in my pajamas, makeup is off, water bottle on my nightstand. Time to pass the eff out.
Daily Total: $103.87

Day Three

7:15 a.m. — I am so freaking thirsty on the way to work and my chest is tight (from the drinking), so I decide to stop at Sonic and get a route 44 Diet Coke and a large ice water. $1.31
7:50 a.m. — I leave my Diet Coke at my desk and bring my water to my morning meeting to make sure I drink it all before drinking the Diet Coke. I really don't like drinking soda first thing in the morning, and I'm sure my slightly hungover ass will appreciate the water more.
11 a.m. — Two of my coworkers didn't bring in lunch either so we decide to go to a restaurant called The Other Place. I order a chicken wrap, salad, and water. We talk about our lives and work and sit outside because it's so nice out. $16.07
4:30 p.m. — I leave work and head straight to Walmart grocery pickup. Every parking spot but one is taken, so I pull in. I finally get the groceries in my trunk and head back home.
5:30 p.m. — I get into my apartment, stuff the groceries in my fridge, change my outfit, fix my makeup and hair, and hop in the car to go meet my sister for dinner — she just finished her junior year of college and her first year not being at a community college.
6:45 p.m. — We make it to a place call True Food Kitchen. We both order drinks. I get a cherry bourbon sour and my sister gets a spicy skinny margarita. We try each other's drinks and agree we like our own and most definitely have our own tastes. She orders a polenta bowl and I order a chicken sausage pizza. I pay because I would've loved an older sister to do this for me when I was her age. $69.87
8:30 p.m. — I'm finally home. I clean up my kitchen and my room before changing into shorts and a t-shirt to lay in bed and watch Instagram stories. I feel like working out, so I browse through the yoga videos from my Tone It Up Studio app.
9:45 p.m. — I finally decide to just do a stretching video since I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle on my right side under my rib cage from coughing while sick. After I stretch for a good 15 minutes, I take off my makeup, take ibuprofen, take my birth control, get in bed, put my heating pad on my pulled muscle, put in my AirPods, and put Lana Del Rey on shuffle. I'm out like a light (like a light ayyy).
Daily Total: $87.25

Day Four

7:10 a.m. — Do the usual morning routine (early for once) and head to my car.
7:30 a.m. — I stop at McDonald's and get biscuits and gravy, a large Diet Coke, and a large ice water. It's Friday! $5.08
8 a.m. — We have our morning call. I spend it listening, but also writing my weekend to-do list since I didn't get much done this week. I instant message a coworker and bet him a soda on what time the phone call will end. He agrees and we tell each other our guesses.
9 a.m. — I guessed 9:01, so I win the soda bet. Since I got a soda this morning, I tell him I can wait until later.
11 a.m. — Coworkers want to go to lunch and one of them says he owes me another lunch from printing him stuff, so I accept!
11:15 a.m. — We go to the same local BBQ joint we went to on Tuesday (this is the most eating out I've done in one week) and I get the lunch special which is ribs, bread, pickle, and fries and I also get a side of mac and cheese wedges because last time we all talked about how we wanted to try them. Update: they were delicious.
1 p.m. — I work on friend drama via text (why can't we end friendships like we do relationships or flings?). We are adults, and if I don't want to hang out with you anymore, I shouldn't have to. I head back to my desk to get some more work done.
2:30 p.m. — I request the soda I won from the bet; he even brings me a cup of ice. How nice.
4:20 p.m. — I blow this popsicle stand! I head home and it is super nice out.
6:15 p.m. — I take a body shower, shave my legs and pits, change into this camo t-shirt dress I've been wanting to wear, and redo my makeup to go over to my parent's house.
7:30 p.m. — My dad grilled burgers and hot dogs. I eat that along with chips and potato salad. My mom is on a girl's weekend and my brother is out with his friends who are home from college, so it's just me, my two sisters, and my dad. He invites over my grandpa, who lives two doors down, and we all hang out and drink.
8:30 p.m. — I haven't shaved my legs in a long time, and I have serious razor burn to the point that it's hurting without even doing anything. I go up to my mom's closet and borrow a t-shirt and leggings.
11 p.m. — After spending the night talking about astronomy, science, music, and more, I decide I shouldn't drive home. I go sleep in the room that's now “mine” since my brother took mine over when I moved out a couple years ago. The ceiling fan isn't currently working, so I get a tower fan from downstairs and let it oscillate towards me while I sleep.
Daily Total: $5.08

Day Five

9:15 a.m. — I wake up and see a text from my dad asking if I want to go to McDonald's with him to get breakfast. He goes every Saturday morning, usually with my mom or by himself. He buys us both our own bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle and a large drink. Breakfast on him. We chat about work and the projects he's working on, and the projects I'm working on. Besides my coworkers, he's literally the only person I can talk to about work and the only one that understands what the hell I'm even talking about.
11 a.m. — We get home and it starts pouring out. I decide to chill on my iPad and watch Planet Earth with my sister. I order coconut oil for my razor burn since I saw an Instagram post from Hannah Bronfman saying that it can help. It's cheap on Amazon, and I order just in time for one-day delivery. I love technology. $10.97
1 p.m. — The rain has stopped so I head home. Once home, I clean my kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bathroom. I might be going out later and never know if someone will stop by or not.
5:30 p.m. — I put on my workout clothes, put in my AirPods, and start my walk to the gym in my apartment building. One other person is there. I run a mile on the treadmill and call it good.
6:15 p.m. — I hop in the shower, brush out my tangled mess of hair, moisturize my face, and get to working on my makeup – my favorite thing to do when I have time!
7 p.m. — My dad texts me asking what my status is. I know I'll probably go out later, but I tell him I'll be over soon to hang out and have a drink.
8:30 p.m. — My friend D. says she and a couple others will come over about 10:15 to take some shots and then head to the bar where we plan to meet some other friends. After about an hour, I head towards my apartment.
10:30 p.m. — We finally leave to go to the bar. My friend covers the Uber since I let her and her friends drink my whiskey. We get to the bar and she gets my first drink as well. This bar is the only local bar I like and has a rooftop, but the rooftop is closed due to the rain.
11 p.m. — My friend orders a round of shots and gets me one. It doesn't taste very good, but it's free, so who cares! I've really started to lose interest in this bar and this city I live in, to be honest.
12:15 a.m. — I look at Uber, and it's $7 to go home, so I decide to take it. I go home and think about how tired I am of going out and trying to meet new people (aka date). It is mentally exhausting. I pass out after changing and taking off my makeup. I'm going to regret not washing my face in the morning. $7.53
Daily Total: $18.50

Day Six

8 a.m. — I wake up and the sun is pouring into my room. I look at the clock and decide to go back to sleep.
10:15 a.m. — I wake up again and text my sister to ask if she's ready to start the day since we plan on shopping for clothes for our upcoming trip.
11 a.m. — I go over to my parent's house, pick up my sister, and we head to lunch. We go to a city that's 20 minutes away to grab lunch. I get a sirloin, mac and cheese, and green beans. My sister gets chicken strips and fries. I decide to pay for her meal because I'm in a good mood. $36.54
1 p.m. — We go to another city that's 15 minutes away. We get tired of the stores around us mainly because they suck (haha). We hit up TJ Maxx, Viva Beauty, Ross, Marshalls, and Five Below. I get a suitcase, makeup sponges, shower cap, aluminum-free deodorant, cute top, body wash, hemp lotion, a top for my sister, lavender honey spoons for my mom, jean shorts, workout leggings, earrings, eye shadow, a bandeau, bras, and a top for work. $140.67
3 p.m. — We stop by McDonald's and get two large drinks, a McDouble, and a McChicken since our lunch honestly wasn't very good and didn't fill us up. My sister pays.
4 p.m. — We are finally back at my parents'. My mom is back from her girls trip. We show her everything we got while shopping, I give her the lavender honey spoons and she loves them. I end up grabbing dinner with my sister and brother at a local bar, and my sister pays.
8 p.m. — My sister went to nail school and worked at a few salons, so she does my nails. I have her do am ombre yellow-to-red look and top it with sparkles. It's so cute. Afterwards, I head home, because I have a bad habit of ignoring responsibilities and Sunday Scaries by staying late at my parent's house on Sunday nights.
9:30 p.m. — I get so much done. I put away laundry, clean up my kitchen, meal prep, take out the trash, check the mail, work on my computer, make a list for the week, schedule an appointment at the Walgreens clinic, and prepare my clothes for tomorrow. I decide I've worked pretty hard and I have a certain song I want to blare in my car with the windows down, so I head to McDonald's down the street. I really need to kick this McDonald's Diet Coke habit... $1.08
10:30 p.m. — I do my skincare routine of taking off my makeup with a wipe, using micellar water on a cotton round, rosehip oil, use my jade roller, and put moisturizer on my face. I put on my pajamas, read Hannah Bronfman's book, Do What Feels Good, and write in my question-a-day book I've been neglecting. I pass out around midnight.
Daily Total: $178.29

Day Seven

6:40 a.m. — My alarm wakes me up. I'm so comfy I don't want to get up, but I convince myself to hop in the shower.
7 a.m. — I get out of the shower, brush my teeth, use my ice roller on my face, put moisturizer on, brush my hair out, put on makeup, change into my clothes, grab today's breakfast and lunch, and then I'm out!
7:45 a.m. — I get into the office. Everyone is especially chipper this morning. I'm not a fan since it's Monday morning.
8:15 a.m. — Our morning call is done, and I'm ready to eat my breakfast of Brussels sprouts and chicken sausage.
11:45 a.m. — I try to go get TSA pre-check, but the line is too long, and I don't have an appointment. I head back to the office and make my steam bag of noodles, corn, carrots, and broccoli while watching Instagram stories.
12:30 p.m. — I begin organizing my list of what I need to get done at work today, update a couple spreadsheets, work on a report, and then I begin putting new ink into a machine.
3:30 p.m. — I am just now done putting the ink in with a couple little breaks here and there. I know I won't be able to finish the printing and scanning I need to do today, so I decide to do it tomorrow, start cleaning up my area and crossing off things I did on my list.
4:20 p.m. — I leave to go to the doctor for my side pain. It's raining and I'm not excited about pouring/flash floods during rush hour.
4:50 p.m. — I make it to Walgreens with time to spare. I get in with the doctor and he tells me it doesn't seem like my side hurting is appendicitis, and that it's most likely a pulled muscle; if the pain gets worse, I have to come back.
5 p.m. — I leave the doctor and text my dad telling him what he said. My dad suggests a scan, but I feel like it's not appendicitis. Since the doctor didn't really see anything wrong with me, he didn't charge me. I head towards Target.
5:15 p.m. — Score! I find Disney shirts on clearance in the men's section. I'm going to Disney World and want to get everyone in my family a t-shirt for the trip — not the cliché ones that say our last name and how it's our family vacay. I get my dad a Buzz Lightyear one, my grandpa a Mickey classic grey one, and my brother a Cool Pizza Planet one (which I'd honestly like for myself). $26.75
5:30 p.m. — My parents' house is down the road, so I grab my sister and we head to Ulta because there is a sale on eyeliner.
5:45 p.m. — At Ulta, I get 4 Nyx Vivid Bright liners on sale for $2 off. I get yellow, pink, red, and orange. Next to these liners are a different type of liner on sale for $2.99 ; there's purple and cobalt so I pick up both. I realize I need a waterproof mascara for vacation, and find an Essence one for $3.99. $36.94
6:15 p.m. — We go back to my parents' house and I talk about my day with my sisters and my mom. I give my sister the shirt I bought for her yesterday and she LOVES it. They are watching Dead to Me on Netflix and eating breaded chicken my mom made. I grab a few pieces and some ketchup and join them. I started this show and it was a little slow and cringey, so I didn't even finish the first episode. The episode they are watching looks intriguing, so I think I might give it another try.
7 p.m. — I guess The Bachelorette starts at 7, so my brother's girlfriend comes over to watch it with my sisters. I try to watch about 15 minutes of it and can't really stand it, so I go home.
8 p.m. — I end up going to a Walmart that's close by. I'm looking for more Disney shirts. I find an Aladdin one and a Toy Story one. I also find activewear joggers, a KC Royals shirt, a cheetah bikini top, and jean shorts. $75.67
8:30 p.m. — I'm finally home and not in the mood to do anything. I scroll through Instagram for a little bit and see a story of people dancing to Meg the Stallion's new album. I decide to listen to her new album, put on workout clothes, and go into the pouring rain to go run on the treadmill at my apartment gym. Nobody is here, my favorite. Bob's Burgers is on the TV as well.
10 p.m. — I decide my body is done for the day. I brush my teeth, wash my face, don't set out my clothes for the next day (regret), and pass out.
Daily Total: $139.36
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.
Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us 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