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A Week In Detroit, MI, On A $72,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries where we are tackling the ever-present taboo that is money. We're asking real people how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Today: a project manager who makes $72,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Saturday Skin face wash.
Occupation: Project Manager
Industry: Marketing
Age: 33
Location: Detroit, MI
Salary: $72,000
Net Worth: $131,000 ($39,100 in my 401(k), $500 in my STASH account, $58,000 in Roth IRA Account, $32,000 in savings (I'm saving for a down payment on a house or I would not be holding this much cash), $2,000 in checking).
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $2,021
Pronouns: She/her

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,500 (for a one-bed, one-bath)
Car Payment: $308
Pet Insurance: $20
Phone Bill: $85.33 (my company will cover $40/month)
Hulu/Disney+: free via Verizon phone bill
Netflix: $6.50 (I split it with a friend)
Internet: $70
DTE Energy: $50
Health Insurance: $157
Dental: $10
Spotify: $10
Pure Barre: $90
Car Insurance: $1,000 every six months
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Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it?
Yes, my parents worked really hard to pay for my brother's and my higher education (four years of college) and it was expected that we both attend college in state. I think this is the most significant thing my parents did to set us up for success; it was also incredibly generous of them.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
We didn't have a lot of conversations about money, but we were taught to live within our means. My parents stressed the importance of paying off credit card debt and being smart with the money that we have.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I started babysitting at age 13. In high school I was a nanny for a family during the summer, I worked as a receptionist at a hair salon, and I was a hostess at a restaurant. In college, I was a waitress and a hostess. I was responsible for all of my living/fun expenses in college.
Did you worry about money growing up?
No. I was aware that some people had more money than us, but I never went without. My parents taught me the importance of saving, so I was able to use the money I made working to buy bigger things I wanted, like a laptop.
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Do you worry about money now?
Yes. Almost everyone I know has a double income because they are married. I try to save money and make smart decisions, but I almost always feel behind.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I'm not sure when I truly became financially responsible for myself. I feel I have always been responsible for my own finances, but I also know I could go to my parents if I ever truly needed money for something or had an emergency.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
Yes, $10,000 from my parents when my grandma passed away. My parents are very generous and have given small amounts of money to my brother and me on occasion. I used this money to pay off my previous car.

Day One

7:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I sleep until 8 because I slept horribly last night. When I wake up, I do my morning routine while sipping coffee. I'm currently using Thayer's toner, Sunday Riley vitamin C serum, The Ordinary hyaluronic acid, and Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen. Then I throw on A&F biker shorts and an Alo sports bra and denim jacket to take my dog out for a walk.
9 a.m. — I start reading emails and listen to a team call. While on the call, I make breakfast. I toast a multigrain piece of bread, smash avocado on it, add a fried egg, feta cheese, and baby kale, squeeze lemon juice on it, and add pepper. After the team call ends, I also make a phone call to my fertility clinic about getting my meds delivered. I'm freezing my eggs and have an appointment with my doctor coming up to learn how to inject myself. The medicine is all covered by my insurance except for one, which costs $3,647.60. I also pay co-pays for the other medications ($210). Thankfully, my company has a policy that they will reimburse up to $10,000 in “family planning benefits” and freezing eggs is covered within these benefits, so I will get this money back ($3,857.60 expensed).
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5:40 p.m. — I change into leggings (Carbon 38) and APL sneakers and walk to my Pure Barre class. I LOVE PB (I pay for unlimited classes, in monthly expenses). On the walk back, I see I have a message from a guy I haven't heard from in a while. He's going to be in Detroit at the end of October for work and wants to hang out. I'll be in Florida for most of the times he's here — oh well.
7:30 p.m. — Back from class, I cuddle with my dog and take him out and then make dinner (grilled chicken, baby kale, cheese, nuts, yellow pepper, and dressing). I hop in the shower to wash my hair (usually wash it every three days) and use Kerastase pre-wash shampoo and then Olaplex shampoo and conditioner. Blow-dry my hair and do my nighttime skincare routine. If I don't wear makeup, I just use toner instead of washing my face, The Ordinary hyaluronic acid, Sunday Riley retinoid nighttime oil, Rodan and Fields Lash Boost, women's multivitamin. Around 10, I drink some sleepy time tea and head to bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

8 a.m. — Wake up, make my bed, and do morning skincare. I take my dog out to use the bathroom, but no walk today since it's raining. I make some tea and take some arnica tabs — I'm getting Botox later today and these tabs help with bruising. Then I throw on shorts and a sweatshirt and do some work while listening to a few podcasts (The Megyn Kelly Show, The Drop Out, Up First). I hate working in complete silence, so I always put something on in the background. I take a break to make breakfast before my 11 a.m. meeting (same toast avocado smash mix).
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2 p.m. — Head to my Botox appointment and have a call on the way. It is pretty quick and painless. I have a pre-purchased gift card, so no cost today. I just grab a granola bar for lunch.
4:30 p.m. — I'm home and all of my meds have arrived for egg freezing, I open everything and start feeling very overwhelmed by doing this alone. I really want to have a family one day and my past relationship didn't end the way I had hoped. On the flip side, I know I'm lucky to even be able to freeze my eggs and the thought of one day using them for a family is actually really special. I chat with one of my friends who has also frozen her eggs about it all to decompress a bit.
6 p.m. — Make grilled chicken and Brussels sprouts for dinner, take my dog for a mile walk, and then finish up my emails while watching Seinfeld.
10 p.m. — Do some squats and crunches, drink some sleepy time tea, nighttime routine, and head to bed.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

8 a.m. — I throw my hair in a half up/half down clip, do my skincare routine, and take the dog out for a short walk. Come back and call the fertility clinic about tomorrow's appointment to see if I need to do anything prior to arrival. Pack my work bag and head to a local coffee shop in my neighborhood for a few hours of work. Buy a brown sugar latte ($5.30 + $1 tip). $6.30
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3:30 p.m. — I'm back home. I walk my dog, then make a snack. I have a few more meetings and a bunch of prepping for an upcoming event for work. I browse Amazon during a call to order my dog a Halloween costume — he's going to be a hot dog. I use my brother's Prime, so no shipping charge ($10.60). I get a call from my parents and they ask me if I want to meet them for dinner for dad's birthday. I cancel barre class and stop work around 4:30 to go for a walk before meeting them. I try to get a few miles a day of walking in or a barre class a few days a week. My walk turns into a quick run, shout out to my playlist. $10.60
8 p.m. — Dinner is wine, salad, and pizza. My dad pays (I know — he pays for his own birthday dinner, don't @ me). Feeling grateful for my parents. I stop at Home Goods on the way home and buy a candle for my friend's housewarming ($6.30). I watch an episode of Sex/Life while I respond to some work emails and wind down. Take a hot shower and get in bed. I watch some videos the fertility clinic sent me, then go to sleep. $6.30
Daily Total: $23.20

Day Four

7:30 a.m. — Wake up, dry shampoo my hair (I Drybar's dry shampoo), and put it in a low, middle-part ponytail. Do skincare and add Drunk Elephant Debronzie drops to my sunscreen for a little color, then put on some mascara, under eye concealer, highlighter, and Boy Brow. Make coffee, change into black leather leggings, a black crop t-shirt, white tennis shoes, and an oversized jean jacket, and add some jewelry. Take the dog out, make a piece of toast for the road, and head out by 8:30 for my doctor's appointment.
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9 a.m. — Get some blood work and do the training for all the meds I'll be using during the egg freezing. They have you do an injection of saline, so you know how to “poke” yourself. It's not as bad I was expecting; the needle is really thin. I really feel lighter and less anxious leaving this appointment. No co-pay, since I didn't actually see the doctor today.
11:30 a.m. — Head home and make a quick lunch. Then, I head to the same coffee shop as the other day to meet with one of my vendors. We both have a coffee (he pays) and we sit and chat about business and the industry for a little bit. I work at the coffee shop for a while longer then go home.
5 p.m. — Change into workout leggings and a sports bra for barre and walk downtown, eating a granola bar on the way. Great playlist tonight — I catch up with a few of the girls I know from the studio after class, and then walk home. Dinner is a salad with chicken sausage, baby kale, feta cheese, nuts and dressing.
8 p.m.— I do a load of laundry and hop in the shower. After that, I clean the bathroom and kitchen while I chat with a friend on the phone. I swap out my usual skincare routine for a Drunk Elephant F-Balm hydration mask because my skin is starting to feel the weather change.
10 p.m. — Make sleepy time tea, blow dry my hair, and continue reading Sally Rooney's new book Beautiful World, Where Are You until I pass out. So far I'm not loving this one as much as I hoped. Normal People is one of my all-time favorite books.
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Daily Total: $0

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — Wake up — I slept horribly last night. I started feeling very overwhelmed around 12:30, luckily I've had enough therapy to know how to talk myself down (no feeling is final). Even so, I was up until about 2:30.
11 a.m. — I have a short break so I go down to check on my Lulu's order that came in the mail. I got some brown snakeskin boots and a pair of brown linen shorts. The shorts I love, the boots are a little big.
4:30 p.m. — Done with back-to-back meetings, I opt to just graze on food all day instead of making lunch.
6 p.m. — I change into some ripped jeans (Madewell) and a long sleeve top, curl my hair, and do some minimal makeup. I don't really invest in makeup at all, I just have a few staples I like and everything else is random things I get from Sephora samples when I buy skincare. My friend comes over and we walk to one of my favorite Italian restaurants. We split a bottle of red wine, pizza, calamari, and rice balls, and my half of the bill comes to $44.63. My friend comes over to my place after dinner and helps me make an appetizer for tomorrow. $44.63
10 p.m. — I wind down for a bit, do skincare, take my dog out for a little walk, and head to bed around 11.
Daily Total: $44.63

Day Six

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8 a.m. — I wake up and make coffee, then hop in the shower. Morning is spent blow-drying, curling my hair, doing makeup, and debating on an outfit. I go with linen shorts, a long-sleeve bodysuit, and black boots (it's a warm fall day). It takes me about an hour to get ready, so I put the meatballs in the oven and take my dog out to a park to run around. While I'm out with my dog, I lose my key fob and I'm stuck outside the building, without my phone. Someone who lives in my building comes by after only a few minutes of waiting. He also happens to live on my floor so I get into my place no problem. It was my extra fob that I lost, but it's still expensive to replace so I trace all my steps and look in the park — but no luck.
2 p.m. — A few friends meet at my place and we head out to my other friend's house. There are about 10 of us girls that get together and we have a lot of food and wine and sangria and hang out for hours. We head to this Halloween street that is blocked off and decorated and stroll that for a while.
9 p.m. — Home — and I've had enough drinks and food that I don't want to make any more plans, so I start winding down and watch an episode of The Morning Show on Apple TV, then head to bed.
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Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

8 a.m. — Wake up, and make coffee, take the dog out and change into leggings (Champion) and a bra top (Girlfriend Collective). Then, I head to a morning barre class. I drive because it's raining. After class, I walk to a place downtown and order a breakfast sandwich and side salad ($8.60), I get some money off the order by using my RITUAL points (love this app). $8.60
12 p.m. — I grab my dog and since it's stopped raining, we walk downtown (about a mile). I try to take him to the dog park but he isn't a fan of some of the other dogs there so we leave. We walk to the Nike store downtown and I get new tennis shoes ($74.19 on sale). I don't want to spend money on this but I walk a lot and my APLs are getting really worn out. $74.19
2 p.m. — Back home and I start watching Clickbait while I fold laundry and sew a pair of underwear that ripped in the dryer (they are lace and were expensive!). I spend most of the afternoon cleaning and relaxing.
5:30 p.m. — I head to Whole Foods and pick up organic chicken, sweet potatoes, bananas, sugar-free pumpkin spice bread mix, Skinny Pop microwave popcorn, puffed watermelon and pumpkin seed snacks, tortellini pasta salad with tomatoes and olives, two jars of soup (minestrone and Italian wedding soup), pearled couscous, and arugula ($43.01).When I get home, I eat the pasta salad and then start cutting up the chicken. I put it in a citrus marinade and leave it in the fridge overnight. I also cut up the sweet potato (I'm going to roast it use it for salads all week). $43.01
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8 p.m. — I go on Sephora.com because I'm almost out of face wash. I order Saturday Skin face wash and use my points to get $10 off + three free samples (mascara, perfume, and Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask). I finish chopping the sweet potato then add olive oil, cinnamon, and garlic and put them in the oven. Then I make couscous. $16.96
10: p.m. — Finish up all my meal prep, do my nighttime routine, and hop in bed. I make plans to hang out with the guy I've seen a couple of times for tomorrow night, continue reading my book, and eventually fall asleep.
Daily Total: $142.76
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