A Week In Kansas City, MO, On A $92,000 Salary

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Today: a project manager working in risk management who makes $92,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a turtleneck from Alabama Chanin.
Occupation: Project Manager
Industry: Risk Management
Age: 40
Location: Kansas City, MO
Salary: $92,000 base with a ~$30,000 bonus
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $2,619
Monthly Expenses
House Payment: $1,000 (for maintenance and property taxes)
Car Fund: $400 (for taxes and eventually buying a new car)
Health Insurance: $35 (high deductible plan)
Home & Auto Insurance: $168
Utilities: $240
Home Security Monitoring: $35
Cable/Internet: $198
Cell Phone: $89
Netflix: $8
Hulu: $13
Yoga Streaming Subscription: $10
Audible: $15
Eyelash Extension Membership: $60 (service only, I tip each visit)
Savings: $750
401(k): $460 (My employer matches my 6%.)

Day One

7:30 a.m. — First alarm. (Google Home, which I immediately tell to turn off.)
7:45 a.m. — Second alarm (iPhone — I reach over and hit snooze.)
7:54 a.m. — Third alarm (iPhone again). Okay, I really need to get up today. It's my last day of work before a week and a half of PTO. I'm looking forward to turning off my work computer and phone tonight!
8 a.m. — Get dressed, make coffee, and wander into my home office.
10 a.m. — After slogging through emails and preparing an end-of-month report, I drive to the nearest Starbucks with my reusable mug and order a short flat white. There is a local café closer to my house, but after a recent work trip I've collected some rewards on my Starbucks card and want to take advantage of the free drink. I stop at QT to fill up the gas tank on my way home. $45
5:45 p.m. — After a marathon of work, I set my out-of-office email notification and record a new voicemail. I'm thankful for the job I have and the privilege to work from home. It's been a busy season full of travel and long hours, though, so I'm excited to disconnect. It dawns on me that other than the flat white, I've only consumed a protein bar today. I quickly heat up a frozen meal (General Tso tofu from Good Earth – two thumbs up).
6:30 p.m. — Have a couple of friends over. I prepare margaritas for the group and probably drink two to three myself. We graze on chips/salsa, popcorn, and hummus.
9 p.m. — A few of us plan a movie/dinner night this upcoming Saturday, and we'll all hang out during election-related activities next week. Once everyone leaves, I fill my 25-ounce Swell bottle with water, grab the rest of the popcorn, and park myself on the couch to watch my favorite movie of all time, The Shining.
Daily Total: $45

Day Two

9 a.m. — I set an alarm for two reasons: my dad is coming over to help tackle the leaf situation in my yard, and — this is important — without an alarm, I will sleep indefinitely. I cannot overstate how much I love sleeping. My love of uninterrupted sleep is one of the top reasons I have never wanted children. (Halfway kidding; it's true I've never wanted to be a parent, but for better reasons.)
10 a.m. — After my first cup of coffee and two frozen waffles, I get started outside. Dad comes over with his own leaf blower, and we attack the backyard in sections.
1:30 p.m. — We've filled 20 bags with mulched leaf material. It's hardly finished, but the yard is clear enough to mow at this point. That's a chore for another day. I help my dad load the bags onto his truck bed, because he is generously dropping them off for me at the waste facility. I toast a pita, then dip it in a mixture of hummus, feta, and Sriracha.
2:30 p.m. — I'd love to take a shower, but since I'm already covered in leaf dust and wearing my workout clothes, it's time for a jog. I take a four-mile route through the neighborhood and notice how many peoples' yards are also covered in leaves. Damn those mature oak trees.
3:30 p.m. — I finally take a shower, then work through my “morning” skincare routine and get dressed. I don't have anything planned for tonight, and my refrigerator is nearly bare after getting home from a three-week work trip. I sit down at the kitchen table and compile a grocery list. I spent most of last month dining out, so I'm looking forward to cooking at home for a stretch.
5:30 p.m. — I usually take advantage of my work-from-home situation and grocery shop over my lunch hour, and this is why — the market is packed with people on their way home from the office right now. Kids, too. It's a zoo. I buy quinoa, rice, cheese, plenty of fruits and veggies, soup, and brownie mix. I leave with two giant BAGGU bags, practically bursting. I should be set for the next week at home. $94
7:30 p.m. — I make my favorite caprese quinoa bake for dinner (like lasagna, but a bit healthier). I have a glass of wine while cooking, and then a second glass while settling in for the final couple episodes of season two of Making a Murderer. Then I go online and order a Tom Ford candle I've been thinking about for a couple of weeks. The scent is called “Fucking Fabulous.” It's expensive, but I'll reuse the jar once it burns through. I consider it a payment to myself for the leaf project. $108
Daily Total: $202

Day Three

9 a.m. — I wake up to another alarm and lounge on the couch with coffee and an RXbar while I listen to CNN and manage my regular paycheck. I get paid every other Friday. This is the first check of the month, so I move $350 into my general savings account and $1,000 into my house fund. I own my home outright, so instead of paying a mortgage, I set aside this money to cover property taxes and any maintenance issues that arise. The roof and the electrical and HVAC systems are all in great condition, but I expect to replace the windows within two to three years, which will cost around $15,000. (When I get my second check, I'll put another $350 into general savings and $400 in my car fund. My bonus is paid separately, toward the end of the month, and that goes to my discretionary spending fund.) Since I get paid 26 times a year, every six months I get an “extra” regular check that I split between general savings and my discretionary fund.
12 p.m. — I'm hungry, so I eat another helping of the caprese quinoa. I have a full schedule coming up this weekend, so I spend the afternoon deep cleaning the house, doing laundry, and listening to an audiobook.
5 p.m. — It's almost dark out, so I change into sneakers and go for a leisurely three-mile jog. Once back, I walk down to the makeshift gym in my unfinished basement and complete a 60-minute yoga video. Nearly all of the Yoga With Adriene videos I use on a regular basis are available on her YouTube channel, but I pay for the monthly subscription because it seems fair. I relied on a handful of her “yoga for back pain” videos a few years ago while recovering from an injury, and they really helped me feel better.
8 p.m. — Hell yeah, House of Cards!! Claire has always been my favorite character, and I'm looking forward to bingeing this final season. I could have happily eaten more quinoa for dinner, but I decide to mix it up with lentil soup and a side of toasted pita, followed by an Asian pear for dessert. I power through three episodes and have to convince myself to go to bed shortly after midnight. PTO is awesome.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

8 a.m. — Early wake-up call (for a Saturday) because I need to fit in a workout. It's now or never. I decide to walk downstairs and do an old P90X video. It's in the low 40s this morning and breezy, and I don't feel like breathing in all of that cold air during a run.
10 a.m. — After my shower, I make some coffee and start getting ready for the day. Yesterday was basically my perfect day, since I'm a hardcore introvert. I feel a twinge of anxiety thinking about my plans today — once I leave the house this morning, I won't have a moment to myself. I convince myself it'll be fine.
11:30 a.m. — I meet a work friend for brunch and order a French press and a yogurt/fruit/granola bowl. It's really good! I offer to pay for brunch because I chose the restaurant, and my friend had to drive a lot further. We agree that I'll pay the check, and she'll leave a cash tip. $28
1:30 p.m. — Errand time. I squeeze in a trip to the tailor to drop off a new pair of pants that need a shorter hem. (It'll be $25 when I pick them up next weekend). Next I go to my parents' house to help them install and set up their Ring doorbell — my mother bought it a few months ago after seeing the camera footage from mine. Finally, I go to the eyelash studio for a touch up. This isn't part of my regular plan, but something I need after excessively washing/rubbing my eyes a couple of days ago after all that leaf dust. My appointment is with a new technician who I like more than the woman who usually does my refill. I think I might make a permanent switch. $50
6 p.m. — Dinner and a movie at Alamo Drafthouse. I convinced my friends to see Suspiria. I love the original — I love nearly all of Dario Argento's films. The remake is fine; I would have liked it more if I'd never seen the first. I have a grilled cheese with fries and a Guinness during the movie. I had fun, but I feel sluggish after sitting for so long and eating a heavy meal. I'm looking forward to a hot bath, reading, and falling asleep before midnight. $40
Daily Total: $118

Day Five

9 a.m. — Wake up. I brought my laptop to bed with me last night, so I pick up where I left off reading the news.
10 a.m. — Eventually I get out of bed, make coffee, eat an English muffin with peanut butter, and watch the Sunday morning shows. I'm a news junkie. During commercial breaks I move back and forth to get dressed and apply makeup.
12:30 p.m. — Mani-pedi time. I've been looking forward to this appointment all week. I usually have a manicure every other week and then do a pedicure every other time, but I haven't seen my regular manicurist in almost six weeks due to work travel. I stop at the Caribou Coffee across the parking lot for a latte to enjoy while I'm soaking in the pedicure tub ($4). When the appointment is over, I feel put together again. ($128 including tip). $132
3 p.m. — My parents usually host a family dinner on Sunday nights. But this week, my father is having a Chiefs watch party at the house. I find football painfully boring, but stop over toward the end of the game to say hello to my parents and some family friends. I have a glass of pinot grigio, chips, salsa and — drumroll — homemade guacamole. Avocados are probably my favorite food, ever.
5:30 p.m. — I arrive home and head to the basement for a workout. I do a 30-minute yoga routine and then jog on the treadmill while I watch '80s music videos on YouTube. I watch "Total Eclipse of the Heart" twice, because it's the greatest music video of all time, and I find it strangely motivating.
7 p.m. — After I shower, I apply my weekly Babyfacial treatment from Drunk Elephant and dye my eyebrows. For the brows, I use a Godefroy kit. I used to have my brows tinted by a professional, but it only lasted seven to 10 days before fading. The kit costs about $8 per application, which is better than spending $30-$35 plus a tip to have someone else do it. It's easy to do on my own, but a little more time-consuming than the instructions suggest. I'm a big believer in not paying someone else to do something I can manage on my own.
8 p.m. — I'm hungry again, so I finish off the caprese quinoa. I pour a glass of malbec and attack my annual closet cull. It doesn't take long; I don't have anything to donate this year, but I do find a few sweaters that need repair. Before bed, I remember to go online and restock my everyday skincare products, because the 20% coupon at Sephora is about to expire. It adds up quickly — once the charge posts, I'll pay it with money from my discretionary spending account. $321
Daily Total: $453

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm. Monday is trash day in my neighborhood, and the trucks are loud. It's fine, though, because despite being on PTO for another five days, there are some work responsibilities I have that it doesn't make sense to delegate — so I have about two hours of computer time ahead of me.
8 a.m. — I make coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal before heading to my home office. I spend the next few hours lazily moving back and forth between my work laptop and browsing the new waffle knits on the Alabama Chanin website. I decide to order the turtleneck. I'm a little annoyed that there's a separate shipping fee (when almost all of your business is online, shouldn't that be figured into the item cost?), but I still want the top. $170
12 p.m. — My friend and I volunteered to sit at an info table for a candidate we support in tomorrow's election. I'm passionate about politics, but deeply uncomfortable approaching strangers to discuss the topic. Neighborhood door-to-door canvassing is completely off the table for me. Usually I just write a check. This year, I am excited to do more. I feel totally comfortable sharing information with anyone who makes the first move. I'm pleasantly surprised to find that a number of people stop by the table to talk (mostly to say they're voting for our candidate), and I had no confrontations with passersby who supported the opponent. I was really nervous about that.
5 p.m. — Back home, I inhale a protein bar and then squeeze in a short three-mile jog. I usually do at least one long run every week (over five miles), but haven't done one in a month. I promise myself I'll get back on track after the election.
7 p.m. — After I shower, I make a batch of rice and beans for tonight's dinner and lunches for the rest of the week. I add avocado slices, corn, shredded cheese, and salsa to my dinner portion for tonight. It's as good as a Chipotle bowl. After eating and cleaning the stovetop, I warm up the oven and make brownies for my election watch party tomorrow night. I obviously have to sample a finished brownie, for quality control.
9:30 p.m. — Time to continue my House of Cards binge. It's cold, so I make some hot tea. I watch a couple episodes in the living room, then transition to my bedroom and listen to a podcast before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $170

Day Seven

7 a.m. — My alarm goes off, and I jump out of bed. It's finally here — Election Day! I've been waiting two years for this. I celebrate by browning some halloumi for breakfast. I heard someone call halloumi “the vegetarian alternative to bacon,” and that's a pretty apt description. It's salty goodness, for sure.
8:30 a.m. — After getting dressed and made up, I head out the door with a travel coffee in hand. There's often a line at my polling place. Today, I only have to wait five minutes or so to retrieve my ballot. There's a café across the street, and I walk over to refill my coffee mug with a cappuccino. $3
1 p.m. — I meet my mother for lunch, as is our Election Day tradition. This year we chose a Thai restaurant. We each have a cup of soup and split pineapple fried rice with tofu. Mom pays for lunch. We're both cautiously optimistic about local and state races. We were overconfident back in 2016.
3 p.m. — I stop at the liquor store to buy a couple bottles of wine for tonight's party, then drive home to start watching CNN. $33
6:30 p.m. — A friend picks me up, and we head to the election party, brownies and wine in tow. I stay until 11, catching a ride home with someone else. I'm stuffed after snacking on apps and dessert all night, plus at least three glasses of wine. It was a rollercoaster night. My congressional candidate was a winner, so that was great, but we lost more statewide races than we won. My city and my neighborhood in particular lean progressive, but every year it seems like the rest of the state gets more and more conservative. Still, I go to bed feeling optimistic about 2020.
Daily Total: $36
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