A Week In New York, NY, On A $105,000 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a Registered Nurse working in Healthcare who makes $105,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Insomnia Cookies.
Editor's Note: Refinery29 will be taking a Day of Pause on Monday. There will be no Money Diary on Monday, but we will be back on Tuesday. Additionally, in honor of both Mother's Day and Nurses' Week we have swapped the NYC diary to today and will have a non-NYC mother's diary tomorrow.
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 26
Location: NYC
Salary: $105,000 base + ~$20,000 from bonuses, overtime, and on-call
Net Worth: ~$82,000 (checking account, savings, HYSA, 403(b), and IRA)
Debt: $0
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): ~$2,320 (this is after taxes and pre/post-tax deductions). My paychecks can fluctuate anywhere between $2300-$2900.

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,900 for my half of a one-bedroom flex in a luxury building (I have the real room). Insane, I know, but at least my last month of rent is free.
Loans: $0 (I have no student loans or credit card debt. I am extremely grateful that my parents paid for my college tuition.)
Utilities: ~$23 (for my share)
Wifi: ~$19 (for my share)
Phone: Parents pay for the family plan
Netflix: $8.99
Spotify & Hulu: $4.99
Acorns Roundups: $1 (I'm not currently contributing money to this now)
iCloud storage: $2.99
New York Times Subscription: $6.13
Class Pass: $83 (on pause right now)
Wage Works Transit: $127 deducted from one paycheck per month (used to pay for my unlimited Metrocard)
Savings: $500-$1,500/paycheck
Retirement: $500/paycheck (and my employer matches about $232 per paycheck. I have $42,000 in my 403(b) and about $7,000 in an IRA that I'm not actively contributing to.)
Annual Expenses:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card: $95
Life Insurance: $1,780 (my mom made me….)
Amazon Prime: I use my mom's account with her blessing

Day One

8:30 a.m. — My first alarm goes off. My boyfriend, L., gets out of bed to take a shower while I continue snoozing. Last night, I told L. to drag me out of bed (literally) because I've been waking up late every day for the past week. L. manages to get me out of bed at a reasonable time. I get up, brush my teeth, wash my face with Fresh Soy Cleanser and moisturize with Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. No makeup today (or really, any day). I throw on Lululemon leggings, a cropped hoodie, Ultraboost sneakers, and my Canada Goose jacket for our Trader Joe's trip. We grab our reusable bags, put on our masks, and head out to the subway.
9:30 a.m. — We take the train to Trader Joe's and surprisingly, the line outside isn't that long. I brought my work ID with me as TJ's has been letting healthcare workers skip the line. I used to wait in the line for an hour every time because I felt bad skipping it, but L. constantly reminds me that I don't have the luxury of working from home and that I should just use this perk. I grab my usual weekly groceries: spinach, cucumber, baby carrots, Roma tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, potatoes, miso brown rice stir fry, garlic, hummus, vegan pesto, ground turkey, precooked balsamic chicken breast, yogurts, reduced-fat milk, green juices, pita bread, and pita chips. L. gets trail mix, steak, rosemary, potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and canola oil. I pay for the groceries. $95.52
10:30 a.m. — We arrive back at my apartment and put away groceries. I do a 12-minute full-body HIIT workout and a 10-minute ab workout on YouTube. I'm dying by the end and vow to do more of these home workouts (lol sure). L. and I make coffee (iced latte for me, hot mocha for him) with my Nespresso. (Also, of note: L. and I don't live together but have basically been quarantining together. I have one roommate, but she hasn't been around since New York went into quarantine).
12 p.m. — Lunchtime! We eat leftover arroz con pollo from our dinner yesterday while watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. L. has never watched Breaking Bad before!
2 p.m. — I make an iced matcha latte (I use a matcha powder stick from TJ's and froth that with milk in my Nespresso milk frother and pour it over ice. It tastes like a cafe version and saves me $7). I also slice a piece of chocolate chip banana bread (I know, everyone and their mother is baking banana bread during quarantine) that I baked earlier this week.

4:30 p.m. — I peel myself off my bed to cook my lunches for my next two days at work. I make Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi with chicken sausage, spinach, mushroom, and vegan pesto. This is a super easy and filling meal and is always in my rotation. As I'm cleaning up, L. comes into the kitchen to cook dinner — steak, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts that we bought earlier today. (L. recently got laid off from his job and has been learning how to cook with his free time. He has never cooked in his life before last week and doesn't even own a pan LOL.)

6:30 p.m. — Dinner and Breaking Bad. Last time L. made steak and veggies/potatoes, he over-salted everything, but today he did better! I'm so hungry I finish dinner within 15 minutes of the episode. After, L. does dishes while I shower and wash my hair.

10 p.m. — After spending hours vegging in bed, I decide that it's probably a good idea to get ready for bed. It will be my first day back to work in nine days, as I was on "staycation" last week. AND, I have to wake up at 6:30. The Sunday scaries are real, guys. I do my night routine (same thing as my morning routine except I add Tatcha Peony Eye Cream) and crawl into bed with L. We talk a little and then both doze off.

Daily Total: $95.52

Day Two

6:20 a.m. — My first alarm. Nope.
6:25 a.m. — Still nope. I set another alarm for 6:35.
6:40 a.m. — I finally roll out of bed. I actually don't feel THAT terrible so far. I'm one of those people who can get ready for work quickly, so I usually roll out of bed 15 minutes before I have to leave. I do the usual morning routine, make an iced latte with my Nespresso in my Yeti mug, and change into the exact same outfit as yesterday. I kiss L. goodbye and am out the door around 6:55. (L. will leave for his apartment later in the day, as he prefers to be at his apartment while I'm at work. I've offered him my apartment to stay at so he can minimize his exposure on the subway, but he is pretty adamant about going back to his apartment and reassures me that he will wear a mask and be careful. I've tried multiple times but with no success. It does make me feel better that other than coming to my apartment and going to Trader Joe's with me, he doesn't go outside.)
7:30 a.m. — I arrive at work. I'm usually at work 30 minutes early so I can change into scrubs, finish my coffee, eat breakfast, and clock in.
8 a.m. — And my shift beings. I work in a procedural unit and cases have been light since the start of COVID. Today is no exception, though we are slowly progressing towards going back to our normal caseload. I help around in the pre/post area and then go into the procedure room for half of one case and all of the next case.
1:30 p.m. — Lunchtime. I heat up my cauliflower gnocchi and eat with a coworker in the cafeteria. We chat about life and contemplate getting a coffee but decide against it. Since the pandemic began, a lot of restaurants/businesses have been donating food to the hospital for essential workers, so there are a lot of meals/coffees/snacks for free. The support is really heartwarming to see!
1:45 p.m. — I get back to the unit. All of our cases are done and our patients are discharged. (Even when we're done with cases for the day, we need staff for emergencies that may come through. Therefore, we always make sure there's a team of three or four around just in case.) A few of my coworkers want to get food/snacks, so I tag along and get the coffee I've wanted since lunch.
6 p.m. — And I'm out! I go to the locker room to change, deposit my scrubs back into the machine, and take the bus home. I have a final tonight for one of my classes and I haven't studied for it. My professors for my classes have been super lenient/flexible throughout the semester, as they are all aware that almost all of us graduate students work as RNs full-time and are under extreme stress at work during this pandemic. My exam tonight will actually not be counted toward my final grade if it is lower than my midterm grade, which is great because I did well on my midterm.
8:15 p.m. — Done with my exam. I make myself some dinner — pita bread, pre-cooked balsamic rosemary chicken, spinach, cucumber, tomato, hummus, half an avocado, and some baby carrots on the side. I can't remember the last time I ate this healthy. After I eat, I shower (but don't wash my hair), put away dishes, wash more dishes, and take out the trash and recycling. Afterward, I eat my last slice of banana bread and do my last assignment for my class later this week in bed.
11 p.m. — I lose interest in my assignment and decide to just call it a night. Luckily, I work my normal 9 a.m. shift tomorrow, so I don't have to wake up as early. I do my night routine and sleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — I do not want to be awake right now. I snooze until 8 before getting up and doing my quick morning routine.
8:15 a.m. — I run out the door to catch the subway. I get to work at 8:45, change, and inhale my breakfast and coffee while I browse through the New York Times on my phone. Then, I head to my unit and clock in for my shift.
1:30 p.m. — Lunchtime. I eat lunch with a coworker in the cafeteria. More cauliflower gnocchi and a La Croix for me. We eat, chat, and then head back to the unit.
7:05 p.m. — I leave work for home, We weren't very busy today. I'm enjoying it while it lasts because the rest of the week looks like it's going to pick up. L. meets me in the lobby of my apartment complex and we take the elevator up to my apartment. I make the same dinner as yesterday and we watch an episode of Breaking Bad.
9 p.m. — I quickly shower as L. does the dishes. Then, I lay in bed while I finish and submit my last assignment for class. I have one more class tomorrow but as far as I'm concerned, the spring semester is over.
11:30 p.m. — Bedtime.
Daily Total: $0

Day Four

9:30 a.m. — I wake up a little later than I would've liked, but I'm off today so I will allow it. After my morning skin routine, L. and I make coffee and I make an egg scramble (eggs, ground turkey, spinach, mushroom, and topped with tomato and avocado) for us for breakfast. We watch an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine while we eat.
11 a.m. — I bake banana bread for my coworker as a thank you for a favor she did for me last week. It comes out smelling delicious and I resist the urge to steal a bite.
3 p.m. — I wake up from an accidental nap. I wasn't even tired, but the gloomy weather made it much easier to fall asleep. I usually try to go for a walk on my days off, but the weather is not great today. Instead, I decide to cook my lunches for the next two days — Trader Joe's Miso Brown Rice Stir Fry and salmon. I also make myself an iced latte with one shot of espresso and grab a chocolate bar to share with L.
4:30 p.m. — Before class, I quickly jump into the shower and wash my hair. Then, I sign into Zoom for my last class… I'm hardly paying attention. L. makes dinner while I'm in class — chicken katsu with rice
7 p.m. — Class is over right as everyone is cheering for essential workers outside. We eat dinner and watch an episode of Breaking Bad as per usual. After dinner, L. does the dishes while I attempt to clean up all of the oil that's splattered all over my stove.
9:30 p.m. — I don't know why, but I've been craving cookies for the past few days. I was able to resist until now… I cave in and order six cookies from Insomnia. $18 with delivery fees, tax, and tip. I haven't really spent money lately, so I don't feel as bad. $18
11:30 p.m. — Night routine and time for bed!
Daily Total: $18

Day Five

7:40 a.m. — After snoozing through quite a few alarms, I forgo more cuddles with L. and get out of bed. Quick morning routine and I'm out the door.
8:20 a.m. — I don't usually order Starbucks anymore, but I left my tumbler at work and don't have another, so I mobile order and pick up a grande iced coffee with whole milk. I use money that I already have on my app.
9 a.m. — The usual morning work routine — change, eat, drink coffee, clock in, and show my face on the unit! Our caseload is quite heavy today and it feels like things are going back to "normal."
1:45 p.m. — I take my lunch break with a coworker and then head to Starbucks. Starbucks has been giving out free coffee to healthcare workers (I guess I could have gotten my morning coffee for free, but I feel weird about asking something for free in my normal clothes. It makes me feel better when I'm at least wearing scrubs and with another coworker). I get a tall iced coffee with whole milk.
6:30 p.m. — I end up going into a case with a patient I had earlier today and discharge him as well. He's so sweet. I leave work at 7. I'm on call tonight, so I make sure I have my pager and an extra pair of scrubs.
7:45 p.m. — L. meets me at my apartment. He had a late lunch so he's not hungry, but I make myself a pita bread with hummus, chicken, cucumber, tomato, and avocado with a side of carrots. On-call starts at 10, so I make sure to charge my phone, turn on my pager, and layout my scrubs and a pair of socks. Just a little background: The on-call team is a three-person team for overnight and weekend emergent cases, as our unit closes at 10. Overnight call starts at 10 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m. The pay is pretty good, so if I'm ever in need of some money and I get offered to pick up a call, I usually take it.
10 p.m. — I get myself ready for bed (brush, skincare routine, contacts out). I choose the most obnoxious tone for my pager and turn up the volume on my phone. Being on-call can be/still is nerve-wracking because I worry about sleeping through a page. It helps that I stay at home for call (I live within the required distance to stay at home), but I usually end up sleeping poorly regardless of whether or not I get paged in.
11 p.m. — Sleep time! L. and I talk a little and then I doze off to sleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — I don't know why I'm awake, but I roll over and check my phone and see that it's 6:30! I rejoice that I once again have gone another night without being called in and then fall back asleep.
7:30 a.m. — Up and at 'em. At least it's Friday! Morning routine, iced latte in my tumbler, and out the door. It's raining again, ugh. I slosh to the subway station. During my commute, I check my bank account (I got paid today!) and move some money to my HYSA.
8:30 a.m. — Change, eat breakfast (vanilla Chobani yogurt, protein bar), return my pager, clock in, and show my face at work. It's a slow morning due to a few late start times, but I'm not complaining. I recover a patient for the entire morning before sending her off to another unit.
2 p.m. — Lunchtime. I eat with my coworker. We go to the cafeteria and even though I brought my lunch of salmon and stir-fried rice and veggies, I want snacks. I buy a sparkling water and a bag of potato chips. After we eat, we go to Starbucks once again for a free coffee. $4.18
7 p.m. — Freedom!! L. and I have discussed ordering Italian food for dinner, so I text him that I'm leaving work and he orders from an Italian restaurant near me. He uses a 15% discount I have and the total is $43. I Venmo him for my half. $22
8 p.m. — L. arrives, and shortly after, so does the food. Delivery people are no longer allowed past the lobby, so now deliveries are placed on a table in the lobby near the "concierge" desk (I don't know what to call it…? It's the desk where the doormen sit). L. and I go down to the lobby, grab our food, and head back up. Again, we watch another episode of Breaking Bad.
11:45 p.m. — I'm getting super sleepy, so L. and I call it a day. Tomorrow, we're tagging along on my coworker's grocery shopping day (she drives and usually goes grocery shopping at various stores in the suburbs near where she's from). We've done this a few times before because we both love grocery shopping (is that weird?), and L. will be joining this time. You know you're an adult when grocery shopping excites you.
Daily Total: $26.18

Day Seven

9:30 a.m. — We wake up a little later than I want, and I see a text from my coworker, N., that she's about to leave her place in Brooklyn. I brush, wash my face, moisturize, and change. L. and I head out to get coffee from the coffee shop around the corner — iced latte for me, mocha for L., and iced coffee for N. I pay and tip $1. $17.75
10:15 a.m. — N. arrives right as we leave the cafe — perfect timing. We start the drive up to the 'burbs — our first stop is H-Mart. There's a line, but I don't mind because it's nice outside. I buy bok choy, apples, a cabbage, matcha Kit-Kats, tofu, noodles, and cilantro (I later find out that I accidentally grabbed parsley, sigh). L. and I want to marinate beef ribs and have a few sides, so we also buy marinade, beef ribs, kimchi, kimbap, pickled cucumbers, pickled radish, and fish cake. The total is $93.79 but L. Venmos me $60. $33.79
12 p.m. — Next stop, Trader Joe's. I grab two bags of miso brown rice stir fry, a red bell pepper, a sweet potato, a red onion, milk, almond milk, sweet potato chips, two RX Bars, two green juices, trail mix for L., olive oil, olive oil spray, and a bag of cauliflower gnocchi ($52.68). Our last stop is a local grocery store, where I grab a bunch of random things: sauerkraut, chicken meatballs, cauliflower crusts, a family pack of chicken breasts, a zucchini, chocolate chip cookies, two fried chicken sandwiches, and two hot sandwiches from their hot bar for lunch for L. and me (their prepared foods are DELICIOUS). ($67.97). We head back into NYC. $120.65

4:45 p.m. — After dropping off some groceries for N.'s siblings who live nearby, N. drives us back to the apartment.

7 p.m. — Dinner and Breaking Bad, as usual.

11:45 p.m. — Where did the past couple of hours go?! L. and I talk about our plans/errands tomorrow, and since the weather is supposed to be beautiful, we decide to do some errands in the morning and then try to spend some time outdoors in the afternoon. Night routine and time for bed.

Daily Total: $172.19
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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: r29.co/mdfaqs

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series