A Week In Brooklyn, NY On A $73,185 Salary

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Today: A research analyst for the government who makes $73,185 a year and spends some of her money on Nike sneakers.
Occupation: Research Analyst
Industry: Government
Age: 27
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Salary: $73,185
Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,913
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,280 (I live with my boyfriend, and I pay more rent because I make more)
Loans: $450 (student loans), $250 (paying back my dad for my security deposit and first month's rent)
Metrocard: $121 (taken out of my paycheck pre-tax)
HSA: $20 (pre-tax)
Health Insurance: $0 (my health insurance premium is 100% covered by work)
Spotify/Hulu: $9.99
Netflix: $0 (thanks, mom)
HBOGO: $0 (boyfriend's parent's cable)
Gas & Electric: $30-$40 for my half
Internet: paid for by BF's work
Cell Phone: $0 (Dad pays for our family plan)
Gym: $44
Allure Beauty Box: $15
Savings: $650 (mostly to a high yield savings account)
Roth IRA: $100 (I plan to make this a lot more in a couple months after I feel good about my emergency fund)
Credit Card: $0 (I started carrying a balance between the end of grad school and starting my job, but I recently paid off the last bit with some of my tax refund.)

Day One

7:40 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm feeling surprisingly well-rested for a Monday. I take a shower, put dishes away while making oatmeal with blueberries, brown sugar, and peanut butter, and then eat the oatmeal while watching a Tiny Desk concert. I do my five-minute makeup routine — usually tinted moisturizer and mascara, and sometimes eyeshadow, lipstick, or highlighter — and leave for work around 9.
9:50 a.m. — The train delays make my ride 20 minutes longer than usual! My well-rested mood has turned into an annoyed mood.
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11:45 a.m. — After planning my week and completing a couple tasks, I respond to some texts and eat a piece of chocolate from my desk stash.
1 p.m. — I heat up leftovers for lunch (tofu mushroom noodles that BF made yesterday) and eat at my desk while looking for sports leagues to possibly join with some coworkers.
3:40 p.m. — Eat some grapes for a snack and download an app called Ritual since my friend just sent me a referral code. There are supposed to be $1 deals right now, but there's nothing near my work or near my apartment :(
6:45 p.m. — Home. After changing into sweats and scrolling through Instagram, I build up the energy to make dinner. Tonight, it's red lentil curry with carrots and sweet potatoes. It takes longer than it should because I'm sooo bad at cutting onions and have to take a break every minute to let my eyes recover. I read some of today's Money Diary while it's simmering.
8 p.m. — We eat the mushy but tasty lentils while watching an episode of Last Week Tonight on public shaming (so good!). After, BF shows me a YouTube channel called Contrapoints, and we end up talking about cultural appropriation for a while.
10 p.m. — I use my nightly cleanser, Glossier solution, and moisturizer (First Aid Kit Ultra Repair Cream because my skin was not built for winter). I got an email about the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Sale, and I've had a new mask on my wish list for a while, so I buy a green tea mask for half off. Since there aren't any Ulta stores near me, but a bunch of Sephoras, I browse Sephora's website first to see if there's something similar for a good deal, so I can avoid paying for shipping, but no luck. I also make an offer on Poshmark for Nike sneakers I've been wanting forever. $22.81
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10:40 p.m. — I get my workout clothes ready and settle in bed with Parable of the Talents until about 11:30. I've been testing out new genres and also making up for the lack of POC authors in my life thus far. I was reading Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood series last month, but needed a break from all the aliens.
Daily Total: $22.81

Day Two

7:20 a.m. — I lay in bed for 3 minutes after my alarm goes off and then force myself to get up. I change into gym clothes and walk to the gym for a group class.
9 a.m. — I quickly shower and get dressed, then make a smoothie with a pear, frozen peaches, spinach, almond milk, cacao powder, and chia seeds. I also grab a random granola bar that I probably took home from some event at some point.
1:15 p.m. — I heat up leftover curry and rice and send an email connecting two of my grad school friends. I spend the rest of my lunch break drinking a black cherry seltzer and browsing new green beauty products at Target online. A coworker invited me to lunch, but I need to be alone during lunch to actually relax.
3:10 p.m. — I finish up a big data request. There are leftovers from a meeting in the building, so I eat half of a yummy cinnamon scone and save the rest.
5 p.m. — I'm fading, so I go into another room for a change of scenery to take notes on a big document. The Poshmark seller sends a counteroffer, so I counteroffer again, and they accept! It seems like a lot, but after looking for so long I know I won't find these for any cheaper, and I just really want them. Plus, I put most of my big tax refund into savings, so I feel like this treat is justified! I pay for the shoes plus shipping $91.79
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7 p.m. — I can't stop thinking about the announcement about who was admitted to NYC's specialized high schools this year. I got sucked into reading too many comments earlier and complain to BF that the suggestions that certain students are objectively more deserving than others is really upsetting me. He reassures me that there are others who share my perspective, and it might be helpful to connect with them. I make balsamic Brussels sprouts and pesto pasta and try to chill out.
8 p.m. — I turn on the movie Redline and eat a few bites of BF's ice cream while we watch. It's an anime movie about race car drivers, and even though I only like the parts with the cool racing, and I'm rolling my eyes at all the humongous boobs, I'm thankful that BF is always introducing me to new stuff.
10:55 p.m. — I put on an Origins mask and let it do it's thing while I pack a salad with cucumber, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, feta, and pepitas for lunch tomorrow. I read a little before falling asleep.
Daily Total: $91.79

Day Three

7:25 a.m. — I get dressed and take the bus to the gym using my Metrocard. I make it a little early so I do some (assisted) pull-ups before class. BF left the apartment later than me, but is leaving the gym when I'm done, so we walk home together.
9:10 a.m. — I shower, diffuse my hair, and then put on a floral skirt because it's the first day of spring! We made it through winter. Thank god. Unfortunately, I still feel like I need to wear tights, a sweater, and a big coat with the skirt.
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10:30 a.m. — I catch up on emails while eating an apple with almond butter and the rest of the scone from yesterday. It's dry and sad now. I spend some of the morning figuring out SQL wasn't working because of the wrong type of quotation mark.
1:40 p.m. — I grab my salad from the fridge and a man I've never talked to before asks if I'm okay as I walk by. I try not to think too hard about it, figuring he was trying to be nice, and I might actually have a resting everything-is-not-okay face. I Venmo my friend for a ticket to a Brooklyn Nets game next month. Exciting! $53
5:50 p.m. — I leave work a little early and go to return a strange-fitting bikini top at Aerie. Since I'm close by, I stop at Trader Joe's, too. Somehow there is no line right now, so I take my time browsing and get a bunch of random stuff: mushrooms, carrots, sunflower seeds, soy chorizo, frozen chocolate strawberries, frozen peaches, corn salsa, morello cherries, and a caramel sea salt chocolate bar for my desk. Usually BF and I split the groceries, but he's bought random stuff like eggs and toilet paper this week, so I just pay and call it even. $22.78
7:30 p.m. — I put on MasterChef Junior while I eat leftover tofu noodles. When BF is done with work, we watch an episode of Blackish, then turn on March Madness.
9:30 p.m. — We go for a walk around the block to see the Super Worm moon, and BF buys beer and Tate's cookies while we're out. I ordered an Everlane cashmere sweater from Poshmark for half of what it's selling for on the website, and it has arrived! I can't believe I owned so many non-cashmere sweaters before this.
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10 p.m. — During the rest of the basketball game I eat cookies, wash my face, spot treat with tea tree oil, and change my nail polish from grey to peach for spring.
Daily Total: $75.78

Day Four

8:30 a.m. — I wake up and immediately open windows because the apartment is so hot! It's not that cold outside, but the heating in our building thinks it is. I make my lunch salad and an egg, potato, and soy chorizo scramble. The salad is similar to yesterday, but with corn and sunflower seeds. I attempt to Devacurl my hair back to life, and put on Sunday Riley facial oil (from the Allure beauty box), concealer, highlighter, and mascara since I'm in a rush after making food.
12 p.m. — After a couple meetings, I make green tea and eat a piece of the Trader Joe's chocolate while making a March Madness bracket to enter in a tournament at work. My alma mater isn't in the tournament, so this makes it way more fun to watch. $5
1:50 p.m. — I eat my salad while checking emails and reading some random articles. I'm feeling bored today and eating a little later makes the day feel shorter.
5:15 p.m. — I'm feeling better after meeting with my team. I haven't been feeling challenged lately, but we have some more interesting work planned. I eat a homemade cookie someone brought while finishing up for the day.
7 p.m. — BF and I are tired of leftovers, so we decide to order Thai food — shrimp pad Thai for me and chicken pad see ew for him. We usually take turns paying for eating out (when it's not super expensive, then we'll split), and it's his turn. I eat a few crackers with lemon rosemary hummus and watch Project Runway All Stars while waiting for the food to come. I'm cheering for Biddel to win because he's sassy and honest and great.
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8:30 p.m. — Turn on March Madness for the rest of the night. I wash dishes, pack leftovers for lunch, and pick up a bunch of crap around the apartment to make myself feel productive, but mostly I'm lying on the couch cheering. I also use my new mask from Ulta, which is fun because it makes me look like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Daily Total: $5

Day Five

8:15 a.m. — I'm tired today but that's what I get for staying up to watch basketball. At least it's Friday and payday! I take a shower and make a smoothie like the one from the other day, but with blueberries, too. I listen to the podcast Code Switch on the way to work.
12:10 p.m. — I guess that smoothie wasn't enough because I'm starving already. I heat up leftover lentil curry, and it still tastes good! I take a short lunch because I have stuff to do, but I make sure my paycheck came in (it did) and text with someone my mom knows who is considering going to the grad school I went to.
5:45 p.m. — I skip out on happy hour with coworkers to meet BF for happy hour. Normally, I'd join, but we have a date! He usually works until after happy hour time, but he has the day off today, so we take advantage. We meet at a Mexican restaurant, where we get margaritas, guacamole, and tacos. The food is mediocre but the place is cute. We split the bill because it's not a quick $10 meal and joke about creating business rules for when we split the bill and when we take turns. $28.88
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8 p.m. — We go to our apartment, so I can change into jeans and put on lipstick. Then we take an Uber to a bar near the venue, where we each get our own beers and then split another one. I pay for the Uber, and BF pays for drinks. I try to take public transportation as much as possible since I'm already paying for an unlimited pass, but this particular route was going to take 3x longer that way, so I suck it up and go for convenience. $13.05
10 p.m. — We make it to Brooklyn Steel, which is way bigger than I expected and really cool! We catch the end of the opening act and decide to wait until the next band to get more drinks. Turns out that we actually missed both openers, so Homeshake goes on, and I don't want to get our drinks while he's playing.
12 a.m. — We Lyft home, and BF pays since I paid the way there. I eat some more of those Tate's cookies before falling asleep. They're so thin it feels like I'm eating chips. Dangerous.
Daily Total: $41.93

Day Six

8:44 a.m. — I wake up because BF is moving around in the apartment. We read a little, and I also check my Mint account and re-categorize a bunch of transactions. I use the app to make sure I don't spend so much that I can't save the amount that I planned, but I leave a buffer so this pretty much never happens.
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9:30 a.m. — I thought I could wait to eat until after the gym, but my stomach starts growling aggressively so I eat some apple with peanut butter. Then I walk to the gym for another group class. I'm new to this one, and it's pretty hard.
12:05 p.m. — BF mentioned he was craving a donut earlier in the week, so I pick up an iced chai latte for myself and a Dough donut for each of us on the way home. Mmm! $13
12:30 p.m. — My body hurts so I lay around and watch two episodes of Queer Eye. BF calls me gross once he realizes I haven't showered this whole time. Today, my shower includes shaving and a scalp scrub followed my fancy aromatherapy lotion I got for Christmas. Now that I've gone to the gym and gotten extra clean, I don't feel bad doing nothing in my sweats all day.
3 p.m. — I heat up leftover pad Thai and turn on March Madness. I manage to get a load of laundry and a bag of Dryel done, too. I am so happy to have a washer and dryer in our building so I can stay out of the cold and wind.
6:30 p.m. — I make zucchini nachos for dinner (nachos but with zucchini slices instead of chips) with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, corn, black beans, jalapeños, avocado, and salsa. During the next March Madness game I put away all my clothes and pick up some other stuff in my room, too. I'm feeling inspired after today's workout and look up prices for personal training at my gym. It's over $60 per hour, even in a bundle of sessions. It makes sense that the trainers would be paid this much but I cannot be the person to pay that much.
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8 p.m. — BF makes a stew with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, peas, and beans that we'll eat for the next couple days.
9:30 p.m. — I make us whiskey sours with cherries, and BF and I play a round of Mario Kart while waiting for our movie to download. We stick to one drink because we had some severe hangovers a couple weeks ago, so BF is still feeling a little squeamish about liquor (lol). Then we settle in for Will You Ever Forgive Me? We kill a bag of Kettle New York Cheddar chips to make up for the lack of chips in our nachos.
Daily Total: $13

Day Seven

9:30 a.m. — I finally get out of bed after snoozing for a little while because we have plans to see the movie Us! I put on my new Nikes and light makeup before we take the bus to Williamsburg.
10:50 a.m. — We meet my cousin, three friends, and BF's friend from college for brunch at Gotan. I don't have a lot of friends here, so it's really nice to find friend-of-friends that I get along with. I get a cheesy egg biscuit and a red juice (beet juice plus other stuff), and BF gets an omelette with veggies and OJ. It's my turn to pay. $43.12
12 p.m. — No one is lining up for the movie yet, so we walk down the street to Radegast Hall and split a couple pitchers of beer before heading to the movie. We bought these tickets a week ago because everything in NYC is always sold out. By the time we get back, we're at the end of the line. Oh well. $8.50
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3:30 p.m. — The group walks down Bedford Ave., and we discuss whether we liked the movie and what we thought it all meant. No matter what it means, I am all about a good horror movie by a Black director with Black lead characters! We take the subway home and stop for some crusty bread. When we get home, BF and I are still talking about the movie, so we turn on the latest episode of Broad City to think about something else.
7 p.m. — We eat the veggie stew that BF made yesterday with some Italian bread on the side. We really considered ordering pizza but convince ourselves not to. It's a good decision because the stew is way more satisfying than I expected. It's freezing in the apartment, and my legs are sore, so I lie on the couch wrapped in a heated blanket and doze in and out of a movie for a while.
9:30 p.m. — I turn on more basketball while I catch up with my dad over the phone and register for a book talk at NYU. I don't read tonight because BF is snoring by the time I get to bed, but thankfully I fall asleep quickly.
Daily Total: $51.62

The Breakdown

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