A Week In Long Island, NY, On A $69,000 Salary

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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 Resident Physician who makes $69,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a basketball.
Occupation: Resident Physician
Industry: Healthcare
Age: 27
Location: Long Island, NY
Salary: $69,000
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $1,851
Gender: Woman

Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,450 (for my half of a three-bedroom house shared with my husband)
Student Loans: $372 (I have $300,000+ in student loans from med school)
Health/Vision/Dental: $86.14
Utilities: ~$300 for my share
Car: $368
Phone: Still on my parents' plan.
Spotify, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime: I use my parents or sister's plan
Gym: $30
Billie: $9 every three months
Savings: I autosave $600. I have $1,500 in my personal savings and $5,000 in my Roth IRA, which I try to max out. I have $40,000 in a shared savings account with my husband, which is mostly gifts from our wedding. We have separate finances but keep a shared checking account for bills, rent, food, and shared activities.

Day One

6:30 a.m. — Snooze. I actually wake up around 6:45. I wash my face and put on some sunscreen. As for makeup, I just lightly fill in my brows. I pack myself coffee, a banana and berry smoothie, yogurt with berries and nuts, a homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and some fruit for the day. I like to snack so I take a lot with me to work to resist the urge to buy snacks. I leave around 7:30.
8 a.m. — I get to the hospital and head to the reading room. I check and record my temperature, which is a new policy as of this week. Thankfully, as a radiology resident, I'm not in the thick of the Covid-19 crisis as I rarely see patients.
10 a.m. — I'm on a pediatric radiology rotation so it's really slow because all elective procedures have been canceled. I go over my work with an attending and do some practice questions from a test bank to keep busy. We usually have lectures every day from 12-1:30 but they have been canceled indefinitely.
4 p.m. — The attending lets us leave early because it's slow. I stop by the grocery store and pick up some basil and kombucha ($11.52 shared). I call my mom because I call her every day. $5.76
6 p.m. — My husband, R., is done with work. We can't go to the gym so we've been trying alternative ways to workout. Today, we take a walk through our neighborhood and on the beach. We see a basketball hoop and my husband decides he wants to get a basketball so he can shoot around a bit.
7 p.m. — Dinner! My favorite part of the day!! We make Thai basil chicken and rice. We generally cook dinner together every night and try to only eat out once or twice on the weekends.
9 p.m. — I nibble on some dark chocolate and Oreos. I never skip dessert. R. and I start Westworld and it's pretty good (10/10 recommend even though you've probably already seen it). I want to keep watching but I have to study. I try to study one or two hours a night.
Daily Total: $5.76

Day Two

6:45 a.m. — Wake Up. Wash my face, sunscreen, and fill in my brows. I try to make an apple, pumpkin spice, cinnamon smoothie situation with oat milk because we have so many apples (10/10 recommend, I'm adding this to my lineup). I also pack my coffee, a cookie, a salad, kombucha, and some fruit.
11 a.m. — R. sends me a link to the basketball he wants on Amazon ($30.40 shared). $15.20
1 p.m. — It's super slow so I decide to donate blood because there's a shortage. I head to the blood bank and it turns out I can't donate because I went to Thailand in November and was in an area with a high risk of malaria. Well, I tried! My attending just sends me home after because it's so slow.
2 p.m. — Home! I eat my salad. I'm still hungry so I eat two hard-boiled eggs and some dark chocolate. We've turned our guest bedroom into an office for R. because he's working from home. I lay down on the bed there and try to study.
6 p.m. — I should have realized that “studying” in bed would lead to a nap. I snack on some Popcorners and a piece of chocolate. R. is done with work so we do a quick YouTube workout courtesy of Natacha Océane (10/10 recommend).
8 p.m. — Dinner! R. makes himself a butter-basted steak. I opt for a turkey burger and we share some potatoes and broccoli on the side. I have my nightly chat with my parents. We watch another episode of Westworld.
9:30 p.m. — I eat another square of dark chocolate and do my nighttime skincare. I watch some “what I eat in a day” YouTube videos and end up ordering a ceramic frying pan on Amazon ($31.44 shared). I study until I fall asleep. $15.72
Daily Total: $30.92

Day Three

6:45 a.m. — FRIDAY. Wake up, makeup, but just my brows. Coffee and snacks: smoothie, fruit, Popcorners, oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. I put some cucumber in my smoothie because it's been in the fridge and I didn't think it would get used (0/10 never again.) Should I just make this a detailed snack diary because that's all I seem to have going on?
11 a.m. — We do an Upper GI on a baby. It's tough because she's crying and the contrast doesn't taste good so she doesn't want to drink it. I'm not used to working with pediatric patients but I'm glad to have a hands-on procedure because it's been so slow.
2 p.m. — I call Capital One but I can't get in touch with a human. We had originally planned a trip to Morocco and Spain starting tomorrow. I need to cancel a few hotels but I haven't been able to get in touch with anyone.
6 p.m. — I usually get a gel manicure every two weeks but then I think, mmm, better not. I decide to stop at the wine store though because it is Friday. I get two bottles ($28.12 shared). $14.06
7 p.m. — The basketball is delivered! R. is really excited so we play a game of HORSE and some one-on-one. I lose both. I think I pulled my groin. I'm so unathletic. I give up and decide to sit outside and drink wine.
8 p.m. — R. makes some mac and cheese and we watch some more Westworld. Another dark chocolate square for dessert. We also start Modern Love on Amazon (eh 7/10). I eventually fall asleep around 12.
Daily Total: $14.06

Day Four

8 a.m. — I wake up and notice R. is awake. I'm not a morning person so I try to sleep while he scrolls through Reddit. Eventually, R. gets bored of watching me sleep and brings me coffee to coax me out of bed. I eventually get up and we make pancakes, eggs, and sausage for breakfast while I FaceTime some friends from college.
11 a.m. — We go out to the field by our house and throw a football around for a while. My catching skills are not much better than my basketball skills. I get hungry and make us both my new apple and cinnamon smoothie.
3 p.m. — We usually do one major grocery haul on the weekend and plan out our meals for the week beforehand ($157.78 shared). We stop at Chik fil A on the way back ($19.17 shared). $88.48
8 p.m. — I slow cook some beef in the Instant Pot to pull for tacos. I make a cilantro lime dressing, guac, corn pico, and sangria from the second bottle of wine I bought yesterday. I call my mom at some point and eat my chocolate square. We watch more Westworld and Modern Love until around 12.
Daily Total: $88.48

Day Five

11 a.m. — Not a morning person. Eventually, I get up and change the bedsheets, which we do every Sunday.
12 p.m. — We do a YouTube workout courtesy of Blogilates. I usually lift at the gym so I'm not used to these cardio/pilates style workouts and they are kicking my butt. I make some oatmeal with almond and fruit. It's a little chilly but sunny outside so we decide to take a long walk around the neighborhood and through the town.
2 p.m. — I study for a few hours while R. plays video games. We snack on some chips. My chief resident calls to let me know that we're going to have some schedule changes next week due to Covid-19.
7 p.m. — We order pizza and garlic knots because we are not in the mood to cook and R. picks it up ($45 with tip, shared). Westworld, Modern Love, wash my face, call my mom, and in bed by 11. $22.50
Daily Total: $22.50

Day Six

8 a.m. — Wake up. I'm working a 12-8 p.m. shift so I try to use the morning productively. I do a quick Blogilates workout, clean the kitchen, and get ready for work. I boil three eggs and eat them with some sriracha. I honestly don't even like eggs but it's just so quick and easy. I pack my coffee and snack: banana and berry smoothie, oatmeal cookie, and Popcorners. I head to work at 11:30.
3 p.m. — R. calls and tells me that he's been laid off. He started his job a few months ago when we moved to Long Island. We had been long distance for our entire relationship but when I matched in New York, he quit his job in Washington, DC and moved so we could be together.
8:30 p.m. — I call my mom on the way home and she's really supportive. For dinner, we reheat some leftover beef from the tacos and eat it with broccoli and rice. We also each eat a slice of leftover pizza. We talk a little bit about our finances. R. has rental properties that will generate some income. Finances will be tight, but it's temporary. I've heard so many stories of people losing their jobs in the last few weeks and while we've taken a hit, I'm grateful for everything we have. R. decides to reach out to his tenants to make sure they're doing okay too.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

7 a.m. — I snooze way too many times. I wake up, get ready, and pack my coffee and snacks: berry and banana smoothie, Asian sesame salad, and muesli.
8 a.m. — Work is work. R. texts asking if I need anything from the grocery store ($12.82 shared). $6.41
5 p.m. — I'm not in the mood for an intense workout (my groin is much better for those of you wondering, thank you) so we take a walk around the neighborhood again and finish with some pushups.
8 p.m. — We make stir fry and crispy tofu for dinner. R. prepped apple turnovers for dessert, but we decide to wait until tomorrow because I have to work an earlier shift tomorrow. I snack on some chocolate chips and study until I fall asleep around 10.
Daily Total: $6.41
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