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A Week In Dallas On A $125,000 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 risk manager who makes $125,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Japanese barbecue sauce.
Occupation: Risk manager
Industry: Commercial real estate development
Age: 30
Location: Dallas, TX
Salary: ~$125,000 ($105,000 base plus ~20% bonus paid quarterly in varying, lump-sum installments).
Assets: ~$33,000 in cash ($2,153 in my checking; $1,392 in joint checking; $29,501 between personal and joint HYSAs); $59,283 in my retirement ($49,283 in a 401(k) and $10,000 in a Roth IRA); $4,695 in an HSA; ~$140,000 in home equity; ~$5,000 in auto equity; and $243,000 in a trust. My husband and I mostly combine our finances: For household expenses and bills, we use a joint checking account, a joint credit card, a joint HYSA (50/50 contributions most of the time) and we co-own our house. But we also maintain separate checking, savings and CCs for personal use.
Debt: ~$290,000 ($260,000 mortgage; $30,000 car loan).
Paycheck amount: $3,001.92 net bimonthly (mine); $2,213.04 biweekly (my husband's. He has an annual salary of ~$130,000).
Pronouns: She/her
Monthly Expenses
Housing costs: mortgage of $1,955.96, which includes property tax and home insurance, paid jointly.
Loan payments: $529.06 car payment.
Utilities: $300 (gas, water, electric).
Internet: $96.27
Cell phone: $31.67 (paid to a friend for a family plan line. My husband, M., pays for his own line on his family’s plan).
Car insurance: $190.70 (both cars, both drivers).
Gas: $70
Health insurance: $0 (covered by my employer).
Gym: $17 (husband pays).
Streaming services and subscriptions: $102.90 (for Hulu, Apple TV, Peacock, Spotify Duo, DoorDash, iCloud, Patreon and HVAC company membership. Paid jointly; other streaming services we share with others).
Pets: $175
401(k): $875
Roth IRA: $100
HSA: $100 (my employer contributes an extra $62.50 per month).
Cash savings: All quarterly bonuses (about $3,000-$4,000 post-tax).
Donations: $104 to an abortion rights organization.
Annual Joint Expenses
Neighborhood association dues: $25
Amazon Prime: $139
NYT games: $53.20
Umbrella insurance: $278
CapitalOne Savor card fee: $95
Chase Sapphire card fee: $95
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 and yes, though the expectation was mostly implicit. I think my parents would’ve been fine with me not attending college if I had had a plan to support myself without a degree. Both of them have four-year degrees but in more practical areas like hospitality management. I was academic and bookish so I never considered any other path. My parents and grandparents sporadically contributed to a college fund for me as I was growing up but that only paid for a few thousand dollars of tuition per semester and because I chose to go to private school without really understanding the financial implications, I was responsible for paying for the remainder of tuition, room, board and books, plus discretionary and fun spending. I applied for and received lots of scholarships, took out federal loans and worked (often multiple jobs) during semesters and summers. I graduated with a liberal arts degree, $32,000 in federal student debt (all in my name) and a belief that work would sort itself out. In my 20s I flirted with the idea of going to grad school (didn’t we all?) but I vowed never to take out debt for it so I never went.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances?
My parents had a non-traditional financial setup and did not have combined finances, though I didn’t know this until adulthood. My dad basically paid the mortgage and utilities, and my mom was responsible for everything else as the breadwinner. I remember her diligently tracking expenses, meal planning and balancing her checkbook because every cent was allocated to providing for the family. She opened savings accounts for us when we were young so we could get a very modest monthly allowance for doing chores. She also emphasized frugality and how long she had to save for things like travel and Christmas gifts so she could avoid debt. Beyond this, I was not really taught anything about investing, taxes, credit cards, mortgages or credit scores, and I didn’t start building credit until I was 22 because I didn’t know that I needed to or how to do it.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I babysat for pocket money starting at 13. My mom didn’t want me working in high school and I didn’t have a car so my first real job was in campus freshman year of college in order to pay for clothing, toiletries, social activities and medical expenses.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Rarely, because I didn’t understand my parents’ financial situation and my mom worked very hard to shield any budget shortfalls from us. We never went without food or necessities, received some wants in moderation and didn’t have to move around because my parents always managed to pay the mortgage. I did start to notice that we were often “in the middle” — we didn’t have the fun privileges that wealthier family members had (annual vacations, brand-name clothes, cable TV, expensive hobbies) but we were more stable than some of my friends, whose parents couldn’t always afford groceries or the light bill. I tried to be grateful that we were never in that situation.
Do you worry about money now?
Rarely. Most of my worry comes from comparing my financial situation to other high-earning peers and couples and latent (probably overblown) anxiety about having to support myself alone if something happened to my husband or our marriage.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
When I moved out to attend college at 18. My parents divorced soon after and I quickly realized I was pretty much on my own, though it never was explicitly stated (that I can recall). My dad let me live with him for a year during college rent-free, so long as I cooked and cleaned as my schedule allowed. My mom had neither the means nor the desire to help me financially or materially but she did let me stay on her cell phone plan during college until she kicked me off the week I graduated (at 22). I’ve also been responsible for my own health insurance and healthcare costs since I was 18. My husband (then boyfriend) supported me after college by covering our rent and bills during some short stints of unemployment and his family would help us now if we were in dire straits. I also have a trust fund which I could rely on in an emergency (more about that below).
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain.
When I lived at home during college, my dad gave me $1,500 toward a cash car purchase so I could commute to campus and work. Before she passed, my grandmother gifted me $5,000 one Christmas, which I used to pay off the last $5,000 of my student debt. After she passed, I unexpectedly inherited $15,000 cash (which my husband and I mostly used on a fancy honeymoon because we opted not to have a wedding) and about $225,000 in a trust fund that can only be used for eligible educational, health or living expenses. It was bittersweet and truly a shock because my parents are both alive but I believe her intention was to help make up for my lack of familial support after high school. It’s been an adjustment, mentally and emotionally, knowing I have money that my husband doesn’t have access to unless I use it for joint spending (it’s a premarital asset) but I’m also grateful that my grandmother entrusted me with it and I still feel very much like a fiduciary of her money. It’s professionally managed so I plan to leave it alone, let it grow and use it as retirement income. I haven’t taken a disbursement since I received it (a year ago). Finally, my husband’s family gifted us $15,000 toward our house down payment, which was less than half.

Day One

9 a.m. — My alarm goes off and my husband, M., and I snooze for 15 minutes. My aunt is in town and has spent the night in our guest room so we need to get up and sort out breakfast — I know she’s been awake for hours and I hope she’s figured out our coffee machine. I brush my teeth, wash my face with unscented Aveeno foaming cleanser, layer on Black Girl Magic SPF 50 sunscreen and throw on a Madewell fitness dress.
10 a.m. — I feed the cats, R. and O., and then we run out to pick up fancy pastries, a loaf of sourdough and two iced lattes from our local bakery ($57.63, my half is $28.82). We also scramble some eggs from the fridge. $28.82
12 p.m. — My aunt loves board games so we decide to play a few rounds of Planted and Azul: Summer Pavilion. We all get at least one win, yay!
2 p.m. — After my aunt hits the road, M. and I hang out, snack on leftover pastries and watch a little YouTube. We put together a Target pickup order for some household items we’re low on and groceries for tonight’s dinner. We select a large cat litter, deodorant, a three-pack of toothbrushes, body wash, disinfecting spray, shampoo and a two-pack of toothpaste for $80.71. For dinner we get chicken thighs, a bag of chopped kale and two cans of white beans for $12.30. My half for this trip is $46.51. I also prep some content for a hobby Instagram I run. I edit a few photos and write a caption. I try to post at least once a week but often other things take precedence. $46.51
3:30 p.m. — It’s nice weather today so we head out for a neighborhood walk. We’ve been playing Pikmin Bloom on our phones, which is a game that lets you grow cute plant creatures by taking steps. We meander, stopping at a creek to see the water level after recent rain.
5:15 p.m. — We’re feeling thirsty after our walk and our Target order is ready. We drive to get our pickup and I treat us to Sonic limeades. I order two and pay via the app where there’s a discount. $3.66
7 p.m. — M. makes dinner from a recipe he found on Instagram: pan-seared chicken thighs cooked with a soupy white bean, kale and onion mix. It’s way better than it sounds. I feed the cats their wet food, and clean up after we eat. I feel grateful that M. cooks so that I don’t have to. I try to do dishes as much as I can and maintain other cleaning routines outside of the kitchen when I have the time and energy, but with both of our work and in-office schedules, we’ve been contemplating hiring a regular cleaning service. We just can’t seem to pull the trigger even though I know we can afford it and it would make our lives much easier. I think it’s guilt about not being able to manage all the cleaning by ourselves.
9 p.m. — I change into pajamas, wash my face, brush my teeth and apply Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. I settle on the couch with a copy of Sula by Toni Morrison, which I’ve been trying to make progress on recently.
10:45 p.m. — I’ve used at least 30% of my reading time for scrolling, oops. M. and I feed the cats their snack, head to bed and fall asleep around 11:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $78.99

Day Two

9:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off and we let the cats in, who immediately scream for attention. M. and I lounge in bed for a while to take the morning slow, and I play the NYT games. I eventually get up and do my usual face wash and sunscreen routine.
10:30 a.m. — We feed the cats and M. starts prepping an early lunch (brunch?) at home. Today we’re trying a fancy egg salad sandwich recipe from Brian Lagerstrom on yesterday’s sourdough. We also eat strawberries, leftover chip bags from our eclipse day picnic last month, and drink lime Topo Chicos. The sandwich recipe is good but I think I prefer classic egg salad.
12:30 p.m. — I’m itching to get out of the house so I drive to our local used bookstore with a box of books I’ve been meaning to sell back. I make $15 cash but I peruse the shelves and spend my earnings on a gently used, hardback copy of Wellness by Nathan Hill. I net less than 50c — oops! At least I’ve culled my book piles so I feel productive. $14.62
2 p.m. — I’m feeling peckish after shopping so I pop around the corner to the Indian grocery store for a samosa and a mango lassi before heading home. $5.58
2:30 p.m. — Sundays are usually chore days so I strip the guest bed and wipe down the bedroom surfaces, put away some laundry, scoop the litter box and run the vacuum. Our guest room has gotten a lot of use lately. I’m grateful to have it so we try to keep it cozy and comfortable.
4 p.m. — I try to get some more pages of Sula in but I’m tired after cleaning and finding it hard to concentrate.
5 p.m. — I take an everything shower before we have to leave for Cinco de Mayo dinner plans with my dad. I use Amika Nourishing Hair Mask and a Tree Hut sugar scrub for a special treat. I change into a summer dress and throw on some mascara and Benefit brow pencil.
6:30 p.m. — M. and I meet my dad for Tex-Mex. We each have a tequila cocktail and order carnitas tacos, beef fajitas, tomatillo chicken enchiladas and queso. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable dinner and Dad’s in a good mood. We have a somewhat strained relationship so we haven’t seen him in a while. Despite this, I worry about him being in his mid-70s and living alone. I also preemptively worry about him aging and what M. and I will have to do to prepare for that in the next five years. I try to push those concerns away since we’re having fun. It’s a belated birthday dinner for him so we treat. The total is $135.11, which makes my half $67.55. $67.55
8:45 p.m. — We head home to relax. M. plays video games while I pop half an edible and scroll the internet. I ponder picking up a book but that’s as far as I get.
10:30 p.m. — The edible hits and I fall asleep on the couch before doing my night routine. M. wakes me up around 11:30 p.m. to head to bed.
Daily Total: $87.75

Day Three

7:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I’m groggy from last night’s edible so I snooze for 45 minutes. I have to admit that this is typical, especially for a Monday. M. sleeps in longer because he works from home today, and it makes it so difficult to get out of bed.
8:30 a.m. — I do my usual teeth brushing, face washing and sunscreen routine, get dressed, search high and low for my pair of black mules, and grab my leftovers from last night to take for lunch.
9 a.m. — Unfortunately I am required to be in the office every day, which is pretty typical for my location and industry. On my commute I mentally prepare for five days of this and run through my to-do list while listening to Hozier. We just saw him in concert and I’m still thinking about it.
9:30 a.m. — I grab some basic drip coffee from the work kitchen, which isn’t very good but it’s free. It helps that I keep my own creamer in the fridge. Someone’s left a loaf of homemade bread out so I nibble on bread and butter with my coffee while I start in on emails.
11:30 a.m. — I have no meetings today so I’m mostly going through to-do items. We’re closing some loans soon so I check in with the CFO about the closing schedule. I’m also trying to finalize some insurance contract language for an upcoming construction job and the negotiations with our contractor have taken weeks longer than they should have. I see yet another inane response on our negotiation thread and decide I’m going to broach that after lunch.
12:30 p.m. — I heat up the enchilada leftovers and eat at my desk. I try to take a mental break for 15 or 20 minutes if I don’t leave the office to eat, so I check Instagram.
2:45 p.m. — M. texts me an update about our HVAC leak repair, which we previously scheduled for today. He tells me it’s going to be $1,780 ($890 for my half), which is already a discounted price because we have a membership for this company. I feel like we could save a few hundred dollars by getting some more quotes but the time and mental energy it would take to find other reputable companies and schedule diagnoses before the heat of the summer sets in doesn’t seem worth it. I’m reminded that homeownership is just a series of trade-offs. I tell M. to approve the job. We’ve budgeted to have cash on hand for home repairs so I feel fine about it. $890
6:15 p.m. — I head home after an exhausting afternoon and put on a 2000s pop playlist in the car for some energy.
7:30 p.m. — M.’s friend wants to go to trivia night but we discover the bar we like no longer hosts trivia on Mondays. We decide to meet for dinner instead at a low-key burger place. M. and I order two cheeseburgers, fried pickles and buffalo chicken bites for the table, and a Diet Coke ($50.77 so $25.39 for my half). I realize the closest I’m getting to eating a vegetable today are these pickles. $25.39
9:30 p.m. — I’m so tired after being gone all day and wind up crashing on the couch while watching mindless YouTube. I also respond to a group chat I was too busy to look at earlier.
11:30 p.m. — M. feeds the cats, I do my quick nighttime routine and we fall asleep by midnight.
Daily Total: $915.39

Day Four

7:15 a.m. — I snooze my alarm until I remember I need to shower.
8:30 a.m. — After jumping in the shower, I throw on a cute Target jumpsuit and spray Amika Hydrorush leave-in conditioner in my hair. It really seems to help my curls. I grab a banana, feed the screaming cats and head out the door by 9 a.m.
9:30 a.m. — The usual office morning routine: I grab coffee and water, and eat my banana before reviewing today’s schedule.
12:15 p.m. — I unexpectedly got roped into a long call that just ended so I shift my to-do list around for the afternoon. Hopefully I can make up for a bit of lost time. My coworker J. invites me to lunch and I accept because we have a lot to catch up on. We decide to try a new restaurant. I order a sweet and spicy chicken sandwich with pickled veggies, and it comes with roast potatoes. The only water they offer is bottled, which they charge for, and J. and I complain about this while we wait for our food. $19.67
3 p.m. — One of the development managers alerts me to some property damage at one of our buildings so I have to file a claim. We already have an open property claim and I really don’t want to deal with another one but spring weather is volatile in the Sun Belt. I also start prepping an agenda for a check-in call with our insurance brokers.
4:30 p.m. — I take a break and grab a Diet Coke from the office fridge. Luckily, my employer stocks free sodas and Bublys. I stare at the wall and allow myself five minutes of existential panic.
6:30 p.m. — As I pull in the driveway, I see our next-door neighbors in their front yard. I say hi to their kids, compliment their spring flower bed and we lament the massive increase in property tax appraisals this year. Is this being 30?
7 p.m. — M. leaves his office earlier than I do so he’s finishing up getting dinner groceries at our local Asian market. He comes home with thin sliced pork belly, ssamjang, romaine lettuce, a large jug of rice vinegar, a 20 pound bag of jasmine rice, green onions and our favorite chocolate wafer cookies ($31.80, my half $15.90). He cooks the pork and we eat it with green onion salad, fridge kimchi, leftover cucumber salad and steamed rice. He drinks a beer and I have a grapefruit sparkling water. We normally love this dinner but for some reason everything is somewhat off tonight so we’re full but unsatisfied. $15.90
8:40 p.m. — I tidy up the living room, run the dishwasher and start some laundry. I hate coming home from a long day at the office and having to clean but doing a little bit every day is probably best.
9 p.m. — M. and I settle in for an episode of Twin Peaks. I’m rewatching but he hasn’t seen it and I can’t wait for him to understand the memes and lore. For dessert, I grab a classic ice cream sandwich from our freezer and feel pangs of childhood nostalgia.
10:10 p.m. — M. heads to his computer and I browse sandals online. I know I need a few new pairs that are nice enough for summers in the office but I’m not seeing anything I love. I still want to be trendy yet I feel a little too millennial for some of these Gen Z styles. I text a friend with similar taste to see what she’s been wearing. I mentally budget $150 or so for shoes in the next two weeks.
10:45 p.m. — I prefer to read more than one book at a time so I start Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood since it’s available from my library on Libby. It’s funny and weird, which is perfect for me.
11:30 p.m. — M. and I get ready for bed, he feeds the cats and it’s lights out around midnight.
Daily Total: $35.57

Day Five

8:45 a.m. — I accidentally stop my alarm instead of snooze so I’m already running pretty late. I rush through my face wash, skip my brows and put my hair in a ponytail. For lunch, I throw together a basic turkey and cheese sandwich and grab an apple. The fresh sourdough is getting stale and I need to use it.
9:25 a.m. — I’m starving this morning so I put in an order for bacon egg bites and an iced shaken espresso at Starbucks. I’m already late anyway so I convince myself it’s okay to stop. It would’ve been $12.34 but my card is pre-loaded. On average, I top up once a month for $25.
11 a.m. — I spend the morning checking on the payment status of urgent invoices, writing an insurance premium projection report, discussing the property insurance markets with some investor partners and talking on the phone with our claims adjusters.
2 p.m. — I eat my sad turkey sandwich and apple with a lime Bubly while facing down a large pile of unopened mail. I get so much mail and a lot of it needs immediate attention. I need to go through this stack before it gets bigger at the 3 p.m. mail delivery.
4:30 p.m. — I realize I’ve been sitting for way too long so I take some laps around the office while getting frustrated about how sedentary this job is. Joke’s on me because there are mini cupcakes in the kitchen. I grab one that looks like vanilla and vow to walk more even though it’s getting hotter outside every day. When I get back to my desk, I inhale the cupcake (lemon, actually) and aimlessly scroll through walking pads on Amazon. I add a few to my Save for Later list. I see that M. has sent me some kitten TikToks so I watch a few of those.
6:30 p.m. — Since I got in later, I stay late finishing up emails. It’s quiet at the end of the day and sometimes I find I can concentrate better after 5 p.m. when the office is emptier.
7:30 p.m. — M.’s been out doing errands after work so he offers to swing by Target for dinner groceries — he spontaneously decided this afternoon that he wants to try a new pizza dough recipe. I feel guilty that he’s had to go to the store so much this week. I make a mental note to meal plan this weekend so we can cut down on individual grocery trips. He grabs pepperoni, spicy ground sausage, mushrooms, mozzarella, tomato paste, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, an onion, basil, eggs, Bachan’s Japanese barbecue sauce and an instant noodle ($59.59) plus Cascade dishwasher pods ($21.49). My half is $40.54. We also plan to use up some old spinach from the fridge. He preps dough balls, homemade sauce and toppings while I empty the dishwasher and clear the table. We talk about our days while eating. For dessert, M. cuts up a cantaloupe that’s on its last legs. $40.54
9:30 p.m. — Another Twin Peaks episode for us and then I catch up on some favorite YouTube vlogs. While watching, I respond to Instagram messages, play the NYT games and check in with my brother, who’s finishing his grad school term and reading a book I recommended (North Woods by Daniel Mason). He’s worked hard to support himself on a grad student stipend in a new, HCOL city and I’m proud of him. I also send our friends some restaurant recommendations for an upcoming trip they’re taking.
11 p.m. — I wash my face and decide to do a Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel. I wonder who uses these wipes daily; they’re so expensive. Then I question whether they’re actually doing anything for my skin if I DON’T use them daily. I finish off with my regular Kiehl’s moisturizer.
11:30 p.m. — I read a few more pages of Sula before switching to sleep ASMR. M. is staying up late chatting with friends so I put myself to bed around midnight, thinking about work.
Daily Total: $40.54

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — It’s too early and I didn’t sleep very well so M. and I snooze and cuddle a bit. Once I’m out of bed, I take a quick shower and wash my hair, then add Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème to my eyebags. I don’t wear concealer so I pray the eye cream is doing something. I got this tub as a gift and I doubt I’ll rebuy.
8:45 a.m. — I feed the cats wet food and decide to skip breakfast. I package up some leftover pizza to take for lunch and listen to an upbeat Americana Spotify playlist on my commute.
11:30 a.m. — After a morning call, I review insurance certificates and read some fine print on a policy we just bought, respond to a negotiation on coverage requirements with one of our lenders and mark up a new insurance template for retail tenant leases. I also schedule a meeting with our in-house contractors to go over their liability exposures. I print a lot of documents to sign and promptly forget that I sent them to the printer. My job could be done from home but large printer/scanner access at the office is more useful than I care to admit.
1 p.m. — I reheat my leftover pizza and eat at my desk. A former coworker and I are meeting up in a nearby city for an overnight trip next month so while eating I browse hotel options and make a list of the things we should do at our destination. I think we have a similar budget but I text her just to be sure. We’re only spending one night so I don’t mind a bit of a splurge.
1:30 p.m. — This planning — and the fact it’s been unseasonably hot this week — has me daydreaming about being at the pool so I start looking at beach resort prices and destinations for later in the summer. We just got back from an expensive and very tiring trip abroad but I always start planning the next one as soon as we get home. I make a mental note to run some more affordable summer options by M., who’s been asking when we can take a relaxing, chill vacation.
4:25 p.m. — More emails, more contract review and an annoying cold sales call that I accidentally pick up thinking it’s someone else. I look up the caller on LinkedIn to see if he actually knows my coworker who he says he knows. He doesn’t. I once again thank my prior self for never getting into sales.
6:15 p.m. — I go to happy hour with a new junior colleague, L., who I think I could be good friends with. She’s new to town, around my age and still trying to understand our office politics and quirks. Even though I don’t really work with her directly, I want to help her as much as possible because I remember how hard it was not having institutional knowledge. Inevitably, happy hour turns into dinner because we can’t stop talking. We split shrimp tostadas, queso, guacamole and each have two pineapple margaritas. I offer to pay my portion but L. insists on treating so I promise I’ll get our next outing.
9:30 p.m. — I’m finally home and my social battery is drained. All I want to do is curl up in bed with a cat and a book but M. wants to talk after not seeing me all day. We do a quick check-in and I tell him I need some space so he goes back to gaming. I get in some pages of Priestdaddy and fall asleep with the lights on by 11 p.m.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

8 a.m. — M. and I wake up and cuddle for a bit to make up for yesterday. We graciously allow the cats to come in and hassle us. I do my morning routine, then throw on some Good American jeans with an oversized men’s button down from Old Navy and a company logo baseball cap. I add some gold statement jewelry today because, well, Friday.
9:15 a.m. — I stop on the way to the office for a hazelnut iced latte and an everything bagel with cream cheese. My “treat yourself” mentality is always strongest on Fridays and this is my favorite latte in town. I tip an extra dollar. $13.74
9:45 a.m. — When I get to my desk, I eat my bagel and post some of my prepped content on Instagram. I don’t schedule posts because it’s just not that serious. I also play the NYT games.
11 a.m. — I revise some legal org charts for new deals we’re doing, sit down with a coworker to discuss insurance valuations for a few assets, check in on the status of our claims and send out some internal information request emails. I also start a new to-do list for next week. Today I’m grateful that I don’t have much management oversight but that means it’s on me to be internally motivated and organized in order for nothing to slip through the cracks.
1 p.m. — I run out and grab a snacky lunch from the grocery store: a strawberry Greek yogurt, Goldfish crackers, an apple, a small container of potato salad and a summer sausage. I also eat a Milano cookie from a bag in my desk I bought weeks ago and forgot about. I respond to Instagram comments while eating. $14.77
2:30 p.m. — A coworker comes over to chat before the weekend and suddenly 45 minutes have mysteriously disappeared from my afternoon.
4:30 p.m. — I escape the office early and head home, and realize my tank is dangerously low. Gas prices have been increasing quickly and I don’t know why. I google this out of vague curiosity while my gas pumps and feign 45 seconds of interest before clicking out. I buy a full tank. $44.20
4:45 p.m. — I swing by the pharmacy to pick up a vitamin refill. It’s only 62 cents and I pay with my HSA card, which feels like fake money to me. Girl math! $0.62
5:30 p.m. — Our friends text M. and me to ask if we want to see a late-night movie. We eagerly agree and buy two tickets for a 9:50 p.m. showing of Challengers ($36.11, my half is $18.06). The theater is close by so we’ll be home in good time after it’s over. $18.06
6:30 p.m. — M. and I have been eyeing a new linen duvet cover set from Brooklinen to replace our old West Elm cover that’s showing its age, and there’s a 15% off coupon. We’ve been mentally planning this purchase for at least six months and I kick myself that we didn’t buy during an earlier 25% off sale but I’m happy it’s getting done. It’s my husband’s payday and for some reason it feels right to buy an expensive item on payday even though it doesn’t matter because it’s going on our joint credit card. After the discount and tax, the set is $295.64, so my half is $147.82. $147.82
6:45 p.m. — Buying the duvet cover has inspired us to do more shopping so we also check out our household items Amazon cart, which has a set of three colored cutting boards, a large nonstick skillet and dish scrubber heads ($65.32, my half is $32.66). I make a mental note to box up our old nonstick pans and post them in our city’s “buy nothing” group this weekend. They’re pretty old but I can’t bear to toss them. $32.66
7 p.m. — We were going to order delivery for dinner but because we’re going out we decide to scrounge around the house for food instead. M. heats up a frozen Trader Joe’s gimbap and some pork dumplings, while I eat the last of the leftover pizza, grapes and a handful of peanuts. We regroup about the week and discuss our weekend plans.
10:15 p.m. — M. and I split a large popcorn and an Icee at the movies. I try not to think about how expensive movie theater food is but there’s no replacement for true theater popcorn. Our snacks are $19.42, so my half is $9.71. $9.71
12:45 a.m. — We finally get home after the movie, feed the kitties their snack, brush our teeth and fall straight into bed.
Daily Total: $281.58
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