A Week In San Diego, CA, On A $85,000 Salary

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Today: a director of content and community management working in tech who makes $85,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on Juul pods.
Occupation: Director of Content and Community Management
Industry: Tech
Age: 29
Location: San Diego, CA
Salary: $85,000
Paycheck Amount (biweekly): $2,500
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $1,200 (My boyfriend and I divide rent proportionally to our income; our loft costs $3,200 in total.)
Student Loans: $550-$700 (I have about $70,000 in loans from law school and undergrad.)
Spotify: $9.99
Utilities: $100

Day One

7:45 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and I am feelinggg all the pizza and white claw I consumed over the holiday weekend. I get out of bed, get dressed, and wake up our corgi so I can take her out to do her business. I grab an almond milk cappuccino because I am feeling slow today. I usually don't drink coffee, but Monday after a holiday weekend is an exception. $5
11 a.m. — I work from home and have been buried in meetings all morning. I start feeling hungry and look around for something to eat. We haven't been to the grocery store in about a week, so things are looking a little sparse. I settle for a bag of Cheez-Its… I am the pinnacle of health.
1 p.m. — I head to Trader Joe's on my lunch break and grab enough food for dinner tonight (salmon and asparagus) and tomorrow (chicken and salad — really exciting, I know), and some lunch fixings for the week. My boyfriend usually pays for our nicer date nights and dinners, so I make an effort to do the grocery shopping. $65
7 p.m. — My boyfriend and I realize we forgot to watch Big Little Lies yesterday! We turn it on and start cooking dinner.
10:30 p.m. — I take a melatonin and head to bed.
Daily Total: $70

Day Two

6:45 a.m. — Alarm goes off, I half-asleep chug some pre-workout coffee, then head to Barry's Bootcamp. I prepaid for classes a while ago, and it came out to about $16 a class instead of $22! I have a really hard time staying motivated, so it helps to have attractive trainers yelling at me.
8:15 a.m. — I am starving once I get home, so I make an egg, Ezekiel toast, avocado, and hot sauce. I eat during my all-team stand-up meeting. Our whole team is remote, so we make sure to have frequent all-team meetings to stay in touch and aligned.
11 a.m. — I finally sign up for autopay for my student loans, which will drop my interest rate .25%! I had been paying manually before, because I wasn't making as much money and would pay different amounts each month based on my expenses. My payment goes through and I cry a little inside, especially because I am not necessarily “using” my law degree, but I try to tell myself it got me to where I am now and that's what matters. When I was growing up, I didn't have a lot of educational or financial guidance, so I thought that graduate school (and the loans that come along with it) were my only option. The amount in loans I have (about $70k for undergrad and law school) may seem high, but the scary thing is that it's fairly average for my graduating class; many people I graduated with have upwards of $150k.
1 p.m. — I graze on some Mary's crackers, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, cilantro and sprouted-grains hummus (SO GOOD), and some chocolate, because why not. I set the chocolate down near my laptop knowing I will be back for more later.
4 p.m. — I am burned out from work, so I take our corgi to the park at the baseball stadium near our house for some exercise. She looks ridiculous (and adorable) running with her stumpy legs. While we are out, my friend texts me that she has booked our hotel for an upcoming trip we have and requests money on Venmo. $232
7 p.m. — We are too exhausted to cook, so my boyfriend sweetly Postmates Thai food, and we eat and have a glass of wine on our porch. We have been trying to make an effort to eat dinner together away from the TV, computers, and phones, and I am loving it. Boyfriend pays.
9:45 p.m. — We both crawl into bed and drift to sleep fairly quickly.
Daily Total: $232

Day Three

7 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Head to the gym half asleep, and I am so not feeling it today. I make myself do a short arm and ab circuit and the StairMaster and call it quits. I head home and eat my usual egg with Ezekiel toast and hot sauce.
10 a.m. — A few months ago, I mustered up the courage to ask for a raise at work, and to my surprise, I got more than I was asking for. I worked at the same salary for two years, which wasn't very much, and my loan payments were starting to eat me alive, so I pulled the trigger. I explained my expenses, and they came up with the number I am at now. I am so happy to be working at a company that is both communicative and understanding about this sort of thing. So much stress has been lifted now that I don't live paycheck to paycheck and I can save. I deposit a little in my Wealthfront Investment account. $200
12 p.m. — I'm hungry!! I make a salad with the leftover salmon from the other night. My boyfriend works from home also, so we take a quick break to walk outside with our corgi. Our apartment is fairly dark, and we realized it was impacting our moods, so we try to take lunch walks when we can.
3 p.m. — Hungry...again. I have some Mary's crackers and hummus.
6:30 p.m. — I meet up with a few friends and head to a food hall in Little Italy that has half off wine bottles today. We opt for a bottle of Cab that is also on the happy hour menu, some dumplings, and ramen. The wine isn't THAT bad, and we are all happy with how affordable it is. $16
10 p.m. — My boyfriend and I both arrive home at the same time; he had been at a dinner with some friends as well. We opt for some corgi snuggles and head to bed.
Daily Total: $216

Day Four

7 a.m. — I wake up, take my probiotics and some St. John's wort for my anxiety. I drink some coffee and head to the gym. I'm able to make myself run two miles, which is surprising for me. I am starting to hate running less, the more I force myself to do it, and I hope to keep the momentum going.
8:15 a.m. — I eat my egg and toast and get ready to hop in my car for my meeting in Orange County.
12 p.m. — I eat a Go Macro protein bar from Trader Joe's because I am getting hangry. $3
7 p.m. — Some of my friends come over for a potluck-style dinner. We try to get together for wine and dinner every other week or so. I grab wine and some side veggies, and we all hang out in my courtyard until about 9:30. $15
9:45 p.m. — I want a cookie and my boyfriend wants Juul pods, so we walk to 7-Eleven to pick up our vices. I pay. $21
10:30 p.m. — Bedtime.
Daily Total: $39

Day Five

6:45 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and I head to Barry's Bootcamp. I am feeling especially motivated to break a sweat this morning. I buy a water at Barry's. $3
8:20 a.m. — I make my egg, toast, and avo with Trader Joe's chili lime seasoning and get some work done.
1 p.m. — I munch on some leftovers, then head out the door to my appointment. A few weeks ago, I got myself botox as a reward for work going well, but one of my eyebrows lifts up much more than the other when I smile, so I am hoping the doctor can resolve this. I hate needles, so I am happy it goes by quickly. No cost since I had paid already.
6 p.m. — I work a little later today, because I took a break to go to my appointment. My work is fairly flexible, as long as we block our calendars correctly. I realize my toes are looking a little sad, so I head to a nearby nail salon to get a pedicure. It has been a while, and they persuade me to get a callus remover as well. $33
8:30 p.m. — My boyfriend and I head to dinner with some friends. We share a pizza, beet salad, ribeye, butter rolls (omg), and a brownie with gelato. Boyfriend treats.
11:30 p.m. — We are exhausted after dinner and pass out almost immediately.
Daily Total: $36

Day Six

9 a.m. — We both did not sleep well last night, probably from the wine we had at dinner, so we are a little slow getting up. I grab cappuccinos for my boyfriend while I walk the corgi. $12
12 p.m. — Today is PRIDE in San Diego! We head to a nearby neighborhood to catch the parade and join the festivities. I grab a round of drinks for my boyfriend and our other friend. $32
1:30 p.m. — We are starving and it is too crazy to sit down, so we grab a few to-go items from Whole Foods. I grab a pre-made spicy salmon roll. $11
3:30 p.m. — We head home, exhausted from Pride, and my boyfriend Postmates some bao buns. They are delicious. He pays.
9 p.m. — We head to a friend's housewarming party. She catered the event, and the food is delicious! I eat a taco and a lot of chips.
12 a.m. — My boyfriend and I hang out on our porch to decompress from the evening, then head to bed.
Daily Total: $55

Day Seven

10 a.m. — Wow! I slept in. It's Sunday, so I let myself wake up slowly and make the usual egg and Ezekiel toast for myself and my boyfriend.
12 p.m. — My boyfriend and I meet up with some friends and go for a boat cruise around the harbor. I bring a bottle of chardonnay we had in our fridge and some plastic cups. The boat is really relaxing, and I have a great time catching up with my friends, plus my friend brings his new golden retriever puppy.
4 p.m. — The group gets off the boat and we all head to a local dive bar that supposedly has the best burgers in San Diego…by the end of the meal, our whole group agrees that they do! Boyfriend treats.
10 p.m. — Big Little Lies and bed right after.
Daily Total: $0
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