A Week In San Francisco, CA, On A $52,500 Salary

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.
Today: a sales development associate working in tech who makes $52,500 plus commission per year and spends some of her money this week on tacos.
Occupation: Sales Development
Industry: Tech
Age: 23
Location: San Francisco, CA
Salary: $52,500 with a variable commission of up to $15,600 (pre-tax)
Paycheck Amount (2x month): $1,487.49 is the base amount, and the variable commission can potentially bring me to $2,403.86.
Gender Identity: She/Her/Hers
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Monthly Expenses
Rent: $960 (I rent a single room in a four-bedroom flat with four roommates.)
Car Payment: $266 for my car lease
Entertainment: My parents let me use their Netflix, and they use my Hulu account ($5.99). I pay for our Spotify family plan ($14.99) because they raised me and this is the least I can do.
Phone: I'm on my parents' plan, but I bought my phone outright after my old one died on me.
Utilities & Internet: $50-$60
Car Insurance: $150
iCloud: $0.99
Health Insurance: $0 (I'm covered by my employer.)
401(k): I was originally contributing $440 per month (pre-tax), but this month onwards, I'm contributing $880 (pre-tax), so my take-home pay is going to be significantly less.
Pet Emergency Savings: $100 into a high-yield account
Savings: I have $16,000 in a high-yield savings account that I don't touch and a minimum of $4,000 in regular savings.

Day One

6:30 a.m. — Wake up, snooze alarm — a natural reaction to Monday. I was visiting my parents last week, and today is my last morning here, so I get to sleep in instead of waking up at 5:30 to commute. A week of this definitely messed up my schedule.
6:50 a.m. — I'm finally succumbing to my alarm, and I cuddle my dog until he decides it's too much and jumps out of bed. Realizing it's way too late, I'm running out the door to pick up a small bag of dog food before I go to work. I figure I'll leave this food at my parents' house for emergencies. $9.80
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10:52 a.m. — I'm ashamed to say that I spent a lot of money on food last weekend, so I gingerly check my Mint account to see where I'm at. I get good credit card rewards on dining, so I paid for everything this weekend. Everyone Venmo'ed me back, so the pain isn't too bad.
12:15 p.m. — Lunchtime! Finally! I need to stop this habit of not eating breakfast — it's hindering my productivity in a major way. I have a Caesar salad and it's covered by my company. I want a sweet treat, but the snack options are…lacking…so I settle for some weirdly addicting raspberry cookies.
2:50 p.m. — The midday lag is hitting me, and I can't seem to get any work done. My job involves calling potential clients, but it's been a slow month and I'm kind of discouraged.
7 p.m. — Say bye to my parents and pack up to leave for the city. My car is charged, but it's practically running on gas fumes, so I fill my tank. $34.28
7:35 p.m. — My housemates are all out of town, so I spend the rest of my evening cleaning up my room and the kitchen while watching Definitely, Maybe. Ryan Reynolds is the only man I'd consider marriage for.
Daily Total: $44.08

Day Two

5:30 a.m. — Ehhhhhhhh no.
6:30 a.m. — Finally wake myself and my dog up — he's the only dog I know that will sleep in, so he's really not a motivating presence in the mornings. I utter his favorite words — “Wanna walk?” — and he's up. While he's running around, I do my morning routine: brush my teeth, put on Clinique sunscreen mixed with It Cosmetics gel moisturizer, and apply a coat of Maybelline Great Lash. I pull my favorite pair of Reformation mom jeans on, topping it off with a purple speckled turtleneck sweater and slip-on Vans.
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7 a.m. — On our walk, we run into a guy peeing in the alleyway behind my house — I love SF. When we return, my dog begins his zoomies and I chase him around while scouring the kitchen for a morning meal. I end up with slices of a grapefruit, La Colombe cold brew, and a packet of vegan chocolate chip cookies.
7:12 a.m. — Fill dog's Kong toy with cheese and slip away while he's preoccupied.
9:31 a.m. — I barely make my morning meeting — showing up is half the battle, people. My team has a productive discussion about our goals, and I'm thankful for a manager who listens and reacts positively to our suggestions and feedback.
12:01 p.m. — Completely forgot my lunch this morning. Quick walk to a pizza place equals one Hawaiian and one cheese (for later). I not-so-gracefully eat the grapefruit slices from this morning as a pick-me-up. $10
5:50 p.m. — Eat the cheese pizza and then take my dog on a well-deserved walk to the park, where we train his recall. The weather's been really weird and rainy this week, but during a break in the rain, I do a yoga flow on the patio while watching season one of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (LVP is my hero). Chat with one of my roommates, shower, and then fall asleep around 10:30.
Daily Total: $10

Day Three

6 a.m. — Do morning routine sans makeup. Outfit today is a black and white sweater, black trousers, and loafers. Walk dog, feed dog, say a tearful goodbye to dog.
8:05 a.m. — Eat a weird grape jelly and Trader Joe's cookie butter sandwich for breakfast while working at my desk.
4:50 p.m. — Quick walk around the neighborhood with the dog. Eat another weird meal of a Hot Pocket and cheddar Ruffles (don't ask).
6 p.m. — Take the Muni downtown ($2.50) to meet my roommate at a women in sales networking event ($16.50). On the way home, we discuss the event and agree that neither of us got much out of it — there wasn't much diversity, and our imposter syndrome got the best of us. $19
9:30 p.m. — Consume a bedtime snack of popcorn and chocolate chips while watching the Real Housewives do their thing. Convince dog to stop chewing a box and get ready for sleep.
Daily Total: $19

Day Four

6 a.m. — Do my morning routine as usual, this time without sunscreen (BAD, I KNOW). Head out to my car and lose some time maneuvering out of a particularly tight spot. My hours are pretty flexible, so I don't stress too hard about showing up late — however, Bay Area traffic is no joke, and leaving a minute late sets me back 20 minutes. I listen to Crime Junkie on my abnormally long commute.
9:39 a.m. — Thought I could swing a coffee before I got to work, but that plan didn't pan out. A meeting didn't go so well, so I isolate myself in a conference room and get to work. I alternate between working and researching new running shoes — the ones I have now are getting old and are usually relegated to lifting sessions.
1:19 p.m. — Eat a lunch of creamed spinach, pot roast, and potatoes at my desk and socialize with my team. I lock myself in a different conference room to work some more.
5:30 p.m. — One of my friends comes over, and she brought her dog! Our dogs hang while we catch up, and eventually I retreat to my room for some laptop-on-chest, double-chin-present, reality TV time.
8:30 p.m. — Drive with dog and my friend to our other friend's house. We catch up over a dinner of fried rice and mint chocolate ice cream while lamenting our single lady woes. I love them so much. Before we know it, it's 11 p.m. and we all head to our respective beds.
Daily Total: $0

Day Five

7:35 a.m. — FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY! The office is empty, so I take the opportunity to plug in and get shit done. Then I take a moment to text my roommate about the fact that I spent my whole commute in silence thinking about what I did to deserve getting ghosted by a guy I'm actually interested in. She tells me to get over it, and the little rational part of my brain agrees.
10:28 a.m. — My boss tells me if I finish my work early, I can get out of here, so I daydream about getting a pedicure for the long weekend (instead of actually being productive…). Then I sign up for a training event at the local dog shelter so I can start volunteering there.
7:30 p.m. — Hit the mall for some pre-travel retail therapy. I like to buy consciously, so I stop by Crossroads to sell some clothes and scope out some goodies. I LOVE clothes, but it's hard to feel good in them if I don't know where my clothes are coming from. I'm far from perfect when it comes to this, but I'm trying my hardest! I get a leopard print top and use the credit from my sold wares to pay for it. Then, I drive down to the mall and stop by Urban Outfitters (see, not perfect). I buy a crop top and polka dot dress ($85.22). One last stop to Lou & Grey, where I buy some Machete earrings that I've been coveting ($23). Okay, and I also get some swim bottoms ($17) because I literally do not have any. $125.22
9:30 p.m. — Didn't get a pedicure, but did drop my parents off at the airport on the way home. I'm flying out to San Diego tomorrow morning for my friend's birthday, so it's an early night for me.
Daily Total: $125.22

Day Six

12:20 p.m. — Touch down in sunny (actually, really cloudy) San Diego and immediately Uber ($14.21) over to a bar in Pacific Beach, where my three friends are waiting with open arms and bottomless mimosas ($17). I'm peer pressured into catching up and drink three glasses. Not smart on an empty stomach. $31.21
2 p.m. — Up from a surprisingly much-needed nap. It's a little gloomy today, so my friends and I just walk along the bay and enjoy the dogs and cute boys. We walk to Trader Joe's to pick up sustenance: bagels, cream cheese, chips (lots of chips), eggs, blueberries, rosé cider, tequila, and margarita mix. This way, we don't have to spend a ton on eating out! $21
4:45 p.m. — Being the cool and fun girls we are, we sit around in the Airbnb watching Jeopardy! until we decide it's time to shower and get ready to go out. We go to dinner and order two tacos each, margaritas, and a whole plate of nachos. Worth it. $27
9 p.m. — We go bar-hopping at our favorite places in Pacific Beach and meet up with some friends who are also visiting. A guy I used to see and am friends with was there, and so was a girl he used to see in college…real nice. My friend takes care of my cover charge ($5) and I'll Venmo her in the morning. We all buy each other drinks, so they kind of even out. I meet up with one of my best friends who lives in SD at another bar. She and her boyfriend keep embarrassing me by telling random guys to dance with me. I head home around 1 a.m. to beat the surge pricing ($4.31). $9.31
Daily Total: $88.52

Day Seven

11 a.m. — We're all up and the sun is out! Eat breakfast at the Airbnb and shower before hitting the beach.
2:15 p.m. — It's food time. We go to a bistro on the beach and get burgers and salads. I get a solid cash back deal on my credit card, so I put the meal and tip on it and will have everyone Venmo me later. $79.13
8 p.m. — Nap and watch Jeopardy!. We were planning to do karaoke tonight, but once we got to the venue, they said it was canceled. It's raining hard, so we find solace in…a bar. There's a $5 cover, but it's all worth it after we spend the night dancing our hearts out. I generally spend a lot of time with my male friends, so it's so wonderful to be surrounded by strong and amazing ladies. The party gods are with us, and everyone gets a lil lucky. Go to sleep feeling very thankful. I even almost forget about the guy who ghosted me. $5
Daily Total: $84.13
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