A Week In Savannah, GA, On A $60,000 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 director working in higher education who makes $60,000 per year and spends some of her money on a fizzy grapefruit drink this week.
Occupation: Director
Industry: Higher Education
Age: 28
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Salary: $60,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): $1,630
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $600
Personal Loan (Consolidated Debt): $487
Student Loans: $254 (from my undergrad degree — I work at a university, so my master's was paid for through a tuition benefit)
Credit Cards: $343
Pet Medication: $41.43
GPB Donation: $10
Phone Bill: $160
Car Insurance: $105
Car Payment: $367
Spotify: $9.99
Netflix: $15.99
Savings: $300
Summer Camp/Childcare: $175
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Day One

6 a.m. — Wake up and reset my alarm to give myself 20 more minutes of sleep. Thank goodness for dry shampoo! I wake up at 6:20 and get ready for the day, which means styling my hair, doing my makeup (concealer, face powder, blush, mascara, and eyeliner — eyeshadow if I'm feeling motivated!), letting the dogs out, feeding the dogs, packing my lunch and snacks for my son, D., waking up my son and making sure he gets dressed/brushes teeth/packs his backpack for summer camp, making coffee to-go, grabbing a banana for breakfast, and zooming out the door by 7:45!
8:30 a.m. — I drop my son off at summer camp and make my way into the office by 8:30. The majority of my colleagues are traveling for work right now, and the one colleague still in town is away in meetings today, so it's nice and quiet. I take care of office expenses, prepare an item to ship internationally, update some internal documents, conference in for a meeting, and work on scheduling some appointments and meetings for July. I eat some red seedless grapes for a morning snack. Lately I've been meal-prepping and tracking what I eat in an effort to eat a little healthier and save money, so that means lots of bananas and grapes and hard-boiled eggs. Fun stuff!
5:30 p.m. — I leave the office to pick up D. from summer camp, and we begin our journey home. I have a long night of cooking dinner and chores ahead of me, so naturally I'm feeling pumped! By 9:15 all the chores are checked off the list. I finish a book I've been reading called I Don't Know What You Know Me From, written by actress Judy Greer. It's hilarious and makes me want to meet her and be best friends. I feel like she would get my sometimes chaotic but often pretty routine life. I crawl into bed feeling exhausted from work and chores and period cramps (thanks, Mother Nature), so my boyfriend, K., and I watch an episode of Jeopardy, laugh at each other as we try to guess the answers, and fall asleep.
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Daily Total: $0

Day Two

6:15 a.m. — I wake up and hit the shower. Normal morning routine commences, and we are out the door by 7:45 like clockwork! I complete the summer camp drop-off and am into the office a few minutes late. I ate a banana on my way in but forgot to make coffee this morning, so it's office coffee for me. I also sneak some trail mix from the office snack cabinet.
12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime! I heat up my prepped meal of chicken and white rice and have a plum, too. So plain, but I try to remind myself of how healthy I'm eating and how much money I am saving by not eating out. The office is freezing today, so before heading back into work, I stop by the café close to my office and grab a dirty chai latte. Since the café is owned by the university I work for, I get an employee discount. I tip 10% and head back to the office, warm latte in hand! $5.83
2:45 p.m. — I have two hours and 45 minutes left of work and not a lot left to do. It's a beautiful, sunny Friday, and I can't help feeling like this is some kind of torture. I resort to reading some Money Diaries, surfing Pinterest, and filling out my new planner. This morning I did my budget for the month of July, and although it left me feeling slightly sad and depressed, I also feel thankful that my bills will be paid and I have a plan moving forward. K. and I are going to start using the Dave Ramsey envelope system to manage our finances. We're trying to be aggressive about paying down debt and planning for the future, so time to buckle down!
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5:30 p.m. — I leave work, pick up D. from summer camp, and head home! TGIF, however, Friday nights aren't too crazy around here. D. plays with his neighborhood friend, and K. and I hang out in the garage for a few, talking about our weeks. We take the dogs on a walk and plan to make homemade pizzas for dinner, but our plans get hijacked! Our neighbor stops over (surprise!), and we end up spending about two hours catching up. It's always nice to hang out, but this was totally unexpected. The neighbor leaves around 10, and I am hangry! I put D. to bed, and K. and I make pizzas. We eat our pizza and the surprise cupcakes and ice cream K. bought from the store. My hangriness is replaced with a full tummy, and after watching some TV, we fall asleep around midnight.
Daily Total: $5.83

Day Three

8 a.m. — It's finally the weekend, which means sleeping in! I'm grateful that D. is at the age where he can get breakfast by himself. It's the small things. K. leaves to go pick up his son, who we get to hang out with every Saturday (he's three and just the cutest!). While he is gone, I do a 15-minute HIIT workout and run a mile and a half. I eat a banana for breakfast, then I hit the shower to get ready for the day.
12:30 p.m. — We arrive at K.'s parents' house, where we hang out for the afternoon. The cousins play together and the grown-ups catch up. We're planning a trip to Disney World this November, so we discuss some options for accommodations and talk about how much fun the boys will have.
3:45 p.m. — We leave K.'s parents' house and head into town to drop off his son. K. is helping my brother move, so after we drop off his son, he drops D. and me off at the park for a playdate with my old neighbor and her son. We haven't seen each other for a few months, so it's a nice reunion. We plan to get the boys together again in a few weeks. We stop on the way home to get a cheeseburger for D. $4.16
Daily Total: $4.16

Day Four

11:50 a.m. — K. and I just woke up – yeah, that happened. Despite our chill, party-free lives, we were exhausted! I think the mix of moving, parenting, working, cooking, and cleaning has worn us both out. We laugh at the fact that we slept in so late and walk around like zombies for a bit before getting ready for an afternoon BBQ with friends. After getting ready to be seen in public, we hit up the local grocery store before heading to the BBQ. We buy ingredients to make strawberry shortcake and some snacks for the road (a Hostess lemon bar for me, beef jerky for K., and a Lunchable for D.). $60.04
5 p.m. — We leave our friends' house around 5. It was so nice to see them! After hearing that I received a promotion at work, they invited us over for lunch to celebrate. They live on 40 acres and gave us a tour of the land while we were there. It's such a nice piece of land, with giant oak trees spread throughout the property. My friend has been through a lot of loss in her life, so having the property to maintain has been huge for her. It's really divine and spiritual to walk through the live oaks. They are so old and massive! It was a fun afternoon, but I am ready to get home and relax before the weekly grind begins.
8:30 p.m. — I get D. to take a shower, we make his bed, and it's lights out for him. K. was kind enough to run to the store for a makeshift dinner. We need to go grocery shopping, but we are too tired tonight, so he picks up sushi, pimento cheese, pinwheels, and crackers. He even grabs a piece of red velvet cake for dessert. He knows the way to my heart…sugar! We cuddle in bed, have some sexy time, and then go to bed.
Daily Total: $60.04

Day Five

6:20 a.m. — I snoozed my 6 a.m. alarm, justifying it by deciding I should wait to wash my hair until after tonight's workout. Makes sense to me! Now, I'm up and getting ready for the day. Hair, makeup, outfit, D.'s backpack for summer camp, D.'s breakfast, coffee, and off we go!
12:35 p.m. — I had a banana for breakfast and a nectarine for a snack, but since we still need to go grocery shopping, I head to the store on my lunch break and buy a Caesar salad wrap, some BBQ chips, and a fizzy grapefruit drink ($8.21). I also use my lunch break to order groceries online. I'll pick these up on my way home from work, which saves me so much time! The total cost is $143.28 for a week's worth of groceries. I think a lot of the food will make it to next week, and some of the items were things like laundry soap, dish soap, and things we needed to re-stock, so this order was a little more than usual. I really try to be thrifty and use as many coupons as I can possibly find in the grocery app. I've never been able to nail down extreme coupon-ing, but if I can save a few cents, why not! $151.49
5:30 p.m. — I leave work and pick D. up from summer camp. We make our way to the local grocery store to pick up our groceries (I'm kind of loving Clicklist!). They have to substitute two items, and I decline one of the substitutes. They didn't have the regular fat-free vanilla yogurt, so they tried to give me plain — no thanks! We get fuel in the car, and I get a Red Bull for myself ($19.15 + $2.58) and stop by the grocery store right by my house so I can get some yogurt and also some rolls for dinner ($4.16). It's spaghetti night tonight! $25.89
8:30 p.m. — D. is in bed, and after doing the dishes, I take a shower and settle into bed with K. We go to bed around 10.
Daily Total: $177.38

Day Six

6:20 a.m. — Up at my usual time. I blowdry my hair, pack snacks/lunches for the day (leftovers!), get D. ready for summer camp, and we head out. I drop him off and get into work around 8:30. My colleague is out today, so I have the office to myself. It's in the ’90s outside, but it's freezing in this office. Thankfully, there is a beautiful park right outside my office building, so I go outside to walk around the park and thaw out my frozen feet. I have my regular banana for breakfast and a plum for a mid-morning snack.
1 p.m. — I eat lunch at my desk today. I have spaghetti leftovers from last night, and it is so much more satisfying than my regular lunches of hard-boiled eggs and rice! I scarf it down and get back to work. It's slow today, so I'm taking time to update documents and tidy up the office.
4 p.m. — I'm freezing again, so I decide to take another walk. I have a rainbow heart enamel pin that K. got for my brother in honor of Pride month. My brother works at the café owned by the same university I work for. It's only a 10-minute walk from my office, so I text him that I am heading over to give him a surprise. I also let him know that he can pay me back by making me a small dirty chai. It's free for him since he works there, so I take advantage! I get to the café and we chat for a bit. He's off for the day, so he walks me back to my office. I finish out the last hour of work and head out.
6:30 p.m. — D. and I get home, and he heads out to play with his neighborhood friends. I get started on dinner (salmon, rice, and pasta salad) and also hard-boil some eggs for lunch tomorrow. K. is outside mowing the lawn, so I try to time dinner so that it's done when he's done. He finishes the lawn, comes inside to take a shower, and when he's done, dinner is served! After dinner, we walk the dogs and then I put D. to bed. After showers and sexy time, K. and I head to bed around 9.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

6:20 a.m. — I'm up and excited! Today is the last day of work before a four-day weekend! I complete my usual morning routine, but this morning I also make some banana muffins. We had a few bananas that were getting old, so I did my Betty Crocker thing and made some muffins we can eat for breakfast/snack/etc. We're out the door by 7:40 (me with a banana muffin in hand), and after dropping off D., I make it into work by 8:30.
12:15 p.m. — I finish my mid-morning snack (nectarine) and am already thinking about lunch today. I packed a hard-boiled egg, white rice, and veggies. My colleague is out for lunch right now, so I'll eat my lunch when he gets back from his break. During my lunch break today, I need to run to the store and get a money order for my rent and take out some cash for the envelope system. I'm feeling really motivated to stay on track with my spending, so I'm excited to get cash in the envelopes and get started.
5:30 p.m. — I head to summer camp to pick up D. and make our way home. He's off camp for the rest of the week and I am off work, so we both are ready to paarrrtttyyyyy! And by party, I mean sleep in and relax. I meet my friend G. at my house around 6:30 for a walk around the neighborhood. We try to get together and walk weekly. It's a good time to catch up and a way to get some mild exercise in.
9:30 p.m. — D. gets a later bedtime today because of the holiday. After I finally get him into bed, I eat dinner with K. (chicken pot pie), and we watch some TV before falling sleep.
Daily Total: $0
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