A Week In Seattle, WA, On A $70,000 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 recruiter who makes $70,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a vodka cranberry.
Occupation: Recruiter
Industry: Tech
Age: 28
Location: Seattle, WA
Salary: $70,000 + a one-time $13,000 sign-on bonus
Paycheck Amount (1x/month): $4,300
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Rent: $800 (I live with my boyfriend, and he pays the other $1,000.)
Student Loans: $0 (I just paid off my student loans!)
Car Payment: $180
Car Insurance: $100
Gym: $80
Amazon Prime: $14
401(k): $288
Netflix, Hulu, HBO: $0 (courtesy of a variety of family members)
WSG: $40
Electric: $70
Pet Insurance: $15
Donations: $20

Day One

6:45 a.m. — My alarm goes off, but I lie in bed until 7:10. I meal-prepped last night (woo-hoo), so I curl my hair, wash my face, play with my cat, throw mascara on, get dressed, and brush my teeth. I have a little extra time, so I throw two waffles in the toaster for my boyfriend, E.
8:35 a.m. — I arrive to work via bus. My company pays for my bus pass. I chat with my colleagues and grab coffee from the kitchen. I heat up a chicken sausage that I packed and head back to my desk to start working.
12 p.m. — Lunch! I feel like I'm the only person who brings food, but hey, a girl's gotta save some money. I brought veggie stir-fry. I heat it up, sit at my desk, and chat with my colleagues a little more. I also packed a protein bar that I eat shortly after lunch.
6 p.m. — I pack up and head to a gym class with a friend.
7:30 p.m. — Home and really hungry. E. made me dinner — sweet potato and black bean tacos, which makes my heart happy. We have a quiet night in, chatting and watching TV.
10 p.m. — I shower and brush my teeth, then get in bed and watch Tasty videos until I fall asleep.
Daily Total: $0

Day Two

6:30 a.m. — My alarm goes off yet again. I should mention, my cat wakes me up every morning between 3-4. I always just feed him, pet him, and go back to sleep. I do my regular routine and throw waffles in the toaster right before I head out the door.
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8:30 a.m. — I arrive at work, and it's the same deal. Grab some free coffee in the kitchen, make my chicken sausage and yogurt, and start my day.
12:30 p.m. — Lunch is my go-to veggie stir-fry. I'm going to happy hour with the team today, so I didn't pack any snacks, hoping that I make it through the day.
4 p.m. — We get to head out a little early today! We are going to happy hour because a colleague of ours is visiting from out of town. We head downstairs to a bar and order a few things to munch on. Pizza, cheese board, and like 20 oysters. I don't eat oysters, so I go for the pizza instead. I get a whiskey mule, and we also get a bottle of wine for the table. Our coworker covers the bill, because it's a team event. I don't drink often, so I'm feeling a bit tipsy by the end of the evening. I decide a drunk gym trip is a good idea, so I head to the gym.
7 p.m. — I walk into the gym and hop on the elliptical for a quick 30-minute workout. Okay, it was closer to 25 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes in the sauna. Nothing like sweating the booze out.
8 p.m. — I take the bus home, where I play with my cat while chatting with a friend on the phone. E. gets home from board-game night around 9:30. We talk a bit and head to bed.
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Daily Total: $0

Day Three

6:45 a.m. — Good morning! My cat woke me up several times throughout the night, but I finally get out of bed and move to the couch. I take my time getting ready, and eventually get out the door and head into work.
1 p.m. — After lunch (stir-fry, you all know the drill), I'm craving boba! We have a cute place nearby that sells boba out of mason jars with corgis on the front. SIGN ME UP! I walk there with my coworker. I grab a dirty horchata (coffee and horchata) boba in a cute mug. It costs $9 with tip — I'm not mad, it's reusable and so cute! $9
5 p.m. — I head to the gym with my friend. She makes me lift heavy things before we go to a barre class. This class is like no other barre class — it's fairly cardio and plank heavy. I love it, but man, I am sweaty and sore!
7:30 p.m. — I head home and make dinner. I also snack on an apple and powdered peanut butter while I cook. I make pita pizzas with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese for me. I add chicken and jalapeños for E. We go on a walk after dinner. Then I shower and get ready for bed.
10 p.m. — I'm in bed and realize I forgot to get my sister a diaper service! My sister is having her first baby, and I'm going to be an auntie for the first time. My whole family lives on the East Coast, so I am racked with guilt. I plan to fly home when the baby is born, but for now I am going to spoil my nephew. I order a diaper delivery service for her that includes newborn diapers and a reusable diaper. My dad bought her a few as well. Okay, that's all. Good night. $65
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Daily Total: $74

Day Four

7.30 a.m. — I'm actually able to sleep in a bit, though I was woken up several times. My cat likes to lick my face and nibble on my chin while I sleep (please someone tell me if that is normal or if my kitty is trying to eat my face off). I get up and get ready for my doctor's appointment. I pop a Trader Joe's breakfast pastry in the oven for E. He's already awake, and I set an alarm.
9:30 a.m. — I haven't been to a primary doctor in like six years. They want to do all of the things, like a pap smear and regular shots that you get every 10 years. Luckily, I'm able to talk them down to a normal check-up. All is good, and I don't owe any co-pay. I'm confused now, but I guess I'll get a bill in the mail. I drive home, drop my car off, grab an apple and peanut butter, and hop on the bus to work.
1 p.m. — I eat lunch at my desk — I packed some lentils and a string cheese. We have a stock of chocolate that I try to avoid, but it's just one of those chocolate days. I grab a piece of salted caramel dark chocolate to eat after lunch. It hits the spot!
5:45 p.m. — Every couple of months, my friend and I meet up for tea. I get a matcha tea and an almond butter protein bar. We chat a bit and then decide to grab dinner. $6.50
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7:30 p.m. — I order a regular mule and veggie dumplings. He gets pork, so I can't eat any, but he does enjoy some of mine. We finish off a total of 24 delicious dumplings and head our separate ways. I'm going to see him tomorrow, so we end the night fairly early. $23
9 p.m. — I'm home, tired, and full. E. already ate dinner, so we hang out and get ready for bed. I'm asleep by 10.
Daily Total: $29.50

Day Five

7 a.m. — I'm out of bed and ready to go. I head to work a little earlier than usual. Once every four months, my friends and I explore a new neighborhood by going on a bar crawl, and I want to look nice. The weather is already gorgeous, so I put on a dress, get ready, and head to work.
12 p.m. — I completely forgot to eat breakfast. I grab a hummus and pretzel dish from the store and eat it on the way to the gym. I'm taking a body pump class over lunch. This class kicks my butt! I wash off real quick after the class and head back to the office. $2.50
4:30 p.m. — I head out early, and the bar crawl begins! We get to our first bar, and it has an amazing happy hour menu. Cocktails for $5.50 and fries for $3. I order three drinks while there. E. shows up for a round of drinks and snacks, but leaves shortly after. The four of us haven't been all together for a couple of months now, so it's so good to catch up. The bar starts getting crowded, so we move on to food. $37
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7:30 p.m. — Next stop, pizza. I'm from the East Coast, and I understand that pizza isn't the best out here, but it will always be my go-to food. We each grab a slice, eat it outside in the street, and walk to the next bar. $3
8:00 p.m. — Bar number two has a different vibe and mostly beers. I grab a nitro beer. Two other people show up for some drinks. They are a few years younger, so they throw back their drinks and grab another round. I'm sticking to my slow pace. This bar is just okay, so we move on to the next place. $6.50
8:50 p.m. — On the walk to bar number three, I run into a former coworker. She's pregnant and adorable! I give her a hug and run to catch up with my friends at the next place. This bar is also beer-heavy. I'm not a huge IPA drinker, so I sit this one out. Two of my friends get a tasting, so I try a few beers, but they're not for me. The bar has a great vibe, though.
10 p.m. — At bar four, we move on to shots. HMMM, okay, this is happening. We get two rounds of lemon drops. The bar is so crowded, so we finish the drinks and go.
10:30 p.m. — At bar five, we get more shots. No idea where these are coming from. This time, it's Irish car bombs. We take our shots, but again, the bar is so crowded that we can't actually hear one another. We decide it's time to call it quits. We step outside and quickly decide that we want to keep the night going. I call a Lyft, because someone got me a shot.We head to my friend's place, because he has a gorgeous balcony with a great view. $7
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1 a.m. — Not sure how this happened, but we're still hanging on my friend's roof. We go downstairs to get another Lyft, but before I call a car, we find a dive bar. Of course, we go in and grab a drink. It's actually last call. I get my friend a vodka cranberry to pay her back for the lemon drop. We finish half of the drink and then hop in a Lyft. $6
1:45 a.m. — We giggle the whole ride home. I love sleep, and my friends are night owls. They appreciate that I stay out late, but it's definitely time for bed. I give them hugs once we get to my place and head upstairs. I pop an Advil and fall asleep in my clothes and makeup. $7
Daily Total: $69

Day Six

9:30 a.m. — I'm up by 9:30 (though I was up briefly at 6 to feed my cat). I'm not feeling 100%, probably closer to 25%. I move to the couch. I eat some string cheese, chug some water, and put on Stranger Things.
1 p.m. — Still not tip-top, but I have to drop off my car for an oil change and alignment. I lease my car and pay for additional coverage in my lease, so I shouldn't owe anything for the maintenance. I leave the car at the service station and head to the movies with E. We go see Spider-Man. He buys popcorn, one of my top three favorite foods. I eat most of the popcorn, but he's not surprised by that. Once the movie is over, we head over to pick up the car. $17
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4:30 p.m. — Turns out they forgot to do the oil change — it is what it is. I'll pick up the car on Monday; I'm too hungover to negotiate. We decide to run to Trader Joe's, since it's right around the corner. I don't have a full list, but I come up with a couple of meals on the fly. We pick up ground chicken, ginger, garlic, chicken boobies, frozen breaded eggplant, yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, strawberries, apples, spinach, mushrooms, pizza dough, jalapeños, chips, mozz cheese, protein bars, frozen veggie medley, everything-seasoning buns, and protein ice cream. The total is $88.40. We split that down the middle. This week I'm making a very simple eggplant Parm for me and chicken Parm for E. I already have marinara sauce, and I grow basil on my patio. $44.20
7 p.m. — We're home and unpacked by 7. We decide to go on a quick walk, and I head home earlier to start making a pizza. I add spinach and mushrooms to mine and chicken, jalapeños, and spinach to E.'s. The rest of the evening is lazy. I shower and get ready for bed by 10:30.
Daily Total: $61.20

Day Seven

8 a.m. — I am feeling a million times better! E. is still sleeping, but I walk to the gym for a quick cardio session. It's a 20-minute walk, and I do 30 minutes split between elliptical and stairs. I see the bus on my way out of the gym, so I hop on that to get home.
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11:20 a.m. — I make a quick egg breakfast for us, water the plants, and head out the door. We are going to a soccer match today! Although I am not from Seattle, I am a big Sounders fan. We have season tickets that we bought earlier in the year. I have Women's World Cup withdrawal (YAY USA!!!), so we head to the match early. We both have bus passes and arrive to the stadium with enough time to grab coffee. E. buys a grande cold brew that we split. I normally bring a water bottle to the stadium, but I forgot mine, so I pick up two waters to bring into the game. $3
4 p.m. — WE WON!!! It was a great match. E. buys a scarf on his way out — we have close to 15 scarves, so I don't buy any for me. We head home, change, and head to my gym and use my guest pass for E. He runs while I do a mix of lifting and cardio. Second workout of the day??? Who am I??!
7:30 p.m. — We walk home from the gym. I start making Thai chicken meatballs, they are so tasty! E. makes the sauce while I wipe down the counters. I'm not a fan of cleaning. E. tidies up in five minutes, while I'll take two hours and it's still not clean. We eat dinner and relax for the rest of the night. It's Monday tomorrow, so I wash my face and get ready for bed. I'm tucked in by 9:30. Good night!
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Daily Total: $3
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