A Week In Denver, CO, On A $70,000 Salary

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Today: a senior paralegal who makes $70,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on spring rolls.
Occupation: Senior Paralegal
Industry: Legal
Age: 45
Location: Denver, CO
Salary: $70,000
Paycheck Amount (2x/month): 1,813.35
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $2,350 (My roommate pays me $800.)
Car Payment: $350
HOA: $59
Car Insurance: $63
Train Parking: $42
Train Pass: $100
Electricity: $100
Water: $25
Health Insurance: $524, with a stipend of $360. (For me and my son.)
Dental Insurance: $75
Vision Insurance: $18
Cell Phones: $120 (for me and my son)
Netflix: $11.99
Sling: $30
Gym: $50 (My membership comes with unlimited hot yoga classes.)

Day One

7 a.m. — I wake up with my girlfriend, A., who spent the night last night. I immediately head downstairs and make us coffee with our flavored creamer so we're able to function. We watch the news while scrolling through emails and checking Facebook. Then we shower (together), get dressed, and get my son off to school for the day. Afterwards, we decide to go out for breakfast, since there's not much to eat at my house. A. has work at 9:30 and I should be catching the 9 a.m. train into work, but we've heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so we decide to eat and be a little late to work. We stop at our local favorite breakfast joint and order bagel sandwiches (turkey sausage with egg and cheese on toasted jalapeño bagels). So good. We split a coffee, as my hands are already shaking from my earlier coffee. A. pays, since I bought our dinner last night.
12:30 p.m. — Work is sort of slow, and I catch up on calls and emails before heading upstairs to the cafe. I usually bring my lunch and eat at my desk, but on Wednesdays, my inner 12-year-old wants chicken strips. I get a salad and a few chicken strips for good measure ($4.50). Then I eat at my desk and catch up on all the day's smut: According to the internet, Tristan and Khloe are trying for baby #2. Really? Hopefully Scott can talk some sense into KoKo. This is upsetting me, but my chicken strips are helping. $4.50
2 p.m. — After eating my salad and fried foods, I decide it's a great time to order some bathing suits for my upcoming trip to Cabo with A. and some friends. I start looking on Amazon but quickly lose focus and get off task, watching videos on YouTube of baby giraffes. Then I order a copy of the Money Diaries book. After using my Amazon Reward points, it's pretty cheap. $7.49
7 p.m. — I make it home after a busy day of work, and my mom is there with my son. She picks him up after school for me and usually watches him until I get home from work. His homework and reading are done, so we play a few games of Rummikub, and my mom and I drink some wine by the fire. It is getting cold outside, but still no snow. My mom heads home, and I make breakfast tacos for my son and me for dinner. It's early to bed for him (8 p.m.) as he has to be on the ice tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. for hockey practice. Does anyone really get up that early to go exercise? I talk to A. before I go to bed and watch an episode of Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry. I find this show fascinating.
Daily Total: $11.99

Day Two

4:30 a.m. — Time to wake up and get the kiddo to his early morning ice hockey practice. It is so early, even my French Bulldog stays in bed. Good thing my son is easy to wake up. He pops up and gets dressed for hockey. I grab a coffee, some muffins for him, and a Clif bar for me and we are out the door by 4:55.
8:45 a.m. — After hockey, we go home to shower and get ready for school and work. I fix our second breakfast of the morning (waffles for him, and eggs and toast for me). He tries to do his daily reading but ends up falling asleep in his book on the floor. I let him sleep for 30 minutes while I do laundry. Then I wake him up and we're out the door again by 8:40. After dropping him off, I head to work and swing into Starbucks for a nonfat White Mocha to get me moving. $5
12:30 p.m. — I eat lunch at my desk, since I was fairly organized last night and was able to pack lunches. I have a turkey and cheese sandwich with a strawberry Bubly water. Work is steady, and I am able to get quite a bit of stuff checked off my list. I check US Weekly and TMZ to make sure I'm not missing out on anything. Cardi B is single.
5:30 p.m. — Since hockey practice was so early, we have a free night. Yay for free nights!! We decide to head to our favorite pho restaurant and order some crab and cheese wontons, spring rolls, and two bowls of pho. The perfect dinner on this cold and dreary night. $25.45
Daily Total: $30.45

Day Three

4 p.m. — I pay my attorneys to defend a motion in my custody case. I adopted my son on my own almost nine years ago and was married to my ex for two and a half years. Somehow the judge found she was a parent, even though I never gave her any rights. Anyhow, it has been a long, drawn-out, and expensive fight, and I need to refill my balance with the firm I have retained. Good times! $1,202.50
6 p.m. — My son and I play Rummikub with Grandma, have a frozen pizza for dinner, and walk the dog. I do some laundry.
8:30 p.m. — I put my son to bed at 8. We are both exhausted. Then I talk with A. for an hour about our weekend plans before finally falling asleep around 9:45.
Daily Total: $1,202.50

Day Four

7 a.m. — I wake up, shower, and get ready for work while my son gets ready for school. He has hot cereal for breakfast, and I make avocado toast before we head out the door. After dropping him off, I take the train into work and then ride a Bird scooter ($1.45) the few blocks to the office instead of walking from the train. I justify this since I have a hockey game later tonight and need to save my legs for skating (either that, or I am being lazy). $1.45
12:30 p.m. — Work has been pretty steady this morning. I eat my sad sandwich and Cheetos at my desk. My coworker gets mad at me for taking bites of my string cheese and not peeling pieces of it like I'm supposed to.
5:30 p.m. — I meet up with a few friends after work for happy hour since my son is spending the weekend with my ex. We have wine, sushi, and appetizers ($25). The food is good, but I don't want to eat a lot since I have to go skate in a few hours. It's good to catch up with my friends. I leave and run home to see my dog for a bit before grabbing my hockey gear and heading out again. My team usually meets before each game at a nearby brewery for a pregame beer. $25
8 p.m. — I have two beers with my team before our game, which is close by. It's fun, and we win 5-4. I have a goal and an assist, and despite being 45, I played pretty well. (Thanks, alcohol!) I head home afterwards, shower, and go straight to bed at 11. $10
Daily Total: $36.45

Day Five

7:30 a.m. — I get an email reminder that my son's school lunch account is low and needs to be refilled. I put $50 in his account and get charged a $2 fee ($52). He usually gets hot lunch once a week, but he also gets snacks. I also get an email that a hockey jersey I sold on Mercari has gone through, and they have placed $23.20 in my account after taking out the selling fee ($3.30) and the shipping fee ($6.50). It is my son's hockey jersey, so he can eat more snacks at school. Go wild, young man! $52
9 a.m. — My son's hockey practice was actually a scrimmage between the parents and players, and it was a lot of fun to be on the ice with the kids. After saying goodbye to my son, I head to Starbucks because I am starving, and order a nonfat White Mocha and a turkey sausage breakfast sandwich. I head home and shower. $10.83
1 p.m. — I head to my hair appointment, where I get a cut and a partial highlight so I can look pretty, especially after playing all this hockey lately. It's $95 and I tip my gal $20 plus another $20 for the Christmas season. $135
4 p.m. — I stop by the grocery store before I head to A.'s house. I get chicken, breadcrumbs, cheese, salad, and ice cream for dessert. She texts that she has wine and not to get any. I drive the 40 minutes to her house and bring my Frenchie with me. Fun Fact: A. also has a French Bulldog (or so she says). Her dog is 40 pounds and looks like a mid-size bloodhound, and my girl is 15 pounds and looks and acts (sleeps a lot) like a Frenchie. $22.30
8 p.m. — We have a great night — eat dinner, walk the pups, watch a little TV (Narcos: Mexico on Netflix), and head to bed around 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $220.13

Day Six

7:30 a.m. — A. and I wake up, fool around, and shower together to save water. We eat a quick breakfast, and she heads out. I head back home, as my son has a hockey game at 9:30. I stop and get gas on my way. $44.01
11 a.m. — The game goes well, and they win 3-2. After his game, I go out for an early lunch with my dad and stepmom, since they came to watch their grandson skate. We catch up over sandwiches and salads at Panera. They pay ($18).
2 p.m. — I head over to a friend's house who is going to watch my dog for me while A. and I are in Cabo in a few weeks. My dog meets with her two sweet dogs and there are plenty of belly rubs all around. Everyone is happy, and I head home to watch football, do laundry, and nap before my son gets home. I cannot wait to see him.
5 p.m. — I head to the grocery store and get ground beef, potatoes, and salad to make a meatloaf dinner for my son — his favorite dinner. The weekends he is gone are very long and hard, and I am excited to have him home again. I also get bread, creamer, milk, eggs, avocados, and some snacks for his lunches this week. $34.73
8:30 p.m. — After dinner, we get everything ready to start the week again. Lunches are made and bags are packed for the morning. We watch Planet Earth, and then I tuck him in for the night. I talk to A. on the phone and then finally head to bed around 10:30 p.m.
Daily Total: $78.74

Day Seven

7 a.m. — Although I woke up on time, I stayed in bed drinking coffee, watching the news, and looking at Mercari for Christmas presents, and now I am behind schedule. I can't help it. My bed is so warm and comfy. I finally shower, and we get out the door on time for school and work. I forgot to eat breakfast, so I pick up a breakfast burrito to hold me over until lunch. $4
12:30 p.m. — I meet my my old coworker for lunch. She gets a BLT, and I get a cup of chicken tortilla soup. She pays, as my soup is only $4. We talk about our upcoming trip to Cabo. We can't wait to get out of the cold and be by the ocean for five days.
6 p.m. — My son has hockey practice after school, and I head directly there from work, as my mom has dropped him off at the rink for me. He has an hour on the ice and then an hour of conditioning off the ice. I have a few beers with the hockey dads, and we tell stories and rip on one another (our usual routine), while our sons skate on the ice and do their conditioning off the ice. I also order chicken strips and fries. My son wraps up practice and I drive him home to shower and eat before bed. $24
Daily Total: $28
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