A Week In Silver Spring, MD, On A $266,716 Joint Income

Photo: Getty Images.
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 General Pediatrician with a joint income of $266,726 who spends some of her money this week on a watering can.
Occupation: General Pediatrician
Industry: Health Care
Age: 35
Location: Silver Spring, MD
My Salary: $132,000 + approx $17,000 in moonlighting
My Husband's Salary: $82,716 + $35,000 in overtime
My Paycheck Amount (2x/month — moonlighting only gets paid 1x/month): $5,500 + $1,000-$1,500 for moonlighting
My husband's paycheck (biweekly): $2,200
Gender Identity: Woman
Monthly Expenses
Mortgage + Property Tax: $2,027 (we own our condo)
Loans: $0 (we finished paying off my student loans earlier this year and our cars are paid in full)
HOA (includes our water): $567
Estimated Taxes: $4,000
Parking: $246 for two spaces
Electricity + Gas: $85
Cable + Internet: $125
Netflix: $12.99 (I share with my family)
Amazon Prime: $119/year (My husband shares with me)
Magazine, Newspaper, Pandora, & Cloud Storage Subscriptions: $67
Life insurance: $739 (for myself and my husband)
Disability Insurance: $130 (for just me, my husband gets his through work)
Car, Condo, Umbrella Insurance: $263
Cell Phone: $75 for me (I'm still on the family plan and send my parents money every month), $100 for my husband
Credit Card Fees: $650/year (includes a membership to American's Admirals Club)
Gym Membership: $54.95
Wine Club: $53.10 for two bottles
Car Wash Membership: $29.99
Health Insurance: $210 per paycheck (pre-tax) from my husband's paycheck
Retirement: $1,583 per month into my work 401 and 8% of my husband's income goes to his pension and an extra $760 into his government 457 account
Savings: $1,900 ($1,400 from me, $500 from my husband)

Day One

6:30 a.m. — I've been snoozing my alarm for about 30 minutes, but my husband, R., and I compromise and agree to both get out of bed. I brush my teeth and start prepping for the day. I make my green tea with ginger that I pack in a tumbler to take with me to work and pack leftover Smitten Kitchen braised ginger meatballs in coconut broth from last week. I eat leftover Costco Chicken and Swiss Rollers for breakfast while watching the news with R. It's nice to get to spend some time in the morning with him. R. is a detective and works the night shift so I usually don't get to see him in the morning because he stays late to work on his cases.
1130 a.m. — I'm having a weird morning where my schedule is light, but there are a lot of no shows and people showing up late. I've been trying to read CME (continuing medical education), but I'm too easily distracted. I eat my meatballs a little early so I can try to go on a walk during my lunch break. I've been texting with P. all morning because it's been slow. He's at the gym, but got his hair cut before the gym ($30 including tip). $30
12:30 p.m. — Done seeing patients with enough time to go on my walk during my lunch break. I walk two laps around the office park while listening to podcasts. Lately I've been into the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement, so I listen to a couple of financial podcasts during my walk. I'm super sweaty afterwards because it's been so hot, but at least I got some exercise in.
6 p.m. — I get home from work and eat a snack of macaroni salad that I have leftover from a Hawaiian food truck that we ate at last week. I'm always hungry when I get home, but usually snack so that I can eat with R. when he wakes up from his nap. I turn on Gilmore Girls on Netflix for background noise and sit down to finish my charting from the day and do some e-mails.
7 p.m. — I decide to get started on dinner. I've been craving shrimp in Thai red curry sauce, so I improvise dinner based on a couple of recipes I find online. I make the curry with a lot of bell peppers, zucchini, and tons of fresh Thai basil from our apartment herb garden.
7:45 p.m. — R. wakes up from his nap. I finish cooking and serve the curry over rice. It definitely needs some tweaks for next time, but R. likes it enough to have seconds. We eat while watching Blood and Treasure, which is a new show we are trying out. This one is alright, but it's too early to tell if we'll keep watching it. R. heats up some water for coffee for the french press and makes coffee for work.
8:30 p.m. — R. cleans the kitchen and packs the leftover curry into different containers for lunches. We have enough for four lunches, which we will eat throughout the week. While R. cleans, I write down the general scaffold of the recipe I made tonight with my edits. I've been toying of the idea of starting a food blog, so I've been trying to write down and fine tune recipes in hopes of one day having enough material for a blog. R. packs the last Smitten Kitchen meatball meal and a curry meal from tonight to take with him from work. He's planning on staying late tomorrow so I want to make sure he has enough to eat.
9 p.m. — R. wants a sweet treat after dinner, so we each have a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich that we have leftover from this weekend. He then finishes getting ready and leaves for work. I check out the edits that R. makes to the spreadsheet we use to keep track of our finances and text him to let him know I love the reformat (we are nerds). I browse social media and eventually make it to bed by 11.
Daily Total: $30

Day Two

7:45 p.m. — I am finally awake. I didn't sleep well last night, so I snoozed my alarm for quite a while this morning. I work the late shift at work today, so I stay in bed for a bit and browse through e-mail and social media.
8:30 a.m. — I call R. to check in. Being on different schedules definitely sucks, but we try to check in when we can. I hardly heard from him last night, so I figured he was busy. He catches me up on the latest happenings at his office and gives me a general idea of what his day is going to be like — a.k.a. how late he plans on staying.
8:45 a.m. — I finally get out of bed and brush my teeth. I eat the last of the Costco Chicken and Swiss Rollers for breakfast while watching the news.
9:30 a.m. — I finally drag my butt to the gym. R. and I have been doing stronglift 5 x 5 for almost two years and I'm doing workout B today. I definitely feel stronger, but I'm not feeling the gains like I did in the beginning, but R. likes it so we keep doing it. I was able to get a squat rack today and did squats, overhead press, and deadlifts, but I'm definitely dragging today. I had to take a break to respond to messages from work about a patient. It's honestly one of the biggest drags of medicine is how much work you have to do in your "off" time. I definitely try to keep my work life and home life separate as much as possible, but sometimes it's just easier to respond and get it over with.
10:45 a.m. — Back from the gym and running behind. I pack leftover curry for lunch, make my tea, take a shower, and eat potstickers while watching the news. I also throw some brown rice in the rice cooker so it will be ready for dinner tonight.
2:45 p.m. — Today is busier than yesterday, so I've been running around trying to keep patients moving. I see a bunch of text messages from R. He's packing up soon to go home and get some sleep before his shift tonight. He bought a Texas state park pass for his sister's kids while at work today ($70). Initially he wanted to do it just for his nephew's birthday this week, but I could not see spending $70 on a three-year-old's birthday gift, so we compromised and are doing it for both kids this year as I find $35/kid a way more acceptable price range. He also grabbed a couple of bau as a snack to try to tide him over until he got home ($6 including tip). $76
4 p.m. — Done with seeing patients for my "morning." I heat up my curry and eat quickly because I'm starving. No walk on my lunch break today because it's raining, but I feel ok about it since I went to the gym this morning. I try to use the time to catch up on CME.
8 p.m. — Finally home. Lots of my evening patients came in early so I was able to get out on time and get my notes done. I roast Brussels sprouts and cook pre-marinated pork from the asian store. R. eventually wakes up and we eat the pork and Brussels sprouts with the brown rice from the rice cooker. I had more Gilmore Girls playing in the background while I was cooking, but I pause it while we eat so we can focus on each other. It always makes my heart swell every time we have to pause the TV because we are so engrossed in conversation with each other. I pack R. leftovers to take to work and cut up strawberries for dessert, while he cleans the kitchen.
9:30 p.m. — R. leaves for work. I browse social media. T-Mobile Tuesdays has a free year magazine subscription so I buy Women's Health for free. I'm tired and make it to bed by 10.
Daily Total: $76

Day Three

7 a.m. — Another night of poor sleep and I wake up before my alarm. I work the evening shift again, so I stay in bed for a bit and browse social media and email.
8:00 a.m. — R. calls to make sure I'm up. He was on a search warrant this morning, so he stopped for a bagel and coffee afterwards with a coworker and treated ($8). He's coming home before I have to go to work! I use that as incentive to get out of bed. I eat some frozen chicken tenders that I microwave (bad habit from residency) and go to the gym in our building. I walk at an incline for 45 minutes. I had a hip surgery several years ago and have had to completely revamp how I work out (doc said no running, which includes no elliptical, which sucks). I have recently incorporated walking inclines to see if it helps. I come back up to our unit and shower. I make my Invigor8 shake, my tea to take to work, and pack leftover pork, Brussels sprouts, and rice for lunch. I can't take the last curry meal because one of the nurses is extremely allergic to shrimp and I don't want to risk her getting sick. I'm dragging again today, so I pack myself a Diet Pepsi for extra caffeine. $8
10 a.m. — R. is home! It's such a treat to see him before work. He waters the plants, while I make myself non-fat greek yogurt with honey, strawberries, and Trader Joe's peanut butter protein granola. I'm picky with my granola and it's my first time trying this Trader Joe's granola, but it's pretty good. We hang out watching the news, catching up, and cuddling on the couch until I have to leave for work.
1:30 p.m. — R. stayed up to book all the hotels for our upcoming trip to Japan. We're concerned about the cost, so he books us at budget hotels and it's only $943 for 10 nights! I thought it was going to be a lot more so I'm pretty psyched. We booked our tickets with miles so hopefully we should have a pretty generous budget for spending there. We only have to pay for three of the reservations now, so R. puts it on my credit card. $236
4 p.m. — "Lunch" time. I'm starving and eat my lunch quickly. I decided against a walk at work today given that I already walked for 45 minutes at the gym and am feeling achy. I treat myself to my Diet Pepsi as I'm continuing to fade.
8 p.m. — I get home from work and start cooking to try to get dinner done before R. needs to leave for work. I roast the rest of the bag of Brussels sprouts from yesterday and make some shoyu (soy sauce) chicken.
9 p.m. — R.'s alarm has been going off for a bit and I get him up now that dinner's ready. He helps me remove my NuvaRing (not sexy, I know, but I've had trouble doing it on my own since I had hip surgery and have had trouble with other birth control methods. Plus, I honestly feel like men should participate since it's unfair that women have the responsibility for birth control. Plus, when he complains I tell him he can wear condoms). We eat and chat and he leaves by 9:30. I clean up the kitchen. I try going through email, but I'm so tired that I give up and go to bed by 10.
Daily Total: $244

Day Four

6:30 a.m. — I hear R. home. I'm off today so he tries to come home on time so that we can hang out after he naps. I get out of bed to say hi and he tells me to go back to bed. No argument here, I slept like crap again last night. R. comes to bed and we chat about his night and cuddle. I try to go back to sleep, but apparently I'm up. I stay in bed so I can at least get some cuddle time in.
8 a.m. — I finally get out of bed. I make myself breakfast (greek yogurt, peanut butter protein granola, honey, and strawberries) and eat while watching the news and going through e-mail. I realize it's payday! I got paid for both my main job and my moonlighting gig. Most of my paycheck gets automatically deposited into our various accounts, which are used for our living expenses, our savings, and to save for my estimated taxes. I decide to put a bunch towards my credit card bill, which feels extra large this month and put some towards saving to replace R.'s car and for a future house downpayment.
9 a.m. — I leave for my MRI appointment. I get annual breast MRIs because I have a strong family history of breast cancer and I'm a bone cancer survivor, which increases my risk. R. has good health insurance so no copay today. While I'm waiting to be taken back, I go through my e-mail and see that Susan G. Komen donations are being double matched today so I decide to donate $25, which has an impact of $75. I figured it's fitting since I'm getting my MRI today. $25
12:30 p.m. — Home from my MRI. I get my car washed on my way back — no cost since I have my monthly car wash membership. I also pick up my wine from my wine club. I'm about to make myself lunch, when R. emerges. He's up early, which is super exciting. I switch up my lunch plan and heat up some BBQ pork bau and shu mai from the freezer, which is one of R.'s favorites. He shows me the Japan hotels he booked to make sure I'm okay with what he booked. Then we discuss our cable/internet bill that went up because we came off contract. We discuss our options and pick one that will be $15 cheaper than our previous contract.
1:30 p.m. — Saving money must make us frisky because we end up making love. We cuddle and watch some Blood and Treasure in bed and I fall asleep.
3 p.m. — I wake up and now I'm frisky so we make love again. I then nap again.
5:30 p.m. — We finally get out of bed. I feel guilty that we didn't make it to the gym today, but R. says it's okay because we got to spend "quality time" together and that the naps were probably a good thing since I haven't been sleeping well this week. I hop into the shower and get ready for dinner.
6 p.m. — I call into a webinar for work. It's a quarterly meeting they have for our medical group. I find them annoying because they are always on my day off, but we get points for doing them so I always call in if I'm able. I put in headphones and listen in the car while R. drives so we can make it to our dinner reservation.
7 p.m. — It's DC restaurant week and one of the many anniversaries we celebrate today. We are trying a Mexican restaurant that I've had my eye on and splurge a little extra since it's our anniversary. I get a watermelon mezcal cocktail and R. gets a Diet Coke since he has to work later. We order guacamole to share and then I get the elote, braised lamb, and churros. R. gets tacos, tamales, and a chocolate torte. All the food is really good and we're pretty happy with our choices. ($130 including tip). Then we walk back to the car and pay $12 for parking. $142
9 p.m. — I drop R. off at the Safeway near his work. He buys two sodas to get him through the night. $5
9:30 p.m. — I check the mail and my Eddie Bauer order has come. I'll have to try on the clothes this weekend. I put some rice in the rice cooker to cook, since P used the last for his lunch tonight. I water the plants, then head to bed before 10pm.
Daily Total: $172

Day Five

7 a.m. — I finally get my butt out of bed after lounging in bed for a bit. I make my tea, pack the last curry meal with rice for lunch, and eat breakfast (again strawberries, honey, peanut butter granola, and greek yogurt) while watching the news. I do a quick chat with R. because he was worried that I wasn't going to get up. He stops for a bagel and coffee to get his day started. $4.50
12:30 p.m. — Lots of people showing up late today, which puts my schedule behind. I eat my Thai red curry shrimp meal quickly so I can get a short walk in. I check in with R. and he had falafel for lunch and is saving the food I packed for him for his shift later tonight. $7
6 p.m. — I stop by Trader Joe's on my way home. I really just need everything bagel seasoning and bacon for a new recipe that I want to experiment with, but I'm hungry so I grab a couple of frozen meals and a bag of frozen wings as well. I'm proud of myself for not coming home with more stuff! $21.45
6:45 p.m. — I get home and put the food away. I have a frozen chicken nugget snack and make the dough for dinner so that it can chill before I roll it out. While I wait for the dough to chill, I schedule my federal estimated tax payment.
7:30 p.m. — I roll out the dough and make mini tomato galettes with cream cheese, red onion, and bacon. It's a recipe I made up and it came out pretty well. R. eventually gets up and has some of the galettes and agrees that it's tasty. We catch up on our days and then he gets ready for work and leaves.
9:30 p.m. — I'm tired, but I try to put together a meal plan for next week so R. can go to the grocery store on his way home. I'm feeling culinarily uninspired so I scroll through saved recipes on my recipe app, but can't come up with anything. I finally decide on mac and cheese, which is easy and keeps well for lunches. I quickly put the list of things we need from the store in our list sharing app for R. to see and text him to let him know it's updated and then go to bed.
Daily Total: $32.95

Day Six

6:30 a.m. — I wake up before my alarm, but snooze for a bit (I promise I usually don't sleep this terribly). R. calls to make sure I'm up. He's about to go to the grocery store to pick up the things we need. After we hang up, I text him to get me a soda because I'm so tired. I'm seriously dragging. R. comes home with a variety of cheeses (cheddar, asiago/parmesan/romano blend, gouda, and goat cheese), strawberries, broccoli, asparagus, andouille sausage, Diet Pepsi, and Diet Mountain Dew. $40.59
7:15 a.m. — I make frozen chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce for breakfast and feel better after eating. R. and I chat for a bit and then I head to my moonlighting gig.
12 p.m. — I moonlight at a community hospital seeing newborns. It isn't too busy. I stop by the doctor's lounge on my way out and grab some Diet Pepsi for later. During the week it's stocked with food, but on weekends it's beverages only. I head home and wash my car because it's covered in dust from road construction near where I parked.
1 p.m. — I get home and eat leftover shoyu chicken and rice. I try on clothes that I ordered online. Everything fits, but I'm unsure if I like them so I put them in a pile to think about them. I go to the gym while R. sleeps and walk for 45 minutes at an incline.
2:30 p.m. — We head into the city to meet up with my cousins. We're a little early so we stop by a neighborhood bar and get a couple of beers. They do happy hour on weekends so it was $5 per beer plus tip. $13
4:15 p.m. — We meet up with my cousins at their friend's house. We hang out and drink hard seltzer and liquor on the rocks. We decide to order from a fast casual Mediterranean place and have someone go pick it up. R. and I both order rice bowls and I venmo my cousin our portion. $20
8 p.m. — My cousins are heading to their concert and we head home. We parked in a garage to save from trying to find parking on the street and I pay. $12
8:30 p.m. — On the way home, I decompensate and become tired (also I'm PMSing), so R. stops at the diner by our house. He picks up some hush puppies and onion rings for me and a cheeseburger for him. We eat and then I head to bed early because I feel so crappy (thanks period). $19
Daily Total: $104.59

Day Seven

7 a.m. — I wake up and R. has already been up for a while. I (surprise surprise) slept like crap last night, so R. tells me to try to rest more and gets out of bed. He grabs a couple of sodas from the nearby 7-11 while I sleep and has cereal for breakfast. $4
9:30 a.m. — I finally get up and still don't feel great. I make us potstickers from Trader Joe's and R. gets the paper. I drink some soda from the doctors' lounge and we eat potstickers. I read the paper while watching the weekend news. R. sends me $500. I put $250 towards the car savings and $250 towards the Japan fund. (We have both separate and combined finances so we do a lot of money transfers. I've talked to R. about trying to combine finances more, but he's set in his ways and this works for us).
11:30 a.m. — R. finally gets up to clean the kitchen and I finally work up the motivation to go to the gym. We do stronglift work out A (squats, bench press, and bent over rows). R. walks over to Whole Foods and picks up four pounds of ground pork. Some we'll cook this week and some we'll freeze. $24.01
11:45 a.m. — R. then walks to the local hardware store to pick up a larger watering can so it's easier to water our plants. $11.65
12 p.m. — I can't find the goat cheese R. bought the other day so he goes to Safeway and picks up goat cheese and green beans because I didn't realize this until after he left Whole Foods and it was too busy for him to want to go back. $7.48
1:30 p.m. — I start baking. I make more tomato galettes, but add goat cheese to the cream cheese and herbs. I also make cheddar and rosemary scones. I pack some for us, but pack most of them for the nurses tomorrow. They scheduled an extra doctor without any extra nursing support so I know that it's going to be rough for them. I figured a baked treat may soften the blow.
5:30 p.m. — It's still restaurant week so we head into DC. R. said he wanted to try something new so we go to a Georgian (like the country) restaurant. We find free street parking (DC parking miracle!). R. orders eggplant rolls, a bread and sausage dish, and yogurt and berries. I order mushroom stuffed with cheese, a cheesy bread boat with egg, and vanilla gelato. We both order a beer as well. It was all really good and definitely different! $112
7:30 p.m. — We head back home and relax on the couch. I buy a new iPhone cable for my car (mine keeps acting weird) and a new work bag on Amazon. R. starts to fade early so we move to bed. We watch Netflix on the iPad. R. falls asleep quickly and I'm up for a few hours before I finally fall asleep at 11. $38.56
Daily Total: $197.70
Calling All College Students! Have you always wanted to do a money diary? Well, this is your chance! We’re doing a special series of college diaries, and we want to feature you. If you’re interested, send us an email telling us a bit about yourself, with the subject line “College Diary.”
Want more Money Diaries? Well, you’re in luck — Refinery29 Canada is launching its own Canadian Money Diaries three times a week. (Which means once you’re done with catching up on all our diaries during your lunch break, you can head on over to R29 CA for even more.) You can now experience Money Diaries IRL at 29Rooms Toronto September 26th through October 6th. Buy tickets here
Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here.
Do you have a Money Diary you'd like to share? Submit it with us here.
Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series